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

#41 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 04:32 PM

EQC accused of 'unacceptable bullying'
Last updated 17:05 30/09/2014

A court claim of $1 million for a house worth about $300,000 was not a try-on, a Burwood homeowner told a High Court today.

Suzanne Kelly, who with her husband Cameron
is suing the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and Southern Response (SR) for $590,000, had earlier told the court about the stressful and frustrating battle to get her 100-year-old house ''sorted''.

To EQC's lawyer Bruce Scott, Kelly said the property, which had a valuation in 2013 of $270,000, was possibly worth about $300,000 before the earthquakes.

She denied the initial amount of $1.044m claimed in court proceedings was a ''try-on''.

''I didn't know what I was entitled to. I believed I was entitled to have my house sorted,'' she said.

Kelly said she was not aware EQC and SR had wanted another meeting to discuss issues raised by a joint assessment ordered by the court.

There had been ongoing meeting and reports, she said.

The Kellys claim their Burwood house needs to be lifted to properly repair its foundations while EQC and SR say the foundations of the house were not damaged by the earthquakes and want to repair the house for about $53,000. Lifting the house would make it uneconomic to repair.

Kelly told a High Court trial in Christchurch today that the February 2011 earthquake felt ''like a bomb had gone off'' in her street, and their section had slumped and cracked. Liquefaction material was piled high on the footpath and power lines outside her house had dropped low enough enough to be touched

The property looked like a ''fun house'' due to its uneven floors and distorted walls. The kitchen floor felt like it had nothing underneath and the bedroom floor was falling away at the edges. It was ''absurd'' for EQC and SR to say the earthquake had not damaged the foundations, she said.

The family vacated the house as it was uninhabitable. By October 2011, Kelly was becoming frustrated with EQC and it seemed to be ''deliberately messing" her around, as she learned later it had information which could have been shared with her.

''Not having a place to call home'' and paying extra expenses had caused ''enormous financial and emotional stress'', she said.

Walking through their formerly well-kept home now subjected to the weather was ''soul destroying'', she said.

EQC had taken an unreasonable amount of time to settle their claim, Kelly said. She made countless phone calls, sometimes only to be told if she did not agree with EQC her file would go to the bottom of the queue, which was ''totally unacceptable'' bullying.

Every report and site visit seemed to contradict the last, Kelly said.

''It was a very stressful time affecting my physical and mental wellbeing, and of course the family felt it as Cameron and I tried to find out what was happening.''

Reports over the next three years differed completely on whether their land was damaged, and no justifications for the changes were provided.

In cross-examination Kelly denied her belief the house was ''straight'' before the earthquakes was wrong.

The fact internal walls had not cracked enough to justify the sudden drops or that weatherboards on two sides of the house remained level did not change her beliefs.

Kelly said by May this year EQC was saying the house could be repaired for $45,000 while her quantity surveyor had set the cost, including foundation work, at $547,000.

In the first year after the earthquake their accommodation had been paid by SR but since then the family had spent $12,000 on rent while still paying rates and the mortgage on the Burwood property.

Today the Kellys' lawyer, Grant Shand, was warned the court would have to deal with an argument his clients could win but be denied relief due to the way he had drafted his statement of claim, asking only for money.

Bruce Scott, for EQC, said his client had elected not to pay money in the claim. If repair was uneconomic, EQC and SR would build the Kellys a new house.

Shand said the defendants had to pay money because they had made their election about rebuilding or repair too late.

''This case is somehow being treated differently to the thousands of claims settled,'' he said.

Justice Mander
said the point could be argued in closing.

The continues this afternoon.

- The Press

#42 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 02:43 PM

Update to post #42.

One may assume that anyone involved in the Canterbury earthquakes have been under high levels of stress, not just those that work for EQC.

Top EQC engineer expelled for errors

Last updated 05:00, December 13 2014

The Earthquake Commission's (EQC) top engineer has been expelled from the Chartered Professional Engineers' register for three years for "upper level" misconduct.

