Consultation on proposed regulations related to the independent review of complaint procedure decisions made by EQC Toka Tū Ake about breaches of the Code of Insured Persons’ Rights

Independent Review Regulations#

Te Tai Ōhanga – The Treasury is publicly consulting on proposed regulations related to the independent review of complaint procedure decisions made by EQC Toka Tū Ake (the Commission) about breaches of the Code of Insured Persons’ Rights (the Code). See background section (below) for further information on the Code and the Independent Review procedure.

The Treasury is the agency responsible for conducting this consultation as we are the administrating department for the Natural Hazards Insurance Act 2023 (the NHI Act). These regulations will be made under the NHI Act.

This public consultation will run until 8 April 2024.

The proposed regulations are available here:

How to make a submission

Written submissions can be sent to the Treasury in the following ways:

  • As an email attachment to [email protected]
  • By post addressed to Financial Markets, The Treasury, PO Box 3724, Wellington 6140

What feedback are we looking for?

We are looking for feedback on proposed regulations related to:

  • the timeframe that an insured person must make an application in, and what information must be provided in the application
  • the timeframe that the independent reviewer must complete their review within.

How will your submission be used?

Your feedback will help us develop the final regulations relating to the above aspects of the independent review procedure for complaints about breaches of the Code. These will be presented to Cabinet for approval. All submissions made through this process will be considered. You should make only one submission.

Regulations will become secondary legislation under the NHI Act and from 1 July 2024, the Commission and any agent working on their behalf, for the purposes of managing and settling claims, will be expected to comply with the regulations.

Submissions and the Official Information Act 1982

Submissions received are subject to the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). Submissions may also be proactively released on the Treasury website. The Treasury will consider you to have consented to the release of your submission, unless you clearly specify otherwise in your submission. Please inform us with your submission if you have any objection to any information in the submission being released under the OIA or being proactively released on the Treasury website. In particular, clearly state which part(s) you consider should be withheld, and the reason(s) for doing so.

The OIA sets out reasons for withholding information. Reasons could include that the information is commercially sensitive or that you wish us to withhold personal information, such as names or contact details. An automatic confidentiality disclaimer from your IT system is not a reason to withhold information. Your objections will be considered when responding to requests under the OIA.

Private information

The Privacy Act 2020 establishes certain principles with respect to the collection, use and disclosure of information about individuals by various agencies, including the Treasury. Any personal information you supply in the course of making a submission will only be used for the purpose of assisting in the development of policy advice in relation to these regulations. Please clearly indicate in your submission if you do not wish your name, or any other personal information, to be included in any summary of submissions that the Treasury may publish.


The Code of Insured Persons’ Rights

The Natural Hazards Insurance Act 2023 introduces a new requirement for the Commission to have a Code of Insured Persons’ Rights.

The Commission has conducted public consultation on the Code. This was completed in November 2023 and feedback has been incorporated into the content of the Code. The process of obtaining Ministerial approval is currently underway.

Independent review of complaints 

If an insured person makes a complaint to the Commission alleging a breach of the Code, the Commission must manage this in accordance with its internal complaint management procedure. If the insured person is unhappy with the outcome of this procedure they can apply to the Commission for an independent review of that decision.

The diagram below illustrates how this complaints process will work.

EQC complaints process flow chart
What claims will it apply to? 

The Code will come into effect on 1 July 2024. It will apply when managing and settling claims from that date, regardless of when the claim was made. This means that claims that have been made for events such as the North Island Weather Events in 2023 can make a complaint about a breach of the Code, and possibly seek independent review of that complaint, provided the alleged breach occurred post 1 July 2024.