Labour’s insurance court

June 9th, 2014 at 9:28 am by David Farrar

have announced:

A Labour government will set up a special Earthquake Court to speed up the claims process for Cantabrians still waiting for resolution after almost four years, and immediately begin working on protecting flood-risk homes.

Umm as I understand it the bench in Christchurch has effectively already done this. They have set aside extra hearing hours for earthquake claims, so this is not really a change.

“An Earthquake Court – a special division of the Canterbury District Court – will deal with insurance claims of up to $1 million.

That would require a law change (which takes a year or so) as the District Courts Act 1947 sets a limit of $200,000 for civil claims. So is Labour going to increase the jurisdiction of the District Court to $1 million for all civil cases, or just earthquake insurance claims?

“To reduce the burden on families all costs, including lawyers’ costs and expert witness fees, will be paid for by the Crown. 

Oh God. That will mean absolutely no one will settle. If the taxpayer (through ) is paying for costs on all sides, then you’d be mad to settle. Absolutely everyone will head to court. The lawyers will love this policy – but I tell you what – it will clog the legal system up even more.

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36 Responses to “Labour’s insurance court”

  1. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Labour social policy, transferring tax payers money from low paid workers to Lawyers… Leftism at it’s finest.

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  2. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    It’s typical Labour. Set up a new committee, board, panel, court and make sure it costs the taxpayer a fortune.

    There will be more spendthrift policies to come. No substance, just throw our cash at it.

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  3. Longknives (4,740 comments) says:

    I’m going back to Uni to study Law!! Anyone care to join me??

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  4. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    You just can’t make this shit up.

    Is this part of Labour’s new Christchurch Rebuild policy / their Judicial policy / their latest Employment policy / or is it just more policy on the hoof?

    I suspect the latter.

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  5. Ross12 (1,425 comments) says:

    Yes , but because the MSM will not cover the faults in the idea. The Christchurch voters will love it, especially going to vote after a cold winter. The slight swing to National in Christchurch last time was important in the outcome.
    Populist politics and you can expect a heap more coming from the “war room”.

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  6. freethinker (691 comments) says:

    It won’t work either, the current “special district court quakes claims dept” has hundreds of claims that have been ” in process’ for years with few decisions and fewer decisions of precedent. EQC & Insurers are gaming the system interpreting policies and effecting repairs in a way that is just plain wrong and will become a source of litigation for decades and distrust of the whole system for longer.

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  7. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Just part of their full employment policy, more PSA drones to feather Labour’s nest with capitation fees.

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  8. Rich Prick (1,700 comments) says:

    There are no winners in litigation (lawyers aside), but why on earth should the taxpayer fund private disputes? This is a recipe for disaster, just ask any one who has been through the Weathertight Homes Tribunal, which is another example of a government that thought it could do better.

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  9. wf (441 comments) says:

    Would be better if DC would promise to raise Flockton Basin 3m above sea level.

    How difficult could that be?

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  10. Huevon (222 comments) says:

    Time to look for a law job in Chch come Sept 20!

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  11. flipper (4,056 comments) says:

    No!
    Critics of the media on this progressive policy issue are surely wrong.

    I am totally confident that Campbell (dead) will pick it apart, and then send Cun*liffe’s bones to an crematorium ….only to be denied a permit to scatter his ashes in his Auckland electorate. Oh dear, what a pity.

    An absolute garbage policy proposal that will impress only the silly.

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  12. jhanet (11 comments) says:

    Great policy from Labour – Gerry’s handling of the quakes has been appalling with his arrogant, pompous manner and the lack of progress (particularly for residential homes in the East) to boot. Good that Labour actually wants to get stuck in with action rather than sitting back and letting everything take its course privately. A government that actually wants to assist would be a change, rather than the government which said ‘no one would be left behind’ post-quake, but yet there are many still suffering immensely.

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  13. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    Oh no……..

    At best, this will simply drive up reinsurance costs (even more) as they will need to factor in a massive and potentially unlimited increase in legal costs.

    At worst, reinsurers will take their ball and go home.

    The EQC coffers are empty. Insurance reserves are depleted. The absolute LAST thing this country should be doing is sticking two fingers at the global reinsurers who we absolutely depend on to save us after the next disaster.

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  14. alloytoo (542 comments) says:

    @Queensfarmer

    Absolutely correct, and any substantive increased in reinsurance costs will flow right back to the consumer, specifically the high risk Christchurch and Wellington consumer.

