Council insurance inquiry on back burner

An investigation into the continued use of a valuation company which may have led to Christchurch City Council's assets being woefully underinsured has been put on the back burner.

A report into why the city council continued to use valuers Good Earth Matters despite a damning review by Audit New Zealand in 2008 was ordered in September.

But city council staff told The Star the report had not been completed.

A spokeswoman said: "The new council has other priorities they are focusing on''.

Councillor Yani Johanson, who highlighted the the Audit New Zealand 2008 report, said he was unaware of the development until told by The Star this week.

"It is an important piece of work. Just because there is now a new council it does not mean work from the previous city council is stopped.''

Many of the city's assets have been underinsured, including the Sumner Community Centre, which was only insured for $1.4 million when it was estimated to cost $10.3 million to repair.

The 2008 Audit New Zealand report said Good Earth Matters did a "poor job'' and said they had a numbers of areas of concerns associated with the valuation completed by the company.

It highlighted an example that stormwater and artwork valuations were incomplete and did not include $9.2 million of council's addition since a previous valuation.

The city council's finance committee chairman, Raf Manji, said the city council's investigation into why staff continued to use Good Earth Matters was not urgent.

But he would likely give it more consideration before the city council's insurance policy coming up for annual review July 1.

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