Brownlee flexing his CERA muscle

Written By: - Date published: 3:29 pm, May 10th, 2011 - 10 comments
Categories: disaster, Gerry Brownlee, national - Tags: ,

Is the power of CERA going to Brownlee’s head a bit? Seems he’s using it to intimidate Christchurch building owners:

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee wants the owners of dangerous, earthquake-crippled buildings to act faster, with a “veiled threat” that they could be punished. Clarendon Tower property manager Mark Youthed, of Knight Frank, said he received a call from Brownlee on Wednesday, and was told to “get on with it”.

“He [Brownlee] said that under the new (Canterbury Earthquake Recovery) Act they had the ability to fine [Christchurch] building owners who are impeding things in terms of opening the city,” Youthed said. Brownlee was not happy about reports the building could take up to 10 months to “make safe” because it would impede plans to open up the City Mall before Cup and Show Week in November, he said.

“It was a bit of a veiled threat, but I understand that. We don’t want to be holding things up either.”

Veiled threat? Seems like a pretty naked threat to me.

Yesterday, Brownlee confirmed he had called a number of owners of “distressed” buildings, but would not comment on their discussions. “They are confidential conversations.” However, he said there needed to be faster action to either stabilise or demolish dangerous buildings, and some owners’ time frames were unacceptable.

“We are very much making it clear that time is not a luxury available to distressed building owners,” he said.

We all want Christchurch rebuilt, and everything within reason should be done to facilitate that. But here we have Nat mentality in a nutshell. When people are in trouble through no fault of their own, do you help them or threaten them? I think most of us would rather extend the helping hand than the iron fist, but not the Nats. They don’t have a plan, they aren’t going to help, what they do have is a stick to beat people with…

10 comments on “Brownlee flexing his CERA muscle”

  1. Rich 1

    I’d suggest it’s both totally improper and a sign of floundering to have a minister doing this.

    Operational contact with individuals and businesses is the job of departmental staff, not politicians.

    If dangerous buildings are a problem, then a suitable process should be created to get them torn down and compensation paid if appropriate. Not ministerial bullying.

    (I noticed quite a good article in a paper at the weekend about Santa Cruz’s successful earthquake restoration. What wasn’t noted was that that was all carried out within the constitutional framework of local, state and federal government. They didn’t override any laws or grant anyone Henry VIII powers – they couldn’t if they wanted to – it’s one of the things the US Constitution bans).

  2. John Dalley 2

    Is thee Gerry Brownlee kicking of the “Winter of Discontent” program?

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Well the Labour Wins Ilam contact is up to 19c on ipredict at the moment. Personally I have no idea why, but it is.

  3. vto 3

    this was my 2c yesterday…

    I see Gerry Brownlie has been personally contacting owners of large and problematic buildings in central Christchurch to give things a hurry along. The concern is getting the centre of town open for Show Week in early November. And also no doubt for rugby world cup purposes.

    Of course the real reason is the election. Unless there are happy punters in Chch, or rather, punters whose happy-counter is on the rise rather than the fall, then the political pointer will be swinging anti-government. In fact it will be swinging anti-everything I imagine.

    Key, Bronwlie, Carter, etc, they all realise that simple physical progress must be happenning come spring. Damaged buildings in the way must be down, new buildings must start going up (but not too far up ay), action must be underway. If it stalls and splutters then so too does the incumbent. This is their sole aim – to get physical construction and progress underway for election purposes. Just like the memorial service held to coincide with Prince William so too is all action about the November election.

    How likely is this? Well I have a rule of thumb for this which may be applicable – work all the timeframes out as accurately as possible… then double it. Not always the case but generally so. Five months to get somewhere decent? ha ha ha not on your nelly…


    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      And if you multiplied your Rule of Thumb by a really fucken large number you might have some idea of how long it would take for a conservative to get anything done at all excepting their transfer of wealth from the community to themselves which is done quick smart.

  4. NickS 4

    It just goes to show how brainless Brownlee is.

    After the September quake, the main thing holding back the removal of damaged buildings was insurance payouts and most of the buildings damaged where 3 story and under brick buildings, which can be rather easily demolished. Where as more modern 4 stories + buildings can present all sorts of engineering funtime if you can’t explosively demolish it, depending how it’s built. Leading to owners having to get the building demolished floor, by floor by floor which obviously takes a bit more than a couple of months. Making brow-beating building owners a bit on the braindead, delusional twit side of things.

    It’s just a cheap political sideshow to try and make it look like Brownlee’s actually doing something, instead of the utter lack of anything tangible and or more useful than a bunch of over priced, empty campervans.

  5. tc 5

    It’s all about the power and sweet F all else with this particular dealer in sideshows trading room. Another ‘there for the ride’ nat minister clueless like so many of them.

  6. Just Right 6

    You Guys are all talking shit. Gerry has every right to give people a rev. Insurers held up any action after September. This time it must be different. Delays won’t cost National this election, but it will the next.

    The big issue is housing… That is a massive, massive problem. How do you go about rebuilding thousands & repairing tens of thousands of homes?

    While I don’t rate Gerry not to cick this up, I do think he shoujd be allowed the latitude to rev up the players who are mucking around

  7. Well they should just tell Brownlee to get f$cked. That should test CERA with a few precedents!!!!

  8. This man has to go.

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