18 Jun - Newsletter #88 Community empowerment, Leadership, Community priorities.
21 May 2013 Update
Strongly encourage you to attend the Red Zone workshops for flat land properties on 22nd May
This is a very quick summary of the Red Zone Workshops which were held yesterday, Monday 20 May. There are two further planned workshops TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY 22 MAY at 1pm and 6.30pm.
If you have not yet registered and would like to please ring: 0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372). Registration is essential to cater for seating.
(If you are unable to attend one of the workshops and you are concerned that you may not be able to meet your settlement date, you can call 0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372) to discuss your concerns.)
The feedback from attendees has been positive and the phrase 'useful' was the most common. The workshop is mostly focused on the small group discussion/workshopping although there is an overview of the offer, deadlines and support services.
The main questions relate to why exactly you have had issues with settling and vacating and what possible solutions need to be looked at.
Case Management is discussed and the workshop discussion is informing how the case management will work.
In essence, all red zoners now have an opportunity to write to Roger Sutton to request an extension on their deadline based on individual circumstances. Not every situation will be granted an extension but the discussion is painting a very clear picture of the obvious and far more invisible impacts and issues remaining red zoners are facing.
I strongly encourage you to attend the workshops planned for tomorrow. People have felt and been heard, there are ample opportunities to talk to the people you need to talk to and this has been most appreciated by attendees. If speaking in a group is not your thing there are opportunities to talk alone or to register your story on a form so that CERA can contact you to follow up. You can register for the Residential Advisory Service, receive Red Cross Grant information, talk to Community Law, et Financial Advice, connect with an Earthquake Support Coordinator (and discuss case management in more depth).
Please feel free to call me on the numbers below if you would like any further information before registering. I'm only too happy to talk you through it.
Please note: a Port Hills specific meeting will be planned and we are discussing with the Waimakariri District Council what the needs in the area are. Waimakariri residents are also welcome to register for tomorrows workshop though.
CanCERN Relationships Manager
DDI 03 3100325
CELL 027 6555665
1 Mar 2013 Update
EQC Responses to CanCERN’s Land Settlement Questions
The information below was recorded as a result of a briefing between EQC and CanCERN. All information has been validated as accurate as at 12 March 2013.
What are the types/categories of land damage EQC covers?
You may have heard these referred to as the nine categories of land damage. Numbering them has caused some people to believe they are degrees of damage (category 1 being least damaged, category 9 being most damaged, etc). This assumption is NOT correct so EQC will refer to the categories by the type of damage they represent.
- Land cracking caused by lateral spreading
- Land cracking caused by oscillation movements
- Undulating land
- Local ponding
- Local settlement causing drainage issues
- Groundwater springs
- Inundation by ejected sand and silt
- Increased liquefaction vulnerability
- Increased flooding vulnerability
The “Guide to settlement of Canterbury flat land claims” further explains each of the types/categories and the recommended repair methodologies. This guide will be made publicly available via the web and in print in April. A copy of this guide will also be included in the settlement packs sent to homeowners.
The first seven categories relate to observable damage. The two “increased vulnerability” categories relate to the material impact of subsidence, which may not be observable.
To read EQC Fact Sheets about land with increased risks (vulnerability), click on the links below:
Land with an increased risk of flooding
Land with an increased risk of liquefaction causing damage to property.
How is the increased risk assessed?
Increased risk is calculated using the following technical data:
- LiDAR – aerial laser levels taken after each major event, which record changes in land elevation
- Drilling data, which provides information about the depth of liquefiable soil. The drilling data gathered for land settlement will also be uploaded to the CERA Canterbury Geotechnical Database (which also contains data collected from TC3 investigations) but is analysed and modeled differently to give the necessary information.
- Water Table levels, which is a study now supported by the geotechnical industry as an accurate assessment.
In addition to the nine types/categories of land damage, EQC land cover also includes retaining walls, bridges and culverts.
Note: if a customer disagrees with the land assessment, you can get an independent assessment carried out at your own expense.
How does EQC establish the settlement figure?
For each valid land claim, EQC will:
- Establish the defined area of the residential land that is insured (insured land)
- Check the type and extent of damage to the insured land
- Assess the cost to repair the land damage caused by the earthquakes
- Calculate the cash settlement amount
- Pay any settlement amount in cash to the homeowner or mortgagee
EQC calculates the land claim settlement based on:
- The indemnity value of any bridges, culverts and retaining walls, plus
- The cost to repair land that is physically damaged or lost in the earthquake (or in some circumstances the reduction in the value of damaged land, where repair is not possible or unlikely to occur for practical reasons).
