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Anger, frustration at doors of Southern Response

Clients of Southern Response are keeping up the pressure

Chris Hutching
Mon, 16 Dec 2013

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.”

Chris Hutching
Mon, 16 Dec 2013
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Anger, frustration at doors of Southern Response