Christchurch memorial service

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, March 18th, 2011 - 181 comments
Categories: disaster - Tags: ,

A memorial service will be held in Hagley Park today to pay tribute to victims of the February quake. Events begin at 10:30am, with the service starting at 12:30, and two minutes silence at 12.51pm. TVNZ has a good page on practical details here.

I think it’s fair to say that the idea of the service has strongly polarised opinion. Those reacting negatively see it as a glorified photo-op for John Key, being held far too soon, on a schedule set by the visit of Prince William. The following opinion piece by Vicki Anderson in The Press has created a bit of a sensation:

Christchurch is grumpy

People in Christchurch seem to be experiencing a mass episode of PMT (post magnitude tension). Mind you, there’s a lot to be tense about. Homes lost, jobs lost, everywhere you look life is tough. No to the Rugby World Cup. Yes to a grandiose memorial service happening too soon. Nuclear terror in Japan. Moon man predictions. My head hurts.

The thing that makes me feel particularly upset is the national memorial service in Hagley Park on Friday. Just who is this memorial service for? It’s not for Christchurch. It’s not for the families who lost loved ones in the February 22 quake.

It’s a grandiose, empty gesture starring so-called V.I.Ps – Prince William, Prime Minister John Key, Aussie PM Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott and presumably other assorted boring people in suits. …

Some say it is just too soon for a memorial service and I agree. Life is still too raw here for us to have a memorial. With a memorial comes some form of closure – we’re just not in that place yet. To the rest of New Zealand and visiting dignitaries the earthquake might be old news but it’s not to us, the ones living through it. …

Looking on the bright side I guess the homeless, sorry, displaced, will be able to go to Hagley Park to finally get to use a toilet. Some affected colonials might even get a glimpse of Prince William’s rapidly decreasing hairline. …

A more fitting service for Cantabrians would be held on February 22, 2012. When we have had the time and opportunity to get over current hurdles.

These very important people visiting Christchurch to gawk at our damage would be better served spending their time trying to get to the bottom of how it can be that some people here have had their buildings, their livelihoods, their wordly valuables demolished without any notice or opportunity to salvage anything of their former lives.

On Friday the two minutes of silence at 12.51pm will give news organisations – this memorial requires media accreditation – the perfect opportunity to zoom the lens in on the grief stricken. Some untalented people will surely be inspired to create a tribute song, using the suitably traumatic footage of the day the nation stood still, again. Endless repeats of crumbled buildings will adorn the 6pm news. …

It’s like Band Together – Concert for Canterbury, but this is the memorial version. This is Wail Together – Concert for Elsewhere.

A strict alcohol ban will be in place for the event, and there will be a large number of police officers and security guards on site.

Does this sound like a memorial to you?

Of course not everyone agrees. One of the comments in response to the above piece:

[…] you are entitled to your opinion, really you are. But as someone who lost family, who lost friends… I need this memorial. I need this day off to say goodbye properly – because I passed up funerals to stay at work and support my business, who were paying out enough in bereavement leave. So I will be in Hagley Park on Friday, with my head held high, remembering what we’ve lost, and looking to the future

Both negative and positive opinions are likely widely held:

3 News spoke to several Christchurch residents who said Friday is too soon for a memorial. They say there are still funerals which need to take place and bodies which haven’t been identified. They say they’d be more comfortable having a memorial in a few weeks – even months.

“For many people there is a great need to grieve. There is a great need to share the load that they are carrying right now, so you have to weigh all of that up,” says Mr Parker. “It could be up to two years before there is final identification.” Those who aren’t ready to grieve are being asked to respect those who are, and are being assured that this won’t be the only memorial.

While tending myself to share the views of Vicki Anderson, this is surely time to acknowledge our diversity, and that this event will mean very different things to different people. If it can help some in Christchurch come to terms with loss and grief, then well and good, it will have served some useful function. Kia kaha Canterbury.

181 comments on “Christchurch memorial service”

  1. lprent 1

    I was thinking about this after waking up early today. It does feel like a photo op for Key and Windsor with bugger all relevance for anyone else.

    I read Vicki Anderson’s piece yesterday afternoon, and then reflected that I can’t remember a comment here supporting the photo op. That includes from either the people of Christchurch who have been catching up on blogging in the last few weeks or from the various right and centrists here.

    Admittly I have not been looking for it because I find the photo op to be irrelevant. But in this fractious community not having any support is rather surprising.

    • higherstandard 1.1

      Maybe just maybe Key and Gillard and William and Goff and everyone else attending the service in Christchurch and around the country are thinking more about offering support and their prayers to the Christchurch region than photo opportunities.

      Perhaps the partisans and political tragics who hang out here and throughout the blogosphere could STFU for 24 hours and extend some goodwill.

      • lprent 1.1.1

        The thing that got to me in Vicki’s piece was this…

        Difficulties with road access, 78 toilets and 10 ”large urinals”, V.I.Ps speeches, plants which were to be displayed at the cancelled Ellerslie Flower Show will be used as part of the service and trotting out survivors’ families to sit centre stage. It’s not a memorial. It’s a side show.

        If those toilets are portable, then they’d be better off out in the community. It is 4 weeks and there is still a severe shortage of portaloos around various suburbs. It keeps showing up in the MP’s and everyone else’s reports.

        The lack of safe sanitation is a major issue in public health. Wasting toilets to support a photo op is just stupid.

        Something like this would be better done when the basic public health standards has been achieved.

    • big bruv 1.2

      A bit like Sir Ed’s funeral was a photo op for Clark aye Irpent?

      Still…once again the nastiness of the Labour left comes through, 100,000+ Cantabs turned up, that is an awful lot of votes coming the way of the Nat’s come November.

      All you need to do is keep that odious female Street in attack mode and Canterbury could be a clean sweep for the Nat’s.

      • BLiP 1.2.1

        How fleeting your memory. It was John Key who attempted to exploit Sir Ed’s funeral by issuing a press release decrying the fact that the Royals weren’t sending a representative. Remember that, shithead?

        • big bruv 1.2.1.1

          Feeling a bit desperate are you Blip?

          The only one who exploited Sir Ed’s funeral was Clark, she was the one who made sure she was front and centre when the camera’s were there, and if you remember, she was also the one who just had to fly back from New York to do her very own bit of disaster tourism.

          See Blip, you cannot have it both ways, either Key was doing the job of a PM and leading the nation in a time of grief (which he undoubtedly was and this is what gets right up your nose) or he was using the ceremony as a photo op, either Clark was showing her respects as a PM should at Sir Ed’s funeral (although she could have do so without taking such a prominent role in what was a FAMILY funeral) or she was using the death of Sir Ed as a photo op.

          Even you cannot spin that Blip, even you will have to admit that you are simply a nasty little socialist who will use any event at all (irrespective of how tragic) to score cheap political points, or………………you could just say you got it wrong and admit that Key has done a great job leading our country through a national tragedy.

          • mickysavage 1.2.1.1.1

            Ah the old RWNJ defence

            If Key and co are caught absolutely cold then the only thing you can do is dig into history and locate an event and shout and scream “oh but Helen/Michael/David Lange/Norman Kirk/Walter Nash/Peter Fraser/Michael Joseph Savage did the same thing”. It does not actually matter if they did or did not do it. Making noise is the only objective.

            Just do it …

            And BTW spitting out the word “Socialist” will make you feel better …

            • big bruv 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Is that the best you can come up with Micky?

              You know I am right, you know there was no difference between the two events but yet you still try and convince the terminally stupid (aka Labour voters) that there is a difference between the two.

