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The limits of resilience

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, January 26th, 2012 - 25 comments
Categories: disaster, Social issues - Tags: ,

Christchurch has been back in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. First we had the renewed sequence of aftershocks that hit us all from the 23rd of December last year.

One consistent thread that has been running through the public narrative has been the story we like to tell ourselves of a tough and resilient populace soldiering on in the face of all these obstacles. Not exactly cheerful, but coping despite the latest set of knock backs.

Sure, some cracks are beginning to show. The public reaction to the obscene pay rise given to the Christchurch City Council’s chief executive Tony Marryatt, the resulting witch hunt initiated by Mayor Bob Parker. The very public meltdown of our elected city council and the threat of “independent” commissioners, being cases in point.

But overall the message you see in the media is one of rebuilding and renewal, on the way. A reward for all that resilience and toughness that we have displayed.

An article by Lara-Strongman in the Australian Design Review provides a different perspective:

If resilience is a measure of the amount of strain that can be absorbed before breaking point is reached, Christchurch people are at the limit of their elasticity. Doctor friends have told me quietly about the large volume of antidepressants they’re prescribing and, despite many outlets having closed, alcohol consumption is up across the city. The Problem Gambling Foundation reports that the use of pokie machines has tripled since February’s quake. I’m not surprised by any of this. Some days it’s not easy to find reasons to be cheerful. But to admit that the task ahead seems, at times, overwhelming – that one is not as resilient as one might be – is to admit to personal weakness. That’s what it feels like for many people, anyway.

This article really resonated with me, and I strongly recommend that anyone who is interested in what people in quake effected Christchurch are going through, go and read it.

– Andy-Roo

25 comments on “The limits of resilience”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    What happens next is going to be interesting.

    Here is an excellent site for anyone interested in following the aftershock sequence in Canterbury.

    I suggest anyone interested have a look at “swarm” and “top 100″ to get an idea of the progression of the aftershocks and what might happen next:

    1. The worst might be over and the quakes might subside.

    Kelvin Berryman of GNS suggested a few weeks ago that there had been a deficit in expected aftershocks, and the December sequence brought that back into line with what was expected. He also thought that the system might be running out of energy. This would obviously be very good news.

    2. The quake sequence might move further out to sea.

    If you look at the link I gave, you will notice on the map that there is the beginning of what looks like another fault line heading at right angles away from Canterbury. It is right at the tip of the progression of the large quakes. If this is the line of least resistance, then future quakes might move further out to sea, away from Canterbury. This is also reasonably positive. There view of Geotechs is there isn’t a risk of large tsunamis, so that possibility isn’t a major concern.

    3. The quake sequence might continue along its linear direction.

    That is not such good news because there are some rather large faultlines in that direction capable of producing 7+ magnitude quakes which obviously would not be ideal. A lot depends on whether the quakes to date have been reducing stress on those faults or increasing it. I am not qualified to answer that question. Someone with a bit more expertise in this area might be able to shed some more light on this aspect.

    • Good summary, tsmithfield.

      Then, of course, there’s ‘The Gap‘. 

      • tsmithfield 1.1.1

        Not too sure that there is much to worry about with “the gap”.

        The worry has been that the greendale and port hills faults will join up, creating a very large fault.
        Even if that did happen, both faults have relinquished a lot of energy, so even if both did link up doesn’t mean there will suddenly be a huge earthquake.

        Anyway, from what I have read, the current thinking is that “the gap” is characterised by a number of smaller faults running perpendicular to the main ones. I Thus, the two main ones can connect is not very high. This area is still under investigation. However, from what is known to date, it seems that the energy is likely to be released in numerous smaller quakes rather than one large one. I certainly wouldn’t preclude some more 5s in that zone, but hopefully 6s and 7s are unlikely over there.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    There are a huge number of Christchurch people who are psychologically lost now, suffering from the earthquake equivalent of shell shock, walking wounded amongst us who might look and sound healthy from the outside but inside their marriages, personal lives, businesses, careers are all falling apart.

    Of course the stoic narrative of resiliency suits our convenience more than examining things more closely.

    The anti-depressants/sleeping pills thing is a well known amongst the Christchurch crowd, and I wonder what the suicide and domestic violence rate is like these days.

    • Andy-Roo 2.1

      “Of course the stoic narrative of resiliency suits our convenience more than examining things more closely.”

      I think that this is exactly the point that Lara Strongman is making.

