Last night, I stumbled across this blog, which claims to be from an ex-EQC employee who has been posting blogs about the way the organisation runs. I don’t have any way of verifying the legitimacy of the site, which is anonymous. However, given the depth of info, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. It would take someone very creative, and simultaneously, very schooled in the ideas of dull bureaucracy speak to come up with all the writings on said site. It’s worth a look.
I’ve personally heard of some shocking stories from people I know who work for EQC. One of which involved people higher up in management manipulating a claim so that they could sell the property without disclosing the land status – which they knew, but the vendor didn’t. This site may prove to be a way of getting some of these stories out anonymously to the media. Maybe I’ve just been watching too much House of Cards, but I think a few more leaks could be quite timely.
Just over two years ago, EQC had 22 staff. It now has hundreds. As does CERA, as does Fletcher building in Christchurch. These are big organisations, dealing with billions of dollars – and yet, we barely know how they work. In the case of EQC, it could be argued that they’re barely working at all. 70% of claims unsettled after 2 years sounds like failure to me. Taxpayers – not just in Christchurch, but across the country – should be demanding more transparency about how their billions of dollars are being spent. Maybe it’s all going to the right places. Maybe it isn’t. Historically, the construction, insurance and property development industries haven’t been as squeaky clean as they might want us to believe.
A series of big bureaucratic organisations have grown up rapidly in Christchurch to respond to the disaster down here. We need them. We also need them to be accountable. This means ongoing, in-depth reporting – not just parachuting the TV media in for a couple of days in February and another couple of days in September.