- An excess (10% of settlement, minimum of $500, maximum of $5,000) is then deducted for each claim.
It is exceptionally difficult to give approximate estimations of how much homeowners with land damage will be paid. What we have observed in our homes does not necessarily constitute land damage or increased risk. In fact, some properties have a decreased risk because there land is now higher than the liquefiable soil / water table than it was on 3 September 2010.
Generally the cost of repairing minor land damage is going to be less than the value of the land. If a house which can be repaired has to be lifted or demolished to repair the land damage, the cost of repair may be higher than the value of the land.
The EQC assessments underway now are required to measure land damage. Geotechnical Engineers have provided recommended repair methodologies for each of the land damage types/categories. Quantity Surveyors have estimated the cost of each of the repair methodologies for use in calculating the settlement.
What is excluded from land settlement?
- Land damage outside of the insured land.
- Pathways, fences and driveways.
- Damage to buildings (including foundations) and contents.
- Damage which can be repaired for less than the excess
- Subsidence when your flood risk has not increased (crossing Local Authority flood thresholds)
- Subsidence but no increased risk of liquefaction due to depth of liquefiable soil or lower water table
To see further information about what is and isn’t covered, click here .
How will land damage under the dwelling be assessed and calculated?
EQC covers damage to the insured land, which is land on which the house is situated, and land within 8 metres of the house or outbuildings (such as a garage or storage shed).
The type/categories of damage covered and the process of calculating settlements are answered above under the questions “What are the types/categories of land damage EQC covers?” and “How does EQC establish the settlement figure?”
The cost of removing inundation by ejected sand and silt (liquefaction) from under the house is included. The key thing to remember about damage under the house is that EQC is responsible for repairing the land damage but NOT creating a stable platform for a house to be built on. This is why specific foundation solutions are necessary.
What information have the insurance companies been given with regard to the questions above?
EQC and the Insurers are engaged at all levels. EQC intends to inform all agencies and professional organisations of the land settlement plan as part of a wider communications campaign.
EQC has specifically passed on the following information:
- Statistics about what work EQC has completed
- Which private insurer’s customers have lodged land claims
- EQC Vulnerability Criteria. Insurers are aware they can request prioritisation of a customer’s land settlement claim if they meet the vulnerability criteria and there is an existing EQC calculation on file.
- Information about Port Hills land settlements regarding retaining walls
- nformation about types/categories of land damage and the recommended repair methodologies.
All information on file can be released to the customer once the land claim has been settled.
They cannot send this information directly to the private insurer due to privacy constraints. That will be the customer’s responsibility if they choose to share the information.
Will there be any situations where land damage will need to or be addressed by area wide remediation and if so, how will homeowners be supported/guided through this process?
EQC will settle land claims by property and does not intend to engage in group repairs. However, there may be times when a group repair is sensible. This will generally be a cost effective solution but will mean having agreement from all property owners and their insurers and will be the responsibility of the property owners to coordinate.
What is the impact to homeowners if their property is now in the CCC FMA? Will EQC cancel insurance for properties in the CCC FMA?
The CCC Flood Management Area (FMA) requires homeowners to raise the finished floor level if they are undertaking repairs that would require a consent.
EQC assesses the land damage as per the answer to “How does EQC establish the settlement figure?” above.
EQC does not intend to cancel insurance. However, if the land settlement payment is not used for land repairs, EQC can decline future claims.
Is there likely to be the need for joint review in some land settlement situations?
No. Joint reviews have resulted from differences between EQC and Insurers’ assessment of building damage and methods of repair. Insurers do not cover land damage.
If an insurer is ready to start a house but needs the land settlement will EQC assess that specific property even though it may not be on the EQC schedule of east to west assessments?
EQC have committed to assess all land claims by the end of 2013. This commitment has been made on the basis of an east to west plan. Drilling for the purpose of land settlement is also progressing east to west. By taking this approach EQC will be in a position to prioritise the settlement of properties in the worst affected areas. Where a customer has been identified as vulnerable EQC will prioritise settlement. Where Insurers identify properties that are ready to be rebuilt / repaired, and land damage is deemed a barrier, EQC will work with the Insurers to prioritise settlement if the land assessment and analysis has been completed.
When will red zone land damage assessments be calculated?
