INDEPENDENT NEWS

Chair of Earthquake Commission has resigned

Published: Fri 23 Feb 2018 02:00 PM
Chair of Earthquake Commission has resigned
The Chair of the Earthquake Commission, Sir Maarten Wevers, has resigned. He advised the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, Dr Megan Woods by telephone last evening, 22 February, following receipt of a letter from her expressing her displeasure with the performance of the Commission. Formal notice of his resignation was submitted in a letter this morning.
“It is clear that the Minister has no confidence in the Board and staff of the Commission” Sir Maarten said. “As Chair, I take responsibility for that, and have stepped aside so that the Minister can appoint someone whom she assesses will be able to do a better job”
Sir Maarten said that in his resignation letter, he had noted that the fact that there remain 2600 claims outstanding seven years after the February 2011 tragedy, out of more than 470,000 lodged, less than 0.6%, is of no comfort to the Board, management and staff. “Every single claim is a concern to the Board and to me personally”.
He paid tribute to the many hundreds of staff who had stepped up to lend their support to Cantabrians at the time of their need, and to Fletcher EQR and its many contractors and partners, who together, have repaired more than 67,000 dwellings, which is unprecedented internationally.
Sir Maarten also thanked his colleagues on the Board, and management, who said all recognised that not everything the Commission had done had been done well.
“Mistakes have been made, customers have not always been supported as they should have been, when they should have been, and it has taken a long time to reach the final stages of our response. We apologise to each and every claimant to whom we have not delivered as we should have.”
“I leave with great regret that I won’t be able to continue to lend my support to Commission staff and management over the last few steps on our journey together. I will be letting them down” Sir Maarten said.

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