ACCforum: EQC Jobs - Your dream job??? MUST READ! - ACCforum

Jump to content

  • 3 Pages +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

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

#21 User is offline   hukildaspida 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Member
  • Posts: 3353
  • Joined: 24-August 07

Posted 21 September 2012 - 10:36 PM

Bigger the claim, the worse people feel

Last updated 05:00 08/09/2012

The bigger your property claim with the Earthquake Commission (EQC), the less happy you are and the less likely your repairs have been done.

A Press survey of Christchurch residents' satisfaction with the EQC has revealed a gulf in the happiness of high and low-damage property claimants.

It showed more people with high-value claims felt they could not move on with their lives, and numbers supplied by the EQC showed few of those jobs had been completed.

Asked if they felt they could move on, survey respondents with property claims, predictably, felt less so than those without.

Of claimants, those with property damage valued at more than $50,000 - the midpoint of the commission's coverage - felt much less able to move on (60 per cent said they could) than those with claims less than that amount (83 per cent).

Over-$50,000 claimants also recorded much lower positives. Just 15 per cent "strongly" agreed they could move on with life, compared with 62 per cent of under-$50,000 claimants.

The EQC has made no secret of the fact that properties at the upper end of its repair programme have not been a priority.

Figures released to The Press under the Official Information Act show that by July just 1448 properties with more than $50,000 damage had been fixed, compared with 16,986 with under $50,000 damage.

Commission chief executive Ian Simpson
said it was often more efficient to do lower-value repairs first.

"As you would expect, we are completing lower-value repairs more quickly because more serious damage is over EQC's [$100,000] cap," he said.

"Lower-value repairs take less time to complete and there's a lot less preliminary work needed to set up the repair, and in TC3 [technical category 3], drilling is required to determine the right repairs for foundations."

The EQC is prioritising the apportionment of claims over $80,000 and is committed to completing 100 repairs a month for vulnerable people.

Among all survey respondents, the middle-aged (30 to 59) felt the least able to move on with their lives and young people (18 to 29) the most.

Men (76 per cent) felt slightly more able to move on than women (70 per cent), and people with dependent children felt more constrained than those without children and empty-nesters.

TC3, or green-blue, respondents - those most likely to need stronger, more expensive foundations in their homes - were almost a 50-50 split between those who felt they could and could not move on with their lives.

About 31 per cent "strongly" disagreed they could move on, while only 22 per cent thought "strongly" that they could.

The Press will continue to publish survey results next week.

Tuesday's edition will look at quake-hit residents' satisfaction levels with private insurers.

#22 User is offline   hukildaspida 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Member
  • Posts: 3353
  • Joined: 24-August 07

Posted 26 September 2012 - 08:24 PM

Homeowners take insurers to court

Last updated 16:23 05/09/2012

The High Court's Christchurch earthquake list has still to see its first case where homeowners are taking on their insurers who will pay out only for the nominal value of repairs on a property that has been red-zoned, although it is relatively undamaged.

People have been mainly settling for the Crown offer, but a legal seminar in Christchurch was told the courts might see the first cases of that type as claims for higher-value hill properties were dealt with.

Justice Miller, who is the executive judge running the earthquake list in Christchurch, said none of the cases seen so far had raised that issue.

"That should be susceptible to a single decision from the court," he told the lawyer who raised the question.

"If the proper case was brought, the court would do what it can to get such a case on."

He said the court did not want to encourage litigation, "but if it is necessary we will do everything we can to get cases to trial economically and as quickly as we can".

He expected plenty of business for the earthquake list court that was begun quietly in May as a test.

The High Court has now gone public with the system, with Justice Miller and Justice Fogarty speaking at a seminar organised by the Canterbury-Westland branch of the New Zealand Law Society.

Twenty-four cases have gone on to the list so far, and four have been tried and three decisions issued.

They include declaratory judgments and judicial reviews. The list will include the dispute over the deconstruction of Christ Church Cathedral, to be heard by Justice Chisholm in a few weeks.

Justice Miller said the list was now seeing cases - three had been filed this week - where houseowners were saying they had full replacement insurance and, having settled their claim with the Earthquake Commission, they were making claims against their insurers for the remainder.

- © Fairfax NZ News

#23 User is offline   hukildaspida 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Member
  • Posts: 3353
  • Joined: 24-August 07

Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:20 PM

Rush hour looms for EQC to settle all claims
Last updated 05:00 26/10/2012

The Earthquake Commission will have to work quickly if all claims are to be settled in South Canterbury before its own deadline.

While all claims are expected to be settled by the end of 2015, EQC still has 5862 to sort through.

A breakdown of that figure shows seven claims will have to be settled each working day between now and the end of 2015 if the target is to be met.

And only two EQC field staff are working here.

The Earthquake Commission says the two staff are part of an organisational structure of 1000 people who are working on settling all claims. Most of the work will be done by claims settlement staff based in Christchurch.

Figures reveal almost 9000 claims have been lodged in South Canterbury since September 2010.

And they are continuing to roll in with seven claims lodged this month.

A breakdown of figures shows 8110 claims in Timaru, 368 in Mackenzie and 560 in Waimate.

Of those, 3176 have been settled - totalling $13,137,490 in Timaru, $300,926 in Mackenzie and $470,247 in Waimate. It amounts to almost $14 million in settlements.

Most claims (4613) were made between September and December 2010. Since January, 589 claims have been lodged here. Claims declined number 1451.

A spokesperson says claims are typically declined because they fall outside the 90-day time limit, the insurance is invalid, they are duplicate claims for the same event or they might not qualify for cover under the EQC Act because the damage is not the result of a natural disaster.

Two readers who have lodged claims and do not want to be named have shared their concerns with The Herald .

One lodged a claim in January after the December 23, 2011, quake. Cracks appeared in the walls of her home and a toilet is broken. The lounge wall, door frames, bedroom walls and a supporting beam are damaged, she says.

"I wouldn't like another decent quake; I'm wondering when EQC is going to do something about it.

"All I've had is a letter to say the claim has been lodged."

The other lodged a claim after the February 22 quake in 2011.

She has contacted EQC three times since then and has been told her claim is on the waiting list.

To date, 459,325 claims have been received, 421,972 assessments completed, 24,884 completed home repairs and $3,829,884,441 paid.

Rushed inspections 'coming back to bite' EQC
Last updated 05:00 29/10/2012

Christchurch Earthquake 2011
Rushed inspections 'coming back to bite' EQC More cases of elder abuse reported after quakes Demolition warning from bishop Greatbatch is ready to rumble Beck Eleven's guide to quake tourists sites Battle brewing over Christchurch Town Hall Waimakariri revaluations deadline extended Disabled fear rebuild will neglect their need Landowners 'deserve better buyout offer' No place for ugly glass boxes, says councillor

Rushed post-earthquake inspections are "coming back to bite" the Earthquake Commission (EQC), with missed damage creating bottlenecks in repair work approvals, contractors say.

Fletcher EQR-accredited repairers spoken to by The Press said scoping reports, which outlined the repair strategy and itemised costs, were being delayed several weeks while the commission scrutinised differences between the inspection and scoping reports.

One contractor, who said his job would be jeopardised by being named, had six scoping reports awaiting approval, including one submitted three months ago.

A colleague waiting for up to 25 jobs to be approved was "really annoyed" but was reluctant to complain for fear of being cut by the EQC, he said.

The contractor, an EQR-accredited repairer for more than a year, said he spent six months as an EQC assessor and was required to complete at least four inspections a day.

"This is coming back to bite [the commission] now. When we go over it thoroughly [for the scoping report], we're finding more damage. Did they miss it the first time because they were going too quick? I'm not 100 per cent sure."

Scoping reports were being approved in less than two weeks, but most now took least a month because of greater EQC input, the contractor said.

Scrutiny of costings was welcomed, but untrained, "pedantic" staff were "slowing the whole repair strategy down".

Contractors "generally got it right", though small pricing discrepancies were common.

"They were going good. They're trying to save every dollar they can, which is fair enough, but it's just been getting harder and harder [for contractors]."

Damage from later quakes contributed to the discrepancies, he said.

