Cleaning up Christchurch earthquake insurance mess “proactively” could cost the govt (or taxpayers) $313 million

Earthquakes, climate change and terrorism were embraced in press statements that flowed from the Beehive yesterday.

We learned that cleaning up an insurance mess related to the Christchurch earthquakes – it’s being done through a “proactive package” for some Southern Response policyholders – could cost $313 million if all eligible claimants apply.

Another announcement tells us about an initiative to meet the government’s climate change targets:  state agencies which are required to apply Government Procurement Rules must follow the advice in a new Procurement Guide when deciding about new buildings with an estimated value of $9 million or over.

The new Procurement Guide reflects the government’s goal to transition to a carbon neutral public service.

The private sector is being encouraged to follow the guidance for new projects, too.

And then there’s the speech by the PM to a conference on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over two days this week.

He Whenua Taurikura (the name given to it) will become an annual conference

“ .. promoting public conversation, understanding and research on radicalisation. It will look at ways to challenge hate-motivated extremist ideologies and to discuss priorities to address issues of terrorism and violent extremism”.

But let’s dip into that “proactive package”.  What’s it all about?

The Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark, harked back to December when he announced what he calls  “a proactive package” for Southern Response Earthquake claimants who settled their claims before October 2014.

This was a response to a court  judgment in relation to Karl and Alison Dodds and offers a top-up payment to other customers in a similar situation.

Southern Response – of course – is the state-owned earthquake insurance settlement company and was responsible for settling claims by AMI policyholders after the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes.

The court found Southern Response had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct that misrepresented the Dodds’ insurance entitlements.

The insurer had produced two differing detailed repair/rebuild assessments, which outlined the costs of rebuilding or repairing their home, and only showed them one that did not include some costs.

The package announced by the government will affect some policyholders who are potentially part of the Ross Class Action.

Based on actuarial advice, Southern Response is including a cost of $242.5 million in its accounts, reflecting an estimate of around 75 percent take-up of the package.

Earthquake insurance

Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released

The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply.

 The package will affect some policyholders who are potentially part of the Ross Class Action, Southern Response has applied to the court for confirmation that it can communicate with those policyholders about the package. This application is still making its way through the court.

Southern Response has been working with its actuaries to estimate payments likely to be made under the approved package.

“We are now in a position to release the cost estimate of the full package,” David Clark said.

Based on actuarial advice, Southern Response is including a cost of $242.5 million in its accounts, reflecting an estimate of around 75 percent take-up of the package.

State building projects

New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects

Government agencies are getting guidance on how to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings.

The new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, designers, and construction and industry representatives to make the right decisions.

Agencies that are required to apply Government Procurement Rules must now apply the Procurement Guide to decisions about new buildings with an estimated value of $9 million or over.

Government agencies must now clearly record decisions about the way they choose design options. If they choose a design that is not the lowest possible carbon option to meet their project brief they must identify the reason for this, and have the decision signed off by their Chief Executive.

The new Procurement Guide reflects the government’s goal to transition to a carbon neutral public service.

The procurement practices of public service agencies have the power to influence decisions by private and community sectors when it comes to carbon-neutral and low-emission technologies, the press statement says .

And the new guide is in line with the recommendations of the Climate Change Commission’s final report issued last week.

The Guide to Reducing Carbon Emissions in Building and Construction is available online here:

Terrorism

He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism

The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over two days.

The conference is a response to one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain on 15 March 2019.

“He Whenua Taurikura, ‘a country at peace’, will look at how we can all contribute to making our country more inclusive and safe,” Jacinda Ardern said.

The Lead Coordination Minister for the Government’s Response to The Royal Commission’s Report into the Terrorist Attack on the Christchurch Mosques, Andrew Little, said the conference will help develop options for the National Centre of Excellence, which will focus on generating research and public discussion to prevent and counter violent extremism, understand diversity and promote social cohesion.

“Our goal is for New Zealand to be a safe country where everyone feels they belong, where all cultures and human rights are valued and celebrated, and where everyone can participate and contribute.”

Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui

This is the  PM’s speech to the survivors and family of the Shuhadah, along with representatives from our communities, academia, members of civil society, and those from the private sector, NGOs and public sector.

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