Council staff given hurry-up over housing repairs

6:10 pm on 15 February 2013

Christchurch City council staff have been asked to explain about the time it is taking to repair or rebuild earthquake-damaged council housing.

The council - the second largest landlord in New Zealand - needs to repair 2373 homes, but so far as fixed only six.

Earlier in February, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee questioned why there was a delay when the Earthquake Commission had already paid $21 million to the council.

On Friday, the council's general manager for city environment, Michael Aitken, said the money had been difficult to allocate because there were still arguments over the amount of damage buildings had sustained and how much they would cost to repair.

Councillor Yani Johanson said staff have been asked to come up with ways to speed up the repairs.

Mr Johanson concedes that things could have been done better over the past two years, but the key now is to improve the way repairs are handled.

He hoped a collaborative approach being adopted by council staff and those employed by EQC will soon reap rewards.