11 Dec 2014

Option to sue EQC welcomed

8:13 am on 11 December 2014

A resident of Christchurch's flood-vulnerable Flockton Basin says it is important there is now an option of suing the Earthquake Commission.

A sign expressing some people's attitude in Christchurch to the Earthquake Commission.

A sign expressing some people's attitude in Christchurch to the Earthquake Commission. Photo: RNZ

The Commission said a High Court ruling yesterday supported the approach it has taken to settle complex claims for damaged land - with payments based on a drop in value of the damaged land.

Some Flockton residents had hoped the Commission would need to payout for a total loss on land which could not be fixed.

Carrick Street resident, Jack Stuart said while many aspects of the decision were disappointing, there was some comfort knowing they could sue the Commission, like any private insurer, if it stepped out of line.

Mr Stuart said while court cases were expensive, so were new houses, and if a case were to cost less than $300,000 he would consider it.

"The amount of money that we are going to lose on our house if this goes through, is huge and so I don't know what courts cost, but if it's less that $200,000 or $300,000 I might look down that avenue."

Councillor for the Shirley-Papanui Ward Ali Jones said it was good homeowners have the option of suing the Commission, but that needed to be treated as a last resort.

"It's an expensive journey to take, it's an incredibly stressful journey to take, but it is one option for people to have that as an option is a positive but as I said it really has to be the absolute last resort."

A flooded house in the Flockton Basin.

A flooded house in the Flockton Basin. Photo: RNZ / Nicola Grigg

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs