Apparently Christchurch Labour MPs will be putting out their bulletin daily.
Here’s the second update from Clayton Cosgrove (Waimakariri), Ruth Dyson (Port Hills), Lianne Dalziel (Christchurch East) and Brendon Burns (Christchurch Central). In future you can get to them here.
This morning Christchurch MPs attended a briefing with Civil Defence coordinator Steve Brazier. The issues we raised on behalf of constituents included the availability of portaloos and the difficulty many are still facing accessing hot meals. We also raised the issue of instructions for using chemical toilets, and other welfare issues.
My focus is still getting people the information they need to access core services. Following the distribution of factsheets yesterday I have people coming into my office requesting information which is a good sign. We are making progress with local businesses in Lyttleton and Woolston. Getting information particularly to small businesses has been a priority. A lot of these businesses are offering information to others but don’t know what services they themselves can access. In one case some money deposited into a local dairy owner’s bank account meant he could stay open and serve the community. These people are keeping families going, but they need support too.
Today I will focus again on access to local business premises. I have a number of people calling individually and what we need is a holistic plan of action. These business owners are facing two weeks closed now. I am working with the Historic Places Trusts engineering and building recovery teams and the Christchurch City Council to put in place a central business district plan for Lyttleton to get business up and running. We have a tentative meeting next Tuesday morning and hope to have a timetable available to the public shortly after that.
My Electorate Office has been yellow stickered and we are operating out of a ‘virtual / mobile office’ until we receive the structural engineers report. Yesterday was spent on the road, visiting welfare centres and recovery assistance centres like the Parklands Baptist Church to ensure people have adequate access to services. We were able to chat to a number of people in the Parklands area. There is still a lot of need in the electorate at large. We went to Travis Country and had a fabulous catch up with an elderly woman who reflected on her experience of wartime conditions. She was full of hope and optimism and had a muck-in attitude towards the less glamorous toilet facilities — with the attitude that, ‘we lived through it then and we can do it again.’
A key issue is access to portaloos. We heard that National MPs were saying Travis didn’t have enough and that Aranui had 50, so we went round to Hampshire St to see if we could redistribute some of these. It seems the Prime Minister’s recent visit to Hampshire Street didn’t tell the true story about the situation in Aranui. We found 10 portaloos centrally but the side streets were neglected with fewer than 10 across Aranui overall. Many of the local schools are ready to reopen, but are stalled by access to portaloos. It seems there was a communication breakdown between the Ministry of Education and Civil Defence which resulted in the Ministry taking responsibility for sourcing portaloos for schools. We need to get children, where possible, back into routine and the heart of that is getting them back to school. http://www.adoptachristchurchfamily.com is still operating for those who would like to directly help families in need. Today we are heading to Dallington.
Yesterday’s delivery of portaloos that I have sourced from a friend in Marlborough was well received by the local community in Avonside. My friend rounded them up from Marlborough vineyards. Some of the Avonside residents told me that portaloos they had been using hadn’t been properly serviced since after the first quake last September, so they were really pleased to see new cleansed ones in top working order.
Today we have had a Civil Defence brief and I am heading out to Ngā Hau e Whā Marae for a refugee meeting to check that local refugees have the services they need. Between 4-5:30pm today I will be having another Caravan meeting on the corner of Retreat Road and Patten St, Avonside.