Friday 27 May 2011
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee today visited the latest of more than 5000 earthquake damaged Canterbury homes to have a replacement primary heat source installed or repaired by Fletcher Construction.
"As at close of play yesterday, Fletchers had installed 4137 heat pumps and repaired or installed 1020 new solid fuel burners," Mr Brownlee said.
"This is a considerable achievement given the size of the challenge and the complexity of many cases, where work must be done in sequence with emergency repairs."
Fletcher Construction took up responsibility for the replacement or repair of heating equipment in March, and has quickly increased the rate of delivery.
"Fletchers said it had a target of 4500 priority installations by mid-May so it's great they have reached and then passed this milestone, with a total of 5,157 priority cases having been completed as at yesterday," Mr Brownlee said.
"A further 2400 heat pumps have been ordered and Fletchers expects to have these all installed by the end of June," Mr Brownlee said.
"The solid fuel burners take much longer to install than a heat pump as there are fewer installers in Canterbury. The current wait time for the installation of solid fuel burners is about 12 weeks.
"I'm told the expected delay in installing solid fuel burners is made clear to homeowners when they choose that form of heating."
The winter heating programme works with homes where the primary heat source has been taken out of action by earthquake damage. Heating is restored through the provision of heat pumps or solid fuel burners.
The programme is prioritised to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people first, so there has been a concerted effort to identify cases involving illness, old age, pregnancy, disability or other relevant factors.
As well as installing replacement heating, Fletcher Construction had completed more than 11,500 emergency repairs as at the end of last week to make homes weathertight, safe and sanitary for occupation until permanent repairs or rebuilds can begin. A further 2926 emergency repair jobs were underway at that point.
Fletcher Construction is one of a number of organisations working with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) on rebuilding greater Christchurch and its surrounds, and supporting the welfare of its residents.