Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A present from the Christchurch Earthquake

This was published in the New Zealand Herald  28 June ,2012entitled Earthquake Levy

We received our latest policy and the costs have gone up from around eight hundred dollars to in excess of three thousand two hundred dollars for the earthquake and war damage levy. This increase is due to the Christchurch earthquake and international reinsurance costs which have also affected other parts of our policy.This decision disadvantages Auckland, because the population is so great and the houses  worth more than many parts of the country, we seem to be recapitalizing  the earthquake and war damage fund.

 Substantial numbers of  residents in this city will also face substantial residential rates increases. There will be an impact on many, especially those on fixed incomes.

 These increases will also impact on churches and community halls, and the businesses on the high streets that contain the heritage and character buildings. These streets are  important for nation building and telling the stories of our cities. With these increased premiums their very existence may well be under threat .The increase will not be one off and may increase year on year.

Heritage neighborhoods are  important for the tourism industry which is our second largest industry for earning foreign exchange. Without interesting  heritage neighbourhoods the tourism income that helps sustain employment in our cities would be severely affected. Had AMI been bought by local interests when it had problems last year,we would have some leverage and negotiating ability with these foreign owned insurance companies, and our position may be better .

 This is a national issue and the government needs to provide assistance for residents and business.