Quake claimant’s hunger strike outside Southern Response offices

Southern Response earthquake claimant Peter Glasson has started a hunger strike outside the government insurers offices in Christchurch. Photo / Supplied NZ Herald

A frustrated earthquake claimant is starting a hunger strike tomorrow outside the Christchurch offices of Government-owned insurer Southern Response.

It’s not a decision that has been taken lightly for Peter Glasson, who has battled Southern Response for the last seven years after his home was badly damaged in the 2010 and 2011 quakes.

He’s taken them to court and has also been spied on.

Now he and his wife Anne say they have been left with no choice.

“We have had enough of the tactics that SR is using to refuse to resolve our claim,” Glasson said.

“We were in court ready to proceed on a hearing of our case on 13 November last year then two days prior to the case starting, Southern Response offered us less than half of what they had offered us previously, simply to intimidate us before the hearing. The intimidation and bullying tactics by Southern Response are never-ending.”

The Glassons have been informed that their court hearing, which has been filed in the courts since May 2016 will be at least a year away, and possibly longer, as a result of what Peter Glasson calls, “outrageous delaying tactics and cunning manipulation of the process” by SR’s lawyers.

“Things like changing experts in order to get the answers they want and manipulating the Court process to slow things down, and those are just two of the tactics they are using,” he said.

“Southern Response is ruining our lives, affecting our health but we will not let them finish us off.”

Now five months later, and after the trial was supposed to have taken place, Southern Response want to visit the Glassons’ house with another 12 people to undertake further investigations.

“Southern Response and its various engineers and experts have already undertaken 16 separate visits of the house,” Glasson said.

“They have now requested a 17th site visit with engineers who have already been to the house six times. This is simply intimidation in a war of financial and psychological attrition.”

The Glassons say they have gone above and beyond to assist the resolution of their claim – they’ve followed all the processes they should have and spent a massive amount of money along the way – necessitating taking out a mortgage on their house.

Glasson says he will no longer be “bullied and intimidated” by Southern Response.

“I will continue this hunger strike, no matter what the personal consequences, until I have achieved resolution of our claim with Southern Response”.

-NZ Herald