EQCFix questions terms of reference of Public Inquiry
The announcement of a Public Inquiry into EQC is welcomed today by claimants’ group EQCFix.
“However, we are unsure to what extent the Inquiry will look at the drivers behind the operational decisions that were made by, and in some cases for, EQC following the Canterbury Earthquakes,” says EQCFix spokesperson Mel Bourke.
“For example, the Commission’s funding structure has been explicitly excluded from the Inquiry Terms. This is of concern to EQCFix given the questions it has raised over the Commission’s timely access to its investments following the Canterbury Events and to what extent this drove the Commission’s behaviour and practices.
“While EQCFix recognises that examining operational
practices (or lack thereof) will help improve EQC’s future
responses, questions over the funding of EQC, and political
influence and private insurer assess to EQC funding may in
fact provide much better lessons as to what has driven the
poor response experienced by so many in Canterbury since
2010,” says Ms Bourke.
EQCFix also questions whether the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry have been too heavily influenced by the private insurance industry’s continuing push to take over operational control of EQC.
“Letting private insurers complete quick assessments and then quickly cash settle claims as EQC’s agent, is not only a conflict of interest, given a private insurers liability over and above EQC’s ‘cap’, it fails to safeguard the quality and completeness of the assessment and settlement process, and is untested in a large disaster,” says Mel Bourke.