1 NEWS Political Reporter
Fed up earthquake claimants battling with insurance issues in Christchurch have met face to face with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in what was at times, a heated exchange.
Several dozen protesters, armed with placards, marched from Cranmer Square to the Christchurch Art Gallery this morning.
New Brighton homeowners Mike and Fran Dodge have lived in their damaged house since the quake, but are at a stalemate.
"You're living in a damaged house, you can't sell it. You can't do any maintenance. You can't move on. We've got a broken driveway which is difficult for my wife in a wheelchair. We've got doors that don't close. Our children have gone from ten to twenty living with us grizzling about insurance," he said.
Ms Ardern agreed with protesters that seven years is too long.
"First and foremost, the focus for us is trying to make sure your cases are settled. Because seven years, is just not good enough.”
The government's since launched an independent inquiry into the EQC, and will be establishing an arbitration tribunal to resolve tricky disputes, and create a fund for test cases to clarify major legal advice.
It's also extended the Residential Advisory Service.
Greater Christchurch Minister Megan Woods said it was vital to give people access to help. "We want to make sure that you don't just have access to justice based on your bank balance."
The terms of reference for the EQC inquiry are now out for public consultation. More than 750 people have submitted their views and stories.
A body found in Motueka estuary, in the Tasman District, yesterday has been identified as a 50-year-old man.
Police released a statement this afternoon revealing they knew the identity of the man but have not yet released his name because they are in the process of informing his family.
Police were called to the scene at Motueka estuary yesterday at 5pm.
They said the body they found appeared to have been there for some time.
"At this stage the man's death is not considered suspicious, although there are some aspects which are currently unexplained," Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Johnston said.
"A post mortem will take place tomorrow, and we expect to be able to provide an update once we have reviewed the post mortem findings."