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  15. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    From Stuff (http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/10134984/Labour-promises-quake-court-and-flooding-work):

    “Labour says it will send in army engineers to get flood protection work done in Christchurch if that’s what it takes to fix the problem.”

    This is just bizarre. Army engineers are skilled in building quick defensive positions and helping forces move around a battlefield. They clear mines, throw up modular bridges across water obstacles, dig trenches and berms, and perform other similar tasks. The key is being able to do these things quickly.

    They don’t have the skills to either design or build an enormous civil engineering project. They don’t have the staff numbers or the equipment either. It’s like Cunliffe has no clue whatsoever, either about flooding issues, civil engineering, or the capabilities of the Army.

    But cluelessness hasn’t stopped Cunliffe so far. I look forward to Cunliffe announcing other army-related solutions to difficult problems:

    “Labour says it will send in military police to stop meth amphetamine production if that’s what it takes to fix the problem.”

    “Labour says it will send in army training staff to improve results at decile 1 schools if that’s what it takes to fix the problem.”

    “Labour says it will send in navy officers to operate dodgy Cook Strait ferries if that’s what it takes to fix the problem.”

    “Labour says it will send in army doctors to clear hospital waiting lists if that’s what it takes to fix the problem.”

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  16. Grizz (605 comments) says:

    The last thing we need is to give lawyers more encouragement. They will have a field day, all at the expense of the taxpayer and quake victims.

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  17. jv (16 comments) says:

    KiwiCourt

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  18. dishy (248 comments) says:

    Cunliffe may be unaware, but the Government currently keeps a lid on its legal costs for its own external lawyers, through a very competitive “All of Government” process. Is he proposing to keep this lid in place but pay willy nilly for other people’s legal costs, even when they are having a crack at the Government? Is the costs bizzo limited to “families”, as per the quote? What about businesses? Single people?

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  19. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    dishy

    You seem to be confusing the intention of this policy announcement with how it might be implemented. The intention is to lift the polling results – The implementation is to spend tax payers money achieving the intention.

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  20. dishy (248 comments) says:

    Sorry burt, but you’re right – I’m one of these naive commenters who still think that policy announcements – whether hoof-based or not – should withstand even the most cursory scrutiny applied by busy workers over their morning cup of coffee. I can also envisage Lisa Owen bullying and interrupting Cunliffe on the telly this Saturday morning while she pretends to be asking questions. How sweet to be an idiot.

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  21. lprent (101 comments) says:

    David: Why do I get the feeling that you knocked out that post without bothering to even read the speech or the policy? Are you really trying to emulate the obdurate and deliberate pig ignorance of Mike Hosking, or simply indulging in silly mischief. Almost everything you quibbled about is in those. If I could read them well before your post came out then you could have been less lazy and done so as well.

    Having been on the end of the insurance company dragging of the chain of the slow progress through status hearings through a leaky building saga, I can see exactly the same tactics being employed in Christchurch. In my case after three years before the courts, and after we’d paid for and fixed the building ourselves, the insurance company settled 3 weeks before the high court case that they would have lost.

    If the insurance companies have built in an legal attrition process into their risk analysis, then they damn well need to do so as well. The best thing that National could do is to swipe this policy and run it through under urgency in the next 8 weeks.

    Now I wonder how long it is before this comment is made to disappear…

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  22. ciaron (1,431 comments) says:

    Now I wonder how long it is before this comment is made to disappear…
    Nowhere near as fast as something similar on your show, if reports are accurate…

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  23. RF (1,396 comments) says:

    Interesting defensive comment from Iprent. Maybe we should engage in good natured banter with him….. You know the type he allows the right when they post in the standard. But wait… I feel a Tui advert coming on.

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  24. notrotsky (84 comments) says:

    Watch out David, Lynn says you’re dumb !

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  25. freemark (580 comments) says:

    God the left must be desperate after the clusterfuck that is labour policy & polling. They’ve sent their paid lackey, the world’s greatest (self evaluated) sysop in to screech on KB. Hilarious.
    The bullshit at TS getting even too much for you Mr Coward?

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  26. David Farrar (1,894 comments) says:

    Lynn: I’m not you. I don’t delete comments I disagree with.

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  27. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    lprent>Having been on the end of the insurance company dragging of the chain of the slow progress through status hearings through a leaky building saga, I can see exactly the same tactics being employed in Christchurch.

