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Andrew Little: The Kaikoura Earthquakes

Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, November 15th, 2016 - 193 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, disaster, Environment, labour - Tags:


Reprinted from the Labour Party website.

I had the opportunity to join the PM’s flight today over the parts of the South Island hardest hit by last night’s earthquake.

It was a sobering journey. This massive force of nature has seen huge land slips and blocked our main national highway in many places. Seeing hundreds of metres of rail tracks ripped off their sleepers and pushed across the neighbouring road was jarring. This is going to be a long and expensive repair job.


I had the chance to talk to locals in Kaikoura, a town heavily dependent on tourist traffic and now totally cut off by road. They were in good spirits notwithstanding. Although some knew of locals whose homes were damaged, everyone I spoke to was relieved to have got through the big shake physically unscathed. In true kiwi spirit, they were looking out for each other. Clean water is needed along with a safe waste water system. Much effort is going into helping tourists stuck there right now to continue their journeys.

But then the question is ‘what happens next?’ A huge effort is required to get roads into and out of Kaikoura open to keep the travellers coming, not to mention keeping basic supplies moving.


I saw the best of the kiwi ethos in Kaikoura today, the ‘no nonsense, roll-your-sleeves-up, help-your-neighbours, get-on-with-it’ style. When I asked one chap and his wife how their family was bearing up, he told me how he had checked on all the neighbours in his street straight after the first quake, then later in the morning when it was light went round again to see everyone was okay. This is what gets communities through disasters like this.

If you’d like to help out with the recovery effort, you can donate to the Red Cross’ appeal here.

193 comments on “Andrew Little: The Kaikoura Earthquakes ”

  1. billmurray 1

    No matter your political bent, I don’t think any rationale person could criticise John Key for his leadership on this matter.
    I would have thought a thank you from Andrew would have been in order.

    • weka 1.1

      I wouldn’t thank him, purely on the basis of Chch and Pike River, not to mention everything else. There comes a time when someone is beyond pats on the back until they make amends.

      Mind you, I haven’t followed what he’s been doing in the past few days. Has he said something like “we fucked up in Chch, but we’ve learned how to be decent human beings now and are going to do a much better job with this disaster”?

      • billmurray 1.1.1

        so you are politician and you were invited by the PM to visit a stricken earthquake community to show your support to them.
        You would not say ‘thank you’.

        Come on weka, I thought you were better than that but obviously I am wrong.

        • weka

          Oh, he can say thank-you to Key for the ride, sure (although I’m sure it’s a given that the opposition goes on those trips too). I meant he is under no obligation to say anything to or about Key when he reports back about the trip. It wasn’t about Key.

          • billmurray

            he got to Kaikoura because John Key invited him, there is nothing pro-forma about these invitations.
            It was ungracious of Andrew not to publicly say ‘thank you’.
            This lack of appreciation destroyed Andrews report and made it about John Keys largesse.
            There is no ‘obligation’ but a common courtesy of ‘thank you’ was missing.

            • weka

              Are you saying that in such a situation that the PM of NZ wouldn’t normally offer to take the Leader of the Opposition?

              “This lack of appreciation destroyed Andrews report and made it about John Keys largesse.”

              As I said, the report isn’t anything about Key.

            • Scott

              I get you now. I thought you meant a thank you for the way Key was handling the matter, and that seemed a bit much to expect. Yes, but I’m sure (hope) he thanked Key for the invite at the time and I don’t mind him leaving that as between them.

              • billmurray

                if Andrew did thank John Key for the invite to go on the trip then I believe he should said that in his article, it would have shown public leadership and we could applaud that leadership.

                • BM

                  The fact that these sort of basic gestures passes Andrew Little by, shows to me he doesn’t have what it takes to be PM.

                  He’s such a putz.

                  • LOL no.

                    This was not a lack of manners. Thanking someone for this sort of thing only needs to be done in private. If Key wants to be thanked in public by the opposition he needs to do such a good job on addressing the damage that the opposition can’t realistically do anything else.

                • mickysavage

                  As soon as John Key thanks the fifth Labour Government for the surplus that meant New Zealand could handle the GFC and both Christchurch earthquakes and this disaster I am sure Andrew would be happy to do so.

            • Anne

              @ billmurray

              What a load of ignorant crap. How do you know he didn’t say thank-you for the ride? If every time a politician invites another politician on a trip somewhere they’ve got to express profuse thanks in front of TV cameras… that would be absurd.

              And weka is correct anyway. It’s not a case of ‘invitation’. It is protocol. You may be so unobservant (or stupid) as not to have noticed… but whenever a major event occurs that transcends politics such as funerals, memorial services or major disasters then it is incumbent upon the PM of the day to invite the official opposition leader (at the least) to be part of the official response.

