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Christchurch, keyisms and this state we’re in.

Written By: - Date published: 3:18 pm, February 24th, 2016 - 86 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, christchurch earthquake, corruption, Gerry Brownlee, housing, john key, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , , ,

Seems that Christchurch people are quite reasonably demanding that all residential insurance claims be settled by the end of March – ie, after a period of five years and six weeks (some say it’s five years, six months and six weeks).

(speakers begin at about the 13min mark)

There are some interesting snippets of info provided by speakers, such as, that the officially sanctioned bodge and fixit repairs that are, or were, apparently all the rage, will in future be used by insurance companies to kill off future claims (A bit like ACC refusing accidental injury cover by alleging the presence of pre-existing conditions)

I kind of liked the bit about 30min in when the following new word, packaged with an appropriate definition was put out there – Keyism: a Keyism is when you say one thing but the opposite is true and you get away with it because no-one has the evidence to challenge you.

The following examples of Keyisms are given by the speaker before he points to the reality that the original statements sought to confound.

John Key in 2011 – “No-one will be worse off.”

John Key again – “This government is backing Cantabrians.” ($2 billion had been taken out of EQC, not the $200 million that the speaker suggested)

Gerry Brownlee in 2011 “The recovery is in full swing”
Gerry Brownlee in 2012 “The recovery is in full swing”
Gerry Brownlee in 2013 “The recovery is in full swing”

Tim Grafton. (chief exec of Insurance Council of NZ) “We have nothing to gain from not settling claims quickly.”

The entire vid is worth skipping through/dipping into. What struck me was the ordinariness of this (supposedly, I guess) rent-a-crowd. Anyway, they were invited to chalk their sentiments through-out Cathedral Square at the end of the gathering and the phrases ‘sad’ – ‘broken’ – ‘ripped off’ – ‘fucked off’ – ‘deceived’ – ‘angry’ – ‘numb’ etc…were captured by the camera person before the council, within a few short hours, came in to wash every last piece of chalked graffiti away.

As the some what emotional ‘Wizard’ commented –

They couldn’t even let the signs of pain be seen.

86 comments on “Christchurch, keyisms and this state we’re in.”

  1. And we are supposed to hold Politicians in high regard !

    They are nothing but low down lying scumbags.

    But wait till this time next year, and the next election is just around the corner, the bribery will start to appear again.

    Surely the good people of Christchurch will know which way to place their vote.

    If this lot get one city seat I will be very surprised.
    Even Brownlee will get tossed on the garbage heap.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      “Surely the good people of Christchurch will know which way to place their vote.”

      Don’t count on it. The swing to the right in Christchurch in 2011 is what let National get re-elected.

      I was sure there’d be a strong anti-National sentiment in Christchurch at 2014, but it didn’t happen.

      • pat 1.1.1

        like you i was surprised by the swing to National in ChCh at lat election….then I considered Labour’s response….and was surprised no more

      • Rosie 1.1.2

        Lanthanide. Yep. As a side note I thought West Coast, into their second election after Pike River would turn and party vote Labour but they increased their party vote National

    • repateet 1.2

      My level of cynicism says that Brownlee’s majority will probably increase.

  2. vto 2

    Legislation should have been introduced requiring a use-of-money cost to be attached to each and every claim.

    Exactly like the IRD does to us.

    Wankers tied to corporate interests. The National Party receives large donations from corporates like insurance companies.

    If this government did introduce such legislation the insurance companies would stop their donations to the National Party – this is the reason it doesn’t happen.

    The National Party and its government are corrupt.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    Demanding that all insurance deals be sorted by the end of March is unrealistic.

    Demanding they all be sorted by the end of the year (as Andrew Little poorly attempted to explain yesterday on RNZ) is also unrealistic.

    There’s a thing called “shifting the goalposts”, which is exactly what putting a time limit with that short a horizon in place would be doing.

    • vto 3.1

      A use-of-money requirement would deal with both issues

    • Bill 3.2

      They’ve been fucked around for years. Time to end it. If the insurance industry are saying it’s unrealistic to settle up after over half a decade, then that’s the insurance industry’s problem. Fuck them. (And uh-huh, before you deal that card, I don’t know how citizens can leverage an insurance industry)

      Bet if they were threatened with something like expropriation though, the ‘unrealistic’ would just quite suddenly and apparently magically… happen.

