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Thursday, October 25, 2012

EQC response to CanCERN letter

The link here is to EQC Chair Michael Wintringham’s response to CanCERN’s request that a new CEO be appointed to EQC.

The response was predictable. Given the lack of action to correct the on-going systemic problems exhibited by EQC it was unlikely that the Board of EQC was going to suddenly see the light. The important thing is CanCERN has put the matter on record. A record that remains open.

To my mind Wintringham’s response is yet another smoke screen where the realities of EQC’s continuing bad performance is masked by tenuous claims of having made great efforts to improve the lot of those who have claims with EQC. Tenuous claims such as:

  • CanCERN having unparalleled access to EQC senior management (for discussions - yes, results leading to improvements in the quality of service to claimants – no),
  • having introduced a free mediation service (only after having caused great distress to many claimants, available to those few who EQC decide are suited to it, and only if the issues aren’t substantive i.e. no questioning EQC’s interpretation of legislation and no questions relating to apportionment),
  • and that customers have been given certainty and timely and relevant information (anyone who believes this is tragically misinformed – there are few cases of people in the Red Zones receiving this level of service and the same pretty much goes for TC3. Presumably they don’t yet know of REAC.  No mention either of EQC recently getting a ticking off from the Office of the Ombudsman for their abysmal performance in handling Official Information Act requests.)

As it stands the CEO of EQC has the Chair’s full backing. Presumably this backing has the full support of the Board who are comfortable in thinking EQC has performed acceptably. Time will tell if they are correct. I’m sure there was a time when the Board of ACC had a comfortable feeling.

Finally, if Mr Wintringham feels that the tone of CanCERN’s letter was antagonistic, I’d love to be around when REAC start pounding on his door.

Postscript: For those who, like me, thought the the name Michael Wintringham was vaguely familiar, it may be because of publicity relating to WINZ CEO Christine Rankin. There is a New Zealand Herald article of July 3, 2001  relating to that issue here.

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