              • billmurray

                It was not a case of protocol, it was a gracious gesture from John Key to the leader of Labour, who should have had the grace to publicly thank the PM.

                That’s called political leadership.

                I am observant, not stupid, that is why this matter has been raised.

                [lprent: To my experienced eye, it looks more to me like you are simply being determined to astroturf a meme. That is something that I’d suggest you should be grateful that I didn’t just ban you out of hand. It violates our site policy.

                But I am intrigued – you can now demonstrate that you follow your own advice. Thank me profusely for this minor courtesy. Abject grovelling is preferred. ]

                • Muttonbird

                  Err…you probably are stupid, and definitely not observant, because you’re commenting while not having the correct facts.

                • billmurray

                  I accept your comment.
                  I have not seen the rules.
                  “intrigued” wow.
                  Please understand I am sincere in my comments.
                  Good evening.

              • alwyn

                ” but whenever a major event occurs that transcends politics such as funerals, memorial services or major disasters then it is incumbent upon the PM of the day to invite the official opposition leader (at the least) to be part of the official response.”

                Of course they do Anne.
                Look at when the only New Zealand Victoria Cross ever awarded was given our then leader invited the Leader of the Opposition to attend.

                Like hell she did!

            • Psycho Milt

              Did Key thank Little for coming with him? No, because why the fuck would he? Same applies to Little.

              This isn’t about someone being generous. Enough with the bullshit concern trolling – it’s not John Key’s personal helicopter and it would only be worthy of comment if Key hadn’t invited his oppo along on the trip.

              • billmurray

                Psycho Milt,
                nothing bullshit about good manners, in the circumstances I sincerely believe that if Andrew had said a ‘thank you’ to John Key in his report it would have enhanced the report.
                The report is bereft because of that omission.

            • Muttonbird

              That is wrong anyway. There was no offer from Key – he had to be asked. Andrew Little requested to join the flight. Key could hardly say no.

              Key said the office of Labour leader Andrew Little asked to join him on the tour which he readily agreed to.


              • billmurray

                I have read your link to the Herald, which destroys the pro-forma invitational statements of weka and Anne.
                Obviously from the Herald report Andrew wanted to be part of the action.
                I see nothing wrong with that except to say that Andrew should have told us of how he got on the trip, in my opinion another basic leadership lapse.
                A basic fact “true political leaders always express gratitude publicly, it works with the voters”.

                • Muttonbird

                  Sorry pal. You got it wrong by intimating John Key invited Andrew Little on the flight. This was false but you didn’t bother to read any facts and the entirety of your concern trolling is based upon your ignorance.

                  Time you stopped blaming others and apologised to the forum.

                • Anne

                  …which destroys the pro-forma invitational statements of weka and Anne.

                  It IS protocol in normal circumstances, but in light of the extent and suddenness of this event I’m sure Andrew’s office made contact to ensure he would be included in the trip. Of course Key was happy for him to come along because a) the situation transcends politics and b) it would have looked churlish and lacking in protocol to have said no.

                  As lprent has already pointed out – you are an astroturfing troll.

                • Gabby

                  It’s worse than that, you know. I have reason to suspect (ie invent) that Little didn’t even say ‘pwetty pwease wif sugar on top.’ Such arrogance.

              • Chris

                So glad to know Key’s a structural engineer as well. We’d be fucked without his everyman skills.

                • Muttonbird

                  Isn’t it odd that he’d be saying ill-informed stuff so the breathless reporter could jot it down in his/her notebook?

                  Why even have a reporter on that flight if not for the PR exercise it was.

                • Thinkerr

                  Yeah. A chopper flight over the city and the structural engineer’s pronouncement is that Kaikoura is stuffed. I’d already worked that out, and I’ve never been in a helicopter…

                  Then Brownlee says it will take a long time and billions of dollars to fix – guess he would know after the drawn-out recovery in Christchurch.

                  Meanwhile, those of the bottom 90% are working around the clock to provide some meaningful help, to get the road open by Saturday.

            • locus

              good grief! it is absolutely the job of a prime minister and leading politicians to get out to a stricken region after a disaster and if the helicopter was supplied by the RNZAF or paid out of the public purse then there’s no personal let alone public thanks of JK required…. in fact I would regard it as common courtesy for a PM to invite the leader of the opposition without expecting a big public display of thanks

              “the best of the kiwi ethos” that Andrew Little describes includes the leaders of two opposing parties putting the posturing aside… as they evidently did – and as is evident in this post

        • Jenny Kirk

          You are just nit-picking billmurray. There’s no need for Andrew Little to say a public thankyou – that’s a given.

