Alliance questions earthquake “project manager” costs

Press Release – New Zealand Alliance Party

Kevin Campbell, the Alliance Party candidate for the south Christchurch electorate of Wigram, is questioning the need for Project Managers (such as Fletchers and Hawkins) who manage EQC repairs.


Alliance questions earthquake “project manager” costs in Christchurch rebuild

Alliance Party media release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday 13 November 2011

Kevin Campbell, the Alliance Party candidate for the south Christchurch electorate of Wigram, is questioning the need for Project Managers (such as Fletchers and Hawkins) who manage EQC repairs.

Mr Campbell is an experienced community lawyer who has assisted many residents with legal questions about repairs to their homes.

He says people have insurance with their insurers, they don’t sign up to Project Managers.

“Why do we need them? Are they an extra layer of bureaucracy and cost?”.

The insurance contract is there for the insurer to pay for repairs, not for the insured to have to pay the costs of a Project Manager, says Mr Campbell.

“Some of the Project Manager contracts I have seen as a lawyer are actually trying to give residents less protection than minimum legal entitlements.”

“They are all designed to protect EQC insurers and project managers from risk, leaving it all with the residents.”

Mr Campbell says the idea behind insurance is for insurers to take the risk, which after all is what residents pay for.

He says if insurers want to engage project managers, then let them do so at their cost, and leave the resident out of a contract between EQC/Insurer and the Project Manager.

Mr Campbell is also concerned about the pressure on tradespeople by Project Managers to sign off on minimum repair work only, some of which might not meet minimum building standards.

“Who is setting the minimum standard of repair work? Where are the Christchurch City Council building inspectors in signing off on standards of repair?”

Mr Campbell says he has heard of tradespeople being told to ‘sign off on that or there’s no more work for you.’

He says Christchurch people need guarantees and protection that repairs are well done, and they need remedies if they are not.

The Department of Building and Housing and Christchurch City Council should be taking a lead on this.

He says there is a great need for political oversight of the rebuild by representatives of the majority of residents. “I believe it is important that Christchurch has an independent political voice with experience in these issues outside the two big parties.”

ENDS

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