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News in brief, July 30, 2023

Payout unknown

Insurers have paid out $1.08 billion of an estimated $3.18b over 107,569 claims arising from the twin climate disasters of the Auckland Anniversary Weekend floods and Cyclone Gabrielle, the Insurance Council of New Zealand [ICNZ] said. However, the council could not provide the Times-Age with the total paid out in Wairarapa. It said the $3.18b bill dwarfed the total for the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, which came to $2.27b.

“While we are pleased that good progress is being made, with 35 per cent of claims already fully settled, we said in February that many of the more complex claims would take many months, and some over a year or more, to complete,” ICNZ chief executive Tim Grafton said.

Machinery Services to be sold

The Brandt Group of Companies is set to acquire the assets of Wairarapa Machinery Services Ltd. The Canada-based group said the acquisition would bring the Deere dealerships in the North Island under “one banner”.

It said business would continue as usual, “featuring the same team that customers have come to know and trust over the past 40 years”.

The agreement is subject to due diligence and “customary closing conditions”, but is expected to close on August 31.

Wind warning upgraded

The change of severe gales hitting Wairarapa tomorrow has been upgraded to “moderate” by Metservice. The upgrade means that there is a 40 per cent chance the severe wind will actually hit, an upgrade from the former 20 per cent chance. The meteorological agency has warned that severe westerly gales could tear through the region from tomorrow to Sunday. It added that the severe gusts are due because a strong, unsettled west-to-southwest flow will bring an “extended period of showers” to many parts of New Zealand, mainly in the north, south, and west. “Several features are embedded within this flow, and there remains uncertainty about the location and timing of these features.”

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