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Good progress being made on Canterbury recovery

Hon Gerry Brownlee
Minister for Earthquake Recovery

23 December 2010
Media Statement

Good progress being made on Canterbury recovery

Good progress is being made on the recovery process for Canterbury following the destructive 7.1 magnitude earthquake on 4 September, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says.

"We're coming up to four months on from one of the most expensive insurance events ever worldwide. We are already getting international recognition for the speed with which the recovery process got underway," Mr Brownlee says.

"I'd like to acknowledge the ongoing patience and community spirit displayed by Cantabrians during what is a stressful time," he says.

"The Earthquake Commission has now made assessments for more than 65,000 claims, more than a third of all the claims received.

"EQC will have 225 loss adjustors and estimators working through the holiday period and the call centre will be operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week to process claims.

"The Project Management Office (PMO), run by Fletcher Construction as agent for EQC, has met its target to have six hubs established in the region by the end of 2010."

In terms of cost, the Canterbury earthquake is the largest ever insurance event in New Zealand’s history with a total of 161,660 claims lodged with EQC, Mr Brownlee says.

"This earthquake ranks globally as the fourth most costly earthquake for insurers since 1970 after Northridge, California, in 1994, Central and Southern Chile in 2010, and Kobe, Japan, in 1995," Mr Brownlee says.

"One of the world's largest reinsurers, Swiss Re, has also recently ranked the Canterbury earthquake as the third most costly insurance catastrophe loss worldwide in 2010. That includes storms, earthquakes, and floods.

"It will be a long recovery process for Canterbury and the Government is committed to ensuring a sense of urgency continues throughout. As a Cantabrian, I am heartened by the patience and resilience shown by the people living in the region as well as the support shown by the rest of the country."

ENDS

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