Gerry / Cera 50% offer "not legal"

mm12345, Aug 27, 5:19 pm

Wonderful. I don't think any of the red zone offers should have been legal, but it is excellent news. Congratulations to those affected.

gunton1, Aug 27, 5:24 pm

oskybosky, Aug 27, 5:35 pm

Good on them. There was a lot of general confusion around with comparisons of the red zone offers (which were very generous) and the compulsory acquisition (which wasn't). And it was all muddied by people being smug about whether they had insurance or not. But if you have a perfectly good section and/or perfectly good house and the government wants to pay you half its value that's nonsense. They need to reach reasonable valuations on each property in turn -- the government shouldn't be paying insurance payouts (i.e. paying for damage) but they should be paying the true current value if they want to take the land over.

tillsbury, Aug 27, 6:36 pm

The prick is going to appeal.
Let it go Gerry.

david_270, Aug 27, 7:05 pm

the fat bugger and his mates don't give a stuff about the underdogs in Christchurch.

gazza.kay, Aug 27, 7:45 pm

Brownlee and Sutton should resign over this .They were in the wrong when deciding to pay only 50% They both should be facing criminal charges.
would not surprise me if Sutton is the first one to go. Bulla Rodger have a nice day.

kees4, Aug 27, 7:58 pm

thing is they use taxpayers money to appeal,whereas the already struggling redzoners have to fund it themselves. so wrong

eltorokaka, Aug 27, 7:58 pm


If you saw what he said on Campbell Live it was the Valuer General that told him to pay 50%

cassina1, Aug 27, 8:02 pm


That's right he told Brownlee that the land was worth only 10% of it's previous value, and Gerry said bearing that in mind, 50% was generous considering it was tax payers money.

jtee1, Aug 27, 8:37 pm



While I would certainly not disagree with your comment about compulsory acquisition not being generous, Tillsbury, I do wonder why you think the red zone offers were very generous. At a meeting for red zoners yet to settle a month or so ago, someone asked whether anyone had lost less than $50,000 - none of us had. I am not talking about money required to upgrade, I am talking about us having to dig substantially into our savings in order just to stand still. We are in a smaller, older property with a lower GV than the one we had to leave, in a lower income area. We do like our new neighbourhood very much, that is not the point, the point is that the offer was not very generous. In the end, after 2 years of battling with our insurance company, it was adequate, and we are fortunate in that. I have friends who were a rebuild (our home and land were barely damaged and we were a repair) who will never own a house again. My sister and her husband, whom I thought of as "winners" in the red zone lottery, now having a home with an RV $120,000 higher than the one they left, I now find funded this with savings for a world trip and my brother-in-law's redundancy money Most who have upgraded have paid for the upgrade themselves.
-----

More generally, to turn to the Judgment itself, I've been given a copy and have now read it briefly, it's good. I was sorry that the "Outcasts" substituted their first declaration that the red zone and the clearance strategy be declared unlawful and did not pursue this, but I understand the reasons why. But thankfully the Judge commented on this anyway. I think it's very fair and balanced, from a layman's viewpoint, so hopefully it will not give Gerry and Roger many grounds for appeal.

gunton1, Aug 27, 8:55 pm



It's such b@stardised logic, and so obviously wrong on several levels.

mm12345, Aug 27, 9:04 pm



Visit www.pay100.co.nz and read the facts.

We received a letter in response to an Official Information Act request from the Valuer General Neill Sullivan advising he had not made an official 10% valuation for empty land.

He states in this letter "The Government Agency responsible for the "red zone" policies and associated research is CERA and the Office of the Valuer-General has had no official involvement within the development and implementation of these policies; neither have we provided valuation workings regarding any ???red zone??? policies. I understand that CERA approached the respective council's valuation service providers (Quotable Value Limited and Good Earth Matters) directly for valuation calculations, statistics, samples and methods as they hold all the relevant property records and market evidence. Whilst some telephone discussions were held between the Office of the Valuer-General and CERA about the general provisions of the rating valuation process including who undertakes operational rating valuation work and how they determine values;I do not recall giving such an indication about residual land value as foot noted on the cabinet paper. If I did make such a comment it would have been in a very generalist manner. This I think is demonstrated by the wording of the foot note comment "We assume there is 10% of the land value remaining??? indicating that no formal analysis had been completed. Details of any discussion and the basis for the foot note comment may well be held within CERA."