EQC customer services general manager Bruce Emson said there were many possible reasons for additional damage being identified, including further damage from aftershocks.

It was necessary to meet the commission's "obligation to get value for money, given the very large amounts of public and reinsurer money involved" to review work before repairs began.

The commission had completed nearly 25,000 repairs and was averaging more than 90 homes a day, Emson said.

#24 User is offline   hukildaspida 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Member
  • Posts: 3353
  • Joined: 24-August 07

Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:23 PM

Disabled fear rebuild will neglect their need
Last updated 08:06 25/10/2012


DIFFERENT NEEDS: Wheelchair-bound Hine Moke, 27, who lost her home in the February 22, 2011 earthquake, wants to see the rebuild reflect the needs of disabled people.
The Rebuild
Disabled fear rebuild will neglect their need No place for ugly glass boxes, says councillor Special events to mark Re:Start's birthday Government agencies commit to CBD New stadium 'not set in stone' Interest in convention centre mainly local Rebuild fraud targeted in initiative Lancaster Park fate up in air Affordable homes in city centre 'hard to justify' Claims Lancaster Park is fixable rejected

The rebuild of Christchurch may ignore the needs of the city's disabled people, the community fears.

Representatives from disability advocacy groups met the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) yesterday and were reassured new buildings had to be designed with the "highest level of accessibility" in mind.

Don Miskell, of the CCDU, said people were the "most vital part" of the rebuild and access was one of the "key drivers" of the central city blueprint.

"People bring vibrancy to a city so we need to create a central city that caters to people of all ages and abilities . . . Christchurch will be an amazing place but we have to make sure we get it right first time."

Planners could easily overlook access issues, he said.

"We were talking about not having traffic lights in a certain area until someone asked how blind people would know to cross the road and that's a very good point."

New buildings and public spaces had to be designed, considering the "highest level of accessibility".

"But [the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority] can't get its point across to all the development that will happen so we just have to make sure the anchor projects we are in charge of are done incredibly well."

He hoped other developers would "follow suit".

BJ Clark, of CCS Disability Action, said he had noticed major flaws with some new developments. "If we aren't getting things right now then how are we going to be getting it right in the future . . . that's my main concern and I know other people share it."

Hine Moke, 27, lost her Waltham house in the February 2011 earthquake and spent one week in a welfare centre before finding somewhere to live in St Albans.

"There's five pharmacies that I could easily go to but I can only go to one of them because the others just aren't accessible."

Moke said people with disabilities had struggled with transport, access and employment since the quakes.

"Our needs are a little different and I'm concerned that they're not going to be taken into account."


#25 User is offline   hukildaspida 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Member
  • Posts: 3353
  • Joined: 24-August 07

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:49 PM

Vero hits back at EQC criticism
Last updated 10:08 13/11/2012

New Zealand's second-largest insurer is rejecting a "speculative" claim by the Earthquake Commission that providers may try to pass the buck on their earthquake costs.

In the commission's 2011-12 annual report, released last week, chairman Michael Wintringham said private insurers faced paying huge sums to settle commercial and residential claims in Canterbury

''In this environment, there is an incentive for insurers to reduce their own liabilities by shifting costs to the Crown or to other parties,'' it said.

Vero chief executive Gary Dransfield dismissed the comment as ''speculative [and] unsubstantiated''.

"It suggests insurers would act or are acting improperly and in a manner not in the interests of New Zealand, its Government or the people of Canterbury,'' he said.

''The reality is that the contribution of insurers to the Christchurch recovery has saved the Government billions of dollars.''

Insurers and reinsurers would meet about 80 per cent of the rebuild cost, Dransfield said, and private insurers had already paid out $5 billion in claims.

''If that cost had to be met by the New Zealand Government alone, there would be a massive rise in corporate and personal taxes to meet the bill,'' he said.

"We need to instill confidence in the people of Canterbury and also overseas investors that we have the leadership and quality organisations capable of a unified, efficient and speedy recovery from the earthquakes."

Wintringham said the EQC Act needed a review to remove ambiguity about the liability of public and private insurers.

The Reserve Bank estimates the cost of Canterbury earthquake insurance claims at $30b.

#26 User is offline   hukildaspida 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Member
  • Posts: 3353
  • Joined: 24-August 07

Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:53 PM

EQC's 'arrogant' engineer

Last updated 05:00 17/11/2012

The Earthquake Commission has committed to improving its complaints process, while continuing to back a controversial engineer and admitting it does not know the extent of complaints against him.

A Press investigation has brought to light more than 30 cases where the engineer's assessments have been challenged by householders, who in most instances allege he:

Has a bias toward finding damage is historical rather than caused by the earthquakes.

Has an arrogant, overbearing and sometimes offensive approach.

Does cursory assessments, often without tools, because he is convinced he is right.

The Press is not naming the engineer for legal reasons.

The engineer, who has been used by the EQC for 30 years and has done more than 1000 assessments - about 20 a week - in Christchurch in the past year, was called in "when we need to know we have got everything exactly right from an engineering perspective", the commission said.

He was also hired to advise on EQC liability, often in disputed claims.

Despite defending the engineer, the EQC conceded it did not know how many complaints he had generated because "to determine how many of [the engineer's] assessments resulted in disputes or complaints would require examination of each claim and this is not feasible".

The engineer had done "well in excess of 2000 assessments in recent years", it said.

EQC chief executive Ian Simpson said he would not answer questions about the engineer, but said the commission's recording of complaints "needed to improve".

In later clarification, EQC communications said it had had a central complaints register "for some time", but "we have been undertaking a complete restructuring of our complaints process and this has included putting the independent mediation service in place".

Simpson said he would not discuss the engineer because some EQC frontline staff were targeted as individuals.

"It's my accountability to make sure the organisation is working well and I don't want to talk about specific frontline staff."

He did not know whether the engineer was a staff member or a private contractor, although in a letter to The Press he referred to the engineer as staff.

The EQC refused to say how much the engineer had been paid in the past 12 months.

EQC customer services general manager Bruce Emson said the EQC had received complaints about the engineer from "time to time, including a few where the customer feels the approach to communicating his work was not handled well".

"These are handled as part of the normal complaints process," he said.

The engineer was entering situations that were likely to be tense. "He is, in effect, self-selecting the most difficult claims to be involved with and is tasked with delivering what may be unwelcome news in a matter-of-fact way," Emson said.

"In the context of over 1000 such assessments completed, these handful of complaints are not unexpected and certainly do not indicate that [the engineer] ‘often' distresses clients."

What did the EQC do when such complaints were lodged?

"He is made aware when such complaints arise," Emson said.

"He is usually accompanied by another EQC field team member skilled in dealing with customers in a high state of anxiety. It is primarily that person's role to interact with the customer, leaving the engineer to use his expertise to examine damage and assess EQC's liability."

Most of the 32 homeowners whose cases have been documented by The Press have commissioned alternative professional reports that contest the engineer's conclusions, and seven homeowners have laid complaints with the Institution of Professional

Engineers New Zealand. About 20 of the homeowners have complained to the EQC about the engineer.

In several cases he has left already anxious homeowners in tears and some now refuse to have him on their property.

"His visit was distressing for us, not least because of what we perceived to be the intimidating, reactive and inflammatory manner in which he conducted himself," a professional couple, who asked not to be named, said.

The engineer's name is well known to Christchurch MPs and many have fielded complaints about him, including Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee, who did not reply to specific written questions from The Press.

Port Hills Labour MP Ruth Dyson said she had noticed a spike in people complaining to her about the EQC ruling damage to their houses was historic.

"Around 20 in a very short space of time."

"Time after time" the same engineer had overturned lengthy and thorough previous assessments, she said.

"It reminded me of when ACC brought in their new assessment team where I had a sudden spike of ACC claimants who were deemed to have ‘pre-existing' conditions - suddenly," she said.

The cases documented by The Press reveal major differences between the expert and other engineers. In several, alternative assessments have essentially written off houses while the EQC engineer thought they could be repaired quite cheaply.

A Christchurch engineer involved in one of the EQC engineer's cases said he believed the engineer had performed an "inadequate assessment" of the property.

