31 Jul 2013

MP going to Ombudsman over EQC delay

8:06 pm on 31 July 2013

Labour Party MP Clayton Cosgrove is making a complaint to the Ombudsman after the Earthquake Commission fobbed off his request for information on behalf of a Christchurch community group.

Clayton Cosgrove.

Clayton Cosgrove. Photo: RNZ

Initially, the commission had been going to charge the Wider Earthquake Communities Action Network (WECAN) $24,000 to respond to its Official Information Act request.

The group wants information from the commission on why urgent claims by elderly residents after the devastating February 2011 quake are being delayed.

In mid-July, Mr Cosgrove re-submitted the request on WECAN's behalf because MPs can't be charged for the information and said he expected to hear from EQC well within the 20 working days it is required to respond by.

However, Mr Crosgrove said on Wednesday has now been told that it would take some time for a response.

"That they need till the month of September to accept to determine whether they accept my request for an OIA - which they've already accepted - but with another organisation. That's crazy, that's obstruction, this is ridiculous."

Mr Cosgrove said EQC should simply make the information available, rather than be obstructive.