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EQC Jobs - Your dream job??? MUST READ! Government Gravy Train is Overloaded

#1 User is offline   redsquare74ucys 

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 05:51 AM

Check out this government gravy train



Couples who work as field staff for the Earthquake Commission (EQC) have been able to claim separate living allowances even if they live together.

Staff from out of town who rent in Christchurch are entitled to a food allowance of $70 per working day and an accommodation allowance of $40 per working day, the commission said yesterday.

Couples who rent are entitled to $480 a week as they work six days a week.

People from out of town with a Christchurch address can be flown home on their fourth week, but are not paid allowances while out of town.

The EQC said it knew of only one couple to which the benefit applied, although The Press understands there are several couples.

- The Press

$70/day for food for two people in a government job?? Seriously?


#2 User is offline   not their victim 

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 09:09 AM

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) is not responding to claims by a former employee it is dishing out highly-paid "jobs for the boys and girls".

Assessor Nikki Kettle, daughter of EQC claims manager Gail Kettle, earns $75 an hour, or $180,000 a year plus allowances of up to $24,000, has landed one of the sought-after assessing jobs next year, which pays a lesser rate of $55 an hour, The Press reported.

EQC also employs 19-year-old Zac Stiven as an assessor, and he is the son of EQC Canterbury events manager Reid Stiven, while Matt Searle, the son of senior manager Barry Searle, is employed as an estimator.

Assessors are chosen for their communication skills not building knowledge and EQC is trimming its 500 assessors and estimators down to a team of 100 next year.

It is not known whether Matt Searle and Zac Stiven have secured any of those positions for next year. The commission has previously said the men won their positions on their merits.

"It looks very much like jobs for the boys and girls," said a former EQC staff member, who is now looking for a job and asked not to be named.

EQC chief executive Ian Simpson told the paper he would not discuss individual circumstances while going through a recruitment process.

EQC has a conflict-of-interest policy that ensured impartiality on recruitment decisions.
The Press also reported a number of contractors employed by the EQC this year as field staff who have "colourful backgrounds", with chequered histories of building projects and failed property developments.

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#3 User is offline   not their victim 

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 09:13 AM

House prices are going to drop by up to 25%

insurance will rise regardless of the drop in house price

acc will re-privatise as many facets of the organisation as it possibly can with the exception of RIS claimants, who it is stuck with

even france and germany, who earn so much money for manufacturing war wongering equipment, is going to take a downgrade...

so any doss up we have with acc is going to be equivalent to the "fight for life"

and this article seems to be very well balanced....

There's more to securing our future than technical and commercial innovation, writes eminent historian Dame Anne Salmond, Distinguished Professor of Maori Studies and Anthropology at Auckland University.

Expand Anthropologist and author Dame Anne Salmond. Photo / Martin SykesThe international rating agencies have done all New Zealanders a favour. The double downgrade of the country's credit rating makes it clear that the policies and philosophies promoted by successive governments are not working.

The "invisible hand" of the market, first conceived in the Enlightenment but coupled at that time with notions of justice, human dignity and "the rights of man", has failed to deliver prosperity and happiness, in New Zealand as elsewhere.

The problem, it seems, is a loss of balance. In the pursuit of profit, everything in the world - the earth itself, other species, knowledge and indeed, other people - has been turned into a "resource" to be exploited, often without care or conscience.

In the process, ideas of justice, truth and the common good have been undermined. Without these bulwarks, democracy falters, capitalism fails to share wealth and the distribution of income shifts dangerously out of kilter.

Since the 1990s, income inequality in New Zealand has soared.

In the midst of successive financial crises, the hand of the market still harvests wealth for the wealthy. While the richest avoid taxation, billions can be found to shore up the corporate sector, but not to deal with child poverty, third-world diseases, high rates of youth incarceration and suicide, and other indicators of suffering and failure.

At the same time, our lakes and the sea are polluted, forests are falling silent and the rivers are turning brown. Land is farmed and forests felled right to the water's edge in the pursuit of profit. In a recent study of 179 countries, New Zealand had the highest ratio of indigenous species in danger of extinction. Oil companies are encouraged to drill in deep waters, inject chemicals and set off explosions in our "shaky isles".

Add to this the dispersal of state assets, owned by all New Zealanders, to private and corporate owners (often overseas) by successive governments, and the question has to be asked: In whose interests is our country being run?

The philosophies that persuaded many Kiwis to betray their own best values are bankrupt, and our future is at risk. A nation that does not care for its children has a death wish. A society that destroys the environment that sustains it will fail.

This, then, is the puzzle. Why do people support policies that are not in their own interests, let alone those of future generations?

Some suggest this is because the middle 40 per cent of income earners aspires to join the top 10 per cent and does not want the bottom 50 per cent to displace them. This may help to explain the rise in consumerism and household debt, but it is only part of the story.

People also have to be persuaded that there is no alternative to the policies that beset them, or that external factors are to blame, or the likely impacts on their lives are misrepresented.

Here, the freedom of the press is vital. If the independence of the media is compromised, the flow of information is in danger and independent voices are silenced. The press becomes a tool in the politics of diversion, with stories about celebrities and scandals displacing reporting on serious issues.

As the News of the World saga suggests, politicians who depend on wealthy individuals and corporations to fund their campaigns and the media to portray them in a good light are already compromised in their ability to stand up for the public good.

Some join in the party and pursue their own interests without compunction. In New Zealand as elsewhere, this leads to a kind of irresponsible hubris in public life and a weakening of democratic checks and balances.

Without vigorous scrutiny, ministers take unfettered powers into their own hands and override the roles of democratically elected bodies (in Auckland and Canterbury, for example). The independence of the judiciary, the civil service and local government is threatened. This leads to poor decision-making, a dearth of fresh ideas and a sense of disaffection.

Even in economic life, when collective values collapse, failure is likely. In New Zealand, recent research indicates that arrogant, greedy and unilateral styles of management result in loss of productivity and profits, as good employees leave for other businesses or countries.

More than a change of government, what is needed is a change of heart.

We must demand of our leaders - and ourselves - that at the very least, the land, the sea and our young people are cared for. Without them, there is no future. I agree with Phillip Mills and Sam Morgan that there should be a redistribution of wealth in New Zealand. Recent studies link high median incomes with prosperity and stability, and wide disparities with economic fragility and failure.

We should expect the press to deliver vigorous, informed debate. Democratic principles must be upheld, and dictatorial styles of leadership resisted. MMP is helpful here, and the cynical abuses of our electoral system in Epsom and elsewhere are a disgrace.

As Sir Paul Callaghan has argued, technical and entrepreneurial innovation is crucial. It is not sufficient, however. In New Zealand, world-leading ways of delivering on justice, care for the environment and for others are also vital.

In fact, many of the best things in this country happen when groups and communities are empowered to pursue their own projects. Passion and commitment are unleashed, and pride and creativity.

