21 Feb 2016

Labour wants quake claims expedited

10:33 pm on 21 February 2016

Labour Party leader Andrew Little is calling for the government to expedite the process for settling peoples' insurance claims in Christchurch.

Labour party leader Andrew Little during caucus run.

Andrew Little Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

About 1000 people attended a protest in Christchurch yesterday over the delays.

The protest organisers also want an external review of the way the Earthquake Commission has handled claims.

Mr Little, who is attending today's memorial service for the fifth anniversary of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, said it was time for a deadline to get the claims sorted.

"The problem for those who haven't had their houses repaired or rebuilt, when they know that neighbours and friends have, is the question they are stuck with is 'well, why me? Why am I in this position?'"

"And that can be very demoralising and upsetting and it still is for many people," he said.

Mr Little said Labour also wanted an inquiry.

"There's no question there will be another big earthquake in New Zealand sometime and we should learn from the Canterbury earthquake but we won't learn from it if we don't record what has happened and reflect on it," he said.

Mr Little said he was in Christchurch in Cashel Street on the day of the February 2011 earthquake.

"I remember the violence of the shaking...I've never experienced anything like that," he said.