Christchurch – who’s going to pay? (#NZEQ #CHCH)

Where will all the money come from to rebuild Christchurch? The immediate answer from people is obviously going to be “insurance”. Not a bad answer really, even if we don’t worry about all the people who don’t bother with insurance. The Government, the EQC, and the insurance companies have asked people to delay making their claims until the aftermath has settled a bit, so that there can actually be a proper assessment of the losses, and so that the current focus can be on rescue and retrieval. There is an additional reason that they don’t want to raise with the public yet, WHAT WILL INSURANCE ACTUALLY COVER?

Back when the original Christchurch earthquake happened in September a lot of people had no insurance, and when they suddenly realised it could be a great idea they discovered that some insurance companies were no longer offering cover in the Canterbury region (I will not name any entities here, so I don’t get in trouble!!), while others were offering cover but excluding earthquake loss or damage. This exclusion was for a defined period from the date of cover in some cases (normally 3 months), or for a period (again normally 3 months) from the most recent aftershock of a certain magnitude. On top of this, before cover could be offered, there was a requirement for geotechnical reports, engineers’ reports, and other assessments as the circumstances warranted. These all took time, and that was if you started the following day.

Other people took a few weeks to get onto this, and still others have bought houses since then. Now, working backwards from February 22nd, 3 months prior is November 22nd, a mere 7 weeks post-September earthquake. If you did not have your insurance contract up and running prior to this date (assuming my 3 months is accurate), then you may well NOT be covered by your insurance policy. Complicating this further is the fact that some experts are now starting to say that the Feb 22 earthquake may have just been an aftershock (albeit a big one) of the September earthquake. This in turn complicates insurance (and EQC) payout limits as they are per event, in which case it could be deemed that there is both no 2nd payout, and also that insurances taken after the September event do not cover an already occuring event.

This is what all those in the know are concerned about, the desire for delay in the lodging of claims is valid for the reasons given, but is also due to the very real desire to not give the public unwelcome news at this time. The delay in announcing just what sort of assistance package will be available, and what it will cost, is simply because the government has absolutely no idea. They also know that the insurance industry may legally not be liable for much of the losses this time – oh, and it’s an election year.

This all said, I do not envy the government, the EQC, or the insurance industry; but, I am glad that the Prime Minister we do have is from the finance world and understands these things. In times like these, we need a leader who is not only calm and collected (PM John Key, and Mayor Bob Parker), but who is also able to have the vision to see the numbers involved and where they will need to come from. As New Zealand looks to progress forward from this horrific and painful event, there will be many sacrifices on the part of every member of this nation in order to rebuild.

[UPDATE: NZ Herald reports that insurers are no longer offering new insurance in the Canterbury region.]

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My thoughts are with you Christchurch (#NZEQ #CHCH)

Flight of the Conchords makes the big time

It’s official! Jermaine and Bret have hit the big-time with a guest appearance on the opening episode of the latest season of The Simpsons. They’ve been immortalised as yellow cartoon versions of themselves in the premiere episode of season 22 of the famous show, which screened in the United States a couple of hours ago.

The episode’s called "Elementary School Musical". In it Marge sends Lisa to a performing arts camp where Jermaine and Bret play artsy counsellors. They even reference Wellington’s Botanical Gardens.

brilliant acceptance speech

Well, Paul Henry has had much more than his share of controversy this year for his comments on air, but his acceptance speech for the New Idea People’s Choice Award takes the cake. Sheer brilliance!!

quick update – U2 coming to New Zealand in November

The rumours are true!!! It has been confirmed this morning that U2 will be playing one concert in New Zealand on November 25th at Mount Smart. The U2360 Tour is coming to New Zealand!!

All that big stage goodness and wonder, here again. Money is not an object here, I will be going. Front of crowd, directly in-front of main stage, that’ll be me.

Tickets go on sale September 3rd at all usual outlets.

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quick update – re-discovering dial-up internet

Ah, the good ol’ days when 128kb/s was fast, and 56kb/s was normal. I made a boo-boo last week; not realising that our data plan had been changed, I happily sat around downloading new operating systems, software, and all sorts of stuff to build a new box as a media center. Ignoring the fact that I probably had all the software on HDs somewhere, I pulled it all off the intrawebz again. BIG mistake, BIG!!

The glories of New Zealand are such that we pay ridiculous sums of money for our internetz, and even pay at all for our mobile data. The new plan for my house (as it’s just me here at present) turns out to be fixed price, but once your hit your cap you move to dial-up speeds. WOW!! I had no idea dial-up was so slow! Seriously, if broadband hadn’t come about we wouldn’t have e-commerce. It takes me forever to load my emails, and forget about just normal browsing if you have anything else to do that day. iTunes doesn’t even realise I have internet OK, slight exaggeration), or at least it times out every request it makes.

This is not a bitch and moan session, it’s just that having dial-up only has made me realise:

  1. how much I use the internet
  2. how much everyone else uses the internet
  3. how much our daily lives are dependent upon the internet
  4. how AWESOME an advance broadband is/was

So, for those in New Zealand still demanding all sorts of cost/benefit analysis reports on whether ultra-fast broadband is a good plan for New Zealand, go read Chris Barton’s feature. I tell you what, I agreed with him anyway, but revisiting dial-up gives a whole new perspective to what the internet does for communication, commerce, and pretty much everything.

Long-board ‘idiot’ makes the news

Bit of a tanty going on over here in New Zealand today. The New Zealand Herald reports that some Canadian long-board riders were very naughty…(Long-board ‘idiot’ hurtles down Bombay Hills) because they “overtook a truck-and-trailer unit at up to 100km/h” on a downhill. Now, I’ve watched the video (posted below), and I agree they were going bloody fast, but knowing the stretch of road they were on, and based on the fact that the truck overtakes them a minute later on the same downhill (so the long-boarders haven’t slowed yet) I’m pretty sure the truck would only have been doing about 60km/h at the time.

It all came to light when the original video was posted on the facebook page of one of the boarders.

Anyways, they look pretty skilled and experienced, and they are travelling the world long-boarding, so I’m thinking the media should be more focussed on the important issues; instead of scandalising and hyping this. What are the chances that some inexperienced, newbie long-boarder gives it a go now and wipes out?? Hmm, food for thought.