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Christchurch City Council's Under-Insurance

Max Hall made this Official Information request to Office of the Controller and Auditor-General

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From: Max Hall

Dear Office of the Controller and Auditor-General,
Regarding the mass under-insurance of Christchurch council’s buildings caused by poor valuations by private contractors, and its resulting losses funded by rate payers.
please provide:
1 - The number of Christchurch buildings affected by the poor valuations.
2 - List of valuation companies used by the council from 2005 and until 2023.
3 - List of actual cost of replacement of buildings compared to insurance cover, Please include:
- Building name.
- Insurance cover based on valuation (as of Feb 2011).
- Actual replacement cost (as of Feb 2011).
- Corresponding valuation company.
4 - Total cost of replacement of these buildings.
5 - Steps that the OAG taken to investigate and prevent such loses.
In particular, the OIA is concerned about the cost to public because of poor valuations of council's poor insurance cover in the period before and after the earthquake.
Yours faithfully,
Max Hall

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From: enquiry

Tçnâ koe Max


Thank you for your email of 23 April 2023 outlining your concerns in
relation to Christchurch City Council’s insurance and requesting
information on related buildings and other disclosures.


The Auditor-General is responsible for auditing the financial and
performance information of public organisations under the Public Audit Act
2001. Although we also have a role to play in conducting inquiries of
public organisations, this power is limited. We are not a general
complaints agency, and we cannot inquire into issues outside of our


In addition to setting out auditing roles and responsibilities, the Public
Audit Act also protects the confidentiality of the Auditor-General’s
investigative and audit work. This means that we won’t usually disclose
information arising from our statutory functions, such as information from
individual audit files, as all auditors are obliged to keep the
information they gather confidential. This is an important and
long-established way of encouraging entities to give their auditors open
access to internal and sensitive information. You can find more about this
approach on our website. Due to the nature of this role, the Office of the
Auditor-General is not subject to the Official Information Act 1982.    


However, the information you seek can be requested under the Local
Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 from the public
entity itself. As such, you may like to consider directing your request to
Christchurch City Council.


We note that you are also interested in the steps that the Office takes to
investigate and provide assurance regarding the spending of public money.
The purpose of an audit is to increase the confidence that the public can
have in the audited information. We audit the financial statements for the
year, as well as information about performance.


The auditor’s role is to provide an independent opinion on whether
information that the council reports in its financial statements is
reliable. The auditor can provide reasonable assurance, not absolute


The auditor's aim is to look at enough evidence and do enough testing to
be comfortable that the audited information:

•             doesn’t include any mistakes that are large enough (given
how much money is involved) to make a difference to how much you can trust
the financial information (this is called a “material misstatement”); and

•             is presented in a way that is consistent with how it should
be done (known as “generally accepted accounting practice”).


Thank you for writing to us about your concerns. We use information from
the public to support our audit work and our monitoring of the public
sector. It provides useful context for our work and can alert our auditors
to areas of concern.


Nga mihi


Stephanie Macdonald-Rose

Sector Manager – Local Government
Office of the Auditor-General Te Mana Arotake
Improving trust, promoting value
Level 2, 100 Molesworth Street, Thorndon, Wellington 6011 | PO Box 3928
[1]oag.parliament.nz | Follow us on [2]Twitter, [3]Facebook, [4]Linkedin,
and [5]Instagram



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