In August, the last of the Inquiry's forums with current and former EQC staff was completed. Inquiry Chair Dame Silvia Cartwright heard from people in Hamilton on their experiences of working for EQC and areas they identified as needing change.
Dame Silvia also held the latest of her meetings with the Inquiry's Community Reference Group, in which she spoke to the group about what the Inquiry had heard from people to date, and next steps.
One of the members of the Community Reference Group, Tom McBrearty, met individually with Dame Silvia to discuss his insights from his key leadership roles, including in post-earthquake advocacy groups such as CanCERN and the EQC Claimant Reference Group.
Jo Petrie, another member of the EQC Claimant Reference Group, spoke with Dame Silvia about what she had learned from working with Maori in various capacities after the Canterbury earthquakes, including an oral history project recording experiences of a group of Maori with EQC and private insurers, related to the repair of their homes.
Dame Silvia also spoke with David Ormsby, regional manager for the Te Waipounamu Region of Te Puni Kōkiri, about the experience of Maori homeowners and tenants dealing with EQC, the importance of whanau support after natural disasters, and the role and contribution of Rūnanga leadership in disaster recovery.
Dame Silvia met with members of the Quake Families Trust, who spoke about their experiences of dealing with EQC at the same time as coping with the loss of loved ones or serious injury in the earthquakes. Issues of vulnerability and support for people through the claims process were also discussed.
In a meeting with the Human Rights Commission, Dame Silvia heard about the commission's view on how EQC had responded to recent natural disasters and how it could improve and better align in future with New Zealand's human rights commitments.
Dame Silvia also met with leaders from engineering consultancy Tonkin + Taylor to discuss the firm's long-term partnership with EQC, in which it has assessed land damage and liability, future risk and options for land remediation.
The Building Practitioners Board spoke with Dame Silvia about the need for clarity of responsibility in post-disaster damage repair or rebuilds, clear building standards, quality assurance and suitable supervision of the work.
In a meeting with officials from The Treasury, Dame Silvia discussed its role as a monitoring agency for EQC, advice provided by The Treasury as it relates to EQC, and its thinking about EQC's purpose and functions.