"I read his report and definitely got the sense he was trying to minimise the claim and he was not that professional in the way he was doing it," he said.

"An engineer should be impartial and not try to minimise the damage that's been done in the quake for the financial advantage of EQC."

Although the house was old and had sustained historical damage before the quakes, he had "no doubt there was recent quake damage [the EQC engineer] didn't say anything about in his report".

It appeared the engineer had "chosen to ignore" certain damage and filed a "pretty puzzling and minimal report" on the house, he said.

Christchurch architect Paul King, whose house in St Albans was assessed by the engineer, said the engineer was a controversial figure in the repair industry in Christchurch.

King said the outside foundation wall of his house had cracked in the quake and the EQC proposed fixing the cracks with epoxy.

"To me and my engineer, that meant the suggested repair was in breach of the present building code and would mean the house wasn't as strong as it was before."

The EQC engineer maintained the cracks pre-existed the quake, "essentially calling me a liar", King said.

When he took issue with the engineer, he ended the inspection saying "I had questioned his professional integrity".

He and other architects were concerned repairs such as those recommended by the engineer were breaching the building code and in 10 years many of the repairs would need to be done again, King said.

The EQC said its engineer was highly respected in the industry for his knowledge and expertise, with one commission spokesman describing him as a "world authority".

It has gone to the extent of commissioning a prominent law firm to pressure consumer groups to remove the engineer's name, and those of other EQC staff members, from websites complaining about him.

The Press asked the engineer to comment on 13 specific cases in which homeowners made allegations against him.

He refused, sending the questions to the EQC.

EQC media liaison manager Iain Butler said the engineer was required to give advice on "the factors involved in the damage" and he was "not required to inspect all damage . . . only the damage at issue".

"His advice is valued and respected and his services continue to be used by EQC," he said.

Butler said a minority of householders had been "overtly or covertly threatening to EQC staff".

Waimakariri District councillor John Meyer, a former automotive engineer, said he figured in a bizarre incident in which his presence was perceived by the engineer, who was assessing his Kaiapoi house, as threatening.

During the assessment, he and the engineer were alone in a hallway while other assessors were on the other side of the door.

"He started sort of yodelling at the top of his voice: ‘He's threatening me, he's threatening me'. It was absolutely amazing."

Meyer said the engineer virtually called him a liar when he pointed out damage caused by the quake.

"It takes a lot to get me upset. I said: ‘Look, I'm sorry, but I got out of bed and the damage was done'."

Despite the negative indications, he was happy with the report produced by the engineer, Meyer said.

The Press investigation shows those claimants who challenge the engineer's conclusions face a difficult battle.

Archie and Kay Green, in their 70s, thought they were over the worst until the EQC engineer visited their Pines Beach house in February and stopped repair work on foundations under the sloping lounge of their house because he judged the sinking was pre-existing.

The Greens reacted strongly, locking out the contractors, and eventually two other engineers were commissioned to review the damage.

Both disagreed with the EQC engineer's assessment.

The EQC then agreed to fix the foundation in accordance with a repair strategy recommended by an independent engineer.

"It was very stressful. Once we decided to fight, it just went on and on. No-one would talk to us. We were stuck," Kay Green said.

As a result of deciding to fight they lost their rental compensation and a storage container and had to move back into their damaged house.

The EQC said the engineer's inspection showed a previous attempt to level the house, leading him to conclude the sloping was historical.

The commission had decided to fix the foundation because of "the history of communication with the Greens and their own circumstances".

Stephen and Sasha Bell's house in Woolston was under repair when the engineer attended the property to advise on a structural issue relating to the upstairs.

The couple were living in their garage while they waited for the repairs to be completed, but the engineer decided a sloping upstairs floor was pre-existing and told the Bells they had simply not noticed humping and sloping in the floor before the quakes. He did not remove the carpet to inspect the floor.

He ruled structural strengthening of the upstairs to make it comply with the building code would be betterment and therefore not covered.

"He pooh-poohed what our engineer said," Stephen Bell said. "But he didn't take any measurements and just walked around with our engineer's report. You couldn't tell him anything."

He wondered how many other EQC clients gave up in the face of having to dispute an assessment by the engineer.

"We felt litigated into submission," Bell said.

The EQC said an earlier commission assessment and an insurer's assessment of the Bells' house noted the upper floor was not "built to standard".

"The Bells' insurer has requested a joint review which may or not involve revisiting the upper floor."

EQC communications staff seemed unaware the commission had reassessed the Bells' house, including the upstairs, in early October.

The Bells' experience is mirrored by a farming family in Leeston (they asked not to be named because of potential repercussions from the EQC) whose house was inspected by the EQC engineer last November.

He concluded damage to foundations that put the house out of level was historical and therefore not covered by the EQC.

He dug some holes around the foundation with a spade and said the pre-existing settlement happened because the ground was soft.

The couple claim he blamed a builder for damage to the roof of the house and missed the fact that the roof was on new trusses which, they said, should have altered his conclusion.

The couple commissioned their own report, which disputed the engineer's findings, and said the EQC had now appeared to have agreed to conduct work that the engineer said was not covered.

"He acted more like a policeman than an engineer," the couple said. "He challenged us to find another engineer saying: ‘I wrote the book on earthquakes for New Zealand'."

The EQC said the couple's report did not record "significant ground movement".

However, the report says: ". . . the house is out-of-level and although some of the settlement may be historic we believe some is earthquake induced and will require relevelling of the floor and exterior walls."

To contact the reporters email: [email protected] or [email protected]

- © Fairfax NZ News

#27 User is offline   hukildaspida 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Member
  • Posts: 3353
  • Joined: 24-August 07

Posted 22 November 2012 - 06:54 PM

Vero questions EQC's role

Last updated 14:15 20/11/2012

General insurer Vero has questioned whether the Government should continue to run an agency like the Earthquake Commission.

The chief executive of Vero, Gary Dransfield, raised the question in his address to the Trans-Tasman Business Circle lunch in Wellington today.

New Zealand's second-biggest general insurer, with about 23 per cent of customers, still advocates that the Government partly insure and fund its citizens for disaster insurance.

But Vero says options for reform could include EQC having no role in handling or managing claims or a government agency having a much smaller role in providing and managing general insurance.

At present EQC covers the first $100,000 plus GST of a property claim and the first $20,000 plus GST of contents in a natural disaster.

An option could be the claims management run by insurers and the Government have a funding role like a reinsurer.

''Some of the models could result in a substantially reduced level of Crown involvement in the provision and administration of general insurance, including no involvement in claims management,'' Dransfield said.

Other models could have a different level of Crown and private insurers funding.

Vero will be making submissions along these lines to the Government's review of the Earthquake Commission Act.

Dransfield said the review was a ''once-in-a-generation'' chance to markedly improve the way natural disaster insurance was funded and managed.

Vero indicated it thought the complexity of the present ''hybrid insurance'' model where EQC and insurers handled claims was a waste of money for the Government and for insurers.

''That is why we believe every effort should be made to ensure capital is not needlessly wasted by a hybrid earthquake management model that duplicates costs and escalates claims handling expenses.

''Given the Government's commitment to a balanced budget and debt reduction, Vero questions whether it is sensible to operate a fully resourced and funded public insurance agency with the sole mandate of managing claims after a major natural hazard disaster,'' Dransfield said.

The Government's liabilities from the Canterbury earthquakes so far was $1.6 billion and could easily increase given that EQC still had 80,000 properties with claims to manage, Dransfield said.

Private insurers were more than a third through settling their claims. EQC's annual report shows it is just over 20 per cent through settling its clams.

#28 User is offline   hukildaspida 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Member
  • Posts: 3353
  • Joined: 24-August 07

Posted 22 November 2012 - 06:59 PM

There are plenty of people out there looking for jobs.

It's overdue CEO & senior Public Servant contracts & performances were brought under far greater scrutiny, just like they do in the UK.

Why hasn't Ian Simpson been sacked for "failure of service"?

