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New Zealand: Christchurch Earthquake

Background of Event

  • The first Major earthquake struck at 4.35am on Saturday the 4th Sept 2010, Epicentre was 37.8km’s from Christchurch CBD and at a very shallow depth of 11.04km. Measured 7.1 Magnitude.
  • This triggered a series of aftershocks which are still occurring over 3 years on. A total 13,700 aftershocks. 61 of these over 5.0 mag and classified as new events.
  • The most destructive of these aftershocks occurred at 12.51pm on the 22nd of February 2011. Epicentre 6.6 km’s from the CBD, Measuring 6.35mag at an extremely shallow depth of only 5.8km’s. Due to the shallow depth and velocity of both lateral and vertical movement this event was scored as X on the mercalli scale and is now known to be one of the most powerful Earthquakes to strike any metropolitan area in recorded History. Sadly 189 lives were lost. The CBD was destroyed and over 140,000 residential properties damaged in less than 1 minute. A total of 477,000 Earthquake claims have now been lodged. Many properties have been repeatedly damaged by aftershocks.

Our Response

The Christchurch office opened in May 2010 as part of our National roll out and was already well into servicing the insurance industry when the first and subsequent earthquakes hit. Following each major event we had teams working 24hrs a day and undertook over 1200 emergency make safe repairs, enabling many home owners to quickly return to their homes. Our locally employed teams allows us to provide immediate response capability.

Pattersons Insurerbuild has met a number of milestone targets to date and successfully completed permanent repairs to 315 homes since June 2011. We continue to increase our construction teams to meet demand and continue to play an integral role with rebuilding the region.

Our services offering covers commercial, civil and residential sectors.

The Future

The cost of the rebuild including domestic, commercial and infrastructure is put at $70 Billion and expected to climb. Inflation alone adds $60mil per week.

There have been several hold ups in getting the rebuild into full swing. The Earthquake commission who fund the first $100k on domestic repairs have slowed the process immensely. This along with other government red-tape, continuing events (not as much an issue now) and the under performance of the PMO’s (Project Management Office) appointed to project manage for the larger insurers.

Pattersons Insurerbuild are fast becoming a leader. Our client base is growing but more importantly our service to existing clients has positioned us to become a major player as the rebuild gains momentum. Although we have mainly worked through the PMO, this is about to change. After several workshops, we are now due for a final sign off with Lumley where we will be both the PMO and the builder. This has been put together very quickly and others are taking note. We have grown quickly and are in many respects leading the way as a volume base builder.

The Process with IAG is also due to have a major overhaul in early 2014. This will mean less involvement with Hawkins and direct reporting to IAG.

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