EQC defends changes on assessments

10:32 pm on 5 December 2012

The Earthquake Commission has defended changes it has made to assessments it has made of some earthquake-damaged homes in Christchurch.

The EQC appeared before Parliament's Finance and Expenditure committee on Wednesday.

Chief executive Ian Simpson was questioned by the MP for Christchurch East, Lianne Dalziel, about changes to decisions the EQC has made.

She said the commission had signed-off some properties as being earthquake-damaged and later changed the classification to historic damage.

Mr Simpson said the EQC's assessments have improved as more experienced people have been doing them following further earthquakes.

The chief executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority told the committee a major success in the city's recovery has been New Zealand's ability to keep its insurance cover.

Roger Sutton referred to battles between claimants and insurance companies or the EQC as being important to resolve.

But he says the really important war is ensuring that New Zealand retains its insurance cover as that underpins so many aspects of the economy.

Mr Sutton says more insurance policies are being offered across Christchurch. He says while fewer are being offered for badly damaged land, he expects that will increase when more is known about the risks.