Finance and expenditure committee rejects royal commission into defective earthquake repairs

Substandard "jack and pack" treatments are among the issues identified in a report into EQC underfloor repair issues.
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Substandard "jack and pack" treatments are among the issues identified in a report into EQC underfloor repair issues.

Parliament's finance and expenditure select committee has rejected a petition seeking a royal commission into defective Earthquake Commission (EQC) repairs.

The petition, signed 3054 times, was presented by Labour candidate for Christchurch Central Duncan Webb.

It was rejected on the basis the majority of the committee "do not think that the scale of the problem warrants an inquiry".

Labour's Christchurch Central candidate Duncan Webb.
Iain McGregor

Labour's Christchurch Central candidate Duncan Webb.

EQC told the committee the number of repairs under the Canterbury home repair programme found to need remediation was "in line with, or better than, rates for new builds in the wider building sector".

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In January 2016, it was revealed EQC had about 5500 second-time repairs to carry out on Canterbury homes because of poor workmanship, failed or incorrect repair strategies, scope omissions and new damage.

It also had about 2300 underfloor repairs to reinspect and potentially fix as a result of a Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) report in 2015.

EQC told the committee it was assessing 2174 properties. Of the assessments completed so far, it found 476 met the building code and 839 required remedial repairs.

It said it intended to settle all remaining Canterbury-related remedial requests by June 1.

The committee report said it would "observe EQC's efforts in this area with interest".

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Webb described EQC's position as "laughable".

He said there were more than 12,000 complaints about the quality of earthquake repairs.

"The Government is ignoring a growing problem – every time this is looked at the issue gets larger," Webb said.

"It's time to recognise that there has been a very serious problem with the EQC repair programme."

 - Stuff

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