Community Scoop

Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition 129

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 129

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.


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:

CLAYTON COSGROVE: Great to see the Waimakariri District Council get a glowing report from the Future Canterbury Group headed up by former National Cabinet Minister Philip Burdon. The group evaluated the Council’s performance in terms of earthquake recovery and essentially said they were world class and an exemplar to others. This is a fitting tribute for the WDC as their councillors, officials and contractors did, and continue to do, an incredible job of assisting people through these events. It should be remembered that the council recovery and rebuild plan was well advanced just before the Feb 22 earthquake hit. Had it not been for that event and just prior to Gerry Brownlee’s announcement that he was calling a holt to their plans, after he’d repeatedly endorsed them, timelines and phasing of the reconstruction was all set to go. The key thing that the Council did was that it engaged with the community at all levels providing accurate and timely information whether this was good news or bad news for people. It did not treat the quakes as business as usual. And it embedded the key recovery officials’ right in the heart of the most damaged part of the district mainly in Kaiapoi. The Council should be congratulated and Mr Brownlee and Mr Sutton and the PM for that matter could learn a lot about interacting and engaging with quake victims. However, sadly Mr Brownlee dismisses this evaluation group as a bunch of ‘hand wringers and talkers’ and rejects any notion that his own Government Department CERA and for that matter his own performance should be evaluated. Mr Brownlee and CERA should remember that they are accountable to the general public.

BRENDON BURNS: Anxious orange and green-zoned residents in St Albans and Richmond who were promised a CERA briefing this week have now had the offer summarily withdrawn. A local community board member has been patiently trying to bring together meetings for her community to help them begin to understand what their zoning actually means, as well as associated insurance and rebuild issues. Ten days ago, insurance companies and lawyers from Canterbury Community Law turned up to answer questions from 80 residents. As local MP I chaired the meeting and the National candidate at the top table as well. Despite repeated requests, EQC did not front, suggesting it preferred to run its own meetings. I am yet to see one. To its initial credit, CERA said it would come to a meeting this Thursday to discuss geotech and other issues. That meeting was circulated to the St Albans and Richmond community Now CERA says it will not attend, supposedly on the basis that Minister Brownlee is making announcements on orange zones sometime this week. To rub it in, CERA will not commit to another date, leaving residents angry at a broken commitment and no prospect of them being given any insight into the zoning of their land. This contradicts CERA’s own draft recovery strategy and all of its supposed commitment to community engagement. The latest slap in the face to another community desperate for information underlines the question we are all hearing; is a neutral chief executive calling any shots at CERA or is it all done by a political Minister Brownlee?

LIANNE DALZIEL: I am speaking at the Anglican Care AGM tonight with my address entitled 20/20 Vision of Rebuild and Recovery. I am going to look at the principles of recovery and see how they might build community resilience as a positive legacy of the experience we have endured. Many people say that the earthquake has had a silver lining – that neighbours know each other better than they ever did. But the question no-one seems to be asking is how we got into a situation where we didn’t know our neighbours in the first place. Strong communities will recover more easily. But this requires genuine community engagement. Unfortunately some believe this wastes precious time and stands in the way of decision-making. Consultation does not delay decision-making; it strengthens it. Decision-makers who engage with the affected communities and major stakeholders send a powerful message of trust and respect. When all the information is laid out and explanations of alternative approaches given, the reason for the decision is then at least understood and is more likely to be enduring. When the government makes decisions and announces them to the media rather than face-to-face with the affected communities it has repercussions for our recovery as a city. Anglican Care AGM, St Christophers 244 Avonhead Road 6pm.

RUTH DYSON: The Royal Commission began their proceedings this week with an emotional and appropriate recognition of those who died on 22nd February and I acknowledge their compassion. The families of those killed have had to endure very shared and public grieving alongside their as yet unanswered questions. They need as many of their questions answered as soon as possible and then time to respond, be supported and grieve again. I am really pleased that family members have been able to go through the cordoned off areas and see where their loved one were taken by the quake. The trauma of losing someone in this situation cannot be eased by this but it is their right to have as much information as available and that includes access to the CBD red zone. But I am not at all happy with the tourism approach of CERA that we will be charged $8 for a 30 minute bus four of the CBD red zone. It’s our City! Rachel Hunter et al got in for free. What about the people who live here?

Authorised by Clayton Cosgrove, Parliament Buildings Wellington.

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