Quake repairs to be inspected

(file)
(file)

A Government probe has raised a red flag about the quality of some Canterbury earthquake repairs, and a review has been ordered to look into the work carried out on many building foundations.

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) is set to review all unconsented underfloor repairs carried out under its home repair programme over the last few years, and the work could see thousands of buildings checked over the coming weeks.

Leanne Curtis of community advocacy group CanCERN says it will make many homeowners anxious.

"It will be concerning for those people who are not sure whether the work they had done was up to code or not. Some people question whether they were the right repairs in the first place," she says.

"This potentially opens it up for them again, there's more stress, and that would be my biggest concern around the announcement – how we are able to wrap good clear information and support around people so they have clear pathways and they know exactly what to do if they're affected."

However Ms Curtis stresses the scope of the project is "very, very limited".

"It's very small; it's looking at only the structural repairs which were unconsented, so it's not even talking about quality issues across of the board, and there's a lot of noise around people's quality issues. This is a very specific group of people."

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says the review follows a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) inspection of 101 homes, and the preliminary findings indicate none of the repair work poses a health and safety risk to homeowners.

MBIE will look into possible disciplinary action against licenced buildings whose work had "not been up to scratch", he said.

"It is MBIE's intention to contact the 101 homeowners and talk through the detailed individual findings of their reviews once the report has been finalised. We expect them to do this in the coming weeks."

MBIE and EQC will comment further when the final report has been completed.

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