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Anger, frustration at doors of Southern Response

Christchurch clients of insurer Southern Response and project manager Arrow International kept up the pressure today.

Organisers Steve Gurney and Ali Jones were contacted by a large number of Southern Response claimants following their first protest on Monday two weeks ago and they expected numbers to be greater this morning for a renewed protest.

Nearly 100 people turned up this morning.

They repeated their ultimatum to Southern Response chief executive Peter Rose to perform.

Mr Rose took out advertisements in newspapers over the weekend promising to look at the claims he had been handed and resolve them “if they are resolvable."

“Any claim is resolvable,” according to Ms Jones, who was recently voted in as a new city councillor.

“And it would be fair and reasonable, three years on, to have claims sorted by now.”

Ms Jones and Mr Gurney say the delays have become a human rights issue.

Meanwhile, thousands of claimants still await EQC settling their claims before they even approach private insurers, if they have damage more than a $100,000 cap.

There are about 70,000 unsettled EQC claims – meaning those homeowners have yet to receive even an offer for repair or payout.

In a Christmas message, ECQ chief executive Ian Simpson says the third year after a large scale natural disaster is the hardest for those people affected.

“I want to thank all EQC customers who have waited so patiently for their claim to be settled over the past year.  

“So far, we have fixed almost 50,000 homes, we have paid out more than $6 billion and completed a huge amount of emergency repairs.

“But we didn’t get everything right. In 2013 my organisation fell below my expectations when it came to how we handle private customer information and how we completed the repairs of those homes with the most severe damage and I do want to apologise to those customers who are still waiting.

“Our target for 2014 is to repair or settle every Canterbury claim and that is still a huge challenge for us.”

c.hutch@clear.net.nz

More by Chris Hutching

Comments and questions
4

To Ian Simpson and Peter Rose. Stop calling us customers. We are not customers. Customers have choices. We don't. If we did have a choice, neither EQC or Southern Response would receive one dollar of revenue from me and thousands of others. If you were businesses, you would be liquidated by now because your "customers" would have walked long, long ago.

Well put Jamie absolutely spot on.

Well not so fast Jamie, if we both recall correctly, those customers who were insured with AMI could have been facing a total loss if the Government hadn't very generously stepped in and bought the business, AMI was unable to meet its claims and in some countries you'd be stiff out of luck buddy. The tax payers are meeting the obligation of the former AMI Chch business. Show a little gratitude that you're going to paid at all.

Anon, why don't we have proper discussion about John Balmforth, socialising losses and moral hazards?

Wouldn't that be a bit more productive than showing 'a little gradtitude'?

How about we talk about better 'regulation', or is that kin to Blasphemy in NZ - in some countries you'd be stiff out of luck to get away with what is happening here - buddy.