This book considers the response to the unprecedented property damage, the role of central and local government in the recovery phase, the long-term implications of the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and the Government Natural Disaster Fund. It also examines the financial vulnerability of the property insurance industry to mega-catastrophic events and suggests how government could improve New Zealand’s ability to mitigate losses and finance large insured losses resulting from catastrophic events. I expose some of the stark realities of the insurance landscape during difficult and large-scale insurance claim times, hoping to stimulate debate around the role of government and the private insurance industry in this country, and to propose an insurance alternative for natural disaster coverage with the object of better preparing the nation for the next, inevitable, catastrophic event.
In light of my own and others’ experiences, I must raise the question: do our current catastrophe insurance provisions serve our needs or is it time for a comprehensive review in favour of a system that serves the population more equitably and more efficiently? The only answer to that question that sits with me comfortably is a resounding ‘YES’ – because the current system has failed many Cantabrians very badly.
It is my hope that we citizens of Christchurch will be able to rebuild a strong and vibrant community and that as a nation we realize that planning for the inevitable must not be left to chance. If we wish to ensure the long-term successful future of Aotearoa New Zealand, we must think and act.”