18 Apr 2018

EQC Minister: Houses not properly assessed could cost millions

7:46 am on 18 April 2018

The Earthquake Commission minister says the government could be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars over the commission's failure to assess earthquake damage in Christchurch.

Megan Woods at the habour reopening in Kaikoura. 14 November 2017.

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The number of people who bought homes where damage was not properly assessed has now climbed to 664 and Megan Woods said this could be just the tip of the iceberg.

While EQC had paid out the first $100,000 worth of damage on these homes, private insurers were often refusing to pay the remainder of the repair bill which could run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Ms Woods wanted to fund a test case to establish whether liability sat with EQC or with private insurers.

She also wanted to find out how much this could end up costing.

"It could be $100 million, it could be $200 million and we don't know. And that's why I've asked EQC to start doing some work that if the Crown were found to be liable, what the potential liability could be."

She said it was disappointing the previous government did nothing to tackle the issue, despite knowing about it since 2016.

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