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Christchurch – 5 years on

Written By: - Date published: 6:03 am, February 22nd, 2016 - 31 comments
Categories: accountability, christchurch earthquake, disaster - Tags: , , ,

The most destructive and deadly earthquake in the Christchurch / Canterbury sequence happened on 22 February 2011 at 12:51 pm.

The anniversary has attracted media attention. The Herald’s (Olivia Carville and Mike Scott) piece – ‘Don’t think about the bad stuff’: How the children of the quake survived and thrived – is thoughtful and moving.

While the dead are mourned, many of the living are still dealing with extreme stress in the aftermath:

Hundreds protest over quake insurance delays

Organisers of a protest in Christchurch’s cathedral square this afternoon are calling for an external review of the way the Earthquake Commission has handled claims.

Almost 1,000 Christchurch residents attended today’s rally around lunchtime to vent their frustration over insurance delays.

The timing of the protest is symbolic – just a day out from the fifth year anniversary of the February 2011 earthquake.

“This recovery for so many thousands of people in Christchurch has been the most appalling mess I’ve ever seen,” said MC Mike Coleman.

… pictures were placed at the front of the stage of John Key, Gerry Brownlee, Insurance Council CEO Tim Grafton, and EQC boss Ian Simpson to symbolise their absence.

The recently renewed quake activity has been another blow to a fragile city, read this excellent personal account: We need to talk about Christchurch.

The people of Christchurch don’t need any more words about how brave and resilient they are. They need action.

31 comments on “Christchurch – 5 years on ”

  1. savenz 1

    +100 – I guess aka Pike River, lots of photo ops from John Key and Brownlee when it first happens and promises and media appearances and then oh, nothing…

    We have moved onto the flag now people. Wellington will have a panda and we may even get a tube stop at the Casino in Auckland in a few decades… Serco did Nothing wrong an ‘independent’ enquiry has found. All is good in NZ apart from the rent-a-crowd stirring up trouble…

  2. pat 2

    I see “rent-a-crowd” is recruiting from the middle aged and elderly middle classes now

    • Keith 2.1

      Well they can’t possibly be genuine protesters, everyone loves Key and National after all. It’s like we live behind the Iron Curtain! Brownlee got a non subtle assessment of his shortcomings by a passerby on RNZ this morning whist being interviewed by Espiner.

  3. Rosie 5

    Thoughts are with all Cantabrians today. It will be a good day when those who are suffering and those who have been let down, finally find resolution and get the peace of mind they deserve.

    Moata’s blog, in the link in the post is a must read for all NZer’s – to help us understand why the quakes will have lasting effects and possibly life time effects for some – certainly for some children who are growing up during this time.

    Moata focused on the effects of mental health and well being. I also think of all those who had terrible injuries who then had the insult of having to part pay for physio treatment. One of the little talked about things that the Nats did to intentionally make life harder for all ordinary NZer’s was to remove full ACC funding of physio treatment. They did this soon after they got into power.
    Depending on what clinic you go to you now pay between $25 – $30 per session. If you need to go to physio 3 times a week thats the best part of $100 gone. For some, they won’t be able to make to the $30 payment so will have been left untreated.

    Th level of abandonment by govt has been quite astonishing. This one, an acknowledgement of the fact that EQC and the insurance co’s could have worked together is a real pearler:

    “Earthquake Commission chief executive Ian Simpson agreed that it and the Insurance Council needed to find better ways to work together.”

    No shit Sherlock!

    No wonder you protest. Have a listen to the stories from people that Guyon Espiner interviewed yesterday and how their lives have changed:


  4. greywarshark 6

    The government are looking to do something about all these protests – find a bigger carpet to sweep them under and out of sight! Perhaps it could be a newspaper cover, all the compressed leftover rags that are the national newspapers – there aren’t enough fish and chip meals to provide a use for them – until now.

  5. vto 7

    emotional day
    on early morning read of paper
    talking with mechanic
    driving looking remembering
    last week’s shake and a half
    a week of 2011/12
    18,000 shakes, counting…
    a city of many tales
    youngest not well
    doubt shakes over
    PM’s misplaced uber-confidence
    stress city
    city stressed

  6. Bill 8

    Thinking it’s appropriate to remind people that mental health services are being slashed at the same time as suicide related incidents in Christchurch are numerically way in excess for the same incidents for Auckland.

    Someone linked to a very good piece the other day. Scoop? Stuff? Written by a medical professional, it catalogued the numbers and (astonishingly to my mind) highlighted the fact that no mental health response programme had been put in place in spite of it being, internationally, the bog standard thing to do

  7. weka 9

    In addition to the now visible people (children, homeowners), let’s also think about the people who ended up with lifelong disabilities*, either physical or mental, and the people who’ve never owned a home but are still struggling to replace the one they lived in pre-quake, or the people that are homeless, or the people that already had any or all of those conditions before the quake but whose lives are now exponentially worse. Those people aren’t even being named for the most part.

    *thanks for your comment above Rosie!

    More than probably anything else in my lifetime it’s the way the rest of NZ has moved on from and now ignores Chch that tells me just how much impact the neoliberal colonisation has had on our culture.

    • Rosie 9.1

      “More than probably anything else in my lifetime it’s the way the rest of NZ has moved on from and now ignores Chch that tells me just how much impact the neoliberal colonisation has had on our culture.”

      This really bothers me.

      I think this lack of care, or can’t be bothered to care any more about the fate of the people of our second largest city “feeling”, one gets from reading online media is a disturbing marker of where our society is going. Self absorbed and compassion less. That can also said about our view on poverty.

      I’ve read the cruellest comments on stuff.co.nz over the years, about the people of CHCH who have lost so much. Mind blowing really.

      If they’re not the ones dependent on paroxetine/fluoxetine, zopiclone and lorazepam to get through the days and nights, not the ones dependent on painkillers to get through the days and nights due to injuries that will affect them for life, not the ones having lost loved ones, not the ones having lost their homes and been involved in the battle of their life to get it rebuilt, and even not the ones who lost a beloved animal companion – then it just doesn’t matter.

      • weka 9.1.1

        Very true. It’s going to be very interesting to see how Chch people vote at the next General Election. Because I expect Chch has been colonised as much as the rest of the place ;-(

        • Rosie

          Well, from foggy memory, they didn’t exactly punish the nat govt in 2014 general election….??

      • Cantabrian 9.1.2

        Well said Rosie. It also depends if the doctors will prescribe those drugs or not. Some are cruel.

        • Rosie

          Sorry to hear that some people can’t get access to the medicine they need. In the case of zopiclone, the sleeping pills, they can be used as a means for suicide, so I’m wondering if some Dr’s may have been cautious of that in patients they suspected or knew to be a suicide risk.

          Then again, access to free professional counselling should have been a priority for those people.

  8. Magisterium 10

    Brownlee attacked at Christchurch memorial service:


  9. Muttonbird 12

    Can’t believe Key flippantly summed up Christchurch’s problems as just three or four things left to be done.

    He then went on to list three or four things which encompassed the entire failure of the rebuild.

    The convention centre (he loves those)
    The sports stadium (those too)
    The Cathedral (not pressing I would have thought)
    The claims (which he blamed on the claimants).

  10. pat 13

    the day gets better and better….not
    Stonewood in liquidation tomorrow with nigh on a hundred partial builds underway in ChCh

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