              Tell me Micky (cos you are actually one of the few intelligent people from the left) how do you justify the shocking hypocrisy/dog whistling?, I know deep down that you must be uncomfortable with those who seek to attack Key for doing the very same things that dear ex corrupt leader used to do.

              As it happens I think that both Sir Ed’s funeral and todays service were events that our PM had to play a part in, and yes, of course there are/were going to be pictures taken, that is part of the job.
              It is no wonder that Labour are sinking in the polls, you people have totally lost touch with the public.

              • Kia ora BB

                I just do not remember Helen organising the funeral for Sir Ed whereas today’s gathering was started and supported by Smile and Wave.

                I do think that today was too soon. The anniversary of the day itself should be a holiday but today was not the day.

              • Armchair Critic

                As it happens I think that both Sir Ed’s funeral and todays service were events that our PM had to play a part in, and yes, of course there are/were going to be pictures taken, that is part of the job.
                Yeah, pretty much. I don’t think either of them did a great job (though I liked Key’s speech today – for once he didn’t sound like he’d been drinking), both just did their jobs.
                No sure how much of the original post you actually read, there are a few differences between Hillary’s funeral and the Christchurch memorial. The valid criticism is about the timing of the memorial. Clark didn’t have the option to delay the funeral to a more appropriate time, for obvious reasons. Key could have waited until all the sites were cleared of the missing.

          • BLiP 1.2.1.1.2

            So, Big Bludge, no denial or even refutation that John Key exploited Sir Ed’s funeral for political ends. Instead, just more septic bile from your black heart That was all tripe. Just like your girlfriend Melissa Lee, you got it wrong about who’s playing politics. Again.

    • infused 1.3

      Couple of things. The service was announced before the Royals became involved. Secondly, I’ve been on a course the last 3 days in which there were two people frmo Christchurch. They were very emotional about the whole thing. I was of the view of it’s way too soon, after speaking with these people and seeing the emotion, I now understand they need it.

      Good job on the point scoring.

    • Swampy 1.4

      But isn’t this a community mostly of people from one end of the political spectrum? and that happens to be the spectrum of people who loathe the current PM?

      So it’s all about people believing Key should not get an opportunity for a bit of publicity in election year?

      And if the boot was on the other foot – I doubt their would be one word against it

      • Colonial Viper 1.4.1

        And if the boot was on the other foot – I doubt their would be one word against it

        Boot wouldn’t be on the other foot because few politicians would be as crass as Key as to hold a 3 week (!) commemoration ceremony, and even before some families have had a chance to receive loved ones bodies, yet alone bury them.

      • lprent 1.4.2

        The authors are from one broad wing of the poliitical spectrum.

        The commentators sure as hell are not – they come from all over the spectrum. The group we exclude are trolls, not political beliefs. We don’t get too many consistent commentators from the extremist right but that is more because of their behavioral habits in attacking the existance of the site rather than their political beliefs.

    • Alpha Sud 1.5

      Bit like how Helen’s tour of Christchurch was just a photo op for her then was it?

      • Maynard J 1.5.1

        What, for her to get votes in…oh wait.

        moron.

      • lprent 1.5.2

        Helen was over here as she is every 3-4 months to spend time with Peter and family. So she went to look to see, just as she did in the Aussie flood damage on the way out. I understand that in both cases she offered her advice to the governments.

        Now I can understand that you are still pathetically locked into the last election – seems to be a common issue amongst the RWNJs. But exactly how does Helen going to ChCh constitute a photo op? Her position at the UNDP is appointed and doesn’t deal with first world countries except as donors.

        I think that you really need to get over your fear of strong woman..

  2. Kaplan 2

    I do not begrudge those that want to attend, but I won’t be going myself.
    For me it is too early, we are still dealing with the day to day effects of the earthquake here and it just seems cheap to go and commemorate a disaster that is still on going.
    I also worry about what an influx of people in to the town is going to do.
    Personally, I would like to see an event take place on September 4th this year.

  3. Pete 3

    If it can help some in Christchurch come to terms with loss and grief, then well and good, it will have served some useful function. Kia kaha Canterbury.

    Exactly. This day should be for those in Christchurch who can and will get something from it in support of them and their plight. People. Not politics.

    • Tigger 3.1

      Well there are lots of things you could argue would “help some in Christchurch come to terms with loss and grief” but should we do them?

      This memorial is dishonest, it’s spun as being for Christchurch but it is for Key.

    • Marty G 3.2

      I hear what you’re saying but silence is political too. Meekly acquiescing to something you disagree with because you don’t want to be ‘political’ is as much a political action as speaking against it. And it’s a more insidious, dangerous form of politics because it means legitimate debate and disagreement is stifled in favour of whatever the government of the day says.

      just yesterday, pete, you were saying you wanted more democracy. you can’t, then, expect people not to voice their opinions.

      • Pete 3.2.1

        I’m not expecting people not to voice their opinions. My opinion is trying to label this as a Key photo-op is nauseating petty politics.

        There is never going to be a best time for this sort of thing. Some will appreciate it now, some would prefer it later. I’m sure there will be more for them later.

        I’ve already seen the positive effect of the Prince’s visit – not for me, but for some of the people in Christchurch. I respect their right to enjoy that, as I respect the right of some to get something out of today, as I respect the right of some to think today isn’t the right time for them. I don’t respect the political point scorers.

      • Gus 3.2.2

        Just accept that you will never get people to agree and thats fine because we are humans and have free will to voice our differing opinions in this Country. But for the sake of what is left of the credibility of the Labour party shut the fuck up about moaning about Key and photo ops. It makes us look like such a bunch of mean spirited pricks and opens us up to the same crap over HC private (but televised visit). When will you learn. Build everyone up and we will win. Cut everyone who doesn’t agree with our viewpoint and will will surely lose. Have some fucking dignity.

      • Swampy 3.2.3

        People on this blog complained when Key went off to Greymouth to do his bit after Pike River. Basically I would guess most of the opposition is really political dislike of John Key.

  4. RedLogix 4

    I’m uncomfortable politicising this. At the same time I think it’s too soon. Too many raw emotions, too many folk who have more immediate, conflicting priorities.

    In six or twelve months time it would have been a unifying, healing event.

    • Pascal's bookie 4.1

      The problem I see with it is that they decided to style it as the Big Official Memorial with its Day Off and all the Big Names Will be in Attendence, Come one Come all.

      I think that some sort of event at this time has its place, enough people seem to want one. But I think the way they have done it confuses what could be a first step in the healing process with something further along in the process than where many people are at.

      Memorials are where we remember historical events, and this is still current events. I think it’s that message fail that is causing the angst. If you don’t feel up to a big event at this point, it’s unfair to be made to feel bad about that because you are ‘spoiling the big day’ or that there is a duty to go because it is ‘The Memorial’.

    • Tigger 4.2

      Holding the ceremony now was a political decision. It’s already politicised. The right will try to squash criticism of it because that’s ‘indecent’ but that’s just an attack line.

      Here’s my key test: why is there a groundswell, including locally, against this memorial. Any appropriate memorial wouldn’t have attracted such robust criticism. This isn’t fringe people saying it shouldn’t be held. These are people in Christchurch and people who’ve been affected by it.

    • Ron 4.3

      I undrstand your discomfort at politicising the event. That’s what Ket et al are relying on. Any criticism is “petty politics”.

    • “I’m uncomfortable politicising this.”

