The Insurance Aftershock

The Insurance Aftershock: The Christchurch Fiasco Post-Earthquake 2010-2016


By (author): Sarah-Alice Miles

In the aftermath of Christchurch’s devastating seismic catastrophe of 2010/2012, the slow and confused recovery phase that followed led Miles to examine the insurance industry, locally and globally. This has revealed a clear pattern of corporate greed at the expense of citizens and has shown that the profit-driven model of private insurance can, and very often does, fail those who have paid-up policies based on ‘good-faith’ responses that are their due. In addition, the failure of government to hold the private insurers to account, leaving the matter of protection of citizens in the hands of ‘the market’, raises huge questions about the responsibilities of government towards its citizens in times of disaster.
This is a gritty analysis and her findings are both surprising and disturbing. This is not a book about idealistic sociological concepts, but a revelation of actual Government administrative failure and financial risk-taking, in concert with corporate malfeasance. It is a book every homeowner, policy-maker, politician, local-government official, Treasury official and economist, should read.

The Author examines international experiences of catastrophe from the viewpoint of government policies and funding strategies. She points to a fundamental conflict of interest between corporatism and the need for rapid recovery in the interests of both the affected public, business interests and the economy. Miles discusses the tensions between National and Local government objectives and the unheard voice of the local population. She makes comment on the limited efficacy of Civil Law and associated means of redress as protection against systematic corporate breach-of-contract and bad-faith, both in New Zealand and overseas. This book provides a gripping description of what it is like to live inside a city in the clasp of Naomi Klein’s disaster capitalism.

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The Insurance Aftershock

The Christchurch Fiasco Post-Earthquakes 2010-2016

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sarah-alice Miles
Sarah-Alice Miles is a multidisciplinary professional with an arts degree in Modern Languages and Linguistics (Mandarin Chinese and Italian). She also holds a Law degree from Otago University, New Zealand. At Otago she was awarded a scholarship to pursue postgraduate studies in comparative private international law at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, The Netherlands. Always interested in the human condition she also holds degrees in Psychology and Psychotherapy (Gestalt) and has worked in this field for the past ten years in Christchurch. She also is qualified with a Bachelor of Commerce in Dispute Resolution (Mediation) and utilizes these skills in mediation set-tings within the clinical environment. She was an active participant in a specialized community ‘Flying Squad’ after the February 2011 earthquakes, a team of professionals specializing in psychological triage for the most seriously traumatically affected citizens.
Prior to her return from the Netherlands to New Zealand in 2004, she worked in the investment banking industry for ING Bank as a lawyer in both London (primary legal adviser in the area of e-commerce) and The Netherlands (with responsibilities for legal enforceability of financing structures, collateral structures, inter-bank loans and syndication). In 2004 she was employed as part of the Senior Management Team for the holding company, Aon B.V. Holdings in Rotterdam, The Netherlands with responsibility for matters relating to the merger and acquisition of foreign interests in Africa and Eastern Europe.
Among her interests, Sarah-Alice is a qualified viticulturist and oenologist (Post Grad) and has been involved in the development and production of special viticulture techniques for growing Pinot Noir in marginal climates. With a keen interest in art, she is also an accomplished and exhibiting artist and attended and obtained a Master of Mosaics qualification from Venice, Italy. A good command of Dutch and Italian, Sarah-Alice has lived in Italy (5 years), Spain (4 years), The Netherlands (8 years), Ghana in West Africa (3 years) and the United Kingdom (2 years) and for the last 12 years in New Zealand.
Sarah-Alice is author of The Insurance Aftershock: the Christchurch Fiasco Post-Earthquake 2010-2016 and a dedicated reporter and social commentator and her post-earthquake Blog – the Christchurch Fiasco has proved popular and pivotal in the exposure of the many anomalies and idiosyncrasies of the post-earthquake recovery situation in Christchurch.
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