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

  • Private schools beneficiaries of extra cash
    Plans to give more taxpayer money to private schools at a time when state schools are struggling to make ends meet says everything about the National Government’s twisted priorities, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Not only did this year’s ...
    4 hours ago
  • Inequality getting worse under National
    Inequality is getting worse under National with almost 60 per cent of the wealth in this country concentrated in the hands of the top 10 per cent according to Statistics NZ figures released today, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    7 hours ago
  • Government freezes elderly out of insulation subsidy
    Government cuts to the Warm Up New Zealand insulation subsidy means it will now only be available for rental properties and could leave many elderly homeowners cold this winter, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In this year’s Budget the Government ...
    1 day ago
  • Shewan report delivers rebuke to National
    John Shewan’s report into foreign trusts is a rebuke to John Key and the National Party who have protected an industry that has damaged New Zealand’s reputation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Three years ago the Inland Revenue Department ...
    1 day ago
  • Auckland Airport rail analysis must be made public
    The Government should publicly release its detailed analysis of rail to Auckland Airport before it closes off options, so the public can have an informed debate, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Transport Agency today said it is ...
    1 day ago
  • Minister approved OIO consent despite death and investigations
    Louise Upston must say if she knew Intueri was being prosecuted for the death of a student and under a funding investigation when she approved its overseas investment consent to buy another education provider, says Labour’s Land Information and Associate ...
    2 days ago
  • Brexit vote costs NZ effective EU voice
    Despite being extremely close the result of the referendum in Britain reflects the majority voice, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “While we respect the decision to leave the EU, it goes without saying the move will usher in ...
    4 days ago
  • Pasifika Education Centre doomed
    The Pasifika Education Centre appears doomed to close down this December, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio  “In a written question I asked the Minister whether he would put a bid in for more money. His answer ...
    4 days ago
  • Onetai Station review a shameful whitewash
    A report released today on the Overseas Investment Office’s (OIO) good character test is a whitewash that does nothing to improve New Zealand’s overseas investment regime, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “The review of the good character test ...
    4 days ago
  • We need a national strategy to end homelessness now
    Long before I entered Parliament, housing and homelessness were issues dear to my heart. I know from personal experience just how hard it is to find an affordable home in Auckland. In my maiden speech, I talked about how when ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Capital feels a chill economic wind
      Wellington is on the cusp of recession with a sharp fall in economic confidence in the latest Westpac McDermott Miller confidence survey, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark.  “Economic confidence amongst Wellingtonians has dropped 12% in the past ...
    5 days ago
  • Dive school rort took six years to dredge up
    News that yet another private training establishment (PTE) has rorted the Government’s tertiary funding system since 2009 shows that Steven Joyce has no control of the sector, says Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Like Agribusiness Training and Taratahi, ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s housing crisis hitting renters hard
    National’s ongoing housing crisis is causing massive rental increases, with Auckland renters being hit the hardest, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    5 days ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Government holds Northland back
    New information shows Northland remains the most economically depressed region in New Zealand, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark. “The latest Westpac McDermott Miller regional survey found that more Northlanders believe their local economy will deteriorate this year than ...
    5 days ago
  • Rebstock report into MFAT leaks a disgrace
    An Ombudsman’s report on the Paul Rebstock investigation into MFAT leaks shows the two diplomats at the centre of the case were treated disgracefully, says Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi.  “The Ombudsman says one of the diplomats Derek Leask ...
    5 days ago
  • More families forced to turn to food banks for meals
    Increasing numbers of families are having to go to food banks just to put a meal on the table, according to a new report that should shame the Government into action, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    5 days ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    6 days ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    6 days ago
  • Aussie reforms signal trouble ahead for school funding plan
    Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The signaled return to bulk funding is ...
    6 days ago
  • Toxic Sites – the down low on the go slow
    In  2011, I negotiated an agreement with the National Government to advance work on cleaning up contaminated sites across the country. This included establishing a National Register of the ten worst sites where the creators of the problem could not ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Aucklanders face new motorway tax of up to $2500 a year
    The Government wants to tax Aucklanders thousands of dollars a year just to use the motorway network, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Officials estimate the average city commute is 11.8km. This means for the average Aucklander commuting five ...
    6 days ago
  • 15 corrupt bank managers identified in student fraud
    New information show 15 bank managers in India have been identified by Immigration New Zealand as presenting fraudulent documents on behalf of foreign students studying here, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Documents obtained by Labour under the Official Information ...
    6 days ago
  • National leaves Kiwi savers the most vulnerable in OECD
    News last week that Israel’s Finance Minister will insure savers’ bank deposits means New Zealand will be left as the only country in the OECD that has no deposit insurance to protect savers’ funds should a bank fail. Most Kiwis ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Comprehensive plan for future of work needed
    A Massey University study showing many New Zealanders are unaware of the increasing role of automation in their workplace, highlights the need for a comprehensive plan for the future of work, says Grant Robertson, Chair of Labour’s Future of Work ...
