Approach to Key advances EQC claim

MYLES HUME
Last updated 05:00 14/08/2014
Paulette Barr
Iain McGregor
TEARFUL: Paulette Barr uses newspapers to try and stop cold draughts through her quake-hit home.

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Any doubts Paulette Barr had about confronting Prime Minister John Key over her insurance woes have diminished after some welcome news.

The 61-year-old feels she is nearing a resolution to her 3-year insurance battle for earthquake repairs to her Richmond home after EQC advanced her over-cap claim and will pay out an undisclosed sum she is happy with.

Barr made headlines last Thursday after she approached Key in tears about her insurance wrangle during an opportune moment while shopping at Riccarton Mall.

Barr's "evident distress" prompted EQC to fast-track her claim, and she recently received documents detailing what EQC would pay out for the four flats in the Hills Rd over-60s complex she lives in with housemate Maureen Doherty.

Barr was initially underwhelmed by the figure, which came in under the $100,000 (plus GST) she was expecting for each unit.

But after a representative from Christchurch Central MP Nicky Wagner's office investigated further and visited her last night, she was satisfied there was finally an end in sight.

"We are really happy with the progress we are making now with EQC and our insurance company," Barr said.

"Now we have had it explained to us really clearly it does make sense. I'm just happy it's spring next month."

She said it was still not known when repairs or replacement of her home would happen, but "at least things are moving" after she was worn down from the stress of insurance limbo and endless cold winter nights in her damaged home.

Barr's insurance company NZI will now manage the repair.

Barr believed she would still be battling to get progress on her claim if she did not confront Key.

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- The Press

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