    Cunliffe hasn’t promised to deploy army units to repair leaky buildings. It seems unjust that some property owners receive the services of a Colonel and a company of engineers, while others do without. You need to have a word with Cunliffe about this.

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  28. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    @lprent: ” the insurance company settled 3 weeks before the high court case that they would have lost”

    Well silly you then. You should have beaten them in court because you’d get a HIGHER payout (because they wouldn’t settle for MORE than you were claiming, would they?) AND you’d get costs against them.

    I suggest you were not so confident as you now claim, and the settlement was exactly the kind of sensible outcome that Cunliffe’s naiive and harmful ‘policy’ will undermine.

    (Oh the small joy of being able to challenge lprent without being deleted :-))

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  29. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    Oi lprent you total moron the system here is when enough comenters have down voted your tosh the system hides it for us.
    Unlike at your septic system where a comment with merit but in disagreement with your tight definition of what will survive, you just kill it in case it should become widely accepted as a reasoned point of debate even if at odds with the current view of the presidium.

    You will struggle to get a handle on it but it is sort of a free market for ideas and opinions.

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  30. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    I jump into this, being able to tell lprent he’s conflating his situation with a situation that applies to everyone and justifies tax payers money – without being banned.

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  31. stigie (1,173 comments) says:

    Excellent comment DPF….”I’m not you. I don’t delete comments I disagree with.”

    Maybe Lynn should think about that comment and take it on board….? Yea Nah

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  32. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    Lynn: I’m not you. I don’t delete comments I disagree with.

    To be fair I’m not aware of that happening much. Lynn addresses comments he disagrees with or doesn’t like, he abuses commenters, he threatens commenters with bans and he bans, but he usually leaves the comments. He also nurtures a culture of abuse towards comments and commenters that are deemed against the Standard propaganda which presumably is aimed at drowning out and driving away.

    But deleting comments isn’t common.

    The Standard seems to have decided to target DPF and hold him to account – and notably by lprent last week, make the sort of unsubstantiated comments he would ban people for at The Standard if directed at Labour. And lprent gets particularly tetchy if anyone challenges him or Standard authors for making blatant unsubstantiated accusations.

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  33. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    A post at The Standard challenging DPF’s claims in this post.

    Farrar lies again

    The second lie from Farrar is in a post today that claims Labour’s earthquake court already exists (it doesn’t) and he also claims the taxpayer would pay for all costs of the court. Again a lie, the cost of the courts will be added to the settlements which the insurance companies will pay if they lose.

    Farrar shows he is being deceptive by quoting the first sentence in the paragraph…To reduce the burden on families all costs, including lawyers’ costs and expert witness fees, will be paid for by the Crown.
    Yet he ignores the second sentence..The Crown will recoup those costs from the insurance companies and EQC as a levy in proportion to the size of the awards granted by the Court.

    Even though it is Farrar we’re talking about, these tactics from him are really pathetic.

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  34. MIKMS (167 comments) says:

    This policy looks like a bastardised form of a remit debated at the national Party Conference Last year – to create Disaster Recovery Courts/Tribunals for [underscore] future Regional or National Disasters. The policy required parties to attend hearings and did not put onus on the crown [other than through its Owned Enterprises] to pay. That remit was passed nearly unanimously. This Policy is what from memory the original remit looked like before substantive revisions at the lower levels- sweeping socialist and capable to charging the taxpayers a rebuild worth of legal fees.

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  35. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    Gosh, if that is what passes for intelligent analysis at The Standard, then it explains Labour’s dismal performance.

    1. DPF didn’t claim the “earthquake court already exists”. He says “the bench in Christchurch has effectively already done this. They have set aside extra hearing hours for earthquake claims” – which is completely true.

    2. “the cost of the courts will be added to the settlements which the insurance companies will pay if they lose” – um, they are not “settlements”. Settlements are exactly what Labour’s silly policy will prevent!

    3. Deceptive? Yes, by providing a direct link to Labour’s full press release! LOL. Anyway, Labour’s second sentence is a pure lie. How can it promise to “recoup those costs” unless it wins every case.

    It’s a pity you can’t have an honest discussion on The Standard, but interesting to see how poor the quality is.

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  36. RF (1,396 comments) says:

    Dear god. Just read comments on the standard. That moron Iprent is a complete tosser. That useless prick is so one eyed he is blind in one and unable to see out the other.

    I compared what DPF has blogged and the stupid prick Iprents response. That person is seriously disturbed.

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