Pro­test­ers press quake claims

Taranaki Daily News - - News - MICHAEL WRIGHT

Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern has faced a horde of pro­test­ers in Christchurch, telling them the quag­mire of out­stand­ing earth­quake in­surance cases is ‘‘just not good enough’’.

Ardern and Greater Christchurch Re­gen­er­a­tion Min­is­ter Me­gan Woods were met by about 100 pro­test­ers out­side the Christchurch Art Gallery on Thurs­day.

Ardern was due to speak in­side but talked to the group first.

The pro­test­ers echoed the longheld re­frain of in­surance crit­ics – de­lay, deny, de­fend – and con­demned re­cov­ery en­ti­ties in­clud­ing Crown-owned claims man­age­ment com­pany South­ern Re­sponse and the slow-mov­ing High Court earth­quake list.

They were ea­ger to hear what the new Labour PM would do dif­fer­ently.

‘‘I know it’ll be frus­trat­ing,’’ Ardern said, ‘‘be­cause you’ve waited seven years and you want us to move as quickly as we can.

‘‘We are work­ing as quickly as we can.

‘‘I think New Zealan­ders would be as­tounded to know how many of you are still hav­ing to bat­tle to get what you be­lieve, and what most peo­ple be­lieve when they’re in­sured, they’re rightly en­ti­tled to.

‘‘Seven years, I ab­so­lutely agree, is just not good enough,’’ Ardern said.

‘‘The fact that there are thou­sands of th­ese cases is just not good enough.’’

Protest or­gan­iser Ali Jones, a for­mer Christchurch city coun­cil­lor, asked Ardern and Woods their ad­vice about claims ‘‘right at that cliff edge’’.

‘‘We’re happy to look at cases,’’ Woods said.

‘‘If there’s any par­tic­u­larly press­ing cases ... we’re happy to get peo­ple to look at those files and see what we can do.’’

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