7 Mar 2018

EQC Chch scopes 'weren't 100% accurate'

From Checkpoint, 5:09 pm on 7 March 2018

Assessors did not check behind walls or under floors to examine the true extent of damage caused by the Christchurch earthquakes, a former works manager for Fletcher EQR says.

The works manager, who RNZ has not named, said assessors could not do invasive scoping of earthquake-damaged homes under the Canterbury Home Repair programme because there was not enough time.

“You couldn’t actually lift floor boards or a wall lining off to see what was damaged behind it ... that was the only way you could discover what was there." 

He told Checkpoint with John Campbell the initial scopes should have been called triage scopes, but were often used to guide final repairs.

“Those scopes, they weren’t 100 percent accurate, they weren’t good scopes to work off later and that was a real frustration because the public weren’t told they were a triage scope, they were told these are the repairs required to their homes.”

The scopes were often re-written by supervisors, but were "knocked back" by EQC in the review process. 

Key performance indicators (KPI) were all about the speed in which things were done, and worsened over the years, he said.

“The KPIs each month were huge, and it became a dollar thing. In the hub we had to be doing three or four million dollars’ worth of work each month."

He said managers had to complete a set number of repairs each month and things were rushed.

"And when you broke that down to each supervisor, you know they had to be signing off X number of jobs off X value each month. 

I know good supervisors, good managers, left because of the frustration that there was there." 

The former manager said he was not surprised damage was only being discovered seven years after the earthquakes, as it was always a "fly by wire" approach in the years following the earthquakes.