Over the past few weeks, we've celebrated inventiveness, fellow feeling, commitment, generosity and the power of a "stadium of four million" in a beautiful land.

When the party is over, why stop?

By Dame Anne Salmond

#4 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 10:36 AM

An interelated topic: Audit of the EQC CEO Ian Simpson Expense account.

Maybe they should audit a few other Senior Managers accounts as well.

We see Gail Kettle appears to have jumped ship from to

Maybe she has a good working relationship with her former colleague, Ian Simpson, at ACC.

It is of serious concern these Assessors don't have Building/Construction Industry backgrounds as we would have assumed that to be of importance.

We don't wish to see another version of Pike River Mine disaster occuring as a result of negligence, do we?

View Postnot their victim, on 07 December 2011 - 09:09 AM, said:

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) is not responding to claims by a former employee it is dishing out highly-paid "jobs for the boys and girls".

Assessor Nikki Kettle, daughter of EQC claims manager Gail Kettle, earns $75 an hour, or $180,000 a year plus allowances of up to $24,000, has landed one of the sought-after assessing jobs next year, which pays a lesser rate of $55 an hour, The Press reported.

EQC also employs 19-year-old Zac Stiven as an assessor, and he is the son of EQC Canterbury events manager Reid Stiven, while Matt Searle, the son of senior manager Barry Searle, is employed as an estimator.

Assessors are chosen for their communication skills not building knowledge and EQC is trimming its 500 assessors and estimators down to a team of 100 next year.

It is not known whether Matt Searle and Zac Stiven have secured any of those positions for next year. The commission has previously said the men won their positions on their merits.

"It looks very much like jobs for the boys and girls," said a former EQC staff member, who is now looking for a job and asked not to be named.

EQC chief executive Ian Simpson told the paper he would not discuss individual circumstances while going through a recruitment process.

EQC has a conflict-of-interest policy that ensured impartiality on recruitment decisions.

The Press also reported a number of contractors employed by the EQC this year as field staff who have "colourful backgrounds", with chequered histories of building projects and failed property developments.

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#5 User is offline   so ovr sensitiveclaimsunit 

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 10:44 AM

We see Gail Kettle appears to have jumped ship from to

Interesting read all right.

Gail Kettle - used to be the Branch Manager of the Sensitive Claims Unit; exact years of her tenure as the BM - in a most dysfunctional period of time at the SCU I might add, are not known. Some one else maybe able to shed some 'light' of the dates when Gail Kettle worked at the SCU.

Gail Kettle also surfaced as either a Board Member of the BOP District Health Board or as an employee/Manager ?? of/at the BOP District Health Board - probably in more recent times I believe. She does not appear to have stayed long though///

Gail Kettle seems to 'pop-up' in all sorts of places with the same bad practices that she has been a significant part of.

Go the claimant networking!!!

#6 User is offline   GingerEy3 

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 08:29 AM

Where in the world do I sign up for this??

#7 User is offline   doppelganger 

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 10:53 AM

heard a rumer that Scotty from MIC was carrying out some of the assessments.

was he on $75.00 per hour or was he getting more.not only are the Ex ACC staff bluging from the goverment but also the contractors as well.

Wonder when all of the occupational and medical assessors will join the crooks.

#8 User is offline   doppelganger 

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:29 PM

Check out Campbell Live tinight.

Its meant to be on there

#9 User is offline   not their victim 

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:35 AM

EQC spends $144m on contractors

NZ NewswireDecember 11, 2011, 10:39 am

The Earthquake Commission faces renewed criticism, this time over its $144 million bill for contractors assessing damaged Christchurch homes.

The EQC contracted 814 assessors, including 95 from Australia, between September 4 last year to September 30 this year, at a total cost of $144,528,907, according to figures obtained by the Sunday Star Times.

The bill averages out to more than $177,500 per assessor, although it includes food, flights and accommodation for workers from out of town.

All staff receive meal allowances - $15 for Christchurch-based workers and $70 for "food and incidentals" for other workers.

Assessors receive a base rate of $75 an hour, and estimators earn $60 an hour, with contractors working 10 hours a day, six days a week for three weeks, with the fourth week unpaid.

EQC Canterbury event manager Reid Stiven defended the cost, saying the long hours and demand for experienced workers had pushed it up.

Prior experience is one of the most valuable qualifications for an assessor, and many had experience from the Gisborne 2007 earthquake, he told the Sunday Star Times.

The EQC plans to cut its assessor numbers to below 170 in 2012, and reduce its staff based outside of Christchurch to cut costs.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee was unfazed by the cost.

"The cost of addressing an event of this magnitude was always going to be high, that's just a reality of the situation."

The EQC came under fire in the past week after a former employee claimed it was dishing out highly-paid jobs to relatives of staff.

Mr Stiven's son Zac, 19, is employed as an assessor, as is Nikki Kettle, the daughter of EQC claims manager Gail Kettle.

Matt Searle, the son of senior manager Barry Searle, is employed as an estimator.

The EQC has ordered an independent review into its recruitment process, "to protect staff from unwarranted criticism".

#10 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 09:43 PM

EQC staff face cocaine-smuggling charges

Last updated 14:04 21/12/2011

LATEST: The Earthquake Commission (EQC) is auditing all work completed by two Christchurch assessors facing cocaine-smuggling charges.

Brendan John Clarke and Cameron John Lockie,
along with three other people, have been charged with cocaine smuggling after attempting to bring in more than $1 million of the class A drug through Auckland International Airport last week.

EQC chief executive Ian Simpson said the organisation would complete an audit of all the commission-related activity Clarke and Lockie had been involved with.

"We want to ensure that there was no opportunity for these individuals to have acted dishonestly or inappropriately while carrying out work for EQC."

He said homeowners could be assured field workers were vetted before they were deployed to assess houses for natural-disaster damage.

"EQC needed to get a large workforce on the ground quickly post the September 2010 Canterbury earthquake and sourced contractors from trade organisations or providers with longstanding involvement with EQC,'' he said.

"Post the February earthquake in Canterbury, all staff and contractors were required to sign a declaration that covered off issues such as criminal convictions, and police checks were introduced for all staff and contractors."

Since September 2010, the EQC had "scaled up" in a short period, with more than 2000 people working in Canterbury, Simpson said. The best staff had been kept for ongoing work.

"The nature of our work means that personal integrity is an important quality in the people we have interacting with our customers in their homes," he said.


Clarke and Lockie, both 34, were this week charged with importing and possessing cocaine for supply, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Lockie, a painter from Wanaka, appeared in the Christchurch District Court yesterday, while Clarke appeared in the Wellington District Court.

Lockie is alleged to have imported the cocaine into Auckland on December 13 and to have had possession of it in Christchurch six days later for the purpose of supply.

He entered no plea to the two charges and was bailed to appear on January 17.

David Negrete Nevarez, 43, from Mexico, and Adrian Kemp, 30, of the North Shore, faced the same charges this week.

