The Wellbeing Budget has provided a fair, flexible and cost-effective way for Canterbury homeowners to resolve their outstanding insurance claims relating to the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes, with the launch of the Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal says Justice Minister Andrew Little.
“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,” says Andrew Little.
“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.”
“The Tribunal gives flexibility. It will be a very human and accommodating process that gives us a much better chance of bringing resolution and conclusion to these difficult claims,” Andrew Little says.
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 at conferences and hearings.
The Tribunal is located in Christchurch and is chaired by former District Court Judge, Chris Somerville.
“It is my great pleasure to announce Chris Somerville in this role. All parties participating in the Tribunal – homeowners and insurers alike – can feel confidence in the process, given Chris’ experience in insurance law and expertise in mediation.”
The Wellbeing Budget allocated $3.387m for the establishment of the Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal for the 2019/20 fiscal year.
Find out more about the Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal here www.justice.govt.nz/tribunals/canterbury-earthquakes-insurance/.
Notes to reporters:
Chris Somerville – Chris Somerville is a former District Court Judge. In addition to his judicial work, Chris Somerville was a member of the Judicial Mediation Panel that provided training in mediation and settlement conferencing for Judges of the District, Family and High Courts. He also chaired the Land Valuation Tribunals for North Canterbury (which includes Christchurch), South Canterbury and Westland.