Firm advises on landmark EQC Action Group settlement

The EQC Action Group announced a landmark settlement yesterday.

The EQC Action Group has won a landmark settlement following a bid for declaratory judgement in the High Court.

A Joint Statement was released yesterday by the group and the Commission records homeowners’ full entitlements under the Earthquake Commission Act, removing the ambiguity around the EQC standard of repairs.

Anthony Harper litigation partner Peter Woods supported the group over three years to achieve the settlement.  He said that EQC will be required to repair homes damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes to be repaired to a condition substantially the same as new, rather than just to the condition prior to the earthquakes.

“The biggest challenges that the group members are faced with is actually having the earthquake damage to their homes assessed properly and then secondly, having EQC come up with an appropriate repair strategy,” Woods told NZ Lawyer.

The settlement follows the action filed in the High Court back in November of last year, seeking clarification on the interpretations of the Act.

Craig Edwards, EQC Action Group Committee deputy chair said that the EQC had previously refused to undertake repairs that required significantly upgrading things like wiring.

“There has been widespread concern EQC was scoping repair work that did not meet the standard under the Act,” Edwards said.

“The settlement clarifies that EQC will cover the cost of repair or replacement of undamaged parts, if this is required to repair the earthquake damage.

“In many cases EQC paid homeowners cash for the work, excluding the cost of the required upgrade, leaving homeowners with a substantial bill to complete the repair to their homes.”

The clarification achieved in yesterday’s settlement will mean that earthquake damage is properly assessed, Woods said.  But he also said that people outside of the Action Group should also be checking EQC’s assessment of the earthquake damage to their properties to ensure the Commission met its obligation to their properties.
 

Recent articles & video

Six added to Bell Gully's senior associate ranks

2024 NZ Law Awards sponsor seeks to support the property and construction sector

Luke Cunningham Clere expands partnership with litigator

Government set to modernise Public Works Act

Chief Justice welcomes new judge of the High Court

Court of Appeal allows employment dispute to proceed to determine personal grievance claim validity

Most Read Articles

LexisNexis teams up with Cook Islands Government on new website

Chief Justice welcomes new judge of the High Court

How artificial intelligence in law firms maximises efficiency

University of Waikato makes history with new dean of law