          What is more important is that he went and saw for himself all the damage done, and talked to people to show moral support, and then described what he had seen. And he talked about everyone needing to work together to fix things.

          That’s more important than the PM prancing about in front of the cameras big-noting for himself and trying to front-guess what might be needed in future.

          Andrew Little asked sensible, realistic questions – which need answering by a team of experts not the PM floating off the top of his head.

          Edit – this was in answer to billmurray’s criticism of Andrew Little at top of this discussion.

      • Well Fed Weta 1.1.2


        $40bn spent, $15bn of that direct government funding, to rebuild a city of 360,000 people.

        As of January 2016, 85 percent of the total work programme has been completed, including 97 percent of repairs in the central city (http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight/audio/201787320/insight-for-31-january-2016-christchurch-5-years-on).

        Further infrastructure progress is charted here http://strongerchristchurch.govt.nz/more-progress

        Given the scale of the damage, the rebuild of Christchurch has been a success, with the credit due to a huge number of people, not just politicians. Frankly to try to make out the government has “fucked up in Chch” is just silly.

        • Muttonbird

          Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend says 2016 will be the year Christchurch exceeds 50 percent of the reconstruction of the city.

          Not sure your pro-government rhetoric is on the mark there. The City still looks like a car park with no public facilities and “the anchor project are wastelands.”

          Also you quote 85% and 97% of work programmes complete but neglect to say these are for infrastructure only, not for facilities.

          That article was an exercise in modifying the expectations of stupid people like yourself and guess what? You bought it.

          • Well Fed Weta

            My ‘rhetoric’ wasn’t ‘pro government’. It was pro everyone involved the very difficult job that has been the rebuild.

            “That article was an exercise in modifying the expectations of stupid people like yourself …”

            …or, it was presenting the facts that contradict a ludicrously politicised and ill informed opinion, one you ‘bought’.

            • Muttonbird

              Yawn. Take a walk around Christchurch central and tell me it’s 97% rebuilt.

              • Well Fed Weta

                You seem to be contradicting Weka (below) who says “So they rebuilt most of the CBD. Whoop de shit,…”

                BTW…I have walked around the Chch CBD. It is very impressive, so soon after the damage was done.

        • weka

          Housing crisis

          Mental health and stress illnesses


          Inform yourself about those things and come back and try that one again. So they rebuilt most of the CBD. Whoop de shit, if the people aren’t ok, but then that is National, all about the business and the people be damned. Chch isn’t the buildings, not matter what you and Brownlee assert.

          • Well Fed Weta

            Thanks for the list, but I’ll take notice the official responses and my own observations thanks. I’m not interested in your anti everything bs.

          • Peter Smith

            Weka, how much research is done in to the level of illness you speak of and how many of the people were affected or susceptible prior to the earthquakes.

            You may have a close group who project being affected, but I suggest the majority have dealt with and moved on.
            Finding someone to blame has become the norm.

            • weka

              Blaming the victim has become the norm.

              There’s been plenty of work done on mental health issues in Chch post-quakes that have nothing to do with who I know there (although it is true that the people I know there work in fields with client bases where mental health issues show up easily, including amongst staff). I’m going to take it from your comment that you haven’t bothered to look at the evidence, which is kind of odd given it’s been reported relatively well in the MSM. Maybe you look away from those reports.

              btw, it doesn’t really matter who was or wasn’t susceptible before the quakes. What matters is whether people’s lives are demonstrably worse five years out.

        • Venezia

          This is repeating government spin. Come and live in Christchurch and find out the truth.

          • Well Fed Weta

            I visit often. I love Christchurch. The people (all the people) have done a terrific job of the rebuild in a relatively sort period of time.

      • Peter Smith 1.1.3

        The Government has been correct and strong on both the CHCH earthquakes and Pike River. They have removed the emotion and done what was needed for the people. You seem a long way from the facts and knowledge of the events if you can think any differently.
        You do not speak for the community.

    • halfcrown 1.2

      “I would have thought a thank you from Andrew would have been in order.”


      • AmaKiwi 1.2.1


      • billmurray 1.2.2

        halfcrown, Why?.
        Its a simple common courtesy to express your appreciation for having the opportunity (as leader of the opposition) to visit a distraught community and showing your support to them.

        I stand by my comment.

