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- Enquiries and Complaints
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- A fair go for all?
- Canterbury earthquake recovery
Key Focus Areas
If repairs are required to your home the options open to you will depend on the estimated cost of repairs. In order to estimate the cost of repairs EQC will carry out a scope of works. This will list what repairs need to happen to return your home to a near new condition.
For work costing less than $10,000 plus GST you will be paid out by EQC.
For work costing $10-100,000 Fletchers EQR will manage the process. You have the choice of taking the money and managing the repair yourself or having Fletchers EQR manage the repair for you. This is sometimes known as ‘under cap.’
For work costing over $100,000 you have the option of negotiating with your insurance company to complete the work, or accepting a payment from your insurance company and managing the repair yourself. This is sometimes known as ‘over cap. The big insurance companies have engaged construction companies to manage this process on their behalf.
Opting out of the EQC-managed Canterbury Home Repair Programme
The EQC has a comprehensive guide about the programme and homeowners’ responsibilities if they chose to opt out of the EQC-managed Canterbury home repair programme:
The Canterbury Home Repair Programme is EQC’s managed repair programme for homes with damage under the EQC cap ($100,000), and which EQC has decided to repair rather than cash settle.
Fletcher EQR, a division of Fletcher Construction, is the project manager for the Canterbury Home Repair Programme. The repair and building work is carried out by independent contractors who are accredited and coordinated by Fletcher EQR. Accreditation takes account of professional and trade qualifications and experience, to ensure that appropriate standards are maintained.
The benefits of the Fletcher EQR process are:
- the work is managed to completion by Fletcher EQR, so homeowners don’t need to manage repair of their homes
- homeowners incur no extra costs if the repair works exceed the EQC estimate.
EQC says another benefit is that homeowners have peace of mind knowing that Fletcher EQR has full responsibility for managing all facets of the project.
Opting Out of EQC-Managed Repair
When homeowners opt out, they are taking over the role of project manager from Fletcher EQR. With this role comes the responsibility to oversee the repairs of their house – including payment of their contractor of choice.
Opting out means the repairs will no longer be managed by Fletcher EQR. Opting out allows homeowners to:
- choose their own contractor to undertake repairs
- control the time when their repairs will be undertaken
- have the opportunity to renovate their homes or undertake additional work (at their own cost), at the same time as having their earthquake damage repaired.
Opting out does not entitle homeowners to a cash settlement.
Opting out means that homeowners are responsible for all aspects of their repairs, including:
- managing all repairs to earthquake damage relating to the property
- obtaining all necessary consents and ensuring repairs comply with all the relevant laws, including the Building Act
- informing their insurer of the repair work to be undertaken and making any necessary insurance arrangements prior to work starting
- resolving any disputes that may occur
- repairing all earthquake damage relating to the property
- managing contractor invoices and EQC payments in order to be able to pay the full amount owed to the contractor, on the due date.
As the repair work is completed the project manager – who is the homeowner if s/he has opted out – sends invoices to EQC. EQC pays the homeowner by 20th of the month following. If the invoice is due before EQC has paid the homeowner, then it is the project manager’s responsibility to pay the invoice and be reimbursed.
The guide contains important information about:
- how to opt out
- the latest stage you can opt out
- what is required when the repairs are completed
- Restricted Building Work requirements
- paying the excess on your claim.
If you are considering opting out of the home repair programme read the material on the website and talk with EQC first.
EQC issues including assessment decisions
What complaints and or review processes are open to me if I am unhappy about EQC assessment decisions?
The EQC and Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand have committed to offering independent, free mediation for customers who are unhappy with EQC valuation decisions. It is hoped that the scheme will commence in August. Click here for more information.
- Find out information about the EQC’s policies and practices. You can ask EQC for information under the OIA and/or the Privacy Act about yourself or about its policies and practices. This includes:
- Obtaining reasons for any decision the EQC makes about a particular property. Section 23 of the Official Information Act (OIA) offers a general way of getting information about decisions made by EQC; it provides you with a way to access the reasons for decisions that affect you (click here to see Section 23 of the OIA Act)
By asking for this information you then can then decide whether the decision is based on a correct and complete understanding of the facts. You can also see what information has been relied upon, and the reasons for making the decision. If there is any error or misunderstanding of the situation then you are then in a better position to ask EQC to review its decision.
The information could be used to decide whether to take your issue up with the Office of the Ombudsmen. More information about the functions of the Office of Ombudsmen can be found here
You could also use this information to decide whether to seek judicial review which might include:
- Making a complaint to the Ombudsmen about the EQC’s response to either of the above questions
- Making a complaint to the Ombudsmen about the EQC’s administrative acts, decisions and recommendations
EQC Complaints resolution and redress
The Earthquake Commission aims to address complaints at the first point of contact. Where they can’t be resolved on the same day, they will be formally acknowledged.
Where no action is found to be necessary, or it doesn’t meet the customer’s expectations, the customer will be advised of the avenues for taking the matter further.
- Complaints can also be received by EQC and related web sites, and referred to EQC by Fletcher EQR.
- All complaints will be formally acknowledged unless they are resolved on the day they are received.
- Where a complaint cannot be resolved within 10 working days, it will be escalated to the Customer Complaints Resolution Team. Complainants will be notified.
- Complaints escalated to the Customer Complaints Resolution Team will be resolved within 20 working days unless there are elements that prevent this.
Where EQC is at fault, appropriate actions include:
- An explanation
- An apology
- Correcting the failure
- When a decision has been made, the complainant will be advised in writing, unless the complaint is resolved in the first 24 hours.
- Where further action is required, this will be discussed and agreed between the complainant and EQC.
For further information contact:
- The Fletcher EQR Hub. Fletcher EQR is the Project Management Office established by the Earthquake Commission (EQC) to project manage all residential repairs between $10,000 and $100,000 plus gst. Fletcher EQR is a business unit of the Fletcher Construction Company. Fletcher EQR is operated from a central office in Deans Avenue, Christchurch, and has Hubs based in the affected communities, from which repairs are coordinated. Click here to find your local Hub.