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Friday, May 6, 2011

'Brokest I've ever been'

'Brokest I've ever been'

Last updated 10:50 06/05/2011
Christchurch plumber Ray Morton is "the brokest I've ever been" despite his business booming since the February earthquake.

Morton was forced to take out an $80,000 loan this week to meet costs while he waits for the Earthquake Commission (EQC) to pay him for repair work.

The Commission said most contractors were being paid within two to three weeks but Morton told Radio New Zealand he was waiting up to two months.

"Nine out of 10 contractors I've been talking to have problems with payments taking too long," he said.

"It's the busiest we've ever been but it's the brokest I've ever been."

Some bills of less than $1000 had been paid in the two to three week cycle, Morton said.

He was owed nearly $90,000 by EQC.

The commission said it had appointed someone to look into Morton's case but it would be next week before any payments were made.

Morton said the move gave him little reassurance.

"I've heard that five or six times before so I'm not holding out until the money's actually in the bank."

EQC chief executive Ian Simpson said a helpline for tradespeople to call was being considered.

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