      • Lanthanide 3.2.1

        My understanding is a lot of it can be sheeted to EQC (but of course the insurance industry have been intimately involved since the beginning).

        When EQC finally decide that a claim is over their $115,000 cap – and that has taken 2-4 years in many cases, it is then turned over to the insurance company. Who then starts from absolute scratch. It appears that EQC actually don’t pass *any* information on to the insurance company, the insurance company just gets told the very basics of the claim and have to re-generate all the investigative paperwork from scratch.

        Now, it’s possible that actually the insurance companies could request the paperwork from EQC, but for whatever reason, it appears that they don’t.

        • linda 3.2.1.1

          i suspect the insurance companies are dragging it out so it doesn’t stress there balance sheets .
          and poor repairs are probable the result of the lack of money on the house repairs
          if your a builder fletcher sets the price if your given 5000 dollars and the work realistically is 20000 dollars something has to give

        • Having worked at both EQC and a private insurer, let’s say there’s not a significant amount of trust there. Private insurers don’t want to trust EQC’s costings ever, and prefer to do the costing from scratch because it lets them know if they disagree that the house would be overcap.

          • pat 3.2.1.2.1

            the duo that scoped our place were an Aussie “builder”(suspect he was a painter/paperhanger) and an ex cop, The justification from EQC for using ex cops was their experience in investigation, and fraud was inferred….unfortunately the ex cops were investigating the wrong parties.
            They were so organized that the next scope they were to do that day (they spent a grand total of one hour on site,and didn’t check either the sub floor or ceiling cavities, nor measure anything…the cop did absolutely nothing but make polite conversation)…was at a place approximately one hours drive away..when commented upon I was told it was typical.

            Obviously the subsequent report (scope) was toilet paper

            • Matthew Whitehead 3.2.1.2.1.1

              Yeah without commenting too much on your specific case, if it’s still relevant, you can either get your place re-assesed, or contest the scope using a quote from a qualified builder. There are still teams in EQC whose job is essentially putting that kind of thing right. Best of luck to you.

              • pat

                I got out of EQCs clutches years ago, thank God….unlike thousands of others, many elderly, vulnerable who have been treated appallingly…..but then if you work for EQC you probably know that as well as I do.

                • I don’t work for EQC anymore, but I can say with a pretty high level of confidence that the staff actually working to settle the claims wants to get everyone a fair settlement and prioritise cases that are most in need. There’s just been a lot of challenges along the way, and the amount of work to be done was huge, so people ended up waiting years while it was chipped away at.

                  Believe it or not, the EQC settlement process for Canterbury is actually one of the most complicated state insurance program rollouts ever, and it’s done better than the private industry response to Hurricane Katrina, (very few people have been paid off by the private insurers in the USA- having the government in the mix has probably put a lot of pressure on to accelerate things here, even though it hasn’t been handled perfectly) and dealt with things in a much more nuanced way than the Japanese response to their own earthquake disaster, where they basically just determined how many quarters of the rated value of your home you’d get. (They did manage to settle faster than we did in New Zealand, but if you only have four settlement outcomes instead of an entire decision tree to follow, that’s not surprising)

                  I did work at putting a lot of cases right while I was there, and yes, some of those included people in similar situations to what you mentioned. I actually stayed on with EQC longer than I intended to because I believed the work was important and I was one of the higher-performing people there, and wanted to get the settlement done right whenever I could. I decided to leave around the time that my part of the business was winding down from actually settling claims.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Thanks for the insight, Matthew.

                  • pat

                    as you draw comparison to Katrina perhaps we should examine how the comparable Federal body performed, the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program)

                    “NFIP paid an unprecedented dollar amount for a record number of claims from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Congress increased NFIP’s borrowing authority with the U.S. Treasury from a pre-Katrina level of $1.5 billion to about $20.8 billion in March 2006, but FEMA will probably not be able to repay this debt on annual premium revenues of about $2 billion. As of May 2006, NFIP had paid approximately 162,000 flood damage claims from Hurricane Katrina and another 9,000 claims from Hurricane Rita. Most paid claims were for primary residences where flood insurance was generally required.
                    FEMA and its private sector partners faced several challenges in processing a record number of flood claims from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, among them were (1) reaching insured properties in a timely way because of blocked roadways and flood water contamination and (2) identifying badly damaged homes to be inspected in locations where street signs had washed away. Despite these and other obstacles, FEMA reported that over
                    95 percent of Gulf Coast claims had been closed by May 2006, a time frame comparable to those for closing claims in other, smaller recent floods. To help keep pace with the volume of claims filed, FEMA approved expedited methods for claims processing that were unique to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.”

