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Distrust, bullying and mental health issues emerge as public inquiry into EQC gets underway

Distrust, bullying and mental health issues are the key concerns emerging form the early stages of a public inquiry into the earthquake commission.

Dame Silvia Cartwright is leading the inquiry, looking at what can be learned from the Canterbury earthquakes and other natural disasters.

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Dame Silvia Cartwright’s leading the inquiry into the Earthquake Commission. Source: 1 NEWS

After years spent dealing with the EQC over his properties that were damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes, David Townshend says that trust has been broken.

Now he's detailing his experience and preparing a submission for the public inquiry into the commission.

“People are very traumatised by their whole experience around particularly the Christchurch sequence of earthquakes and their dealings with the EQC,” says Dame Silvia Cartwright.

Written submissions have been open for nearly a month.

Dame Silvia says the issue of mistrust has unquestionably come up.

“One of the major themes that worries me particularly is the whole problem of increased risk of mental illness,” she says.

Dame Silvia says she's received around 160 submissions but is hoping for many more before the May 26 deadline.

“I can assure everyone of confidentiality - it's quite straightforward to write a report without disclosing highly confidential material,” she says.

A phase of public forums starts soon.

Another chance for people to have their voices heard.

Her recommendations are expected by the end of the year.