Queries extend meeting

By Laurel Stowell

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A meeting to answer questions about problem EQC claims took three hours instead of one on Saturday, Bryan Staples says.

He's the CEO of Christchurch business Earthquake Services and is working with about 25 Whanganui people whose properties were damaged in last year's June heavy rain and whose EQC payouts are not enough to repair them.

He held a public meeting last weekend to answer any other questions. He said 40 or 50 people came, including a supportive Whanganui MP, Chester Borrows. The meeting went on for three hours, not the one hour he had allocated.

He's still looking for people who are unable to live in their red or yellow-stickered houses because they are in danger of becoming damaged - yet have been assessed by EQC as undamaged and therefore having no claim.

"I would like to talk to them and tell them what their rights are, because we meet some people that just don't know."

In almost all of those cases a better assessment would make a claim possible, he said.

Mr Staples and specialist insurance lawyer Grant Shand also visited the people who have already enlisted their help. There were about five they couldn't help, because under law EQC could only pay the existing value of a retaining wall, rather than its replacement value.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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