                    Click to access d07169.pdf

                    So 171,000 claims 95% closed in 9 months….and you maintain EQC has out performed this?

                    but the most curious feature about this exchange is the fact you haven’t refuted any of the observations around scoping, costings and repairs nor the underlying motivations…..and I didn’t even bring up the no fault/liability contract with Fletchers nor the documented cases of nepotism.

                    …it is the same old refrain that all senior EQC staff parrot…..”its complicated”…I suggest it has been made more complicated than it needed to be and for a reason

          • Lanthanide 3.2.1.2.2

            Right, that makes sense.

            So a better procedure would have been to involve the insurance companies earlier for any house that was $60k+ with a reasonable chance of going overcap. The insurance companies could have been involved in the process sooner.

            Also if legislation was written such that once it goes to an insurance company it stays with them, regardless if future analysis would place it back under the cap, they’re stuck with managing it (but could then seek repayment from EQC behind-the-scenes).

            • Matthew Whitehead 3.2.1.2.2.1

              Actually the cutoff for risk of going overcap was usually considered $80k. The costing needed to have significant problems to end up overcap when it started below $80k. And yeah, I believe that was one of the things attempted- it’s just that it didn’t work out very well.

        • pat 3.2.1.3

          “Now, it’s possible that actually the insurance companies could request the paperwork from EQC, but for whatever reason, it appears that they don’t.”

          In that I don’t blame the ICs….the EQC scopes are not worth the paper they are written on..their sole CPEng who conducted thousands of reports, and oversaw and trained scoping staff had his registration removed by IPENZ only to have it reinstated on appeal (due to a technicality) after Government pressure.

          It is a systemic and deliberate policy(driven directly from the Beehive) of under scoping damage to reduce liability and create delay to spread that reduced liability over as long a timeframe as possible….and to hell with the consequences for those unaware or unable to seek legal redress..and even then its dragged out as long as humanly possible.

          The ICs have their own methods that are not much better but in some respects it is expected they will behave unethically and cynically…however one would not expect such behavior to be facilitated by and indeed adopted by our so called leaders

      • pat 3.2.2

        “They’ve been fucked around for years.Time to end it.”

        sadly even if all claims were miraculously fairly settled tomorrow it will still not be the end of it for two main reasons
        1) the overwhelming majority are cash settled and the actual work still has to be done
        2) there are thousands of Fletchers “repairs” (and some re repairs) that need to be addressed….many of those properties should have been written off from day one

        This will be like leaky buildings and the consequences will play out over decades
        …and it won’t be those responsible that pick up the tab….it will be the taxpayer

    • pat 3.3

      what then ,in your opinion is realistic?

      • A much better approach would be the government legislating to remove some stalling tactics, and a fair way to solve disputes between insurers. A lot of people whose claims are held up it’s because of disagreements between multiple insurers about who’s responsible to fix what, or what sort of repair strategy is needed. (ie. three people have attached properties, insurers 1 and 2 say the whole thing is a rebuild, insurer 3 insists it can be repaired)

        Forcing people to make decisions that are currently blocked up- even if you force them to do it in a sub-obtimal way- ultimately speeds up the claims process.

        Arbitrary timelines are not helpful until the logjams are solved. That’s essentially the left-wing version of the National Party wanting to put a time limit on treaty claims.

        • pat 3.3.1.1

          The MUBs (multi unit building) are a grossly overstated cause of delay…it is a convenient excuse for them…while it is true there are multiple ICs and owners in most cases the delay is caused by a dispute over damage and what they are prepared to do to fix it or how much they will pay.
          The IC will say the claimant is in “negotiation” when the IC has offered 100K to fix what may have been independently assessed as costing say 400K….if you trust the independent costings your only recourse is High Court where over 90% are settled on the steps maybe 2 years later(or beat your head against a slow moving brick wall and negotiate that sum up to maybe 250K and cut your loses)…how many pensioners do you know with 60K sitting in the bank for such a rainy day event?…or have another 2 plus years of wasted ,captured time?

          • pat 3.3.1.1.1

            forgot to note…and this after they have spent thousands, or in some cases 10s of thousands getting the independent professional reports to counter the IC position (or EQC) which in most cases are ignored unless a court date set.