oskybosky, Aug 27, 9:22 pm



Don't get angry at me, i'm just saying what they said on Campbell Live. I'm on the land owners side, we've only got to put ourselves in their position - 50% sucks big time.

jtee1, Aug 27, 9:49 pm



It's disgusting!

pommie74, Aug 27, 9:52 pm

Shame on Gerry Brownlee for appealing this decision, these are hard working New Zealand families. He should just admit they didn't get it right and treat them fairly NOW not waste tax payers money forcing them back into court causing even more pain and suffering. These people have been through enough just pay them 100% and let them start rebuilding their lives.

joan71, Aug 27, 10:23 pm

How could it ever be right to pay 100% to one group and 50% to another. 2.5 years on and, like us, many land owners still have not received an offer. This afternoon we momentarily celebrated the judges ruling of "fairplay" then slipped straight back into limbo land. damned you EQC & CERA. Damned you!

bigtoot, Aug 27, 10:28 pm

good news for the 'outcasts' . apart from the appeal.
it seems brownlee is utterly shameless . too much power, not enough heart. and if he wins an appeal it'll be a tragedy

lambrat, Aug 27, 10:29 pm

I read several news reports which all quoted Brownlee as saying appealing was "an option". CL was the only one to say it was definite, so I wouldn't panic just yet.
I think he should just drop it.
His main issue had been the moral hazard, which the court said was pretty much a non-event.

william1980, Aug 27, 10:45 pm

The woodwork teacher appeals. not his money so why should he worry .
will look forward to the day he loses the appeal ! . ! certainly not doing any good for the EQ recovery . just wasting our money.
(More waste)

ken158, Aug 28, 5:37 am

jtee1, you wouldn't be alone in thinking that it was fact that the Valuer General declared the land was worth 10% of its pre quake value. Gerry Brownlee when on TV and stated it as fact. But no analysis was conducted by the Valuer General's office and aside from what might have been a very generalised comment made over the phone, the Valuer General cannot recall even making this comment. To use this as the basis of giving a 50% offer (and stating that was generous in the circumstances) is not only unjust, it is incompetent decision making and peoples livelihoods should not hinge on such rubbish research. Go the Quake Outcasts, I hope you get over the next hurdle!

dollyrocket, Aug 28, 6:52 am

If Gerry does in fact decide to appeal, I hope the presiding judge tacks on an extra $50,000 per property to account for the stress and timeliness - or lack of- the outcasts have been facing.
Way to go outcasts. You should not have been in this position, you should not have had to fight, but I am delighted that you had such a good judgment.

sonja2, Aug 28, 9:34 am

I could have sworn some guy who apparantly runs the country (Oh Yeah, John Key) said "NO ONE WILL BE OUT OF POCKET" after not only the Sep but also the Feb shakes. TUI AD! I'm not even affected by all this but I see what it's doing to others. shame shame shame NZ Government. are you trying to save some money just incase your house (oh yeah, you get to live in one for free) gets shaken? How can it be fair to offer only 50% of the property, people are still paying mortgages on the whole amount. Our poor communities are so stressed and fed up (and not because of the earthquakes. but because of the Beauracratic bull sh!t) Do we want our city to be full of people on medication to be our future? NO! SORT IT OUT!

maandpa2b, Aug 28, 9:50 am

http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/govt-may-appeal-red-zone-land-ruling-5545168

John, come 2014, us ex-National voters will say "Thanks for nothing, its not been fun, time for you to pay the price for treating hard working tax-paying New Zealanders with contempt"

oskybosky, Aug 28, 10:05 am


If the Govt still wants to not payout they could just allow the land to be unredzoned so people can be free to build on it with power/water etc connected.

cassina1, Aug 28, 10:15 am



There is a comment on the Stuff website about this decision that says reinsurance cover for earthquakes was going to be cancelled for Canterbury if the govt had not red zoned.

cassina1, Aug 28, 11:30 am

It seems to have been confirmed that government will appeal.

'Prime Minister John Key this morning told TV3's Firstline that the Government was being generous in paying out 50 per cent.

"The Government will have to go away, have a good look at the judgment, make a decision about what it does next. But there are a lot of precedent risks here and issues, because if we pay out more than that, even paying out 50 per cent sets a precedent.

