EQC paid $270m in re-repairs and cash settlements - report

EQC spent $270m on earthquake re-repairs and cash settlements.
EQC spent $270m on earthquake re-repairs and cash settlements. Photo credit: Getty

The Earthquake Commission spent more than a quarter of a billion dollars on re-repairs and cash settlements, it has been revealed.

Radio New Zealand (RNZ) reports that as of April 4, 2017, the total cost of fixing botched repair jobs on earthquake-damaged Christchurch homes was $270 million - almost four times what the Government told the public in 2016.

In June 2016, then-EQC Minister Gerry Brownlee said the overall cost of re-repairs was estimated to be between $60 million and $70 million. At that point, EQC had spent $7 million on re-repairs.

These numbers were off by some $200 million. EQC has spent $170 million on managed re-repair work and a further $100 million on cash settlements for re-repairs, RNZ reports.

Current EQC Minister Megan Woods says she warned the previous Government that they weren't acting fast enough on the issue of botched repairs.

She says the revelations around re-repair costs reinforce the need for the independent inquiry into EQC that the Labour-led Government will be launching.

"Blow outs like this are why I have taken action to send in an Independent Ministerial Advisor reporting directly to me to speed up the settling of EQC claims," she said in a statement.

"That work is due to be reported back to me in just a few weeks."

The Minister says she also met urgently with Treasury on Thursday to request more information around EQC repairs.

Eight-thousand property owners were given cash settlements for remedial work on existing repairs, adding up to $100 million. However, lawyer Peter Woods told RNZ that in some cases, homeowners may have taken the cap payment of $100,000 and got more money from their insurers.

Ms Woods says her Government is focused on getting Christchurch residents out of what she's labelled "EQC limbo".

"Endless delays for people stuck in these situations is why we have recently instituted a 'case management' approach at EQC, where claimants have one person who manages their file instead of having to bounce from person to person."

Newshub has approached Mr Brownlee for comment.


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