16 Sep 2013

Lawyer urging group action against EQC over quality of repairs

7:47 pm on 16 September 2013

The Earthquake Commission may face group court action over the quality of repairs to damaged houses in Christchurch.

Lawyer Simon Munro said there is widespread discontent with EQC's standard of repairs and he's calling on those affected to unite against the commission.

He said the Earthquake Commission Act is very clear that houses should be returned to an as-new condition.

But he said, that's not happening and the value of the houses will be reduced because of substandard repairs.

Mr Munro said individual homeowners are unlikely to be able to afford to take on the commission, but if people come together, they stand a good chance of getting results.

He said the action is not about seeking damages, it's about making sure things are done correctly and as required by law.

He said the proposal got general support at a meeting of owners of damaged properties on Sunday night and he will now look at holding another meeting in a few weeks.

Standard of repairs poor

A former Earthquake Commission employee says repair work being done in Christchurch by the Commission is going to cost the community in the future.

Former employee Bryan Staples claims the performance of EQC and Fletchers EQR, the company that directs the repair work, has been appalling.

"They are refusing to look at floor levels, they are refusing to fix foundations properly. They think that putty and patches can fix earthquake-damaged houses.

"All they're trying to do is save money but in the long run it's going to cost this community ten times what it would cost them to fix the thing properly now."

Neither the EQC nor Fletchers EQR would comment.