web analytics

Puddleglum on Christchurch

Written By: - Date published: 1:21 pm, June 19th, 2014 - 17 comments
Categories: christchurch earthquake, election 2014 - Tags: , ,

There is a very long but worth reading post over at The Political Scientist. If you’re serious about campaigning in NZ at present, then it is definitely worth setting aside the time to ponder it. In particular the demographics and the occupational changes across Christchurch that may affect this years election outcome.

I’ve ‘borrowed’ the new-fangled abstract that Puddlegum is testing as our teaser (and that is long enough!).

One of the interesting questions waiting to be answered on 20 September this year is how Christchurch voters will respond to the government’s efforts over the last three years in the earthquake recovery process. A significant feature of the 2011 election was the collapse of the Labour Party vote. When the voting patterns of that election – and the 2005 and 2008 elections – are examined in detail it’s clear that a significant number of previous Labour voters simply stayed home, right across the city from east to west.

Since 2011, the government and its institutions (e.g., CERA, EQC, CCDU) have come under immense criticism; red-zoning decisions, including over bare land sections, have led to court case losses for the government and huge stress for individuals and families; insurance payouts have ground out slowly and ground people down in the process; the central city ‘blueprint’ has been fraught in its implementation, increasingly unpopular, has scared off some investors and has been interminably delayed; the cost-sharing agreement reached with the previous council – and which includes significant costs for highly controversial ‘anchor projects’  in the central city such as the stadium and convention centre – has strapped Christchurch people into a financial strait-jacket; there have been accusations of mismanagement of asbestos during the demolition and repair process; rents have headed skywards and there’s been repeated flooding.

But some people have benefited: those who have bought cheap rentals and benefited from the hyper-inflated rental market; businesses and workers involved in the repair and demolition process and, now, the rebuild; some major central city landowners who have effectively had their sunk capital in the city centre bailed out by the imposition of the Central City Recovery Plan. To state the obvious, what’s happening in Christchurch is complex.

But it’s hardly a brave prediction to suggest that, electorally, the National Party reached its high water mark in Christchurch at the 2011 election – the only question is how much, and how fast, the tide has changed since then.

Looking more broadly, there’s also the other as yet unanswered question; a question that, if it was possible to answer, would shed light on the nature and values of New Zealand society: To what extent will the government’s performance in Christchurch since the earthquakes affect what New Zealanders outside of Christchurch and Canterbury do in the privacy of the polling booth? And, the really provocative and revealing corollary: To what extent should it affect how people outside of Christchurch vote?

Tony Milne also has a good post at The Daily Blog “The moment the housing crisis in Christchurch could have been averted” that deals with the incompetence about housing that Gerry Brownlee has been displaying down there.

17 comments on “Puddleglum on Christchurch”

  1. Ad 1

    What I would hope for is a massive and public distinction between the National-led recovery plans an an alternative.

    The alternative that would raise people’s imaginations would align local and central government plans together and seek to give effect strongly to the initial public consultation that Christchurch citizens went through. Bring back the democracy and civic engagement to the whole thing.

    There would be a great big poster war all over the city that illustrated what this new Christchurch was going to look like, where the ideas came from, and when they would be implemented.

    I believe there is a missing built vision between Labour’s “build 10,000 houses a year” promise and the original people-mandated plan of Christchurch . If it was illustrated and filled out, and built, I think people would see how their democratic voice actually makes stuff real. That would begin to overcome the cynicism and distrust so many voters have of politicians.

    And before I lapse into mario Cuomo’s “City on A Hill” speech, I think an aspiring vision that had sustained democratic mandate would show leadership to the whole of the south island. I would want Phil Twyford to work with Mayor Dalziell and make that a centrepiece of how Labour would roll out its housing policy: to transform not onoly the housing stock and home ownership, but to revive and transform whole neighbourhoods, cities even, in an endiring partnership between central and local government.

    “Tell him he’s dreamin.'” Well that’s what political inspiration should feel like.

  2. hoom 2

    No fast tracking of land or State help for people pushed out of their homes, but Lyttleton Port gets fast tracked ‘repairs’ that consist of a big expansion…
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11277449

    And by ‘fast’ they mean write a plan by 5 years after the first quake…

  3. swordfish 3

    The evidence on changing political sentiment in Christchurch over the last 12 months has been ambiguous, one might almost say contradictory.

    On the one hand, Labour did far better in last year’s Christchurch East By-Election than most people / commentators realise. The result suggested either a significant Nat-to-Lab swing or a significant mobilisation of former Labour voters who had stayed at home on Election Day 2011.

    I remember there was also some discussion early last year in the MSM and on social media about a poll breakdown (think it was a Herald-Digi from memory) that recorded a strong swing to the Left in Christchurch (albeit on a fairly small base of respondents).

    And, of course, the very pleasing Local Body Election results in the Garden City.

    But, on the other hand, the Fairax-Ipsos Polls have been suggesting for quite some time that Canterbury (admittedly, a larger geographical area than just Chch) remains Right-leaning on not only the party-vote question but even on the Mood for a Change of Government question. Impossible to know, though, precisely what proportion of the Canterbury sample were from Chch (roughly two-thirds, I’d estimate).