        • ropata

          Stupid trollish diversion. If you want fawning over FJK you’re in the wrong place

          • billmurray

            there is nothing trollish about my opinions, you are trying a pivot,
            ‘manners maketh the man’ is an old but very true statement which defines a person.
            I am not fawning over John Key, I am pointing out a case of bad manners.
            Saying FJK is rude and thuggish.
            I am not in the wrong place, if you support Andrew on this “you” are in the wrong place and do nothing in support of Labour, which is my party.

            • ropata

              The spirit of Pete George has returned to haunt us with moronic and boring trivia

              • billmurray

                I do not know Pete George.
                It is not my problem that you do not understand the political critical philosophy of leadership being expressed.
                To help you, you should read Andrews article again and then also read all the comments again.
                If that exercise does not enlighten you, then I cannot help any further.
                Goodnight and best wishes for the future.

            • Anne

              I politely request that you take your boring, twattish behaviour elsewhere. In other words….

        • halfcrown

          What an utter load of crap. As PM Key should have taken Little along as the senior member of the opposition anyway.
          Next, you will be telling us Little should really thank Key for letting the opposition attend parliament.
          Why has Little to got to show “appreciation” for something he should have been included in?
          Key as the premier of NZ is the one who should extend these so called courtesies to the leader of her majesty’s opposition irrespective whoever that may be, instead of using people’s misfortune as an electioneering opportunity.

          • Muttonbird

            Perhaps billmurray would like Andrew Little to thank John Key for his salary, paid for by the people of New Zealand?

        • rsbandit

          The fact they’re even arguing that a simple “thank you” is “not needed” shows you how out of touch these people are, billmurray

          Diplomacy, and the goodwill that comes from it, was a missed opportunity. It’s yet another reason the public are unlikely to ever warm to Little as he often seems to miss the most basic of self-marketing opportunities.

    • Scott 1.3

      Maybe not a thank you, but perhaps a “At times like this we put differences aside, and I’ll be helping John and his team where I can.”

      • billmurray 1.3.1

        what you say and a simple thank you would have made Andrew Little’s piece a winners comment.

      • Anne 1.3.2

        @ scott
        In for a penny in for pound NAct troll? You’ve done it here before.

        I would like to see this kind of petty, childish, point-scoring attempts to inflame automatically dropped into moderation mode. That would keep them in line.

    • esoteric pineapples 1.4

      The difference between Andrew Little and John Key is that Little wouldn’t see this is an opportunity for a bit of disaster capitalism and use it to try to push through its agenda.

      • billmurray 1.4.1

        esoteric pineapples.
        Common courtesies go a long way.
        I know that you believe that, who doesn’t.

    • Jay 1.5

      I think you’re right. Even if it was through gritted teeth it would have come off very well. As it stands Mr Key looks very fair and inclusive, whereas some may view Mr Little as ungrateful.

      • billmurray 1.5.1

        you have nailed it.

        • mike

          God, bill, you’ve proved that in the midst of disaster there can still be banality.

          • billmurray

            I do not see a banality in my Labour leader being invited to Kaikoura, to show his support to the stricken community, and not saying thank you for the opportunity.
            Its a basic of leadership.

            • corokia

              What makes you think that Andrew Little didn’t say thank you to John Key?

              And “my Labour leader”? huh? why the possessive there Bill? Are you a paid up Labour member?

              • mike

                You’ve got me thinking bill. I’ve now realised I’m incensed and insulted that Key did not even bother to say thank you to Andrew Little for coming along.
                Rude bugger

        • Jenny Kirk

          Nope – Jay hasn’t nailed it billmurray.

          What Key was doing was prancing in front of the cameras all the time and looking a prat – instead of doing what a Leader should be doing – inspecting things, talking to the people affected, and asking realistic questions about what might happen in the future.

          That’s real leadership. And that’s what Andrew Little did on his trip to Kaikoura.

        • Gabby

          I think you should have thanked jay for nailing it billmurray. Ingratitude ill becomes you.

      • Leftie 1.5.2

        Ungrateful for what Jay?

    • Leftie 1.6

      Why are you trying desperately to make this about John Key?

    • Leftie 1.7

      Billmurray. Trolling much? Why are you trying desperately to make this about John key?

    • Red Hand 1.8

      The Leader of the Opposition and PM jointly face a national disaster and get a taxpayer funded damage assessment trip. No need for gratitude on either side. Part of their duty to the people.

      • Whispering Kate 1.8.1

        Personally I think Nat trolls must be very nervous about their position in the greater scheme of things in the fact they are pushing negatives all the time, of the slightest nature pertaining to the Opposition namely Labour – clutching at straws I think its called. Give it a rest trolls, Anne is correct, in situations of a national concern its protocol to have the opposition on board (pun there) and it goes without saying Andrew would have made his appreciation known to the PM. How much I wonder are these trolls paid to be “on point” all the time for the slightest hint of an excuse to criticise the Opposition. Tedious and immature to say the least.