Red zone properties will be assessed once the green zone assessments have been completed. This is likely to be at the end of 2013. Settlement will be completed by no later than the end of 2014.
11 Mar 2013 Update
For anybody who is looking after the welfare of others and needs to be part of the discussion. RSVP email@example.com by 5pm Friday the 15th March.
4 Dec 2012 Update
CanCERN is meeting with Fletcher EQR tomorrow to discuss a few issues that have been raised and hear about some initiatives around contractor management, video clips on the repair process and a better complaints process. If there are priority issues or questions you believe would be helpful to ask, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to leave your question. Any responses will be in future newsletters. (Apologies for not having the correct link for the Fletcher EQR question form.)
A possible loophole for unsettled red zoners to note - Thanks to Sharon and Paul - We are among those relocating from the red zone, rebuilding on TC2 at Waitikiri. Our insurer (AMI/Southern Response) have steadfastly stated they would only pay the equivalent cost of a TC1 foundation on any new build elsewhere as there was "no new legal requirement for an upgraded foundation on our Avonside property". However I have argued the case with them by providing a PIM from some earlier alterations which had recorded on it the statement "area is known to have suspect soil conditions" and therefore requiring any major work to undergo testing and design appropriate to the site - NOT assuming that a 'standard' code-compliant foundation is adequate. They have (after months without replying) finally accepted that "had the property been written off for another reason and the land not been red zoned, you would have been entitled to an alternative to the NZ3604 foundation under your policy" and are therefore paying the cost of foundations on our TC2 land (up to the insured m2). This potentially saves us 10's of thousands of $ and may provide hope for others to argue their cases too.
FMG Response to Red Zone Accommodation Eligibility - Thanks for sending through your question to FMG. As per previous conversations, FMG has a very limited exposure in the Red Zone of Christchurch (compared with most other insurers), which has allowed us to communicate directly on a one-on-one basis with our clients. Our Technical Claims Manager has personally been overseeing Red Zone claims and has been in regular contact with these clients - including ensuring all understand their entitlements in respect of their policies temporary accommodation allowances.
Given the complexity of the events in Canterbury, each claim is being treated as unique so it’s difficult to provide a blanket response to your question without potentially confusing or misleading clients. We have settled most of our Red Zone claims to date and remain committed to settling the remainder as quickly as possible. If clients are at all unsure about their entitlements, we encourage them to talk directly with us (or their insurer if they are not insured with FMG).
The Christchurch Branch of the National Council of Women would like to announce the launch of the Women’s Voices Project on UC QuakeStudies.
Over 100 stories about the experiences of women during and after the Canterbury earthquakes have been released online through the UC QuakeStudies digital archive – https://quakestudies.canterbury.ac.nz/store/collection/228
Against the background of media attention to acts of heroism and men’s predominance in leadership positions associated with earthquake recovery, we wanted to ensure that women’s quake stories, their responses to family and community needs and their aspirations for the city were recorded. These are the stories that did not make the front page of newspapers or feature in TV news reports. Women talk about fears for their children, their partners and their elderly parents; sights in the inner city that still haunt them; practical support for neighbours and friends; coping with no water and no sewerage; negotiating damaged roads and the day-to-day impact of aftershocks. Humorous stories about being trapped in the toilet are juxtaposed with accounts of delivering food to the eastern suburbs via helicopter; working in the CBD post 22 February; coordinating the Student Volunteer Army and long shifts in Christchurch hospitals. All the research participants reflect on the future of the city and offer their hopes and fears about the rebuild. Click here to read more about the Women's Voices Project
2013 Census is seeking collectors in your community - The 2013 Census is now just three months away and Statistics New Zealand is looking to recruit local people to deliver and collect 2013 Census forms in Christchurch and Canterbury. The job involves part-time paid work during a six week period (from around 11 February to 24 March 2013). Census collectors work from home and work flexible hours, although weekend and evening work will be required. Full training will be provided.
Having trusted census collectors who know the area they are working in is vital to the success of the 2013 Census. The information collected from the census is used to make future decisions on hospitals, schools and roads and it gives us an accurate picture of how our communities are growing and changing over time.
Census collector roles will be advertised from 7 December. If you think you'd make a great census collector, then go online to http://jobs.census.govt.nz to apply!
Red Cross Recovery Newsletter November 2013
Red Cross Outreach Workers are having a holiday from 21 Dec to 7 Jan 2013. The following services will be open during this period.
