“Insurers Censoring Information Provided to Kaikoura Earthquake Claimants.”Erin Brockovich, and the CERA Fraud Case

Six years on. Life among the rubble. NZ is anything but a first world country

The website Rebuild Christchurch has re-published a startling revelation alleging that the NZ insurance council forced Kaikoura local district council to censor a video about how to make an earthquake claim.

According to the site, the video was designed to assist earthquake claimants who are still struggling after the massive earthquake in November last year. Its looking increasingly likely that the people of Kaikoura will experience the same frustrations as their  Christchurch neighbours – some of whom are  still struggling with claims six years after the earthquake.

It’s no April Fool’s Joke – Insurers Censoring Information Provided to Kaikoura Earthquake Claimants

The Kaikoura District Council has removed the more than one hour long video of the eqcfix.nz presentation made to around 100 people in Kaikoura on the 23 March.

On Wednesday, a media inquiry alerted the eqcfix.nz group to the ICNZ’s demands, which the insurers said was for “several reasons”.

Spokesperson and Christchurch lawyer Dr Duncan Webb says no one from ICNZ has contacted eqc.nz with their concerns and it is only after eqcfix.nz rang the insurance council to find out what was going on, that unspecified issues were brought to their attention.

“The ICNZ alleged several things which were totally incorrect,” says Webb. “They have mentioned confusing information, irrelevant information and some suggestion of a defamatory comment, the details of which we have no idea.”

Dr Webb says the eqcfix.co.nz team was pleased that the KDC did not initially buckle to what he says amounts to bullying demands from the insurance council, however later on the 30 March, the group was informed the video would not be reinstated at all. No reason was given.

“The Kaikoura District Council has been fantastic to work with in the planning and execution of the recent public event,” he says. “We completely understand and respect the KDC’s decision but what is disappointing is the bullying behaviour of the insurers, something we are very familiar with.”

Webbs says the presentation was designed to provide residents with independent information to assist them with their earthquake claims, “which is what we did. What is utterly outrageous is that the ICNZ clearly doesn’t like any information that is not vetted and approved by them.”

Event organiser Mel Bourke says the team of volunteers who left early in the morning and returned to Christchurch late at night, is extremely disappointed by the adversarial actions from ICNZ..

Duncan Webb says the overwhelming feedback from many who attended in Kaikoura, as well as the thousands to whom they have presented Christchurch over the years, is that the information is incredibly helpful.

“It gives people some power back as this is very much about David and Goliath,” he says. “Knowledge is definitely power and the insurers know this.”

Eqcfix.nz was established last year as a social justice project to support people navigating the often confusing and stressful experience related to insurance claims.” read the rest here and the source article here

The original presentation is available at https://www.eqcfix.nz/ under ‘Kaikoura Public Meeting’.

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Activist Erin Brockovich compares central Christchurch to a war zone: “Don’t cheat the people”

Six years after the Christchurch earthquake, US lawyer and environmentalist Erin Brockovich says New Zealand insurance companies need to “step up” and help Cantabrians still waiting for repairs on their earthquake-damaged homes. – Radio New Zealand: Full story

CERA staff committed ‘serious and sustained breaches, investigation finds

Meanwhile, some people appear to have done well out of the Christchurch earthquake. Perhaps a little too well…

Three former Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) staffers have resigned their positions after an investigation found serious misconduct and faulty judgment.

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes on Tuesday released Michael Heron’s report into allegations against former Cera investment facilitators Gerard Gallagher and Simon Nikoloff and their former boss, Murray Cleverley – also the former chairman of the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB)…

Heron found Gallagher and Nikoloff had tried to insert their private company into property deals in the hope of earning personal finder’s fees and project management fees. They did not disclose their activity to Cera or in one case to a property owner, he said.

That amounted to serious and sustained breaches of the public service standards and would have warranted dismissal.

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has referred Heron’s findings regarding Nikoloff and Gallagher to the Serious Fraud Office… read on

5 thoughts on ““Insurers Censoring Information Provided to Kaikoura Earthquake Claimants.”Erin Brockovich, and the CERA Fraud Case

  1. Incompetence and corruption aside, we’re back to the usual question—“Does NZ have the financial resources, at either the corporate or government level, to rebuild Christchurch?

  2. The insurance industry and EQC behaved disgracefully following the Christchurch earthquakes, yet the Kiwi media and government have enacted a policy of self-censorship. I think anyone foolish enough to migrate to New Zealand should look closely at this debacle because New Zealand’s seismicity means that they have a much higher chance of becoming victims than they might imagine. More importantly, the catastrophe shows the poor state of New Zealand’s natural disaster planning and financial regulation over insurers.

  3. We have been waiting 6 years to rebuild our home and what we have encountered is unconscionable conduct. The misleading and deceptive conduct by a major insurer (IAG) is unbelievable.
    This debacle will go on for many years and without regulation put in place by the NZ Government to protect its people these insurers will get away with bad conduct.
    Any intending migrant contemplating moving to NZ, retain your property overseas and give serious consideration before moving. I so wish I could turn the clock back.

    • My suggestion on this is to get in contact with the Commerce Commission, first to get information, then to lodge a possible complaint (what the insurance company is doing sounds a lot like fraud to me). New Zealand consumer law protects people against this kind of behaviour. The insurance company is probably fully aware of what they are doing, and are counting on a level of apathy from their clients — telling them you are considering reporting their conduct to the Commerce Commission will probably scare the cr*ap out of them as they will know you are someone they can no longer mess around. If the amount you are claiming is less than $15,000 you could also lodge a case with the Disputes Tribunal. If it is more than that, it might be worth considering legal action.

      • FYI. I have spent $60k thus far and we are not ready to go to court. IAG have used every tactic to delay,deny and defend with their expensive lawyers. We lost a very expensive home which was insured for replacement. (Six years waiting for this dishonest foreign company to come to the party)
        IAG claims people are paid incentive bonus fees to limit their liability. It has become a war of attrition and I expect in our case it will ensue for another few years. The regulatory system in NZ cannot be relied on for recourse.
        The corruption is just coming to light and Kiwis love blaming one another for their inadequacies.

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