In July, the Inquiry completed the last of its public forums around New Zealand, with forums in Eketahuna and Edgecumbe to hear from local people.

These forums focused on the respective community experiences from the 2014 Eketahuna earthquake and the 2017 Edgecumbe flood. In addition to speaking with forum attendees, Inquiry Chair Dame Silvia Cartwright also spoke with community representatives in both towns, including local politicians, recovery leaders, emergency services and business.   

The latest in the series of forums with former EQC staff and contractors were also held, in which Dame Silvia was able to hear about their experiences and perspectives from working in the organisation.   

Representatives for advocacy group WeCan met with Dame Silvia to discuss human rights considerations arising from the Canterbury earthquakes, and to put forward a view on Dame Silvia's inquisitorial approach to the Inquiry.

Leanne Curtis, a member of the Inquiry's Community Reference Group and a founding member of advocacy group CanCERN, spoke to Dame Silvia about the voice of the community in the recovery in Canterbury, working with government agencies and issues that got in the way.     

Several other individuals also met with Dame Silvia to speak about their individual claims experiences or issues they faced in regard to claims.       

Dame Silvia met with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu's chief executive Arihia Bennett, and director of earthquake response and recovery Robyn Wallace, to discuss iwi partnership and participation in recovery from natural disasters, and the importance of local leadership.

In a hui led by leaders and staff of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu (the Whānau Ora commissioning agency for Te Waipounamu/ the South Island of New Zealand), and attended by Rū Whenua Earthquake Support Navigators, insights from working with earthquake-affected whanau were shared with Dame Silvia. 

Dame Silvia met with engineers Dave Brunsdon and Mike Stannard - both Fellows of Engineering New Zealand and members of the Engineering Advisory Group - to discuss MBIE's Residential Guidance relating to the Canterbury earthquakes, and wider engineering issues in disaster recovery.

Rod Cameron - a founding member of the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT), which was established to repair and rebuild $2 billion of horizontal infrastructure in Christchurch - spoke with Dame Silvia about his insights into the construction industry response to the Canterbury earthquakes, and a new model for rebuilding after a disaster that he is developing.    

Licensed building practitioner Gideon Couper met with Dame Silvia to discuss his insights from the completion of thousands of detailed reports on homes damaged in earthquakes in the Canterbury, Marlborough and Wellington regions - and his observations from his work with EQC.

Dame Silvia also met with risk analyst and insurance professional Melissa Heath about her work in the aftermath of the Canterbury and Kaikōura earthquakes - and issues facing property owners such as those related to multi-unit buildings.

Quantity surveyor Lester Bryant spoke with Dame Silvia about the necessity of a standard for assessing damage, to ensure appropriate repair strategies.   

Dame Silvia also spoke with officials from the Canterbury District Health Board about the longer term impacts of the earthquakes on the wellbeing of Cantabrians, the needs of vulnerable people in the community, and leadership in disaster recovery.    

In a meeting with the Selwyn District Council mayor and chief executive, Dame Silvia discussed with them earthquake impacts on their district and implications for their community planning.



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