EQC bosses front for Brownlee shakeup

Last updated 05:00 08/03/2014

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Earthquake Commission bosses are under pressure to report back to the Government with a plan for helping elderly quake victims after being summoned to a Beehive meeting.

EQC boss Ian Simpson and officials flew to Wellington for yesterday's meeting after an embarrassing series of blunders that left Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee red-faced.

He issued a please explain after it emerged that the plight of 85-year-old Dot Boyd was raised by Lianne Dalziel when she was a Labour MP eight months ago.

Boyd has been living out of boxes while waiting for repairs to her Aranui home three years on from the earthquake.

Brownlee had accused Labour of trading on Boyd's misery for organising a "photo-op" recently to highlight her plight rather than taking her case to the EQC.

He also attacked Labour's Christchurch MPs over their work ethic after claiming they had sought help from EQC on just five occasions on behalf of their constituents.

But figures subsequently supplied by EQC showed that understated their contact by hundreds of cases.

A further check with EQC showed that Boyd was not an isolated incident and at least 85 other elderly quake victims were still waiting on repairs.

A spokesman for Brownlee confirmed yesterday that EQC had been asked to report back to the minister how it arrived at those figures "and how they intend to deal with them".

Brownlee has publicly apologised to Labour's MPs for getting the information about their intervention on behalf of constituents so wrong.

He has also expressed anger that EQC did not act sooner in Boyd's case.

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- The Dominion Post

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