Know your rights

Repair or replacement to ‘as when new’

If you have a total replacement policy (and most people do) you are entitled to lodge a claim and the assessed loss to be repaired or replaced to “as when new” standard using today’s materials and techniques complying with Government and local Authority regulations and by laws.

The EQC act provides similar protection to your Insurance policy “as when new” Like your insurance company, EQC must repair or replace to “as when new” and cover all costs required to achieve this.

You have a right to:

  • demand a consent for any proposed building works (see why a consent is important)
  • have repairs meet the building code
  • be supplied all information pertaining to your claim, and be treated with honesty and empathetically in good faith by your insurance company,their Project management Company(PMO eg Arrow,Hawkins,Stream and Fletchers) and their case managers
  • request the names and qualifications of the people undertaking the scoping and repairing of your house
  • having your repairs and /or rebuild undertaken by a Registered Master Builder or a Certified Builder who will provide a 7 or 10 year builders guarantee.


  • Deferred maintenance
  • Preexisting damage
  • non compliant works
  • Floor levels

If a part of the house needs to be fixed or updated in order to repair earthquake damage to standard EQC are required to cover this cost also. They can not refuse to repair your house because it is old, rundown, looks like a leaky home or is a leaky home. Read a relevant article in The Press regarding this.

EQC must also repair to meet the building code. Unfortunately the EQC act is being interpreted at a lesser level than the Insurance policy. See relevant press article on this here.

If you are not happy with the assessment or assessment methodology in the first instance, lodge a complaint with the complaints section EQC.

Do you have a question about your specific situation? Please post it below, or post in our Ask The Experts forum and we’ll do our best to answer it.

  1. EQR has proposed raking out and plastering cracks in lathe and plaster in my older home, and wants to skim coat over existing wallpaper. Is this OK?

    • No this is not OK. This is not best trade practice, there is a chance the repair will delaminate later and this solution will not return your wall to ‘as when new’.

  2. I’d like to know how I actually get Fletcher/EQR/EQC to agree to fix my foundations properly.

    They are proposing jack and pack on a handful of piles (originally they had scoped to fully repile the house, this has changed as of their latest scope).

    The house has some historical unlevelness, this has worsened since the quakes. However the worst problem is that the house constantly shakes with traffic going by. This never used to happen before the quake.

    It’s all very well and good people telling me that they have to replace ‘as new’ and that jack and pack doesn’t qualify ‘as new’, but I need some practical advice on how I actually go about getting them to change their mind on this and update the scope to reflect a more appropriate repair strategy.

    Thanks in advance

    • Kylie, the ground movement sensed in your house, due to traffic, is [likely] less about the movement in your foundation than it is the weakening of the road’s integrity. We have the westerly direction of Wainoni Road ‘repaired’ with asphalt (though moot as to how long it will last) while the tar seal easterly is as it was post quake. The difference in our house response to heavy transport at speed is chalk and cheese according to direction travelled. Wainoni at this point was 100-150mm base on sand on silt and then blue/grey pug at about 1500mm – a poor base for any arterial. especially post quake with thousands of 40+ton axle loads. A full bus was about a Richter 3.2!

  3. Kylie, reading your comment is nearly identical to our situation. We have never claimed the house was dead flat but that the EQ has caused it to slope further. Our EQC assessor with his trusty tape measure continues to just measure corners and walls pointing out that they were previously scribed or made at different lengths hence the EQ is not to blame.

    I am keen to hear any information you have in relation to your matter as we are fighting with their repair strategy of notching bearers out to bring rounds in our floors down level or close to where the concrete footing has sunk and pulled the house down into.

    We are TC3 blue land and they claim that no geotechnical work will be done and that God is to blame for the ground shaking now.


Leave a Reply