"What do we do when there's an uninsured land slip later in the year because of a flood somewhere? Those homeowners will say, 'But you paid out in Christchurch and you paid out more than 50 per cent.' It's not easy for the Government." '

John Key - a couple of points about that:

The High Court ruling wasn't about some technical detail of interpretation about some Act of Parliament, but ruled (correctly IMO) on the basis of "fairness". If you appeal on the basis that you believe that the offer was "fair", then you have no credibility left. If you appeal on some other technical grounds, then you clearly don't care about "fairness" - which isn't a good look for a Prime Minister.

Fear of "precedent" being set was always behind this - as the total amount of money being argued about in these red zone cases is peanuts - only a few millions of dollars.

mm12345, Aug 28, 11:50 am



I think there is plenty to be said about what may or may not have been discussed during negotiations with government & Insurance and the reinsurance cover a couple of years ago.

This is speculation from rumours that I have heard, not based on first hand knowledge, but Insurance companies may have threatened to pull out of the region and pull out of certain suburbs rather quickly without the government working with them to some degree

50% for a vacant section that happened to be in the Red zone without a dwelling and therefore without Insurance is a tough position to take with these land owners. There was no foreseeable reason to have insurance on a vacant section

I would welcome these land owners being given 100% of GV but, to put this into perspective, we must remember that the government will not get any EQC compensation for these land purchases - the NZ Tax payer is picking up the bill and this issue is more complicated that simply compensating those in the group that won this court case.

jrw_expat, Aug 28, 11:57 am

The original red zone offer was that the government would *offer* GV to badly damaged land, and take over the insurance claim, such that the residents would be able to move on quickly and not have the hassle of dealing with land remediation and rebuilding. This was a unique and very generous offer from the government, but not a fabulously expensive one as the government would be able to long-term restore the land and use it for something (so getting back most of the value from the insurers).

Making it compulsory was a different matter. That's not the same game at all.

Yes people have the right not to insure, but remember that during all of this period the government is not offering to pay an insurance policy or to give original value. If you own a house and you choose not to insure it then it falls over then the government must not pay out the loss suffered (if it did, then the economy would be ruined as insurance would become unnecessary and the government's liability would be catastrophic). The loss has already been made, and the owners have their own insurance or choose to risk that loss if they like.

But when there are specific houses that are on what appears to be usable land, with an easily repairable house (or one that the owners choose to repair), and choose not to insure, then the government should be paying out at compulsory purchase value not at 50%.

Compulsory purchases are not "land grabs", they are commonly used for the benefit of the general population when building roads, parks, and railways, but the private owner must be properly recompensed. There are hundreds of years of precedents for this, so I don't know why they decided to make up a new set of rules.

tillsbury, Aug 28, 12:06 pm

"But when there are specific houses that are on what appears to be usable land, with an easily repairable house (or one that the owners choose to repair), and choose not to insure, then the government should be paying out at compulsory purchase value not at 50%. "

This would be a fairer way to do, rather than this broadbrush approach.

william1980, Aug 28, 12:19 pm



I am not going to disagree with your view of compulsory acquisition - many are negativity effected by compulsory acquisitions, residential and commercial being given a very raw deal and delays in resolution cause further financial pain every day. I certainly do not have the answer regarding how to better compensate as this is also about balancing the countries books as it is the NZ tax payer picking up the tab.

Another couple of billion from the federal budget for Canterbury would be nice.

But I will point out this: The original offer was budgeted for at a around $136K shortfall per property for the original 5,000 red zoned houses. This is the difference between paying out the GV and what the government would be able to recover from EQC and insurance companies
This cost was being picked up by the tax payer and this did not include the costs of turning this land into park land - it will be some very expensive sports fields and parks land once all is said and done

jrw_expat, Aug 28, 12:23 pm



Nice. So if government in future needs to "balance the books" - it's okay to "short change" unlucky people?

mm12345, Aug 28, 12:49 pm



I don't know how Brownlee - and now Key - can dare to argue that the ruling runs risk of "setting precedent", when government themselves had set precedent - that at their determination, in some cases, they can effectively take people's land without offering full compensation.

