Now that it is safely over, I feel safe in wishing Christchurch a “happy” anniversary. One year since the first big quake, and a year that changed the city and many thousands of lives forever. (As luck would have it I was in the same Chch bed that I was in a year ago when the first quake hit, and I was very glad to wake to a peaceful morning.) Christchurch is still in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, there’s so much going on that is difficult and stressful for so many people. And it’s going to drag on for a few years yet.
Two recent bits of Christchurch news. First, Gerry Brownlee breaking his promise to residential red zone residents. About the only good thing you can say about Brownlee here is that at least he steps up and personally owns it. But it’s a nasty move that will be shattering for some people. For what it would have cost the government, they should have honoured that promise.
Second, a little noticed legal decision with potentially huge impact. The High Court has found that EQC liability “resets”, and applies to each separate earthquake. That shifts a huge financial liability from the insurance companies (who will be laughing) to the government (not so much). My question for our legal experts – can the government appeal this? If so, in what time frame? You can bet that they will leave it until after the election if they can…
Anyway, stand strong Christchurch. All the very best for the challenges, and for the opportunities ahead.