EQC chief gets a $70,000 pay rise
Last updated 05:00 22/11/2012

Earthquake Commission chief executive Ian Simpson has received a pay rise of about $70,000 in the past year, despite the commission failing to meet its customer satisfaction targets.

Simpson's salary rose from a band of $330,000 to $339,999 in the June 2011 year to $400,000 to $409,999 in the June 2012 year, State Services Commission records show.

In the year to June 2012, 26 EQC employees, of a staff of 1154 at June 30, were receiving salaries of $100,000 or more - double the 13 in the year before. The commission said "several contract positions became fixed-term and additional middle management roles were created in claims processing".

Salaries of $100,000 or more are reported in bands of $10,000.

Total pay includes any benefit received, such as performance pay, employer contributions to superannuation and the value of the use of a vehicle.

EQC chairman Michael Wintringham
said decisions about the chief executive's salary were made by the commission's board in consultation with the state services commissioner.

"A component of Mr Simpson's pay is performance-related. In line with state sector practice, I do not comment publicly on the performance of the chief executive, including how much of the performance pay he received," Wintringham said.

The commission's annual report for the year to June 2012 shows it did not meet some of its targets on performance for customers.

The target was to have customer satisfaction higher than the average for the public service.

The quarterly surveys reveal satisfaction of 55 per cent of customers saying they were either satisfied or very satisfied with its performance - below the 70 per cent target.

The EQC has a target of telling 90 per cent of claimants the value of their claims within nine months of lodging the claim when there are more than 100,000 claims.

It said that for the year to June 30, 2011, it met the timing for 70 per cent of claims but not 90 per cent, and it did not report on the year to June 2012 because it said the 270-day period from the latest claimable "event" on December 23 had not expired by June 2012.

Another target not met was for claims-handling costs to be less than 10 per cent of payout.

Claims-handling costs, excluding project management costs, were 11.8 per cent of payout to date for the Canterbury earthquakes.

EQC, however, has seen a big decline in staff numbers since the quakes.

An EQC spokesman said there were now 1108 staff, 712 fewer than at the end of October last year.

Before the earthquakes there were 22 employees, he said.

Christchurch City councillor Glenn Livingstone said Simpson's pay rise was "outrageous" and "totally inappropriate" because EQC had not met its targets.

Wider Earthquake Communities Action Network (WeCan) spokesman Mike Coleman said officials should not be receiving such large pay rises at the moment.

"Thousands of people have been complaining about EQC for years so to give the CEO a pay rise . . . it's absolutely ludicrous."

Audit of the EQC CEO Ian Simpson expense account

#29 User is offline   not their victim 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 10829
  • Joined: 04-August 08

Posted 11 March 2013 - 08:13 AM


More from our wonderful insurance here in NZ....

Fraudulent EQC files delaying legitimate

Annette Lunn, Newstalk ZBMarch 11, 2013, 5:10 am

It's feared the large number of EQC files being investigated for fraud will delay the resolution of legitimate claims.

EQC has stopped payments worth around $4.6 million due to alleged fraud, and 21 files have been referred to the police.

Altogether, the Earthquake Commission's specialist fraud team has looked at more than 880 cases from Christchurch.

Director of Rebuild Christchurch, Deon Swiggs says residents already frustrated with delays in their payments, have a right to be concerned.

He says the number of dodgy claims coming in will have to delay the processing of honest ones.


#30 User is offline   doppelganger 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 1740
  • Joined: 19-September 03

Posted 11 March 2013 - 11:45 AM

the fraudulent claims are made by the assessor who provided the false document.

Look at the qualification of some of these assessors.

#31 User is offline   hukildaspida 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Member
  • Posts: 3353
  • Joined: 24-August 07

Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:48 PM

EQC workers bullied by angry homeowners
Last updated 05:00 02/03/2013

Angry Cantabrians, frustrated with the speed of the rebuild, are threatening to blow up earthquake repair hubs and shoot staff.

The abuse of rebuild staff escalated yesterday when an eastern Christchurch hub, which looks more like a fortress, was locked down after an angry homeowner, with a violent past, threatened staff.

The incident was "sufficiently serious" that security guards were brought in and the North New Brighton hub was closed for the rest of the day.

EQC and Fletcher EQR officials say the incident was far from isolated and abuse is taking a heavy toll on rebuild workers. Fletcher EQR says staff are quitting their jobs because of insults.

The man behind yesterday's lockdown, New Brighton man Jason Griffiths, 43, told The Press he flung a fire extinguisher at contractors after a "living hell" dealing with earthquake authorities.

Christchurch police issued a verbal trespass warning to Griffiths yesterday, saying he was not permitted to go to the Fletcher EQR hub in Bower Ave.

Griffiths works with youth offenders and has a violent criminal past.

"I've tried not to swear and shout [yesterday]. I've been trying to get hold of someone who can actually help me with my claim and I said, ‘Do I need to come down there and scream and shout until I get answers or until I get taken away by the cops?' "

In September contractors started repair work on his home. However, EQC and Fletcher EQR agreed the work had been substandard and they would compensate him.

After more than four months of "absolutely nothing" he said he had reached the end of his tether.

"It's taking a toll on my partner . . . on our relationship and everything. I've had enough."

Fletcher EQR general manager David Peterson said the firm had spent thousands of dollars on extra security to protect its 700 staff after threats and verbal abuse from homeowners.

"We have 20 hubs around the city and we've had to make the fences slightly higher, put in exit doors for staff and the reception counters are higher now too, so people can't jump over them so easily," Peterson said.

He understood homeowners were frustrated but some behaviour had forced staff out because "customer interaction had become unbearable".

"When it's every single day, it really does wear you down. We've trained staff specifically to be able to handle aggressive phone calls . . . and we've trained them how to deal with threats physically and emotionally."

Some areas of the city, such as North New Brighton, were "more problematic" than others, he said.

EQC customer services manager Bruce Emson said "many staff" had experienced verbal abuse from frustrated homeowners and a "handful of cases" had gone further.

"We've had nasty threats dished out, violence and things like ‘I'm going to kill you' . . . People have said they're going to rock up to one of our facilities with a gun and shoot someone."

Emson said staff needed to feel safe in their jobs and urged people to try and be patient.

"These people [the staff] are just doing their jobs . . . they have families and it's not nice for anyone to be spoken to like that or be threatened."

SCIRT general manager Duncan Gibb said there had been three "serious incidents" where roadworkers had been assaulted. He said two were in the lead-up to Christmas and one was this year.

Christchurch police road policing manager Al Stewart said police were "very aware" of the problem.

"Whether they are standing on roads or are in someone's home . . . those places are effectively their offices and people should feel safe at work. Nobody would like it if someone turned up to their office and started being verbally and physically threatening,"
he said.

- © Fairfax NZ News

#32 User is offline   hukildaspida 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Member
  • Posts: 3353
  • Joined: 24-August 07

Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:17 PM

Please click on the link to read the comments

EQC leak much larger than realised

Last updated 16:17 25/03/2013

Kent Blechynden/Fairfax NZ
FRONTING UP: EQC chief executive Ian Simpson.
Related Links
EQC in privacy breach EQC Security botch-up creates 'dismay'

Christchurch Earthquake 2011
War memorials repaired for Anzac Day Commissioner's plea to Brownlee Chch, how has your life changed? Memories of Chch could fade, says historian Resigned red zoners take the money and run Dangerous hills no deterrent for cyclists Rank safety of buildings - engineer Pre-quake Christchurch being forgotten Cera expands quake tour business Quakes left elderly out in cold

The Earthquake Commission has revealed that the privacy breach last week was more than eight times larger than originally announced - affecting every claimant in the Canterbury home repair programme.

This afternoon, EQC chief executive Ian Simpson said the data in the spreadsheet, emailed to a third party outside the organisation, could be manipulated to reveal the details of 98,000 claims from all 83,000 claimants.

Originally, information from only 9700 people was said to be at risk in the breach, which happened on Friday morning.

Simpson said when the breach was announced to the media last week, it was not apparent the information on the other 73,000 claimants could be accessed using the spreadsheet's pivot table tool.

The spreadsheet contained claim numbers and home addresses, but not names of those in the programme for homes requiring repairs costing between $15,000 and $100,000, he said.