          • Matthew Whitehead 3.3.1.1.2

            MUBs were a legitimate challenge to work around, mostly because a lot of them have been conveyed in a way that’s not consistent with the law, so you’d have odd situations where the ownership structures were not consistent and so you often needed everyone to just agree on a group approach. Figuring out a fair approach to settling MUBs really did delay a lot of claims. (I worked on low-value cash settlement at EQC, and there were thousands of MUBs that had to wait until almost all other settlement was done because it took that long to get a strategy in place)

            Your insurer should absolutely review your independent report, whether the relevant insurer is EQC or your private insurer. That said, they’re not required to agree with the particular methodologies your builder has recommended. Some builders cost using unnecessarily expensive materials or methodologies, so sometimes that will cause the difference. (Although a 4x price difference usually just means one of the two builders, yours or theirs, has screwed up majorly, or is unfairly under- or over-pricing. Sometimes it’s a mixture of all of the above!)

            It’s nuts that you’re expected to take the case to court though. Have you tried the IFSO yet? It sounds like your claim is “deadlocked” to me. Here’s a relevant URL:
            http://www.iombudsman.org.nz/information/insurance/canterbury-earthquakes/

            • pat 3.3.1.1.2.1

              MUBs may present additional complexities (though I know of cases where the MUB excuse has been used for single owner sites)it doesn’t have any impact on the scoping process or costings
              In most instances (TC2,TC3) the professional reports were costed by Quantity Surveyors and costings were based on best practice, the standard both the industry and courts expect.
              Nor do any of the factors mentioned explain diminishing damage and costings over several scopes, nor the action of EQCs agents EQR to carry out repairs without geotechnical investigation as required by even the watered down MBIE guidelines, thousand of which have failed, some after 2 or more attempts at repair
              There are no excuses for EQCs actions and the evidence is there to be found despite the governments ongoing attempts to block it

  4. esoteric pineapples 4

    Trouble is, an awful lot of Christchurch residents keep on voting for National

    • vto 4.1

      .
      exactly

      the people have got what they vote for ……. a government that is beholden to corporate interests and insurance sector donations to the National Party

    • Tc 4.2

      And this is their reward, wake the F up canterbury !

      You are a victim of disaster economics so while fletchers and other nat party mates have done very nicely its at your expense.

    • pat 4.3

      trouble is an awful lot of NZers keep voting National.

      • aerobubble 4.3.1

        How does it aid insurance companies when eqc dithering means years later a house suddenly requires a payout? How does it help an insurance company with open liabilities like that? Worse that future events could worsen the situation, like the true damage of the land, aka red zone. Basically Labour bowed out, maybe as it would look pathetic to politic over misery, and really govt had all the means to make good news stories and hammer Labour. So i can understand Labours stand offishment but Labours real problem is their lack of ability to hit popular buttons with nuanced sound bites that deliver both indication of depth in thinking yet also staged bile that says they are to be reckoned with and can fight a corner. There is no consensus thinking behind Labour, nothing to get onboard with. Peters however tapped into real anger in Northland, geez when Wellington put a toll road into one of our poorest regions it was going to cause heat, then to talk about bridges, too little to late, Key woefully out of touch.

        After the prez and uk ref, the world will be in a different place so why bother with thinking about changing Key. His infamous they kept the faith on re-election should have engaged someone in Labour to push the stale economics, tried and failed, deinfationary destablizing economics of the past, Keys faith button and give us finally a indication Labour get it and are willing t get out in front of it.

          • aerobubble 4.3.1.1.1

            ..by shorting customers…

            How do you short a claim held up by EQC? People who got out early is a different matter. Those paying rent and mortgage arguably are exposing eqc and insurance companies to legal jeopardy, as any delay costs can accrue, like land damages. It actual benefits insurers to payout as the debt is a risk on the balance sheet. However govt had an interest in delay, spreading the rebuild, and spreading eqc payouts

            • pat 4.3.1.1.1.1

              by shorting customers AND investing that capital. Insurance companies don’t cover land and EQC have developed a model to virtually void all land claims….there is no risk to the ICs balance sheet , indeed it strengthens its position.

              http://www.interest.co.nz/property/69847/cam-preston-investigates-how-iag-uses-reinsurance-arrangements-its-nz-business-and

              • aerobubble

                Developed how? Brownlee arbitrarily? Like i said it benefits govt to delay and as you point out stack the process against citizens. However, how does a review of cap that suddenly goes to a private insurer years after the quake looking good, unforeseen future claims popping up for the last five years hurts insurers and insurees, surely. Only govt central govt benefits as ongoing neoliberalism also hurts the minr players and bails the big dogs.

