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Hardest-hit quake residents to learn about repairs today

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Gerry Brownlee
Gerry Brownlee

Wellington, Oct 19 NZPA - Canterbury residents whose homes were significantly damaged by last month's quake will learn today about repairs and if demolition will be required.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said less than 20 homes had been deemed beyond repair, but processes were in place to begin repairs for the hardest hit residents.

"This is very positive news and is the first step towards rebuilding those areas that were most badly affected. So I hope the people will see it in a very positive light," Mr Brownlee said.

He said the residents would be told how authorities intended going about remediation in their suburbs.

Mr Brownlee said it was "pretty good news" that the vast majority of homes were repairable.

Repairs would take a while and there was a need to ensure the equity people had in their properties was retained.

"They are going to end up with suburbs that are very secure as far as future events are concerned."

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) and insurers will liaise with householders to sort out programmes and timelines for the repairs or rebuilds.

Prime Minister John Key said yesterday in most cases EQC would pay out the first $100,000 plus GST on the damage to the houses, so that those affected would get some mortgage relief.

The process could take up to two years, he said.

Local tradespeople would get priority when awarding rebuild contracts.

Last week Mr Brownlee announced Fletcher Construction would run the EQC project management office to oversee the rebuild.

The contract, worth around $1 billion, would see Fletcher coordinate and manage building repairs on about 50,000 Canterbury homes.

They will manage claims between $10,000 and $100,000, while higher claims will be handled by commercial insurers in accordance with their policies.

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