Christchurch council reaches $635M settlement deal

Christchurch council reaches $635M settlement deal

A settlement of $635 million for damage to Christchurch City council's assets in the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes has been reached.

Christchurch City Council and its insurers, the Local Authority Protection Programme Disaster Fund (LAPP) and Civic Assurance’s principal reinsurers announced the decision today.

The settlement took several months of complex negotiations and is for around 1600 individual above-ground asset claims and business interruption losses.

The agreed amount of $635m is in addition to the $201m paid by LAPP to the council for damage below-ground assets in 2012 and the settlement with EQC of $59.4 million (after excess was deducted).

Council's chief financial officer Peter Gudsell said the council was delighted to have reached a conditional settlement as negotiations had been on-going for some time.

"Achieving agreement means the council will not be reliant upon progress payments from the insurer as and when agreed reinstatement work is undertaken," he said.

"This gives council far greater flexibility and certainty in terms of what and when assets can be repaired or replaced."

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the insurance settlement was great news for the city going into the Christmas break.

"Knowing our full and final insurance settlement gives us certainty as we begin work on our 2016/17 Annual Plan. It is an enormous relief," she said.

Chief executive of Civic Assurance Tim Sole said the Civic believed the council had secured a good settlement.

"It provides the Council with an upfront lump sum payment, avoids the prospect of costly and prolonged litigation, and enables the City, Civic and its reinsurers to move on," he said.  

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