Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, February 7th, 2011 - 23 comments
Categories: class war, national/act government - Tags: bob parker, christchurch earthquake, gerry brownlee, john key, pike river mine, south canterbury finance, the hobbit
When a millionaire director and a foreign corporate wanted millions in tax breaks, Key jumped to it. When SCF collapsed the investors got an average of $60K, no questions asked. But when it comes to helping the ordinary families of Christchurch and the West Coast, the government’s nowhere to be seen once the cameras are gone.
The Press is running a series of articles this week looking at the state of the recovery from the earthquake, five months after the big shake. The series itself is surely intended to be a wake-up call to the government. All indications are that Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee is AWOL and the recovery is being left in the hands of the vainglorious and otherwise inept mayor, Bob Parker. All Parker seems to be doing is complaining about the “whole lot of voices out there … almost too many” (ie. criticism) and accusing MPs who are trying to help their constituents of trying to make political capital out of the disaster (this coming from the guy who was on TV every chance he could get in his high-vis jacket before the election). Parker says he wants one voice – that is, he wants critics of his uselessness to shut up.
People aren’t happy. Just check the comments on The Press articles:
“What is the mayor’s preference? a single voice perhaps? his by any chance? Sorry, this is NOT the Bob (side)show…if the recovery was well co-ordinated the messages coming from various parties would be clear and congruent, the fact that they are not reflects the utter mess that’s going on behind the scenes!
Yes, the city is pulling apart, it’s been 5 months and things are worse for many people now than they were immediately post earthquake. Good luck with your efforts to control information Mr Mayor, historically I think you’ll find it’s a policy that hasn’t worked out that well…”
“I’ve got to say how impressed I’ve been with Brendan Burns… doing the job quietly and efficiently. Unlike Messers Brownlee and Parker. Where has Parker been, anyway?”
“I would also like to add that Lianne Dalziel has done a fantastic job through out. The National list MP for Kaiapoi has all of a sudden “come out of the woodwork” to hold a public meeting next Thursday night and shes even got Mr Brownlee coming. hmmm now whos using our situation to get votes… Please vote Labour, then get Lianne Dalziel, Brendan Burns and Clayton Cosgrove to sort our situation as Brownlee doesn’t even know whats going on. ”
“Brendon Burns is our MP he has been fantastic in helping residents on the east side and not once have I heard him making any political statements unlike Gerry Brownlee, Bob stop dicking about with blessings and get on with it, Gerry pull ya finger our and make some decison that will get lives back on track”
and so on and so on.
Meanwhile, the West Coast was promised an economic package to help it through the loss of Pike River. Gerry Brownlee initially said ‘wait until January’. Well, January’s been and gone and still nothing. Brownlee promised job creation on the Coast. Instead, the government is firing 60% of the staff at the DoC regional office.
When you put this in the context of a government that has seen wages drop, let unemployment soar to around 7% and done nothing about it, and given huge tax cuts to the very rich it’s hard to escape the conclusion that this government only gives a damn about the elite.
[Bunji: don't forget the Greymouth IRD job cuts too...]