Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
CANTERBURY EARTHQUAKE RECOVERY PLAN Labour will: • Purchase 1500 properties and sell them at cost to red zoned residents • Ring-fence $100 million as compensation for home improvements • Release all available geotechnical information • Resolve …
10 October 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT
Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition 124
A regular bulletin started by the Labour Party’s Christchurch electorate MPs, Clayton Cosgrove (Waimakariri), Ruth Dyson (Port Hills), Lianne Dalziel (Christchurch East) and Brendon Burns (Christchurch Central) to keep people in their electorates and media informed about what is happening at grass roots level.
CANTERBURY EARTHQUAKE RECOVERY PLAN
• Purchase 1500 properties and sell them at cost to red zoned residents
• Ring-fence $100 million as compensation for home improvements
• Release all available geotechnical information
• Resolve the insurance gridlock
• Intervene in the insurance market as a last resort
• Make community engagement a priority
• Use youth unemployment to fill the skills gap
• Establish an independent insurance commissioner
For full policy details go to: http://www.labour.org.nz/news/leadership-needed-to-rebuild-canterbury
CLAYTON COSGROVE : I welcome the Government’s move, announced last week, to finally lift the absurd airport noise corridor which has prevented the growth of housing in Kaiapoi. It is a good move. It is a move that I proposed by legislation two years ago, which the Government then rubbished. While I welcome the move I am astonished that in using his wartime powers significantly for the first time, Gerry Brownlee made no attempt to leverage any concessions from developers. In lifting the airport noise corridor the crown is doing developers a favour. They can now develop their land which means that the Government had a point of leverage to secure commitments from developers for affordable land options, thereby requiring a variety of land packages to be made available to buyers, especially those of smaller and varying sizes. Mr Brownlee could have also pushed the boat out a bit and raised the question of affordability of land prices. If he’d got really enthusiastic he could have applied some leverage and pressure and asked for a commitment for fair prices. The fact that he never asked or raised these issues is a missed opportunity because Mr Brownlee’s leverage on this issue has now gone. On Sunday I was invited to speak at a very enthusiastic rally with red zone folk in Bexley. They are under extreme stress but they’re tough and they’re not willing to simply be treated like ‘mushrooms’, as it were, by the Government. Rev Mike Coleman together with others has formed a group called WeCan, which is going to actively and publicly scrutinise the Government’s actions around the earthquake and work with other groups to hold the Government to account. The Government would be wise to listen to their views. However, the fact that no Government MP has turned up at any of the rallies held so far indicates the level of respect that the Government has for this group and the people it represents. That is sad and extremely short-sighted.
BRENDON BURNS: More than 60 people turned out on Saturday for a meeting in St Albans with insurers and lawyers. Working with local community board member Pauline Cotter and the St Albans Residents Association, I chaired the meeting as an attempt to fill some of the ongoing communication gaps which continue to bedevil people. EQC was invited but suggested it prefers running its own meetings which seem few and far between . Representatives of AMI and AA as well as two lawyers from the Canterbury Community Law Centre provided welcome advice and information to local residents. The only annoyance expressed was over the government’s ongoing refusal to release the geotechnical reports which have designated much of St Albans green zoned. The zoning has many people concerned, particularly those who’ve had three bouts of severe liquefaction and even springs popping up. As a result of approaches made, CERA is now indicating a meeting for St Albans residents on October 20. That will provide a most welcome opportunity for them to get even a limited view of some of the decisions affecting them.
LIANNE DALZIEL: On Friday I was contacted by the media about an announcement affecting my electorate that afternoon. I contacted the Minister’s office to ask for a heads-up as I thought it could be an announcement about the future of the orange-zoned Brooklands, Spencerville and Southshore. My constituents had been promised they would have a letter in the first week in October telling them what the new time line was for the decision about their zoning. Unfortunately another commitment has not been adhered to. I was informed it was an announcement that a report commissioned by the government showed 20% of homes badly damaged in the earthquake on 22 February had been built on land known to be susceptible to liquefaction. The Minister said that the ‘politically correct’ provisions of the RMA do not require authorities to assess whether or not the land is safe to build on, so a review of the Act has been instigated. I am asking for an urgent briefing on the report, because my understanding of the RMA is that regional councils control the use of land for the purpose of the avoidance or mitigation of natural hazards and that territorial authorities control the effects of the use of land for the avoidance or mitigation of natural hazards. Territorial authorities are also given the authority to control subdivisions and have discretion to refuse subdivision consent where the land is subject to hazards, or the subsequent use of the land will exacerbate the hazard. The affected homeowners are demanding answers.
RUTH DYSON: It was great to host the Governor General in Redcliffs as part of his three-day visit to Christchurch. His genuine interest, concern and support for people were really appreciated. Local lunch diners at The Castle Rock in Heathcote enjoyed sharing their lunch spot with him too! The Ferry Road/Main Road master plan consultation continued with a community drop-in session, which attracted a steady flow of people all day. I have heard from some people that there is confusion about the different plans and strategies, which are being prepared, with the CERA consultation ongoing, the hearings on the CBD plan underway and these Masterplans being prepared as well. I hope that behind the scenes, there is some integration! Another farewell to a magnificent building, the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Lyttelton, with a very well attended and very moving service to end the over 150 year life of the building. And a celebration, the 100th home fully repaired by Buildtech. This company’s commitment to helping families rebuild their lives by repairing their homes is really great and the fun day celebration included homeowners, tradesmen, suppliers and the Buildtech team themselves – well done!!