Canterbury Homeowner Advisory Group

Local Homeowner Advisory Groups provide advice on local operational issues and provide a channel for outreach to the affected community. They provide feedback and advice to ensure that the New Zealand Claims Resolution Service (NZCRS) meets the needs of homeowners in the local community.

Terms of Reference

Members

The Canterbury Homeowner Advisory Group was set up in 2018 to provide advice and support to the Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service (GCCRS), the precursor to the NZCRS. The Group was formed by members of the Toka Tū Ake EQC Customer Reference Group.

The Canterbury Homeowner Advisory Group continues to support the effective resolution of the remaining claims resulting from the Canterbury earthquake sequence. It is chaired by Tom McBrearty, who is also a member of the Toka Tū Ake EQC National Reference Group.

Chair – Tom McBrearty

Tom McBrearty has 45-plus years in business as a Manager, Director, Board Chair CEO and Business owner across a number of companies, both nationally and internationally. Tom was a founding member of the Canterbury Community Earthquake Recovery Network (CanCERN) and has been intricately involved in both the wider Christchurch and local earthquake recovery. He was the Economic Development Manager of Enterprise North Canterbury and a member of the Community Forum. In recent years, as well as being a Director of McBrearty Ballantyne working to improve Business Practice and Ethics, Tom has spent time working in both the business community and the city community supporting and advocating for businesses, individuals and families where at times they believed the challenges had become just too hard.

Lucy D’Aeth

Lucy D’Aeth is a Public Health Specialist with Community and Public Health, the public health unit of Canterbury District Health Board. Since 2011, much of her work has focused on community recovery from the earthquakes, including secondment to CERA in 2011/12. As well as being a member of HOAG, Lucy is also Chair of the Wellbeing Advisory Group. She has co-chaired the Greater Christchurch Psychosocial Committee since 2013, and is part of the leadership of the ‘All Right?’ wellbeing promotion campaign. 

Dean Lester

Dean has been an insurance professional since 1986 and has developed extensive insurance acumen built over 3 decades of experience in the New Zealand insurance market. Dean understands the varying needs of insurers, reinsurers and the insured customer. With a keen interest and global understanding of the insurance profession he is able to break down and analyse insurance matters to identify stepping stones in the process of delivery. With particular commitment to all aspects of the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery, Dean is growing his knowledge and interacts actively with all insurers and EQC, covering over 1,000 Cantabrian claim progression. He is a recipient of the 2012 CCC Christchurch Earthquake Award for pro-bono insurance advocacy, and nominated for the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Award.

Phillipa Moore

Phillipa has worked in public, commercial and private organisations including the health and building sectors. Previously the director of a structural steel manufacturing company she has an understanding of some of the drivers behind the building sector’s approaches to the earthquake repairs. Phillipa has experienced multiple claims herself. The first repairs were handled correctly, so she knows EQC and insurers have the ability and potential to do well, however subsequent claims have been difficult and full of errors. Phillipa wants to see the standard for all repairs to be full, fair and equally accessible to everyone, regardless of a person’s emotional or financial ability to hire expensive experts to prove a claim, or negotiate/argue with EQC/insurers. She wants to see an improvement in systems and transparency. Phillipa firmly believes change is needed, if EQC and insurers are to reduce distress, enable people to put the disaster event behind them as quickly and efficiently as possible, and enable claimants to move on with their lives.

As a Christchurch based claimant Phillipa has helped and supported others with claims and is optimistic the GCCRS will provide help and support to those who have been struggling to get an appropriate insurance response. She also has a special interest in emergency preparedness.

Linda Ngata

Since 1993 Linda has been overseeing the operations of Te Rūnanga o Ngā Maata Waka drawing on her financial, operational and general management skills to successfully lead out initiatives, projects and programmes in the education and training, social services, health, housing, economic development, Māori, community development and building financial capability sectors. She was a founding member of the Earthquake Support Coordination Service and instrumental in setting up the Recovery Assistance Centre based at Ngā Hau E Whā National Marae.

In an ever-changing disaster recovery environment her knowledge, expertise and understanding of the issues, disputes and problems homeowners have experienced in progressing their insurance claims has been critical to the on-going development of services that support the wellbeing of vulnerable communities.

Daniel Langford

Daniel Langford is a Director of Project Structure Ltd, a Structural Engineering Design Consultancy located in Christchurch. Daniel has lived in Christchurch since 2005 and studied engineering at University of Canterbury, graduating with First Class Honours. He has a range of civil, geotechnical, and structural design experience, and for the last decade he has predominantly focused on the structural design of new and earthquake damaged residential buildings. He also has commercial and residential project management experience, and this experience in project management has made him aware of the importance of contracts and collaborating with other designers and stakeholders, which is helpful when undertaking earthquake damage assessments and reinstatement designs for buildings.

