Twenty houses surveyed last week all had good or reasonably good claims to bigger payouts from the Earthquake Commission (EQC), says residents' advocate Bryan Staples.

Mr Staples was in Whanganui with teams of engineers, builders and loss-adjusters. They assessed properties damaged by slips in June, whose owners had been told they would not get enough compensation from EQC to repair them.

One was a house pushed down the hill by a slip, yet Mr Staples said its claim had been denied outright.

His Christchurch-based business, Earthquake Services, will work with owners to get bigger payouts. Its fee is a percentage of the increase.


The owners of the 22 houses inspected last week would get reports from Earthquake Services sometime next week, he said.

"Then they can decide what they want to do." He is still getting phone calls from possible new clients in Whanganui.

While in town, Mr Staples also looked at the repairs to some flood-damaged houses, to see if they were up to standard.

The repairs seemed to have been done properly, so he said he would not get involved.

"Insurance companies did the work there, mostly State Insurance. They have a pretty good track record of doing the right thing."

Jill Gregory owns a Hipango Tce property that Mr Staples assessed. It was also one that new Whanganui District Council chief executive Kym Fell looked at last week when he "did the rounds" of damaged properties. "I'm quite impressed by that. He's taking a real interest," she said. She is starting a support group for flood victims.

The group will meet on the first Wednesday of the month, starting next Wednesday on February 3, from 5-7pm in the Red Room at Stellar Restaurant & Bar.