Christchurch's forgotten residents
Fri, 20 Jul 2012 6:05p.m.
By Annabelle Tukia
Most people have heard of Christchurch's colour-coded earthquake zones: red means residents have to go, green - they can stay.
But thousands of residents say they've been forgotten - they're in a zone called TC3.
TC3 is blue-green, and that means many of their sections must be individually drilled and tested - and they could be waiting up to five years for a new house.
One family living in the zone is the Beddgoods. The back rooms of their blue-green zoned home have been deemed unlivable because the land is slowly sliding into a stream behind their house.
They've been told it could be five years at least until they get a new home.
“We're all sleeping in the front rooms on the floor and the place is almost impossible to keep warm with all the cracks and damage,” says Dan Beddgood.
And they're not alone. There are 28,000 homes in total zoned TC3.
But 11,000 of those houses have foundation damage, meaning individual drilling and site-specific or tailor-made foundations are needed for a new house.
Dale Ogilvie owns one of those properties - he hasn't heard anything from his insurance company since April last year, and he knows of dozens of others in a similar situation.
He has just posted online a letter to the Government, CERA, EQC, and the Insurance Council calling for action and he's been swamped with support.
“A lot of what we're asking for is a reasonable timeframe to that recovery, not three-to-five years to have a house rebuilt, because I've rung up building companies and they are ready to work,” says Mr Ogilvie.
EQC says they have already completed 20,000 claims and stand by their plans to have all repairs finished by the end of 2015.
But EQC may not be the only stumbling block for residents.
“In TC3, the vast majority of those homes - because that's where lots of the damage is - is going to reside with the private insurers, so hence we want to work with the private insurers in getting that analysis done,” says Bruce Emson of EQC.
Mr Emson says EQC is working as fast they can with limited resources, but CERA boss Roger Sutton believes more needs to be done.
”For many people, especially the elderly, five years is going to be too long and the insurance industry and in fact the wider community needs to find a way to ensure those people are fixed up faster than that,” says Mr Sutton.
It seems the Beddgoods’s will have to endure a few more Christchurch winters just yet before they're re-housed.
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30/07/2012 5:30:08 p.m.
I like many others am also in TC3 blue, with major structural damage and a house that is impossible to keep warm it is so frustrating to keep being told by the insurance company that they are waiting on various reports before even deciding what they are going to do little lone doing anything. We certainly aren't getting the service that we paid for in our premiums, the government need to do something about it as our hands are tied. We can't afford to take legal action so just have to put up with it.
24/07/2012 8:21:54 p.m.
I am TC3 blue, insurance are quite openly saying to us they are not working in our area, frankly they are not honoring the contract and Insurance premiums I have been paying them for 18 years, just cant believe we are treated this way. Now we are waiting for drilling results with EQC but that dos not mean the insurers will be doing any of the work they are expected to do on my grounds. My premiums have tripled and they wont go near us..its criminal and this government stands by protecting them!
23/07/2012 9:53:10 p.m.
Dale Ogilvie wrote:
I was interviewed for this article. A small inaccuracy here. Our insurer has CONTACTED us since April '11, nothing has been FIXED since April '11. And although I might know of dozens of others, the online letter has received HUNDREDS of people signing up in agreement.
23/07/2012 9:26:02 p.m.
I am TC3 Blue , still paying the mortgage , our house is uninhabitable we have pleaded with the EQC to cover it so we wont get stuck renting and mortgaging at the same time, they refuse and come up with lots of excuses..It is appalling we should wait five year for our lives to get back on track and if thats the case perhaps we should be compensated for not just the loss of our homes but for the trauma, intimidation and bullying of dealing with EQC (workers).
We Survived the Earthquakes, but now we re victims of the EQC.
21/07/2012 10:50:32 p.m.
We are TC Green, uninhabitable house, paying rates, however we like so many are still waiting to hear from EQC on any progress on our claim, 35+ calls and still waiting... . AMI - now Southern Response revert when you call them to saying they can't do anything until EQC have settled, even though they sent letters out in 2011 saying they would come and look at properties? Builders don't want to touch houses that are TC3 as they are in the too hard basket so I don't like our chances of getting anything settled until the government and Jerry front up to the Insurance Industry. Yeah Right!
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