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Labour pitches 'intervention' to assist Christchurch quake residents

Monday 19th September 2011 2 Comments

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A Labour-led government would be willing to intervene in the insurance market “on a short term basis” to resolve the current stand-off between homeowners waiting for payouts and insurers.

Announcing his party’s Christchurch recovery plan, leader Phil Goff said Labour would buy 1,500 residential development sections and sell them at cost to Red Zone residents, ring-fence up to $100 million from the Canterbury Earthquake Fund to reimburse Red Zone homeowners up to a maximum of $50,000 for repairs, and appoint an independent insurance commissioner to protect consumers and resolve disputes.

Labour would also “immediately release all geotechnical information with a plain English guide” and seek to fill skills shortages the Christchurch rebuild is expected to create, by providing training and converting dole payments to apprenticeship subsidies.

“These are extraordinary times for Canterbury and the government must respond accordingly,” said Goff. “Business as usual won’t cut it.“We believe the government needs to take a more active role in the rebuild."

"A year on from the first quake, Cantabrians are saying that not enough progress has been made," he said. "Canterbury needs leadership, transparency and accountability."

”Under Labour’s plan to acquire 1,500 sections, the cost of buying and readying the land for rebuilding would be recovered when it was on-sold to Red Zone residents who have been paid out from the Canterbury Recovery Fund."

The policy was intended to signal to landowners in other areas that property price escalation should not be taken for granted, said Labour’s earthquake recovery spokesman, Clayton Cosgrove.

“We will not rule out using the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act to purchase land in the face of any evidence of price gouging by developers if that is needed to ensure a fair price is sought and paid.”Goff warned Labour’s policy couldn’t promise no losers in the process, but “we believe that our plan will mean losses won’t be as large as under National’s scheme.”


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Comments from our readers

On 19 September 2011 at 2:33 pm James Parker said:
Once again Pill gives many words but no real depth around his policies. IE how is all this to be paid for. Labour is suggesting more borrowing, yet they have lambasted National over this. But to get into power they will play any game with someone elses money. The scheme is failed.
On 20 September 2011 at 2:10 pm Bill Sutton said:
Sensible policy from Labour, and we will again see a shallow, negative response from National, while they frantically scrabble to paper over the cracks in their own inadequate policy.
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