EQC report provides recommendations to resolve outstanding earthquake claims

  • 06/06/2018
EQC report provides recommendations to resolve outstanding earthquake claims
Photo credit: Getty

An independent report into the Earthquake Commission (EQC) has uncovered major issues holding back the resolution of earthquake claims in Christchurch.

The aim of the report was to find ways to break through roadblocks in the settling of 3600 unresolved claims.

The report was prepared by New Zealand Customs Acting Chief Executive Christine Stevenson, who was appointed as an Independent Ministerial Advisor of EQC.

It reveals issues with staffing levels, data quality, record keeping and organisational culture and structure.

EQC Minister Megan Woods said the findings confirmed the reasons for seeking external advice.

"It's clear there's a big job to do to get these claims moving faster, but the report contains some very good recommendations in here to improve the way EQC operates, get claims sorted and to help people move on with their lives."

Those recommendations include hiring another settlement team so there are approximately 100 cases per team.

A Claimant Reference Group will be established, comprised of claimants and community representative advocates who will advise EQC on how to improve the treatment of customers.

Any claimants' EQC file will be made available to them on request and better communication with claimants should be introduced, the report said. 

EQC staff will pull out all of the physical claims files relating to the remaining claims, and have the team sort, review, confirm and capture the key data.

And the Government will increase its monitoring of outstanding claims to improve accountability.

No time frame has been set for when the changes will be implemented.

Ms Woods says she's asked the EQC's interim chair Dame Annette King to start implementing the report's recommendations straight away.

A group of CEO's from government agencies will meet "to implement these recommendations as soon as possible," Ms Woods says.