Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition 128

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party

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 …Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition 128

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

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 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: On a positive note the fan-zone in Christchurch was once again packed for last night’s match and every household in Canterbury was glued to their TV sets to cheer on the All Blacks. It was a heartening victory. Even though we have no games in Canterbury it would be fair to say that the spirit of every Cantabrian was at Eden Park last night cheering on our team and our favourite son Richie McCaw. It was a great morale booster for our region. Yesterday over 100 people from white and orange zones across greater Christchurch assembled at a protest rally organised by local residents. The very simple and clear message from these folk was that they are sick of decision timelines being pushed out and constantly revised by Minister Brownlee and CERA with little or no explanation. These people are generous in nature and made it clear that they understand decisions have to be got right, but clearly they’ve had a gutsful of expectations being raised and then dashed and no one fronting up to tell them why the goalposts keep changing. These people are literally in limbo and want some certainty in their lives. They can take bad news. They just want all the information, warts and all. They want transparency, accountability and openness and that could have started yesterday by a Government MP showing up to the rally. No Government MPs, CERA representatives (all of whom had been invited) have ever fronted up at any of the rallies. That says a lot. These folks feel hurt and forgotten. Genuine community engagement means listening to, working with and talking with our communities not picking photo opportunities.

BRENDON BURNS: It may not be beyond some people to try on outrageous planning proposals in the hope that the weariness created by the quakes has sapped the community’s resolved. This morning I am meeting with the parents of children at Mairehau Primary School and local businesses who are horrified after we learned on Friday that a seven day a week, 13-hour a day liquor store is proposed outside the main entrance to the school on Innes Rd. Any objections to the liquor licensing application have to be lodged by Wednesday week. The application was not advised to the school or surrounding businesses and coincided with the school holidays. It is also lodged before the Alcohol Reform Bill, currently before Parliament, returns next year with wider powers for more community says about local licensing decisions. Communities under stress should not have to find the energy to fight to protect their children from such a patently unacceptable bid for liquor licensing under the current lax law. But fight it we will.

LIANNE DALZIEL: I attended several events over the weekend and held a recovery strategy meeting in Parklands. This was the first of three meetings, which I have organised to generate interest in the recovery planning processes. The main concerns raised at the meeting related to the timetable for decision-making for those zoned orange – they are in a terrible state of limbo and believe that they are another of the forgotten suburbs. They, like the orange & white zone protesters who gathered at the Botanic gardens on Sunday, want nothing more than they are entitled to – complete transparency about the decision-making process and a timeline they can rely on. In terms of the recovery strategy people agreed that there was a need for a public transport strategy that included greater use of the ring roads for travelling to the other side of the city without going through the central city. Local hubs/interchanges were supported as well. There was also strong support for retaining facilities in the east – especially the swimming facilities at QEII, which attracted thousands every week. We also hope that the revitalisation of community centres – like Parklands and New Brighton – will be a feature of the recovery strategy. I also attended the Love Avondale weekend, which included a community day to celebrate a great community with a great future.

RUTH DYSON: The first of the CERA promised street meetings started last week, in Taupata Street. People who attended were very appreciative of the chance to get more information about their situation locally and specifically, rather than in the very big meetings where the information is often too generalised to be helpful. It was disappointing that there was no representative from either CERA or EQC. Someone representing the insurance industry would have been very useful too. With the very large number of destroyed homes, it is hard to see how these meetings are going to cover a decent amount of ground in a timely way as there seems to be a very limited number of staff able to answer questions. I am also concerned about mixed messages I am hearing in relation to the Section 124 placards on homes (red stickered because of rock fall risk or hill/cliff collapse) and how these homes will be moved into the equivalent of the green or red zone. Apparently, this may be a decision made by the Council rather than CERA so I am left wondering whether these homeowners will still get the Option 1 and Option 2 government offers or whether some other regime will apply.

Authorised by Clayton Cosgrove, Parliament Buildings Wellington.

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