    • Well Fed Weta 1.9

      This is all just a bit silly. Andrew Little accompanied John Key on a trip to view the damage from a catastrophic natural event. The PM and LotO together showing solidarity and concern for the victims. Jolly good show. Who cares who invited who or who thanked who.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.10

      Did the lying Prime Minister pay for the helicopter? Get off your knees, groveller.

  2. b waghorn 2

    What’s the odds of a new mega highway being put in and the rail being forgotten about?
    key on the am news alluded to the fact more than once how the highway may not go back where it was , and how bad the rail is.

    • weka 2.1

      I was wondering that too about the rail.

      Imagine if we had a government that looked at the repairs in the context of CC.

      • b waghorn 2.1.1

        That and Imagine if we had a government that swung into action getting as many young kiwis as possible geared up for the big fix instead of bringing in more temporary labour.

        • weka

          True! We could be training up a whole new generation of infrastructure crews who specialise in climate and natural disasters, god knows we will need them in the coming decades.

        • BM

          Millennials are a bit soft for that sort of work, they’d miss their mummies too much and wouldn’t cope.

          This article sums it up rather well

          • McFlock

            “Student army” called bullshit on that one in chch.

            edit: I did hear some issues about it, but fear of hard work wasn’t one

          • b waghorn

            I just finished docking and i had to young and in one case well padded fullas turn up and work like troopers doing a shitty job no problem at all.
            And you do realise they don’t use shovels and picks to build roads now days.

            Still cumudgeons like yourself that love to put the boot into the the youff of today, hmmm maybe that’s part of the problem , old fuckers telling them they are no good, what do you reakon?

            • BM

              You live way out in the boonies, you can’t compare young country men to young city men, They’re a completely different breed.

              Fact are a lot of these young guys are utter soft cocks with absolutely no stickabilty, tell them to do a job and they don’t like it, they’ll sulk and do a go slow or won’t do it at all.

              Far too much “Your’e such a star!!!! and lets only do what you want to do” growing up and not enough punts up the slats, that’s the problem.

              old fuckers telling them they are no good, what do you reakon?

              If they’re that fucking delicate that they fall apart from a bit of criticism, than what I say stands.

              • McFlock

                Sounds like you get the work out of them that you deserve.

              • b waghorn

                We have to lift our young up not put them down , and any government worth having would be working to pick up where parents have failed .

                • BM

                  That’s going to take a serious amount of retraining.

                  This is an issue for all western societies, schooling and growing up is now all about fun and excitement and only doing what you want to do, if it’s boring you don’t have to do it, you go find something more exciting to do.

                  This has rather killed off any enthusiasm or interest in any physical, repetitive job market. so it’s nearly nigh on impossible to find a young kiwi willing to do these jobs.

                  Who wants to be outside on a spade, pushing a barrow exposed to the elements or doing a boring menial job, no young guy/woman wants a bar of that, they just don’t have the mindset or mental toughness for it.

                  Which is why we have guys from the Philippines working on farms and Pacific Islanders working in packing sheds and factories.

                  • weka

                    And the neoliberal agenda comes full circle 🙄

                  • McFlock

                    A poor hr worker blames their employment pool…

                  • Tophat

                    “Who wants to be outside on a spade, pushing a barrow exposed to the elements or doing a boring menial job, ” @ minimum wages? Bugger off, get someone from the Philippines to do that!

                    “Which is why we have guys from the Philippines working on farms and Pacific Islanders working in packing sheds and factories.”
                    No, the reason these people do these jobs is that, for a myriad of reasons they are easier to exploit. They are also used as a tool to erode our wage expectation and shape public opinion against local workers holding out for better conditions.
                    They are the modern day Scab laborers.

                  • Which is why we have guys from the Philippines working on farms and Pacific Islanders working in packing sheds and factories.

                    The fuck it is. The reason we have employers exploiting immigrant labourers from the Third World is because they can – the government is allowing them to, so they are, because there’s good money in it. There’s nothing more to it than that.

                  • ropata

                    The young people of today have been sold a lemon by the media and spruikers of higher education. We can’t all be rock stars or web designers.

                    Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” advises young people

                  • JanM

                    How ironic – we appear to have a major supporter of neo-liberalism wailing about the results of educating children in self-entitlement mode. We reap what we sow !!

              • joe90

                tell them to do a job and they don’t like it

                See, there’s your problem – you don’t lead by telling, you lead by example.