The other member of the alleged drugs ring, a 26-year-old daughter of an Auckland businessman, has name suppression.

She will reappear in the Manukau District Court on possession and trafficking charges on February 8.

Customs officials found 3.7 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a suitcase allegedly belonging to Nevarez, who had flown to Auckland from Santiago, Chile, on December 13.


Simple passenger profiling led to the $1.3 million cocaine bust at Auckland International Airport, authorities behind the arrest of an alleged five-person drug syndicate say.

The discovery came as Australian authorities said they had uncovered a cocaine pipeline passing through Tonga that implicates senior politicians.

Most cocaine imported into New Zealand was linked to gangs, but Detective Inspector Bruce Good said last week's 3.7kg haul "was a bit more flimsy than that".

Airport passengers were monitored on December 13 disembarking from a Lan Chile flight from Santiago, Chile, and seen to act in a fashion that drew Customs' attention.

They were searched and cocaine was found in a suitcase.

"It was only slightly sophisticated. It wasn't sitting on top of the bags," Good said.

He said the bust was unusual because of its size.

"We don't normally have significant seizures of cocaine. This is certainly significant in size," he said.

A former drug squad detective, and now chief executive of the Drug Detection Agency, Kirk Hardy, said cocaine importers varied their methods.

"Cocaine is always coming into New Zealand. It tends to fly under the radar because it is an upper-class, white-collar kind of drug," he said.

It seldom showed up in drug testing in the workplace as testing was for safety reasons that mostly involved blue-collar workers.

(hukildaspida says: In our opinion should be ensuring drug testing is done across the board including white collar workers as they are often in positions where they drive vehicles too.)


Earlier cocaine imports had been carried internally by drug mules from South America.

A 37-year-old Colombian woman died in Auckland Hospital this year after an internally concealed package of cocaine burst inside her. She was carrying more than 20 packages of cocaine worth up to $190,000.

Good said police had long viewed the Pacific Islands as part of the cocaine trade, as revealed last week by the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

"We were aware of something along those lines. The Pacific Islands are recognised as staging points."

Last weekend, the Sydney Morning Herald reported an international crime syndicate headed by Colombians allegedly bribed Speaker of the Tongan Parliament Lord Tu'ilakepa as part of a plot to import tonnes of cocaine into Australia.

AFP's Operation Stair uncovered a global trafficking operation that allegedly used yachts to sail cocaine from South America to Tonga.

The drugs were then allegedly smuggled on to container ships and transported to lucrative markets in Australia and China.

The syndicate allegedly bribed Tu'ilakepa to sponsor a Colombian drug boss to travel to Tonga.

Obeil Antonio Zuluaga Gomez wanted to direct an alleged operating hub from Tonga and oversee cocaine shipments.

It is alleged Australians, Tongans, Colombians, Peruvians and West Africans played different roles in the global conspiracy, along with corrupt maritime industry figures.

Assistant commissioner Kevin Zuccato said their operation showed the globalised and technologically savvy threat posed by modern criminal syndicates.

"The fact that you see an organised crime group from Colombia and Peru actively engaged in places like Tonga, and then moving those narcotics to Australia, is just another example of how large and sophisticated these groups are."

Tu'ilakepa was charged with drugs and weapons offences this year, although, until now, his alleged role in the global conspiracy has remained a secret.

He remains a serving MP.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says cocaine is globally worth US$88 billion (NZ$116 billion) a year.

- © Fairfax NZ News

And then there was this ongoing case in the Cook Islands:

Former cop faces Rarotonga drugs charges

A former New Zealand police officer is in custody in a Rarotonga jail on drugs charges after a year-long investigation.

It is alleged the man, who has name suppression in the Cook Islands, was operating as a local drug dealer and selling cannabis from a bar.

He headed high profile police inquiries in New Zealand before moving to the Cook Islands five years ago, TVNZ reported.

New Zealand officers have been in Rarotonga investigating corruption and the distribution of cannabis and other drugs over the past week and 13 people have been arrested.

The judge presiding over the case has said he will be sending the very strong message that drug dealing will not be tolerated.

The man appears in court again on Friday.

Mark Franklin
can't be too unwell as he's listed to perform at Paihia in New Zealand between 6 - 27 January 2012

Do have a Reciprocal agreement to arrest & extradite?


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Where: 35 Degrees South Aquarium Restaurant and Bar, 69 Marsden Rd, Paihia Show map
Restrictions: All Ages
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Admission: Free

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Direct from Rarotonga, Cook Islands
, local classic rock trio Nocturnal Habitz arrive in New Zealand New Years Eve for January 2012 Bay of Islands "Summer Daze" tour.

Mark Franklin (acoustic rhythm guitar/vocals), Albie Marsh (acoustic lead guitar/vocals) and Rio Taripo (percussion/vocals) formed the band in early 2009 and are currently resident at Trader Jacks Bar and Restaurant, Cafe Salsa and Whatever Bar in Rarotonga.

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The trio perform their own interpretation of a wide variety of well known classic hits with a pacific island kiwiana theme of sun, sand, beaches, holidays and fun. There are some interesting surprises in the repertoire. In particular look out for the Pink Floyd renditions.


#11 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 08:50 PM

Quentin Doig ex

Jobs for more "mates"..


Quentin Doig

Contract Field Office Supervisor, Earthquake

Skills offered: Communications; PR; governance; HR;
change management; facilitating workshops/meetings.
Location: Currently working in Christchurch until end
of 2011 then return to Picton

#12 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 04:39 PM

In our opinion, we need to sack the parasites that jumped ship from ACC to EQC, they are just a drain on us taxpayers and need to be made ACCountable for their non performances and failures to provide services we pay them for.
They leave destruction & debts everywhere they seem to go.

Shake-up in spin for EQC

Last updated 05:00 27/05/2012

Christchurch earthquake
Click Here
Historic chapel to be relocated A city's winter of discontent A temporary long-term solution Thousands rally to save Christ Church Cathedral Setting goals seen as crucial to city's future Shake shuts city zone Christ Church Cathedral - readers' comments Court reduces size of proposed retail development Cost of running Parker's team rises in quake era Carlton's steel replacement 'can't replicate look'

An image overhaul could be on the cards for the Earthquake Commission.

It is on the hunt for a new advertising agency to manage its communications between now and 2014, when it hopes to have settled all Canterbury quake claims.

It is prepared to spend $3 million over that period on "public information and customer communications", and possibly more, should there be an "unanticipated event activity".

The commission has come under fire from quake-hit residents frustrated by delays in getting their claims settled, and has until now used a Christchurch-based company for its advertising. But that company's contract has expired and the commission has put the job out to nationwide tender.

"Reinvesting advertising funds back into Canterbury is of interest, but not at the expense of securing the best overall value for money," the documents say.

