31 Jul 2014

85% of Christchurch claims settled

12:27 pm on 31 July 2014

The Earthquake Commission has settled 85 percent of Canterbury building claims and paid out $6.8 billion in settlements, it says.

A quake-damaged Lyttelton house.

A quake-damaged Lyttelton house. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Commission chief executive Ian Simpson said of the 169,000 claims on properties damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes between September 2010 and December 2011, 143,900 claims on properties had been resolved.

The commission was working hard on meeting its target of completing building claims by the end of 2014 but had identified some claims which were likely to spill over into 2015, he said.

Most of those claims involved owners who had chosen to defer work or had selected their own contractor who would not be able to do the work until next year.

There were also some claims where disputes or engineering issues needed to be resolved, Mr Simpson said.

There were about 12,000 complex claims involving increased flood vulnerability and/or increased liquefaction vulnerability which required further engineering and valuation work before they could be settled, he said.

Meanwhile, 157 people nationwide have taken up the Government's Christchurch relocation offer.

The scheme provides a $3000 payment to help unemployed people to move and work in Christchurch, and began on 1 July.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said while it was early days, there was no doubt the incentive payment was paying off for those individuals now working, as well as for the region.

Ms Bennett said most of the jobseekers had been employed in construction, with 91 jobs. Other industries benefiting from the scheme included retail, transport, manufacturing, administration and support services.

Of those who relocated, 134 were men and 23 women.