A spokesman for a group of families of those killed in the Christchurch earthquake says the Government's response to requests for legal representation fell short of what they needed.
Prime Minister John Key said yesterday that the Government would appoint a third lawyer to assist the royal commission of inquiry into the Christchurch earthquake.
The lawyer's role would be to represent the families involved. It would require extra Government funding of about $350,000 and was additional to a liaison officer also appointed for the families.
The step followed an open letter from the Quake Families group and a meeting between family members and Attorney-General Chris Finlayson last weekend. One of their main concerns was the lack of funding for legal representation for families.
Quake Families spokesman Dr Maan Alkaisi said it was disappointing. The families needed lawyers who were completely independent of the royal commission to give them more trust in the process.
"We've been waiting for six months. This is like somebody is wounded and bleeding for six months and then you give them an aspirin."
Mr Key acknowledged the plan fell short of what the families had asked for and what families were given for the Pike River disaster inquiry.
However, given the large number of families and their different levels of involvement, it was appropriate that the lawyer was part of that commission.
The families would be consulted about the appointment.
Labour's earthquake spokesman, Clayton Cosgrove, said it was up to the families to decide if the offering was suitable, but the Government's action followed months of stonewalling.