Home' Christchurch Mail : December 13th 2012 Contents 14 CHRISTCHURCH MAIL, DECEMBER 13, 2012
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THE EARTHQUAKE Commission
(EQC) has complained about a
story published in the Christ-
church Mail on November 1,
under the heading Quakes
demolish dream home -- EQC
demolishes equity .
The article dealt with the
experience of a Pines Beach cou-
ple, the Petersons, in the residen-
tial red zone. Their land had been
deemed uninhabitable and a Gov-
ernment offer was made for the
purchase of their house and land.
EQC says the article was mis-
leading because it omitted critical
facts, and was also unbalanced.
It began by referring to a
drawn out battle with the Earth-
quake Commission , before going
on to describe how an EQC settle-
ment offer for building damage
was well below the couple s pri-
vate insurer s offer. The conse-
quence of this, the article conten-
ded, was that the couple was
forced to take out a mortgage as
they were $50,000 short of the
true cost of repairs .
EQC says this was purely the
consequences of decisions made by
the Petersons , not the result of
battles with EQC.
The critical omission in the
article was in failing to alert
readers to the fact that the Peter-
sons had two options in deciding
how to proceed with their
insurance claim. All Red Zone
homeowners are given two options
by the Canterbury Earthquake
Recovery Authority -- Option 1
involves selling both land and
building to the Crown at its 2007
valuation. Option 1 generally
works best for homeowners whose
house is deemed repairable (that
is, not a total loss), as it crystal-
ises their position and frees them
to buy or build elsewhere, which
would appear to be what the
Petersons want to do.
From the article, it is clear that
the Petersons rejected this option
in favour of Option 2, in which
they sold their land to the Crown
at the 2007 valuation, but chose to
pursue their insurance claim(s)
for building damage.
One might surmise the reason
for this decision was a calculation
that they would be able to activate
their full replacement insurance
policy, but the reality is that this
was never guaranteed.
The inference that EQC was to
blame for this assumption on their
part can t be supported, as there is
no evidence EQC ever indicated
their house was anything other
than an under cap settlement,
meaning their private insurance
policy would not come into play.
EQC also complained about the
lack of balance in the article.
There was reference to the true
cost of repairs being some
$50,000 -- or about 50 per cent --
higher than that paid by EQC,
with the clear implication that
EQC was in error in determining
the value of damage.
We were never approached for
comment, nor were we asked to
explain any discrepancy in the
value of damage. Had we been
approached, we would have been
more than happy to explain that
differences in the kinds of cover
provided by EQC and private
insurers can lead to markedly
The Christchurch Mail accepts
the article contained inaccuracies,
lacked balance, and that the head-
line was misleading.
GARDEN GIFT: Raumati South School pupils Jack Bolsover, left, Sofie Claridge, and Liam Sayer. PHOTO: TALIA CARLISLE
after garden show
AFTER the Ellerslie Flower Show
next year Wharenui School will be
home to one of the entries from
the North Island.
Students from Kapiti s Raumati
South School have decided to
enter the flower show.
After the show the entire gar-
den will be donated to the Riccar-
The Kapiti school won the
Kapiti Sustainable Home and
Garden Show and is heavily
involved with the Enviroschools
programme, which promotes
sustainability and green thinking.
Jack Bolsover, Sofie Claridge,
and Liam Sayer and 11 other
students have received a $10,000
grant from the Kapiti Council and
need to raise a further $20,000
Liam Sayer has given up his
weekends and lunchtimes for two
years to look after the garden.
There were a huge number of kids
involved and he felt lucky to have
made the list for the trip to
They are the first primary to
intermediate age school invited
to exhibit in the show s
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