Message from the Inquiry Chair, Dame Silvia Cartwright: 

Welcome to the website for the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission.

As the name suggests, the purpose of this Inquiry is to examine the role and work of the Earthquake Commission (EQC) in the aftermath of recent natural disasters, and to learn lessons that can be applied to improve how it operates in future events.

The Inquiry has a particular focus on the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, but will be addressing experiences right across New Zealand. That includes reviewing how EQC responded differently to other events such as the Kaikoura earthquake in 2016, and what we can learn from those comparisons.

The Inquiry may find fault, but is not designed to apportion blame, to assist with or revisit individual claims, or to revisit findings by the courts. Hence it will not operate in an adversarial way, as you might see in a courtroom.

While the Inquiry has been established by the Government, it is important to mention that it operates independently and will report its findings and recommendations to the Governor-General.

In order for the Inquiry to get the best picture of experiences with EQC, and to recommend any changes that might be needed, we need people to participate.

We asked anyone who had an experience with EQC, such as a claim from one of the earthquakes, to share that experience and what changes they thought could make for better results in the future.

Hundreds of people have provided their views in writing, or in person at public forums or meetings. Thank you to all those who took part, and the Inquiry will be carefully considering all we have heard.

The Inquiry has until 31 March 2020 to provide a final report to the Governor-General (who will then present it to the Government to consider), but my aim is to have at least a draft version of the final report complete by the end of 2019. 

The importance of this Inquiry for the people of Canterbury, and wider New Zealand, cannot be overstated. I am determined I will do my best to achieve the best result for people in accordance with the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference.

Thank you for your interest in this Inquiry.

Dame Silvia Cartwright

Chair of the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission 

Last modified: