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Happy anniversary Christchurch

Written By: - Date published: 6:49 am, September 5th, 2011 - 56 comments
Categories: accountability, disaster, Gerry Brownlee, law - Tags: ,

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.

56 comments on “Happy anniversary Christchurch ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Yes Brownlee had to own up, couldn’t let that creep around and damage Key’s brand.

    At least John Key “slept in Christchurch” as an act of “solidarity”. What a loser. How about creating 5,000 new jobs in Christchurch as a proper act of solidarity?

  2. tsmithfield 2

    And how about the fact that things are far better than they could have been without the governments help.

    The region has escaped a huge leap in unemployment because of the speed at which businesses handled the crisis and the more than $200 million the Government pumped into supporting them with a 14-week wage subsidy.

    Many firms have credited that money with saving their business from failure and staff from the dole queue.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      hey ts, a 14 week wage subsidy when it was clear that many businesses would not be able to get back up and running in under 12 months.

      Did you notice that at the end of 14 weeks, businesses started to go under at an even faster rate and people started leaving Christchurch long term when it was clear the Govt was going to do fuck all more to keep the Christchurch economy going?

      How generous.

      • kriswgtn 2.1.1

        yeah while down the road good ol boy Hubbard gets alot of $ which cudda been used to pay those wages for a bit longer………………….

        i have an late unvelining in CHCH to go to in 2 weeks and I for one am not looking forward to visit the place- the pictures my sister has sent me over the past year-you wont see them on the news…………….

        I found on youtube in weekend 4 videos recewntly uploaded by a worker inside the red zone in cbd- I watched 1

        its all gone

        ll find the link later today if any one interested-theres 24 mins of driving around worth in 4 vids and post em in open mike

      • tsmithfield 2.1.2

        CV: “hey ts, a 14 week wage subsidy when it was clear that many businesses would not be able to get back up and running in under 12 months.

        Did you notice that at the end of 14 weeks, businesses started to go under at an even faster rate and people started leaving Christchurch long term when it was clear the Govt was going to do fuck all more to keep the Christchurch economy going?

        How generous.”

        From the article I linked to:

        But unemployment in Canterbury has risen, of course. About 20,200 were unemployed as at June 20 this year, up from 16,800 in June 2010.

        That is a 5.7 per cent unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted), still below the 6.6 per cent national unadjusted rate.

        The 5.7 per cent rate does not sound high, but it is the highest in a decade for Canterbury.

        Note that, although not surprisingly, the unemployment rate is the highest in Canterbury for a decade, it is still substantially lower than the national rate. Hardly a collapsing economy.

        Also, it is unreasonable for the government (i.e. the people of NZ) to take responsibility for every aspect of business decision making, for instance the amount and duration of business interruption insurance that businesses did or didn’t invest in.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1

          Note that, although not surprisingly, the unemployment rate is the highest in Canterbury for a decade, it is still substantially lower than the national rate. Hardly a collapsing economy.

          You didn’t add in the 10,000- 15,000 unemployed workers abandoned by the Government and who have already left Christchurch (for elsewhere in NZ or some for Australia). If you counted them (instead of ignoring them) that would push Christchurch unemployment close to 10%.

          Also, it is unreasonable for the government (i.e. the people of NZ) to take responsibility for every aspect of business decision making, for instance the amount and duration of business interruption insurance that businesses did or didn’t invest in.

          Fuck off, the Government needs to take responsibility for the fact that Christchurch is a massive national disaster zone and 14 weeks wage support is a shitty low level of responsibility for National to take.

          Businesses didn’t get enough business interruption cover? Why should employees suffer for bad business owners and bad business management decisions?

          • Enough is Enough 2.1.2.1.1

            CV

            We are sick of bailing out private business after they make silly decisions. Every private business should have at least 12 months Business Interuption insurance. There is no excuse for not having that.

            As a nation we should look after our fellow citizens that are left high and dry because of the earthquake.

            That shouldn’t extend to capitalists who take short cuts and don’t insure their business properly.

            I am sick of profits going to business owners but the state having to pay for their losses.

            Government for people…not profits.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Every private business should have at least 12 months Business Interuption insurance. There is no excuse for not having that.

              Time to make it law then. But better recognise that Business Interruption Insurance is not a substitute for rebuilding the Christchurch real economy. And that is a Government responsibility.

              And I agree, workers and citizens who have been left high and dry need much more support than National has been giving them.

            • prism 2.1.2.1.1.2

              @ Enough is Enough
              Most small businesses are just people like you who have had a go at making something and selling it themselves. They do their best but may not have enough profit to take out expensive insurance based on unlikely events. Such events as one, two, three…earthquakes were never envisaged by anyone.

              In NZ the majority of businesses are mini ones employing just a few people. That forms the fabric of NZs trading life, not bloated sorts that you might imagine. The bloated ones are more likely the large fish that have eaten the small ones or land speculators that play chess with property schemes for big money, or financiers lending for this or providing credit for those with a gap between need and want, constant poverty making such people vulnerable to temptation of bad borrowing.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    “My question for our legal experts – can the government appeal this? If so, in what time frame? ”

    I’m not a legal expert whatsoever, but a few weeks ago when this was first going to the court, the story on Checkpoint on Radio NZ was that both the insurers and the EQC were taking the issue jointly to the court for the court to decide, simply because the law wasn’t clear in this particular case.

    This isn’t an instance of EQC “losing” a case.

    • r0b 3.1

      Thanks for the clarification.  I would assume, however, that there is still an appeals process for this decision?

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        Probably, but if they deliberately went to the court to ascertain where the cost was to lie, then there’s probably not much for them to appeal on or any desire to do so.

        I don’t recall if they had a spokesperson from the insurance companies talking about it, but IIRC they did interview someone from EQC. They definitely didn’t say it directly, but from their tone and the words used, I got the distinct impression that they were expecting to have to foot the costs, but just needed the court to set a legal judgement one way or the other.

        Note that one aspect of the decision is that EQC have to pay multiple claims, but for each additional claim they are entitled to a new levy (which is like $75 or something, so meaningless in the face of a $100k claim, but still has to be accounted for).

  4. tsmithfield 4

    CV “You didn’t add in the 10,000- 15,000 unemployed workers abandoned by the Government and who have already left Christchurch (for elsewhere in NZ or some for Australia). If you counted them (instead of ignoring them) that would push Christchurch unemployment close to 10%.”

    You are assuming that all of these actually lost jobs, when in fact a lot of people left because they were freaked out. Also, many may have already been unemployed, retired etc. So your assumption is not valid.

    CV “Fuck off, the Government needs to take responsibility for the fact that Christchurch is a massive national disaster zone and 14 weeks wage support is a shitty low level of responsibility for National to take.”

    Even if the government had extended its wage subsidy for twelve months, businesses such as hotels in the red zone that are being demolished still wouldn’t be up and running within that time frame. However, my experience with dealing with businesses in Christchurch is that even those in the hard hit east have been able to get up and running again. In fact we have benefited a lot by helping them to do so.

    CV “Businesses didn’t get enough business interruption cover? Why should employees suffer for bad business owners and bad business management decisions?”

    And why should taxpayers suffer for those decisions?

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      There is also something to be said for limiting the support to 14 weeks only. It forces businesses to get up and running; they can’t simply take it slow relying on the government handout.

      My sister and her boyfriend are both clinical psychologists and have a bit to do with ACC and people who have injuries like chronic pain. They’ve said one of the biggest barriers to recovery is actually ACC payments. She gave a good example: if you were working as a professional earning $80-90k and then got injured in a car crash, ACC will pay you your salary at 75% (or 80%, anyway the rate is unimportant). These people effectively get paid a lot of money to sit at home and do nothing. If they actually returned to the workforce, because of their injury, they’d be earning much less. So the ACC payments act as an incentive against meaningful recovery.

      Similarly propping businesses up on life support for 12 months wouldn’t actually have been in the best interests of the businesses, and certainly not for the tax payers in the rest of the country.

      I think they should have extended the payments a bit longer than 14 weeks, or at least had additional funding available on a strict case-by-case criteria, but I’m not entirely sure that anything offered by a Labour government would have been much more generous than what National did.

      • tsmithfield 4.1.1

        An unusual break-out of agreement between Lanth and myself. 🙂

        The whole point of the subsidy was to keep otherwise viable businesses viable.

        Businesses that required ongoing support for twelve months would likely to be unviable after that period of time for a whole host of reasons. So it would likely have been pouring money down the toilet.

      • Carol 4.1.2

        I disagree that ACC is a disincentive to return to work. I am on ACC due to a recent non-work accident. The line I get from ACC is that they will be looking for me to be returning to work as soon as. Their official line is that it’s better for people to be working. I was interviewed in a fair amount of detail as to what my work involves. They will be talking to my employers about getting me back to work, possibly on reduced hours and/ lighter duties in the first instance. My ACC case manager will be talking to me again this week.

        Actually, I felt mildly harassed, as it seemed it wasn’t about what’s best for me, but about the moneyz. But, whatever… I trust the doctors and will go by what they say about my work readiness.

        And overall, I am impressed with the whole ACC system, as I really didn’t know much about it before.

        • Lanthanide 4.1.2.1

          They were talking in the context of people who have had serious disablement from an accident that has left them out of work for quite a long time, while also receiving very large payments from ACC.

          Also, being psychologists and dealing with things like chronic pain, they were talking about cases where someone’s ability to rehabilitate is strongly linked to their desire to do so, as in it’s not simply a matter of waiting 6 weeks for your leg to get better, but you have to actively push yourself and in some cases simply learn to manage your pain.

    • bbfloyd 4.2

      t.s; ” why should taxpayers suffer for these decisions”…. what are you using for a brain now that your dog has got his balls back? tens of thousands of people leave their home because the so called “leaders” have done NOTHING to actually get the rebuild going at a reasonable rate… NOTHING towards contributing to the serious decisions needed regarding the long term future of the christchurch region..

      they couldn’t even get temporary housing underway in less than a year…. they are only NOW actually building the temporary homes required a year ago… and by the way… the main impediment to that happening was problems getting the govt to actually pay the builders for them..

      and don’t waste my time attempting to tell more of your silly little lies in order to simply continue arguing black is white… i know personally the people involved in one of the contracts supplying these units…. at present, the company is owed approximately $400k by the govt, which goes a long way to explaining why it has taken so long to get anything done…

      the reports i am getting from workers down there is that they have never seen, and experienced so much anger and frustration… the people of christchurch are seriously pissed off with brownlee and key…

      they are sick of watching their sons and daughters leaving to places where they have some sort of future…sick of being used as no more than props for johnny sparkle to playact the caring, concerned leader when it is well known that the nats are happy to see labour voting electorates empty out…

      you really are a unwholesome piece of goatshit if you think that defending incompetence and corruption is preferable to accepting that this whole situation has been cynically mishandled from the start….

      reality for the people of christchurch bears no resemblance to the utter drivel that passes for news coming from those shaved poodles who we laughingly refer to as the “news” media…

      • tsmithfield 4.2.1

        bbf “they couldn’t even get temporary housing underway in less than a year…. they are only NOW actually building the temporary homes required a year ago… and by the way… the main impediment to that happening was problems getting the govt to actually pay the builders for them..”

        Actually, I have a son who works for a building company building temporary housing that has been building houses for probably four months now. To date they have probably built 100 or so. The uptake of housing built to date has been very slow. So it is probably a good thing the government didn’t follow the advice of articles I have seen on this site that suggested the government should be building thousands of them.

        bbf “and don’t waste my time attempting to tell more of your silly little lies in order to simply continue arguing black is white…”

        Really? I’ll call you on that one. Where have I lied?

        bbf “the reports i am getting from workers down there is that they have never seen, and experienced so much anger and frustration… the people of christchurch are seriously pissed off with brownlee and key…”

        Yes. I guess things can always be done better. But face it. Its not Haiti, is it?

        bbf “you really are a unwholesome piece of goatshit if you think that defending incompetence and corruption is preferable to accepting that this whole situation has been cynically mishandled from the start….”

