Message from the Hon Dr Megan Woods

DEMYSTIFY LAND CLAIMS MEETING

27 November 2017

Thank you for the invitation to attend this event and please accept my apologies for my absence. I have asked Kelvin Smith from the Greater Christchurch group within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to attend this evening’s proceedings.

Since taking office, I have begun discussions with officials about commencing work into establishing an inquiry into the Earthquake Commission and have asked this to be prioritised. I hope to have more to say on this matter in the near future.

Beyond this immediate priority, I am working closely with EQC to ensure that the remaining Canterbury and Kaikoura earthquake claims are settled as fairly, efficiently and quickly as possible. I have also commenced work with my colleague Justice Minister Andrew Little on the establishment of an arbitration tribunal as an alternative pathway for claimants, EQC and insurers to resolve disputes.

I understand that many of you are dealing with issues that have been ongoing for some years now and while I am not – and will not - be in a position to offer a solution to each and every concern that arises, I can assure you all that I am working hard to speed things up in a fair and responsible manner.

For me, the priority is making sure that people are able to move on with their lives.

Melanie Tobeck