              • Red Hand

                “lets only do what you want to do” Like the killer-foreman who annoyed my mate and me for getting back to the depot a day early on a round that was supposed to take a full week. Never forget the dulling effect. Helped me understand NZ’s relatively poor productivity.

            • kazz

              +1 agree wholeheartedly about todays youth being put down more often than they’re praised, the student army did a great job in Christchurch, especially considering they were suffering themselves.

        • greywarshark

          Imagine…. John Lennon singing Imagine
          here it is

        • greywarshark

          When imagination is wiped out: we have to hold onto what we have left.

    • greywarshark 2.2

      Let’s railroad him out of town pardner!

      • b waghorn 2.2.1

        Telling the truth about him hasn’t stopped people electing the bugger so foul means it is , if only i knew some that would work

    • halfcrown 2.3

      “What’s the odds of a new mega highway being put in and the rail being forgotten about?”

      My thinking also. Close it for the trucking lobby like they have the Gisborne line.

    • Bearded Git 2.4

      @b wag agreed National will use this to can the railway.

      RNZ just reported that NZTA have already rejected Key’s daft idea of relocating the road to Kaikoura-where on earth did he get this idea from?

  3. Red 3

    Unfortunately for labour jk and his steady hand and leadership over this most recent natural disaster will only strengthen nationals reelection in 2017

  4. Ad 4

    That is a huge stretch of rail and State highway to fix.
    Several years worth of work, given that they will probably have to take a few of the hills out and ‘daylight’ sections of track.

    This earthquake should be a political gift to this government – doing only what governments can do, and having learned a whole bunch of lessons from Christchurch. Key will have the perfect reason to delete any talk of tax cuts, and be shown getting to actual work with actual people.

    • adam 4.1

      But there are real questions not being asked about systemic failures occurring. I’ll just mention one, one, one.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        Merely gives Key more platform for reforming.

        He will own this earthquake recovery story – it could easily propel him into a fourth term all by itself.

        • McFlock


          On the flipside, prime opportunity to get more oomph into coastal shipping, what with a couple of major edges in the land transport network out of action.

          • Ad

            The navy is covering it for now.

            Who will be the first on this site to say that Prime Minister John Key is doing a really good job?

            Get ready, because his ratings are about to go through the roof.

            • Muttonbird

              Crisis management should be meat and drink for a leader. Very difficult to not do a good job despite the John Key government making a meal of the Christchurch rebuild.

              • Bearded Git

                Sending the navy in was dumb given that the inland road to Kaikoura was this morning forecast to be open in 2 days.

                • Ad

                  Unless Kaikoura runs out of water, food and medical supplies.
                  A good Prime Minister would send the fastest and most effective form of security it can to its people.

                  The navy is there to provide precisely this kind of security.
                  Best use for them.

                  • Muttonbird

                    A good Prime Minister would fly it in. A good Prime Minister wouldn’t gut the RNZAF.

                  • Muttonbird

                    I’m also mindful of you placing Peter Fraser at the head of a list of post WW2 prime ministers, for his WW2 effort. I’m sure the Navy was relevant for emergency relief missions back then but not so much now. Perhaps your memory stretches back that far.

                    Meanwhile, in the 21st century, where is the national airlift capability under John Key, particularly as it was impressed upon him that events like these were to continue after the Christchurch events?

                    This is the guy you think is doing such a great job. The reality is that John Key’s government is a penny-pinching ambulance at the bottom of a wrecked cliff.

                    • Ad

                      The navy are almost there, most of the tourists have been evacuated already, this situation is already under control.
                      You are simply looking for fault when there is none. The reality is on TV news tonight, and will be for months on end: Key is King through to 2017, and this earthquake crowned him.

                    • Muttonbird


                      That reply seems way over the top.

                      Are you, an author and (I assume) moderator, trolling the punters at the standard?

                      I’m not privy to the back-end conversations…but good luck.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Oh, and if the response from tourists is anything to go by, John Key’s rescue effort leaves a lot to be desired.

                      There are estimated to be about 600 to 700 tourists wanting to leave the town.

                      RNZ reporter Phil Pennington said those with flights to catch were frustrated with the time it would take to get out.

                      “I talked to a Belgian man, he said that the army should be there, he said that poiltically it’s been a failure but that the marae and the local volunteeers had been very good. But he wants faster action – and that was echoed by a few people that we talked to.


                      Ad, do you think anyone told the Belgian tourist that the current government had brought the New Zealand armed forces to their knees and there is no longer an army capable of being deployed in a national emergency?