                • pat

                  you conflate the two…there is no advantage to the ICs from EQC delaying the overlap decision at this late stage(indeed it pisses the ICs off no end), but there is advantage to the Government. The ICs were happy for the delays in the first few years as it assisted them but as the pressure from the reinsurers came on to finalize their liability the ICs became irritated……dont make the mistake of believing the only IC claims unsettled (or fairly settled) are those delayed by the EQC process.

                  Developed how? assume you’re referring to the EQC land damage claims? You are obviously not in a TC2 or 3 area of ChCh….EQC sought judicial review of a decision to pay “diminution of value” as opposed to either reinstating or paying the cost of reinstatement (as per the Act)….they were granted with the condition that their decisions were open to legal challenge(on a case by case basis)….these payments were scheduled to be settled by the end of 2015, now are expected to be “substantially complete” by the end of 2016….virtually none have been paid to date…all “visible” land damage has been paid as of around the end of last year….most received either nothing or about enough for a trailer load of soil….EQC have not met one target (which they themselves set)…and have missed them not by weeks or months, but years…this is brief outline of the land claim fiasco…the details make for mind numbing disbelief.

    • It was truly a lost opportunity that we had a National government at the time of the quakes. A Labour government would have used the opportunity to improve the housing stock to acceptable standards, not just repaired it to the previous standard.

  5. sabine 5

    some people of Canterbury may have voted for National out of Party believe and such.

    but i think for the largest part people voted ‘to not rock the boat’, to ‘ deal with he devil they know instead of the new devil” especially as they still have to deal with Claims and such.

    I can be annoyed with Aucklanders that voted National for no other reason then Greed, but the ladies and gents in CHCH do get a pass from me, as not only did they have to live in rubble, use Porta Potties for the most human business, but also deal with PSTD and the likes. I can understand why they voted in 3 Labour Candidates vs 2 National Candidates, but left the Party Vote to National. They started the clean up, they would be best suited to finish it, and with any other government and with any other people i would assume they were correct, but we are talking John Oh So Comfortable and watch this Drive Key, The most honorable Double Dipper from Dipton Mr. Finance Minister Bill English, Mr. Gerry Mudcake Brownlee Minister of the Misconstruction of CHCH and the likes. I think the citizens of CHCH have/are now realised that they voted for a bunch of cons.

    The crowd in this clip is not a easily dismissed “rent a crowd from AKL” that can be easily vilified all over the country as being Aucklanders, these are nice, middle aged, middle class people that could be every ones parents.

    the seems are coming undone.

    • linda 5.1

      if they voted national they are getting exactly what they deserve national has always been the party of criminals thieves and looters

    • venezia 5.2

      You overlook the fact that there was a huge population shift out of Christchurch. Plus many in Christchurch did not vote at all. Too busy surviving? or given up on politicians?

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    The Aussie clip shows the heartlessness of authorities pretty graphically.

    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2015/s4408012.htm

    • vto 6.1

      That is a really good piece and anyone with an interest should watch it….

      I have been thinking recently that there is a claim possible by way of class action for something abusive, against the human rights act, negligence, some other tort perhaps, breach of duty, acting in bad faith…. and it needs to be for MASSIVE punitive damages….

      This is true.

      The people would pile into it

      • pat 6.1.1

        you have no idea how many people have contacted the HRC to no result….every idea you can think of has already been tried

        • vto 6.1.1.1

          I mean a private class action beginning in the High Court in the sum of $500million, against EQC, IAG, NZI, the lot

          I don’t mean a complaint to a government department – sheesh, how self-defeating

          • pat 6.1.1.1.1

            there are class actions against both Southern Response and EQC…there have been numerous complaints to HRC and the Ombudsman (both the IC Ombudsman and the Gov Ombudsman), there have been appeals to the opposition parties and the media (both domestic and foreign,there has even been a direct appeal to our head of state)….something about ovum and grandparents

            • vto 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Sure, but still not the same no.

              Punitive damages. On a massive scale. Bigger than $500million actually. Triple that to $1.5billion. It has to count, be felt.

