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Frustration over Christchurch quake claims

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/02/2017

Chalk will again be a mode of protest for residents upset about their insurance claims as Christchurch marks the sixth anniversary of the devastating 2011 earthquake.

The community group Empowered Christchurch is organising a silent rally in Cathedral Square on Wednesday for "unheard and unsettled EQC and insurance claimants".

The action has been set down for 2pm so as not to clash with the dedication of the earthquake memorial beginning at noon.

A year ago, the group also held a protest, which ended with buckets of chalk being handed out for people to express their frustrations by writing a word.

Empowered Christchurch says that, in the intervening period, it has made submissions on relevant legislation and highlighted injustices in the recovery process.

It has also "engaged in endless and, unfortunately, largely fruitless correspondence with the different local and national authorities and politicians from the various parties".

But it says there has been no substantial progress over the 12 months for claimants, a growing number of whom are heading to the High Court.

The group produced a summary of the status quo 72 months on from the quake, including:

* 83 per sent of insurance claims settled (ICNZ statistic as at end of 2016);

* 2000 properties with no land remediation solutions (EQC statistic);

* $861 million in declared claims in earthquake cases before the High Court, with no amount declared for about 25 per cent of cases;

* Land claims against the EQC in preparation;

* Over 10,000 botched EQC repairs, with many claimants heading to court;

* Large number of as-is properties posing a risk in future seismic events.

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