4 Apr 2015

Over 500 letters to PM about EQC

1:46 pm on 4 April 2015

georgina.stylianou@radionz.co.nz

More than 500 people have emailed or written letters to the Prime Minister about the Earthquake Commission (EQC) since the Christchurch earthquakes.

Many houses, such as this one in Cramner Square, were damaged beyond repair in the Christchurch earthquakes.

Many houses, such as this one in Cramner Square, were damaged beyond repair in the Christchurch earthquakes. Photo: 123RF

But John Key's chief of staff said only two pieces of correspondence had expressed dissatisfaction with EQC's home repair programme.

Radio New Zealand lodged an Official Information Act (OIA) request after Mr Key last month said he could not recall his office being flooded with correspondence from unhappy Canterbury homeowners.

His comments came after a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) investigation found the quality of repairs on 13 out of 14 Christchurch properties was substandard.

Mr Key acknowledged that some repair work had failed to meet acceptable standards but said he had heard comments from many happy EQC customers.

Information released this week under the OIA showed 560 people have written to Mr Key, but his office was unable to say how many were from dissatisfied customers because it would require too much collation and research.

Mr Key's chief of staff Wayne Eagleson said a search for the term "home repair" only identified two pieces of correspondence, both of which were from unhappy homeowners.

"It should be noted, the home repair programme could be raised in any number of the remaining documents but there is no easy way to identify these," Mr Eagleson's response said.

He said to ascertain which other letters and emails raised matters about the EQC's home repair programme would "involve individually reading and assessing each piece of correspondence".

Mr Eagleson said all correspondence regarding the Canterbury earthquakes was referred to Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and not responded to by the Prime Minister.