Canterbury Support Line: 0800 777 846
New Zealand Red Cross website for youth - www.addressthestress.co.nz
City Mission: (03) 365 0635
Salvation Army (reduced services): (03) 377 0799
16 May Update
Green Zone 'Expo' Information Gathering . Click to participate in survey
27 January update
Position Vacant, SCIRT, CERA, RED ZONE RESIDENTIAL CLEARANCES, TC3 INFORMATION, BRENDON BURNS, ROGER SUTTON RESPONSE, HARDSHIP FUNDING, SILT COLLECTION, QUESTIONNAIRE, PUBLIC NOTICES etc
13 Jan 2012 update
Vacancy - Community Liaison Manager is required to connect and support CanCERN's resident groups in the greater Christchurch area. Working with a small team, you will also need to work independently, relate well in the community and listen carefully as you assess situations and help community leaders meet the earthquake related needs of their residents. All information about who we are can be found on our website www.cancern.org.nz where you will also find this positions job description.
- All applications(cover letter and CV),
- must be emailed to email@example.com no later than 12pm Friday 10th Feb 2012.
- A minimum of two referees is expected.
- Interviews will be held on Wed 15th February.
13 Jan 2012 update
We trust you have all had a break and found some peaceful moments in, around or out of town and have walked into the
new year feeling refreshed and ready for a much improved 12 months.
CanCERN is presently trying to get itself into a new office as Brian's dining table, although convenient, would like to see
some meals back on it as opposed to computers and copious quantities of paper. We will bring you up to date on this in
next week's newsletter.
The first CanCERN meeting is not until the 24th of Jan - more about this next week. We are however wanting to put
together a Media Think Tank and are looking for a small group of people to help, prepare and flesh out our media
approach. If you are interested in this, knowing our key focus will be on leadership and processes (CCC, CERA, EQC/
Fletchers, Insurance) then please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note this will be preparation in order to
produce a commentary of how the decision making process impacts on residents.
- email email@example.com before Wednesday 18 Jan.
28 Nov update
EQC is nearly finished with assessing claims and is spending a lot of time now looking forward to preparing Fletchers for 2012. They have recently focused attention of the Fletchers EQR Hubs making sure the right people are in the hubs, saying and doing the right thing with the right systems. They have acknowledged there have been gaps and are working hard to get everything ready to go. Nearly 6000 repairs have been completed already and EQC are strategising where and when repairs will take place. They hope to have information out before Christmas which should give us some idea of where and when work will commence in the different areas.
Questions and Answers
Q. I opted out of the Fletchers Managed Repair before the technical categories were assigned. Can I opt back in?
A. Yes, anyone can opt back in by calling EQC - 0800 DAMAGE. The technical categories may mean some houses will have an increase in the scope. People should have this checked.
Q. I have heard if my land is deemed uneconomic to repair, I will be cash settled and still retain ownership of my land. Is this correct?
A. Yes. There are not likely to be very many in this category.(Note: This has implications for Red Zone residents who have not been able to retain ownership of their land after settling with the government.)
Q. My damage has been apportioned over two (or more) events. The total repair scope is very high. Will my house be repaired according to two (or more) scopes or will the damage be treated as a whole and why do I not move to my insurers?
A. The damage has been assessed according to the Court's ruling. If each scope came back undercap (under 100K), you will still be managed by Fletchers EQR (unless you opt out). The repair strategy will be treated as a whole. If they deem your house is uneconomic to repair, it will be demolished and rebuilt. Your claim will stay within Fletchers because they have been exposed to the largest financial risk.
Q. I have itemised my contents and provided replacement costs but the settlement I have received is lower than the figure I gave. Why is this?
A. EQC settles your contents claim according to your individual insurance policy. Some items depreciate so full replacement will not be offered. There are also some items not covered by EQC and these will need to be claimed for your insurer. You must read your contents insurance policy to understand how EQC have come up with a figure for your contents. (Note: I have asked EQC to provide a detailed and itemised claim list so people can see what has been paid for and what price was attributed to it.)
Q. Some of my carpets were damaged in the quake. EQC has not accounted for the replacement of all of my carpets. Why is that?
A. Again, carpets are settled according to your individual contents policy. Some insurers only replace damaged carpets on a room by room basis. Therefore, you may not get your whole carpet replaced.
Q. I have a stream running down the back of my property and any dwellings are further than 8 metres away from it. Who will pay to have this damaged land repaired?
