Christchurch Earthquake Bulletin

Written By: - Date published: 12:31 pm, March 10th, 2011 - 22 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

The Labour Party’s Christchurch electorate MPs – Clayton Cosgrove (Waimakariri), Ruth Dyson (Port Hills), Lianne Dalziel (Christchurch East) and Brendon Burns (Christchurch Central) – are today starting a regular bulletin designed to keep people in their electorates and media informed about what is happening at grass roots level in their electorates.

Here’s the brief accounts from the Labour MPs on how they and their communities are coping with the disaster:


Yesterday spent time at Ngā Hau e Whā Marae in Pages Road with Annette King, other Christchurch MPs and Te Tai Tonga candidate Rino Tirikatene. This has become a hub of the community. TPK, Red Cross, Ngāi Tahu, Social Welfare and IRD are operating the equivalent of a one-stop shop, helped by other agencies and a large number of volunteers. Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt drove up unnannounced the other day in his mayoral car, with a trailer behind and a carful of students, and without any publicity they mucked in and helped clean up the street. There is an elderly couple there who have driven up from Timaru in their campervan, and who are there for  the long haul because they want to help. And there’s a young bloke whose house has been destroyed, and who has shifted back in with his foster mother, and who’s rolled up his sleeves to help because he’s sick of sitting round doing nothing. The spirit is amazing.

I’ve also been visiting small businesses. They are still finding access a real issue, and there are genuine misgivings about the appropriateness and cost of the Christchurch day off. They say they would release staff for a memorial service anyway, but an official day off will create admin problems with pay etc, and people who have lost so much won’t be able to sit round anyway and put their feet up.

Today I will be talking to civil defence HQ about the agenda for the next MPs briefing. Portaloos and sewerage top the list. We are almost at the end of week 3, and people still don’t have timelines. I am also meeting the Wizard of Canterbury today. He’s here to help people in his own inimitable way.


Extensive visits to local recovery assistance centres and welfare centres for meetings. I have visited all fish and chip shops, hairdressers and dairies with fact sheets — specific to this electorate — with information specifying who to ring and for what. Linking people to agencies like the Salvation Army.

Went to a Pacific Island community meeting with a number of Pacific Island NGOs at  Nga Hau E Wha Marae.

Today I am focusing on helping local business owners gain access to their businesses in the electorate. A number of these have businesses which are not damaged but are still cordoned off. I aim to help those who can safely access their businesses do so. In a number of cases buildings three doors down are damaged, but their businesses are okay. These people need to get onto their sites and assess their own situations.


Spent a day with Phil Goff  in the eastern suburbs. Met a trust that has been set up to focus on families as the foundation of rebuilding in Christchurch. Simply direct crediting money to families in need. This trust allows anonymous targeted personal assistance for families in need. I have helped Cantabrians connect with two needy families in the hard hit area of Bexley I know that many people want to help but don’t know where to start. This is a way to give practical support to families facing an uncertain future. They won’t know who you are but they will know someone cares and that means more than you will ever know. Make it personal and make it real – adopt a family.

Yesterday I attended three community meetings. Constituents were “disappointed” they were “just being told stuff- without the opportunity to engage that they expected- there were no timeframes given for water and sewerage.” Many families now have power but are still without water and sewerage. Residents need timeframes so they can plan ahead- they want best/ worst case scenarios but they are in awe of the work that is going on. Power companies have been fantastic with communications and people on the ground, working night and day.

Today I am attending a meeting at 11am with constituents at Switch Coffee in Brighton.


Today I will be helping deliver portaloos I have sourced from a friend in Marlborough who has rounded them up from Marlborough vineyards. Nine have arrived in Christchurch so far. I am getting them delivered to Avonside, one of the worst-hit neighbourhoods in my electorate. They arrived on Tuesday and have now been cleansed etc, and are ready for  Avonside.

I put out an issue of my newsletter to constituents today passing on information and helpful advice from officials. I am still receiving anguished calls from Avonside residents after Tuesday night’s report on television suggesting three Christchurch suburbs may be abandoned following the February 22 quake. It is causing much distress and anxiety. The report identified the suburbs as Avonside (in my electorate) Dallington (shared with Lianne Dalziel) and Bexley (where Lianne herself resides). Sure, these suburbs include hundreds of houses that are so badly damaged they may not be rebuilt; there may be particularly affected streets where it’s better to make a park than turn it back into housing once the bulldozers have been through. That is not the same as abandoning whole suburbs. The spur for the story was the Prime Minister saying 10,000 homes may have to be bowled, a figure he later said was not an official estimate. The figure itself is not a huge surprise when you consider more than 3000 were in that category after September 4 and that quake was a tiddler compared to February 22. But the process for communicating such information – and the geo-tech reports which fed it  – is with the communities involved and their representatives; not a post-Cabinet news conference which then leads to unacceptable extrapolation that has pole-axed some of my constituents.  It’s not as if there aren’t enough stresses here already.

