Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition 133

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

LABOUR MPs

26 October 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT
Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition 133
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: It has now been a month today since I wrote to Gerry Brownlee seeking Government action on the contaminated wells issue, which has left many Cantabrians without safe water to drink. So far the only response that I have had is a standard reply from Gerry Brownlee’s office acknowledging my letter. People are now getting angry that no action has been taken. They are concerned about their financial situation and the possibility that they may be required to pay thousands of dollars to treat dangerous toxins like arsenic in their water supply , which is a direct result of the earthquakes. I have lost count of the number of times I have raised this issue with Gerry Brownlee, yet we seem no closer to a decision. People are quite rightly wondering how long it takes for a Minister with his own department, a battalion of bureaucrats and a $5.5 billion budget to make a decision. Surely it’s not too much to ask for some certainty Having a safe and reliable drinking supply is such an essential basic need. Once again I call on the Minister to do the right thing and urgently make the right decision for these people.

BRENDON BURNS: Is our iconic Cathedral at the heart of our city at risk of being demolished? That’s the very real fear that’s begun emerging in Christchurch in recent days. I do not have a complete picture but I am choosing to comment because I think it important we are now told what is happening with our Cathedral, some 8 months after February 22. I understand engineers working for the Anglican Church have suggested demolition, even though my sources suggest apart from the very real damage to the spire, earthquake strengthening has assisted the nave (main body). I believe the engineers’ report may now be being peer-reviewed. I contacted CERA yesterday asking about suggestions a demolition order has been sought. CERA would only say this was a matter for the Church. I do not doubt the Church understand the importance of the Cathedral to our city. It may be, however, that like many other property owners the cost of redevelopment, likely to be enormous, is weighing heavily. Given that demolition may be under consideration, I think it is time to inform the people of Canterbury of the true picture and update them as it develops. There is no more important icon of our city. This church is at the heart of who we are and where we came from. The concept of a Christchurch without the Cathedral in the Square is too ghastly to contemplate. As well as hoping and praying this does not come to pass, we as citizens have the right to ask about the future of our city’s most important building

LIANNE DALZIEL: I attended Sport Canterbury’s Breakfast meeting this morning on behalf of the Labour Party. I strongly recommended that they offer to take a leadership role in the development of a sports and recreation recovery plan for Christchurch as part of the recovery strategy process that CERA is leading. I reminded them that comments on the draft recovery strategy close on Sunday 30th October. One of the elements of the draft strategy is the recognition of the needs for specific recovery plans. Rather than wait until somebody is tasked with writing a recovery plan for sport and recreation I said it was very important that the affected communities and organisations are effectively engaged in leading the planning process. This is about owning our recovery as a community. With a number of schools facing the need to rebuild sports facilities this is an opportunity for the sporting groups to collaborate with the council and the Ministry of Education about what our future facilities might look like. I highlighted the example of the Graham Condon swimming pool located at Papanui High School. I reminded them that the Ministry of Education and the Tertiary Education Commission were seeking input into a draft education renewal and recovery plan and that submissions close around the Sunday 13th November. I suggested that they provide some input into this preplanning process because their views could help shape the draft plan, which will be consulted on next year. I am holding a public meeting tomorrow night 27 October at Chisnallwood Intermediate School, Breezes Road at 7pm to discuss the recovery strategy processes.

RUTH DYSON: Yet another day of Rugby World Cup fever with the victory parade being attended by an estimated 50,000 people, including many school children who thought it was just the best way to start the first day of the last term! It is really great to see so many people smiling. Went to the lovely launch of the Artbox prototype, a modular building which will be put together with other similar buildings, first at CPIT and be available for moving or replicating as temporary art space around the City. Another example of skills, recycling, and passion for our City’s recovery so congratulations to Martin Trusttum, F3 design, CPIT and everyone else involved. Great to have Geotech Mark Yetton and City Council earthquake manager Ethan Stetson at the Balmoral Lane Residents’ Association meeting giving an update to residents tonight but the rising frustration and anger is sadly obvious and understandable. Hard to know what progress is being made and when further progress might be made for these displaced residents. Not so many smiling people here.

ENDS

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