      I understand your reticence, RL, but saying that is like saying about the earthquake “I’m uncomfortable ‘tragedising’ this.”

      The earthquake was a tragedy. This memorial service is a political event, just in the same way that ANZAC Day, Labour Day, Queen’s Birthday and all the ‘Provincial Days’ are, similarly, political events. Such days, perhaps, should not be ‘party political’, but that doesn’t stop them being quintessentially political events with political repercussions and functions – e.g., maintenance of public support for, and legitimation of, the nation state and its established authorities. The political by no means halts at the borders of deeply distressing human experiences. In fact, it is where the political has its primary home, arising as it most often does from conflict over who suffers and why.

      I think what you really mean is that you don’t want to upset further people who are already upset and suffering. That is a completely understandable, human and humane response, which I share.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Meaningless, premature symbolism.

    Some families do not even have their loved ones’ bodies in the ground yet.

    • aj 5.1

      I agree with CV

    • Luva 5.2

      Far from meaningless. It might be for you and it might be for some locals. But the huge number of people that turn up to the memorial today will demostrate to you cv that today has a hell of a lot of meaning

    • Swampy 5.3

      Some never will. The 29 Pike River dead being an obvious comparison.

      • Colonial Viper 5.3.1

        Yes Swampy, some will never receive their loved ones bodies, except there are still a dozen or two in the morgue in this case, not yet returned. So slightly different.

  6. I’m glad Key and Parker have secured more airtime with this event. I was starting to miss their blanket PR and photo op coverage. I hope Bob wears his hi vis and Access All Areas laminated tags eh. So’s i can pick him out from the rest of the nobs and send some extra love his way.

    Can’t wait to see the coverage. Key is such an inspiring and powerful orator, so eloquent and empathic. I hope Gerry the hut gets to say his piece too. He’s so on the ball that man. A tireless one and a half man bureaucratic wrecking machine. All that and the chance to see Prince Wills in the flesh ?

    Given the choice of groceries and gas for the week or blowing it on a day trip to Hagley to meet our betters. I know what i’d rather choose…A pic with His Royal Highness and the Rights Honourable Smile n Wave and Sideshow, with maybe Gerry the Hut and Blinglish throwin up sets in the background !

    The comfort that would bring in times of distress were i still a Churtown resident goes beyond words…

    …no really !!!

    • ZeeBop 6.1

      Packer is the face of the Earthquake, and his retirement at the next council election will be closure for many, closure that the farce in the park today is not providing. Elections
      are all about what you are going to do for me, not what you have done, or could not do.

    • Pete 7.1

      Hey Daveo – look at whether anyone turns up today.

      There is still a lot of stress and pressure in Christchurch, it’s a very difficult time for many people there, I don’t care if they vent about this or anything else, that’s understandable.

      I don’t understand why other people, in the comforts of their non-wrecked homes in non-wrecked towns and cities, try to make political hay while the sun hasn’t shone well on many in Christchurch. Let those who want to have their day in the sun.

      I was surprised about the timing – I guess it’s to fit with the prince’s schedule – but it’s not about me. I won’t be watching it, if I was in Christchurch I might not care about going. But it’s not about me.

      Maybe they should have a proper memorial later in the year, 25th November? Then you’d have something to really moan about.

      • Armchair Critic 7.1.1

        look at whether anyone turns up today
        It’s the only show in town. No work, no school, no trip to the beach/river (polluted), no wander around the shops (they’re shut, and in any case most wallets are not overflowing) etc. The alternative is what?
        Of course people will turn up. It’s that or stay at home and continue the clean up. I’m picking many will pick the latter option.

      • lprent 7.1.2

        25th November?

        The day before the election?

        Don’t you think that would cause problems for all of those people doing last minute campaigning and the election workers trying to organize the booths?

        Not to mention all of the fuss about it being made overtly political by placing a national photo op for the PM at the end of a political campaign?

        Pleeze check your preferred date 🙂

        • Pete 7.1.2.1

          Ah, that date was deliberate, I’d accept that a few political moans were justified then.

          I wonder, if Labour win the elction and there is an expected occasion next February 22, I wonder if Phil would stay in his office that day so he doesn’t appear to be photo-oppong.

          • lprent 7.1.2.1.1

            I think that the point being raised here is that it is just too soon after the quake to put in the amount of effort required to run this event.

            There are still many people in Christchurch needing some basics like toilets, water, habitations are uninhabitable, and even some still missing power. So they’re putting 78 bogs at this event while there has been a real shortage of portable toilets? Why is this event the priority for allocating scarce resources?

            I’d be less irritated (and I suspect so would many people in Christchurch) in Feb 22 when presumably they aren’t crapping in their garden, are able to have a shower, and have had time to bury their friends and family.

            That strange sense of priority is the issue. To me, and obviously many people in Christchurch, that is why the question of if it is just a photo op is an issue.

            • Pete 7.1.2.1.1.1

              I’ve got no argument withn most of that, certainly priorities have to be considered – but so does moral. They don’t have much to enjoy there at the moment, and not much to look forward to, a lot of sport has had to move out of town (not just rugby).

              This may or may not improve moral overall, but it’s an attempt to do that. It could be called a photo op for thousands.

              Anyway, whether it’s an inspirational idea or the wrong thing at the wrong time, it’s happening, so I hope some people get something positive out of it.

              There’s something positive for me, I’m traveling tomorrow (passing through Christchurch) so won’t be checking out all the blog grizzles about the PM’s speech – I predict that’s what will be happening. Not lunatics out under a full moon, it will be just another daily excuse.

              Oh bugger, it’s already started, someone else can see in the future.

              • felix

                The fact that you missed the start because you were here being political rather puts the lie to all your pious sanctimony about others politicising the day.

              • Rosy

                Moral – of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethnical: moral attitudes.

                Morale – emotional or mental condition with respect to cheerfulness, confidence, zeal, etc., especially in the face of opposition, hardship, etc.: the morale of the troops.

                Sorry to be pedantic but as you wrote moral twice it wasn’t a typo… you were either looking to improve moral(s) – not a bad aim, or you meant morale.

            • Swampy 7.1.2.1.1.2

              The toilets they put there can’t be used in suburbs. I believe they are containers of multiple toilets specifically designed for large events which are plumbed into a separate in-ground holding tank.

              practically every house outside the CBD has power as of now.

              • lprent

                Good to know. I suspect that they could use them where though – large retirement sites, university, construction worker camps, army camps, etc.

                Also good to see the overnight stream of comments return (never thought I would say that). You’ll have to tell us how your earthquake went.

                Only regular I haven’t seen online from ChCh is Nick S

                • Swampy

                  Actually the story as of now (quoted in the Star I think) is that there are more portaloos now in the city than are actually needed, because of the distribution of chemical toilets to households. In other words no one is really being deprived.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Again its an issue where you can say no one is being deprived, but unless someone has done a systematic survey of each suburban area, you do not really know.

  7. ianmac 8

    John Key accompanied the Royal Prince to the West Coast. It seemed curious to me that when TV 3 news glimpsed him walking behind the Prince the camera jerked slightly to put Key out of shot. Have they been told to down-play the Key part, because people are starting to resent the photo-op label? Will watch the play today during the memorial.

    I don’t quite understand memorial services anyway. Loss is rather more personal than public.

  8. mike 9

    When will the luck run out for these hollowmen and their disgusting PR hobbits? I wanted a howling so’wester but it’s turned out a perfect day! Bah!

