Public to get voice in EQC inquiry

Christchurch residents are being encouraged to have their say as a public inquiry into EQC progresses.

The independent Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission was established by the Government late last year, to look at what can be learned from the experience of the Canterbury earthquakes and subsequent events.

Inquiry chair Dame Silvia Cartwright will use the information to consider what changes may be needed for when EQC handles future natural disasters.

A critical part of the inquiry is to hear from people who have had experiences with EQC, and any changes to its policies, operations and services they think are needed, she said.

“I’m aware that strong views about EQC have been expressed in public discussion. I want to hear a range of views before formulating any opinions or recommendations. I come to this inquiry with no preconceived ideas.”

Dame Silvia has already met with various parties who hold relevant information, including EQC. A community reference group, made up of Christchurch community leaders and advocates, is providing advice to the inquiry.

“The inquiry’s scope does not include apportioning blame, revisiting legal judgments or addressing individual claims,” Dame Silvia said.

“However I am mindful that peoples’ experiences through these recent natural disasters have had profound and lasting impacts for many. It’s important that they are heard on this.”

Individuals, groups or organisations have until 19 May 2019 to submit their written views. This can be done through the inquiry website eqcinquiry.govt.nz; or by filling out physical submission forms. There will also be other opportunities to share experiences and views, such as public forums, in the coming weeks. The Inquiry’s findings will be reported to the Governor-General by the end of 2019.

For more information about making a submission, or the Inquiry itself, people can visit the website; email info@eqcinquiry.govt.nz; or call the Inquiry team on 0508 INQ EQC (0508 467 372).

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