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Preparing expert witness documents to support earthquake affected insurance policy holders in Christchurch, New Zealand
The Canterbury earthquake series resulted in an unprecedented claim for damages from both home owners and commercial property owners. This has led to a high number of court cases and created a specialised industry within the expert witness profession. The quality of these experts is drawn from all levels within the building industry. These range from builders, construction experts such as project and construction managers, ground penetrating radar practitioners, architects, designers and owners to engineers, including civil, structural and geotechnical, to name but a few. This paper outlines what type of information is reviewed and how this information has been typically documented for the court when reviewing an insured policy holder’s entitlement to either repair or rebuild their building. Expert witnesses are required when settling such claims, as both sides will have a different opinion.
The full article is available to institutions that have subscribed to the journal.
Gregory Chawynski has over the past two years been working as an Industry Consultant – Expert Witness to the High Court of New Zealand. He is also currently the CEO of a volume building company located in Christchurch, New Zealand and has over 20 years’ experience in both the New Zealand and Australian building industries. He is a past Secretary and President of the New Zealand Institute of Building (Central Chapter – Wellington), past President of the Manawatu Registered Master Builders Association, and past Board Member of the New Zealand Institute of Building (Southern Chapter – Christchurch). He is currently an Honorary Teaching Fellow within the School of Engineering and Advanced Design and a member of the Construction Programmes Advisory Board at Massey University in Auckland. His qualifications include a PhD, Master of Engineering, Graduate Certificate of Engineering (Performance Based Building Surveying), Bachelor of Technology (Building Surveying) and a Diploma of Managerial Excellence in Engineering & Construction. Professional memberships include Fellow of the Australian Institute of Building; and Member of New Zealand Institute of Building (and Chartered Building Professional), New Zealand Institute of Management Southern (Inc.), Australian Institute of Building Surveyors, Institute of Engineers Australia (Civil College), Australian Institute of Project Management and World Organization of Building Officials.