EQC have now admitted that many more vulnerable people than originally admitted find themselves living out of boxes just as Mrs Boyd does. In reality, the figure is likely many times higher. Elderly people are less likely to complain and many believe it is wrong to draw attention to their plight because they erroneously think that many others find themselves in worse situations.
On some level, it is comforting to see the media bringing some attention to the woeful state in which many vulnerable people find themselves. Nonetheless, the media are ignoring some very important stories.
It is common knowledge within EQC that EQC has prioritised Gerry Brownlee’s claims over the claims of vulnerable people like Mrs Boyd. A low-level manager at EQC wanted to rush through Gerry Brownlee’s claim to impress the Minister with the effectiveness of EQC. I told him that EQC had a duty to treat every claimant equally and that it was wrong to prioritise Brownlee’s claim for minor damage to his rental property over genuinely vulnerable people in much graver circumstances.
Of course, EQC chose to issue a “written warning” for writing the following to the Minister and for standing up to a manager who wanted to rush through Gerry Brownlee’s claim.
On an unrelated note, I would like to request about twenty minutes of your time to discuss my experience at EQC generally, what we are doing well, and a few constructive suggestions that my colleagues and I have for improving our processes that may not have reached you through the normal senior leadership channels.
Gerry Brownlee is now disingenuously claiming that EQC withheld information, yet the foregoing e-mail shows that someone at EQC warned Brownlee about this more than a year ago. Why did Gerry Brownlee not meet with the employee to get a better idea of the operational problems at EQC?
Perhaps it is because EQC wanted to inflate its repair completion figures by fixing the houses with cosmetic damage first, rather than properly triaging claims and directing resources towards the most vulnerable and/or those with the worst damage. If EQC had adopted the recommendations of my memorandum to offer cash settlement of claims or the option to have claimants organise repairs for under cap claims through their insurer who would then claim the funds from EQC, then it would have avoided many of these problems. However, adopting my recommendations would mean that Fletchers and the insiders at EQC would spend less time milking the catastrophe for their own benefit, so my managers ignored my very sensible memorandum.
Similarly, rumours are circulating within EQC that Brownlee ordered EQC to focus on his electoral district and ignore the east of Christchurch because it was firmly under Labour control. Many wealthy residents in Fendalton had minor cracks repaired within a few months of the earthquake whilst poor people in the East lived without flush toilets in houses that are clearly not liveable. Clearly, something is systematically wrong when EQC had no criteria for identifying and/or identifying vulnerable people for two years except some note in CMS that alerted no one unless they looked at the claim in depth and saw the note. No one at EQC has answered the WECAN questions explaining how EQC prioritises claims based on vulnerable status and/or level of damage suffered.
At any rate, here is Brownlee in an interview attacking me and vilifying me.
Unfortunately, neither Brownlee nor Ian Simpson have the temerity to debate me because they do not want anyone with proof to disprove their absurd claims that EQC are doing a fabulous job. Surely, they would debate me if they thought they could win the way they pursued court cases that they would win in the corrupt New Zealand courts.