50,000 quake repairs done, heaps to go

Gerry Brownlee

More than 50,000 house repairs in Christchurch out of about 80,000 have been completed under the Fletcher Building-Earthquake Commission home repair programme.

The repair number for houses with damage of less than $100,000 was released by Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee.

He says the repair programme has instilled confidence and Christchurch house values are being maintained.

The 50,174 completed repairs have mostly been in homes with lesser damage.

In addition to the total 80,000 houses in the Fletcher EQC home repair programme there are another 24,000 homes with estimated repair value of more than $100,000.

EQC has yet to approach these 24,000 homeowners with any offer – two and a half years after the last major earthquake in June 2011.

The frustration of  homeowners has turned ugly in a few cases.

EQC and Fletcher staff have been given briefings about how to cope with aggressive clients – such as ensuring a clear retreat and not remaining alone in tense situations.

Builders are also reporting problems obtaining consents so they can get going on jobs.

Mr Brownlee says things could have been much worse had the government not placed responsible limits on the repair of EQC customers’ homes.

“Cost inflation for materials and building work would likely have run rampant, poor workmanship would have been commonplace and overall confidence in the recovery would have suffered as a result,” Mr Brownlee says.

The Earthquake Commission aims to complete all repairs by December 31, 2014, a target considered highly optimistic by many locals.

c.hutch@clear.net.nz

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Much appreciated Mr Brownlee

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