“Heritage New Zealand responds to Timeball Station insurance article” HNZ Media Release

Heritage New Zealand have released a Media Release in response to the Press article-
“Lyttelton’s heritage Timeball Station was under-insured by $3.6m” The Press (Online Article 06.12.2015) (Link to posting on this site.)

The Media Release is as follows:

Heritage New Zealand responds to Timeball Station insurance article


An article in The Press newspaper (7 December http://www.mediaportal.com/0ne721003284), also carried on the Stuff website, regarding Heritage New Zealand’s insurance cover of Timeball Station in Lyttelton is incorrect and misleading.

Prior to the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, and based on expert insurance advice and knowledge at that time, the property was independently valued for insurance purposes at $2 million for replacement. Heritage New Zealand, on the recommendation of its Board that properties be insured to two-thirds of replacement value, insured Timeball Station for $1.4 million.

This is a difference of $600,000.

Unfortunately the newspaper reporter chose not to use this pre-earthquake information sent to him to reach his ‘under-insured’ figure, opting to use post-earthquake estimates of approximately $5 million for full replacement of Timeball Station. This increased total took into account a range of post-earthquake factors including the required stabilisation of the hilltop site, Heritage New Zealand’s decision to deconstruct rather than demolish the property’s existing heritage fabric and escalating construction costs associated with the Canterbury rebuild.

"The earthquakes were such an extraordinary event for Canterbury that the scale and extent of damage sustained was of unparalleled proportions," says Heritage New Zealand National Business Manager Julie Rowan.

"Such extreme natural events were difficult to project and plan for. For the newspaper to suggest that Heritage New Zealand significantly 'under-insured' such a unique heritage place is simply incorrect.

"It is a great shame the information provided wasn’t used as part of a wider article on the escalation of building costs in the post-quake environment and how other organisations like Heritage New Zealand with property portfolios are approaching the gap between insurance payouts and projected building costs for other significant Christchurch buildings."

Heritage New Zealand relies on approximately 20 percent of its revenue from donations, bequests and fundraising to help promote, protect and conserve the 48 properties it cares for. The restoration of the Timeball tower, mechanism and flagpole will cost $3.4 million, of which $2.8 million has already been raised through donations.

"Heritage New Zealand is determined to return the Timeball Station tower and Timeball itself to Lyttelton. The project does allow for further construction of the original station. We are delighted with the support we have had to date from the local and wider community and particularly the significant donations from organisations also keen to see its return."

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