The Earthquake Commission’s (EQC) assets have dropped significantly to $287 million from $6.4 billion in just eight years, it has been revealed.
The assets, according to a report from RNZ, will soon reach the $200 million mark that triggers the Crown guarantee to top up the Natural Disaster Fund. This guarantee has never been triggered in the 73 years EQC has existed.
The commission has reportedly written to Minister Megan Woods on the state of its net assets.
How much the government thinks will be needed is “something that needs to be worked through”, she told one of RNZ’s news programmes. “This is something that we’ve known since we became government, it’s something that we’ve known is coming while we’ve put together this budget – it has not been far from our thinking, so it is certainly accounted for.”
The report said the fund’s been depleted due to the earthquakes in Christchurch, Kaikōura and Wellington, and flood events, such as in Whanganui and Edgecumbe.
Moreover, Woods reportedly said EQC was working on a plan to refuel the fund as it was a case of “when, not if” New Zealand had another significant earthquake.
“But the Crown guarantee sits behind EQC and that’s something in which New Zealanders can have a great deal of faith in their level of cover in New Zealand and one of the reasons why reinsurers look on us so favourably,” the minister added