  9. outofbed 10

    So “grandiose empty gesture” hits the international news wires

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/nz-quake-service-grandiose-empty-gesture-20110318-1bzhk.html

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/mar/17/prince-william-christchurch-earthquake-damage

    “Looking on the bright side, I guess the homeless, sorry, displaced, will be able to go to Hagley Park to finally get to use a toilet. Some affected colonials might even get a glimpse of Prince William’s rapidly decreasing hairline.”

    • Swampy 10.1

      The first link gets redirected to something much less political. The SMH must have seen through the earlier negative condemnatory article, good on them.

  10. Bill 11

    From todays Guardian

    Prime Minister John Key will also be at the service, along with soprano Hayley Westenra, who is from Christchurch and will be singing during the event.

    Reads to me like a humble comma has saved us from a truly awful spectacle.:o)

  11. ianmac 12

    Actually does anyone know who decided on the Memorial Service? Parker? CCC? or was it another edict from the PM’s office? (Nanny State? We in Wellington are doing this for your own good Christchurch.”)

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      The first reports I recall was from Key/Government talking about it.

    • Bright Red 12.2

      it was the gummit.

      I think Parker initially said it was too soon, or had said a later date would be better before the date was announced.

    • Hilary 12.3

      Seems the timing came from PM’s office, after someone realised Prince William would be nearby in Oz. Apparently the PM was advised against having it so early, but probably the PR value of royalty over rode any other concerns.

  12. Speaking Sense to Unions 13

    I take it Labour will be boycottting then if this is just a photo op.

    [lprent: Why would r0b or the people commenting here be speaking for the Labour party? You’ve read our about haven’t you? And you were warned about this under another alias in April last year.

    So I must insist on an full and clear answer or retraction because this sounds like a repeated trolling offense to me. ]

    • Tigger 13.1

      Labour can’t win. Don’t go or go they’re damned. Going is the smarter move.

      Same with any of us – they’re allowed to disagree with the day and still turn up and respect that it’s taking place.

    • Speaking Sense to Unions 13.2

      I can’t see where I was asking anyone to speak on behalf of anyone else.

      [lprent: Bullshit. You were implying it because no-one here had even mentioned Labour, and you have a track record of trying to associate this site with Labour. It was how I interpreted it, and that the moderators viewpoint is the one that counts.

      Banned until November 27th – because I really can’t be bothered moderating idiots (trying to lawyer a moderator?) between now and then. ]

      • Speaking Sense to Unions 13.2.1

        seems a bit arbitray to me, you could take it that I was making a distinction between The Standard and Labour as Goff is attending so he might not think this is just a photo op in contrast to this post.

        Or he could think that and be attending anyway. Whatever, people can comment without having to feel they need to represent Labour.

        [lprent: That is the nature of moderating. It is a judgement on some basis of fact and evidence that eventually requires an arbitrary judgement of intent. If you’d wanted to say your explanation above then you should have said it in the first instance rather than using a open-ended statement trolling tactic. Since you left your statement open-ended, then as a moderator I took a viewpoint on it and called you on it.

        You then chose to not put up the explanation above (which would probably have been acceptable), but chose instead to put up a ambiguous lawyer style non-answer in the chance I gave you to explain yourself. You just got banned for stupidly lawyering rather than explaining, and you should know better – you’ve been around this site for a while. ]

        • Speaking Sense to Unions 13.2.1.1

          I genuinely was not asking anyone at the Standard to speak in behalf of Labour. However, I can see how it has come across like that.

          [lprent: Ok – you’re haven’t been too troll like over the years and your content is adequate. I can accept that. Dropped to a week for wasting my time. I’d suggest that you treat warnings from moderators as opportunities to change behavior rather than a reason to make a smart-arse comment. ]

  13. Rev Dr Terry Creagh 14

    Key has been and still is offering the Christchurch people premature resolution to their grief. First the people, especially those most deeply affected, must be allowed time and space to work through the many phases of grief essential before contemplating any kind of future (especially the blissful type of future that our shallow (but “prayerful” ha ha) Prime Minister promises. Present promises will be about as effective as ever so many of his previous “promises” have been(nothing doing once the worst is over and the public pays. What is the betting the service will be led by pompous bishops and other church leaders. Key and Wills – what a huge Tory photo-op (with international television coverage at that).

    • Swampy 14.1

      Yes, church leaders. I presume you are one of them, or have been previously. I don’t see a problem with having leaders of churches involved in a service, do you?

  14. Pete 15

    There’s an accidental plus re the timing of today’s service. Christchurch was mostly overshadowed by the multiple Japan disasters. This has helped draw attention back to Christchurch, where there is still a hell of a lot to do, many problems to work through, and many people have a lot to cope with.

    Christchurch needs our support, still. Not our squabbling.

  15. Chris Heenan 16

    THE SUFFERING PEOPLE OF CHRISTCHURCH
    Reading the news and listening to the news it’s becoming obvious that this memorial service is becoming what one news commentator called ” a great outdoor occasion” What self-centered, self seeking ,self deluded leader dreamed up this travesty of a memori…al service. It was obvious from the start that it would turn into a media fest. There are radio stations drumming up support making it sound like concert in the park. Looking at the players from out of town on the stage looking down on the victims of a shattering life changing experience only arouses in me deep, strong feelings of disgust. ON THIS DAY I AM ASHAMED TO BE A NEW ZEALANDER. I WILL REMEMBER FRIDAY 18 MARCH AS A DAY OF SHAME, NOT A DAY OF REMEMBRANCE. MAY GOD BLESS AND COMFORT THE SUFFERING PEOPLE OF CHRISTCHURCH. See more
    by: Chris Heenan

    [lprent: please don’t SHOUT. ]

  16. fatty 17

    I won’t be going, even though its a 10min walk from my place. People are still in need of basic services in Christchurch.
    Bob, John, Jul and Prince Will can fuck off or grab a shovel.

  17. happynz 18

    agree with Chris @12:07 and fatty @12:13

    Nah, I’m also hanging close to the house today. I don’t get the whole ‘Ain’t we all honoured that the Royal Nana’s grandson is here’ hogwash. My wife went for a stroll to Hagley Park though hoping for a glimpse of the balding one ‘cos being from Thailand and having a deep reverence for the king of Thailand, maybe she is more in tune with the whole royal thing-a-ma-gum than I am.

  18. Armchair Critic 19

    12:30
    And now for a party political broadcast, from the National Party.

  19. Marty G 20

    Tuned in on natrad. strangers in suits mouthing banal, trite speeches that other people wrote. Can’t bear to listen to more than a few seconds at a time.

    • Inventory2 20.1

      Do you include Phil Goff’s speech in that Marty?

      • Marty G 20.1.1

        What, because I would never criticise Goff? I’m not sure what blog you’ve been reading…

        Anyway, yes. Goff has to do it if Key does but he was the only one of the speakers, apart from parker, who was actually in the quake. That should have been a great base to speak from but he just talked about the emotions of others he saw, not how he felt himself, like he was a detached observer.

        • Pete 20.1.1.1

          I’ve thought that about the mayor lately, he seems to be operating in sort of like his own The Parker Show, but everyone else are the real ones. He’s played a very demanding role, detaching is probably a survival mode, a way of coping with everything he’s having to try and deal with. I hope he manages to come back down to earth some times, or some time soon.

        • lprent 20.1.1.2

          I2 does seem to have a curious memory.