Are you affected by this breach? Email [email protected]

The scale of the breach meant EQC would not be contacting each claimant to inform them, but would be taking out advertisements in the Christchurch newspapers.

Simpson said the outside party had since destroyed the email, though four other people had been in the room when it was received.

The breach occurred when a staff member sent out an email intended for EQC staff, and the auto-complete function in the email program accidentally filled in the address of a third party, an EQC contractor.

An independent review of the breach would be commissioned.

In addition, security processes for encrypting and accessing sensitive data, as well as the rules for using email to send sensitive documents, would be reviewed, he said.

He apologised for the breach, saying the matter was "embarrassing and disappointing".

Simpson would not name the recipient of the email, but said the person had "acted in good faith".

Privacy breach 'ironic'

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said the situation was ''rather ironic''.

''People would love to what the contents of their EQC files, in many cases they can't get to them, but meanwhile one person has received information relating to thousands and thousands of claims.''

Parker said leaks like this ''just could not afford to happen'' and said technological systems nationwide needed to be improved.
Ad Feedback

''This will just put our community under further pressure and will create more uncertainty,'' Parker said.

Christchurch City councillor Glenn Livingstone said somebody should "take the fall" for the breach.

''Whether that's the minister or the CEO [of EQC] ... but it is a CEO's job to keep the minister informed and by the sounds of it, that hasn't happened.''

He said the scandal would ''confirm people's low confidence levels in EQC''.

Dalziel and Brownlee exchange words

Labour's earthquake recovery spokeswoman Lianne Dalziel said the breach was of a scale "unprecedented in New Zealand'' and called on Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee to take full responsibility.

"EQC has tried to deny that the figure is seven times worse than admitted. The truth is no one at EQC or the minister's office checked the email thoroughly enough to realise the data was sitting behind the figures on a different sheet than the one they relied on for the 9700 figure.

"That is gross incompetence and a political scandal," said Dalziel.

"I also know that people other than the mistaken recipient saw this information before they alerted him that the email had been sent to him in error and he agreed to delete the information. One of those people contacted me over the weekend."

Dalziel said it was "time for the Minister to take full ministerial responsibility".

She called on Brownlee to explain when he first knew of the extent of the breach and to disclose the extent of the details attached to each of the leaked home addresses.

"He must also undertake to ensure that EQC will provide each person affected with a simple status report on their claim so they know where they stand."

Meanwhile, Brownlee said he was very disappointed to learn at "2:21pm today" that the EQC privacy breach contained information relating to more claimants than EQC first thought.

He said he took ''great issue'' with Dalziel's claim that he should have checked the email and spreadsheet to ''identify that hidden data was embedded within the material''.

''Information held by EQC does not routinely make its way to the Minister's office,'' he said.

Brownlee said EQC had improved its procedures for ''encrypting and surely accessing sensitive data'' and an independent review would also take place.

He had advised EQC to take ''whatever legal action they deem appropriate'' to ensure the information had not been copied or distributed.


#33 User is offline   Sparrow 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 534
  • Joined: 22-March 07

Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:47 PM

EQC have lied to every
Earthquake claimant and victim in Christchurch.
We now see why.
they they are dishonestly cutting costs and the dishonesty is breathtakinfg.
they employed shonky assessors from all walks of life except registered engineers and masterbuilders.]

Former Ozzie cops and detectives were brought in as EQC did not want to give people what they were due and used these cops to deny claimants their rights.No end of stressed people were acused of lying and making out "historic" so called damage was not from the quakes

what does a picture framer and former Ozzie cop know about the hidden dangers of my home?
I am about to email EQC demanding my full file and they cant say they havent got it or know as it is all there and was emailed to a thrid party.

ACC staff and EQC staff have been trained to tell straight out lies.
Bully Brownlie must go.....

#34 User is offline   Sparrow 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 534
  • Joined: 22-March 07

Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:57 PM

Regarding the post #27, the engineer in question has been removed.

There were too many compalints and reports showing he is inefficient and utterly stupid.
He now , would you believe, does training within EQC , teaching others to also lie.

#35 User is offline   StarSista 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Validating
  • Posts: 229
  • Joined: 10-March 13

Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:22 PM

quote "The breach occurred when a staff member sent out an email intended for EQC staff, and the auto-complete function in the email program accidentally filled in the address of a third party, an EQC contractor."

Wow, they have an exceptionally clever computer at EQC don't they. This is the first time I have ever heard of a computer doing something accidentally, and all by itself!
You've gotta watch it when your computer starts thinking an doing things accidentally, without anyone pressing anything on the keyboard.

I wonder what EQC will do about their unruly computer having accidents like this.

A first. Computer takes control of EQC staff, and emails information. Accidentally!

#36 User is offline   hukildaspida 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Member
  • Posts: 3353
  • Joined: 24-August 07

Posted 30 August 2013 - 04:29 PM

Update on Mark Franklin - jailed 12 months.

Any updates on EQC staff?

Former cop jailed in Cook Islands

By: Carla Penman, | Latest Crime News | Friday August 30 2013 13:30

Related Video

Related Stories
Former cop jailed in Cook Islands Former cop pleads guilty to dealing pot

Related Audio

UPDATED 3.09PM - A former New Zealand police detective has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment in the Cook Islands.

Mark Franklin was sentenced in a court on the island nation today over several drug charges.

He was arrested in 2011 over allegations he was operating as a drug dealer in Rarotonga.

The 55-year-old had admitted to the charges of selling, supplying and possessing cannabis.

Cook Islands News journalist Emmanuel Samoglou, was in court.

"While he was a police officer, he'd witnessed 'some of the most gruesome offending', and his attorney basically alluded to that to being one of the reasons he maybe used cannabis."

Photo via Facebook

Former NZ cop jailed on drugs charges

By Calida Smylie
Updated 2:47 PM Friday Aug 30, 2013

Former Northland cop Mark Franklin has been sentenced to a year in prison in the Cook Islands for selling drugs.

Franklin, who used to be a New Zealand detective inspector, was sentenced this morning in the Cook Islands High Court by Justice Colin Doherty, after pleading guilty last week to two counts of selling cannabis, and one count of offering to sell cannabis.

He was arrested in Rarotonga in 2011, over allegations that he was operating as a local drug dealer, selling cannabis from a bar.

Franklin, who has been living as a musician in Rarotonga, was represented by New Zealand-based barrister Paul Dale with help from Cook Islands lawyer Tony Manarangi.

Mr Dale said they have not yet decided whether they will appeal the sentence, which he described as ``harsh''.

He did not want to comment further. ``The right of appeal is being weighed up and I wouldn't want to pre-empt that.''

Franklin was caught in a drugs investigation, Operation Eagle, which netted 13 people including a Cook Islands policewoman, an expat bar owner and the former deputy prime minister's son.

Two of Franklin's co-accused - Riki Carlson and Mere King - were also sent to prison this morning. Four other defendants were sentenced to prison in separate trials over the past year.

There is a significant difference in the way Class C drugs are treated in the Cook Islands, which has a much harsher maximum sentence for possession of cannabis than New Zealand.

The maximum sentence in New Zealand for cultivation is seven years, while in the Cook Islands it is 20 years.

While the maximum sentence in New Zealand for possession is three months, in the Cook Islands it is two years.

Franklin was the Northland crime services manager during his tenure in the region.

At that time he was in charge of all serious criminal investigations, drug enforcement teams, asset seizures, specialist squads and crime strategy.

By Calida Smylie
Related Tags

1. Cook Islands
2. Crime
3. New Zealand
4. Pacific Islands

Be part of the news. Send pics, video and tips to nzherald.

Former cop blames cancer diagnosis for drug dealing
updated 15:45

Published: 5:09AM Friday August 30, 2013 Source: ONE News

A former Northland police detective has cited cancer as the reason why he started dealing drugs in Rarotonga.

Mark Franklin, 55, has been sentenced to twelve months in prison in the Cook Islands for drug-related charges.

He was sentenced by Justice Colin Doherty after pleading guilty last week to three charges of selling and offering to sell cannabis.

