EQC inquiry 'unnecessary' - Brownlee

Gerry Brownlee (file)
Gerry Brownlee (file)

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee is dismissing calls for an inquiry into the Earthquake Commission (EQC) despite claims of nepotism, bias and rudeness.

The commission is back in the spotlight after a 3D Investigates expose uncovered several complaints against EQC assessor Nikki Kettle, who is related to one of the department's top managers.

Locals have accused the woman of botching assessments, creating unnecessary delays and being rude in general, and she's now the subject of an employment investigation.

Labour MP and acting EQC spokeswoman Megan Woods renewed calls for an inquiry into organisation today.

"Just how bad do things have to get before Gerry Brownlee will say that an inquiry is necessary," she says.

"We have mounting claims of problems, we have them stacking up and the minister cannot continue to sit on the sidelines. He is the responsible minister and he needs to take some leadership on this."

But Mr Brownlee argues a wider inquiry is "unnecessary" as an employment investigation is already underway and there are "numerous robust avenues for review and appeal". He also highlighted how warranties apply to earthquake repair work.

"Regular customer audits undertaken by EQC and other insurers have shown generally high levels of satisfaction, but if property owners are dissatisfied there are existing remedies available to them."

Many residents have appealed for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into EQC and Labour has indicated they would support that move.

Mr Brownlee refused to comment beyond a written statement.

3 News