          Actual events matter less than what he thinks how other people should act in his ideal world. You know where unionists always act like they are in a Trotsky alternative universe. Capitalists trickle down the wealth rather than pissing down on everyone else. Earthquakes damage can be repaired by private enterprise without interference from civil servants. Tax cuts can be achieved without the government going into debt during a recession despite what those people at the Treasury say. Authors at The Standard never criticize the Labour party. The Standard is run from the 9th floor of the beehive. etc…

          I’m sure that he has ruts worn in his brain because he will see something that doesn’t conform to these ideals, he appears to process it, and then simply forgets it when he next makes a comment on the subject. He appears to have failed in that process that says to abstract from experience and change your ideas.

          Either that or there are several age-related diseases that affect the processing of short-term memory into long-term that can explain this…

          But it is a feature of the blog life in NZ. Inventory2 is always locked into a world that none of the rest of us share.

          • Inventory2 20.1.1.2.1

            Lighten up Lprent. I actually thought that Goff’s speech was very good in the circumstances, as was the PM’s. My comment was simply a light-hearted dig at MartyG’s “strangers in suits mouthing banal, trite speeches that other people wrote” remark; nothing more; nothing less.

            Meanwhile, the consensus of those who attended seems to be that the service today has been helpful; an opportunity for the community to come together, reflect and start the process of rebuilding shattered lives. And despite what the Moon Man says, I’m off to Christchurch tomorrow to catch up with whanau, friends and staff, and help out in whatever way that I can.

            • lprent 20.1.1.2.1.1

              Couldn’t resist the stir. After all you write on us using stereotypes. I thought it was only fair to return the favor in a similar vein.

              Didn’t watch the stuff on TV. Friday night is one of the few times in the week when Lyn and I try to spend time together without work, volunteering, or the outside world interfering.

        • JS 20.1.1.3

          I agree. This would have been one time when speaking about personal experience would have been a good idea.

        • seeker 20.1.1.4

          @Marty 2.26

          re Phil Goff’s Speech (quoted from Labour News 18.3.11)

          ” At 12.51 pm on Tuesday the 22nd of February, Christchurch and the lives of its people changed forever.

          So violent was the earthquake that struck this city that buildings crumbled, roads cracked, homes were broken and families were torn apart.

          None of us who were here when that happened will ever forget that experience.

          Seeing the trauma it caused. The anxiety as people frantically tried to phone their husbands, wives, parents, children and friends to see if they were alright.

          Seeing the terrible damage done to this city. Buildings devastated and heritage lost. People killed, injured and trapped in collapsed buildings. The eerie silence of the central city whose time stopped at 12:51.

          At the PGC building, I stood with those waiting with a mixture of hope and worry for their family members and colleagues trapped in the ruins to be rescued……”

          Didn’t sound too detached to me. I could not watch the ‘service’ as I was far too upset at the idea of a ‘memorial’ service when the earthquake horror has only just recently happened and is still with us- it is still too present to be a memory. However one of the few little pieces I squinted at was speech snippets and I thought Goff’s sounded real and sincere not like Key’s usual aberrations – hence I looked the whole speech up on Labours’ website and it still appears totally sincere and very becoming for such a weird occasion.

  20. Marty G 21

    Oh god. And now dave dobyn doing loyal. Wasn’t that the america’s cup theme song?

    I like some of dd’s music but this just adds to the feeling this is all an external, artificial, made for tv production with the people of christchurch playing the extras.

    • Peter Rabbit 21.1

      I wonder when they will play Chumbawamba’s – I get knocked down?

      • pollywog 21.1.1

        …or scribe doing a rendition of Will Smiths

        BOOM…shake shake shake the room ?

        • felix 21.1.1.1

          Come on guys, that’s a bit on the uncool side isn’t it? Too soon.

          • lprent 21.1.1.1.1

            At least my mandate doesn’t cover being a member of the taste police….

          • pollywog 21.1.1.1.2

            Yeah sorry…prolly shoulda held off til ‘The Ring Cycle’ is complete, get the grieving and closure thing sorted and wait for things get back to normal in Christchurch .

            That’ll be monday afternoon then…

    • felix 21.2

      Indeed Marty. My first thought on hearing the song start was of Willie Nelson in “Wag The Dog”.

    • indiana 21.3

      …be glad that it wasn’t a rendition of a Kenny Rodgers song…

      • felix 21.3.1

        I had a yellow one once, but one of the wheels turned backwards and I couldn’t get past the first chapter.

  21. I’ve already expressed my opinion of this day but I’ll elaborate further. This date was chosen, I believe, in order to draw a line under the grieving phase as soon as seemly. This is being done so that the government can then take over the process (after next week’s Cabinet meeting) and start to prioritise the opportunities for big business in the rebuild (which, I predict, will in some ways be very rapid – ‘rushed’ – and put in place “realities on the ground” to ensure certain interests will be provided for.

    If I’m right, then this is a highly political and cynical act that is deliberately designed to clear the way for the ‘important business’ that will now begin. Ngaire Button (Christchurch’s Deputy Mayor) has already been publicly shamed by Key and Parker for her claim that the government was about to take over the process completely and take decisions out of the hands of the people of Christchurch by appointing Commissioners, a la ECAN.

    I hope some journalist pursues the back story on that very curious outburst from Button.

    On the other point, if some people (e.g., from the largely unaffected suburbs) want to go to the service – fine. They’ve been a bit ‘snookered’ even if they were concerned about the timing because this is it and, irrespective of promises that there will be other opportunities to remember officially, the ‘big one’ is now. Some will feel that, if they don’t go to the big one, they are being disrespectful.

    I didn’t go. Had a nice brunch out with my family at Drexels and now just wiling away the day. I’ll do my memorialising in my own way.I want to make sure I show some respect for the dead in my city, and for my city. If I went along I would not be doing that, given what I believe about the reasons behind this day being nominated.

    I realise that reason for not going will not apply to others who have gone.

    • Swampy 22.1

      Button’s claim is pretty well unbelievable, even if it is true that Tolley rushed to appoint a commissioner to Linwood College. It’;s hard to imagine what planet Button was on when she made that statement. The Ecan situation and that of the city council are poles apart.

  22. gobsmacked 23

    I’m not in Christchurch, so it’s not for me to tell people there what they should/shouldn’t have done today. If they went along and enjoyed it, good on ’em.

    But watching on TV, one thing really did grate … God, God, God, God, God.

    I’m usually a tolerant agnostic and some of my best friends (etc …), but – the last half an hour of being preached at really turned me into a militant atheist. Was it meant to be a religious service? Who decided NZ was a theocracy?

    God of earthquakes and tsunamis, you can keep him.

    • Swampy 23.1

      So then we can presume that Key (who is not a Christian himself) did not set the agenda.

    • Colonial Viper 23.2

      God of earthquakes and tsunamis, you can keep him.

      Don’t forget the spent nuclear fuel in damaged storage pools. Heating up, melting down and combusting to spread radiological material over thousands of square kilometres, for shits and giggles.

  23. ianmac 24

    There was a slight blip for John Campbell in his preamble when he said of the Prince “….. who is here on the behind, er the behalf of the Queen…….”
    Do speeches like those today have to be so uninspiring? “No risk” territory there today. Noticed that John Key made his careful speech reading from his script and that Phil Goff at least spoke with only occasional reference to notes. Speeches are so forgettable aren’t they.

  24. Rachael Ford 25

    Having that memorial when we just buried my uncle ex ctv was like a kick in the guts so I boycotted – I can’t even imagine how much it increased the stress for those going thru the terrible waiting still. Gross indecency – shame on Parker, Key and the churches. I don’t believe any other country would have done this before identifications let alone burials are even finished. It was a Parker ego trip.