A. EQC can only account for land damage that is within 8 metres of a dwelling. If the land further away from this is damaged, you need to check with the Council who actually owns the land and therefore who is responsible for fixing it. If you are the landowner and are therefore liable for the cost of the repair, you might want to organise repairs for this with the other effected landowners around you as this may be cheaper than doing it individually.
16 September update
CERA are looking at improving community engagement. We spent this time discussing the co-operative relationships needed, the scope of CERA with regard to their role in making sure communities and their leadership are sustainable, what strengths and roadblocks need to be acknowledged and how CanCERN is most effective in these discussions. CERA is planning another round of community workshops to help people understand the nuts and bolts of the Government's offer. Red Zone residents are not a homogeneous group so CanCERN will be working with the Community Wellbeing team to help them identify what information and delivery will be most helpful to residents. If you have ideas to share, please email Leanne Curtis at CanCERN on firstname.lastname@example.org .
Temporary Accommodation Assistance issues have been sorted after much badgering by CanCERN and thanks to the efforts of the Community Wellbeing team in CERA. This assistance is now available to all Red Zone residents who have exhausted their insurance accommodation money until they have received FULL settlement. This is a major success which will ensure that residents do not have to spend their deposit money on paying rent. For more information about Temporary Accommodation Assistance see http://www.quakeaccommodation.govt.nz/frequently-asked-questions
Cash Assets and Chargeable Income
the following advice has been received from MSD
- Payments by the Crown as a payment or part payment for the purchase price for any property or land in the red zone under a Government offer will not be considered a cash asset or income for benefit purposes. This includes any income earned from the payment. These exemptions are in place for 12 months after the payment is received
- Payments made by the Canterbury Earthquake Commission (Red Cross) are not treated as income or as a cash asset for benefit purposes for 12 months after the payments are made. This includes any income earned from any investment of the payment.
- Payments from the Earthquake Commission and Insurance Companies for the rebuild, or repair, or for the costs of temporary accommodation will not be considered a cash assets or income for benefit purposes until 31 March 2012 (but amending the date is being looked at). This includes any income earned from any investment of the payment.
CERA Draft Strategy
some bedtime reading for those interested in the draft Recovery Strategy or if you wish to make a comment please go to this site. http://cera.govt.nz/recovery-strategy
CanCERN gathers and collates a lot of information, questions and solutions from the community. This is all presented to different agencies involved in earthquake recovery. The responses to this information are then loaded onto our website so keep checking www.cancern.org.nz . Currently there is a lot of information from insurers as well as EQC and legal information. We will be updating these documents as things change. You can also view previous newsletters which contain a lot of relevant public information.
We have realised that the Legal Q&A did not upload onto the website properly so apologies for this. Please follow the link again to see the complete document click here .
How much should I pay a lawyer? - We are currently verifying the information Gail and Rose collated and should have the list available by next week. In the meantime, if people need a lawyer urgently for conveyance and advice they can email email@example.com for information about who is offering this service.
CCC - Remember to call 9418999 if there are issues with your sewer. The Council can’t fix what they don’t know about.
We are awaiting information on the following topics:
- Hypothetical consents process for repairs/rebuilds in the Red Zone
- Rates rebates - Green and Red Zones
- Flood Risk Management Plan
- Property development - CCC roles and responsibilities
EQC - These questions were gathered from the community and put to EQC for response which can be found here. They are also available on www.cancern.org.nz under Insurance Questions and Answers.
ESTIMATING BUILDING COSTS - here is a simple calculator that may help with working out the costs of building a house in Canterbury - http://www.dbh.govt.nz/bofficials-estimated-building-costs#map1
ESTIMATING BUILDING COSTS - here is a simple calculator that may help with working out the costs of building a house in Canterbury - http://www.dbh.govt.nz/bofficials-estimated-building-costs#map1
Maps of the zones in detail - The Christchurch Recovery Map shows the residential red, orange, green, and white zones in the Christhchurch and Waimakariri districts. (It may ask you to download some software. It takes about 30 seconds).
Building Resilience Workshop -( www.kotare.org.nz ). Kotare is running a Building Resilience workshop for Christchurch and its surrounding communities. Contact Tanya Newman at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 02102769112.
Earthquake Guest Speakers - Wainoni Methodist Church, 878 Avonside Drive: Wednesday's 11.30-12.30pm
Wednesday 21 September - CERA General Manager - Michelle Mitchell
Funding - Please find the details and website for the re-named "Canterbury Social Support Fund" - managed by MSD. Application forms can be accessed from the website. This is the $10m fund provided for by the Govt. in the 2011/12 budget. This fund replaces what was previously known as "The Canterbury Earthquake Community Response Fund".
Recognize our Volunteers - volunteers have continued to provide services despite facing many challenges during this extraordinary year. Now is your chance to recognize that special volunteer (or group) who has gone above and beyond to help at a time when so many have been needy. The annual Volunteer Recognition Awards (postponed in June) have been amalgamated with the Youth Volunteer Awards, and will be presented on International Volunteer Day 5 December. A nomination form can be downloaded from our website www.volcan.org.nz . Nominations close on October 21st.
CanCERN Web Page
Avonside Blog - avonsidechch.blogspot.com
Earthquake Counselling: This free counselling until 2012. call 0800 777 846
Ngai Tahu Fund Letter – Ngai Tahu Form
Red Cross Grants
Sister Suburb link Fletchers Hubs Contact Information
30 August update
Janine Starks, financial commentator, on some of the issues facing red zoned property owners .
27 July update - AMI Q & A + Expo
Hope every one is staying warm and safe. As your newly elected Cancern Board member I am proud to post a list of answers from AMI insurance following a thorough questioning by Cancern. More Q and As with other agencies to follow in future. https://viewer.zoho.com/docs/aIdqh. If you are keen to hear more about how you can help your local community please contact me on email@example.com . Terry O'Leary
Expo Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 July 2011
Are you affected by recent land announcements? Are you thinking about buying, renting or building? Where would you like to go? What land is available? What banking / insurance support can you get?
CERA is organising an Expo for Canterbury residents affected by the recently announced land decisions to be held at the Addington Events Centre over the weekend 30/31 July 2011. The Expo will include seminars on what is required with buying or renting another property or building a new house, and the finance, insurance and legal needs.
10 July update - Sumner CanCERN Representative
Sumner now has representation at the top level of CanCERN (Canterbury Communities Earthquake Recovery Network).Terry O'Leary (Sumner Community Groups Representative) has just been elected to the the Board of CanCERN. " I am very excited by the prospect of working for the benefit of all the quake hit communities in this role", says Terry from Richmond Hill in Sumner. I believe the representatives from the other communities elected me because of the very positive way they have seen Sumner community respond to recent events. I am hoping to pass on some of the knowledge we have gained. I also want to use this as an opportunity to continue developing relationships between the community and other agencies such as CERA and EQC, the geotechnical people and the insurance companies. It is vital that we provide residents and business owners with solutions and access to information during this stressful and worrying time".CanCERN is a network of Residents Association and Community Group representatives from the earthquake-affected neighbourhoods of Canterbury. It aims for full community engagement in recovery processes and to work in partnership with recovery agencies. It advocates for strong strategic leadership; effective two way communication and information flow; healed and healthy communities; revitalised small and medium business; and a legacy we can be proud of.CanCERN, ( www.cancern.org.nz ), works by creating links and networks through our community. If you would like more information or if you would like to help form a support group for your local street please contact Marnie Kent 326 4144 or have a look at Sumner Street Coordinators
Questions ask of CCC 1st July 2011
Q. Houses in the white zone on the hill expect that the red stickers will cease to be valid after 12 July. What is happening?
A. Re house red stickered on the port hills because of boulder roll/cliff collapse the Council is awaiting advice from geotech engineers as to what houses could be reoccupied. For those that can't Council will issue Building Act notices prohibiting entry (as it has done with some houses in Heberden Avenue after 13 June.). Once the recommendations are received Council will communicate the issuing off Building Act notices through its weekly Friday update.
Q. Will homeowners be caught having to pay rates if they sell their house to the government?
A. Under existing legislation the new owner of a property must pay all rates that become due after the sale (Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 sections 10, 11, 12, and 24). So if a homeowner sells their property to the Government any installment that falls due after the sale is the responsibility of the Government. Custom and practice is that on the date of settlement the vendors and purchasers solicitor calculate the rates payable up to that date and adjust the settlement account accordingly. The council cannot seek payment of the balance of the year’s rates from the old ratepayer.
A. Rates, Comms and Customer Services are currently working on the next communications around the earthquake related rates remissions policy. We're also automatically granting 2011/12 remissions to those who applied in 2010/11 and still qualify for remission, so hopefully there won't be many new ratepayers that need to apply. Irrespective of this, if a ratepayer does not apply for a remission until after they sell to the government we have sufficient information to check their application and provide them with a refund. We'll make sure that they don't miss out.