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Thursday November 16 2017

Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi

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Urgent need for EQC inquiry

THIS WEEK, it was a real pleasure to visit Kaikoura on the one year anniversary of last year’s devastating earthquake. As someone who’s been through it myself, I know it’s a day of mixed emotions. There’s grief for what has been lost, a sense of hope for the future and a bit of awe when you reflect at what you and your community have got through together. As Minister responsible for EQC, I spent much of the day talking to people on the ground who are still going through the EQC and insurance process. I wanted to reiterate our Government’s support for them and to let them know we are doing everything possible to help Kaikoura recover and help them move forward. Overall, we are making good progress in getting people settled. At the end of October, 91 per cent of all claims have been assessed, with 65 per cent of all building claims, 92 per cent of all contents claims and 93 per cent of all land claims being settled. But for those whose claims are still outstanding, the stories I heard were all too familiar – people feeling trapped and unable to move on with their lives. Jim Beam White Label Bourbon 1.125 Litre

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•From page 25 Hamish Middleton – If they are youth, they should all get a minimum of six months home detention with curfews, non-association with each other. Robyn Rodgers – Just unbelievably disgusting – name and shame.

As Minister, my priority is getting those people sorted as quickly as possible. That’s where the work of the Residential Advisory Service is so important. THe RAS is a special service set up in 2013 that helps people navigate insurance and EQC claims – often acting as case managers to explain the process, advocate for people and bring the different people involved together. It’s helped resolve thousands of claims since it was established in 2013. What I heard loud and Diesel & Cola 7%

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clear from people yesterday is that the RAS has been an absolute godsend. One woman told me she’d been at her wits’ end before she’d spoken to them and that their help had kept her going. In the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at ways to make sure this important service is still available for people. For me, these stories also reinforce why we so urgently need an independent inquiry into EQC – to learn the lessons from these events and making sure we do better for people in the event of future disasters. Our Government knows we owe it to the people who have been through so much to make sure their experience is heard and the system is improved. That’s why we’ll be working on getting that inquiry under way as soon as possible. •Megan Woods is the Minister of Greater Christchurch Regeneration

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The city council has implemented stricter maintenance standards and GPS tracking of roading contractors to improve the quality of the city’s streets and footpaths Greg Scott – We should look at something similar for ratepayers to monitor councillors, especially for decisionmaking to improve their current state. Peter Cooper – This should have been done long ago. The council should have been out there inspecting the work done by the contractors . . . Even the new motorway is rough and not as smooth as is should be or could be. Give it a month or two and it will need repairs. Debra Savage – What a joke, Hills Rd has been dug up so many times it’s a dam joke, as

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POOR: Roading contractors now have to meet stricter standards for maintenance in a bid to improve the condition of the city’s roads. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER

are many roads around Chch. The whole of Slater St needs resurfacing, they come out when the holes are big enough to hide a cat in and, in the next rain, it’s back just like our rates demand. Tess Lenihan – I also love that for about the last three months, there is an ‘Uneven Surface’ sign on Brougham St. From what I can tell, there must be a spring there as the road is always wet. So instead of fixing it, they are just leaving a sign up. Going to be “funny” when a truck falls in a sink hole.

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