  25. Rachael Ford 26

    I personally think it was also done now so that foreign Nats would nebver gain interest (via premature closure/forgetting) in post September risk mismanagement and therefore be at less risk of noting that the “inquiry” (term used lightly) has the wrong parameters – parameters focused only on buildings and that not so incidentally protect the true villains ie Parker, Key and ECan which all should have been prepared with decent geotech forecasting and civil defense measures for seismic lensing that any geo worth their degree ought have warned would massively increase the impacts beyond the tipped 7. There are many real questions these devos try to put off the radar

  26. Bob Stanforth 27

    It would appear that an estimated 30,000 + people disagreed and decided they wanted to be a part of this. By all means disagree with holding such an event, everyone will be different as regards timing, but to (a) ignore the fact that the community (through representatives, not all of you so don’t bother biting back about that) was consulted (they were) and (b) call JK, Parker et al the names as many of you have is truly pathetic.

    If 30,000 people – or even 20,000, margin of error in calling crowd numbers taken into account – showed up, that to me, and to most people I would suspect, says that this was something that a large section of the community wanted to be a part of. And even from that perspective alone – community – this was a good thing. Feel free to flame away, yet again people decide with their feet – and attend – and a minority on here flail away madly with pathetic name calling. How puerile.

    • r0b 27.1

      Feeling better now Bob? Over 100,000 were expected, if 30,000+ turned up, well good for them. At a quick look above you seem to “flail away madly with pathetic name calling” as much as anyone.

      Y’all enjoy your weekend now.

      • Bob Stanforth 27.1.1

        Sorry, 100,000 expected by whom, source? Or more mad wank?

        And if you can read, I said a minority. If you put yourself in that, by all means feel free. Where did I name call, apart from right here – arse.

        Oh, and I am. Lovely drop of hard earned white wine, do have one for me.

        • Bright Red 27.1.1.1

          It’s kind of lucky that 70% of the expected crowd stayed away in disgust. That only had “78 toilets and 10 ”large urinals” on. 1 per thousand isn’t a good number.

          • Bob Stanforth 27.1.1.2.1

            Please. Because the media say it, its a fact? OMFG. Since when do facts ever matter to the media when they try and tell – and sell – a story??? Source yes, reasoned and reasonable, not even slightly. No source for the estimate whatsoever, therefore plucked out of the flabby buttocks of a sub editor. And repetition – repeating – doesn’t make it better.

            Try and find an official source that states “we are planning on 100,000 people turning up” and the planning that goes with that, and I will apologise for my presumption. Will you for allowing media speculation to masquerade as “fact”?

            ASW: halls, rhymes with balls, lots of them.

            • r0b 27.1.1.2.1.1

              I guess you didn’t click on the last link then. A pity, you could have saved yourself a lot of ranting. TTFN.

              • Bob Stanforth

                LOL, ah yes, more repeating, makes it real. Said it before, say it again. Arse. Even better, its on the interweb, its MUST be a fact!! Shall I source some interweb facts for you? Looking for a bigger penis, have I got a deal for you!!!

                [You asked for a reference to support an assertion and it was given to you from several news sources. You are at liberty to produce either a reasoned argument against the evidence produced, or link to your own reference that contradicts it.

                Simply making a mockery is an offense that will be moderated out if you ignore this warning…RL]

                • infused

                  That’s not a legit reference.

                • Um Bob

                  You asked who expected 100,000 attendees

                  R0b gave you multiple sources.

                  You then went kinda weird.

                  Feeling better?

                  • Bob Stanforth

                    I expected 25,000 people to attend. 30,000 turned up.

                    Amazing wasnt it?

                    There you go, source, fact, according to some. Must be true. Right?

                    • McFlock

                      “I expected 25,000 people to attend. 30,000 turned up”

                      Well, hell – I guess you’re the Ken Ring of events management.
                      They should have hired you to do the market estimates for the Dunedin Stadium, too.

                • Bob Stanforth

                  RL, thats fair, let me try this then:

                  With no source quoted, anyone could have said it, yes? Its is highly likely, with no formal source noted, that a sub has pulled a number from aforementioned LHA, kind of like quotes from a “friend of a celebrity” or a “source close to the actress…” etc.

                  Simply repeating the fact that an utterly unqualified stab in the dark has been made does not make it even slightly worthy of interest, let alone making it a “fact” – if it was someone at the event organisers, maybe, but note that, attribute. For all we know, it could be the town drunk.

                  Per the repeated story, 100, 000 were expected by no one other than an unnamed, non attributed source. That’s not ‘fact’ thats fill. But please feel free to correct me 🙂

      • Swampy 27.1.2

        And how many more watched on TV from their homes.

  27. Craig Glen Eden 28

    Shit Bob you look so desperate following on from Racheal Ford, as for your geusstaments 30.000 20.000 which was it, seems like alot of people didnt go. Its you that looks pathetic Bob. Condolences to the people of Christchurch, those who went I hope it helped those who didnt I hope you find some peace after your loss real soon.

    • Bob Stanforth 28.1

      What, you deliberately obfuscate, or you fail basic comprehension, which is it? The estimates were 30K, so yes, a lot didn’t go, as is normal for large public events, there is no normal for this. But a lot took time out to do just that. Yay for them, it was offered, and accepted. Someone read the mood right. I wonder who that was? Phil In went, wonder why?

    • Swampy 28.2

      I don’t know where you live, do you have a venue in your city that can hold 100,000? We don’t. I never heard they thought that many would turn up.

    • Swampy 28.3

      It’s quite plain why a lot of people didn’t go, there weren’t that many facilities available, they would have had to brave very bad roads and traffic jams. People are finding in this city that a trip that used to take 20 minutes can now take over an hour.

      So much easier to watch it on TV.

  28. Sam 29

    How about we all just shut up and nibble on the apple.

  29. Rachael Ford 30

    Look Bob Stanforth or Parker or whoever you are. Clearly the majority voted with their feet by not attending this bad taste affair. A lot will soon be revealed, but before accusing me of being the rude one to Parker – Key et al i think you need to consider their responsibility in this disaster which is and will be seen to be large – ince a correctly designed inquiry is instigated.
    I have every right to call them complete asses given they invited my family to attend this charade EVEN THOUGH we just spent over 2 sleepless highly stressed weeks waiting for a body they had for a week but failed to inform us they did. I was invited to attend after exhausting all funds traveling to chch to support the Aunt widow who raised me and was alo attending othr victims funerals as they were workmates, after we finally got the body of my uncle who part raised me we traveled to a remote part of the Waikato (3 day tangi) where the traditional ceremonies saw us get virtually no slep for 3 days… then on the heels of this Parker expects me (who lives in Welly) to rush back to CHCH for the ceremony in a state of complete mental stress and exhaustion.
    And my family were prolly in a better space than many given we had the body \(which feels much better than not). In no universe is a memorial held at such haste decent. An apology would be good and I take my hat off to leaders like Dalziel whose objection was made by refusing VIP seating. It is very sick and only very depraved leaders could acquiesce to such window dressing. I feel you’ve little life experience – maybe you are a cheerleader for the A/B’s?

    • Swampy 30.1

      Look dear, you don’t know how many were watching on TV instead. So Liane D refused VIP seating. I presume she still attended so I actually fail to see what her trivial protest achieved. It just seems to be a lot of unnecessary politicing by Labour to do this.

  30. Pete 31

    Rachel, it sounds like you have every right to call anyone you want to a complete ass – just as the however many thousand had the right to attend for their own reasons if they chose.

