I have seen first hand the methods that EQC use to measure floor levels and assess residential dwellings for earthquake damage, and I have also received plans and information showing their floor level
I believe that EQC’s assessment of residential dwellings in Canterbury does not comply with the Fair Trading Act 1986.
Without limiting the extent of this non-compliance, their conduct breaches Section 9 (‘Misleading and Deceptive Conduct Generally’), Section 11 (‘Misleading Conduct in Relation to Services’), Section 13 (‘False or Misleading Representations’) of the Act.
They have been charged with assessing earthquake damage to Canterbury dwellings following the Canterbury Earthquake sequence.
The Department of Building and Housing (DBH) Guidelines form the basis for this assessment, with the differential floor level limits and floor slope limits clearly setout in the DBH Guidelines.
EQC in many instances simply do not take ANY levels at all in dwellings.
Where they do take levels, they use totally unqualified persons to carry out the levelling. The results are factually incorrect and wrong.
EQC should be using Suitably Qualified Persons to do the floor levelling. It is difficult, precise work that requires care and accuracy.
The minimum standard should be a Registered Professional Surveyor (RPSurv) with a Bachelor of Surveying Degree.
The Government require Chartered Professional Engineering qualifications for engineering assessments. They should also be requiring RPSurv qualifications for these surveys.
Their floor level surveys cannot be used to accurately determine compliance with the DBH Guidelines.
They do not seem to assess the floor slope of dwellings in relation to the DBH Guideline threshold of 1 in 200.
The floor level survey forms one of the three aspects outlined in the DBH guidelines for assessing foundation damage. To incorrectly assess this part can affect the overall repair/rebuild strategy for the dwelling.
I have seen first hand the methods that EQC use to level houses – it is totally wrong and their results are wrong.
They take levels to the top of carpet. They do not use proper benchmarks. They do not adequately check and calibrate their instruments. They do not draw their plans correctly and accurately.
There are potentially thousands, if not tens of thousands of dwellings in Canterbury that have been inadequately assessed by EQC. The homeowners are simply not getting a fair go.
I am asking the Commerce Commission in instigate an Inquiry into this matter. It is of the utmost importance and urgency.
In the first instance, I request that ALL EQC assessments be stopped immediately.
Secondly, I request that independent inquiry be carried out into EQC’s practices and methods.
Thirdly, I request that independent audits be carried out on homes that EQC have levelled to determine the scale of non-compliance.
Fourthly, I request that all of the dwellings that EQC have levelled, be re-levelled properly, using qualified persons and proper measurement techniques.
This is a very serious issue and I intend to follow it through to it’s conclusion.
There may be literally tens of thousands of Canterbury homes that have been mis-diagnosed due to EQC’s total incompetence. This is unacceptable. The homeowners of Canterbury have been trusting EQC with in most cases, their largest asset, yet EQC have not responded by carrying out their assessments properly.
Another Crisis for EQC on the Horizon.