Message from Dame Silvia Cartwright, Chair of the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission

Mōrena,

Firstly, to all those reading this who have contributed to date to the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission, I want to say thank you.

Whether you wrote a submission or a social media comment, attended a public forum or a meeting with me, or encouraged others to do so, it is appreciated. It will, I believe, help make a positive difference for those dealing with the EQC in future.

I also wanted to give you a sense of the breadth of input we have had over the last few months from people, and what happens next for the Inquiry.

Below are some examples, and a link to a summary by numbers of the Inquiry’s public engagement. It illustrates the value this Inquiry has placed on hearing directly from people and communities affected by recent natural disasters around New Zealand.

See more progress at a glance

There are still some further meetings and interviews to complete in the coming weeks, but my team and I are now in a position to push ahead with analysis of the feedback and material we have received.

You may have read in the media recently about the inquisitorial approach I am taking to this Inquiry, and questions about whether this approach is the right one. I am firmly of the view that sitting down with people to discuss their experiences and suggestions first-hand, rather than through the formality of public hearings in a courtroom-like setting, will lead to the best result for people.

My role is not to apportion blame, but this does not mean EQC is off the hook where it comes to the tough questions. I will be challenging EQC, based on what I am hearing, as well as carefully scrutinising the large number of documents sought and received from both EQC and other parties.

You may also have heard that the Inquiry has had its timing extended slightly to better allow me to consider the large volume of complex material I have been getting from claimants, advocates and other groups.

I have until the end of March next year to present my report with findings and recommendations to the Governor-General. However, my aim is to have at least a draft report complete by the end of 2019.

I look forward to your continued support and interest, and will further update you on the progress of the Inquiry later in the year.

Ngā mihi,

Dame Silvia Cartwright
Chair of the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission

Simon Darby