Franklin told the court today that a doctor had diagnosed him with a terminal illness.

"On the 30th of October I was told by doctors that I had throat cancer," he said.

"And although the doctor said that it didn't mean curtains, when I asked him what would happen if I didn't have treatment, he told that I would die."

Franklin also said that he had moved to Rarotonga for a fresh start.

"I have also apologised to the Cook Island community, I came here almost ten years ago to start a new life," he said.

Franklin was one of thirteen people rounded up in Rarotonga in 2011, after an undercover drug operation led by New Zealand police.

His co-accused, who are already doing jail time, include a senior police officer Inano Matapo and her partner Giovanni Marsters who is the son of the country's Queen's Representative.

Franklin was a senior detective with the Waitakere and then Northland police.

His work included heading the investigation into Marie Jamieson's death - an Auckland hairdresser who was murdered in 2001.

Franklin left New Zealand for the Cook Islands in 2006 where he also did some work for the Cook Islands police.

He then left police work to concentrate on a music career.

He was accused of selling drugs from a bar in Rarotonga.

View Posthukildaspida, on 21 December 2011 - 09:43 PM, said:

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?


Nocturnal Habitz

Nocturnal Habitz, Paihia, 6 January 2012 – 27 January 2012
Nocturnal Habitz

Fri 6 Jan ’12, 6:00pm–9:00pm
Fri 13 Jan ’12, 6:00pm–9:00pm
Fri 20 Jan ’12, 6:00pm–9:00pm
Fri 27 Jan ’12, 6:00pm–9:00pm
Where: 35 Degrees South Aquarium Restaurant and Bar, 69 Marsden Rd, Paihia Show map
Restrictions: All Ages
Ticket Information:

Admission: Free

Print this Page
Tell a Friend

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.

Nocturnal Habitz play in an acoustic format with a distinct combination of rhythm, lead and bass guitar lines complemented by Rio's unique conga style. All three have a different voice range that contributes to a variety of strong vocal harmonies. The result is a tight, fat, warm balanced sound.

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.



#37 User is offline   hukildaspida 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Member
  • Posts: 3353
  • Joined: 24-August 07

Posted 24 September 2013 - 05:23 PM

Additional information to post #37.

This case makes for interesting reading.

It is observed that Mark Franklin PERFED from the on psychological grounds - no doubt for around 20 years of service he received a tidy sum of the Public's monies.

If he was assessed by a Psychologist and he was truthful there would no doubt have been a disclosure of his stress levels and any previous drug use.

These are serious issues and maybe the Authorities need to monitor more closely those whom work on similar types of cases.


Tony Wall if you find and read this, would you please ensure an update is provided to the public re EQC Christchurch assessors facing cocaine-smuggling charges.

Thanks in advance.

Doing island time for 'a bit of dope'


Following his conviction for dealing marijuana, former Detective Inspector Mark Franklin talks to Tony Wall from inside a Rarotongan prison.

The undercover cop stung Mark Franklin at his weakest. It was October 2010, and Franklin had just returned to Rarotonga from Auckland Hospital, where doctors dropped the bombshell that he had throat cancer.

The former detective inspector was working for Cook Islands police on serious fraud and corruption cases at the time, while also playing in a band at resorts and bars on the island.

Around the time of the cancer diagnosis, Franklin was playing at Trader Jack's, the legendary bar next to Avarua Harbour, when he was approached by a man who said he was a former Counties Manukau police officer, the same district Franklin had spent the early part of his 27-year career.

The man, from a prominent Cook Islands family, was super-friendly, buying drinks for Franklin and the other members of his band, Nocturnal Habitz. Unbeknown to Franklin, his new friend had recently been sworn in to the Cook Islands police and was their main weapon in Operation Eagle, a joint investigation by local and New Zealand police into cannabis dealers.

Franklin takes up the story from Rarotonga's Arorangi Prison, where the Sunday Star-Times visited him last weekend.

"He started weaving this story. He said he was involved in the law enforcement team in South Auckland and that he was involved in policing cannabis. He told me he'd been suspended and he suggested it was because of some cannabis [use] himself.

"I actually considered that he could be [undercover] but given that I knew he was an ex-cop, I knew his dad and his brother - I just couldn't see it."

Over the next few weeks the officer turned up at various bars Franklin was playing at - always buying the drinks - and according to Franklin, began "pestering" him for cannabis, saying he needed it to impress some "hot" Dutch backpackers with whom he was hoping to have sex. He would also turn up at Franklin's house uninvited. It turned out later he was wearing a wire.

"He said, ‘Mate, a lot of the boys back home smoke a bit of dope and drink a lot of piss as a way of dealing with stress. I don't see anything wrong with it.' "

Franklin says he fobbed the man off, but one night in late November, "caved in". He was playing at Trader Jack's when a woman who supplied him with his cannabis walked in.

Franklin took two $50 notes from the undercover officer, approached the woman (who is now locked up in prison with Franklin) and she gave him two small packages of cannabis, which he gave to the officer.

He then returned to New Zealand for seven weeks of radiation and chemotherapy, losing 25kg, and used cannabis on his return to Rarotonga to help with nausea.

The following April, Franklin says, the undercover officer began pestering him again. Franklin says he resisted for a while, but wanted to get the man "off my back" so bought two small packages of cannabis for himself and two for his "friend". The drugs were handed over underneath Franklin's house in Nikao, northwest Rarotonga, for $100.

One of Franklin's bandmates, Alby Marsh, says the undercover officer seemed suspicious because he constantly tailed the band around wanting to buy weed. "I said to the guys, ‘don't talk to him, for all we know, he could be a pig'. He was just trying to earn some stripes."

In May 2011, police officers with drug dogs stormed Franklin's home.

"I knew what it was as soon as they came in the door."

If he thought his colleagues in Cook Islands police might go easy on him, he was mistaken. He was kept in police cells for a couple of days, denied visitors or international phone calls, and was remanded to prison for two weeks, before getting bail so he could return to New Zealand for medical treatment.

His name was suppressed, but that didn't stop New Zealand media naming him.

"What really hurt me was the fact there was a name suppression order but I didn't have the chance to tell anyone, and of course there's my mother and my sister and my daughter [in New Zealand] all watching it on One News, that was the first they knew."

Media coverage referred to a "major drug ring" and the biggest operation in Cook Islands history. Franklin says the amounts of cannabis involved were small and, apart from the woman who supplied his cannabis, he didn't know the other 11 people who were arrested.

"The media attention in New Zealand was ‘top homicide detective biggest drug boss in Cook Islands' - which is not me at all."

He says those arrested as part of Operation Eagle were mostly social cannabis users - the top tier of importers and suppliers were ignored, despite large amounts of money and resources being thrown at the investigation.

Franklin's legal team looked at entrapment as a possible defence, but the threshold was too high and it was decided pleading guilty would be better, although that backfired when the Cook Islands' draconian drug laws kicked in and visiting New Zealand judge Colin Doherty gave him a year behind bars.

The undercover officer also stung others, including his best friend from school, Giovanni Marsters, son of then deputy prime minister Tom Marsters. Giovanni is now doing a six-year lag.

Franklin says a lot of people in Rarotonga are upset with the officer, and he doubts he could show his face on the island again.

"He's made the decision to come here and . . . betray the local community. He's targeted his old school friends, he's told lies, deceived people."

The last time Franklin saw the man was at Trader Jack's about a month before he was arrested, just as the officer was about to return to New Zealand.

"He wouldnt even look at me. It was then I realised ‘he's an undercover cop'. It was too late by then. You could see his face, he was distraught, you could see it going through his head, what he'd done."


Franklin mingles with other prisoners in a courtyard at the front of the jail, waiting for visiting time. Chemotherapy, surgery and a 30-a-day smoking habit (now kicked) have made him a shrunken version of his former self.

Today he is hobbling because of gout, and seems much older than 54. "Have you got any Voltaren," he yells to his girlfriend, Vaine. She heads off to find him some.

At noon a guard unlocks the gate, and prisoners file out. For the next two hours, they sit with their families at picnic tables, chatting over lunch, while guards watch lazily from a distance, sometimes turning their backs or disappearing altogether.

