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. It will consider the recommendations of the Public Inquiry requiring legislative change. More information on the Government’s response to the Inquiry is below.
Officials are developing advice to inform decisions for a bill modernising the EQC Act, to enable the bill to be introduced in 2021.
The policy work 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.
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.
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.
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