DON SCOTT/Fairfax NZ
GREEN WITH ENVY: Blair and Barbara Allchurch say they were delighted when their property was zoned green, but they now think red might have been better.
The South New Brighton couple are still waiting for a payout from the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and were told last month the delay was because of the green-blue status of their property.Blair and Barbara Allchurch could be forgiven for being confused about their earthquake compensation.
An email from an EQC claims adviser said new design standards for TC3 properties were to blame.
"All settlement for TC3 properties has been put on hold until the new Building Code is established with foundation design and costs. The Department of Housing and Building are working on this issue now," it said.
Blair Allchurch was surprised to read comments from EQC customer services general manager Bruce Emson in The Press this week saying the opposite – that over-cap payments to green-blue claimants were continuing where possible.
The commission had no reason to delay payment, Allchurch said.
"We're obviously over the cap and the scope of works came to something like $300,000, which is more than the house is worth, so obviously it's a goner."
Conflicting information from the EQC made the wait harder, he said.
"It's frustrating for a lot of people. I'm sure we're not the only ones in this category."
The Allchurches hoped to use the money to ease pressure on mortgage payments.
"It's one less thing to worry about for the next three to five years because nothing's going to happen for at least that long as far as a rebuild's concerned," Allchurch said.
"Other people I spoke to in the area have put their [EQC] money in the bank and it's collecting interest up until such time as they rebuild. You think, 'Why have we been left out?'"
The ordeal had made the couple question their initial delight at having their land zoned green by the Government, he said.
"Going red would have probably depressed us at the time but it certainly would have been better than what's happened since," he said.