Martin van Beynen writes in The Press, "Tremors exposed Earth Quake Commission."
"The Earthquake Commission (EQC) planned poorly for a major catastrophe and therefor lacked the leadership and systems needed to cope with the Canterbury earthquakes."
No shit Sherlock but thankyou Martin for the first of many documented exposes as to how inadequate the EQC model as it existed on September the 4th 2010 was, in the harsh real world of insurance.
At present we here, are in the throws of finally getting the damage from over three years ago addressed in realtime.
No more inspections, assessments, scoping reports, bullshitting, buckpassing, except the ongoing need for "variations" (now is that a euphemism or what) as the restoration in progress, exposes further, previously obscured problems, a system that is threatening the sanity of our 'preferred contractor' as he struggles to cope with the total bullshit systems that EQC and their agents at Fletchers hubs create endlessly.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, as we progress what I consider would have taken Lumley, our private insurer, who have been so professional, understanding, compassionate, prompt and fair, no more than a month at the outside, to reinstate our home, is anything other than a total mishmash of incompetence as EQC and their proxy Fletchers deal to the disaster aftermath.
Initial inspection by a retired Policeman (I understand as a filter for fraud) and a youth fresh out of Polytech, two years after the Sept event that perpetrated all our damage.
Then after my getting a little exercised watching 2nd, 3rd and in one case a 4th home getting repaired while the patient pensioners, in the full knowledge that there were many worse off than us, were being ignored, as "the squeaky hinge syndrome made progress for some".
Finally after swmbo was diagnosed with a degenerative neurological condition that was markedly worsened by stress I/We ceased being Mr and Mrs Nice and commenced a SHS campaign on our own behalf, and snailpaced progress started.
We got "scoped" then our preferred party started pricing on the scope.
The scope was made on visible evidence but even then there was no recognition of certain outcomes that a tenyear old girl would work out.
(a) no allowance for replacing waterproofing for an existing wheelchair shower/toilet en suite following tile removal.
(b) no allowance for reinstatement of U/F heating nets under tiles in bathrooms that were destroyed when tiles were removed with electric impact hammers.
(c) no allowance for where a 7mm crack in the foundation headed for a second en suite, under the shower, past a toilet and on through a wardrobe and the bedroom floor to the outside wall.
(d) no acceptance or recognition that the Tiled wall in the Wet area of the wheelchair en suite would be damaged by the floortile removal, plus the need to take the waterproofing up the framing and exposure of the heating circuit controllers.
(e) the need for pricing for the disconnection of the U/F heating panels and reinstatement.
(f) the plumber to disconnect and seal water faucets on vanities, reinstatement, removal and reinstatement of Toilets on floors being retiled.
(g) removal of vinyl in kitchen(approved) revealed three cracks requiring epoxy filling. Three matching grooves in the damaged vinyl clearly obvious.
(h) lifting of carpets adjacent to kitchen cracks to assess further damage.
That list of "variations" all had to be scoped, priced and approved by the Fletchers/EQC Nabobs, not all completed at present, while we have had repairs underway for over one month.
As my builder commented if he ran his business in that chaotic way he would be out of business in two months.
I know there are many out there who were in dire straits and have been sorted, they were often the simple claims often writeoffs, and many worse off for damage are waiting but three years on if EQC was subject to the constraints of the insurance council they would be in court everyday for poor response times and settlements.
I have posted before that the EQC model will never be equipped to deal with a disaster such as quake Sept 4th 2010, followed by February 22nd, June 13th and aftershocks centered on Christmas day, all in 2011, among the over ten thousand "events"
Even if it had been left to private insurers, as I contend it should, they would have struggled admittedly, but they have systems, staff and assessment protocols in place, fraud filters and management in situ to quickly respond and in most cases a support base from outside the disaster area to call in.
EQC had office staff collecting and investing compulsory premium addons and should have been morphed into a reinsurance role within the 100k/20k parameters and waited for the processed claims from the private insurers to come to them for assessment and settlement.
The Quakes are for now reduced, nerves are still frayed, incompetence is still in play and Martin Van Beynen has only scratched the surface.
There will be many more stories to come, particularly around padding, false invoicing, conspiracy to defraud, backhanders and general incompetence. Then there will be substandard work disputes.
As yet I have seen precious little resolve from the Government and the bureaucracy to address Van Beynens highlighted revelations, but I venture to suggest "you aint seen nothing yet"