No sign yet of promised tribunal
Unresolved earthquake insurance claims in Christchurch could be handled by a process like that set up for a Southern Response group, Earthquake Commission Minister Megan Woods says. On Tuesday, 24 Southern Response claimants agreed to drop a court class action on their claims, including allegations of breach of faith and breach of contract. Instead their individual cases will be heard in a resolution service led by a retired High Court judge. If no agreement is reached, the judge will make a decision, binding on both parties. Woods said the Southern Response agreement was an example of how other difficult claims could be handled. ‘‘We’ve been looking very closely at the success of this, from what appeared to be something of an intractable situation. ‘‘It’s something I’ve long been a fan of, and the Minister of Justice (Andrew Little) has long been a fan of,’’ she said. As part of an election promise package for Canterbury, the Labour Party during last year’s election campaign promised to set up a tribunal to hear unsettled claims from the Canterbury earthquakes. Six months ago after taking office, Woods said that some sort of tribunal might be the best way to solve unresolved earthquake claims. No tribunal has yet been established.