The Chair of the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission, Dame Silvia Cartwright, is encouraging people to have their say as she considers what changes may be needed to EQC’s handling of future natural disasters.
The Inquiry has been established by the Government to look at what can be learned from the experience of the Canterbury earthquakes, and subsequent events around New Zealand. It will operate independently and report to the Governor-General by the end of 2019.
Dame Silvia has begun meeting with various parties who hold relevant information, including EQC. A Community Reference Group made up of Christchurch community leaders and advocates is providing advice to Dame Silvia.
From today, people and groups/organisations can give their written views to the Inquiry by visiting the Inquiry website – eqcinquiry.govt.nz(external link); or by filling out paper submission forms. Other opportunities to participate in the Inquiry, including public forums, will be available in the coming weeks.
Dame Silvia says a critical part of the Inquiry is hearing from people who have had experiences with EQC, and any changes to its policies, operations and service they think are needed.
“I want to encourage people to help the Inquiry make positive change for all New Zealanders,” Dame Silvia says.
“I am aware that strong views about EQC have been expressed in public discussion. I want to hear a range of views before formulating any opinions or recommendations. I come to this Inquiry with no preconceived ideas.”
“The Terms of Reference for the Inquiry are firmly focussed on learning lessons from recent events such as the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, and applying these lessons to how future events are handled.”
“The Inquiry’s scope does not include apportioning blame, revisiting legal judgments or addressing individual insurance claims.”
“However I am mindful that people’s experiences through these recent natural disasters have had profound and lasting impacts for many. It’s important that they are heard on this.”
“My commitment is that I will do my best to bring about improved experiences for claimants and others dealing with EQC in future.”
Individuals who make a written submission to the Inquiry can request confidentiality, and where submissions are publicly released, personal and identifying information will be removed. Submissions can be made through until 19 May 2019.
For more information about making a submission, or the Inquiry itself, people can visit eqcinquiry.govt.nz(external link); email firstname.lastname@example.org; or call the Inquiry team on 0508 INQ EQC (0508 467 372)
- The Earthquake Commission (EQC) is a Crown entity that provides natural disaster insurance for residential property in New Zealand, among other roles.
- A short bio on Dame Silvia Cartwright is available at https://eqcinquiry.govt.nz/about-the-inquiry/about-the-inquiry-chair/(external link)
For more information or to request an interview, you can contact the Inquiry Communications Manager Jarrod Booker on 021 928 309 or email email@example.com