Finance Minister Bill English and the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Gerry Brownlee announced last month that the Treasury will be leading a review of the Earthquake Commission Act 1993.

The Government sees the review as a way of drawing upon lessons learned from the Canterbury earthquakes and an opportunity to consider additional legislative changes to align with other government initiatives, such as the Better Public Services programme.

The review will focus on:

  • the types of property the Earthquake Commission insures, including the structure and extent of EQC cover;
  • how the Earthquake Commission prices its insurance;
  • the institutional structure and design of the Earthquake Commission, including its functions; and
  • the financial management of the Crown's risk exposure and how it should be financed.

Mr Brownlee clarified that the review is not intended to provide a management audit of the Earthquake Commission's performance in Canterbury. It will be forward-looking and will not affect the processing or entitlements of current Earthquake Commission claims.

The review will be led by a cross-agency group established by the Treasury, comprised of representatives from the Treasury, the Reserve Bank, the Earthquake Commission, the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, and an independent policy expert yet to be appointed.

Key stakeholders will be consulted and a public discussion document will be released in March 2013 for feedback. Any legislative amendments arising out of the review will be introduced by the Government later next year.