Sir Michael Cullen appointed as new chair of EQC

Former Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and chair of New Zealand Post, Sir Michael Cullen has been appointed the new Chair of EQC, Minister Megan Woods has announced.

“EQC is facing a critical period in its history – rebuilding the Natural Disaster Fund after its depletion by the Canterbury and Kaikoura earthquakes, planning for the organisation’s response to greater frequency of extreme weather events, and finishing the job of resolving outstanding claims.

“Sir Michael’s extensive financial and leadership experience will be hugely helpful as EQC navigates these challenges. Over his years of service to New Zealand Sir Michael has demonstrated a prodigious intelligence, far sighted strategic thinking and a commitment to helping people, which will serve the EQC well.

“I want to pay tribute to the fantastic work outgoing interim chair Dame Annette King has done. I appointed her to lead changes at EQC to speed up resolution of outstanding Canterbury claims and reform the organisation’s culture.

“With half of all the Canterbury claims the Commission had on hand in May now resolved, we have made good progress but there is more work to be done and I am confident in Sir Michael to complete the job.

“Sir Michael’s financial experience will also be vital as we begin the work of replenishing the Natural Disaster Fund which is forecast to be depleted in the coming months. This is the first time in the Commission’s history it has had to call upon the Government’s guarantee that sits behind that fund.

“I look forward to working with Sir Michael to deliver a strong future for the Earthquake Commission so it can continue to play its important role supporting New Zealanders after natural disasters,” says Megan Woods.