Labour backs call for red-zone profit share-out

9:00 am on 6 August 2012

The Labour Party says the Government should pass on any profit it makes from insurance payouts for red-zone properties to their former owners.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority is getting new valuations on its red-zone properties before settling its insurance claims, upsetting many red-zone residents who were forced to accept less than market value for their homes when they sold their homes to the Government at their 2007 rateable value.

The Government is having its properties independently valued in order to try and get the best possible payout from insurers.

The Earthquake Recovery Authority says owners who handed over all insurance claims to the Government will not be informed of the valuations.

It says the payouts may be bigger than but are more likely to be less than the purchase price.

A campaigner for quake-hit homeowners, Mike Coleman, has demanded the Government return any profits it makes from insurance payouts on red-zone houses it bought, and Labour quake recovery spokesperson Lianne Dalziel agrees.

She says the Government is legally obliged to get as much money as possible out of insurance companies but it shouldn't be at the expense of the former home-owners.

"The Government has been saying over and over again that this is an incredibly fair offer that they've made to insured people in the residential red zones," Ms Dalziel says, "when in fact it isn't fair to everyone and there are winners and losers.

"The losers have been saying this for a long time and nobody's been listening."