The Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal has started work.
Established by the Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal Act 2019, the Tribunal is based in Christchurch.
It is chaired by former District Court Judge Chris Somerville. As well as his judicial work, Mr Somerville was a member of the Judicial Mediation Panel that provided training in mediation and settlement conferencing for Judges of the District, Family and High Courts. He also chaired the Land Valuation Tribunals for North Canterbury (which includes Christchurch), South Canterbury and Westland.
The Tribunal can only consider claims for physical loss or damage to residential buildings, property and land in the Canterbury earthquakes. It has been established with the objective of resolving Canterbury earthquake insurance disputes in a fair, speedy, flexible and cost-effective way.
Cases can be transferred from the High Court to the Tribunal and homeowners can choose to have a representative to receive communications for them, an advocate who can speak on their behalf, and a support person to accompany them to all Tribunal at conferences and hearings.
The Tribunal's processes and procedures are outlined in Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal Practice Notes.