Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


A lawyers’ field day at the taxpayer’s expense

Hon Gerry Brownlee
Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery
Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission

9 June 2014 Media Statement

A lawyers’ field day at the taxpayer’s expense

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says every time Labour leader David Cunliffe opens his mouth about Christchurch he reveals how patchy his knowledge is of what’s going on in the city.

“Today’s commitment to drive outstanding insurance claims into the courts is extremely poorly considered,” Mr Brownlee says.

“Only a small fraction of outstanding claims are in dispute, and there are a range of appropriate channels to deal with complex or disputed insurance claims.

“The fact that the numbers of disputed claims is dropping quarter-on-quarter shows these channels are working.

“Court should be a last resort, and anyone familiar with insurance related cases taken in Christchurch will tell you legal action is far from a one-way street for claimants.

“Yet David Cunliffe has today advocated using taxpayers’ money to drive yet to be settled insurance claims into court, and scaling up court resources at huge cost to meet the influx.

“But there’s no suggestion the vast majority of claims won’t reach adequate resolution with insurers.

“Insurance settlements are ramping up and from here we expect outstanding claims to fall quite quickly.

“Some outstanding claims relate to multi-unit dwellings with multiple insurers, and insurers and EQC have been making good progress on protocols to progress them.

“Labour’s policy fails to recognise that both the High and District Courts in Christchurch have set up special procedures to fast track earthquake related court cases, and to prioritise cases with multiple parties.

“These arrangements are currently dealing with 270 cases, and can see even a complex High Court case to trial within 12 months – although most civil court cases settle rather than go to trial.

“So in essence a special division of the courts is already in place, and working well.

“Labour’s proposal would bung the whole show up with cases that don’t need to be there and cost everyone tens of millions of dollars in the process,” Mr Brownlee says.

Meanwhile, further embedding the impression David Cunliffe is poorly briefed on earthquake matters, he has also announced today Labour would make the Earthquake Commission (EQC) do what it already does.

“EQC already has a responsibility to pay compensation for land damage as a result of earthquakes, and it's doing that right across Christchurch.

“In respect of increased vulnerability to flooding, EQC stands ready to potentially discharge some of its financial responsibility by contributing to long term flood mitigation works being assessed by Christchurch City Council.

“For some claims this might make more sense than writing out a number of relatively small cheques to individuals who couldn't feasibly use that money on meaningful flood protection.

“But one way or another EQC will make payments for land damage, including increased vulnerability to flooding, in accordance with the EQC Act.

“Again, Labour seems terribly confused about responding to the Canterbury earthquakes.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: A Govt. Christmas Bad News Dump -The Skycity Convention Center Blowout & A Negative MBIE Review

If the government really did have good tidings of great joy you can bet it wouldn’t be strewing them about at Christmas time – which is, traditionally, the dumping ground for terrible news that the government fervently hopes the public will be too distracted to notice. And so verily this Christmas Eve we learn of (a) the explosion of costs to the taxpayer and ratepayer of the vile SkyCity convention centre in Auckland and that (b) the government’s flagship MBIE “super-ministry” run by its Minister of Everything is a disaster zone of incompetence and mismanagement. MBIE is a Titanic looking for an iceberg, or so it would seem. More>>

 

Parliament Adjourns:

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

ALSO:

TAIC: Final Report On Grounding Of MV Rena

Factors that directly contributed to the grounding included the crew:
- not following standard good practice for planning and executing the voyage
- not following standard good practice for navigation watchkeeping
- not following standard good practice when taking over control of the ship. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On The Pakistan Schoolchildren Killings

The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between sections of the Pakistan military/security establishment on one hand and sections of the Taliban of the other… More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire:
The Politician’s Song

am a perfect picture of the modern politic-i-an:
I don’t precisely have a plan so much as an ambition;
‘Say what will sound most pleasant to the public’ is my main dictum:
And when in doubt attack someone who already is a victim More>>

ALSO:

Flight: Review Into Phillip Smith’s Escape Submitted To Government

The review follows an earlier operational review by the Department of Corrections and interim measures put in place by the Department shortly after prisoner Smith’s escape, and will inform the Government Inquiry currently underway. More>>

ALSO:

Intelligence: Inspector-General Accepts Apology For Leak Of Report

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August 2011 to media prior to its publication. The Inspector-General will not take the matter any further. More>>

ALSO:

Drink: Alcohol Advertising Report Released

The report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship has been released today, with Ministers noting that further work will be required on the feasibility and impact of the proposals. More>>

ALSO:

Other Report:

Leaked Cabinet Papers: Treasury Calls For Health Cuts

Leaked Cabinet papers that show that Government has been advised to cut the health budget by around $200 million is ringing alarm bells throughout the nursing and midwifery community. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news