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Decisions on EQC review in July

16 Jun 2017

The long running Government review of the Earthquake Commission Act may finally be coming to a conclusion next month.  This review, undertaken by The Treasury was initiated following the Canterbury earthquakes.

The review was originally announced in 2012 with a view to amending legislation being introduced to Parliament mid 2013.  IBANZ was one of many insurance industry stakeholders to make a submission in April 2013 on the consultation paper.

The amending legislation never happened.  A briefing to the incoming Minister in October 2014 after the general election suggested that  "There is a risk that as time passes, the insights and lessons learnt from Canterbury become harder to capture and address through legislative change."

In the following year a further discussion document, "Proposed changes to the Earthquake Commission Act", was produced seeking submissions by September 2015.  The paper indicated a Bill would be developed for introduction to Parliament in early 2016. Again IBANZ along with others presented a submission and again legislation failed to appear.

In the meantime the Kaikoura earthquake occurred and at least one of the changes being promoted by the insurance industry was introduced.  An agreement was reached between the EQC and insurers for the insurers to handle all claims.

Now finally the long story may be approaching a conclusion.  In a communication from Treasury IBANZ has been informed that submissions are to be published and "... the Government is intending to announce decisions on the EQC review by the end of July."   (presumably July 2017)

Treasury originally said only a summary of the submissions would be released.  They " ... now think it better to release the original unabridged submissions rather than summarise them, as this would ensure that the released documents fully and accurately reflect submitters’ views.  The release would be at the same time or shortly after the upcoming Government announcement."

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