Kitchen v AA Insurance Ltd  NZHC 1902 is the second High Court judgment where the High Court has granted an application to transfer a High Court earthquake proceeding over the objection of the defendant insurance company. In this proceeding the Court transferred the claim notwithstanding that there was a 10 day Court trial scheduled for December 2019. It said that it was in the interests of justice to transfer the claim as court fees would be avoided, there would be no duplication of work, the Tribunal was more flexible and any complexity could be dealt with by the Tribunal.
In Dodds v Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd  NZHC 2016 the High Court (Gendall J) ordered Southern Response to pay Dodds $178,894.30 plus interest from 23 December 2013 because Southern Response misrepresented the cost to rebuild the house at 9 Errol Lane, Huntsbury damaged in the earthquake on 22 February 2011. Southern Response provided a Detailed Repair/rebuild Analysis to Dodds that excluded demolition, professional fees and contingency that totalled $895,937.78 whilst at the same having a full costing at $1,186,920.75 that it did not provide to Dodds. Dodds entered into a settlement agreement based on the lesser figure. The High Court decided that SR was guilty of misrepresenting the rebuild cost and engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct. It also said that Southern Response breached good faith obligations. The High Court ordered Southern Response to pay the difference in the 2 costings less the cost of demolition that Southern Response paid and some Arrow costs. It did not award general damages.
On 15 August 2019 the Government announced a policy that allows owners of on-sold over-cap properties in Canterbury to apply for an ex gratia Government payment to have their homes repaired.
If you’ve bought a home in Canterbury and discovered that it is damaged over the EQC cap, you may be eligible for an ex gratia payment to cover the cost of repair.
Under the policy, you will have twelve months (no later than 14 August 2020) to register your interest for the ex gratia payment. After that time, the policy will not be available.
If you qualify you may be able to receive an ex gratia payment equal to the agreed cost of repair.
Here is a link to information with an excellent Q & A section.
This decision is an excellent one for those owners.
In Tower Insurance ltd & anor v Nicon Ltd  NZCA 332 the Court of Appeal dismissed Tower’s appeal of a High Court decision that it was obligated to offer demolition work to Nicon where Nicon had done a demolition assessment. Nicon said that it did 1376 assessments, but was only allocated 186 demolition jobs. It claimed lost income of more than $4M from Tower/Stream. The issue was whether a written heads of agreement between Nicon and Stream/Tower was a legally binding contract. Tower said it was not binding. The High Court and Court of Appeal disagreed. There will now be a trial about the amount of money Tower/Stream must pay Nicon for lost demolition work.
Busby v IAG New Zealand Ltd  NZHC 1852 is the first High Court decision on an application by a homeowner to transfer a High Court proceeding to the Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal. The Busbys said they were worn out by cost and delay of the Court process. IAG said that the proceeding raised issues about land damage that was not within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. Lester AJ decided that it was in the interests of justice to transfer the proceeding.