    1 week ago
  • Another National Government failure: 90 day work trials
    On Friday last week, the Treasury released a report by MOTU economic consultants into the effectiveness of the controversial 90-day work trial legislation. The report found that there was “no evidence that the policy affected the number of hires by ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Iraq mission extension case not made
    The Prime Minister has not made the case for extending the Iraq deployment another 18 months nor the expansion of their mission, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “Labour originally opposed the deployment because the Iraqi Army’s track record was poor, ...
    1 week ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Melanoma deaths could be avoided by an early access scheme
      The tragic death of Dunedin’s Graeme Dore from advanced Melanoma underlines the cruelty of this Government in promising a treatment but delaying for months, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “Graeme was diagnosed with Melanoma last year. He used ...
    1 week ago
  • Assessing the Defence White Paper
    The Government’s recently released Defence White Paper has raised questions again about New Zealand’s defence priorities, and in particular the level and nature of public funding on defensive capabilities. The Green Party has a longstanding belief that priority must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis’ confidence drops again: Economy needs a boost
    Westpac’s consumer confidence survey has fallen for the seventh time in nine quarters, with middle income households ‘increasingly worried about where the economy is heading over the next few years’, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This survey is a ...
    1 week ago
  • Relocation grant simply kicks can down the road
    The response by state house tenants and social agencies to the Government’s rushed plan to shift families out of Auckland tells us what we already knew – this is no answer to the chronic housing shortage, Opposition Leader Andrew Little ...
    1 week ago
  • Peace hīkoi to Parihaka
    On Friday a Green crew walked with the peace hīkoi from Ōkato to Parihaka. Some of us were from Parliament and some were party members from Taranaki and further afield. It was a cloudy but gentle day and at one ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Children’s Commissioner right to worry about CYF transition
    The Government must listen to the Children’s Commissioner’s concerns that young people under CYF care could be ‘negatively impacted’ as the new agency’s reforms become reality, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. “Dr Russell Wills has used the second annual ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English exaggerates PPL costs to justify veto
    The Finance Minister has used trumped-up costings to justify a financial veto against parents having 26 weeks paid parental leave, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “Bill English’s assertion on RNZ yesterday that the measure would cost an extra $280 million ...
    1 week ago
  • Government must refund overcharged motorists
    Labour is calling on the Government to refund motor registration fees to three-quarters of a million Kiwi motorists whose vehicles were wrongly classified under National’s shambolic ACC motor vehicle risk rating system, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says.“Minister Kaye’s ridiculous ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 90-day work trials an unfair failure which must change
    A new Treasury report shows the Government’s 90-day trials haven’t helped businesses and are inherently unfair, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Motu report found that 90-day trial periods had no impact on overall employment and did not ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Massey East houses a start but Nick Smith should think bigger
    The Massey East 196-home development is a start but the Government must think bigger if it is to end the housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “It is great the Government is finally realising it needs to build ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More changes needed to ensure fewer cases like Teina Pora’s
    Teina Pora spent 21 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, shafted by a Police investigation that prioritised an investigator’s hunch over the pursuit of credible evidence. Yesterday’s announcement that the government is to pay him $2.5m in ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Labour sends condolences to UK
    The New Zealand Labour Party is sickened and saddened by the murder of British Labour MP Jo Cox, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Ms Cox was killed in cold blood while simply doing her job as a constituent MP. She ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shameful refugee quota increase still leaves NZ at the bottom of the list
    Minister for Immigration Michael Woodhouse announced this week that the government will put off increasing the refugee quota by 1000 places until 2018.  It’s a shameful decision that undermines the Government’s claim that it takes its international humanitarian obligations seriously, ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Paula Bennett as a victim hard to swallow
    The National Party spin machine has gone into overdrive to try and present Paula Bennett as the victim in the Te Puea Marae smear saga, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Bill English in Parliament today tried valiantly to paint ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Voters to have the final veto on paid parental leave
    New Zealanders will have the final right of veto on a Government that has ignored democracy and is out of touch with the pressures and demands on families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “Today’s decision by National to veto 26 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Collins should put Kiwis’ money where her mouth is
    Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash is calling on anyone who has received a speeding ticket for going up to 5km/h over the 100km/hr open road speed limit to write to him and he will take it up on their behalf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the leadership on equal pay for work of equal value?
    The gender pay gap in the public service is worse than in the private sector. I’ve always found this particularly galling because I expect our Government to provide an example to the private sector on things like human rights, rather ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis’ real disposable income goes nowhere for the year
    New Zealanders’ hard work for the last year resulted in no increase in real disposable income, showing Kiwis aren’t getting ahead under National, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Today’s GDP figures reveal that real gross national disposable income per ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pora case a case to learn from
    Conformation that Teina Pora will receive $2.5million from the Crown for more than 20 years of wrongful imprisonment does not fix the flaws in our system that led to this miscarriage of justice, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to start again with RMA changes
    The National Government’s proposed changes to the Resource Management Act have attracted more than 800 submissions, many of them critical of key aspects of the Resource Legislation Bill. There has been much criticism of the new regulation making powers given ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere