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Monday, 14 February 2011

Fletchers FAQ - Part 5: consultation and who decides the timing?

Shortly all the necessary technical information we have been waiting for will be available. So too will be an increasing number of EQC scope of works documents. Potentially EQR/Fletchers could start soon on assessing properties in this part of the world, where ever land remediation is not required.

Missing from this mix of information is the important matter of consultation: discussions on when and where work will start, how it will progress, who will be affected and what homeowner issues arise. To my knowledge absolutely no one from EQC, nor Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee, mayor Bob Parker, the Council, EQR/Fletchers or insurance companies have so much as mentioned consultation. I don't recall the consultation word being raised in any context.

What follows relates to the information available from EQR/Fletchers, however we can anticipate it will also apply to insurance companies' project managers.

From item 13 of the Fletchers FAQ we find:
13. What if I have to move out of my house while repairs are being made?
EQR will identify this requirement and give you as much notice as possible so that you or your insurance company can arrange alternative accommodation. We will programme the works and order materials in advance so that the time you need to be out of your property is minimised.
Add to this the following quote from item 3 of the Fletchers web page Repair Process:
3. ... The homeowner is informed of the proposed timing and duration of EQR activities on the property.
Uncertainty is created by these two documents because there is no undertaking to discuss mutual convenience, there appears to be no consultation to agree timing that is convenient to the homeowner (e.g. fitting in with pregnancy, children at school/exams, illnesses, commitments to overseas visitors) or to tie in with the availability of suitable (size, location, affordability) alternative housing. 

My reading of this is that while EQR/Fletechers will do their best to minimise the time homeowners are out of their house, efficiency and cost effectiveness will drive what happens. On the face of it, and it may just be the choice of words used to write the FAQ, the residents concerned will be expected to get out of their houses when advised to do so.

Once EQR/Fletchers get themselves sorted in our area the consultation and mutual convenience issues will be raised with them.

For the Fletchers FAQ go here, and for an outline of the repairs process go here.

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