mm12345, Aug 28, 12:55 pm



I did not say that

FYI: I too am adversely effected

jrw_expat, Aug 28, 1:41 pm



Well yes, good point. But the compulsory acquisition came after the land was munted. And, according to precedent, it should be paid out at fair value at the time, which is (as they correctly point out) about four and six. so in those terms 50% is generous. But it's really hard to justify in terms of "fairness".

tillsbury, Aug 28, 4:10 pm



Now that's a point. Perhaps if Gerry gets his way - the descendants of the Red Zoners will seek compensation.

mm12345, Aug 28, 5:19 pm

I think that the "zoning" itself created the drop in value,how can a green zone right next to the red have different land its actually all a joke. yes the red zone was the worst but lots of TC3 is worse than pockets in the red.

The fact that the GOVT wouldnt invest in repairing the infrastructure meant there was no value in staying in those areas.

They made the zones and made people move on NOW PAY GV across the board. easy

eltorokaka, Aug 28, 5:28 pm



You think correctly. Apart from loss of actual monetary value, the red zoning removed the right of individuals to live on their land.

mm12345, Aug 28, 5:38 pm

The problem as I see it is People with House insurance paid EQC insurance as part of that package. If you had bare land, Did you pay for any Insurance?

chito, Aug 28, 5:39 pm



Well you see it wrong - the 50% offer isn't EQC payout, it's the price Gerry wanted to pay for compulsory acquisition of privately owned land, which had been devalued because Gerry declared it "red zone".

mm12345, Aug 28, 5:44 pm



I think this is the point. The land has devalued twice -- once because there was a quake (no-one's fault, not even Ken Ring), and then again further because of zoning decisions and the sudden announcement that services would not be available. Now, if the council announced that services were going to be withdrawn then it would be reasonable to ask the council to pay for the value the day before they announced it -- and usually GV would be a start at a fair value for this figure. But in this case, the land was already devalued by its damage and it's not reasonable for the council to pay the entire amount. The offer of 50% was a suggestion that that's what the land was worth the day before the decision to red-zone. But as usual with a broad brush calculation that's likely to be unfair on some pieces of land.

I think the judge will end up insisting that valuations are considered as at the day the red-zoning was done, on a case-by-case basis. If I were in this position I would certainly be calling on the council/government to be paying the value of the land the day before the zones were invented. But that's not going to be GV I suggest.

tillsbury, Aug 28, 6:11 pm

tillsbury wrote:
I think this is the point. The land has devalued twice -- once because there was a quake (no-one's fault, not even Ken Ring), and then again further because of zoning decisions and the sudden announcement that services would not be available. Now, if the council announced that services were going to be withdrawn then it would be reasonable to ask the council to pay for the value the day before they announced it -- and usually GV would be a start at a fair value for this figure. But in this case, the land was already devalued by its damage and it's not reasonable for the council to pay the entire amount. The offer of 50% was a suggestion that that's what the land was worth the day before the decision to red-zone. But as usual with a broad brush calculation that's likely to be unfair on some pieces of land.

I think the judge will end up insisting that valuations are considered as at the day the red-zoning was done, on a case-by-case basis. If I were in this position I would certainly be calling on the council/government to be paying the value of the land the day before the zones were invented. But that's not going to be GV I suggest. [/quote

Or as I said the Govt could un RedZone the land and give it back with all services connected. I am only guessing but would think that would be cheaper than the 50% offer.

cassina1, Aug 28, 6:24 pm

Cassina, this would be an outcome that might be palatable for many. Many of the uninsured home owners just want to stay, as do a core group of Brooklands insured home owners, without having services removed, so they can fix their homes. I'm not so sure it would be a cheaper option however, the cost of replacing the infrastructure that was damaged was a significant reason for red zoning in the first place. It might have been more likely if the CCC had insured its assets sufficiently, but alas, they didn't.

oskybosky, Aug 28, 6:50 pm

i can understand those with bare land that you cant insure wanting to be paid the full amount that is fair but the people who were just not insured for whatever reason expect to be paid full rv for their house as well as their land. why should they be?

booker16, Aug 28, 7:17 pm

As I understand it some have houses with little or no damage. The Government says you can't live in that house. Wouldn't you expect a fair price?

olwen, Aug 28, 7:23 pm

Gerry has got this so wrong how dare he keep going back to court

kiwi191, Jul 7, 4:15 am

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