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Review of the Earthquake Commission Act

The Government is undertaking a work programme to modernise the Earthquake Commission Act 1993.

The work takes into account the findings of the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission. More information on the Government’s response to the Inquiry is below.

Cabinet has made key policy decisions for a bill modernising the EQC Act, to be introduced in early 2022. See the proactively released key advice documents related to modernising the EQC Act Treasury Advice Related to Modernising the EQC Act Information Release.

The proposals will build on previous Treasury work on the Act, including the 2015 discussion document: New Zealand's Future Natural Disaster Insurance Scheme: Proposed changes to the Earthquake Commission Act 1993 (July 2015).

The bill to modernise the EQC Act will also implement 2020 Cabinet decisions on the treatment of mixed-use buildings under the EQC Act. The implementation of these decisions was previously delayed due to Covid-19 priorities. See the Cabinet paper and minute on Mixed use buildings under the Earthquake Commission Act 1993.

See also Submissions Received in 2015 by the Treasury.

Māori and iwi consultation document

The purpose of this consultation note is to bring this work to the attention of interested iwi and Māori organisations and provide those groups an opportunity to raise any issues or concerns they might have. The high-level overview of the proposals contained in the consultation note will also be useful to other individuals and groups interested in these reforms.

Modernising the Earthquake Commission Act: Consultation with Māori and iwi

2021 decision to increase the EQC Residential Building Cap

The government announced on 30 September 2021 that from 1 October 2022 the monetary cap EQC residential building cover would increase from $150,000 to $300,000 per dwelling (both amounts excluding GST).   

See the Beehive press release announcing the increase.

See the proactive release of Treasury Reports and other advice to Ministers, Cabinet Papers and Cabinet Minutes regarding the Government’s decision to increase the cap.

Public Inquiry into the EQC

Following the release of the report of the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission (EQC), the Government has issued a formal response and outlined a work programme to take forward the Inquiry’s recommendations. Read the full Government response to the Public Inquiry into EQC.

See the Beehive press release on the Government response.

See updated progress on taking forward the Inquiry’s recommendations.

See the proactive release of documents shared with the Public Inquiry into EQC:

2019 changes to the EQC Act

In February 2019, the Earthquake Commission (EQC) Act changed. Four key changes were made:

  • facilitating EQC sharing claims and property-related information, including to prevent or lessen a threat to public health and safety
  • extending the timeframe for lodging an EQC claim from three months to two years, for claims arising from events occurring after the EQC Act changed
  • removal of the $20,000 EQC cover for contents, phased over 12 months from 1 July 2019
  • an increase in the cap on EQC residential building cover to $150,000 (+ GST) phased over 12 months from 1 July 2019.


All media enquiries should be directed to [email protected]


Last updated: 
Wednesday, 19 January 2022