"As much of the communication work is focused on Canterbury, an understanding of the local scene would be beneficial, but maintaining an objective view of the earthquakes and the commission's broader functions is equally important."

Commission critic and Wider Communities Action Network spokesman the Reverend Mike Coleman said the priorities were wrong. "EQC needs to get it sorted. We need less spin and more focus on people. People are being told they will be waiting years before their homes will be repaired or rebuilt ... and they don't want to hear about hiring advertising agencies to spin yarns.

"We can understand why they want to do more PR, but all we want is for them to be honest, give us our information and to be transparent."

- © Fairfax NZ News

#13 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 02:33 AM

No bias in quake hirings: EQC review
NZ Newswire March 15, 2012, 10:42 am

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) says an independent review has cleared it of any bias or nepotism in hiring assessment staff after the Christchurch earthquake.

Wellington-based HR firm KSH Associates was asked to go over EQC's hiring processes after an ex-employee alleged highly paid "jobs for the boys and girls" were being given to relatives of senior staff members.

They included Nikki Kettle, daughter of EQC claims manager Gail Kettle, earning $180,000 a year plus allowances of up to $24,000, as an EQC assessor and 19-year-old Zac Stiven, son of EQC Canterbury events manager Reid Stiven, as an assessor, while Matt Searle, the son of senior manager Barry Searle, was employed as an estimator.

On Thursday, EQC board chairman Michael Wintringham said the review found hiring processes were appropriate and that it had gone to some lengths to ensure they were fair.

The findings of no bias and nepotism were supported in a peer review by a former State Services Commission deputy commissioner, he said.

"A family relationship should not favour or disfavour an applicant. Selection should be on merit, and that was the basis for appointments in the 2012 recruitment."

EQC is cutting its contractor numbers from about 800, working on a rotating basis since September last year, to 200 for 2012.

"EQC had been required to make rapid adjustments in the face of one of the largest events in insurance history," Mr Wintringham said.

"Naturally, not everyone got their preferred outcome, but it's pleasing that the processes used in these unusual circumstances measure up to external scrutiny, were robust and there was no evidence of bias or nepotism."

Mr Wintringham responded to criticism there were too few successful candidates from Canterbury.
"EQC already had a large pool of experienced assessors and estimators to choose from. Given the dramatic reduction that was to take place in their numbers, there was no justification for seeking external candidates."

EQC staff connected to firms doing rebuild

EQC staff connected to firms doing rebuild
Last updated 05:00 13/06/2012

Christchurch Earthquake 2011

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has threatened to sack staff with private business interests in the Christchurch rebuild in a move to protect its reputation.

The warning, in a May 28 staff memo obtained by The Press, was prompted by the discovery of "a number of staff" with interests in businesses involved in the rebuild.

In one example investigated by The Press, a company owned by assessor Nikki Kettle and estimator Grant Todd quoted for the repair of a St Martins house this year.

Kettle, the daughter of claims manager Gail Kettle, was one of three EQC staff identified last year by The Press - the others were Zac Stiven, the 19-year-old son of EQC Canterbury events manager Reid Stiven, and Matt Searle, the son of senior manager Barry Searle – whose employment prompted allegations of nepotism and conflicts of interest.

Kettle formed a company called Re-Built Project Management in January with Todd.

The Press understands Todd knew the owner of the St Martins house through sporting connections and then helped the owner to opt out of the EQC process.

EQC emailed its staff on May 28 to remind them of their obligations, saying: "Depending on the level of involvement you have this has the potential to compromise EQC's reputation with regard to impartiality and trustworthiness.

"For example if you have a building company providing quotes for earthquake damaged homes either through the customer managed repair programme or through the EQR [earthquake recovery] process, this presents a direct conflict of interest.

"EQC will not allow any staff contractors or employees to engage directly in such business. Should employees engage in this it will be considered a breach of our standards of integrity and conduct and further action will be taken which may include disciplinary or dismissal action."

EQC staff are required to declare interests in other businesses in a disclosure form that was first issued this year.

The commission inspects quake-damaged properties and funds repairs through EQR or the opt-out process.

EQC customer services general manager Bruce Emson said Kettle had herself flagged the issue of a possible conflict after her company had quoted for the work.

She and Todd had been told they could not continue to work for EQC and also run a building company.

One of the pair had decided to leave EQC but not as a result of any disciplinary action. None was taken, Emson said.

"They flagged the issue and we had not made it clear it was not acceptable. The gap was with management. I should have made it much clearer at the time."

Staff had anonymously complained about the alleged conflict of interest, but Kettle had already "put her hand up", he said.

EQC investigation relaunched
Last updated 05:00 23/06/2012

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has reopened a conflict of interest investigation into an assessor who is the daughter of its claims manager Gail Kettle.

The Press last week revealed assessor Nikki Kettle, who is on an annual salary of $114,000, started a building repair company called Re-built Project Management Ltd, with EQC estimator Grant Todd, at the beginning of the year. The company was incorporated on 26 January with Kettle and Todd having an equal shareholding.

On May 28, EQC put out a staff memo warning all staff direct involvement in firms providing quotes for earthquake-damaged homes, either through the customer- managed repair programme or through EQC, was a conflict of interest and warranted dismissal.

The memo appears to have been prompted by an incident at a St Martins property on May 15 when Todd's appearance to provide a quote surprised an EQC estimator who arrived at the same address. The Press understands the estimator then told his supervisor, who prepared a report.

The Press asked a series of follow-up questions last Friday and the commission took five days to offer a four-sentence response.

The Press took issue with the response and yesterday an EQC spokesman said the organisation was "undertaking further investigation into the issues surrounding these two staff".

Last week EQC's Canterbury boss Bruce Emson told The Press Kettle had "put her hand up" about the fact her company was quoting for a job and that prompted a thorough investigation and then the memo to all staff.

He said an anonymous tip-off about Todd appearing at the address occurred after the investigation was already under way.

Management was to blame for not making it clear such conflicts were unacceptable and staff had to choose between working for EQC or their building company, he said.

However, in response to a follow-up question: "When do you say Kettle put her hand up about her conflict?" EQC said, "Nikki Kettle made declarations in December and February about potential work conflicts."

This refers to standard disclosure forms completed by all EQC staff.

If that is correct, Kettle and Todd were allowed to operate their business for up to six months before EQC clarified the conflict of interest rules.

Neither Todd nor Kettle appear to have been privy to EQC records about the St Martins property but EQC has so far refused to answer questions about how many other jobs the company quoted for.

Kettle started with EQC last year as an assessor on a salary of $180,000 and also secured a job with it this year when it cut down its field staff from about 550 to 200.

Her appointment was one of several that opened EQC to accusations of poor management of conflict of interests. It was exonerated in an inquiry by an independent personnel consultant it appointed.

EQC is now understood to have transferred Kettle to a hub job at Kaiapoi.

The commission told The Press Todd was leaving EQC but it has not responded to questions about his present status.

