EQC assessors paid thousands per week

11:33 am on 8 June 2011

The Earthquake Commission has revealed that contractors carrying out property assessments on its behalf are being paid about $4000 a week.

The Commission employs 414 contractors, working in teams of two.

Builders and loss adjusters have so far inspected almost 20,000 quake-damaged homes in Christchurch, the commission says.

It says assessors or loss adjusters get paid $75 an hour. They are contracted to do 10-hour days, six days a week, which amounts to $4500 per week.

The estimators, who are trade qualified builders who inspect all the damage, receive $60 an hour.

Contractors from outside Christchurch are put up in a hotel and given a daily allowance of $70.

Those who choose to arrange their own accommodation receive $130 a day to cover expenses.

Christchurch-based EQC manager Reid Stiven says the organisation needs to pay a good rate to attract the right people to work and ensure experienced people are willing to return, otherwise they're constantly training new people.

Mr Stiven says the workers are contracted for three weeks on, one week off, and don't get paid for the fourth week.

He also points out that as independent contractors they are responsible for their own tax, GST and ACC levies.

Fletchers Building Construction, which has the contract in Christchurch to project manage house repairs up to $100,000, pays its builders $45 an hour.

Others in the building industry have told Radio New Zealand that while the EQC rate is generous, and probably more than most builders are getting in other parts of the country, it is a reasonable rate given the circumstances.