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


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 – 12 December 2023


Tom McBrearty (Chair), Daniel Langford, Dean Lester, Phillipa Moore 

In attendance

Darren Wright (Director, NZCRS), Susan Rolton (Team Leader Support, NZCRS), Nik Behrens (Manager Case Resolution, NZCRS), Pip Andrews (Toka Tū Ake EQC)


Kirsty Hamilton (Principal Advisor, NZCRS), (Bernadette McDougall (Toka Tū Ake EQC), Linda Ngata

Meeting Administration

Conflicts of Interest

  1. No new conflicts of interest were declared.

Minutes and Actions

  1. The minutes were taken as read and updates provided on the outstanding actions.
  2. The Group acknowledged the passing of Aidan Prebble and recognised the significant contribution he made to homeowners.

Toka Tū Ake EQC

On-sold Claims Update

  1. An update on Treasury on-sold claims was provided to the group. 810 claims are active and 649 are complete.
  2. An update on the Class Action was provided with 263 homeowners opting in.
  3. EQC will be carrying out a Quantities Audit in early 2024 to ensure quantities being claimed by builders are accurate.
  4. The Group discussed advocates providing Project Management services, the group noted the need for better information for homeowners on what work a Project Manager should undertake.


NZCRS Operational Update

  1. The Director spoke to his October 2023 NZCRS Director’s Report which has been circulated with the group.
  2. Land categorisation in North Island starting to be released with NZCRS focus on providing advice and options available to the homeowner.
  3.  The group noted increase in complexity of Canterbury claims and the challenges in gaining access to decision makers at Toka Tū Ake EQC.
  4. NZCRS anticipates an increase in aged claims cases referred to the Canterbury Earthquake Insurance Tribunal, as this service is expected to finish June 2024. The group fully supports progression of these claims to the tribunal.
  5. The group advised that NZCRS has put forward a submission on the consultation for Code of Insured Persons Rights.
  6. The exit survey results were noted with satisfaction remaining strong and 91% of homeowners reporting they would recommend the NZCRS to others.


General Business

  1. Director advised the group that NZCRS were unsuccessful in the procurement submission for Toka Tū Ake EQC’s dispute resolution scheme.
  2. The group thanked NZCRS for their effort in the submission for the the Toka Tū Ake EQC’s dispute resolution scheme.

Next Meeting

  1. The next CHOAG meeting is scheduled for 28 February 2024.

Meeting closed: 2.45pm