Friday, February 23, 2018

Finally, some action on EQC

Yesterday was the seventh anniversary of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake - and a reminder of what a terrible mess National made of the rebuild. On a macro scale, huge parts of Christchurch are still wasteland seven years on, while the infrastructure is still a mess. On a micro scale, EQC massively failed earthquake victims, with bureaucracy, shoddy repairs, and claims dragging on and on. Apparently 2600 EQC claims are still unresolved after seven years - something which should be utterly unacceptable.

National tolerated this incompetence, because it didn't affect their voters and they expect government to be broken anyway. Labour, OTOH, has sent a clear message that they expect this to be sorted out swiftly, effectively sacking the chair of EQC and appointing an independent advisor to help manage it:

The chair of the EQC board has resigned, as the government vows to speed up all remaining Canterbury earthquake claims.

Megan Woods - the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission - announced today that an independent Ministerial advisor will be sent in to EQC to help speed up the remaining claims.

"I've made it clear I am not satisfied with where EQC is at in respect of the Canterbury Earthquake work seven years on from the February 22nd event. For the around 2600 people with unresolved claims, being stuck in limbo is unacceptable. We've got to see faster progress for these people so that they can get their lives back on track.

"Today I have accepted the resignation of Sir Maarten Wevers, chair of the EQC board, and I thank him for his service. Next week I will be appointing an interim chair to oversee the changes I believe need to be made to speed up this process.

Good. And hopefully those claims will be settled ASAP - because seven years is far too long for people to wait for help after a natural disaster.