    I’d be surprised if Parker expected you to rush back and attend, I don’t think anyone was expected to attend, it was available to those who chose to go.

    • Colonial Viper 31.1

      This will all come out in the wash. Key got to fill out his photo album a bit more, it was a memorable day out, more to come.

  31. Rachael Ford 32

    The point here Pete is that had they put a more sensible time frame on it it could have been useful for and attended by the majority who would have liked a memorial service. The timing was not inclusive – it was very problematic for those most affected – therefore insensitive, ridiculous and uncaring… not to mention disrespectful.
    As per Press blog item above the service clearly did not have victims interests at heart and had to have some other motive. What other country runs grand memorials whilst still in a State of Emergency. Was Erebus memorialised while the plane still smoked?
    Also re the community being consulted as to if it wanted this I call BS. I rang the PMs office and milked the service organiser who told me Ngai tahu agreed in a meeting weeks ago that was not even documented – so it was all kneejerk. Just you try an OIA request re consultation and you’ll find that only Bobs your uncle was perhaps asked… forcefully?! I was an official victim attending Burnside every day and was not consulted.

  32. reid 33

    Meaningless, premature symbolism.

    Apparently CV lots and lots of people disagreed. They were the ones clapping. Didn’t you hear them?

    • Colonial Viper 33.1

      It was good to give people an emotional release.

      As I said previously reid, the ball is still in play. Christchurch has to be rebuilt and revitalised. Camera ops and John Key filling up his photo album aside, I am waiting with anticipation.

      • Jim Nald 33.1.1

        Why not go the whole hog with the donkey? [Please excuse the mixing of metaphors here]

        Post a webpage with all the pics of Pree Wee and Kee in the past couple of days.

        For those who abhor the latest tasteless media whoring and for those who are pro-Republic, let those pics on the webpage be firmly imprinted on their minds and get them to a ballot box.

        Come to think of it, why not have a webpage with all his photo-ops to date, eg at least one per week since 9 Nov 2008? Might as well give him a hand with his autobiography, erm, picture scrapbook?

  33. Rob 34

    Brilliant contributions by Melissa Lee on twitter:

    “Do you need to get political on a day like this with that stupid red tie?” (referring to Goff)

    “if he wore a black suit I can understand as it would be Canterbury collies (sic – she meant colours) but — tacky!”

    “hey I’m wearing black and red for Canterbury. No issues with that. Just phil. Did he have to today of all days?”

    • Pete 34.1

      I agree that the comments on what colour anything anyone wears are pathetic. What Lee twits is embarrassing (or should be).

      The media is as bad as anyone (TV3 anyway) in bothering to highlight it.

      • Rob 34.1.1

        Oh FFS don’t shoot the messenger Pete – a politician who puts their foot in their mouth is newsworthy, get real.

        • Pete 34.1.1.1

          I turned off the item but thought it was just them bringing it up, but I checked their news site and yeah, they were highlighting her stupidity.

          • Rob 34.1.1.1.1

            Explain to me how you can vote for a list MP.

            Especially a list MP from Auckland when you reside in Dunedin.

            A serious plea to the moderators, can we limit this guy to a manageable, say, 20 posts a day? There’s only so much unintelligble cr@p I can take.

            [Sorry but that’s not what moderation is for….RL]

            • Colonial Viper 34.1.1.1.1.1

              If not a paid shrill, my bets are on a random word generator.

            • Pete 34.1.1.1.1.2

              It’s quite simple really – party vote determines how far up the list gets into parliament. The quality of the list is an indication of the quality of the party. Seriously, you didn’t know that’s how the list works?

              How do you vote? Not based on glossy mail drops? Or what colour tie the party leader wears?

              • Colonial Viper

                Trolling side track.

                Rob asked a very simple question – how can you vote for a specific list MP.

                You derailed the inquiry into the quality of the list, colour of ties etc.

                Classic shallow trolling.

                [Actually Pete has given a coherent answer above. It’s not the role of moderation to referee the outcome of a conversation. I generally try to follow Lynn’s example of tolerating all but the most most idiotic, blatant trolls. So far Pete has shown all the classic signs of being a newbie and brash… bit like an annoying younger sibling constantly making irritating noises to get attention. But troll?… my call is no. RL]

                • Rob

                  LOL. So someone who was 37th on the party list in 2008 is a factor you take into consideration when casting your party vote? My irritation is turning into amusement, thanks.

                  @RL (7.43): I know – it was a comment made more in hope than anything else

                  @RL (7.57): Someone who has close to 9,500 posts on kiwiblog is not a newbie, IMHO

                  [Sorry but I lead a sheltered life and my mum never lets me play in the sewer.:-) If Pete is accustomed to that place then he’s got a learning curve ahead of him at The Standard. ..RL]

                  • Pete

                    So you wouldn’t make any judgement of National on Pansy Wong or Melissa Lee if they were down the list? Chris Carter down Labour’s list, David Garrett at the break point on the Act list? Michael Laws if he was 5-ish on the NZF list?

                    Obviously they are not as important as the top of the list, but they are part of the party, and some of them are future cabinet members. The weakest links in a caucus can be a major burden on the party. I think the lists are ignored too much, and then are complained about as a major weak point of MMP. If we are stuck with the list we have to look at it more and use it better.

                    • Rob

                      I will rephrase – someone who is 37th on a party list is not a major factor in the allocation of my party vote. It is not even a minor factor. I would also suggest it is not a factor for 99.9% of the voting public.

                      Many voters do not have your sophistication Pete. They cast their vote on personal circumstance, a basic understanding of policy, not the depth of party lists.

                      If you allocate your party vote on the basis of such detailed analysis, good on you. Although I am surprised you have the time given how much of your day is spent posting on blogs.

                    • Pete

                      There will be a wide range of reasons why different people vote. I suggest that outside of party circles a basic understanding of policy is not a major criteria (except for some lolly scramble policies) – I think a basic misunderstanding of policy is more prevalent.

                      What proportion of voters do you think have a decent understanding of economic policy? Of S59? Of ETS? Of foreshore and seabed?

                      Can you explain the details of WFF without needing to refer to anything?

                      Opposing party misinformation is probably more influential than policy explanations. Take “bene bashing” as an example, compared to explaining what National (and the last government for that matter) are trying to do to reduce dependence and expenditure on benefits.

                      Parties need policies but it’s piffle for most people.

            • Armchair Critic 34.1.1.1.1.3

              Rob – Looks like it’s time to bait the troll into getting himself banned. Let the games begin.

      • Pascal's bookie 34.1.2

        But I thought you wanted pollies to be serious. If so, then you should think it’s good when the media highlights their foolishness so that you can vote against them.

        • Pete 34.1.2.1

          I wasn’t likely to vote for Lee before this. And this confirms I’d be very happy for her to retire from politics, and if she doesn’t then she gets shunted off the Nat List. If she ends up at a make-able position on the list it will figure in my decision in November – it will reflect pretty poorly on the Nat selections.

          • Pascal's bookie 34.1.2.1.1

            fair enough, but I was talking about your kneejerk criticism of the media which you claimed was just as bad.

    • Jim Nald 34.2

      “Do you need to get political on a day like this with that stupid red tie?” (referring to Goff)

      Dear Melissa, Do you need to get political on a day like this with that stupid line.

  34. Rachael Ford 35

    Doing it once but not doing it right sums it up for me – lots of people weren’t clapping either Reid versus how many would have showed up in a years time. Chch is not very English today with the lack of class shown.

    • Colonial Viper 35.1

      There will be a lot of people there February next year, when Goff leads the event.

      John Key had to get it in now, because of that.

      • grumpy 35.1.1

        A lot (including our family) didn’t go because of the gridlock Christchurch has become. For those outside the city who don’t know, the closure of the central city has caused the surrounding areas to be completely chokka with cars most of the day.

        We just couldn’t face the prospect – however we support the service and watched together on TV.

      • Swampy 35.1.2

        Oh I see. We have to have another one next year so Phil Goff can have one as well.

        Now, does that suggest that this is all about politics? LOL.

        • Colonial Viper 35.1.2.1

          1 year anniversaries after a major tragedy are the norm

          Not 3 week (!) ones.

          • Swampy 35.1.2.1.1

            When someone big dies there is a national funeral e.g. the US president.

            This time they haven’t had a national funeral, they have had a national memorial.

            When the US president dies they don’t wait a year to have a funeral.

  35. reid 36

    Doing it once but not doing it right sums it up for me – lots of people weren’t clapping either Reid versus how many would have showed up in a years time. Chch is not very English today with the lack of class shown.

    The media is usually good at picking the mood if not the facts Rachael and I wasn’t there, you were.

    I’m going to have to rely on that and my political intuition to tell me whether you’re right or not but thanks for the heads up on the possibility.

    CV what do you mean by Goff leading the February event? You’re not saying you think he’ll win the election are you? Crikey.

    Sorry folks, should have tracked the sub-thread. Apologies.

    • Rob 36.1

      “You’re not saying you think he’ll win the election are you? Crikey.”

      The gap is large, but not insurmountable. In all likelihood economic conditions will get worse between now and November which is traditionally bad for the incumbent Govt. The trouble for Labour is they have yet to show they have the smarts to capture those who are starting to get disenfranchised. Also factor in National complacency and the election is not a done deal, far from it.

      It may come down to who puts their foot in their mouth the least. Based on recent performance from both sides, it would be a brave soul to predict that.

      • reid 36.1.1

        The gap is large, but not insurmountable.

        It’s the sort of gap that Eddy Murphy faced in The Golden Child where he solved it by blowing dust into the chasm to expose the hidden pillars, but unfortunately I don’t think it’s going to be that simple for Phil.

        The RWC win or lose is a win for the govt, and unfortunately for Goff, he’s not it. In my calculation that puts a shine onto the issue you raise.

        I think foot in mouth is prevalent in Goff: e.g. ruling out Hone whereas Key’s career has taught him how to think fast and it shows in what he says. He’s very weak on oratory, he needs some serious training in that area, but that’s about his only serious political weakness I’ve so far identified in Key.

        As you say it does take a brave soul and anything can happen.

        I also don’t think you can read into electoral thinking the belief that National is complacent, in anyway, at the mo. And I suspect this belief will continue right through and beyond November.

        Too many emergencies have changed the landscape for the next few years at least, attitude-wise, re: complacency. It can’t and won’t be tolerated not by anyone over the next few years, that’s quite obvious already.

    • Colonial Viper 36.2

      CV what do you mean by Goff leading the February event? You’re not saying you think he’ll win the election are you? Crikey.

      I’m saying that Key has bet against holding the one year anniversary commemoration himself, one of the reasons he rushed a three week (!) commemoration.

      • reid 36.2.1

        He didn’t look like he was in panic mode today, or perhaps he was on the inside, he just didn’t indicate it to the rest of us, apart from you and maybe a few others.

        I’m not sure that means Phil will win the election.

        I quite liked the Bob Parker speech today. Very, very appropriate and moving.

  36. anon 37

    Rachael Ford , you are [deleted]

    [Personal attacks are not welcome here. Try again, see if you can make your point with a bit more respect this time. — r0b]

  37. Rob 38

    Nah r0b I’ll do it.

    Rachael Ford, you are most welcome to voice your opinion on here and I hope as the weeks and months roll by life returns to some normality for you and your community.

    • Swampy 38.1

      Yes I am a part of that community and I don’t agree with anything Rachel Ford Says.

  38. Swampy 39

    Looks like most of the opposition is politically motivated. Better not let John Key be prime ministerial in an election year. Prime Ministers are not supposed to be seen or heard in case it could be political and earthquakes or natural disasters are not supposed to happen in election year.

    • Colonial Viper 39.1

      Just asking the PM to be a PM and not a camera seeking showboat.

      A 3 week(!) commemoration. Who has ever heard of such a thing. And before some families have even received the bodies of their loved ones.

      • reid 39.1.1

        cathartic (comparative more cathartic, superlative most cathartic)
        purgative; inducing catharsis
        That releases emotional tension, especially after an overwhelming experience

        So you can take it either as something that’s ignoring the suffering or something that’s relieving it. Isn’t it the case that in human nature different people move through stages of trauma at different speeds.

        Last time I checked a few mins ago, the media wasn’t full of anguish but rather of inspiration for the apparently cathartic service in the second sense of that word. Isn’t that good, since it wasn’t for those of us who weren’t there, it was for them, and it looks like it worked. Great, for them.

        • Swampy 39.1.1.1

          Most of the media has been quite positive about the event except for the Press newspaper (which in a lot of its writing has been quite negative). But it’s about time the Press actually got on board with helping us to get back to normal instead of pandering to all the negative viewpoints out there.

      • Swampy 39.1.2

        Some people will never get their bodies, so maybe we should never have a funeral?

        This is the nearest thing to a national funeral.

  39. vto 40

    Did anyone get to shake His hand?

  40. Rachael Ford 41

    Thx Rob – at your service. Swampy my comments are not politically motivated merely dissenting like many others – I rather liked Key before this use of raw victims as props (a habit begun with SST alliances perhaps), but now I’ll just have to defect and find an alternative. Severely disappointed in this conduct – I thought Bronagh and his Jewish heritage might have given him a clue. If you need trauma counsellors en masse at a memorial service it is definitely premature my mental health degree suggests to me. So now we know his disorder – he jumps before thinking too hard, don’t trust those instincts so much JK. Or is it BP, both council and the PMs office was accusing the other of making the call the day before…

  41. Swampy 42

    If someone can put out a proper opinion poll showing percentages in favour/against that would go a long way to suggesting this might have some real teeth rather than looking super political and shallow as it does.

    As it is it appears you have a personal dislike of Parker, and perhaps of Key, which have impacted your viewpoint to some extent.

    Few people would have known that Labour MPs chose to refuse VIP seating which makes them look like a shallow political stunt.

    There is no right or wrong time, this particular time just happens to be close to when funerals would be being held so it is the closest thing to a national funeral and should be considered as such.

    • Of course when Key opted to stay to stay at home and meet Gillard instead of taking up 25 seats on the Erebus memorial flight, his original choice wasnt a shallow political stunt.

    • RobC 42.2

      The fact that few people knew that Labour MPs refused VIP seating is a good thing – they made a point without turning it into a “political stunt”. Good on them for a) doing something they felt was right b) not drawing attention to it

      On the other side, we have someone who uses public social media to draw attention to the colour of someone’s tie. That, to me, is “shallow”.

  42. Rachael Ford 43

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/4788002/A-mothers-memorial-day

    So it was too soon for bereaved Mum (yet to bury her kid) and for USAR staff per the Press’s truth cryer. New theory – they didn’t just throw it together cos Willy was in town – they did so because by the time a year is up… at least some stars of the show will be revealed by OIA’s to be not so lily white re their disaster prep.

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