Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

$200m payout for quake damaged Christchurch schools

Photo / File / Geoff Sloan
Photo / File / Geoff Sloan

The Ministry of Education is to receive a $200 million payout from insurer Vero for quake damage to Christchurch schools allowing rebuilding to pick up pace, ministers said this morning.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said the settlement was one of the largest insurance payouts in New Zealand's history.

Late last year Mr Brownlee and Education Minister Hekia Parata announced a ten year $1.137 billion program to rebuild and renew 115 schools in greater Christchurch.

"The National-led Government has big plans for investing in greater Christchurch's education infrastructure, so this is a timely and welcome boost to the rebuild," Mr Brownlee said this morning.

Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye said the Ministry of Education's insurance claim was one of the most complex arising from the Canterbury earthquakes.

"More than 1000 buildings at over 200 schools were involved. The wide-ranging building types and damage, the spread of school sites across Canterbury, and ensuring schools remained open and functional were all part of the challenge," she said.

Mr Brownlee said today's settlement represented the result of several major programmes and complex negotiations with insurers over three years.

Ms Parata said the remediation of 91 schools in the outer Canterbury area was completed in late 2012.

"However, more complex remediation of many buildings has been on hold while the Ministry of Education and Vero assessed damage and negotiated the claim."

"Now with the claim settled and cash in hand, we can get on with repairing or demolishing damaged buildings without the constraint of the insurance claim process.

"Our Government wants to thank all school communities for their patience."

- NZ Herald

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