Time nearly up for thousands of quake-affected Canterbury home owners who want to take legal action

Time is nearly up for thousands of quake affected Canterbury homeowners who may want to take legal action against the country's largest insurer.

A deadline of 30th June 2018 has been set by IAG for its claimants to file any court action, under the Limitations Act.

IAG, which owns State, AMI, NZI and Lumley Insurance companies says it has already extended the deadline beyond the six year statutory limit.

Blair Williams, General Counsel for IAG says this won't affect the processing of claims, and deadline extensions will be considered on a case by case basis.

But the move has been labelled as "unfair" by many.

Anthony Harper’s lawyer Peter Woods, who deals with many earthquake-related issues says there is some legal dispute over whether the limitation period can be implemented in this way, but says it puts homeowners in an "awful predicament".

"If you don’t agree with what IAG is proposing, then what right do you have left? You’re being deprived of your remedy. Your only remedy – which is to go to court. So you could still apply to go to court , but IAG's position will be you’re too late."

Melanie Bourke of advocacy group EQC-Fix says the move is unjustified, and will affect thousands of people. "There'll be lots of people that have purchased homes that won't know that the damage was significant and that property should’ve gone over cap. And so there could be hundreds if not thousands of people in that position."

Woods says those still dealing with EQC issues, who have yet to go over cap are in a difficult position, as they haven't yet been pushed over the threshold and onto their insurer.

"A lot of those people may not even know they need to be suing IAG. A lot of them won't have the resources to do it. It's certainly not their fault that EQC botched the repairs on their house. It doesn’t seem fair to me at all," he said.

A major insurer has set a deadline of next week for homeowners to take court action. Source: 1 NEWS



Temporaray relocation of Auckland City Mission ruffles some neighbours' features

Auckland City Mission is moving temporarily while the original site used since 1980 is being upgraded.

"Spider" has been homeless since the early 1980s.

"It’s virtually my second home really, I’ve been here since the early 80s and I’ve seen it all."

The temporary location is just 700m away on Union Street and will be based there for the next two years while its Hobson Street premises undergoes a makeover.

The revamped facility will have 80 secure apartments and a 30 bed detox centre.

"Spider" says, "It has been a long time coming, very much so, it is about time we had a change."

The temporary location will continue to offer a variety of services and the mission is promising better care.

Auckland City Mission CEO Chris Farrelly says the centre is very intentional.

"We want to give people good space to eat. Kai is not just about filling the belly, it's about a place of engagement," she says.

1 NEWS spoke to some parents and neighbours who have reservations about the mission moving to Union Street, because the crossing that children use to get to and from school sits right outside the mission's front door.

"Sometimes they do you know drugs and smokes, so I’m not really comfortable," person said.

Mr Farrelly says, "First and foremost we’ve listened and we really hear those concerns so we will have more staff at certain time of the day as an example on the streets when there are children on the streets."

The City Mission will host it's final dinner at Hobson Street tonight, before creating a new community in central Auckland tomorrow.

It’s moving temporarily while the original premises get an upgrade. Source: 1 NEWS

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New staff in all schools to help students with learning disabilities, Government promises

After years of teachers and parents pleading for help, more support will be given to students with learning disabilities.

Associate education minister Tracey Martin is promising more support and assessment for kids with extra needs, with a new learning support co-ordinator role to be established within schools.

IHC advocacy director Trish Grant welcomed the move, telling 1 NEWS that: "This is recognition from Government that the system is broken, and they're up for a big change."

However, while the move is being welcomed by those within the industry, doubts over cost loom over any proposed changes.

Ms Martin didn't allay fears in any way, admitting that there was no estimate as to what costs may or may not be involved.

"I need to know what the job description is," she said. "When you know what the job description is, you know what the skill level is and what the pay grade will be."

One mother spoke to 1 NEWS about the difficulties children with learning disabilities face, saying that the proposed changes are long overdue.

"I have a son who is six years old with a diagnosis of ADHD, so what you'd call atypical neurology, and we've had a real struggle trying to access any support for him through the education system.

"We've had a lot of great support through health with a paediatrician and an occupational therapist and support from child and adolescent mental health but basically zero support through education which is really frustrating and quite exhausting as a parent."

Funding will be needed from next year's budget, with any proposed changes likely to be implemented in 2020 at the earliest.

The Government’s promise comes after years of teachers, parents crying out for more help. Source: 1 NEWS

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Chilly weather in store for much of the country with cold front set to hit Sunday

Chilly weather is in store for much of the country as a cold front sweeps over much of New Zealand from late Sunday and into Monday.

MetService says, "this front is forecast to deliver a cold and showery south to southwest flow across New Zealand, with snow lowering to 200 to 300 metres over the South Island, and possibly 500 to 600 metres across the lower North Island."

TVNZ weather presenter Dan Corbett gives the latest update. Source: 1 NEWS

But New Zealanders should expect a fine Saturday with the exception being the northern tip and the east coast of the North Island.

With Auckland getting to 20 degrees and most places in the South Island getting to 15-16 degrees.

MetService says late Tuesday, another front is forecast to approach the far south of New Zealand, and the west to southwest flow ahead of this front should strengthen.



Detector dogs in prisons sniff out nearly one synthetic cannabis sample a week

A small group of specially trained detector dogs are sniffing out synthetic drugs in New Zealand’s prisons. 

Five dogs have been in action since March, searching for ever-changing psychoactive substances smuggled into prisons. 

Since then, the dogs have retrieved 33 samples of synthetic cannabis, nearly one a week. But that's nowhere near as high as other drugs that are found. 

But the Ministry of Corrections said it's front-footing potential prison deaths from synthetics after inmate fatalities overseas.

"It is on our streets, it is affecting our communities, so as a team the dog handlers felt that they wanted to front foot this emerging threat," Manager Specialist Search Jay Mills told 1 NEWS.

"We have a duty of care to our prisoners, our staff and our prisoners ensuring we keep our site safe."

It’s something Minister of Corrections Kelvin Davis supports.

"We know that psychoactive substances are out in the streets, in our communities and we would be naive to think people aren't trying to get them into our prisons," Mr Davis said. 

Corrections is working with the Ministry of Health, and Environmental Science and Research (ESR) to improve the scope of ingredients they can detect. 

"NPS (New Psychoactive Substances) is extremely difficult to keep on top of, in terms of the chemical makeup of the drug," Mr Mills said. 

It’s a tough job for both the dog, and trainers.

"We match it up to what we're searching for currently and if we see any differences or irregularities with ingredients it means we can go back to our training room and load our dogs with that odour. So we are constantly staying ahead of what's out there today," dog trainer Ricky Trevithick said. 

Training for the five dogs will be on-going, with ingredients constantly changing and new batches constantly coming onto the drug market.

1 NEWS reporter Emily Cooper has the exclusive details. Source: 1 NEWS