      Over Christmas I caught up with friends from out of town on a couple of occasions. Even though the quake on the 23rd had put CHCH back in peoples mind there was still an initial surprise that when doing the inevitable “How’s it going” catchup, it was impossible to describe 2011 as anything but a ratshit year that broke people and left them bleeding.

      Also the subtle undercurrent of “Yes it was bad, but surely things are getting better now…” which they are not. You sound like such a whiny ass when you attempt to explain that the events are ongoing, that for most people repair and recovery is still a fanciful dream that is years off. That on top of all the other shit you are dealing with, you have to deal with constant bloody paper shuffling, endless telephone calls to isurance and the EQC, mixed and varying messages about where you stand etc.

      Far easier just to drag out some platitudes and shut the damn conversation down as soon as possible.

  3. I am astounded at the insensitivity/stupidity of Marryatt receiving a $68k salary increase and for Parker and his cronies thinking it is a failure of PR rather than a really stupid insensitive thing to do.
     
    It is bad enough this self viewed Atlas thinking he is worth so much.  When you add the background provided by the earthquakes and the disasters so many people have had to endure the increase is obscene.
     
    The angst being shown by some Councillors is a bit silly.  They need to get on with the job and make sure that at the next election a better mayor and councillors are elected.

    • Andy-Roo 3.1

      There are other issues as well, such as a limited number of properties on the port hills getting 100% rates relief, while people in Avonside struggle to meet a very high bar for 40%.

      I think one of the issues is that even for people in the city, there is still a low level of awareness about issues like this. Most of us have our energy focussed on the day to day – (such as constantly ringing the EQC to give them information that they already have, or get them to correct errors we first told them about six months ago).

      And it is easy to marginalise the people who are complaining, and pushing back. I heard Nick Smith telling me this morning that “Some new CHCH city councillors did not understand how democracy worked” because they were leaking facts about decisions made behind closed door by the vile cabal that Parker has assembled around himself, to the media.

      The irony of this statement has not escaped me.

      When did we become a nation of people who would accept a statement like that lying down?

  4. vto 4

    Ok, here’s a positive …. the first to leave after the quakes were the recent English immigrants.

    ha ha. sorry. black humuor. of a kind. naughty.

    Here are some negatives. The central city is going to be full of empty sites for years. Many owners are taking the money and running. The population, particularly in the east, is down and dropping. The streets are definitely emptier. There is going to be a glut of residential sites around the region, which combined with the central city vacancies is going to cause a substantial drop in values. The red zone burbs are like something out of a movie with tumble weed tumbling. And people are definitely mostly stressed and as the post says the elasticity of people is maxed out.

    Further – tsunamis are a far higher risk than most everyone thinks imo. Perhaps not a Japan-style one but most definitely a solid swamping of the east, particularly if the large fault in Pegasus Bay capable of producing a 7+ goes, and more particularly given that NIWA’s post-Feb assessment of low risk was based on mostly the horizontal fault movement of pre-Dec 23 quakes and that the recent Dec 23 quakes just off Brighton are vertical movement. Tried lifting a wide flat plate out of a puddle without upsetting the puddle??

    Fuck yeah – negativity.

    Hopefully within 1-2 years from now the rubble and half collapsed buildings will finally be cleared, the roads will be smooth, and the city given a scrub clean. Then it will begin to get exciting – love to build a whole city from scatch. But until then ………..

    • Andy-Roo 4.1

      Think you might be a bit optimistic about the roads!

      I was down south over Christmas, and was really struck by just how bad the roads in CHCH are when I got back.

      As for the Tsunami risk – like you I look at the Kaiapoi fault and I go “That cannot be good news” – but what the hell can you do about something like that?

      Still rather live in the east in CHCHC than on the flat in Miramar…

      • vto 4.1.1

        “what the hell can you do about something like that?” Simple. Have a plan and practice it. Plan for tsunami? RUUUNN !!!

        Many people unnecessarily died because of a lack of knowledge of what to do (like, don’t run outside during a quake lest you get killed by the falling buildiing).

        • Andy-Roo 4.1.1.1

          Actually, I think in the case of Tsunami, I would probably BIIKKEE rather than RUUUN. Ifinally gave in over Christmas and bought mountain bikes – my lightweight carbon fibre road bike is not really coping right now.