The Press has been told he is talking to his lawyers.

- © Fairfax NZ News

Give girls a go Report by Human Rights Commission

Female Modern Apprentices in New Zealand

Third-year building apprentice Nikki Kettle, 19, had a tough road before
finding an apprenticeship that would give her the training she wanted.
But now she’s working at Estate Builders in Hamilton and learning skills
that could take her anywhere. She’ll even be building herself her own
home soon. During her apprenticeship she’s discovered how to take
charge of her learning and to think for herself. In her experience,
the easy way out was a road to nowhere.

The Palmerston North teenager says
she always knew she wanted to do
something like building. “I’m really into
my sport so I knew I wanted to do something
that wasn’t sitting down all day inside. I like
having to use my brain,” Nikki says.
Nikki grew up with a father and brothers
who were all motor mechanics, and a mother
who raced cars with her father
. “So I’ve always
been around a male environment,” she says.
However, it took three apprenticeships and
three moves before she found a workplace that
would support her learning. Her first year was

spent on big commercial high rise buildings
and apartment blocks in Wellington, which she
says was “boring and cold”.
As the only woman
in a crew of 200, Nikki felt outnumbered.
“But I never really felt like quitting. I don’t
know if that was because everyone said I
would quit and I didn’t want to prove them
right, or just that I had done a year and didn’t
want to throw a year of my life away.”
Moving back to Palmerston North, she started
a new apprenticeship with a crew of seven, still
doing commercial work such as storage sheds.
The smaller crew was an improvement, but
the work was still repetitive. “I spent two solid
weeks last year sealing panels, putting sealant
in between panels. You just learn nothing,
sealing panels, but that’s what had to be done.”
Nikki felt the men didn’t appreciate having a
woman in their workplace, though she was on
good enough terms with some of them to have
the occasional beer after work. “I was put to
work by myself a lot because they couldn’t be
bothered with me. And I don’t know if that was
because I was a woman or because of my own
personality, but I was cast aside a lot.”
But Nikki was not yet ready to give in. “I do
think I have the attributes or whatever it takes
to do it. I think I bring something else to the
building trade. Like, organisation. I seem to be
able to get to places on time.”
She moved to Hamilton and looked for work.
Twelve builders she rang who were looking
for apprentices wouldn’t even talk or meet
with her. But her luck was about to change.
After going back home again feeling “down
as, because I had just been denied by all
these people”, the Building and Construction
Industry Training Organisation (BCITO)

suddenly stepped into the rescue.
One of the BCITO Modern Apprenticeship
was looking out for her. He called
Nikki to say that Mike Pryor, of Estate Builders,
needed someone to start the next day. “So it
just happened and fell into place.” And finally
Nikki feels she’s in the right place to learn her
trade, working in a small team of three where
her boss is on hand to monitor her progress.
Small teams and smaller jobs are the way to
go, she says. “I think doing commercial, you
can go through your apprenticeship and finish
it and not know anything.”
The houses Nikki works on now require more
detailed finishing, she says. “It’s got to be a
lot tidier because it’s going to be seen.” Since
Nikki hasn’t done a lot of housing before,
she has some catching up to do. “Here I’m
not exactly thrown in the deep end, but given
a task to do and allowed to get on with it.
They don’t care if I don’t know how, because
I’ll just ask. I haven’t been made to feel stupid
if I don’t know a lot of what they do.”

It’s been a challenge for Nikki to get the
training she needs. Her previous work on
commercial sites did not require her to learn
how to read plans, because the site foremen
took care of that. “It’s easy to be lazy and not
do it, and let someone else do it for you.”

Nikki says she can keep up with the guys
physically, as long as she’s on top of her game.
But she says there’s a danger that, because
a woman can ask for help more easily than a
man, it’s tempting to be lazy there too. “It’s
easier for me to go ‘Oh someone, can you
please do this for me, pretty please,’ and they’ll
go ‘Oh yeah, OK then,’ and so I could slip
through. But then you don’t learn anything and
you don’t get anywhere.”
The optional units of the Modern
Apprenticeship can be skipped on commercial
sites. Nikki says this means somebody can
finish their apprenticeship and be a competent
builder, but only on a specific type of building.
“I could build a 14-storey building, but I couldn’t
do a soffit in it, a nice tongue-and-groove soffit.”
(A soffit is the underside of an overhanging
structure such as a balcony or eave.)
Nikki loves what she is doing now. It involves a
lot more thought. “You’ve got to put the effort
in to make it look nice.” Now she does more
planning, working out the process and how
things will look.
She likes the social aspect of the job, with all
the interesting characters she gets to meet
every day. And she loves the shared sense
of achievement that goes with building. “Not
all jobs you can see what you’ve achieved
that day. Here we’re about to pour the fl oor
and…it’s been such a struggle to get here.
We’ve worked knee-deep in mud, been soaked
through and shivering, and we’ve been out
on hot days when you just want to find some
shade. You’ve done it all, and at the end of the
day you get to see what you’ve done.”
Nikki says her friends think her job is really
cool. “My friend’s a builder, beat that!” Her
family wasn’t surprised by her career choice
either. It was a good decision for her because
she is not carrying a student loan. “I couldn’t
really just rack up debt and then spend the
next ten years paying it back. I wanted to
be able to do something that didn’t cost me
a million bucks, and actually come out with
a good solid qualification that can take me
anywhere. I can do it anywhere in the world.”

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 09:31 PM

EQC's 'ridiculous' opt-out changes put onus on homeowner

Last updated 05:00 07/07/2012

Christchurch Earthquake 2011
Victim's daughter relives horror Council blamed for repair delays New temporary homes for quake-hit families Fire rips through red zone Insurance battles take toll on residents Anglican Church urged to sell buildings Bar-goers roll with 'new normal' Renters' queue grows as houses snapped up in quake-hit city Quaky cat finally home 3D video provides glimpse of the past

Changes to the Earthquake Commission's opt-out process that may force claimants to pay for repairs up front have been labelled "ridiculous".

The Press reported yesterday that changes to the EQC policy would mean that homeowners with $10,000 to $100,000 of damage would take on more responsibility if they opted out of the commission's repair process.

Contractors would invoice homeowners instead of the EQC, and claimants may have to pay them themselves if they could not be reimbursed by the EQC in time.

Canterbury Community Earthquake Recovery Network spokeswoman Leanne Curtis
said the changes made "absolutely no sense". "I don't think that that's acceptable. It's just ridiculous," she said.

"The reason people opt out is to speed up their own process and be able to manage it themselves. The ongoing involvement of EQC around invoicing is dumb.

"It is another example of EQC and insurers changing the policy as they go along so the residents are always in a state of flux."

Carl Taylor, of Carl Taylor Homes,
said it was unreasonable to expect homeowners to be project managers.

"They're not experienced to do that, and why would they be? The choice has been taken away from them."

