EQC calling owners of worst damaged land

5:28 pm on 19 October 2010

The Earthquake Commission says it has begun calling people whose houses were damaged in the Canterbury quake last month, to tell them whether or not they can rebuild.

The commission says it hopes to finish getting in touch with the owners of 1200 properties that suffered significant land damage by Wednesday.

Prime Minister John Key says owners will first be contacted by phone before an information package with proposals for repairing the land is sent out. He says the commission intends to release an engineering report on Thursday.

Mr Key says the commission is in the process of paying out the first $100,000 plus GST on the damage to the houses so owners can have some mortgage relief.

The commission estimates about 20 properties cannot be rebuilt.

MP's advice

Meanwhile, Canterbury residents who are still waiting for an Earthquake Commission inspector to visit their properties have been advised they may need to make a new claim to to get noticed.

Christchurch-based National List MP Nicky Wagner says some people have been too stoic when describing the damage to their property.

She told those who attended a meeting in the city on Monday to think again about how they are reporting the effects of the quake, and whether they have shown they are a priority.

Ms Wagner says her office is fielding many complaints that an earthquake inspector had still not visited their property.

She says 6500 inspections have been carried out and almost 100,000 claims have been made.