thechristchurchfiasco

"Highlighting the inadequacies of the way in which the earthquakes of 2010-2012 were handled by the insurance industry! "

Donation of $24,300.00 required!

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wecan

Media Release:

Earthquake Commission’s response to WECAN’s Official Information’s Request,

Received via NZ Post 26th June 2013

‘Perfidy in Aotearoa’: deliberate treachery, deceit through trustingness in New Zealand.

The WECAN Request

On 13th May 2013, the Wider Earthquake Communities Action Network of Canterbury (WECAN), forwarded an extensive Official Information Request to the office of Ian Simpson, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Earthquake Commission.

WECAN requested information covering questions relating to damage assessment techniques used by EQC, standards of workmanship, information provisions and consultation with home owners, homeowners direct dealings with insurance companies, withholding of contractual information, and ‘acceptable repair solutions’ which potentially undermine the New Zealand 2004 Building Act.

WECAN requested information relating to EQC’s policies and procedures and how those relate to New Zealanders civil rights, the Human Rights Act, the Fair Trading Act, Consumer Protection Guarantees Act and the Commerce Commission guidelines.

The EQC Response:

If WECAN is to receive the information it requested it is required to pay $24,300.00 plus paper costs.

EQC has agreed to:

  • Answer 10 questions in total (including 12 appendix questions)
  • Partially respond to a further 7 questions.
  • Refused to supply any information for 2 total questions and 5 partial questions asked (34 questions refused when adding up appendix questions).
  • Forwarded 8 total questions (16 questions in total when including appendix questions) to other relevant parties to respond. (The Honourable Gerry Brownlee’s office, Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, and the Minister of Building & Housing).
  • EQC have estimated it will take 8 weeks at $76.00 per hour plus paper costs to supply responses to approximately 20 questions!!!

EQC state:

  • ‘where information could be made available to you it will be necessary for you to agree to EQC’s time extension and charging regime (in accordance with section 15A of the Act)’.
  • ‘EQC’s charges out regime is offered and applied to customers where information can be made available but will involve significant time or resources to complete. The fees are considerably lower than the Office of the Ombudsman and Ministry of Justice guidelines for fair and reasonable charges’.
  • ‘First (3) hours – Free (note as of 24th June this has already been fully utilised and all further information provided to you will be charged for)’
  • ‘thereafter $38. For each additional half hour or part thereof’.
  • Paper: ‘20 cents per double sided page after 40 pages’.
  • ‘EQC requires a minimum of 8 weeks from your date of confirmation that you are willing to pay EQC’s charge rates for this information’.

In light of this wholly unreasonable response from EQC, WECAN has forwarded EQC’s response on to the Auditor General’s Office and the Ombudsman for their interpretation of EQC’s response in light of the communities’ needs and rights.

WECAN believes that the Official Information Request is justified based on the abuses of our citizens legal and human rights which we witness in Canterbury on a daily basis.

WCAN would like to publicly thank the Lawyers, Engineers, Surveyors and all other professional and Community sectors, who assisted in the preparation of this Official Information Act request.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2561249/christchurch-community-group-cries-foul-over-oia-fee

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/canterbury-earthquake/213917/quake-advocacy-group-told-to-pay-$24,000-for-oia

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/8911750/Community-groups-EQC-bill-ridiculous

 

Author: Sarah-Alice Miles

I believe in the enormous power of the human spirit and the power within each of us to effect major change. "The only triumph over evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing". Trained as a lawyer, psychotherapist and mediator. My goal is to make my voice heard for the causes in which I believe so as to improve and contribute to a more sustainable and equitable society. https://thechristchurchfiasco.wordpress.com/

12 thoughts on “Donation of $24,300.00 required!

  1. Let’s guess how they really got the figure. The total of $24,000 achieved from a score of a round of darts in the smoko room. Tack on the $300 bucks to make it all look legit. Adding 99 cents would just look a bit obvious though. There you go. That solves the information requests to cover their backsides.

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  2. Sarah, I am wondering if it would lift the profile on the devious exploits of EQC if a Committee from Christchurch went to Wellington.
    Might gain more Media attention. I am sure there are similarly like minded people, who would be prepared to fund the excursion.
    The points you raised are very pertinent questions and affect every person that made a house / business claim.

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  3. This becoming an ever decreasing circle in Christchurch. I suspect there is something to hide and believe the NZ Government has an obligation to make available this important information for free.. I cannot believe the clowns from various organisations who are running this farcical show.
    I will be only to happy to contribute into a fund to get this information. The people of Christchurch have been hoodwinked for to long. On the surface it is if Christchurch is becoming a totalitarian place.

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  4. Good old EQC, one could almost state, predictable in that they never cease to amaze. Most Companies provide that sort of information free of charge. I am betting they don’t even have the information and it will take time to compile it (somewhere in a back room) Not a bad hourly rate, they are paying. Yes it is a Fiasco. I hope that this time the complaint is taken very seriously and that the Ombudsman asks for the information that WECAN requested.

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  5. Hi Brenda,
    Only if you have $24,300.00 which is what it would cost to have the information requested from EQC to be provided. Unfortunately a few dollars here and there won’t do it.

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  6. Do you need donations Sarah?

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    • I’m sorry Sarah I didn’t mean to be obtuse. I thought if everyone pitched in a few hundred you would pretty soon have the $24,300. Having worked for government departments all my working life I am gob smacked that EQC can charge this amount of money for an OIA request.

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      • If more support is expressed we could think about setting up a fund. I too am gob smacked- but what better way to ensure the people don’t get the information they require!

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    • Brenda, I do not want to set it up myself because that’s not the purpose of this blog – but perhaps we could organize a Pledge me crowd funding platform for this purpose. https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/ What do you think?

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      • Hi Sarah I have submitted the details to https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/ and have said I will contact Campbell Live to see if we can get this off the ground. I don’t think I have ever been so incandescent with rage in all my life.

        Regards and best wishes
        Brenda Preston

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    • Hi Brenda, Yes its a good idea, but that is not the purpose of this website – but we could set something up on Pledge me https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/. Have a look at that and get back to me. Thanks for your strong support!

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