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Public Inquiry

After 16 months of analysis, public feedback and research the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission delivered its report to the Governor-General on 27 March 2020.

The Governor-General handed the report to the Minister responsible for the Earthquake Commission and Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration for consideration.  The two Ministers presented the report to the House of Representatives on 9 April 2020 – which then meant it became publicly available for all New Zealanders. Read the Ministers’ press release on the website here.

The Inquiry’s report acknowledged that EQC staff had done the best they could in difficult circumstances, even if New Zealanders didn’t always see it that way. However it also found that EQC was poorly prepared, was rapidly overwhelmed and as a result the public bore the burden of those shortcomings.

The report was welcomed by the EQC Chair Sir Michael Cullen, who said it clearly laid out the challenges faced by EQC in responding to the most complex and damaging earthquake sequence that has occurred since it was founded in the 1940s.

He said the report’s recommendations provided a good foundation for EQC is turn its attention to making EQC as effective as possible and to improve the service to citizens in the event of a disaster.  It was important now that the EQC finalises its operating model and creating the systems to support that aim.  You can read a copy of Sir Michael’s press release here.

You can read the Inquiry’s report and also the summary of public feedback to the Inquiry 'What we heard’ on the EQC Inquiry website.

In addition to the Inquiry’s documents, EQC provided a significant amount of information to the Public Inquiry over the course of the Inquiry, particularly in the form of 18 briefings (over 1000 pages in total).

Close to 600 individual documents have informed these briefings, along with discussions with a number of current and former EQC staff, Chief Executives, Board Members and other relevant subject matter experts.

We are working hard to make all these documents available for public release in the coming weeks.

Most documents provided to the Public Inquiry by EQC will be able to be found here.

Sections, sentences or words in these documents may have had information redacted (that is, blacked out).  Where information has been redacted, the relevant section of the Official Information Act 1982 has been provided so that the reason for the redaction can be understood.

The government is preparing a response to the recommendations from Dame Silvia’s report which will take several months to complete. EQC will be involved in the development of the government’s response. 

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