              Remember it is NZ’s largest claim ever and something like the third biggest in the world EVER ffs…

              • pat

                there are no punitive damages in the NZ legal system…only demonstrated costs and loses…if you’re lucky

                • vto

                  Not right.

                  Sheesh, people like you are also a problem. I don’t mean t be rude but I really have little time for “yes, but ….. ” people..

                  they get nowhere

                  • pat

                    then you you know more than a LL.B PhD….and i have no time time for delusional twats who espouse tried and failed remedies from afar….Einstein had something pertinent to say about that.

                    • vto

                      Wooooo – so you are a “yes, but…” person, with an ego that doesn’t like being whacked.

                      And tell me, does a PhD on top of your LL.B mean you know more about this than me with merely an LL.B, among other degrees?

                      Or does a PhD lead you down a road of unrealism, like so many of the great unwashed perceive with PhD-types?

                      On the actual point – you have gone down the wrong track and need to back up the horses. Stick to the well worn track and you will end up down the well worn track.

                    • vto

                      Exactly. The well worn tracks. Lawyers are not known for innovative thinking – they are known for putting up the problems and obstacles to new ways. That is their job.

                      Plus, for the layman https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punitive_damages note in particular people, the points about insurance bad faith and also nz

                      best move aside there Pat

                    • pat

                      “Exactly. The well worn tracks. Lawyers are not known for innovative thinking”

                      you mean lawyers like yourself ?

                      “And tell me, does a PhD on top of your LL.B mean you know more about this than me with merely an LL.B, among other degrees?”

                      lmao ..speaking of egos and moving aside….own a mirror?

                    • vto

                      you can have the last word – seems important to you…

                      note though that your assumption I am a lawyer is wrong. Silly to assume silly. Well worn tracks are anathema to me – rather be bush-bashing to a cliff edge or an undiscovered paradise….

            • weka 6.1.1.1.1.2

              “something about ovum and grandparents”

              What doe taht mean?

  7. righty right 7

    john key has to lie there was never enough money Christchurch should suck it up sorry this is as good as it gets . and don’t you dare contradict the key god

    • pat 7.1

      you are right that money is at the heart..u.nfortunately the ones being required to “suck it up” are the elderly , the vulnerable and those without the means to take legal action….it is by design and was foreshadowed by Key in 2011 when he said there will be “winners and losers”…the likes of Fletchers are the winners(and the international ICs) and your aunty or grandad are the losers….and ultimately YOU the taxpayer are the loser because if they had acted with integrity the ultimate cost would have been less.

    • AmaKiwi 7.2

      Can someone please tell me where I sign up to be part of a rent-a-crowd?

      I only work part-time and am always looking for extra work.

      Key can ask the IRD and ACC for details.

      Could a Labour MP please ask Key during question time who the unemployed contact to get work at Rent-a-Crowd Ltd.?

    • Katipo 7.3

      Neolib 101. Privatise the profits and socialise the losses.

  8. weka 8

    Youtube link

    (Bill, I can’t get that embedded version to open in youtube and the embed link made it very complicated to find the original).

  9. Rosie 9

    I hope to look through the link of Sundays protest when I have the time. I just had a moment to look at the Wizard talking about the council contractors who came and washed away the chalk words people had expressed. Their own words with their own individual meanings. To wash these words away is deeply disrespectful and insulting. They would have faded and smudged away over the next few days. What an unnecessary and cruel thing to do.

    There is a poem that I have found comforting in the past when coping with grief, and then again this month when someone I cherished and spent 16 years with passed away. I’m very aware of the ongoing grief of the people of CHCH. This one’s for you.

    It’s an oldie but a goody. Some of you may know it.

    When the heart
    Is cut or cracked or broken
    Do not clutch it
    Let the wound lie open:

    Let the wind
    From the good old sea blow in,
    To bathe the wound with salt
    And let it sting

    Let a stray dog lick it
    Let a bird lean in the hole and sing
    A simple song like a tiny bell
    And let it ring.

    From Short Notes From The Long History Of Happiness. Michael Leunig 1996.

  10. Philj 10

    Is this EQC tragedy an example of a successful PPP? The Government in step with the corporate. Sounds a bit like fascist state. The Wizard cannot believe what he has experienced. This tragedy was NZ’s test of democracy and decency- it has failed all NZersNZers, and I fear that your house could be next.
    Kia Kaha Christchurch. The facts will not speak for themselves.

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