EQC have updated their asbestos webpage (here), adding more information about how they are dealing with it.
The bulk of the new information is in the section How we're dealing with asbestos which now reads:
The presence of building materials that could contain asbestos is identified when the Canterbury Home Repair Programme team visits your home to scope your earthquake repairs. (This team includes an EQC representative, the Fletcher EQR contracts supervisor and the contractor.)
If asbestos is suspected, samples of the damaged area are taken and sent to a laboratory for testing. (The testing is completed by an independent certified asbestos testing laboratory.)
If the test confirms that the damaged building material contains asbestos, then the EQC representative, contracts supervisor and contractor agree on the most appropriate repair option, following the New Zealand Guidelines for the Management and Removal of Asbestos and New Zealand Asbestos Regulations.
- Earthquake-damaged ceilings that contain friable (crumbling) asbestos are removed.
- Ceilings that have very little or no damage are enclosed behind plasterboard.
- Damaged wall panels are either removed, replaced, or repaired.
Asbestos that poses a health risk is always removed.
Where asbestos is identified in a house tagged for repair, the homeowner is always notified.