He said contractors could be left out of pocket if they had to resolve a dispute over a job with a homeowner.

"We don't have that problem if we're dealing directly with EQC [because the commission inspected all opt-out work done]," he said.

"We would now potentially have to recoup that money for that invoice amount from the homeowner ... "

An EQC spokesman
said it was not a requirement of claimants who opt out to meet the costs themselves. "Customers who opt out don't have to pay up front if they manage their invoices and incoming payments well.

"EQC undertakes to pay on the 20th of the following month, but in reality we often pay earlier than this where invoices are received in a prompt fashion."

Negative reaction, including more than 100 comments on, was unfounded, he said.

"Most of it seems to be based on the incorrect assumption from [the] story that customers are forced to pay for repairs ahead of EQC reimbursement ... "

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 09:37 PM

Video featuring ex staff member, now at EQC Gail Kettle.

Click on the link & read the comments.

EQC challenged to justify rule change

Read more:

Fri, 06 Jul 2012 7:00p.m.

The rules have just been changed for the owners of damaged homes in Christchurch

You live in Christchurch in a broken home. There are cracks in the walls and in the ceiling.

Some windows don't open. Some doors don't close.

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) says your house will be repaired, but can't tell you when.

The weeks turn into months, the months into years, so you decide to organise your own builder to get the job done.

It's called "opting out" and EQC has been happy for you to use it as a way of getting your home fixed.

But this week the rules changed. Now if you opt out, you'll have to pay for the repairs up front. Then wait - who knows how long - to be reimbursed by EQC.

Campbell Live asks them why they've made this change, and Tristram Clayton looks at how it affects those living in broken homes.

Watch the video.
Related Articles

200 EQC claims after Taranaki quake

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Read more:

Peter wrote:

The female executive from EQC on Campbell Live stated that invoices with EQC were paid within a month Lies! We are still waiting for reimbursement of $2206.08 submitted to EQC on 9 February 2012. Phone calls to EQC always result in “It is being processed” Nothing happens. This outfit are riddled by obfuscation and lies!

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 09:43 PM

An interelated topic - note ACC were involved in this project.

Project to Focus on Quakes in Wellington Region
Monday, 11 December 2006, 4:30 pm
Press Release: GNS Science

11 December 2006

Project to Focus on Quakes in the Wellington Region

A major research project is underway to improve the understanding of the vulnerability of the Wellington region to large earthquakes.

The aim of the seven-year, $3.5 million project is to better define Wellington’s earthquake risk using the latest geological techniques and sophisticated computer modelling. It was launched today by the Mayor of Wellington, Kerry Prendergast, at a function at Te Papa.

The information provided by the project, called ‘It’s Our Fault’, will help Wellington become better prepared for and safer from earthquakes.

It will do this by enabling better decision making to protect assets and reduce potential casualties.

Government-owned research and consultancy company GNS Science will lead the project, which will involve collaboration with a number of public and private sector organisations. Financial support is coming from the Earthquake Commission, the Accident Compensation Corporation, Wellington City Council, and Greater Wellington.

The Wellington region has four major active faults and a number of second-order faults, including some in Cook Strait, all of which are capable of producing a damaging earthquake.

The project will improve knowledge of the individual faults, and also the way they interact with each other. A large earthquake on one fault may advance or retard earthquakes on neighbouring faults. But the extent of this effect is not well understood at present.

There are four main strands to the research – the likelihood and frequency of large earthquakes, the expected size, the physical effects, and the social and economic impacts. There are knowledge gaps in all these areas.

Mayor Prendergast said the project was a step forward in understanding better the risk to Wellington and Wellingtonians from earthquakes.

“It’s not a matter of if, but when, and the more we know about earthquakes and the impact a major earthquake would have on our city, the better prepared Wellington can be,’’ she said.

GNS Science Chief Executive, Alex Malahoff, said the name of the project was an acknowledgement that earthquakes were a community issue and not the preserve of scientists and civil defence organisations.

“ It will provide an unprecedented amount of information on the earthquake risk in the Wellington region, which is particularly vulnerable because of its geography and its location on a major faultline,” Dr Malahoff said.

“ The project is designed so that the information can be taken up readily and used in civil engineering, infrastructure planning, emergency management, and the insurance industry.”

The Earthquake Commission’s General Manager David Middleton said the research was needed because not enough was known about the risk of earthquake occurrence in the Wellington region.

“It is important that conventional wisdom is not allowed to crowd out scientific advances. The better our understanding of the hazards we face, the better equipped we can become to deal with them,” Mr Middleton said.

“As a scientific project, the collaboration GNS Science has achieved among disciplines and different organisations is an exciting aspect that promises much for the future of geological research in New Zealand.”

Richard Geisler, Manager, Stakeholder & Customer Relationships of ACC said it was hoped the project would help in understanding the number and types of injuries that a major earthquake in Wellington would cause.

“ That will help us and the health services be prepared. This research might also help inform decisions about what forms of injury prevention work are most appropriate.”



- To meet expectations, the It’s Our Fault project will require collaboration across a number of disciplines including earth science, engineering, planning, and social science. Organisations involved in the project include GNS Science, NIWA, Victoria University, University of Auckland, Massey University, University of Canterbury, and private sector consultants.

- Greater Wellington has contributed $22,500 to a study of the Ohariu Fault. Greater Wellington has not provided funding for the seven-year duration of the project, but will consider supporting projects on a case by case basis.

© Scoop Media


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Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:22 AM

Another nameless spokesperson.

Interesting in regards to section 36 of the Commerce Act, similar to the behaviour that think they can get away with.
Is it a trait of those whom have previously been employed at been carried over to & assuming they will never be made ACCountable?

EQC policy may break law - expert

Last updated 05:00 11/07/2012

Clive Barrington

NO GAIN: Canterbury Registered Master Builders Association president Clive Barrington says opting out of Fletchers' scheme now makes little sense.
Christchurch Earthquake 2011
Thousands flock to museum Anglican Church will review new report Call for council backing on quake-insurance tribunal Edmonds clock tower to be repaired Live video from hearings Prior damage not bad, CTV inquiry told Westpac building demo continues Quake strengthening saved millions Fears over CTV may have been 'nerves' Cheap sections offered to red-zoners

The Earthquake Commission's (EQC) new opt-out policy could breach commerce rules, a senior law lecturer says.

The Commerce Commission is considering a complaint by Russell Poole, a co-owner of the Fix It building repair franchise, that alleges EQC's new opt-out rules are anti-competitive.

Poole is worried that EQC's decision to put more financial responsibility on to homeowners who opt out of the commission's repair process will lead to less work being available for builders who have not signed on to the Canterbury home repair programme run by Fletcher Construction.

Debra Wilson, a senior law lecturer at the University of Canterbury, said Poole's complaint had a chance of being upheld by the Commerce Commission, but it would be a difficult case to argue.

