Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition 130

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 130

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: Weeks have now passed since Gerry Brownlee was advised of the contamination and compensation problem that water bore owners have faced as a direct result of the earthquakes. Constituents throughout Canterbury who have had their wells or replacement wells contaminated with toxins like arsenic have been trying to get the Government to meet its obligations to fix them up. Many of these people now require water treatment so that their water supply is drinkable and useable. EQC has said it’s not their problem even though they provided full repair and water treatment in the initial aftermath of the quakes, at the Government’s direction, and in doing so established a precedent. I have written to Mr Brownlee asking for some urgent action on this and asked him to be consistent and use his powers to direct EQC to fix up these wells. To date I have received no substantive reply. Many of these folks don’t have the $5,000 – $10,000 it will cost to make their water drinkable even though the problem was not of their making. The plea is “please get on with it” and we wait with bated breath.

BRENDON BURNS: The first cross-party MPs forum for some weeks is on today. It comes amid signals of some major announcements, perhaps on zoning issues. Certainly these remain a priority for many constituents. Tonight sees the first candidates election forum in my electorate, hosted by the Riverside group which is active in the Richmond community. A set of questions has been issued and zoning, geotech and RV issues are dominant. Meanwhile, the deadline appears very tight for the Re-Start project to re-open Cashel Mall. A constituent has inquired about what shops and services will be included. While she’s pleased to learn the Mall will include a bank she asks about other basic services such as a pharmacy, post office and book shop as well as cheaper food options. Feedback suggests that supplying the basics will contribute a great deal to making the CBD user-friendly again.

LIANNE DALZIEL: I attended the Travis Wetlands AGM last night and heard inspiring presentations from Di Lucas, Bernie Calder and Antony Shadbolt on the Waterways and Wetlands of the East. Di talked about the need to understand the nature of the land and to respect the dynamic nature of our meandering river systems and their estuaries. Bernie spoke about the Avon-Otakaro Park proposal, which is the vision for turning the red zone land along the river and the wetlands into a park from city to sea. Antony talked about the Styx Vision 2000-2040 – in just 11 years they have achieved at least half of the plan’s vision. He gave a really interesting overview of how developments may encroach on the natural values of reserves and what mitigation can be used. The meeting agreed that it was important to submit these concepts to the draft Recovery Strategy on which CERA is seeking comment. I spoke in favour of a permanent reserve status for the Avon-Otakaro Park, because red zone residents need some closure about their land not being rebuilt. Interestingly those who take the voluntary offer, will not have the right of first refusal should the land end up back on the market, whereas those whose land is compulsorily acquired will have that right. Why do I get the feeling that someone hasn’t thought this through properly?

RUTH DYSON: I was very excited when Lyttelton and Sydenham were chosen as the two pilot areas for master planning for the suburbs. I was concerned that the very strict limitations that the Council put on the areas for consideration would not allow for proper consideration of all the relevant issues. The Council had defined the area for the master plan to within what you might describe as the CBD of Sydenham – between Brougham and Moorhouse along Colombo and slightly extended both sides, and London Street in Lyttelton Led by the Community Board, a huge amount of work had already been undertaken in Lyttelton developing a community response for a plan. The facilitators of the master plan assured the residents that all this work would be taken into account as part of the next step. Well, unfortunately, that is not the view of the Lyttelton residents who packed a public meeting on this issue this week, and resoundingly rejected the master plan as being inadequate in representing their views. They are frustrated at this and also confused about the recovery strategy being undertaken by CERA and these suburban master plans being developed by the Council. This is not the way to take the residents of our city forward together to recovery and needs to be sorted out before it occurs again in other suburbs which is what I fear might happen in Sumner.
Authorised by Clayton Cosgrove, Parliament Buildings Wellington.

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