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Government spending money on lawyers instead of fixing homes

Minister Gerry Brownlee should be insisting that the Government owned insurer Southern Response uses funds to get people’s homes fixed and not go to court, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. 

“The high number of legal challenges to the Government’s handling of the rebuild has seen Southern Response budget $4 million for legal battles, instead of using that money to fix homes.

“The Government owned insurer Southern Response went to court today to answer a class action over how it has handled claims.

“The high number of legal challenges to the Government’s handling of the rebuild has seen Southern Response budget $4 million for legal battles, instead of using that money to fix homes. 

“The Government owned insurer argues that all the  claims should be heard individually rather than as a class action. This is a blatant attempt to deny these individuals access to justice. 

“The simple fact of the matter is that most of the parties to the group action cannot afford to go it alone.

 

“This is the Government  saying to the people of Canterbury that you're on your own. This is not acceptable and not a way any Government should treat its people.

“The fact that they are focussed on ‘lawyering up’ rather than fixing homes is an indictment of the Minister and the mess and delay that have come to characterise the rebuild.

“Gerry Brownlee should not have let it get to this point. He should have insisted that the Government-owned insurer used the money so that people can get their homes fixed and they can get on with their lives,” says Megan Woods.