26 Jul 2016

Hundreds ask for quake repair reviews

6:41 am on 26 July 2016

A landmark court settlement two months ago has led to a growing workload for the Earthquake Commission in Christchurch.

Figures released to RNZ News show EQC is receiving about 20 calls a day from people wanting their quake repairs reviewed.

The new figures cover the period since a landmark court settlement saying repairs must be completed to a when new standard, not the lessor pre-earthquake standard EQC was said to be working to.

In that time 900 have called the commission wanting their repairs reviewed.

Jennifer Dalziel's repairs were completed soon after the February 2011 earthquake.

Sloping floors and jamming doors led her to suspect the job had not been done properly and she asked for the work to be checked.

Jennifer Dalziel

Floors in Jennifer Dalziel's house sloped and doors jammed following repairs. Photo: RNZ / Conan Young

"The piles had been jacked up with bits of decking timber, there were jacks still left under there, none of the re-piling had been done properly.

"They'd replaced 67 percent of the piles or jack and packed them - there was no building consent."

In 2014 the commission's contractor Fletcher EQR sent another builder out to fix things but Ms Dalziel said the same problems persisted.

She now feels completely let down.

"Because I trusted them and the last lot of builders were really sort of fatherly and said 'Jenny, this first guy has really ripped you off and we're going to save you'.

"He said 'yes, I've seen the photos and everything's done the way it should be'. [It was a] complete lie, there were no photos."

She has now resorted to legal action to get EQC to do its job.

EQC Fix Group was established in the wake of the 28 April landmark settlement that clarified the law and said repairs must be completed to a when new standard, not the lessor pre-earthquake standard EQC was said to be working to.

EQC Fix Group spokesperson spokesperson Melanie Bourke

EQC Fix Group spokesperson spokesperson Melanie Bourke Photo: RNZ/ Conan Young

Its spokesperson Melanie Bourke said she was not surprised close to 900 have been in touch with the commission asking for their repairs to be checked.

"What's starting to happen is the more people that become aware of what to look for - perhaps they've moved back into their homes after having them repaired.

"The more that we help people in the community understand what those issues are, we'll just see that grow."

For most people their home was their biggest asset so making sure foundation repairs worth hundreds of thousands of dollars were done properly was important, she said.

"There was a chap I'd spoken to who had a sale fall through recently, that was an EQC repaired home, because of identification of additional damage.

"So I think what people need to become aware of is as market awareness increases around this issue that there is the risk of homes being devalued."

Nobody from EQC was available to be interviewed for this story.

Have you lodged a request with EQC to have your repairs reviewed? Get in touch with reporter Conan Young here - conan.young@radionz.co.nz

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