    And The Press carried out a party-support poll specifically in Christchurch around the middle of last year. Its results suggested that the Tories / the Right continued to lead the Left (they gave breakdowns by ward and, from memory, just one of the wards favoured the Left, with another relatively evenly split). And this poll was probably a little more robust than most poll figures on Chch given that (because centred entirely on Chch) it involved a much larger base of local respondents.

    So, I have mixed feelings about how well the Left will do there. I wonder if It’ll be a tale of two cities ? – the East of Chch swinging heavily to the Left, the West remaining clearly Right-leaning ? Albeit with the spectre of the non-voter always lurking in the background. (I can envisage the same old MSM ‘Labour is Dog Tucker’ headlines driving erstwhile Lefties to stay at home come September).

    • lprent 3.1

      From what I know, as puddlegum points out, it really does feel like Christchurch is in a state of flux. There are hell of a lot of people who were mightily pissed off. But there has been a influx as the rebuild has finally started.

    • Thanks swordfish. I think you’ve got really good insights into what polls do and do not say.

      I had meant to link to your blog and analysis of polls in my post but forgot – sorry!

      I noticed in the latest ipsos poll that, against the national trend, the ‘Canterbury’ vote for Labour went up by 3.5 points since the previous poll. Of course, National also went up by 8.3 points – another result that no doubt only makes sense once the increase in undecideds is taken into account. The ‘n’ for ‘decideds’ in Canterbury was 98 in the latest poll compared with 112, 122 and 115 in the previous three polls.

      Nationally, the ‘n’ for ‘decideds’ was 777 compared with 826, 845, 815 in the previous three polls.

      Yes, the ‘messages’ about the Christchurch electorate overall are mixed. The polls in particular are hard to interpret. I remember the Press poll you mention. At the time I remember spotting a problem with it but now can’t find mention of it online.

  4. geoff 4

    I hate to be pendantic but…

    it’s puddleglum not puddlegum.

    • lprent 4.1

      Damn you are right. Corrected

      • Puddleglum 4.1.1

        Thanks 🙂

        But what’s in a name/pseudonym?

        • lprent 4.1.1.1

          Quite a lot actually. It is a handle and a guide to the identity of the thoughts of the mind behind it. Confusion over who is speaking causes a whole lot of flamewars that I’d prefer to avoid.

          There are actually auto moderation rules in place on this site to enforce people using them correctly. For instance when I became aware that even I was calling Matthew Hooton as hooten, I put one in for that to correct everyones behaviour (including mine)

          • Puddleglum 4.1.1.1.1

            Makes perfect sense.

            I’m a pedant by choice largely because every so often it actually matters – as you’ve pointed out.

  5. Redzone 5

    Nope , tides definitely out for national in chch and minister for destruction-Brownlie has been caught swimming with out his togs. Wagners skinny dipping too-spare the thought!

    People have had a guts full with the snail pace of the rebuild and the general disempowerment imposed by Cera and co. The callous handling of the School closures is the final straw. Pissed off is an understatement.

    Should be some solid swings left at the GE.

    Do the rest of nz still care and will it effect their voting behaviour to any degree ? I’d say probably not.

  6. Brendon 6

    I hope to have an article published on interest.co.nz over the coming days that has as a major theme -the Christchurch housing market. Look out for it.

  7. vto 7

    Puddleglum, I felt that the main reason National did better in 2011 was similar to the reason Bob Parker swung 180 degrees in the polls and got voted back in as mayor when he was on a hiding to nothing. That reason was incumbency and the desire for stability. People were in a state of complete and utter upheaval – there was the Feb quake, then the June quakes, then the December quake. The city was rocking during that entire year – every day, every day, shakes and quakes.

    People were not interested in the risk around bringing in a new mayor and nor were they interested in bringing in a new government. Amidst all of the instability, trauma, stress and daily earthquakes the people just wanted stability and consistency.

    Whoever was in government at the time would have got voted back in Chch, no matter Labour or National.

    I skimmed pretty quickly through your post (long version) but didn’t see any reference to this phenomenon. I can’t provide any evidence other than what I saw in people in our communities with my own eyes and what they were going through and what they wanted during that time.

    • Hi vto,

      Yes, the ‘stability’ factor could well have been important. The chances are that different reasons had different degrees of effect for different groups of people in different parts of the city (that’s a lot of ‘different’ in one sentence, sorry).

      I think I came close to mentioning your point about “the risk around brining in a new mayor [in 2011, a new government]” with the thought that changing horses wouldn’t have made any difference to most people’s experience given how much it was dominated by ‘recovery’. You’re right that disasters bring out the conservative (with a small ‘c’) in us all.

      Thanks for taking a look at the post.

  8. vto 8

    This time around it will be a different story. The people have been left to deal with their situation with little assistance. They are completely and utterly fed up with EQC and insurers, red zoning problems, the list goes on and on. This time I think they will fight back hard.

    Of course out west where there was little damage they have good roads, ridiculous house prices and functioning infrastructure. They will stay blue.

