Homeowner Advisory Group

The Homeowner Advisory Group has been formed to ensure GCCRS meets the needs of homeowners. It monitors issues and opportunities, and provides feedback and advice.

Homeowner Advisory Group - members

In the first instance the Homeowner Advisory Group has been formed by members of the EQC Customer Reference Group (CRG). As the Chair of the CRG has indicated his acceptance, GCCRS has decided to appoint him as the interim Chair. This will be reviewed after six months.

Chair – Tom McBrearty

Tom McBrearty has 45-plus years in business as a Manager, Director, Board Chair CEO and Business owner across a number of companies, both nationally and internationally. Tom was a founding member of the Canterbury Community Earthquake Recovery Network (CanCERN) and has been intricately involved in both the wider Christchurch and local earthquake recovery. He was the Economic Development Manager of Enterprise North Canterbury and a member of the Community Forum. In recent years, as well as being a Director of McBrearty Ballantyne working to improve Business Practice and Ethics, Tom has spent time working in both the business community and the city community supporting and advocating for businesses, individuals and families where at times they believed the challenges had become just too hard.

Lucy D’Aeth

Lucy D’Aeth is a Public Health Specialist with Community and Public Health, the public health unit of Canterbury District Health Board. Since 2011, much of her work has focused on community recovery from the earthquakes, including secondment to CERA in 2011/12. As well as being a member of HOAG, Lucy is also Chair of the Wellbeing Advisory Group. She has co-chaired the Greater Christchurch Psychosocial Committee since 2013, and is part of the leadership of the ‘All Right?’ wellbeing promotion campaign. 

Dean Lester

Dean has been an insurance professional since 1986 and has developed extensive insurance acumen built over 3 decades of experience in the New Zealand insurance market. Dean understands the varying needs of insurers, reinsurers and the insured customer. With a keen interest and global understanding of the insurance profession he is able to break down and analyse insurance matters to identify stepping stones in the process of delivery. With particular commitment to all aspects of the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery, Dean is growing his knowledge and interacts actively with all insurers and EQC, covering over 1,000 Cantabrian claim progression. He is a recipient of the 2012 CCC Christchurch Earthquake Award for pro-bono insurance advocacy, and nominated for the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Award.

Phillipa Moore

Phillipa has worked in public, commercial and private organisations including the health and building sectors. Previously the director of a structural steel manufacturing company she has an understanding of some of the drivers behind the building sectors’ approaches to the earthquake repairs. Phillipa has experienced multiple claims herself. The first repairs were handled correctly, so she knows EQC & Insurers have the ability and potential to do well, however subsequent claims have been difficult and full of errors. Phillipa wants to see the standard for all repairs to be full, fair and equally accessible to everyone, regardless of a person’s emotional or financial ability to hire expensive experts to prove a claim, or negotiate/argue with EQC/Insurers. She wants to see an improvement in systems and transparency. Phillipa firmly believes change is needed, if EQC and Insurers are to reduce distress, enable people to put the disaster event behind them as quickly and efficiently as possible, and enable claimants to move on with their lives.

As a Christchurch based claimant Phillipa has helped and supported others with claims and is optimistic the GCCRS will provide help and support to those who have been struggling to get an appropriate insurance response. She also has a special interest in emergency preparedness.

Linda Ngata

Since 1993 Linda has been overseeing the operations of Te Rūnanga o Ngā Maata Waka drawing on her financial, operational and general management skills to successfully lead out initiatives, projects and programmes in the education and training, social services, health, housing, economic development, Maori, community development and building financial capability sectors. She was a founding member of the Earthquake Support Coordination Service and instrumental in setting up the Recovery Assistance Centre based at Ngā Hau E Whā National Marae.

In an ever-changing disaster recovery environment her knowledge, expertise and understanding of the issues, disputes and problems home owners have experienced in progressing their insurance claims has been critical to the on-going development of services that support the wellbeing of vulnerable communities.

John Patterson

John served his apprenticeship as a Carpenter/ Joiner, and following completion of apprenticeship in 1957 he joined the RAF as a Service Policeman. Leaving in 1959, to return to the Industry working on a variety of jobs from Joinery, and through to large and complex Construction sites. This resulted in him becoming Site Manger directing more than 500 workers before embarking on his own specialist business, restoring old buildings and heritage sites.

In 1974, he and his family emigrated to New Zealand to where he led a team of builders under a contact to build houses for the workers of the new Aluminium Smelter. In 1977 John was promoted to Senior Building Supervisor for the State operation, known as the Department of Lands and Survey. Following the breakdown of State based enterprises, he was asked by the then government to manage the State Service Commission Social Impact Unit, an area he excelled in and is still to this day involved post-Earthquake in Christchurch assisting the elderly advising on communications, setting up meetings, and representing people who find dealing with large organisations difficult. John was awarded the Queens Service Medal for services to Senior Citizens in 2003. He has been a member of HOAG since its inception.


David Townshend

With an engineering background in the aeronautical industry spanning 19 years, David has spent the last five years managing multiple insurance claims through the EQC and insurers processes.

Frustrated with some of the initial failures of his insurers to be able to provide adequate settlements or explain their settlement process in rational, simple terms, David proposed a collaborative approach to claims settlement with his insurers. The collaborative approach stemmed from the observation that both the EQC Act and the private insurance policy is an agreement between the parties and the natural starting point for claims settlement. Rather than one party engaging their own experts in isolation of the other party (to sometimes unknown instructions or terms of reference), David proposed that both parties agree the terms of engagement for the independent experts, both parties agree on which experts to use, with one of the parties engaging those experts (the one proposing to perform the reinstatement). This process has allowed his claims to be settled in an efficient manner, with no great chance of litigation or disagreements late in the settlement due to nature of the agreements made along the way.

Whilst David spends much of his spare time providing insurance advice of a general nature to help as many others in the community as he can, some of his spare time running his own business, by far most of his time is taken up caring for a rapidly growing young family with all the multitude of tasks, worries and ups and downs that go with single parenting, or any parenting for that matter. 

David’s hope is the next time disaster strikes, as we all know it will, that we will be much more prepared and capable as a country to cope, to allow the population to recover in a much shorter time frame than has happened in Canterbury. To do this, it is essential we take a proper look at what has happened, understand which parts have worked well, which parts have not worked so well, to ensure that we learn from our mistakes. It is essential that those affected by the disaster and the ensuing response are adequately consulted, in a collaborative manner to achieve this outcome. As a community we have the knowledge on what has gone wrong and what can be done better, we just need the courage to go looking for it.