It would be a simple thing to run off, but there's nowhere to go, so no one bothers. A man wanders over to shake Franklin's hand - it's Tom Marsters, now the Queen's Representative for the Cook Islands, who's here visiting his disgraced son.

In some ways it's inevitable that Franklin ended up here, since he dabbled with drugs for many years.

"I joined the police [in 1978] and I wanted action straight away and got posted to South Auckland. I just threw myself into it and I gave the police all I had. It didn't take long before I realised it was affecting my health quite badly.

"One of the things I did to try and combat that was to smoke a bit of cannabis. It's probably something I shouldn't have done but it was always at home in the evenings, with my own friends away from the police."

Franklin says he first realised the stress of policing was getting to him when he couldn't make his 2-year-old daughter's birthday because he was watching an autopsy.

Then came Delcelia Witika, the 2-year-old tortured and killed by her mother and stepfather in South Auckland in 1991.

"I was OK during the investigation, but when the trial finished I just broke down."

Around 1998, Franklin was leading the reopened investigation into the 1989 murders of Deane Fuller-Sandys and Leah Stephens. Former Black Power enforcer Stephen Stone had made a roomful of witnesses pump bullets into Fuller-Sandys and then a week later raped and murdered Stephens because he was worried she would nark.

"That was one of the most difficult investigations I ever did, it lasted for two years, the stress was huge and I was carrying that."

During the investigation, Franklin and some friends were in downtown Auckland on a Friday night, walking down an alley passing around a joint, when they chanced upon some police officers who knew Franklin. It was an embarrassing moment.

No arrests were made, but Franklin felt bad about putting the officers in a predicament, so approached his supervisor on Monday morning to clear the air. "All that came to nothing, I think it was a warning and that was it."

The homicides just kept coming, especially when Franklin moved to West Auckland. Next up was Marie Jamieson, the hairdresser who was abducted off the street, stabbed to death and dumped behind a warehouse in Ranui.

"After Stone, that was a double whammy, I was pretty hard hit by then."

Franklin says he visited a police psychologist three times, and told him about his cannabis use. "It's not as if I wasn't trying to deal with the issue."

He doesn't believed he was addicted. "It's more a psychological thing. I found it very relaxing and, contrary to some people, I found it very motivating. In the evening you could sit there and reflect on things and find the next morning you were focused."

It troubled him that he was breaking the law, "but I felt like I was doing a great job, giving it 120 per cent and getting good results".

Franklin became crime manager for Northland and, in 2004, was seconded to the Cook Islands to review an historic homicide. He loved the place, and decided to make it his new home. Having been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, he was able to "Perf" from the police, or take early retirement on psychological grounds.

He headed to his island getaway, ready to start a new life.


Franklin had intended to focus on his music, but the call of police work beckoned once again, and he took up a contract to mentor and train local police, as well as lead serious fraud and corruption cases.

"It was the wrong thing to do, the trauma and the stress continued because I was still in a police environment."

Again, to relieve the stress, he turned to cannabis, which at $50 a tinnie was almost three times more expensive than New Zealand. Franklin knew a couple of people who sold weed, most of it brought in from New Zealand. His lawyer, Tony Manarangi, says there is some dope on the island, but not in huge quantities. "It's all social stuff, I've never known a Mr Asia to be here."

Manarangi says the suggestion Franklin was some kind of Mr Big is ridiculous. "He's very embarrassed that everyone thinks he's a dope dealer; you wouldn't have a worse dope dealer on the planet."

In the end it was Franklin's work investigating corruption in the Cook Islands that led to his downfall. He led a two-year investigation that resulted in charges against MP Norman George, a lawyer who Franklin suspects was tipped off that he was a social cannabis user.

"He tried to get me chucked off the investigation by making allegations of me being a drug dealer. That's where it all started, it was a personal attack on me."

In some ways, being charged was a big relief, as it meant there would be no more policing, no more stress.

Franklin has been in prison for almost a month, and says it's not too bad. No one wants to have a go at him because he's a cop. He's teaching other prisoners to read, write and play guitar and has started a prison band.

He says getting up at first light for cell inspections and early to bed is just like being back at police college.

He has appealed his sentence and hopes to be out in eight months on parole. He just wants to do his time, and then get back to his music. His cancer is in remission, and he has plans for an entertainment business.

Franklin says he is not worried about what people are saying in New Zealand. He remains proud of his service to the community.

"There will be some people who don't like what I've done because cannabis is a drug and drugs are bad.

"But I've got extremely good support from my family and friends, and people I know in police circles generally think that it's been dealt with a bit heavy handedly.

"I feel like I'm taking the flak for Operation Eagle, when I'm just Mark Franklin, a social cannabis smoker."

- © Fairfax NZ News

#38 User is offline   hukildaspida 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Member
  • Posts: 3353
  • Joined: 24-August 07

Posted 11 March 2014 - 01:34 PM


EQC bosses front for Brownlee shakeup
Last updated 05:00 08/03/2014

Earthquake Commission bosses are under pressure to report back to the Government with a plan for helping elderly quake victims after being summoned to a Beehive meeting.

EQC boss Ian Simpson and officials flew to Wellington for yesterday's meeting after an embarrassing series of blunders that left Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee red-faced.

He issued a please explain after it emerged that the plight of 85-year-old Dot Boyd was raised by Lianne Dalziel when she was a Labour MP eight months ago.

Boyd has been living out of boxes while waiting for repairs to her Aranui home three years on from the earthquake.

Brownlee had accused Labour of trading on Boyd's misery for organising a "photo-op" recently to highlight her plight rather than taking her case to the EQC.

He also attacked Labour's Christchurch MPs over their work ethic after claiming they had sought help from EQC on just five occasions on behalf of their constituents.

But figures subsequently supplied by EQC showed that understated their contact by hundreds of cases.

A further check with EQC showed that Boyd was not an isolated incident and at least 85 other elderly quake victims were still waiting on repairs.

A spokesman for Brownlee confirmed yesterday that EQC had been asked to report back to the minister how it arrived at those figures "and how they intend to deal with them".

Brownlee has publicly apologised to Labour's MPs for getting the information about their intervention on behalf of constituents so wrong.

He has also expressed anger that EQC did not act sooner in Boyd's case.
Ad Feedback

- Fairfax NZ New

#39 User is offline   hukildaspida 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Member
  • Posts: 3353
  • Joined: 24-August 07

Posted 09 June 2014 - 12:43 PM

Absolutely appalling conduct, they should be instantly dismissed, anyone else would be.

Sexy' asbestos email sent by Cera manager
Last updated 05:00 06/06/2014

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority staff member sent contractors a link to this "very inappropriate" YouTube video

Tim Pow

Stacy Squires/Fairfax NZ
'POOR TASTE': The link to the "inappropriate" video was sent by Cera residential red zone operations manager Tim Pow.

A Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) staff member sent contractors a link to a ''very inappropriate'' YouTube video, depicting a fictional woman who wants to meet asbestos workers for sex before they die of cancer.

The video clip, titled Asbestos Girl, features a woman talking to an asbestos worker in a bar about how people in his profession are brave ''because you know you're going to die of mesothelioma''.

Mesothelioma is a rare fatal cancer of the lining of the lungs or abdominal cavity and can be caused by asbestos, a known carcinogen.

The link to the video was sent to about 40 Cera contractors by Cera residential red zone operations manager Tim Pow on Friday.

Pow's email included the message: ''Now who said Asbestos was not the game to be in.''

The woman in the clip says: ''I'm just asking you to come back to my house, sniff some sealant and remove my asbestos - you know, have sex - before you die of mesothelioma.''

A Christchurch contractor
, who did not want to be named, said the video was ''in very poor taste'' and the email had caused outrage among its recipients.

New Zealand Demolition and Asbestos Association executive member Helina Stil
said the email was ''pretty strange''.

''They think it's all funny and stuff like that, but actually it's not. It's detrimental to what we're trying to achieve as women, but it's also detrimental to the industry as a whole.'' She told Cera on Monday that the email was ''disappointing''.

