New Zealand Labour Party

Minister must come clean on implications of landmark settlement

Gerry Brownlee has urgent and serious questions to answer in the wake of today’s landmark EQC settlement, which potentially has major implications for thousands of Cantabrians, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods.

“Today’s settlement has seen the crown admit that EQC had a legal obligation to an ‘as new’ standard of repair, rather than the ‘pre-earthquake’ standards they have been using. That means thousands of homes in Canterbury may have been repaired to a lower standard than legally required.

“The Minister needs to urgently come clean about the implications of this settlement: will it apply only to the 98 people involved in the case, or will the principles apply to every homeowner who has dealt with EQC? Has the government put the money aside to deal with that? What will the implications be for the Budget? What process will homeowners whose repairs are below standard have to follow?

“Today’s settlement also raises the concern that homes that were deemed a repair job under the MBIE guidelines could have been rebuilds under the EQC act, meaning many people may have missed out on the full rebuild they were legally entitled to.

“For five years, people in Canterbury have been telling the government they weren’t getting the standard of repairs they were entitled too. Gerry Brownlee didn’t listen and now we are seeing the results.

“Gerry Brownlee needs to urgently come clean, tell Cantabrians what will happen from here, and take action to ensure mistakes like this never happen again,” says Megan Woods.