  5. vto 5

    But aint it amazing how a piece of positive attitude and a smile can change your morning. Just after that post above I got emailed this classic …………….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHPOzQzk9Qo

  6. gingercrush 6

    The chance of a 7+ quake causing a tsunami is so small it is a waste of time worrying about it. The above two posters simply demonstrate the absurd stupidity of some Christchurch residents. I can just imagine the stupid conspiracy theories you two have believed. And while the weak will turn to drugs or alcohol or worry themselves pathetically. Most of us Christchurch people are actually coping fine. Sure our homes may be broken and some people’s homes are fucked. But we’re coping.

    • vto 6.1

      “The chance of a 7+ quake causing a tsunami is so small it is a waste of time worrying about it. The above two posters simply demonstrate the absurd stupidity of some Christchurch residents. I can just imagine the stupid conspiracy theories you two have believed”

      Oh you’re a clever one aren’t you. Perhaps instead of abuse you could provide some reason, or even amazingly, some evidence, to support your bare-faced hollow statement? Go on. Why do you think the risk of a tsunami is so small? Reasons and evidence, lest you be cast into the pool of fools with the others around here who do nothing but abuse.

      • insider 6.1.1

        Aren’t tsunamis due to massive underwater quakes larger than that experienced in Chch and involving sudden large displacements of submarine land and then water? These are likely to be rare events even now aren’t they? Eg There was a very large submarine quake off Southland last week but no tsunami effect

        • vto 6.1.1.1

          insider, sure th massive tsunamis are. I have to fly, but jusy quickly… we don’t need a big one to swamp east Chch. NIWA, prior to Dec 23 predicts one up to 2m. Now, if you know east Chch you will realise that the sea level of Pegasus Bay lifting by 2m, particularly at high tide, will cause a massive volume of seawater to pour off the lifted seabed and into these low-lying areas. Shit man, some of the areas are now pretty much at sea level. We can hear seawater sloshing at some ghigh tides in drains around us. Many parts have road gutters which flood simply on a big tide – no rain or nuffink.

          The risk is real. It wont take much.

          If the tsunami back in Jan 2010 had been at high tide many parts of Chch would have been swamped. It was lucky it was low tide. And that was a 20cm tsunami. NIWA predicts one up to 10x that size.

          If there is an issue that people in Chch have blinkers on over it is this one.

          Later

          • gingercrush 6.1.1.1.1

            Where does Niwa predict a tsunami of 2 metres? Are you sure you’re not mixing up climate change and earthquakes?

            Besides for a tsunami to be trigger you need a certain type of shaking. It needs to be deep (deeper than all the Christchurch quakes have been) and they need to be at least a 7.0 but more likely 7.5+.

            We’re at far more risk of a deep quake near Chile hitting than we are anything in Pegasus Bay. But you’ve been smoking tea leaves. After all, you’re the idiot that first noticed that pathetic “The government owns fletcher building bullshit” that spread half-way thru last year.

            • vto 6.1.1.1.1.1

              piss off ginger.

              NIWA did presentations post-Feb quakes last year at suburbs in east Chch on specifically tsunami risk. At those presentations is where the 2m risk was outlined. If you had gone you would have heard.

              And yes, you do need a certain type of shaking. Not deep. Fuck, idiot, some tsunamis are triggered by undersea landslips, which are on the surface. You need vertical uplift. NIWA, at these presentations sais the reason they assessed the risk of tsunami from locally generated earthquakes as low was because the fault movements had been mostly horizontal, not vertical. But these current faults off Brighton which have sprung into action have been described as vertical, by seismologists.

              Further, the Kaiapoi fault has been geophysically mapped, again, after the Feb quakes. You could see the ship at sea, and the chopper doing to airborne surveys. And the results are widely available to the public.

              Another thing NIWA said is that you generally need a 7+ magnitude quake. And the seismologists have been very clear that the Kaiapoi fault in Pegasus Bay is the size of the Greendale (which produced the 7 mag in Sept 4 2010) and quite capable of producing a 7+. These are all their facts, not mine.

              One more thing for your small brain – you may have noticed that after eacha and every event the seismologists have said things like “we predict that there is a 1 in 4 (or 1 in 10 or 1 in whatever) chance of a further 6.0, 5.0, etc quake” Do you know what? Those chances have come true on every single occasion i.e. it has not been a 1 in 4 chance for example, the reality has been a 1 in 1 chance. Their modelling has not been correct and they openly admit this.

              Now put all that together (if you can) and what do you get?

              Happy to be proved wrong, but don’t hold out much chance of reasons or facts or evidence coming forward from you, Go on though give it a go.

              And take your abuse and shove it up your arse cocksucker.

    • Andy-Roo 6.2

      Hi Ginger,

      You live in an odd world.

