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Release of the report April 2020

After 16 months of analysis, public feedback and research the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission delivered its report(external link) 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(external link).

The Inquiry’s report acknowledged that EQC Toka Tū Ake 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 the organisation was poorly prepared, was rapidly overwhelmed and as a result the public bore the burden of those shortcomings.

The report was welcomed by EQC Toka Tū Ake Chair Sir Michael Cullen, who said it clearly laid out the challenges faced by the organisation 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 the organisation to turn its attention to making itself as effective as possible and to improve the service to citizens in the event of a disaster. It was important now that EQC Toka Tū Ake finalises its operating model and creating the systems to support that aim.

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(external link).


The Government’s response to the public inquiry, August 2020

The Ministers responsible for the Earthquake Commission and for Greater Christchurch Regeneration released their response to Dame Silvia’s Report in August 2020.

Read the Ministers’ press release on the website.(external link)

EQC Toka Tū Ake Chairperson Mary-Jane Daly noted that the organisation has worked closely with Government agencies to respond to the recommendations and feedback contained in the report and is well advanced in this work.

The report highlights the challenges faced by EQC Toka Tū Ake (now the Natural Hazards Commission Toka Tū Ake) in responding to the Canterbury earthquakes, the most complex and damaging earthquake sequence in recent times. It contains 70 recommendations for improvements, and 45 of those are the responsibility of EQC Toka Tū Ake.

The response from EQC Toka Tū Ake has included:

  • improving customer experience as a key focus for the organisation. We have implemented more efficient claims processes and are building stronger partnerships with other agencies to provide them with a more streamlined response to natural disasters. 
  • on-going work to better support communities through our new Resilience Strategy for Natural Hazard Risk Reduction, including by giving them access to leading EQC Toka Tū Ake-funded disaster research to help local communities prepare for the next earthquake, flood or volcanic eruption.
  • making on-going improvements to our internal systems as well as building more capacity and expertise
  • continuing to work with Government to seek greater clarity on our role, which was Dame Silvia’s first recommendation, and working closely with Government agencies to set out exactly who does what when another disaster strikes.

EQC Toka Tū Ake commissioned an independent audit to provide assurance the recommendations are being implemented. This audit can be accessed here [PDF, 828 KB]