The Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission is examining the role and work of EQC in the aftermath of recent natural disasters, to learn lessons that can be applied to how it operates in future.

Engineering New Zealand is making a submission to the Public Inquiry because we want to ensure it leads to the best outcome for New Zealand and New Zealanders. 

Our initial view is that we need to better manage the immediate aftermath of natural disasters so that the right engineering input happens at the right time. This means being prepared with clear processes and guidelines and a pool of trained and competent initial assessors. Better systems up front would minimise the risk of disputes arising down the line between homeowners and EQC, particularly based around differences of engineering opinion. 

Where differences of engineering opinion do happen, engineers should be empowered to work through these together to help the homeowner and EQC move forward. 

We also think there are steps EQC can take to improve the way New Zealand as a whole responds to natural disasters. EQC, insurers and Building Consent Authorities need to be in-sync when it comes to future planning and, in our submission, we will suggest ways EQC can lead this. 

We would appreciate hearing your views on the issues we intend to raise in our submission, and letting us know if there are any key points we’ve missed. Alternatively, you can make your own submissions to the Public Inquiry. 

Please contact Madison Dobie at or 04 474 8989 to discuss further.