22 comments on “Christchurch Earthquake Bulletin”

  1. BLiP 1

    Wooop-dee-doo. Its a pity they abdicated responsibility and voted against any mitigating clauses when ceded the democratic rights of their people to Dictator Brownlee. Had they not done so, they might have been better able to properly represent their people in parliament. That they are reduced to helping shift shit-houses around the place and pump out weak PR rather than their real job doesn’t impress me.

    (NOTE: Okay, okay – this will be my last anti-Labour comment until after the election. But, seriously, WTF?)

    • lprent 1.1

      Being critical of Labour is in my opinion, fine. How else are they going to learn?

      Of course I do most of mine inside the party because I find that more effective…..

  2. Carol 2

    Where are they publishing these bulletins?

  3. vidiot 4

    “We are almost at the end of week 3, and people still don’t have timelines.” – Clayton Cosgrove

    Eh wtf ? It’s only been 16 days (2 weeks, 2 days) since it struck. Perhaps he should get his timeline in order first before banging his drum.

    • Anne 4.1

      A bit pedantic vidiot? Give him some leeway. They are having a very stressful time of it.

      • vidiot 4.1.1

        so stressful they can take time out and write screeds of crud ?

        • Colonial Viper

          Crud like 10,000 houses need to be bulldozed and two suburbs completely moved?

          FFS we are in the third week after the incident so it is roughly in the ball park and why are you playing chronographer anyway?

        • bbfloyd

          your nitpicking is almost amusing vidiot…. but your total lack of proportion isn’t even close…. so how hard is swishypants working if he’s got time for net practice?

        • Marty G

          Screeds? It’s about 250 words each. I turn out a 250 word post in ten to fifteen minutes

          • todd

            I manage a wave and smile for the camera without even needing a script written for me these days. My aren’t I clever?

  4. ianmac 5

    LPrent. What is the difference between visitors, logged in users, and comment authors please?

    • lprent 5.1

      Visitors are all probable humans that read something on the site within a 2 minute time period. That means that the site has to have detected a request to read a page. If you spend more than 2 minutes reading the page, then you’d drop off the count. That is why the count fluctuates quite a lot.

        Within that

      1. Logged in users are those who logged into the site. Obviously the system knows who they are because they are logged in
      2. Comment authors are those who are not logged into the site, but who have left a comment in a wordpress based site at some time. This is picked up from the cookie information that would normally fill in the comment field with the last value used in a wordpress site. Obviously this will ignore people who don’t store cookies. It will also include people who haven’t left a comment here. Generally it will over represent comment authors by up to double from the names I’ve seen.

      As you can see, comment writers and logged in are the minority compared to the lurkers. At times during the day they will get up to 25% of the total. But most of the time they’re closer to 10%.

      • ianmac 5.1.1

        Thanks. My wife did some research on “Lurkers.” It seems that for every 100 visits to a blog 5 will be frequent commenters, 1or 2 will be occasional commenters. The other 90+ will be lurkers who just visit and read without comment.

        • lprent

          It is a very active comments section here. But it’d be about 8% of unique visitors will comment on the long term averages, and about 3% comment regularly (and a lot).

          During the day it is quite a lot better than that. But during the NZ dead period from 1am to 7am, the overseas load and local insomniacs virtually don’t comment – which pulls it down overall. Mostly people doing searches.

          The averages are definitely pulled down a lot because every couple of months we’ll get something with international attention and gets massive numbers of visitors with no comments. That post on Christchurch Black humor was like that. So was the Marianne Ny post….

  5. Kevyn Miller 6

    It’s astonishing that we’re still getting complaints about cordons hurting businesses a mere two weeks after the post-Sept 4 cordons cut the death toll by at least half, assuming the reduction in trade in the oldest parts of the city is a reasonable proxy for reduced foottraffic and hence the number of innocent passersby hit by (mostly) unrestrained parapets and facades.

    At least the MPs are speaking on behalf of the affected shopkeepers but they really shouldn’t be sounding like the CBD property investor Antony Gough whining in Tuesday’s Press.

  6. Fisiani 7

    So Labour MP’s in Christchurch put out a bulletin to try to promote and try to win votes for Labour. Pathetic.
    Meanwhile the National led government day by day simply gets on with rescuing and restoring the economy of NZ to help all New Zealanders.
    Self promotion versus real action.
    Whinging versus working.
    Honest John and Battler Bill will see us through.

    • Kaplan 7.1

      What a fucking crock.
      It’s liars like you that are complicit in destroying this country for the real, day to day honest hard workers that actually contribute to this country. The ones that are facing increased costs of living, lower wages and a government that is content to hand out taxpayer money hand over fist to it’s mates. Media Works, South Canterbury Finance, etc.
      John Key and Bill English are the biggest bludgers this country has ever known. Bill with his housing rort and the gall to ask for extra money to clean his house, Key with his transparent trusts and massive tax windfalls he hands himself.
      They disgust me.
      You disgust me.

  7. Armchair Critic 8

    Honest John and Battler Bill will see us through.
    Doesn’t sound very “ambitious for New Zealand”. I’d prefer a government that will do more than seeing us through.

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