The report by the Independent Ministerial Advisor for the Earthquake Commission (EQC) released today is a step in the right direction, but requires the Government to take immediate action, National’s EQC Spokesperson Stuart Smith says.

“The people of Christchurch have had their voices heard and now it’s time for the Government to act quickly on the recommendations to ensure remaining claims are settled.

“There are still around 2,600 claims outstanding from the Christchurch earthquakes and people deserve concrete answers rather than mere suggestions.

“This is a complex issue due to the unprecedented nature of the events in Christchurch, but it is important that settlements are made quickly and fairly. This is a time for cool heads.

“The report makes a number of recommendations, however there is a lack of clarity about the issue of on-sold homes.

“This issue is one that has dominated headlines and is particularly concerning. The report fails to hold anyone accountable for the cost and homeowners are still being left in the dark.

“It is up to the Minister to clarify the Government’s position on on-sold homes and explain who will be picking up the bill. Making a recommendation only leaves the people affected out of pocket while they are forced to live in homes that have suffered subsequent damage.

“The Minister has communicated to the interim chair of EQC, Dame Annette King, that the recommendations need to be implemented right away, however she has failed to provide a timeframe.

“The Government must not leave this issue to fester any longer. The Minister needs to give us more information about when she expects the changes to be made. There is no point having another inquiry into an inquiry.”

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