This applies to the upper South Island (Christchurch up) the lower North Island (Masterton down) and the Bay of Plenty.
While it's not a highly unusual thing, this seems to be something completely off the media radar - insurance companies are not issuing new policies. Nor are they currently allowing increases to existing policies. This, naturally has an effect on the ability of many people to buy property as banks will not lend on property for which full insurance cannot be gained. A number of people have also started waking up to the fact they need a lot more than the generic sum insured amount their insurance companies allocated - but they can't get an increase.
If you're in an affected area, in some cases insurance companies will allow a policy transfer to the new owner but it will need to be investigated first, along with whether the existing policy is actually adequate. Obviously, this will relax to a large degree over the next few months, however I attended a morning tea this morning which included someone well placed in a major insurance company. To paraphrase a quote they made "expect your premiums to go up significantly next year. Don't be surprised if they double."
So, just a bit of a heads up really. If you're looking at buying your first property or extending your holdings - factor this in.
This article from a few weeks back talks about this and is currently still valid.