Andrew Little backing new Canterbury earthquake tribunal

Section
National,
Publish Date
Monday, 17 June 2019, 10:54AM
Justice Minister Andrew Little said the Budget earmarked $3.4 million for the establishment of a Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal (Photo / NZ Herald)
Justice Minister Andrew Little said the Budget earmarked $3.4 million for the establishment of a Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal (Photo / NZ Herald)

A new Canterbury earthquake tribunal will be a "circuit-breaker" for those who have struggled with insurance claims since the February 2011 quake.

The Budget earmarked $3.4 million for the establishment of a Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal for the 2019/20 fiscal year.

Justice Minister Andrew Little said the tribunal would be a fair, flexible and cost-effective way for Canterbury homeowners to resolve their outstanding insurance claims.

"This is great news for the tired and frustrated Canterbury homeowners who are still waiting for a resolution to their insurance claims from these earthquakes," Little said.

"This tribunal will be a circuit-breaker for those disputes that have dragged on for too long and for people who deserve closure and to move on with their lives."

He said the tribunal provided flexibility and will be a "very human and accommodating" process which gives a better chance to bring resolution and conclusion to the more difficult claims.

It will be chaired by former District Court Judge Chris Somerville and will be Christchurch-based.

"All parties participating in the tribunal – homeowners and insurers alike – can feel confident in the process, given Chris' experience in insurance law and expertise in mediation."

Cases can be transferred from the High Court to the tribunal and homeowners can choose to have a representative to receive communications for them, an advocate who can speak on their behalf, and a support person to accompany them to all tribunal conferences and hearings, Little said.

 

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