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Canterbury Home Repair Programme

The scale and complexity of the Canterbury Home Repair Programme was unprecedented in New Zealand.  Over 67,000 homes were repaired at a cost of $2.962 billion (to date).  The Canterbury Home Repair Programme managed cost repair inflation, which in turn stabilised New Zealand’s relationships with the reinsurance market.  It also prevented large numbers of Cantabrians from having to directly compete with each other for skilled labourers and deal with organising their repairs. 

Notwithstanding these achievements, EQC acknowledges that, for some customers, their experience of the Canterbury Home Repair Programme has meant frustration, stress, mistrust, and suffering. 

EQC had no first-hand experience, nor had it observed from other international experiences, an earthquake sequence that included a series of major events in short succession.  Multiple earthquakes led to unanticipated complexity, including how to apportion damage across different events, which in turn meant delays for customers in the Canterbury Home Repair Programme.

EQC was not prepared to undertake a large-scale managed repair programme, because of its historical preference for cash settling claims.  It lacked the capability and capacity to proactively monitor and manage the project management office run by Fletcher EQR, and was slow to implement appropriate quality controls.

EQC’s systems were not set up to manage claims being resolved through managed repair, and were incompatible with the systems set up by Fletcher EQR.  This meant that customers’ claim information was often missing, incomplete or contradictory.  Poor data quality hindered the programme’s ability to provide timely, accurate and tailored communications to customers on their repairs.

The programme  sought to balance speed, cost, quality and safety, however on reflection, the emphasis on speed, combined with a lack of preparedness, had significant negative consequences for customers. 

Briefing: Canterbury Home Repair Programme (PDF, 4.7MB)

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