Who we are
The New Zealand Claims Resolution Service (NZCRS) is a new government service that provides homeowners with independent advice and support to resolve residential insurance issues resulting from natural disasters.
The NZCRS was established in 2023 as a national service to provide independent support to homeowners to resolve residential insurance issues resulting from natural disasters. It builds on the knowledge, experience and support provided by the Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service (GCCRS) and the Residential Advisory Service (RAS). The NZCRS replaces both of these service organisations.
Homeowners who have been dealing with GCCRS will see no change to the services they are currently receiving as they work through the earthquake claims. Canterbury homeowners are still able to register new earthquake-related claim issues with the NZCRS.
People who have previously been working with the Residential Advisory Service can now access additional support.
The need for NZCRS
As a country prone to natural disasters, New Zealand needs to be prepared for the consequences of future events, including the insurance disputes that will inevitably arise.
The Canterbury Earthquake Sequence (CES) highlighted a need for Government-coordinated support for insurance claimants following natural disasters.
In November 2018, the Government established the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission. The Inquiry’s report made a range of recommendations, including that a standing dispute resolution mechanism be developed, drawing on the experience of the Canterbury earthquakes.
The New Zealand Claims Resolution Service is the response to the Inquiry’s recommendation.
The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service and the Residential Advisory Service
The NZCRS is an evolution of GCCRS and RAS. RAS was established in 2013 to provide quake-affected Canterbury homeowners with access to free legal advice about unresolved insurance claims. Following the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake, RAS’s focus expanded to include natural disasters in the rest of the country.
GCCRS was established in 2018 as part of a package of initiatives to address unresolved Canterbury insurance claims. It was developed as an expanded version of RAS, with an integrated service model (between Toka Tū Ake EQC, Southern Response and the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment) to streamline the claims settlement process for claimants and insurers.
GCCRS and RAS successfully provided information and services to around 10,000 homeowners.
Governance and advisory groups
The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has ministerial responsibility for the NZCRS.
The NZCRS is hosted and operated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), with support from the Treasury and Toka Tū Ake EQC, as well as organisations such as Engineering New Zealand, Community Law Canterbury, and private insurers.
We work with these and other agencies on your behalf to ensure a streamlined, cross-agency resolution process to help you move forward with confidence.
The NZCRS is also supported by legal, technical and wellbeing experts and homeowner representatives who provide advice and input:
- The NZCRS Strategic Oversight Group advises on matters crucial to the resolution of outstanding claims. The Group provides advice to the NZCRS on policy, risks and emerging developments.
- Advisory Groups of engineering and legal subject matter experts provide advice to the NZCRS on risks, issues and emerging developments on an ad hoc basis. The Advisory Groups also advise on any large-scale responses as needed.
- In the event of a major natural disaster, the NZCRS may also establish local Homeowner Advisory and Wellbeing Advisory Groups, with involvement from homeowner and community representatives. Local Homeowner Advisory Groups provide information and advice on local issues and provide a channel for outreach to the affected community whilst also ensuring grass roots issues are escalated to those that can help.