      Where do you get “absurd stupidity” out of a discussion about the hypothetical possibility of the Kaiapoi fault generating a Tsunami?

      And there you go again, bagging your fellow Christchurch residents.

      What spins your wheels about that Mr Crush?

      Pathetic.

      Loser.

      • gingercrush 6.2.1

        I would like to know where this Kaiapoi fault exists or is this simply more bullshit from Christchurch idiots who keep reading crap from conspiracy theorists. There is a fault believed to be in Pegasus Bay but the scientists said a tsunami was extremely unlikely. Because the Christchurch quakes have been shallow and for that reason why the intensity is a lot bigger despite how small some of our quakes are. They have not been long enough to trigger a tsunami either.

  7. Sanctuary 7

    Here is a quote from the United States Strategic Bombing Survey (USSBS) analysing the impact of bombing on the German population in WW2:

    “…As has been seen, armaments production continued to mount till mid-1944, in spite of declining morale, but from that point on, arms production began to decline and dropped every month thereafter at an increasing rate. A minor, but not negligible, portion of this drop was the result of the cumulative effects of lowered morale.
    Bombing thus succeeded in lowering psychological morale but its effect upon behaviour was less decisive. The German controls remained relatively untouched, and thus repression and coercion kept an increasingly defeatist population from overt acts of opposition to the conduct of the war…”

    Now, I am not saying that the physical impact of the Christchurch earthquakes is comparable to a massed aerial assault. But they might be comparable in the sort of long term psychological stress they subject the target population to. 91% of German civilians reported the stress of the threat of nightly attacks was the most difficult aspect of the whole war. British authorities noted that the attacks by the V-2 intermediate range ballistic missiles, which occurred without air-raid warnings and were random in their timing, profoundly depressed the population in a way conventional air attacks did not. Also, the splitting up of families due to long term evacuation had a profound impact on morale in both the U.K. and Germany. Earthquakes also occur randomly and without warning and can happen at any time, day or night. Christchurch families have also been split up and disrupted by evacuation and loss of housing stock. So to my mind the psychological stress can be directly compared.

    In addition, while the impact pf the earthquakes is much less in terms of total damage and loss of life than the bombing offensive on Germany, the New Zealand government also has access to far fewer levers of coercive power to control the population than were available to Nazi Germany’s leaders – so societal and psychological issues will manifest themselves much more readily in NZ in 2011-12 than in a WW2 population subject to repressive government controls.

    There is a myth that air attack on civilian populations was a bit of an own goal in WWII, hardening civilian resolve and stiffening morale. In fact, bombing did not stiffen morale in the long run but seriously depressed it. High absenteeism, fatalism, apathy, depression and defeatism were apparent in bombed areas of Germany (and, according to civilian observer surveys, also in those parts of the UK subjected to continuous attack).

    The point of all the above is that the myth of the “spirit of the blitz”, of carrying on regardless with a stiff upper lip and steely resolve, is exactly that – a complete myth. Like any population anywhere subjected to random life threatening events that can occur at any time without warning over an extended period, the people of Christchurch are suffering from depression, fatalism, apathy, defeatism and stress. We need to be realistic in recognising this, and realistic in telling our fellow citizens that these feelings are perfectly normal. After all, proper diagnosis is half the cure.

    • vto 7.1

      Mr or Ms Sanctuary, I have been meaning to read this all day and have finally done so. What you write resonates. It shoud be more widely written. Thanks and thanks.

  8. Rich 9

    Having spent some time in CHC over the holidays, I think the media, including social media are a reinforcing factor in people’s negative reactions to the quakes.

    The Dec 23 quakes caused but minor inconvenience for the vast majority of people (I had to try 3 bottle stores before finding one open, and needed to put stuff back on the shelves at home. That was it). But listening to the media, we had another disaster in progress – we were told to stay off the roads, which were in fact undamaged and no more congested than you’d expect two days before Christmas.

    My advice to anyone in Christchurch when a quake happens is to switch off your radio and TV, don’t use the internet and carry on with what you were planning to do with as little adaptation as possible. Remember, more people died last year in road accidents than earthquakes.

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    Back in 2003, the then-Labour government, faced with the "threat" of an unpopular child-sex offender being released from prison at the end of their sentance, enacted the Parole (Extended Supervision) and Sentencing Amendment Act, allowing them to be detained for...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Attack of the Return of the Revenge of the Night of Boris Johnson
    The Great White Shark is circling closer and closer ...Boris Johnson is to announce he will stand for Parliament at next year’s election – to avoid speculation on his future overshadowing the Tory campaign.Friends of the London Mayor say he...
    Left hand palm | 23-04
  • The Greens’ "internet bill of rights"
    Today the Green party released their draft Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill. The bill is a response to government interference in cyberspace via the GCSB Act, TICS, and the Skynet law, and is intended to limit government control. Interestingly, they're...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Tweet FA
    It’s nothing new for politicians (and would-be politicians) to fall foul of the odd misplaced tweet, or some other social media own goal, so much that there is even a website to highlight deleted tweets. A politician speaking without thinking...
    recess monkey | 23-04
  • The two-sided density dividend: Agglomeration economies in *consumption*
    Why are people – both in NZ and around the world – increasingly choosing to live in cities? The answer usually advanced in response to this question, at least from an economic perspective, is “agglomeration economies”. In this post I...
    Transport Blog | 23-04
  • "Shoulder-tapping" vs public service values
    Another angle to the Shane Jones resignation: Mr Jones said he would leave Parliament next month after he was shoulder tapped by Foreign Minister Murray McCully for a new role as a roving economic ambassador across the Pacific. This is...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Govt fails Southern Cross Forest workers
    The Government's failure to deal with problems in the wood processing industry has resulted in more needless job losses, Green Party forestry spokesperson Steffan Browning said today.Southern Cross Forest Products announcement of another sawmill closure brings the tally of closures...
    Greens | 24-04
  • Humiliation for Government in Chinese dictat
    New Zealand’s food safety systems should be respected by our trading partners, but instead the Government has been humiliated with the Chinese dictating the terms of our infant formula production, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.   “The Government...
    Labour | 24-04
  • Honouring our Pacific soldiers
    Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson and MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio, will pay a special tribute to the many Pacific Islanders who fought in the New Zealand Armed Forces during the First World War in a speech he is giving...
    Labour | 24-04
  • Government inaction on power and housing to blame for latest rate rise
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says today's interest rate rise, that will hit home owners and businesses, is a consequence of the government's failure to get a grip on electricity prices and the property market, particularly in Auckland."The Green Party...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Rate rise not needed if Government was doing its job
    Today’s interest rate rise wouldn’t have been necessary if the Government had been doing its job properly and targeting the sources of inflation, Labour says. “New Zealand interest rates are among the highest in the world, putting more and more...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Real independence needed in food safety
    The Green Party are calling for a truly independent body to regulate our food safety.Food safety Minister Nikki Kaye has announced the establishment of a Food Safety and Assurance Advisory Council as part of the Government's response to last year's...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Another report won’t help the East Coast
    The Government has a critical role to play in regional development on the East Coast says Gisborne-based Labour MP Moana Mackey “The release of the East Coast Regional Economic Potential Study highlights a number of areas of strength and weakness...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Another interest rate hike will punish mortgage holders
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says another interest rate hike on Thursday will cost home owners an extra $25 a month on a $250,000 mortgage, on top of the $25 dollars a month from the previous rates rise, and she...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Green Party launches Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill
    The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand's first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party.Members of the public will be invited to shape the proposed law, which will protect ten basic rights and...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Sanil Kumar has to leave New Zealand tomorrow
    The Associate Minister of Immigration Nikki Kaye’s decision not to intervene means kidney transplant patient Sanil Kumar must leave New Zealand by tomorrow, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Rajen Prasad. “Kumar, a plumber and sheet metal worker, was on a work visa...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Time to do the right thing for our veterans
    A Labour government will adopt the Law Commission’s recommendation to ensure all war veterans are eligible for a Veteran’s Pension, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Veterans are only eligible for the pension if they are considered ‘significantly’ disabled, or more...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Public servant is owed an apology
    Nigel Fyfe is owed an apology from the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “The former MFAT official has now been restored to a position in the Ministry...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Laws for enforcing not trading off
    The idea that a Government department can give a nod and a wink to traders that it won’t enforce shop trading laws and for a Government MP to then claim it as grounds for a review of the law is...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Kiwis still paying too much for ACC
    Kiwis are still paying too much for ACC so that the National Government can balance its books, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “ACC Minister Judith Collins told Cabinet levies were too high but ACC’s proposed cuts would impact the...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Collins’ memory recovery raises further concerns
    Judith Collins sudden memory of briefing the New Zealand Ambassador to China about her dinner with a Chinese border official and her husband's fellow Oravida directors raises further concerns about exactly what was discussed, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This...
    Labour | 21-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire