The amount of insurance the University of Otago can recover
from the rebuilding of its Christchurch campus could depend
on a court case due to start next week, the university's
director of financial services, Grant McKenzie, says.
This comes as the university continues to repair buildings
damaged in last February's earthquake. Staff moved back into
parts of the university's main building in Christchurch last
month after it underwent ''significant earthquake repairs''.
Mr McKenzie said at a university council meeting last week
the university did not know how much it would recover from
insurance and the amount could depend on a court case
involving the University of Canterbury and the Christchurch
The Christchurch City Council's legal services manager, Chris
Gilbert, said the case Mr McKenzie was referring to came
about as a result of the Insurance Council of NZ seeking a
judicial review of the council's 2010 Earthquake Prone
Building Policy. The council was the respondent to the case
and other parties, including the University of Canterbury,
had applied to join the proceedings.
The case was about the standard to which buildings had to be
repaired, with the Insurance Council arguing in its statement
of claim that the council's policy was ''unlawful and
invalid''. The Insurance Council will also argue that the
council should not be able to require, as a condition for
granting consent, that an existing building be strengthened
to 33% of new building standard.
The case was set down to be heard in the High Court at
Christchurch next Wednesday.
The University of Otago, the University of Canterbury and the
Christchurch City Council all declined to answer how the case
could affect their insurance payouts.
When questioned after last week's council meeting, Otago's
chief operating officer, John Patrick, said: ''The university
is expecting that all money spent on the rebuild ... will be
covered by insurance, after allowing for our deductible''.
So far this financial year, the university had received $2.5
million in insurance proceeds, Mr Patrick said.
Asked about the court case, he said: ''The university is not
party to the court case and so cannot comment.''