Pre-earthquake and after earthquake

In case anyone's interested: there is an interesting (short) video up at comparing just-after-earthquake Christchurch cityscape to the one we have now.


  1. Do you know what has been the funding scheme of rebuilding the city? I mean, when thousands of people lost their homes as the result of an earthquake - did they have to build new homes from their own pockets or was there support from government or municipality? And what about isurance - is it possible to insure your property against eartcquake in NZ? Asking just out of curiosity...

    1. *grins widely* :D

      That's exactly the point: it is so complicated, so convoluted, so varied how/why/through whom something gets rebuilt or repaired that that's exactly why it has been such a f*ckup getting it done.

      Residential properties: some people got "bought out" by the government when their land was zoned "red" (ie it won't be used for residential land any more), but the price was based on a valuation done several years before (some people felt cheated out) and it was for land alone, so the houses themselves depended on private insurance people had, and that's a whole plethora of options... Some people were insured for a certain sum, ie $200,000, but with the building prices rocketing that might not have been enough to repair or rebuild any more; some wanted their houses entirely rebuilt but insurances were saying it can be repaired instead (oh my, how many of those houses my husband saw as a carpenter!), but if it takes 2 years to get the house repaired but the insurance only pays for 6 months for you to rent elsewhere whilst you're waiting to be repaired, you end up paying 1) your mortgage for a house you're not living in and 2) rent for a house you are living in but don't own.

      It is such a... plethora of options that has happened. And it wasn't just damage to houses, but also damage to land, and all depending on what insurance someone had, how they were zoned, what damage...

      Same with public and commercial land and buildings. If your structure is insured for 4 million, but it suddenly turns out it takes 9 million to repair it, who covers the difference? Do you just leave it, or do you find 5 million elsewhere, whilst almost everyone's budget is stretched?

      What do you repair first?
      Repair or rebuild?
      Etc etc etc

      And then add to it the public discussion over the future, ie someone wants a park there instead, but someone wants a memorial, someone wants all legal buildings in one spot, but someone thinks it should be a swimming pool land instead. Like, the cathedral in the city centre is still standing fenced off, in ruins, because people are arguing over what to do with it.

      It's... You could write books - MANY books - about the intricacies of what has happened in this city, and then other books about what you can now insure in NZ and how. In short: yes, you can insure, but you will probably have to insure for a certain sum, ie $400,000, rather than "rebuild" because no-one knows how much rebuilding will actually cost.

  2. Wow, sounds like a headache :D Thank you for enlightening!