        Probably no more than you who seems to think the way to argue ideas is to attack the person rather than debate the point of discussion.

    • Colonial Viper 4.3

      And why should taxpayers suffer for those decisions?

      Uh…because we don’t want to leave fellow NZ’ers high and dry? Well, you might.

      Families in Christchurch are struggling to stay on their feet and protect their children from post traumatic stress and you are worried about protecting above average earners and the wealthy from a $1000/year levy.

      Good one, try and look after the country and its citizens for once, not the ‘tax payer’.

      • tsmithfield 4.3.1

        “Good one, try and look after the country and its citizens for once, not the ‘tax payer’.”

        So, you are saying that the only people who are considered citizens of this country are those that are not tax payers? What a strange world you live in.

        By your argument, those who lost their jobs due to bad decisions made by South Canterbury Finance Ltd should be getting their wages almost dollar for dollar ad infinitum, if the government should step in where bad business decisions have been made as you suggest.

        • Colonial Viper 4.3.1.1

          Glad you brought up SCF.

          English found $1.7B to support the big shot investors there.

          But him and Brownlee couldn’t find 1/10 of that to support Christchurch workers who had lost their jobs.

          Priorities of the National Government are very clear.

          f the government should step in where bad business decisions have been made as you suggest.

          Christchurch is a massive disaster zone; not a ‘bad business decision’ and the Government has given workers there shitty negligible levels of support which ended after 14 weeks.

          • tsmithfield 4.3.1.1.1

            You can argue the specific merits of the SCF case. However, as I recall it, it was Labour who opened the door by introducing the scheme that allowed fat cats to be bailed out, wasn’t it?

            • burt 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Yes it was, but it was OK because there was an election coming and they didn’t want to loose the votes of people who made ‘all eggs in one basket’ investment decisions.

              Socialism – making sure you never need to be responsible for your own choices.

              Spending others peoples money is fine till there is none left !

            • Colonial Viper 4.3.1.1.1.2

              However, as I recall it, it was Labour who opened the door by introducing the scheme that allowed fat cats to be bailed out, wasn’t it?

              Yep. And Bill English approved and re-approved SCF’s involvement even though SCF did not meet the criteria for inclusion.

              • tsmithfield

                As I said, you can argue the specific merits of the SCF case, which you seem inclined to do. However, the point is that Labour didn’t seem to have a problem with bailing out fat cats in general principle. Did you support them on this?

                Your complaint at which seems to be the source of your complaint in your post at 4.3.1.1 seemed more to do with the fact that National would bail out fat cats such as SCF at all without reference to the specific arguments around whether the SCF bailout was justified or not.

                • Lanthanide

                  “However, the point is that Labour didn’t seem to have a problem with bailing out fat cats in general principle. Did you support them on this?”

                  That’s not strictly true. There were limits put on the guarantee scheme that you had to meet in order to:
                  1. Become covered by the scheme.
                  2. Remain a member of the scheme.

                  SCF fell well outside those limits, if not during Labour’s government then definitely during National’s (Bill English said that they were warned SCF was in trouble the day after the election).

                  So, Labour did have a problem with bailing out reckless fat cats and they accounted for that in the rules of the scheme.

                  National failed to uphold those rules. Not Labour’s problem.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I see ts you aren’t comfortable with the miserly 14 week support that the Govt gave to workers of Christchurch compared to the generous support they gave to SCF bond holders. Many of whom were foreigners.

  5. vto 5

    Oh yes, happy happy joy joy …

    Nice sentiment though r0b for the developing doughnut city, the city made up of a thousand suburbs and nothing else, the city with no hills, rivers or sea of any use, the city flooded with uncertainty and with leaks galore through which people continue to slip. The non-existent city.

    Can someone please just turn back the clock about 370 days? That would be great, thanks.

    • felix 5.1

      “Can someone please just turn back the clock about 370 days?”

      Eh? You want to do it all again?

