Message from Dame Silvia Cartwright, Chair of the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission


With this being my last newsletter of 2019, I wanted to provide a brief update on the progress of the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission, and what to expect in the new year.

I am now well into the drafting of a report which will provide recommendations to the Government on how to improve the way EQC operates, and the experience of claimants. A crucial part of this independent Inquiry has been capturing the lessons learnt from the handling of previous events such as the Canterbury earthquakes. I have had huge amounts of information to draw on from my team’s research, interviews and meetings with various people and organisations, public submissions, and feedback received at public forums around New Zealand.

Through December and January, I will be testing some of the report’s draft content with relevant parties in the interests of ensuring accuracy and upholding the principles of natural justice. My intention is to present my finalised report to the Governor-General by the end of March next year, and beyond that it will be for the Government to consider my findings and recommendations.

In my last newsletter I provided a link through to a snapshot of what I had heard most often from people through submissions and at public forums. I also mentioned a larger and more detailed summary of what the Inquiry has heard from people, the content of which is now complete.

My intention had been to release that more fulsome summary this month, but upon reflection I have decided it makes more sense to have it available at the same time as my Inquiry report is presented to the Governor-General.

This way, people will have access to the full context of the two documents, and will be able to see how the feedback from people translates to my findings and recommendations, and vice versa.

Finally, I want to once again thank everyone who has participated in the Inquiry, or taken an interest in it, in 2019. Have a safe and happy holiday season, enjoy the time with family and friends, and I will be in touch again in the new year as the Inquiry is drawing toward its conclusion.

Ngā mihi,

Dame Silvia Cartwright
Chair of the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission

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