7 Nov 2015

Earthquake advocacy group to shut down

2:41 pm on 7 November 2015

A community group which has played a major role in advocating for people affected by the Canterbury earthquakes is closing.

Damaged buildings are demolished in the red zone area in downtown Christchurch on 21 February 2012.

Damaged buildings are demolished in the red zone area in downtown Christchurch in February 2012. Photo: AFP

Canterbury Communities Earthquake Recovery Network Cancern was established following the September 2010 earthquake.

Cancern spokesperson Leanne Curtis said the group will wind up at the end of this year.

It was set up to represent community groups, but now focused on working with homeowners and insurers to resolve insurance claims, she said.

Cancern has had very generous funding from the Tindall Foundation, the Todd Foundation and the Hugh Green Foundation, Ms Curtis said.

The current work tended to focus on helping homeowners to settle claims, but that also helped insurers and the Earthquake Commission to improve processes.

"It's really less appropriate that the community is paying for this, and it's time that if the insurers and EQC really want to work with the community to try to do this last piece of the recovery really well, its more appropriate that they should fund that."

Cancern currently has a short term contract with insurer Southern Response to provide a mediation service called Breakthrough, and Ms Curtis said they were looking at whether other insurers were also interested in contracting that service.

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