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
31 October 2011
Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition 135
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: It was good to see that Cantabrians have had some decisions made about their zoning and that a large number have now gone green. This will be a relief for many and allow them to move forward, however, there are still others who remain in limbo in orange and white zones. The clear message from those folks is that they need decisions to be made and they are sick of waiting. The next step for those who can move on is now wading through a complicated procedure regarding what foundations are necessary to rebuild on. For those requiring a tier 3 foundation, engineering and geotechnical testing will be required in each individual case. At last week’s meeting with Mr Brownlee we asked whether it was possible to somehow group that testing where it was likely that land in a whole street for instance would have the same geotechnical characteristics thereby cutting down costs for individual landowners. He has agreed to look into this however it was somewhat surprising that this issue wasn’t already anticipated prior to the announcement. On a brighter note I visited the new containerised city mall shopping precinct on Sunday and the feedback on what the retailers have done was very positive. It was great to see part of the city coming alive again.
BRENDON BURNS: Being at the opening of the Re-Start project in Cashel Mall on Saturday was a bit like being at Pamplona. When the barriers were removed thousands of people surged through. The container shops are all bright and well stocked, the staff eager to help, the owners keen to get the tills ringing again. The challenge will be for numbers of visiting shoppers to stay high enough to off-set the lost contributions of CBD office workers and the staff of other, still closed retailers. Later I attended a BBQ for the delightfully named Cowpat group, residents of Cowlishaw and Patten Sts. I expected them to be pretty glum given this is one of the biggest pockets of land still zoned Orange following Friday’s announcements. They were remarkably cheerful although they are hoping Mr Brownlee is right in his hope that all Orange zones will be clarified by Christmas. I attended the 130th anniversary of the consecration of Christ Church Cathedral yesterday morning at Christs College. I still can’t get past the fact that Church officials keep talking about a “new” Cathedral. I accept we may now have a breathing space. I am hearing a very strong wish in Canterbury to keep as much as the Cathedral as possible – and rebuild what is impossible to save.
LIANNE DALZIEL: I held a meeting at Brooklands on Saturday to encourage people to submit on CERA’s draft Recovery Strategy as the opportunity for comment closed yesterday. It was gut wrenching to hear people talk of the state of limbo they are in. They are asking why the government did not tell them that they would not be included in the announcement on Friday. It is shameful how they have been treated. The government should not make such important announcements on a Friday afternoon when no experts are available to provide the follow up information these communities need to understand the situation. The same can be said of the new blue-green category. Another waiting game until February before even the new DBH guidance is available. They have been denied access to information and in my view denied the opportunity to submit on the Recovery Strategy as well. There are many people in Christchurch who do not care about these plans and strategies, because they spend most of their time following up with EQC, their insurer, their respective project management organisations, CERA or all of the above. For people zoned white or orange, (whether or not they were re-zoned on Friday), submitting on a recovery plan or strategy could not be further removed from their reality.
RUTH DYSON: The speed in which the media attention has turned from the RWC to the election is extraordinary, but we are still doing a lot more earthquake living than other stuff. I know that people outside the quake hit areas find it hard to understand that after “all this time” (as many people say to me), it’s not all sorted yet, but this doesn’t annoy me, I’m just happy that those people are not going through what we are here.
Further progress on moving orange zones to the new tri-colour (grey, yellow or blue) green zones is welcome progress. I know that for every zone that is announced, there is a higher level of frustration for those still in the unzoned white areas. A lot of the white zone is “blindingly obvious”(as Gerry Brownlee said about some of the silt ridden areas earlier this year) such as those under rocks or near the edge of cliffs (or halfway over the cliff.). I really hope that further progress can be made on the unzoned areas (white) where the land is destroyed or where there is no land damage or rock fall risk and these people can join the other green zoners and move to the next phase of their life.