                    • weka

                      Hmm, except getting tourists out of an area so they can catch their flight on time isn’t a national emergency priority needing the armed forces to drop what they are doing. If people were in danger, or were suffering due to not having shelter or food, sure. But catching a flight while on holiday? Nope. Tourists need to understand that when they travel there are risks. Coming to NZ, there are quakes. It’s not a secret. Climate change too, expect adverse weather events.

                  • pat

                    “Problems identified with the Canterbury included ballast and propulsion issues that led to poor handling in rough conditions, badly designed landing craft and radar deficiencies.”


            • KJT

              Coastal shipping. The one ship that is left. Is already stepping up to the plate.
              Unfortunately it has already been decimated by Government policy.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          “Merely gives Key more platform for reforming.”

          Didn’t you mean ‘performing’? 😉

    • Muttonbird 4.3

      Double Dipper will be tearing his hair out. He may never post a surplus despite that being what he hangs his hat on.

    • Leftie 4.4

      Has John key sorted Christchurch yet? Has John key restored democracy to the people yet ? What lessons do you think John key has learnt? When has John key ever done “actual work with actual people?

    • Leftie 4.5

      Ad, this is not a particularly good look for the National government.

      <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11748088

  5. esoteric pineapples 5

    Still can’t understand how natural disasters are good for the economy. I understand they lead to more spending which stimulates the economy but someone has to pay the cost at the other end.

    • weka 5.1

      Growth is Good, doesn’t matter that some people get hurt, they’re expendable.

    • Bearded Git 5.2

      @ e.p. Any increase in financial activity, even that related to disasters, is calculated to increase GDP.

      Having said that,I have a feeling that when the dust settles this will only cost $200-300m to fix at most.

      • Rolfcopter 5.2.1

        There’s at least that in rail repairs alone.

        • Bearded Git

          I might be a bit light with that $200-300m, but my understanding is that damage to buildings hasn’t been massive, and while stretches of road and railway have been badly damaged these don’t amount to many kilometers damaged in total.

          In any event my point is Key’s estimate of “billions” is probably wrong IMO and has been made for political reasons; firstly, they can blame the quake should the books not look rosy and secondly, look at us we have managed this massive crisis effectively.

          Meanwhile 3 warships are on the way to Kaikoura when the inland road is expected to be open either tomorrow or Friday; talk about overkill.

    • Ad 5.3

      Insurers. That is what they are for. That’s new cash into the economy.

      And taxpayers. That is what tax is for.

      And GST. Because people have to buy stuff to fix things.

      And builders. Lots and lots and lots of them.

      And utility and transport companies, who have budgets for replacement in the AMPs that are brought forward.

      And all the social services. Public and private, doing what they should do.

    • Chris 5.4

      Gives Key an opportunity to show people he’s a leader in an environment where he otherwise needs to be constantly sending the less government, hands-off message. No doubt very Crosby-Textor. Very important to always be on the lookout for those opportunities.

      • ropata 5.4.1

        True indeed, a good war would also be a welcome distraction from the scandals currently dragging National thru the mud. Key will be gleeful over the chance to polish his PR

  6. Tory 6

    Can’t see the railway being repaired, should be used as an opportunity to revise plans for new RORO ferry terminal (perhaps ChCh) and improved SH1

    • adam 6.1

      Here comes

      the short sighted view….

    • Ad 6.2

      Treasury and Kiwirail looked at getting out of Picton and shifting the port down the road. But the idea never passed muster despite valiant efforts.

      Just as well, because the new port was planned right close to the epicentre of the current quakes.

      They will need both road and rail rebuilt precisely because of the quakes. They will also need to throw enough cash at the rebuild so that if one fails, the other mode can potentially still operate.

      Same for Transmission Gully today. Having both motorways out of town shut due to flooding, on top of an earthquake, underscores the need for a degree of redundancy in the network so they are never isolated again. Transmission Gully needs to be operating.

      • weka 6.2.1

        They will need both road and rail rebuilt precisely because of the quakes. They will also need to throw enough cash at the rebuild so that if one fails, the other mode can potentially still operate.

        How is that possible along that piece of coast? Or are you suggesting a different route for one of them?

        • Ad

          But Kiwirail and NZTA will have to open up a pretty fast tender that includes the design component, since the routes are largely parallel.

          • weka

            Ok, I was just thinking about the failure thing. Another quake/landslide/flood is likely to take out both at the same time.

            • Ad

              Both Minister Bridges and NZTA were at pains this afternoon to point out the alternative route that is still functioning. Both are aware that Christmas freight peak is fast approaching. Bridges was clear that a simple cleanup job is not an option.

              • Muttonbird

                Bridges had no idea what was going on with respect to the future of SH1 and the main trunk line. He talked the talk about doing things better, but that’s just cheap words really.