      • vto 5.1.1

        Well no, what I had in mind was turning the clock back and then somehow stepping the world to a parallel universe and so avoid the shakes.

        Having no central city certainly creates a previously missing appreciation of what we had. And the rest of NZ should similarly appreciate what they have in their towns and cities. The long building of a city with its myriad of components. It is no small thing.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    The sad reality is, Chrischruch was built in the wrong place (on a swamp). And we know it has no long term future because of the masive sea level rise which is coming in a few decades.

    Acknowledging that, one would think that the sensible thing to do would be to abandon Christchurch in an oraganised manner and gradually shift the people to a location with some long term prospects.

    Being gutless imbeciles (or insane sociopaths), the government will continue to offer false hope for a ‘better brighter future’ to the people of the district while it continuously deceives them.

    The real problem is, the people of Christchurch are so uninformed and so easily misled they believe government and local authority propaganda.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      A sea level rise of 6M won’t even take up 50% of Chch’s boundaries. Even less so now that the eastern half is going to be effectively abandoned.

      • vto 6.1.1

        With a port like Lyttelton in the middle of our largest land mass I don’t think Chch will be moved, except perhaps up onto the hills and slightly westish to more solid ground.

        And the vast vast majority of land in Chch is not swamp. It is absolutely fine for building on.

      • Afewknowthetruth 6.1.2

        When you wrote 6M did you mean 6m?

        Nobody knows how much sea level rise there will be, or how fast, but the latest thinking is that Greenland plus the West Antarctic will provide enough water for about 15 metres of sea level rise in a few decades. And of cvourse, ther is the thermal expansion effect. In geological time the sea level has varied by around 60 metres and humans are inducing the fastest meltdown ever recorded.

        The speed and extent very much depend on the rate at which positive feedback mechanisms interact and reinforce one another over the coming few years (there are no known negative feedbacks).

        Needless to say, every government on the planet is working hard to bring about abrupt climate change (and the massive sea level rise that goes with it), via their obsession with ‘economic growth’ based on the burning of fossil fuels, which is not only absurd but is also unachievable now that we are in a post peak oil world -the other factor which will ‘demolish’ the idiotic plans for building Christchirch as an industrial city.

        • tsmithfield 6.1.2.1

          Interestingly, sea levels have actually been falling for the last six years.

          • lprent 6.1.2.1.1

            What was that for?

            Oh to demonstrate that Wishart does a sampling on one side of the el nino / la nina cycle? You know the cyclic effect that changes the currents and therefore the sealevels around the pacific…

            So if your sensors are mostly on one side of the pacific…. and you take only one part of a longer cycle, then you can get exactly the slope that supports your predefined (and probably paid for) conclusions.

            Ian Wishart – the ONLY thing he is good at is being selective in how he gets data. You know – the technique of lying with numbers..

            tsmithfield – gullible ‘skeptic’ who doesn’t ask the simple skeptical question – why did he pick 6 years?

            It is too short for meaningful results in this field. But it is good for picking up just one side of a cycle. I didn’t bother to look at anything beyond that scale because it was quite obvious what he’d done as soon as I saw it.

            • NickS 6.1.2.1.1.1

              And even then it’s lacking any info on the statistical significance of the trend, so there’s no way to see if Wisfarts claim is correct, not to mention the failure to look at global trends along with the short sample time slice he’s using.

              Pretty typical though of teh moron to lie by omission.

            • Lanthanide 6.1.2.1.1.2

              Yeah, I didn’t know the El Nino aspect behind it, but I was immediately suspicious when I saw the data started in 2004.

              Surely this sort of data should be relatively easily accessible going back to 96-97. So I concluded that he must have chosen to leave it out.

              • lprent

                There are several aspects of ENSO that change sea levels. Off the top of my head…

                1. Simple changes in where currents go. You ram a lot of water into land (or not) from a current and you’ll get a sealevel change

                2. Colder water has less volume and warmer water has more. So if you change where the cold and warm currents are then you can expect to get effects in the sea level.

                3. Air pressure above the ocean areas will change sea levels. So if you change the average air pressures by the weather systems shifting then you’ll get sea level changes.

