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Selwyn Times: June 06, 2017

Selwyn Times: June 06,

FREE TUESday JUNE 6 2017 379 7100 Selwyn GET CONNECTED WITH Scorch Broadband Times Proudly locally owned and published by Star Media Award winning publishing group Kea (Nestor Notabilis) 0800 726 724 www.scorch.co.nz Ladbrooks, Tai Tapu, Leeston, Lincoln, Southbridge, Prebbleton, Halswell, Rolleston, Templeton, Burnham, West Melton, Darfield, Arthur’s Pass Earthquake Commission does U-turn over well repair • By Georgia O’Connor-Harding LIFESTYLE BLOCK owner Brent Norton has won a battle with the Earthquake Commission over his liquefacted well. EQC has done a U-turn on Mr Norton’s claim to pay for the damage to the well on his property near Tai Tapu after the Ombudsman’s Office began investigating. The damage was caused in the February 22, 2011, quake. EQC declined Mr Norton’s insurance claim. Mr Norton believes there could be other landowners like him in the same position. The domestic well, the only source of water for this home, became blocked with liquefaction during the quake. Demands on the well were minimal because his new home and property had not yet had established gardens and lawns. But during the summer of 2011/2012 when the gardens and lawns needed watering the well ran dry after about an hour. Mr Norton incorrectly assumed this was because of a limitation to the aquifer. By summer of 2014 the well would run dry if two showers ran simultaneously and it TRIUMPH: Brent Norton will now be paid for earthquake repairs after the Earthquake Commission initially refused to do so. PHOTO: GILBERT WEALLEANS ​ completely failed in 2015. The company which installed the well was called out to repair it. It cost $1127. They said the well should have been operating fully. Damage to the well because of the liquefaction was not included in the EQC scope of works when they assessed Mr Norton’s property after the quake. After the well was repaired Mr Norton sent the invoice to EQC for reimbursement. EQC would not pay on the basis it did not cover the water flow or quality of the water. The decision said: “EQC will cover the well structure if damaged but not the water quality. The well in this case has not suffered any damage”. It said the water quality does not seem to be a direct result but a gradual build-up of silt over a period of time and therefore is not covered by EQC. Mr Norton appealed the decision to the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman informed EQC it was investigating which has now resulted in the U-turn. The Ombudsman was advised by EQC it accepts that the blockage to the bore screen by liquefaction represents earthquake damage and the work required to clean the screen constitutes repair work. Mr Norton said it was a major back-down from EQC after what they had been saying for many years. “They have come up with so much bulls***t all the way through to avoid paying what they should have paid to start with,” he said. Mr Norton said the outcome of the investigation should set a precedence for people experiencing similar insurance issues with EQC. “The thing that bugs me is there is no consequence for them that I had to pay a number of years ago,” Mr Norton said. Look who moved into our new retail precinct. There’s plenty of food, fashion and fun on offer at Faringdon’s very own South Point retail precinct. Stage 20 now available. Sections 401 to 831m 2 from $159,000. Call Bruce Harvey 0800 667 849 or visit www.faringdon.co.nz Visit our info centre, corner Goulds and East Maddisons Roads, Wednesday to Sunday, 12pm - 4pm. You’re home. FRD30195-90x260-v2