In August, the Institution of Professional Engineers disciplinary committee heard complaints from 11 Canterbury homeowners, who claimed Graeme Robinson was incompetent in his work and unprofessional in his manner.

The Press has obtained one full decision, but understands at least five of the 11 complaints have been upheld by the committee.

The penalty determination was not available until yesterday.

Robinson played an active role in EQC inspections, doing about 2500 assessments in Canterbury after September 4, 2010.

The removal from the register took effect from yesterday, despite an appeal period of 28 days. Robinson has been ordered to pay costs of $5950.

He must reapply if he wants to return to the register after three years.

Robinson's lawyer, John Morrison,
said the committee's decisions relating to all upheld complaints would be appealed against. The appeal will be heard by the district court.

The decision obtained by The Press relates to a complaint by Michael and Fiona Tierney, whose 125-year-old Hororata house was inspected by Robinson in November 2010 and May 2011. The house was being renovated by the Tierneys.

He completed reports saying the house had not been damaged by the earthquakes and urged the Selwyn District Council to remove a yellow sticker (restricted access) on the house. The replacement green notice allowed the Tierney family to live and sleep in the dwelling.

This was despite his own photographs showing a largely unrestrained hot water cylinder and exposed electrical wiring.

The committee found Robinson's assessment and criticism of the earlier building work and renovations being done by the Tierneys was "insufficiently careful" to identify earthquake damage and risk.

In expressing his view that the house was as safe after the earthquakes as before, Robinson lacked the wider responsibilities, impartiality and concern expected of a professional engineer, "particularly in circumstances of personal safety".

"The committee considers such shortfalls to be at the upper levels of a scale of misconduct," it said.

Robinson showed "demonstrable incompetence" in repeated omissions in his two visits and reports, together with his repeated assertions that the house was safe to occupy.

The decision noted that the Tierneys' engineers identified unstable brick walls in the bedroom areas and concluded the house was dangerous.

In concluding that Robinson was negligent, the committee said it expected Robinson, in addition to preparing a report for EQC, to show concern for the personal safety of the Tierneys and their children.

"As a qualified engineer, Robinson must have had sufficient engineering knowledge to be aware that exposed electrical wiring and an unrestrained hot water cylinder were potentially dangerous . . . [Robinson] had a duty to advise the Tierneys that it was inappropriate to be staying in the house."

He should have documented and communicated the risks associated with the property, the committee found.

"This was a significant safety issue with the potential to harm people."

In Morrison's submissions on penalty, he said Robinson was held in high regard by EQC and was working in high-stress circumstances.

- The Press

#43 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 04:42 PM

Is this the same Nikki Kettle?

It is of concern someone in her position would like some of these sites.



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#44 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 04:49 PM

Please click on the link to watch this episode.

Allegations of EQC favouritism, bias and nepotism

Sunday 13 Sep 2015 6:30 p.m.

Join the discussion

Read more:

By Melanie Reid

A 3D investigation has uncovered allegations of nepotism and rudeness at the Earthquake Commission (EQC) in Christchurch, with a young EQC claims assessor the subject of numerous complaints and facing an internal inquiry.

She was involved in crucial assessments on earthquake compensation claims and now has multiple complaints against her.

In 2011 Nikki Kettle was employed by the EQC in Christchurch on a salary well into six figures – not bad when you're in your mid-20s.

Ms Kettle worked as an assessor, making what's known as "field assessments" and dealing with claimants. Internal documents show the EQC hourly pay rates back then; along with big money there were claims of nepotism and even an "EQC royal family".

Mother Gail Kettle, ex-ACC,
has one of the top jobs in EQC as the general manager of customers and claims.

Some 15 months after the first Christchurch earthquake, the number of assessors and estimators was slashed from 500 to just 120, and the salaries reduced from around $175,000 to $115,000 per annum.

Nikki and the son of an EQC senior manager survived and kept their jobs.