She said it was likely that Poole was complaining under section 36 of the Commerce Act, which stated that a person with a substantial degree of power in a market must not take advantage of that power for the purpose of restricting entry of another person into that market.

He could argue that the EQC had substantial power in the quake repair market and that its decision to place more financial risk on those opting out of its mandated repair process effectively meant that other building companies were being prevented from competing for repair work.

Wilson said that Poole would have to convince the Commerce Commission the purpose of EQC's new policy was to prevent the building companies from competing.

"Showing it has the effect is not enough," she said.

If the EQC could convince the Commerce Commission that the purpose of its policy change was to streamline repairs, as it was asserting, then Poole's complaint could fail.

Canterbury Registered Master Builders Association president Clive Barrington
said there was now little sense in people opting out of the Fletcher-run repair programme.

"If the [repair] work is under $100,000 they are best to stay with Fletchers," he said.

They could still choose their own builders, provided they were accredited with the programme, but would not face any of the hassles that could be associated with project management. Nor would they face any financial risk.

The EQC is confident that no-one will be left out of pocket as a result of the change to its opt-out policy, which will result in contractors invoicing homeowners rather than the commission.

An EQC spokesman said yesterday that homeowners who opted out would need to reach agreement with the commission over the scope and cost of the work to be done before engaging a builder so both parties knew exactly where they stood before work started.

Once the repairs were satisfactorily completed and all the relevant invoices had been provided to the EQC, the homeowner could expect to be paid by the 20th of the following month, the spokesman said.

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 12:16 AM

Click on the link to read the Comments on this story, which are now closed..

Brownlee loses patience with insurance companies
Last updated 16:04 26/07/2012

gerry brownlee std
Don Scott
FRUSTRATED: Gerry Brownlee has ''lost his patience'' with insurance companies.


Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has ''lost his patience'' with insurance companies, pointing his finger at the private sector for holding up quake-damage settlements.

The Earthquake Commission (EQC)
today released geotechnical reports for land damage from the major quakes, and last week handed another 2000 claims to insurers.

The moves meant insurance companies had no excuses for settlement delays, Brownlee said.

''It should remove some of the various excuses that have been put forward for little action occurring in some cases,'' he said.

''I think it's time for us to stop talking about the problems, recognise the Government has stepped up ... EQC has stepped up ... and [the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority] has stepped up.

''Now the private sector needs to do the sort of things that the private sector claims it can do so particularly well.''

Talk of five to eight-year time frames for settlement or repairs was unacceptable, he said, as was blaming the EQC-led drilling programme for delays.

''I've been hearing lot from people saying 'My insurer has told me nothing can happen to my property until the EQC drilling programme is complete'. That's rubbish,'' he said.

''I've lost my patience for understanding their difficulty. Things are taking too long and I don't believe that EQC is the problem.''

The commission is due to complete the first stage of its site-specific geotech drilling programme this month.

It is working on a collaborative programme with insurance companies but has yet to strike a deal.

EQC chief executive Ian Simpson said the commission expected to settle all claims, including apportionment-related ones, within nine months.

The EQC was working with insurers on a ''broader-modelled approach'' to apportionment claims, Simpson said, but it was proving ''really technically difficult''.

"In the meantime, we're pushing ahead with our manual approach," he said.

Apportionment occurs when a homeowner makes multiple claims to the EQC for quake damage across different quakes, each of which they are entitled to up the commission cap of $100,000.

Damage must be allocated to each claim before it can be determined whether extra, private insurance cover is needed.

Comments on this story are now closed.

- © Fairfax NZ News

Rob Woolley #72 08:31 pm Jul 26 2012

It's a bit on the nose when Brownlee blames the insurance companies for go slow tactics when his beloved EQC is the slowest insurer to pay out of them all. HYPOCRITE!!!

Robyn #71 07:57 pm Jul 26 2012

Mr Brownlee Im not sure what planet your living on, but its not planet Christchurch. Clean up your own backyard being EQC,that faceless unhealthy untouchable little group you run.

Theyre a Government department doing a bad job. EQC says another 9 month before they have things settled for all, and you want things to go faster. What a joke. EQC the obvious place to start pruning the tree.

Dean #56 05:51 pm Jul 26 2012

As EQC has not yet assessed my home after the December 11 quake (the one which did most of the damage) I suggest Brownlee also gives EQC a rocket...

SRR #52 05:37 pm Jul 26 2012

Is Mr Brownlee a slow learner or what? Pretty much everone else in NZ has known for years that the insurance industry needs a good swift kick in the backside. Always super fast to take your money, rediculously slow to pay claims, and contracts that are deliberately designed to make sure that every possible excuse to never pay out is available to them. As I see it the only difference between an insurance company and a common fraudster is the latter gets jail time for their crimes.

Maria #47 05:19 pm Jul 26 2012

Whereas I applaud Mr Brownlee now finally giving the insurance companies a rocket, EQC also needs serious attention. It is quite unbelievable that Mr Brownlee can be so supportive of EQC while having a go at the insurance companies. EQC (as recently as this Monday) sent a letter to a family member, that contained incorrect and misleading information, which basically further delays the prcessing of the claim even more. She is still waiting for repairs and keeps getting wrong information from EQC. It's actually really worrying that the minister has publicly said he thinks "EQC has stepped up" and that they aren't the problem and suggest he doesn't know what is really going on.

what a laugh #37 04:53 pm Jul 26 2012

Its great Gerry is finally pushing the private insurance companies along but to say EQC has stepped up and is not the problem, does he not listen to anybody. Apart from the selected few in our area, most people I know are still struggling with EQC and their claims are very slowly moving from one department to the next. Just when you think you have finally got somewhere and the private insurance company has finished working out their figures EQC say they are completely different to theirs and back to square one. Will be waiting at least 5-6 months more. The stupid thing is my insurance company have been to my house twice to make sure, EQC once and even told by them unrepairable but their settlement department (paper pushers who have never seen the place) have other ideas.

Peter #33 04:50 pm Jul 26 2012

@Marty #21 Liquifaction under your house falls under energency repairs!

It being a health hazard and all, get on the phone to EQC and fletchers - they should sort it asap

I had the same problem and it wasn't till I startded asking questions did anything get done. In case you have not noticed patience and courtesey don't work with EQC and in your case you should get that sorted, mud under your house is horrible and really quite bad for you.

LJ #26 04:39 pm Jul 26 2012

The blame game has to stop. The Insurance companies for years have taken the insurance payments from people, many of whom have struggled to keep payments up, just in case something bad happened, and now the Insurance Companies appear to be dodging their obligations and taken to blaming the "faceless EQC". Many New Zealanders have had a guts full of businesses - stock market crash in 87 as CEO's talked up share prices, the collapse of finance companies due to poor decision making, bad judgements and often illegal activities like inter part loans which were not transparent and now some large Insurance Companies appearing to dodge their obligations. I must admit the lack of information from the EQC Call Centre is a joke. Why have a call centre full of people who are kept in the dark-I rung and was told they never get briefings from the so called assessors and where they are at. I asked the simple question as to why then was there a Call Centre? The call taker couldn't answer. Lets not have politicians talking and not doing anything. People want some action. We have had too much talk.

