Earthquake advocacy service saved
The Residential Advisory Service, which provides help for earthquake claimants to navigate insurance issues, has been saved and will have its funding extended until July 2018, the new Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Megan Woods, has announced.
“Under the previous Government, this service had been due to close in December due to a lack of funding, but I am announcing today that the new Government will be providing a cash injection of $700,000 that will enable people to continue to access the RAS until at least July of 2018.
“This service has been an absolute godsend for people in Canterbury and Kaikoura dealing with complex insurance claims in the aftermath of the earthquakes. It has been especially helpful as we deal with the more complex cases still be revolved seven years after the initial earthquakes.
“Since the advent of the RAS in 2013, it has helped to settle nearly four and a half thousand outstanding insurance claims. This is a programme that has made a real difference in people’s lives and that is support that the Government is very keen to see continue.
“For many people it has been their lifeline during an incredibly difficult period.
“Recently I visited Kaikoura to talk to people there – I heard first-hand how the RAS had been a life saver – there for people when they need it most.
“This was an early priority for the Government that we laid out clearly before the election. We know there is an urgent need for this service and we want to make sure we are giving people who need it access to justice and certainty.
“This is about sending a strong message to people still struggling with their insurance companies seven years on from the earthquakes: we have your back, we’re making support available and we want to help you move on with your lives,” says Megan Woods.