                4. Consistent winds between air pressure systems will cause movement of water and rises in sea levels around continental shelves

                All of these are way less in effect than the lunar cycles. But you can see them statistically all around the world. Average sea level is different in different places because of it.

                I can’t remember where I saw it (probably something I read at RealClimate if my programming fatigued brain is to be believed), but they have measured the ENSO effect on sea level at several places over several cycles and it was significant. There was a lot of discussion about which off the processes was most effective.

                • joe90

                  From the useless but interesting bookmark folder.

                  If the Earth Stood Still

                  Sea level is—and has always been—in equilibrium with the planet’s gravity, which pulls the water toward the earth’s center of mass, and the outward centrifugal force, which results from the earth’s rotation. After a few billion years of spinning, the earth has taken on the shape of an ellipsoid (which can be thought of as a flattened sphere). Consequently, the distance to the earth’s center of mass is the longest around the equator and shortest beyond the polar circles. The current difference between the average sea level as observed along the equator and the distance to the earth’s center of mass from the sea level at the poles is about 21.4 kilometers (km)

                  • tsmithfield

                    You all leapt in without giving any thought whatsoever.

                    Firstly, even though Wishart has reported this data, it was in fact first reported by NASA, who give an explanation. I deliberately linked to Wishart because I knew it would provoke lots of mindless hatred that would not have occurred if the same data were reported directly from NASA. .

                    Secondly, you all assume I was making some sort of denialist argument, when I simply noted an interesting feature without making any particular comment on it.

                    I actually think the trend will probably reverse. However, if that chart in the article I link to on this post was a financial chart, it would be considered that resistance had been broken to the downside indicating a trend reversal.

                    Interestingly, for NASA to be correct in their explanation, it requires a huge amount of water to be dumped and retained on a very small amount of land as per their map in order to achieve the magnitude of sea-level drop.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      However, if that chart in the article I link to on this post was a financial chart, it would be considered that resistance had been broken to the downside indicating a trend reversal.

                      Sure, because financial market technical analysis, which picks up on traits of human fear and greed as reflected in market movements, applies equally to Mother Nature.

                      Not.

                    • lprent

                      I gave an explanation of why I thought it was wrong to draw any conclusions from it.

                      I also said exactly what type of fool I thought you and Wishart were for even bothering to raise it. It has essentially no significance because the time period of the data was far too short. You need a decade or so of data to isolate out the cyclic effects.

                      I’m sure the reaction makes your palms get sticky from excitement – but to me it just indicated that a causal effect of you being a fool jerking off

          • mik e 6.1.2.1.2

            Otago university $30 million study proves that creationist bull….is wrong, those creationist kooks all want to go to heaven as soon as possible thats why they are backing the Deniers. they have lost all credibility amongst there flock so they are joining another weird cult mob of idiots.

    • prism 6.2

      @ aftktt – I think that the first group that is being deceived is the politicians, and they are doing it to themselves as they don’t want to think beyond tomorrow. Yet they have the means to get the information and forecasts about Christchurch and we have skilled people right in this country who could fill in the gaps.

  7. Drakula 7

    I will say it again; The governments big mistake is not putting on a price freeze, and as a consequence opportunists and speculators are rorting the public!

    These people should be named and shamed.

    But the government has just left it to the market forces!!

  8. Armchair Critic 8

    Christchurch is a strange place at the moment. From the west it looks fine, only hints of damage out round Ilam, even the big aftershocks can be written off as trucks driving past.
    If you drive around the edges, rather than going through the middle, and head east, the extent of the damage and the resulting misery becomes much more apparent, the aftershocks are wicked and, as vto mentioned some months back, the ground never really seems to stop moving. I’d never have believed it if I’d not experienced it myself.
    There are very much two parts to Christchurch, the part that the government wants to ignore, and the part it wishes would go away. Meanwhile….
    Honestly, I can do without Mr Key’s attempts at solidarity, and Mr Brownlee’s lies and inaction.

