There is a class action against EQC in relation to Canterbury houses badly assessed/repaired by EQC after the Canterbury Earthquakes.  There may be in excess of 70,000 eligible homeowners.  Owners have to opt in to the proceeding by 22 September 2023.  A copy of the opt in notice is here.  The website for the class action is

In February 2017, a large number of residential properties located around Worsley’s Road in the Port Hills of Christchurch were badly damaged by fire. Some were completely destroyed. About 80 owners claimed their properties would never have been damaged or destroyed had it not been for the actions of the appellant Leisure Investments NZ Limited Partnership (Leisure Investments), the owner and operator of a nearby adventure park.  The High Court entered judgment for the plaintiffs against the Adventure Park for d damages totalling $10,296,041 together with interest and costs . In the judgment 31 March 2023 in Leisure Investments NZ Ltd Partnership v Grace & ors [2023] NZCA 89 the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and confirmed the liability in negligence, under the Forest and Rural Fires Act 1977  and in nuisance.  It confirmed awards for damages based on reinstatement costs, alternativc accommodation and general damages.

Phillippa & Gareth Goodman-Jones in a judgment 13 February 2023 lost their claims against people involved in building work at their house at Charteris Bay, Lyttleton.  In a judgment 23 March 2023 in Goodman-Jones v Hughey & ors [2023] NZHC 604 the Court fixed the costs payable by the plaintiffs at a total of $519,840.02.   An expensive waste of time.

EQC appears to have short paid about 23,000 homeowners for land damage from the Canterbury Earthquakes of 2010/2011.  Rather than pay the cost to repair the land it paid an alleged diminution in value.  This is a difference of about $140,000 for the average homeowner.  Two homeowners have sued EQC and asked the High Court to permit them to represent other similar homeowners.  The Christchurch High Court will hear the representative application on 22 & 23 February 2023.  The claim is funded by a litigation funder.  Here is a website about the claim.  EQC appears to have forecast a liability of about $2.1B for land claims but paid out only about $500M.

In Young v Attorney General [2022] NZCA 391 the Court of Appeal on 23 August 2022 dismissed an appeal by Steven Young against the High Court judgment that the Crown was not liable to him in nuisance/trespass in relation to rocks that fell onto and remained on his Redcliffs property in the earthquake(s) on 22 February 2011.  He claimed about $7M.  The rocks came from Mr Young’s property (72%) and neighbours’ properties (28%).  The Crown acquired the neighbouring properties in red zone offer(s) between 2012 and 2015.  Mr Young rejected any Crown red zone offer(s).  By the time the Crown acquired the neighbouring properties the Young property was already worth very little by reason of the previous rockfalls and zoning of property.  The Court held that the Crown has met any liability to abate the nuisance by offering to pay Mr Young $2M in 2015 plus enabling him to keep insurance proceeds in 3 houses on the site.  The order that Mr Young pay costs and disbursements of $329,093 to the Crown in the High Court was also confirmed.

By a judgment delivered 16 December 2021 by Osborne J in Ross v Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd [2021] NZHC the High Court has granted the representative plaintiffs (Ross) permission to end the group action against Southern Response on terms that the Southern Response package is open to eligible homeowners until at least April 2023; dissatisfied homeowners can sue Southern Response without Southern Response raising a limitation defence for a further 18 months after discontinuance and oversight/reporting by a committee to the Court.  All eligible homeowners are now free to take up the package offer and the $2000 legal fee subsidy or to sue Southern Response.  Southern Response is to pay a confidential sum of money to the litigation funder CFA.

In the Sleight v Beckia Holdings Ltd & ors [2021] NZHC 456 judgment about costs and interest Gendall J ordered IAG to pay interest at 5% pa from June 2015 under s87 of the Judicature Act 1908 on the costs to repair the Sleights’ house at 24 Kinnaird Place, Christchurch.  He ordered interest from the date that IAG was made aware that its original earthquake repairs were defective in June 2015.  He awarded interest on the cost of the repairs as quantified in mid/late 2020.  Homeowners with failed earthquake repairs ought to seek interest from when EQC/Insurer should have know about the problem.  As the Sleights commenced the proceeding pre 1 January 2018 the Interest on Money Claims Act 2016 did not apply.  IAG has appealed this judgment.

The Practice Note Number 2 is more stupidity from the Canterbury Earthquake Tribunal. It purports to be about Covid 19 effects, but goes further than that.
It says that the Tribunal will not decide about compliance with the Building Code. Courts decide this issue all the time. Hearings will not be adjourned if a lawyer cannot attend for Covid travel reasons.  It wants to force parties to have Christchurch lawyers.  The Tribunal can resolve legal and factual issues on the papers. Parties can be ordered to attend settlement conferences by video link conducted by a Tribunal member. After the settlement conference the Tribunal can convene a hearing on paper after which it will issue an indicative ruling. More waste of time and money.

In its first substantive judgment in Houston v Southern Response Earthquake Services CEI-OOXX-2019 the Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal has shown that it will be a waste of time and money for homeowners.  The decision by the chairperson of the tribunal, a former family court judge, CP Somerville, fails to follow an applicable Court of Appeal case about the policy standard of remediation and does not decide any super-structure repair scope or whether the insurer strategy complies with the Building code.  Mr Somerville surprisingly approves a jack/pack repair for a house with a heavy roof and heavy cladding on TC3 land adjacent to a stream with a floor level differential of 72mm as being “as new”.  Mr Somerville refused to get involved in deciding technical engineering issues and building code compliance.  These are the issues in most earthquake disputes.  Hopefully the judgment is successfully appealed.

In Pinot Properties Ltd v Vero Insurance New Zealand Ltd [2019] NZHC 2244 the High Court (Osborne J) dismissed an application to transfer an earthquake court proceeding to the Earthquake Insurance Tribunal as the Court decided that the relevant building at 205 Manchester St was not a residential building, nor residential property, so was not eligible.  The Court reached this conclusion notwithstanding that EQC paid claim(s) and the properties had been used for residential purposes.  Vero insured the property under a commercial property.