City council challenges EQC

Posted 09 Aug 2012 by MediaStuff Popular
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EQC must reveal its repair and rebuild priorities, says the Christchurch City Council.

Councillors have voted unanimously to pursue Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and the commission to get a public explanation of EQC's priorities after hearing claims it is prioritising "easy fixes" to boost its home repair progress numbers.

Cr Tim Carter said that judging by the progress maps on the EQC website, most completed repairs appeared to be in the least quake-affected areas, while most of the claims were in the worst-hit eastern and hill areas.

At this morning's council meeting, councillors joined forces to ask the EQC to front up over its repair and rebuild priorities.

Carter's motion was passed unanimously.

Carter said repairing the least-affected properties first was "wrong".

"I doubt there is a person in Christchurch who's been happy about having their repair work done ahead of the elderly or families with young children, particularly when so many of them are living through their second winter in homes which aren't weathertight," he said.

"You only need to look at the scarcity of repairs done to homes in hill suburbs to see that it's the most seriously damaged homes, rich and poor, which are at the bottom of the EQC pile."

Cr Peter Beck was exasperated by the lack of coordinated effort between EQC, insurance companies, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera), the city council and the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU).

''We want to see action now. It's an absolute disgrace that nearly two years after [the] September 4 [2010 earthquake], the council, Cera, CCDU, EQC and insurers still don't have the kind of collaboration and culture of communicating information we should be offering the people of our city.''

Cr Glenn Livingstone, who represents the Burwood-Pegasus ward, said that when Fletcher EQR repaired his former Bryndwr home "we were told EQC was attending to homes in the west first".

Livingstone, who planned to second Carter's motion, said the lack of progress in technical category 3 (TC3) areas was the worst of all.

"No-one actually knows what the priorities are. When you look at the maps, you can quite clearly see the lack of repairs happening," he said.

Simpson said there was a "whole range of prioritisation techniques" and he would address councillors on these.

There was a timeline for the TC3 drilling programme and a plan to have all repairs over $50,000 finished by the end of next year, he said.

EQC had just announced it would do 100 repairs a month for elderly or people who were ill.

"Hopefully he will have responded by [today]."Carter said this was not enough. He wanted to see details in writing.

Fletcher EQR is managing EQC repairs for homes with $15,000 to $100,000 of structural damage.

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