Sincerity of CTV chief designer's apology questioned

3:47 pm on 8 August 2012

Some families of February 2011 earthquake victims question the sincerity of an apology by the man whose firm designed the ill-fated CTV building,

At Tuesday's Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission hearing in Christchurch, Alan Reay told the families of the 115 people who died when the office block collapsed that he was sorry.

Dr Reay read out a statement saying that during his career he had tried to maintain the highest standards of the profession and the CTV building was not up to his standards.

Gerado Torres, whose sister Elsa died, says the apology is not good enough and if Dr Reay meant it, he would have said it to the families directly.

Mr Torres says Dr Reay has had plenty of opportunities to say sorry, but left it to the second-to-last week of the hearings.

"If he really wants to apologise I think he needs to face the people. And if he's doing it, I do believe that he's doing it because of pressure - because now his company is in a very difficult situation. I don't believe that is a sincere apology."

However, Brian Kennedy, whose wife Faye was killed, says the apology is progress, and he hopes it will encourage others involved in the building's planning to front up.

At Tuesday's hearing the lawyer for the families, Marcus Elliot, asked Dr Reay if he could outline the ways in which the building did not meet his own design standards.

Dr Reay said he would try to help the commission understand the cause of what he called a terrible tragedy.