    • JanM 6.3

      Have you forgotten it’s part of the tourist experience?

  7. Tory 7

    The railway simply carries freight between Picton and ChCh (along with a few tourists), a decent ferry between ChCh and Wellington is a far more efficient and economic option. The damage to the line between ChCh and Blenheim is huge, potentially spending hundreds of millions on that stretch of line does not make economic sense, shipping and road would be better options.

    • Ad 7.1

      No, they will rebuild both.
      Stuffs the potential for tax cuts, but is another major economic boost to the economy.

    • Infused 7.2

      Shipping is too slow.

      • ropata 7.2.1

        Shipping from Lyttelton will reduce double handling at Picton, and will reduce pressure on roads and rail. NZ was settled and constructed by, and all international trade is based on, shipping.

        But yeah Tory governments have a shameful record when dealing with stevedores unions and trying to flog off publicly owned ports

      • corokia 7.2.2

        The road and rail freight gets shipped across Cook strait.
        I find myself in the wierd position of agreeing with someone called Tory. A new ferry service from Christchurch to Wellington would make sense with sea level rise too.

      • joe90 7.2.3

        Shipping is too slow

        Auckland to Christchurch by sea – three days, by rail – two days.



        • KJT

          That is rubbish.
          Three days is only because there is only one coastal cargo ship left, Spirit of Canterbury, the ports prioritize oversea ships. Which have to have space booked weeks in advance, to fit with their overseas loadings.

          Two days was normal when we had more coastal ships. Wellington/Christchurch was overnight.

          Even trucks take two days, Auckland/Christchurch. A bit more now SH1 is closed.

          • joe90

            Yeah, I trot off to see whether or not Shipping is too slow and post schedules showing there seems to be only a day in it between coastal and rail but apparently, That is rubbish.

            So if you have a moment, would you please go fuck yourself.

            Ta muchly,

            • corokia

              With the Chch- Picton line out of action and trucks having to go via the Lewis pass, until who knows when, South Island freight is going to be slower than it was.
              Perhaps the current road & rail corridor from Chch- Picton will be repaired, but it will continue to be vunerable to storm surges and sea level rise. It’s not a long term solution to North/South Island transport.

            • Muttonbird

              I reckon Simon Bridges is so desperate right about now he’s considering airships as a long term solution.

              • McFlock

                bloody good idea, fwiw.

                They’re due a resurgence soon, but are too left field and pricey for private sector development.

    • …a decent ferry between ChCh and Wellington is a far more efficient and economic option.

      Yeah, my dad took me on that ferry back in 1968. It was very decent, but it ceased operation not that long after, exactly because it was not a more efficient and economic option.

      • joe90 7.3.1

        Lyttelton to Wellington ceased in 1976 but the over-nighter was pretty damn cool.

      • ropata 7.3.2

        On the Wahine? My Dad was on that one too, but he had to go for a swim in Wellington Harbour in ’68 🙁

        • Psycho Milt

          Not a good day for a swim, that wasn’t. I hope he came through it alright. I was on the Maori, which fortunately stayed afloat for the whole trip. Lovely trip it was too, very exciting to go to sleep in a ship’s cabin when you’re in primary school. I was sad when that service ended.

      • corokia 7.3.3

        I went on it in 1969. It might not have been more efficient and economic then, but that was before the Chch-Picton road rail link was munted by these quakes.

  8. Muttonbird 8

    I think the Labour comms team have done a good job getting Andrew Little on that flight despite no invitation from Key, who clearly wanted all the press coverage to himself.

    Perhaps they are starting to get some good people in there.

  9. Venezia 9

    The Wellington to Lyttelton shippping option makes great sense. That overnight ferry was a great experience. And farewelling people going by ship from Lyttelton was a memorable ritual. My kids (all now in their 40s) have fond memories of every detail travelling overnight in a ships cabin from Wellington to see family in Christchurch for holidays (eg being woken in the morning by a steward with a cup of tea and biscuits was part of the deal). It was very popular with kiwis and tourists alike.

  10. Smilin 10

    As has been the experience for most Kiwis, , NZ and its earthquakes are as bad or worse than anywhere in the world
    Begs the question what the fuck are we really doing about in our down time now from these quakes
    Accentuating the likely hood of these quakes by seismic data collection for oil ? Carrying out undisclosed activities under the five eyes treaty that could be destabilising our islands
    Or just the fact that we have one of the most dangerous plate systems in the world that we are on and volcanic calderas like Iceland and the fact that Taupo is one of the largest volcanic vents on the planet and we dont have an exit plan apart from sending our money to Australia .How about the people if Godzown becomes Dante’s inferno

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