The Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission was established to examine the role and work of the Earthquake Commission (EQC), and to learn lessons that can be applied to how it operates in future.
EQC is a New Zealand Crown entity that provides natural disaster insurance to residential property owners, as well as investing in natural disaster research and education. Find out more about EQC here(external link).
The Inquiry was established by the Government in November 2018, through an Order in Council(external link) by the Governor-General, Dame Patsy Reddy. You can read the statement of Minister Megan Woods about the establishment of the Inquiry here(external link).
An amendment to the original Order in Council was subsequently issued, to change the reporting date for the Inquiry. You can read this amendment here(external link).
This was the first “public inquiry” to be held in New Zealand under the Inquiries Act 2013(external link) , and it operated independently from Ministers and government.
The inquiry was led by The Hon. Dame Silvia Cartwright, with advice from a Community Reference Group and support from a secretariat based in Christchurch. Dame Silvia conducted meetings and interviews in an inquisitorial approach to gathering information for the Inquiry.
The Terms of Reference for the Inquiry laid out its purpose, and what was in its scope and what was not. For example, the Inquiry could not address the resolution of individual claims to EQC, or legal challenges against EQC.
Detail about how the Inquiry operated can be found in the formal Minutes of the Inquiry
Public participation was an important part of this Inquiry. If you had experience dealing with EQC - as a claimant, advocate, contractor or otherwise - we were keen to hear your views about EQC's policies, operations and services into the future.
There were a range of ways people could participate in the Inquiry, including public forums and written submissions.
You can find out more on what the Inquiry heard here.