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EQC rolling out rapid assessments to give certainty

MEDIA RELEASE


For immediate release: 11 March 2010


EQC rolling out rapid assessments to give homeowners certainty faster


The Earthquake Commission is rolling out a new assessment approach to give people with houses damaged by the 22 February earthquake in Christchurch more certainty faster, Chief Executive Ian Simpson said today.

“Lessons learnt following the 4 September earthquake are behind the new approach. This new approach will give people more certainty faster,” Mr Simpson said.

The new approach will start with a rapid assessment of all residential properties in Christchurch, starting today and covering metropolitan Christchurch, Lyttleton, and affected parts of Selwyn and Waimakariri over the next eight weeks.

The assessment will prioritise needs and repairs and give residents the timeframe for when EQC will be coming back for a full assessment.

“At the same time, we are working on emergency repairs to properties that are not weathertight or habitable or whose residents are vulnerable, so people can stay in their homes at least temporarily,” Mr Simpson said.

Anyone in need of emergency repairs should contact EQC on 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243).

The rapid assessment of Christchurch households over the next eight weeks will place dwellings into damage categories with the timeframe for a further full assessment:

• Houses with severe structural damage will be revisited for a full assessment within four months. Those needing repairs of more than $100,000 + GST will then be passed on to the homeowner’s insurance company for follow-up.

• Houses with minor structural damage will be revisited for a full assessment within four to six months.

• Houses with no structural damage will be revisited for a full assessment within six to nine months.

EQC will be deploying assessors in increasing numbers in coming weeks to conduct the rapid assessments: 160 assessors from today, increasing to 320 next week, and rising to 500 the following week.

“We’ll start the rapid assessment in three Christchurch areas where the damage is worst,” Mr Simpson said.

Starting from today rapid assessment teams will be visiting Avondale, Wainoni, Bexley, Aranui, Avonside, Bromley, North Linwood, Mt Pleasant, and Redcliffs.

From Monday rapid assessment teams will be visiting Westhaven, Shirley, New Brighton, Dallington, Woolston, Richmond, Phillipstown, Linwood and Ferrymead.

“We know how desperately Christchurch people need to know where they stand,” Mr Simpson said. “And we’ll draw on all the resources that we can to ensure we are as fast and efficient as possible.

“This schedule gives certainty – not a guarantee that a fix is just around the corner, but at least the knowledge of what we’re doing and when.”

EQC will publicise regular updates in local media on the progress of the rapid assessment and information about where in the city its assessors will be next.


ENDS

• EQC website: www.eqc.govt.nz
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/earthquakecommission
• Twitter: www.twitter.com/eqcnz

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