''Tim is a really really nice guy but in this instance, the email was inappropriate.''

Stil was concerned that the email also appeared to make light of the fact asbestos was a highly dangerous substance, particularly following criticism last week about how it had been handled during Canterbury's earthquake rebuild.

''I think it's actually very, very poor timing and very, very poor taste.''

Cera chief executive Roger Sutton
said the email intended to give people a laugh ''but in reality it was just dumb''.

''The content has caused offence to some, and to anyone that has been offended, I apologise on behalf of Cera.''

Cera was a strong supporter of women working in the rebuild, and about half of its senior leaders were women, along with 64 per cent of its fixed-term and seconded staff, he said.

Cera also treated asbestos management ''very seriously'' and had strict requirements in place for contractors dealing with the substance at Crown-owned properties.

Sutton said Cera would be reminding staff of its policies and expectations for the use of work email.

- The Press

#40 User is offline   hukildaspida 

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Member
  • Posts: 3353
  • Joined: 24-August 07

Posted 02 September 2014 - 05:39 PM

EQC 'failed' to give top engineer support

Last updated 14:16 29/08/2014

DISAPPOINTED BY COMPLAINTS: Reid Stiven said EQC was under huge pressure due to the scale of the disaster in Christchurch.
Heidi Gwynne
'HOW CAN YOU TRUST HIM?': Heidi Gwynne told the committee Robinson had come to the assessment of her Fraemohs house believing it did not deserve to be fixed.
Graeme Robinson
Kirk Hargreaves
EQC ENGINEER: Graeme Robinson arrives for the second day of his discplinary hearing.
Related Links
EQC engineer in disciplinary hearing EQC engineer denies bullying EQC engineer breaks down at hearing
Christchurch Earthquake 2011
New life in Chch held up by road works Quakes left me feeling 'empty' Cliff-top properties judged risk to life Is a new life emerging in Christchurch? EQC 'failed' to give top engineer support $855,000 to repair classroom EQC engineer breaks down at hearing Town Hall rebuild bids sought Sumner residents plea for $10m hub Loving the Christchurch life

Controversial Earthquake Commission engineer Graeme Robinson is sorry he has contributed to pressures on people who complained about him, his lawyer says.

Robinson is facing complaints from 11 Canterbury homeowners claiming he was incompetent in his assessments and unprofessional in his manner.

The complaints are before an Institution of Professional Engineers (IPENZ) disciplinary committee chaired by Peter McCombs sitting in Christchurch. The hearing concluded this afternoon with the panel reserving its decision.

After earlier questioning the jurisdiction of the committee to hear the complaints, John Morrison, counsel for Robinson, told the committee in closing submissions his client regretted his contribution to the stresses of the complainants.

"In each case it has been unintended and an unintended consequence.''

Morrison said none of the complaints could be supported either because they had not been made out and or because they were wrongly processed by IPENZ.

Robinson's primary responsibility was to EQC and he had done over 2500 assessments, drawing few complaints.

The complainants overstated Robinson's role and had an incorrect idea of EQC's responsibilities. It was unfair to criticise responsibilities which had not been assumed or were warranted.

The IPENZ investigators had not produced statements from the complainants of evidentiary quality and not advised Robinson of the claims until they had drawn conclusions.

Morrison said complainants had been given leeway to state their complainants whereas Robinson had been restrained.

Media publicity about the hearing was a one-way street.

The focus on Robinson's bedside manner was surprising given the potential consequences to Robinson's reputation, he said.

Answering questions from the disciplinary panel, Robinson said he was independent from EQC and had first worked for EQC in 1987.

His contract had been renewed each year and he had had an ongoing engagement with EQC since 1997. His contract had no scoping document and did not specify rates of pay.

His work was peer reviewed in the context of a number of complaints to EQC and not only in the context of complaints to the engineer's registration authority.

Robinson said he had raised concerns about his workload and backlog with EQC and these were addressed by the establishment of Fletcher EQR technical hub.

He had an engineer seconded to him and now EQC had engaged another engineer.

He regarded reviews of his work within EQC as peer support and many of those engineers providing review had supported him at the hearing this week.

"I've been humbled by the support I've had here."


This morning, the hearing heard from Reid Stiven, EQC's general manager Canterbury home repair programme, who said Robinson was required to deliver hard messages to anxious customers with high expectations.

In a final submission, Diamond Harbour homeowner Heidi Gwynne told the committee Robinson had come to the assessment of her Fraemohs house believing it did not deserve to be fixed.

He had refused to review independent reports she had obtained using her savings, and despite his report EQC had settled her claim, which ended up over cap, this week.

His assessment had been brief and he lacked equipment to pick up bowed walls and walls out of plumb. If her house had been fixed according to Robinson's recommendations it would now be unsafe, Gwynne said.

She was normally a laidback person but his actions had caused her sleepless nights.

"If it's one thing I can't stand it's a lack of integrity. This man has displayed that in all my dealings with EQC.''

The engineer had a strong presence within EQC and had abused his power.

"I think it's disgusting.''

Robinson has lied to the committee, she said. He now said he knew nothing about a leaky deck on her house but she remembered him being on the deck and saying the leak was due to poor maintenance.

He was trying to evade responsibility by bringing evidence he was a minor player in the assessments.

"Robinson was the top dog. Everyone was subservient to him. He was the one who said I would only be getting a cash settlement. It shows to me he is lying.

"How can you trust him to be safe with other people?''

The engineer had showed self pity rather than remorse, she said.


A complainant in the hearing earlier characterised Robinson's manner as a "mother telling a child''.

Hugh Bigsby
, in a final submission, said he took issue with the belief complainants couldn't take hard messages and they were shooting the messenger.

All the complainants had experienced hard messages before and accepted them if they were reasoned, well thought-out and respectful.

People got upset when a professional acted like a "mother telling a child" and gave a message without substance.

As for shooting the messenger, "we need to accept in many cases Robinson writes the message not just delivers it".

Marg Bigsby said that despite Stiven's submission Robinson was only used when parties were deadlocked, in their situation no disagreement had existed before Robinson's visit.

In a final submission, complainant Mark Tierney, an aircraft engineer, said there was also no disagreement in his case until Robinson intervened.

Robinson had talked to another EQC engineer while on site and and then telephoned his office telling them to "pull payment" and to call Reid Stiven for confirmation.

"You will never hear from him again,'' Robinson had said about the other engineer.

If the committee did not find Robinson guilty of unprofessionalism and very poor ethical behaviour "then the people of New Zealand needed to be concerned when the next sad event happens because he is coming to see you".

"The New Zealand IPENZ have to stop slapping dangerous engineers over the wrist and charging them nothing and IPENZ have to take all the responsibility on themselves."

Another complainant Andrea Laws said her case was not at an impasse when Robinson arrived.

As a result of his assessment EQC had backed out of previous statements to find their damage was cosmetic only.


The Earthquake Commission failed to provide its allegedly bullying engineer with the support he needed, a disciplinary committee has heard.

Reid Stiven, EQC's general manager of the Canterbury home repair programme, said EQC was under huge pressure due to the scale of the disaster in Christchurch.

Robinson was always sent into situations where customers were already at an impasse with EQC and, regrettably, these customers had often not had a good experience with EQC.

In normal events, Robinson would not have any "interface" with the customer and he should have been part of a team of three EQC staff.

When this did not happen, it was "my failing, EQC's failing, we didn't provide Graeme Robinson with the support.''

He did not know if Robinson had training in dealing with people in stressful situations.

The engineer was given a huge workload and did not get the support he should have received, Stiven said.

It was sometimes extremely difficult delivering a message the customer does not want to hear, he said.

Robinson was EQC's lead consultant engineer but not employed by it. EQC did not expect full engineering reports from him and was engaged on a claim-by-claim basis.

Stiven said he was disappointed some complaints heard on the second day of the disciplinary hearing had not been dealt with by the EQC complaints procedure or mediation.

Robinson was not expected to provide geotechnical reports and he was disappointed the IPENZ investigators had not sought clarification on matters before the disciplinary committee.

- The Press

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.

Sponsored Links


Share this topic:

  • 3 Pages +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users