Worker might be charged over EQC cars

MARC GREENHILL
Last updated 08:50 28/05/2014
EQC cars
Dean Kozanic/Fairfax NZ

FREE RIDE: EQC cars parked at home base in Addington. A number of the company's vehicles have allegedly been misused.

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An Earthquake Commission (EQC) worker who borrowed staff vehicles for unauthorised personal use was caught out after one was left abandoned on the roadside when it broke down.

The staff member, who no longer works for EQC and is facing possible police charges, reportedly used three vehicles for personal use for several weeks before the breach was discovered last month.

"The misuse happened at a time when EQC was changing lease arrangements for a number of vehicles and getting others warranted," a spokesman said.

"Following inquiries made by EQC, it was found another two vehicles had been used without authorisation by the same staff member."

The spokesman confirmed the staff member was no longer working for the organisation, but could not say whether they were sacked or had resigned.

The matter was in the hands of police, he said.

The vehicles were being used without permission for "several weeks", he said.

"It wasn't [that] someone just borrowed one for the night when they shouldn't have," the spokesman said.

The misuse was uncovered when one of the vehicles was spotted on the roadside, having been left there unreported after a mechanical failure.

"A review is being carried out to ensure procedures around vehicle issue and use are well managed," the spokesman said.

EQC has up to 15 pool cars as well as others assigned to staff and contractors.

Two of the vehicles were "out of circulation" because they were being returned to the leasing company and the third was a pool car, which could be used by staff for transport for business purposes.

"That's why it wasn't picked up as early as it could have [been]. When one [missing vehicle] was noticed, [we] did an investigation and found there were two others being misused, and it went from there," the spokesman said.

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- The Press

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