"It's wrong. We're upset."
William Conrad of Kawakawa is talking about his stepdaughter's desperate situation as a Kaiapoi red-zoner who is losing her home and has little chance of replacing it.
"It's the unfairness that led us to try and tell people what's going on down there," Tui's mother Cissie Conrad says.
The Kawakawa couple, insured with the same company, feels let down.
A report in a Christchurch community newspaper features a photograph of John Key having a cup of tea with beaming red-zoner Betty Simmonds in her new EQC-provided house at Pegasus.
"Mr Key shows his interest in this lady's home but is doing nothing for Tui, a solo mother who is still paying a mortgage on a condemned house," Cissie says.
The newspaper covers Tui's dilemma on an inside page.
Tui has a full replacement policy from Lumley Insurance whose assessors initially declared her house a write-off and told her to start looking at land. Then EQC got involved.
Tui says her three-bedroom house was valued at $240,000 by an independent registered valuer in 2008 for bank insurance purposes. Since then she spent $40,000 on a new kitchen and bathroom.
After the quake the insurance company assessed the damage at $203,000 but then EQC gave an estimate of $180,000, claiming her house had been damaged before the quake, she says.
Suddenly the insurance company backed off and told her that accepting the government buy-out offer was her only option, she says.
Tui has owned the property since 1989 and can't understand why the government valuation was so low.
"I have to take $180,000 for my house and land. Out of that, $80,000 will come off for my mortgage. That leaves me with $100,000 to replace my home. I am really disheartened and feel bullied. I paid the top insurance premium, I paid my taxes. Now I'm 50 years old and I'm going to have nothing."
She is also frustrated to learn she will have to pay the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority to remove a log burner from the condemned building.
In a written response, Lumley Insurance says: "There are a number of properties that were subject to early assessments. Based on the Department for Building and Housing guidelines that were applicable at the time, we believed the original assessments to be correct.
"However, a change in the DBH guidelines means some properties are now repairable and are under the EQC cap of $100,000 [plus GST] and therefore not a Lumley claim."
- Bay Chronicle