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Insurers suggest earthquake-damaged Christchurch Stadium can be fixed for less than $50 million
After years of behind-the-scenes negotiations Christchurch City Council’s insurance company has restated its belief that the city’s earthquake-damaged Lancaster Park (the former AMI Stadium) can be repaired – at a cost of less than $50 million.
While the Council has long-declared that the stadium is damaged beyond repair, and is advancing plans for an all new stadium, Civic Assurance Chief Executive Tim Sole has, in recent days, publicly declared that the venue is repairable.
The announcement, which potentially derails plans for the new stadium, have been described by Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel as "really unhelpful".
Lancaster Park was insured for $143 million but Sole stated that three loss adjustment firms had each determined the stadium could be restored for less than $50 million.
As a result, Sole stated “the reinsurers are most unlikely to agree to pay Christchurch City Council almost three times that amount just so the council can demolish the current stadium and build another elsewhere."
Under the Council's Cost Sharing Agreement with the New Zealand Government, the Council is committed to spending $253 million on building a new stadium within the central city.
Dalziel said the Council's own expert engineering advice was that Lancaster Park should be treated as destroyed.
She told Christchurch newspaper The Press that she did not understand the timing of Sole's remarks, stating “it is unhelpful, really unhelpful.
“I don't why he is making public statements but I certainly think that he shouldn't be and I'm sure our lawyers will be talking to Civic's lawyers about the appropriateness."
Mediation on the matter is set down for September although the Council has been pushing for a meeting this month.
Since the earthquakes of 2011, the Council has lodged $912 million worth of insurance claims with Civic. To date it has only been paid out $136.3 million - about 15% of what it believes it is owed by the specialist local government insurer.
In a comment piece written exclusively for The Press, Sole said ratepayers had been encouraged to believe the Council's insurance claims were being frustrated by its insurer but the reality was different. The amount due was determined by the protection wordings but when the money was paid depended on when the assets were repaired or replaced.
Sole said Civic was hopeful mediation would be successful and if a global settlement covering all the Council's insured assets could be reached, the Council could get full payment by the end of the year.
Images: Lancaster Park showing the liquefaction that occurred after the February 2011 earthquake (top) and the venue in use prior to the earthquakes (below).
Click here to read Tim Sole's opinion piece in The Press.
4th November 2014 - CHRISTCHURCH’S TEMPORARY AMI STADIUM SET FOR LONGER LIFE
29th June 2013 - NEW CHRISTCHURCH STADIUM TO COST MORE THAN $500 MILLION
29th October 2012 - CHRISTCHURCH CITY COUNCIL COMMITTED TO NEW CBD STADIUM
19th April 2012 - QEII PARK AND RECREATION CENTRE TO BE DEMOLISHED
11th April 2011 - VBASE’S PLANS TO BRING CHRISTCHURCH VENUES ‘BACK TO LIFE’
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