2 Dec 2015

CCC calls for quake-claim deadline

3:24 pm on 2 December 2015

The Christchurch City Council is asking the government to bring in legislation putting a deadline on settling all outstanding claims for earthquake damage.

The call is in its submission on the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Bill, which will allow for the disbanding of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and the setting up of a new body called Regenerate Christchurch - governed by council and government-appointed members.

Speaking in support of a deadline for insurance settlements, councillor Ali Jones pointed to yesterday's Auditor-General's report, which criticised the Earthquake Commission (EQC) for not having an end date to its claims process.

"People need to know where they stand, and there are still people out there that still don't even whether they are over cap or under cap with EQC," she said.

"While we celebrate a lot of the wins that are going on around the city there are an awful lot of people who still don't have an opportunity to celebrate those wins."

Ms Jones and the rest of the councillors gave their approval to the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Bill, which will be presented to the select committee hearing the bill next week.

At the same meeting today, mayor Lianne Dalziel signalled the council was ready to take back control of the city, saying Regenerate Christchurch would have oversight of the rebuild of suburban centres as well as the central city.

The city was moving from central government control to local government leadership, Ms Dalziel said.

Meanwhile, about 40 percent of the EQC's Canterbury home repair customers are overdue with their excess payments.

An EQC spokesperson said it started sending out excess invoices for home repairs in April and people had three months to pay.

Excesses started at $200 per building claim and the average bill was $354.

Invoices worth $24,725 had reached their due date, and 60 percent of customers have paid or set up a payment plan. However, 40 percent remained outstanding.

EQC had a range of debt recovery options in the event of non-payment but would consider exemptions in cases of hardship, the spokesperson said.

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