Daniel was working in Christchurch City during the 22 February 2011 earthquake event and was awarded a Christchurch Earthquake Award for his rescue efforts at the collapsed PGC Building site. Since 22 February 2011, he has personally undertaken earthquake assessments of hundreds of houses and many industrial buildings for both insurance companies, and homeowners. Daniel and his team at Project Structure Ltd have also designed hundreds of repair strategies for earthquake damaged homes and buildings.

On many occasions Daniel has been an expert witness for the courts, engaged by both insurance companies and homeowners to assess and report on earthquake damaged buildings, attending joint engineering meetings, and preparing joint engineering reports for the courts. During his role as expert witness, he has worked with many lawyers, discussed and analysed policy standard of repair for various types of structural repair strategies. Daniel also has a passion for learning and understanding complex problems. He has attended numerous professional development courses to gain a better understanding of New Zealand building regulations and law, insurance policy, and effectively communicating complex technical topics as an expert witness. In 2018, Daniel also helped Engineering New Zealand develop their standard letter of engagement for engineers undertaking earthquake damage inspections.

Latest meeting minutes – 24 April 2024

Present

  • Tom McBrearty (Chair)
  • Daniel Langford
  • Dean Lester
  • Phillipa Moore
  • Linda Ngata 

In attendance

  • Pip Andrews (EQC Toka Tū Ake)
  • Bernadette McDougall (EQC Toka Tū Ake)
  • Darren Wright (Director, NZCRS)
  • Kirsty Hamilton (Principal Advisor, NZCRS)
  • Susan Rolton (Team Leader Support, NZCRS)
  • Nik Behrens (Manager Case Resolution, NZCRS)

Apologies

Kate Todd (EQC Toka Tū Ake)

Meeting administration

Conflicts of interest

No new conflicts of interest were declared.

Minutes and actions

The minutes were taken as read and updates provided on the outstanding actions. The group noted that a response has not been received from the Real Estate Authority.

Toka Tū Ake EQC – Canterbury claims update

On-sold claims update

  1. An update on Treasury on-sold claims was provided to the group. 726 claims are currently active and 737 are complete.
  2. The group discussed timeframes and the Treasury variation letter sent to homeowners.
  3. The group expressed support for implementation of timeframes/deadlines that assist homeowners in moving forward.
  4. Examples were discussed where extensions requested by homeowners had not been agreed to by EQC Toka Tū Ake. EQC Toka Tū Ake clarified these include homeowners that may have lodged expressions of interest which were subsequently closed for lack of information, no engagement from homeowners, or deemed to be ineligible. Pip Andrews requested examples to be provided to her directly to investigate.
  5. Dispute resolution was discussed with the group requesting copy of the process utilised for the Treasury Programme.

Out of on-sold programme claims

  1. An update on the out of on-sold programme claims and process for reviewing these was provided to the group. 30 claims are currently in progress and 1100 claims have been reviewed.
  2. The group requested an update on the number of claims settled and the timeframe for resolution of these claims.
  3. Briefings to the Minister were discussed with the group requesting any subsequent briefings provided to Minister Seymour post November 2023.
  4. The group discussed due diligence required when purchasing a property and the support information available.
  5. EQC Toka Tū Ake committed to reviewing the current website information available to home buyers and the due diligence that needs to take place.

Burden of proof - evidence

  1. The group discussed level of evidence required by EQC Toka Tū Ake as burden of proof from homeowners.
  2. The Director advised NZCRS is currently working with insurers on triggers for burden of proof and the type of evidence homeowner need to provide. 

Deed of assignment 

  1. The group discussed EQC Toka Tū Ake/Southern Response processes for a Deed of Assignment plus the Memorandum of Understanding in place to manage these.
  2. The group noted the benefit NZCRS provide to homeowners navigating issues with Deed of Assignments.  

NZCRS

On-sold programme

  1. The Director received notification from EQC Toka Tū Ake requesting NZCRS stop supporting on-sold homeowners that are not in the Treasury Programme.
  2. The group strongly disagree with EQC Toka Tū Ake request and take the position that NZCRS should continue to support these claims. Advice is being sought from MBIE Legal and Crown Law.
  3. The group advised they would provide support for NZCRS by writing to EQC Toka Tū Ake. 

NZCRS operations update

  1. The April directors report to be emailed to the Group once complete. 
  2. The Director provided the Group with an update on MBIE changes taking place.

CHOAG

General business

No update provided.

Next meeting

  1. NZCRS and EQC Toka Tū Ake will present their QMS to the group on 29th May 2024.
  2. The next bi-monthly CHOAG meeting is scheduled for 26th June 2024. Following 1 July 2024, these meetings will move to being quarterly.

Meeting closed: 11.30am