  9. Brendon Harre 9

    vto -As a Cantabrian I agree with you regarding the incumbent gaining an earthquake boost in 2011 and this will not happening in 2014.

    Poisson -thanks for finding my article.

    Ad -if we could Labour discussing that sort of positive thing rather than scandals then maybe the election could be won….

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Children’s Commissioner misses out in Budget
      The Office of the Children’s Commissioner has missed out on a much needed boost in this year’s Budget, meaning they will be forced to continue their reduced monitoring role of CYFs residences, says Labour’s spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern. … ...
    1 hour ago
  • Communities miss out in Budget
    Budget 2017 has left community and NGO providers feeling exposed about the services they provide to vulnerable families especially in smaller towns and communities, says Labour’s Whānau Ora Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Approximately $40m will go into Whānau Ora to work… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Budget2016: Two Worlds
    Sometimes I feel as if I live in two worlds. The world created by the National Government where everything is great and they’re doing a great job and the world as seen through the eyes of child advocates, community workers,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    21 hours ago
  • Parekura would be proud – MTS gets boost
    The Labour Party is ecstatic that the Māori Party have shown support for one of Labour’s proudest policies, says Labour’s Māori Broadcasting Spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “The Māori Television Service was launched in 2004 by the late Hon Parekura Horomia. ...
    22 hours ago
  • Māori housing in state of emergency
    The Government needs to declare a state of emergency for Māori Housing, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson and Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis. “The extra $3 million a year Māori Housing Network fund will not scratch the surface in… ...
    22 hours ago
  • State house sell off in disarray after provider pulls out
     The Government should cancel its planned sell-off of state houses after the second big community housing provider pulled out leaving the process in disarray, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “It is time for the Government to back away from… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Nothing in Budget to help police to solve crime
    The Police Minister has failed to make communities safer with virtually no new money in yesterday’s Budget for police to address the appalling burglary resolution rates, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It’s a disgrace there’s no money or aspiration… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Blog – Budget 2016: What about ordinary working people?
    Ordinary working New Zealanders don’t fare very well from this Budget. Setting aside the spin from the Government, it contains a lot to be concerned about and a fudging of the numbers. Green Party workplace relations spokesperson Denise Roche For… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    22 hours ago
  • Real wages go backwards for next two years
    New Zealanders’ real wages will fall for the next two years as the cost of living outpaces forecast pay rises, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New Zealanders have been doing it tough for far too long. They expect… ...
    23 hours ago
  • The Attack on Public Education – by a thousand cuts
    Budget 2016 is another step towards the free public education system being a memory from the past. The Budget freezes the operations grant for schools and does not sufficiently cover the real increase in numbers of students entering the education system.… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    23 hours ago
  • The Attack on Public Education – by a thousand cuts
    Budget 2016 is another step towards the free public education system being a memory from the past. The Budget freezes the operations grant for schools and does not sufficiently cover the real increase in numbers of students entering the education system.… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    23 hours ago
  • The give with one hand – take with the other Budget
    The Minister of Health has pumped out media releases to 20 District Health Boards heralding increases in funding for their regions, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “But when you add population growth and inflation into the figures you get… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget offers no hope of fixing housing crisis
    The Budget’s underwhelming housing measures will give New Zealanders no hope that National is capable of fixing the housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “There isn’t a scrap of an idea to help desperate young Kiwi families into… ...
    1 day ago
  • How the budget fails new New Zealanders
    Greens co-leader James Shaw was absolutely correct to say the 2016 budget is just papering over the cracks. There’s nothing in this budget to increase wages, address inequal pay for carers or deal with the shocking pay rates and employment… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Parents will pay more as school budgets frozen
    Parents will pay more for their kids’ education as a result of this year’s Budget after the Government froze operational funding for schools, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This means schools are effectively going backwards. They will need to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Sticking Plaster Budget fails the test
    Bill English’s penultimate Budget fails to tackle the structural challenges facing the economy – a housing crisis, rising unemployment, underfunded health and creaking infrastructure, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This Budget applies a sticking plaster to a compound fracture.… ...
    2 days ago
  • John Key fails middle New Zealand with no fix for housing crisis, more underfunding of health
    Middle New Zealand has again missed out in this year’s Budget with not a single fix for the housing crisis, and health and education woefully underfunded again, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This Budget is just a patchwork… ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour Bill would back Kiwi jobs
    The Government’s $40 billion of buying power would go towards backing Kiwi businesses and jobs under a Labour Member’s Bill which will be debated by Parliament, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “My Bill – which was pulled from… ...
    2 days ago
  • Julie Anne Genter: My Budget 2016 wish is fairness
    When my parents first visited me in Auckland ten years ago, they remarked on how there were no homeless people on the streets. Coming from Los Angeles, they were used to seeing the impacts of horrendous inequality and a lack… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    2 days ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    2 days ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    2 days ago
  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    3 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    3 days ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    3 days ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    3 days ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    3 days ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    3 days ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    3 days ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    3 days ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    4 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    4 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    4 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    5 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    5 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    6 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    7 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    1 week ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere