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An economic plan for Christchurch

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, September 7th, 2010 - 59 comments
Categories: business, tax, wages - Tags:

In a post scheduled for later today, I’ve written about the economic effects of the Christchurch earthquake and the rebuilding but I decided to split this section off for its own.

Christchurch needs a more ambitious rescue package than has been announced. Relying on EQC and insurance payouts to do the heavy economic lifting that will be needed is not enough. I would cancel for at least a year the top bracket tax cuts due to come into force in a month and use the half a billion that will be saved for a real economic revival plan for Christchurch.

I would use it to grant emergency bridging funding to businesses closed by the quake so that they can continue to pay their workers, meaning that their families don’t suffer and they can continue spending.

I would use more of the money to meet the damage costs of any uninsured people and announce that EQC levies will now be raised on rates, rather than home insurance, so that everyone contributes and is covered even if they can’t afford ordinary insurance.

It is crazy that the poorest are the most likely to be left out of pocket by the earthquake.

There would still be hundreds of millions left over to give Christchurch the long-term stimulus through spending on smart, green projects like modern state housing. Christchurch will need that longer-term investment get through this shock and the boom and bust of rebuilding to come (let alone the effects of a second global recession)

Remaining money should be used to reduce government borrowing. Last week, the IMF ranked the New Zealand government as the best able to handle new economic shocks (another round of applause to Labour for not cutting taxes based on cyclical surpluses like the Right wanted but cutting net debt instead). Since the figures that assessment was based on were issued, the Crown accounts have taken have taken two huge hits – first, the South Canterbury Fiance bailout and now an even bigger hit to get us back to where we were before the quake. It is absolutely nuts in this situation that the government is planning to borrow half a billion dollars a year to fund tax cuts for the wealthiest New Zealanders.

Update: I wrote this piece last night and this morning on RNZ I heard the Christchurch Chamber of Commerce asking the government for the kind of emergency wage grant I’m suggesting. Gerry Brownlee was interviewed immediately after. From his dissembling and rambling I think it’s safe to say the government won’t be coming to the party.

59 comments on “An economic plan for Christchurch”

  1. Key did offer to pay $5m into Parker’s Mayoral fund …

    The repair cost will be in the billions. There was that $1.75b cheque that Blinglish recently signed. Boy I bet he wishes he still had that money in the Government coffers.

    • TightyRighty 1.1

      amazing micky, for someone who bangs on ad nauseum about the moral good, you’ve missed the obvious parallels between SFC and the canterbury earthquake. I would be amazed if the Government wouldn’t help out to the tune of at least $1.75 billion, as they now have a moral obligation. and seeing as they will be clawing back at least $1.4b over the next few years from SFC assets they can fund the rebuild on an at need basis. rather than the labour “blank cheque” approach.

      it doesn’t make it right, but it does make it happen.

      • nzfp 1.1.1

        TR, I asked the same question to L, where does the Government get the money for the 1.6 Billion for SCF and the 1.75 Billion for the Christchurch Quake?

  2. happynz 2

    Yup, delay the tax cut that will come into play in several weeks. I can go along with that. What about the GST increase to 15%? Should that be kept in place?

  3. artist not on the dole 3

    not often we say this but… well done Telecom
    a sensible and ‘civic minded’ response to a terrible situation

    http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/free-phone-calls-quake-devastated-residents/5/61781

  4. smhead 4

    micky, pop question for you as a labour man.

    1. Which party was in government when the retail deposit guarantee was introduced?
    2. What position did labour take on extending the retail deposit guarantee scheme to finance companies?
    3. Having committed to the retail deposit guarantee scheme, and extending the scheme to finance companies, how consistent is it as a labour man to argue that the government shouldn’t pay out to companies included in the scheme?

    [lprent: As Akldnut said – unrelated. You seem to have avoided reading the post and not responded to anyone in particular. That looks like a troll-type line dropped in for no apparent reason into this debate. There are innumerable posts on the SCF that this would have been relevant in – do it there.

    BTW: I don’t like trolls (see the policy). Be warned. ]

    • Akldnut 4.1

      um that would be three questions – 1. off topic 2. off topic 3.not even close.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Well, on three, the government shouldn’t pay out to companies in the scheme if it’s activities don’t comply with the rules of the scheme. Oh, that would be SCF.

      • Craig Glen Eden 4.2.1

        And bang smhead is owned as Draco gives the simple explanation to the Dick head.

        Yup bet smhead voted National.

        [lprent: I don’t like the ‘owned’, ‘pwned’, or similar memes. The damn things usually just cause moronic flamewars because they imply ‘victory’. The appropriate way to view anything on the net is that it is an agree to disagree area (like most places). I ban people who use ‘owned’ in a preemptive approach to constraining idiotic flamewars. Be warned. ]

  5. ZB 5

    Key rushes to help SCF and save the assets. Skilled people are assets to a business.
    So what is Key doing to help skilled people stay in Christchurch? Remain
    connected to the businesses there? Emergency benefit to all employees who
    cannot go into work. Key knows that they will sign on anyway, he knows
    a few will look to find work and places for their families elsewhere, he
    could just do the right thing. Oh, wait, that would be government acting
    like a government, and we know how the right hate any government!
    When the cheap credit and cheap oil flowed, the market was very
    capable of quickly utilizing under capacity, now the madness of loose
    finance is over, so is the no government platform of the right.

  6. Lanthanide 6

    The government has already pledged $5m to the mayoral fund, and has said that that is just the beginning and is expecting to pay several hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuilding CHCH.

    I agree nixxing the taxcuts would be the best way to fund it, but it seems they are already intending to do as you’ve outlined in the post.

    smhead – all of your “pop questions” have been answered in detail in other threads already. If you want to know, the answer is that National re-extended the scheme for another year, and also deliberately included SCF as recently as April, even though it was clear at the time they didn’t meet the requirements of the scheme and after they were accepted they recklessly lent the money out to risky businesses, some would suggest purposefully to trigger a bailout. Don’t derail this thread.

    • nzfp 6.1

      L, “The government has already pledged $5m to the mayoral fund” but where did this money come from?

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        That’s the big question ain’t it. We can print as much money as we want but we still need the resources to do anything. That’s one of the problems with capitalism – once profits drop on creating real wealth, as they’re guaranteed to do, the capitalists look for more profit and they find it in the finance industry where the money goes round and round, picks up lots of “profit” but doesn’t create any wealth. Eventually it’s recognised as the Ponzi scheme it is and it all falls down.

  7. nzfp 7

    It has been estimated that New Zealand would require at least 2 Billion dollars to repair the damage done to Christchurch. This represents a great opportunity for the National Government to use the RBNZ to create 2 Billion dollars and inject it into a depressed economy and stimulate employment and production.

    Whether the Government decides to create the credit itself or borrow from foreigners, it is still a fact that only New Zealand itself can create New Zealand money and credit. It is merely a policy choice to let foreigners perform this task and extract income from New Zealand with its higher interest rates.

    Prime Minister John Key has two choices:

    1. Instruct the treasury to create the necessary New Zealand money and credit via the RBNZ to fully rebuild Christchurch.

    2. Instruct the treasury to create some of the New Zealand money and credit needed to do a half ass job of rebuilding some of Christchurch by borrowing from bankrupt American and British banks while paying high interest rates for the pleasure. Money paid as interest to foreign banks that should have been spent rebuilding Christchurch.

    It’s our choice, either we force Key to make the right descision or we let the foreign banks make the descision for him.

    • It’s our choice, either we force Key to make the right descision or we let the foreign banks make the descision for him.

      Just how do you propose to “force Key to make the right descision” NZFP?

      • nzfp 7.1.1

        If you like controntation:
        Protest, get in the streets…. Ask the Teachers union and the anti s4 mining protestors what they did. Ask the anti-apartheid protestors how they organised. Ask Tuhoe how they organised.

        If you’re like me and not into that:
        Email, Snail Mail, Fax, Call, or Visit your MP and ask them what their monetary policy is and when they tell you that borrowing is better then printing give them Professor Hudsons critique. This is what I do

        Learn about other economic theories – specifically those supported by empirical historical evidence as opposed to computer models. When you’re informed you are more likely to know if you are being lied to.

        Tell your friends about it – get the word around. Write about it on this site. Get as many people as informed as you can – it’s like the metaphor of the hundredth monkey. This is also what I do.

        Be open to other arguments, look for logical fallacies in the argument. It helps with your critical thinking abilities which makes you less prone to being BS’d to by Bill English. You’re already doing this otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this site.

        Be critical of media sponsored economists – especially the ones telling you the US economy is on the up when the empiricial evidence suggests the opposite. It’s important to know in the first place if there is a problem before you can begin to solve the problem. This is the situation many of our fellow citizens are in – they don’t know there is a problem.

        Can you think of anything else to add?

      • nzfp 7.1.2

        Hey Inventory2 I just thought of something else – something I’m not personally prepared to do but I’ll back you if you want to do it. Stand in your local body elections, or stand as a candidate for one of our political parties. You can bring monetary policy to debate in parliament and force the change that way.

        While you’re at it – lobby Christchurch’s mayor to create a “Bank of Christchurch” doing business as the city of Christchurch. As our second largest city it would have no trouble with capital requirements and with the 10/1 leverage accelerators of fractional reserve banking it could create all of the credit it needs to rebuild itself. Especially if the money is ultimately owed back to the RBNZ.

        • Rex Widerstrom 7.1.2.1

          I like the “Bank of Christchurch” idea, nzfp. Why, we could even have trustee savings banks in various areas, with strong ties to their local communities, and… oh wait…

          I wonder if soothing noises were made when those banks were flogged off to the multinationals, reassuring us we’d be no worse off as a result. If such platitudes were mouthed, now might be a time to be demanding they be honoured (but still going ahead with your plan, nzfp).

          first, the South Canterbury Fiance bailout

          Typical National government, giving handouts to the scions of rich Canterbury farmers who can’t meet their dowry payments…

          [Sorry 😈 ]

    • Lanthanide 7.2

      I agree, I think the government should just print the money. It’s not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things and would knock the dollar down. On the other hand, it might also result in a ratings downgrade (yet the US gets away with it just fine (except China has downgraded them)).

  8. Loota 8

    Marty G for Finance Minister.

    Is Labour going to put forward Christchurch’s case for economic revival?

    Cancelling the top tax cuts for 2-3 years and directing that money to Canterbury (and back into the EQC, since there are suspicions that a series of big quakes over the next 10 years may be a possibility) is the way to go.

  9. Bob Stanforth 9

    As anyone with even half an ounce of experience in situations like this will tell you – there is no point in coming up with detailed plans until you fully understand the scope of what you are dealing with. And that will take weeks.

    Knee jerk reactions result in poor outcomes. Planned and measured responses based on facts and needs provide for the long term.

    As has been pointed out elsewhere this morning, the knee jerk reaction to the uninsured (and unwarranted) vehicles that have been ruined in the events of the weekend – why should the taxpayer stump up for those? Would you want to? I know I wouldnt.

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      I don’t know that anyone has been calling for uninsured *vehicles* to be covered. It comes more down to essential contents (clothes, some items of furniture) and houses.

      • Bob Stanforth 9.1.1

        OK, then lets follow that train of thought. How do you determine need? If its anyone, watch the insurers run a mile from NZ. Why insure when the government will pay? Do you means test?

        People chose to insure, or not insure. If you have chosen not to insure, you carry your own risk. And the cost of insurance is within reach of anyone who can plan and budget – and those services are free for anyone. If you can afford to buy beer or ciggies, as many can, you can afford insurance.

        And if you chose to not insure the essentials, then why the hell should the taxpayer stump up because the uninsured decide as a result of an event they suddenly want someone else to carry the risk?

        There will be genuine cases of need, I dont doubt it, but suddenly realising you’ve had an ah crap moment and the taxpayer can bail you out? Nah, sod off. SCF notwithstanding – legislated for, by “you know who”, you carry risk, or pass it off as a decision. Grown ups do shit like this all the time. Ignorantia legis neminem excusat.

        AS: crazy. Oh yeah.

        • roger nome 9.1.1.1

          Bob – i pay my taxes too. But if i have to go without a few luxuries so that other people get the essentials it doesn’t bother me. What gives you such a high opinion of yourself to think that your petty and ephemeral desires are more important than another person getting the chance to live?

          Surely it would take an ego approaching the size of Clayton Weatherston’s to hold that position (yes that does mean that i suspect that you are at least mildly psychopathic).

          • Bob Stanforth 9.1.1.1.1

            You assume a lot – I will assume you arent an arsehole, although there is strong evidence to suggest Im wrong.

            So many cliches, so little time. Think about for for 5 seconds:

            1. Define essentials.
            2. Who will provide them, let alone determine what they are – your essentials will be different to everyone elses.
            3. Who says you speak for all taxpayers? I assume you dont? Neither do I, but I can bet a substantial % would say what I did – the ones who pay for insurance, which is close to 95% of people.

            And whilst you are at it, confirm for me how this will all be administered.

            And instead of attacking me why not try grown up discourse, you might get a kick out of it.

        • Lanthanide 9.1.1.2

          My idea would be no more than $2k for contents and no more than $10-20k for houses. That is hardly much money, and anyone who hadn’t insured will still be faced with significant loss, so there’s no moral hazard of “oh, there’s no reason to insure because the government will just pay” when what the government does pay is only a tiny fraction of your total loss.

          • Akldnut 9.1.1.2.1

            Bob – so you saying the govt should pay only those with insurance out of the taxpayer dollars.
            Those uninsured are taxpayers too. Why should they have to pay for someone elses house to be fixed and not get some of their own tax money back

            If extra taxpayer dollars are to be dished out then they should go to all taxpaxpayers in need.
            Not just those who are insured – IMO that would be another case of the poor funding people wealthier than themselves

            • Lanthanide 9.1.1.2.1.1

              Akldnut – I’m assuming you’re talking about EQC payouts?

              EQC is funded through a levy added on top of everyone with private insurance. If you don’t have private insurance, you don’t pay towards EQC, and hence you aren’t covered by EQC. The government probably started EQC up with some seed money as well, but IIRC it’s been around since the late 1960’s so any initial input will have been dwarfed by the insurance levy and most uninsured people these days are unlikely to have been paying taxes back in the 60’s.

              • Vicky32

                Don’t count on it! I am on UB and newly uninsured (for the first time in years)- I can’t come up with the $500.00 lump sum needed for my insurance after 18 months on UB. I was paying taxes in the 1970s, and my parents in the 1960s… and I know there are people older than me, in the same position.
                Deb

                • Bob Stanforth

                  And every single insurance company will allow you to pay monthly, just ask.

                  And good luck with finding a new job. My parents paid taxes as well, as do I and my wife (and our kids) and we always will. 🙂

                  • Vicky32

                    “And every single insurance company will allow you to pay monthly, just ask.”
                    Unfortunately, there’s a price – paid monthly it comes to more than the yearly charge – and I am poised on such a knife-edge that it makes a real difference! 🙁
                    Deb

                  • Puddleglum

                    Bob, sometimes I think that the concept of ‘choice’ is one of the most malicious in the English language.

                    Do you understand that most people’s behaviour and ‘deliberate’ actions can in no way be characterised as a process of choice in anything like the way you are using it with this example of ‘choosing’ or ‘not choosing’ to be insured?

                    That goes for those who get insured as well as those who don’t. Most people, I’d wager, who get insured do it simply because ‘everyone does it’ or ‘it’s just what you do, isn’t it?’ Or, they’d feel ashamed or foolish if those they know found out they weren’t insured (after some accident). In other words, they’ve been socialised to do certain things and to think certain things are the ‘right’ things to do – they haven’t calculated the ‘costs’ and ‘benefits’ (I suppose you could say that human nature has done the ‘calculation’ for them by providing them with various social propensities and social motives.).

                    Similarly, those who don’t insure in the vast majority of cases haven’t made some parasitic calculation that they don’t need to because others will fork out if things go wrong (i.e., the red herring of ‘moral hazard’). Most don’t insure because they see their money in the hand, see what they need to buy and just can’t see how they can give money away as a safeguard against what might not happen. They just have this sickly feeling that if they had to pay out for this, that and the other insurance as middle class types tell them they should then they’ll be left with less than nothing for the basics. Part of that sickly feeling is the same as those who ‘choose’ to insure – they feel ashamed of their predicament and often feel like losers.

                    They ‘choose’ by virtue of how they perceive and respond to their circumstances – they don’t calculate. It’s ‘animal spirits’ as some economists call it, with that classically condescending tone.

                    And, worse still from your perspective, most people tend not to ‘learn’ by being exposed to the negative consequences of their ‘choices’.

                    Or, more precisely, what they learn is not the kind of thing you might wish they would learn (we can learn many things from the one set of circumstances). One thing they may ‘learn’ is that they live in a harsh world where others don’t care about them. Another thing they may learn is that they are just a hopeless case, too thick to live life competently. Another thing they may learn is that there’s no way out of their circumstances – that everything they do makes things worse. The kinds of things people typically ‘learn’ by being left to sink or swim only makes their lives worse, not better.

                    ‘Moral hazard’ is an utterly insignificant moral issue in all of this. The far more important one is how we treat each other; the kind of social world we create.

                    Try some humanity and some humaneness, Bob. Try to understand how so many perfectly ‘good’ people have come to see and live their lives in ways that mean they keep getting punched down no matter what they do.

                  • Loota

                    And your taxes will support the people in the community who need it most*.

                    Thanks Bob, job well done.

                    *Until the Tories find away to funnel more of it to their rich mates, leaving the wealth of the country for just a few.

    • nzfp 9.2

      “why should the taxpayer stump up for those” yes why should they – especially when they don’t need to!

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1

        It’s a pity we don’t hear more about NZDSC from the MSM. Oh well, just more evidence that they not up to the job or they’re so politically biased they purposefully don’t make mention of it.

        • nzfp 9.2.1.1

          Yeah it is sad,
          That doesn’t mean we can’t pressure the Maori party, ACT, The Greens – especially the Greens – to look closely at NZDSC monetary policy. I’m sure NZDSC supporters wouldn’t be upset if the other parties adopted their monetary policy. I ‘m pretty sure the Progressives (Jim Anderton) maintains an almost identical policy from his alliance days.

          As for the MSM pffftttt!!! When was the last time you paid to be propagandised?

          Oh by the way – Is it possible to add the NZDSC Media Rrelease as an article on this site?

    • Blighty 9.3

      The govt just effectively supplied insurance to its rich mates who took a gamble and lost on SCF but it won’t help the needy. That tells you what you need to know about the Nats’ values.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1

        Exactly

      • Bob Stanforth 9.3.2

        As I see so ofetn here, can you cite your facts and sources for the claim of rich mates? Im almost certain from what Ive seen that there are some, but defining your terms would help – such as rich? Is that someone who earns more than $60K per annum?

        Be interesting to know how you arrived at your conclusion, which without supporting facts is baseless really. Isnt it?

        • mcflock 9.3.2.1

          well, providing detailed references to support a political statement for somebody who has said that they’re “almost certain” you’re right but is still demanding sources and term definitions (the stalling tactic of the sophistical scoundrel). . . well, that’s pretty pointless really, isn’t it?

        • Vicky32 9.3.2.2

          “Is that someone who earns more than $60K per annum?”
          I’d say yes, though others may disagree… (I have worked out that with UB and casual work, I will still get less than $10K this year, so it’s all relative hey?)
          Deb

        • Loota 9.3.2.3

          Baseless? Just follow the money mate there’s $1770 million of it gone, even the fairy godmother couldn’t carry it all off without help.

          I’m amazed you’re supporting the legalised theft of almost $2B.

          But then again its going to the NATs rich mates so no wonder you aint putting up much of a struggle.

  10. Jenny 10

    Accept No Excuse for Homelessness!

    In any earthquake the most pressing need is for adequate shelter for those made homeless by quake, especially for those with families.

    #1. I see that the courts have postponed all disputes and tenancy tribunal cases, mainly due to the difficulty of convening the courts.

    #1./1 This moratorium should stay in place for humane reasons until the emergency is over.

    #2. All private evictions no matter the cause need to be put on hold. In this emergency there can be no excuse to make the homeless situation worse.

    #3. Housing New Zealand needs to step up to the plate.

    #3./1 Housing New Zealand has checked 650 of its properties in the area with problems ranging from plumbing issues to collapsed chimneys. A spokesman says several hundred need re-roofing, 20 need urgent action and they’re seriously concerned about six properties. He says there are around 50 vacant homes which will be used to re-house those without somewhere to stay.

    3./1.1 These 50 houses need to be immediately filled with those families now in temporary shelters.

    #3./2 As 79 percent of buildings in Christchurch have been initially estimated to be safe. Housing New Zealand should immediately and urgently be acquiring empty houses in the private sector to add to their stock. This is vital to be able to rehouse those state tenants who’s homes have been made uninhabitable by the quake as well as to house the many low income people in private rentals who have lost the roofs over their family’s heads.

    #3./4 If Housing New Zealand do not have the budget for emergency acquisition of empty homes from the private sector then the Government should immediately make the necessary funds available.

    There should be no excuse for any family to be left in a shelter or temporary accommodation by the middle of the month at the very latest.

    If there are, then serious questions of the Minister of housing need to be asked.

    capcha – “boat” that should read “ark”

    • Jenny 10.1

      Important notice for tenants in Christchurch From Housing New Zealand

      If you need help finding alternative accommodation because of damage to your home, please phone 0800 779 997.

      If you are experiencing health concerns following the earthquake, please phone 0800 611 116.

      HNZ doesn’t state whether this message applies only to their own tenants, or all tenants in need of emergency “alternative accommodation”.

      If you are a private tenant in need of urgent accommodation and you have rung this number what was the result?

      • Jenny 10.1.1

        If you need help finding alternative accommodation because of damage to your home, please phone 0800 779 997.

        In fact – if you are a HNZ tenant in urgent need of rehousing, what was the result from ringing this number?

        • Jenny 10.1.1.1

          I have just been informed that the phone number supplied by Housing New Zealand for tenants to ring is the general Government earthquake helpline.

  11. infused 11

    PM to announce quake hardship grants…
    An announcement about hardship grants to private sector workers who are not being paid after the Canterbury earthquake will be made this afternoon, Prime Minister John Key said today.

    He’s ahead of you Marty…

    • IrishBill 11.1

      First he follows eddie’s advice to stay at home and now he’s backing Marty G? Perhaps we should be invoicing his office 😉

      • Bill 11.1.1

        Can I punt for a possible trifecta and suggest that he…..nah. Never mind. He already is.

      • Lanthanide 11.1.2

        Actually both news items were available before either post went up on the standard.

        captcha: documented

        [lprent: Posts are usually written in the evenings and scheduled for a particular time the following day. Unless removed from the schedule they will run at that time.

        Most of us work during the day (unlike some of the well-known right bloggers who seem to have little to do apart from blogging :twisted:) which restricts our ability to read news or shift posts. So usually if it happens we leave the post up if it gets onto the main page and someone attaches an addendum to it if required. ]

    • just saying 11.2

      Saw on TV one that the govt was subsidising smaller employers to the tune of $300 (or was it $350?). What stuck me was that they used as an example a waitress earning $650 a week.
      It’s been a long time since I waited tables, but since when did waiting tables pay $33800 pa. Maybe the pay has vastly improved, but it struck me as typically way out of touch with how little the low paid actually get.

      • Vicky32 11.2.1

        Good grief, I hadn’t noticed that…
        JonKey is on TV3 right now, talkiing about the waitress! The money will go to the boss who will pay the waitress $150.00 + the government $350.00 – so she’ll get $500.00 of her $650.00… and as the waitress probably really gets considerably less than Key says, she might even be better off! 😀
        It all reminds me of Kathryn Ryan’s assertion that the ‘average wage’ is $55,000 pa. In which universe?
        Deb

        • Pascal's bookie 11.2.1.1

          The 3news report was a shocker. Basically ran a line that the money was a welcome handout to the employee, though the govt would give it to the employer to hand on, and that the govt would be happy glad if employers would top up the payment to make up the lost wages.

          Lawyer Guy on the RNZ panel was saying that employers are obliged to pay permanent workers their wages.

          I think it’s a good policy, maybe even a bit too stingy. Small employers will be hurting bad and the govt should be assisting in all sorts of ways to ensure that otherwise good businesses don’t go under, but, the policy a subsidy to those businesses and shouldn’t be sold as anything but that. Nor should meeting their obligations to employees be seen as doing them a favour. If employees want to and a re able to help the employer out by forsaking some wgaes for a time, then good on them. But credit where it’s due, and who is being subsidised to be made explicit please.

  12. roger nome 12

    What man? Lay of the Pilsner hey Bill? 🙂

  13. Murray 13

    The only rescue package Christchurch needs is already there “John Key”. In his steady unassuming style he,s solving all the problems as they crop up. Thank God hes in charge at this time.

    All the hysterical conspiratorial mealymouthed comments that typify The Standard cannot hide the fact that we are bloody lucky to have him there in these trying times.

    • Vicky32 13.1

      Oh, Murray, for a moment there I thought you were serious, but you are having a laugh, right? Please tell me you are being satirical! Pleeeeeeeeeese!
      Deb

  14. Jenny 14

    An economic plan for Christchurch?

    If there is a plan, with hundreds of people in shelters, addressing the accommodation crisis must be part of it, but I can’t even seem to find any proper assessment of the size of the problem.

    How many are homeless?

    How many of them were home owners?

    How many were rental tenants?

    Is there any plan to meet their different needs?

    If there is, what is it?

    Will there be a role for the Housing Ministry in the reconstruction?

    What does the Minister of Housing Phil Heatly see as his Ministry’s role in this crisis?

    Housing New Zealand is part of his portfolio responsibilities.

    What is Housing New Zealand doing?

    Do they plan to increase their rental stock?

    After all there are still many serviceable unsold homes on the private market, surely they should be buying them up to provide emergency housing?

    Why don’t Housing New Zealand have a dedicated help number?

    Surely housing is as much an essential service as power and water?

    Why is it not getting the same attention?

    Is it to early to ask these questions?

    Will they be answered tomorrow?

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