Archive for the ‘Canterbury Earthquake’ Category

Remembering an EQC re-assessment

February 24, 2012

For the archives, inspired by http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/perspective/6465450/If-in-doubt-get-a-second-opinion

Our experience of an EQC re-assessment (EQC assessed as 46k, AMI 184k). We showed the assessor rippled wallpaper in a corner as the wall had sunk. He said that was subsidence and denied it was earthquake damage. We showed him the cracks in the ring foundation and his favorite word was “pre-existing”. We showed him how the bolt for our gate was now 50mm below the corresponding hole in the boundary fence. He flat out denied that our house had sunk (170mm fall on deck towards the house), and asked us to get a engineers report at our expense. He stated that if they re-levelled the house, they would not bother to ensure that the guttering functioned properly, as that was not quake damaged. We asked him twice to use his laser level to take a front to back level difference on the house, we had moved furniture so he could get a clear shot. He refused, saying he would just write >50mm.

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It aint easy being orange

January 9, 2012

Apologies to Kermit the frog.

Greetings, Dale here
And today I’d like to tell you a little bit about the color orange
Do you know what’s orange
Well South shore for one
You see land is red or green, and CERA says they don’t know
And that means that I’m orange, you see

It’s not that easy being orange
Having to spend each day the color of a road cone
When I think it could be nicer being red, or greeny blue
Or something much more colorful like that

It’s not easy being orange
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over
‘Cause you’re not standing out
Like dreary liquefaction in the streets
Or dark chasms in the earth

But orange’s the color of autumn
And orange can be urgent and scary-like
And orange can be big like an engineer in a CERA suit
Or important like a hi-vis vest
Or tall like a demolition crane

When orange is all there is for now
It does make you wonder why
But why wonder why wonder
I am orange, but it won’t be forever
It’s temporary, and it won’t be, what will be

Quake Story, thus far

November 30, 2011

EQC’s Reid Stiven on over cap payouts

May 24, 2011

Transcript of part of a NewsTalkZB interview May 24, 2011 10-11am.

Andrew: I’ve got an enquiry regarding the payment of cap cheque. I’ve got a property which has been completely written off and I’ve had the report done and I’ve got two neighbours immediately around me that are in much the same sort of position. EQC I’ve found to be very good to be quite honest up to about a week ago when I got a call from the person who has been given management of our claim in Brisbane. And essentially I’ve asked when we can expect that cheque to be paid and the story that I’ve been given is that it is now dependent on a land assessment and I can’t quite tie the two things together. The cheque relates to the house not the land and I can appreciate you’ve probably got delays coming out to do land assessments but I can’t see why that cheque can’t be paid in a reasonable period of time say in four weeks or something of that order. Obviously receiving that money makes quite a lot of difference to what sort of decisions I’ve got to make at this time. As to where I’m going to be a few months down the road.

Reid Stiven: Absolutely, and whilst they are linked, land damage around a house that is going to be over cap doesn’t slow down the payment, or shouldn’t slow down the house payment Andrew.

Andrew: I sort of said to this girl in brisbane I you tell me this month I can make one set of decisions if you are telling me nine months I’ve got to make another set of decisions. Decisions have got to be made now and that was just left open at that point.

Reid Stiven: Andrew I’m interested in that you said you’ve had documentation, was that from, saying that the house is over our cap, I think you used write-off was that from us or from your insurance company?

Andrew: No, I passed your stuff on to the insurance company, interestingly the insurance company seemed to be quite content to just accept your assessment.

Reid Stiven: Yep.

Andrew: I’ve got something 8th May SOW and SOC, for your EQC assessment.

Reid Stiven: So, look a lot of this depends on whether you had a claim for September, how large that claim was.

Andrew: No, nothing at all. The house was actually completely undamaged in September.

Reid Stiven: So it will be going through our costing and settlement team we are hoping in worst case scenario about a month. Now we are working really hard we have put some more people into those teams any backlog we will have cleared by 12 June, so once the payment is authorized then if you’ve got a mortgage it will go to your bank if you haven’t it will be paid to you.

Andrew: Actually I had one person that I spoke to that was very helpful said send her a deposit slip etc which I did and then three days later I got a call from the claims manager and well that particular call was the one bad call that I’ve had.

Reid Stiven: Look for us automatic payment is the best way to go because it speeds the process up. If we have got to print out cheques and post them out this was one of the issues around September 4 it causes horrific delays. Look as I said we should have that backlog cleared by 12 june I’m not suggesting you are in because yours is quite a simple case and we are only three weeks from the date of inspection or since you got the documentation so it should be moving.

EQC not paying out on “over cap” claims

May 20, 2011

The graph shows EQC payouts (blue) on claims since the September and February Canterbury earthquakes.  Contrast the red line which shows the amount EQC would have paid out had “over cap” claims been settled after inspection. While EQC has almost finished inspecting all “over cap” claims, very few of those claims have actually been settled. This data comes from EQC’s own published figures.

What should not be

March 13, 2011

In the warm light of God
A memory stirs
Eyes that saw what should not be
The shadow of death etched in steel
Eyes with tears running from yesterday
Memory that longs to devour today
Gentle Lord wipe away the tears
Remember the rainbow in the sky
Fill our weakness with your strength
Draw us, diamond bright from dust and blood
We are your pearl beyond price
You are the knight of our salvation
Your arm is strong to save
Shadow is but a memory
Shine my Lord and King

EQC visit mark 2

February 22, 2011

They were acquainted with our “issues”, not new guys taking a clean room perspective. We got them to add on the garage they left out by mistake and to account for having to lift the sunroom slab, but they are still refusing to do anything with the ring foundation. “How do we know it wasn’t at that level before it got cracked to bits?” My best guess, and they were really trying to weasel out of fixing stuff, is that their new scope of works will approach $100k but may not make it. They are trying *real hard* to avoid the obvious evidence that the ring foundation has sunk. They were even trying to say their repair was  “like for like to pre-quake condition”, whereas the EQC act says “to as new”. Next step in the continuing saga – Hello Structural Engineer!

Guidance on Canterbury quake house repairs

January 24, 2011

An excellent resource published by the Department of Building and Housing.

This document, issued by the Department of Building and Housing, provides technical guidance for repairing and rebuilding houses in the Canterbury region following the Canterbury earthquake.

Well done those men.

Measuring house floor levels to the Christchurch datum

January 24, 2011

An important consideration for foundation rebuilds after the Canterbury earthquake is whether the post quake floor height meets the existing building code. The code minimum floor height is 11.4m above the Christchurch Council Datum. Christchurch City Council has stated that in flood management areas this will be increased to 11.8m in early 2011. Our guess was that our house is low lying, but how to find out? Cellphone GPS is horribly inaccurate…

I was able to borrow a Trimble S3 Totalstation to find out the current floor levels of our house. The S3 is a survey instrument that uses a laser reflected off a target prism on a pole.  I setup the TotalStation and measured to the reference elevation which was 11.42m. This reference was re-calibrated by the CCC shortly after the September 4 quake.  Reference points close to your house can be obtained via email from the CCC. Then I measured the elevation at a second point closer to our home, which became the new reference. Then I moved the Totalstation to a point between the new reference and our gate. Elevation at our gate was measured to be 10.7m. Moving the Totalstation onto our property, the floor height outside our front door comes in at 11.15m, 25cm under the current building code minimum.

An interesting exercise, the device was easy to use, hopefully compensating for the amateur surveyors! EQC will probably engage a professional…

House Levels after the Canterbury Earthquake

January 4, 2011

I wonder how this will be fixed? Waiting on EQC for details.

House levels after the Canterbury Earthquake