Soon after, early in 2012, Nikki started a building company while still employed with EQC. It was bound to raise questions of a conflict of interest – the company that she set up with an EQC colleague was called Re-Built Project Management.

"She registered a potential conflict of interest and then it was managed, so there was; it was registered and we dealt with it," says EQC CEO Ian Simpson.

Nikki survived the conflict of interest investigation, and, while there are those who support her and say she is good at her job, there are clearly those who don't. She is now facing another investigation following a number of complaints from the public.

"It's been my experience with her that she is confrontational and certainly making decisions, particularly around foundations, that are just way outside her work station and way outside the building code," says complainant John Maio.

"I thought she had some sort of engineering degree," says homeowner Mark Wilson. "However, the more you listened to what she was saying, the more you realised it was all bluff and bravado and there was no substance behind it."

"I laid a complaint about her behaviour and I refused to come back with her on-site," says Suzy Hamilton.

Watch the video for the full 3D report.


Producer: Hannah Story
Camera: George Murahidy
Editor: Paul Enticott

Read more:

#45 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 04:51 PM

Earthquake Services Ltd
Consulting/Business Services

#46 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 02:39 PM

EQC apologises to Christchurch family who bought poorly repaired home


Last updated 05:00, April 11 2016

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has apologised to a Christchurch family who bought a house they thought was repaired, only to discover they had fallen victim to shoddy building work.

Cracks have opened up around the exterior of the MacDonalds' Woolston home after they purchased the supposedly repaired property in 2012.

EQC put the issues down to poor repair work by a contractor and has apologised for remedial work delays.

Helen MacDonald, her husband Josh and their three-year-old son were going through an "absolute nightmare" with EQC.

* Call for royal commission
* Farrell Residential repairs shoddy
* 5500 repairs need correcting

They thought their home was repaired four years ago, just before they purchased it and moved in.
EQC says workmanship issues at the MacDonalds' house need to be corrected.

EQC says workmanship issues at the MacDonalds' house need to be corrected.

Exterior cracks, two of which now stretched from the floor to the ceiling, started to appear about a year later and were gradually getting worse, Helen said.

The MacDonalds were initially unsure if the cracks were new damage from further aftershocks or faulty repairs.

"After trying to get this sorted for over a year, we finally had an assessor come around who told us the initial repairs were not up to standard and this was not new damage," Helen MacDonald said.

There had been no progress on repairs nine months after the first visit, until another assessor showed up in January.
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"This turned up that the builders, who were contracted by Fletchers, had merely painted over cracks and had not filled them," she said.

"We then went to the complaints team and said 'look this [repair work] isn't moving', and since then I think we've had three or four different complaints officers who have been assigned to our case.

"They just tell us the same stuff, without the reason why we've changed – because your claim's special, or you're to difficult to deal with, or whatever it is."

Fletcher EQR operated on behalf of EQC to manage the repair of earthquake-damaged homes where the damage was estimated to be between $15,000 and $100,000.

It referred requests for comment on the matter to EQC, which apologised for the MacDonalds' situation.
EQC has apologised to Helen MacDonald and her family.

EQC has apologised to Helen MacDonald and her family.

"There has been delay for these homeowners having a start date confirmed for the remedial work.

"For that, we can only apologise," customer and claims general manager Trish Keith said.

In the MacDonalds' case, there was a mix of workmanship issues which needed to be corrected, as well as additional work, Keith said.

"We have identified the extent of work required and once we have finalised the scope, we can progress repairs."

Frustrated Canterbury homeowners rallied on Friday for a royal commission into earthquake repairs.

The 100-strong crowd presented Labour leader Andrew Little with a petition signed by nearly 3000 people.

"We need to understand the role of EQC, the role of the insurance companies, the role of the construction companies involved in the repairs, because to think that five years on there are still people who haven't got their repairs satisfactorily completed," Little said.

In January, it was revealed EQC had about 5500 second-time repairs to carry out on Canterbury homes because of poor workmanship, failed or incorrect repair strategies, scope omissions and new damage.

- Stuff

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