LTP #18 04:27 pm Jul 26 2012

Gerry is wrong!! The problem lies with EQC and they are the most useless bunch of w****rs i've ever had the misfortune of dealing with. The last I heard from EQC was for them to now say that our foundation was not damaged in the first quake when the foundation was perfectly fine before the first quake. It's just EQC putting us in the "Too hard" basket and hoping we will go away.

Ben #16 04:25 pm Jul 26 2012

The cause of the problem is the $100,000 EQC cap. If EQC cannot make up its mind on the cost of repairs there is not much the insurer can do. This whole process would have ben a lot simpler had the EQC not existed. Like all seemingly good ideas - ACC, EQC, they become a bureaucratic mess when decisive action needs to be taken. Like ACC, EQC is constrained by legislation over what it can and cannot do. Unlike the private sector it is incapable of cutting trough red tape and taking action.

chris #3 03:40 pm Jul 26 2012

Legislate and make insurers liable for massive fines. Make the CEO's face prison for undue delay. I bet the claims will be settled without any hold ups once some severe penalties are imposed for non performance!

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 12:16 AM

Christchurch residents protest against EQC, IAG
Last updated 18:33 08/08/2012

August 8 protest
David Hallett

DISGRUNTLED: Labour MP Lianne Dalziel speaks during an EQC and IAG protest today.
Christchurch earthquake
Rebuild firm hiring from dole queue Quake victim honoured Brownlee rules out sharing any gain CBD meeting draws good questions but few people Wrangle over cracked concrete Reay apologises to bereaved families Cantabs go online for quake info Zone Life: Saving our trees TC3 residents protest against EQC, IAG Beneficiaries hired for rebuild

Disgruntled technical category 3 residents braved the rain and wind to picket the Christchurch offices of the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and insurer IAG this afternoon.

Chanting "EQC, IAG, time to help us TC3" and "fix the worst first", about 100 people rallied to vent their anger and frustration at the delays in getting their homes repaired and to call for more communication about their land.

Wider Earthquake Communities Action Network (WeCan) spokesman Mike Coleman said the weather was "a bit like living in your homes - wet, damp, cold, unhealthy".

Resident Carmel Jaggar
said people were caught between insurers and the EQC, which were "not on the same page".

"We are left in no-man's land ... paying bills for a mess we have not caused," she said.

"We have lost patience."

Protesters were met at the EQC offices by commission chief executive Ian Simpson and customer services manager Bruce Emsom.

Labour earthquake spokeswoman Lianne Dalziel
told the me: "You guys score zero on communication."

Holding up a Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority pamphlet on the TC3 rebuild, she said the answers given to date were "nonsense".

"Listen to the people, provide answers and get on with the job," she said.

Simpson said TC3 land was a priority, but he accepted the commission "needed to do better" with its communication.

"We will talk with the leaders of this group and see how we can do better."

He told promised land reports would be released "from now".

At IAG, the front doors were locked but four representatives addressed the protesters, who yelled angrily,
"We're your customers".

Coleman said IAG and State Insurance had been "absolutely appalling".

Richmond resident Maria Thackwell said residents had trusted their insurers.

"We insured just in case,'' she said. ''Now they sit in their warm buildings. Cantabs feel we will be eaten as the next corporate meal."

IAG New Zealand chief executive Jacki Johnson told the crowd that "we do care deeply despite how it may appear".

"We really do want to help you and hear what the issues are," she said.

"Today is about us listening and hearing specifically your individual issue if you have that with one of our brands."

Johnson urged those gathered to fill in forms provided so IAG could follow up with them.

The protesters plan another rally outside the EQC offices on September 4, the second anniversary of the first Canterbury quake.

Christchurch residents take insurance battle to the streets

Wed, 08 Aug 2012 7:00p.m.

The demonstration went ahead despite the rain

Some of the Christchurch people still living with insurance and EQC issues two years after the September 4 earthquake took to the streets today.

They marched and picketed in protest at EQC and insurance company IAG.

Though they marched in the pouring rain, it seemed the least of their worries.

Campbell Live’s Jendy Harper spent the day with four women – Jo, Mary, Nicola and Paula – who were demonstrating despite being slightly out of their comfort zone.

Watch the video for the full report.

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 01:29 AM

Quake claims need to be prioritised better - Sutton

Last updated 13:34 16/08/2012


Earthquake recovery boss Roger Sutton
is calling for better ''triaging'' of insurance and Earthquake Commission (EQC) claims so those most in need get their homes fixed first.

Speaking at a Christchurch City Council forum today, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) chief executive admitted that more effort needed to be put into the prioritising of claims.

''There are 78-year-old widows living in badly broken houses. It is completely unacceptable that they live there through another winter,'' he said.

''For people in broken homes with young children in the house with asthma, it is also unacceptable.''

EQC chief executive Ian Simpson
told the council the commission was working with the Ministry of Social Development to prioritise the claims of the most vulnerable in the community and was repairing about 100 of their homes a month.

EQC customer services general manager Bruce Emson
said the commission was committed to fixing first the worst of the homes it was responsible for repairing - those that fell under the $100,000 cap but were over $50,000. It hoped to have all those homes repaired by the end of next year.

Emson acknowledged, under questioning from councillors, that deadline did not cover those with the most damaged homes as the cost of repairing or rebuilding their properties exceeded the EQC's cap and was therefore the responsibility of the insurers.

''How the insurers are prioritising their customers I cannot say,'' Emson said.

Simpson and Emson's
face-to-face meeting with the council came a week after councillors publicly vented their frustration with the EQC and voted unanimously to pursue the commission for a public explanation of its priorities.

Councillors were upset by the lack of progress being made in repairing people's homes and felt the EQC should be putting at the top of its priority list repairs for the elderly, the vulnerable, families with young children and those in severely damaged properties.

Cr Tim Carter
said that he had listened carefully to what Emson and Simpson had to say but was still none the wiser on what systems they had in place to prioritise those most in need and questioned why they had not addressed councillors' concerns.

Emson said he was not there because he had been ''summoned'' to address the council on that issue; he was there in response to an invitation issued by Mayor Bob Parker two weeks ago.

He said the EQC was doing its best to get people's homes repaired, but the task was unprecedented.

''Everybody is doing their damnest, but the reality is is that we have some members in our community who are living in conditions that are intolerable. None of us are happy about that,'' Emson said.

CanCern spokeswoman Leanne Curtis said she was sick of hearing that the EQC was doing its best, and it needed to listen more to the residents on the ground who were continually butting up against the EQC bureaucracy and finding the process incredibly stressful and frustrating.

''You have to do it better. Not faster; better,'' she said.

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