  9. prism 9

    @Armchair Critic – My sympathies are with you. Kia kaha if that helps. I heard someone criticising the weasel word of how “resilient’ you are. That praising resilience is just an excuse to leave you to your own resources. Keep sending the begging letters, you deserve lots of help while you repair the broken bits and your lives. And planning for a different Christchurch that serves you well. And it’s true about the different areas, my family is in the west and life goes on with a wobble and a bump now and then. As long as breakable and messy things are cordoned off, it’s not too bad for them.

  10. ropata 10

    Never the same again:
    Fat Eddies bar, a special place and incidentally the last place I saw my friend Emma alive
    New Regent St, with its trendy cafes and curios shops
    Honeypot Cafe, with its grumpy staff but really cool art everywhere
    Warners Hotel, lived there for a couple of months when I had nowhere else to go
    St Lukes Church, where I experienced profound grace

    • prism 10.1

      @ropata
      Every time you mention a name, your bring the memory of that person into the new day.
      So sorry about Emma.
      I have yet to visit the earthquake areas as I have little family time when I take flying visits on grabaseat. But I feel I should go, like a pilgrimage. I think I’ll go to New Brighton, round the CBD, Ferrymead if I can. Was Warners in Latimer Square? If so I think I stayed there once.

      • ropata 10.1.1

        Hi prism,
        Warners is in Cathedral Square, actually I think it’s recoverable except some of its heritage features (ie, the original facade) probably have to be demolished.
        Cheers mate.

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    13 hours ago
  • Govt to rev up reductions in transport emissions
    The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to Net Zero by 2050, a Ministry of Transport report outlining ...
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    1 day ago
  • Government recognises David McPhail’s contribution to New Zealand comedy and television
    Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni today pays tribute to David Alexander McPhail (11 April 1945 – 14 May 2021) – New Zealand comedian, actor, producer and writer. David McPhail ONZM QSM had a comedy career that spanned four decades, across both television and theatre.  “David’s contribution to ...
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    1 day ago
  • Support for drought-stressed regions fills a need
    An innovative iwi-led plan to help maintain water supply to a far North community battered by drought is set to get underway with support from the Government, Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says.  “The impacts of climate change are not something that just our grandchildren will have to ...
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    1 day ago
  • KiwiSaver default provider scheme improvements slash fees, boosts savings
    Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders will be significantly better off in retirement following changes to the default KiwiSaver scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said today. The new default provider arrangements, which will take effect once the terms of the current providers ...
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    1 day ago
  • Industry leadership for our training system becomes reality
    Six new Workforce Development Councils formally established today will ensure people graduate with the right skills at the right time to address skill shortages, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. Every industry in New Zealand will be covered by one of the following Workforce Development Councils: •           Hanga-Aro-Rau – Manufacturing, Engineering ...
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    2 days ago
  • Rotorua Emergency Housing update
    The Government has announced a suite of changes to emergency housing provision in Rotorua:  Government to directly contract motels for emergency accommodation Wrap around social support services for those in emergency accommodation to be provided Grouping of cohorts like families and tamariki in particular motels separate from other groups One-stop ...
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    2 days ago
  • Further COVID-19 vaccine and economic support for the Pacific
    New Zealand will be providing protection against COVID-19 to at least 1.2 million people in the Pacific over the coming year $120 million in Official Development Assistance has been reprioritised to support Pacific economies in 2021 Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health and Foreign Affairs Minister Aupito William ...
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    2 days ago
  • Statement on the escalation of violence in Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Gaza
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today expressed Aotearoa New Zealand’s grave concern at the escalation of violence in Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and Gaza. “The growing death toll and the large numbers of casualties, including children, from Israeli airstrikes and Gazan rockets is unacceptable,” Nanaia Mahuta said “Senior officials met ...
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    2 days ago
  • Trade Minister to travel to UK and EU to progress free trade agreements
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor announced today he will travel to the United Kingdom and European Union next month to progress New Zealand’s respective free trade agreement negotiations. The decision to travel to Europe follows the agreement reached last week between Minister O’Connor and UK Secretary of State for ...
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    2 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Business New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa It’s great to be here today, at our now-regular event in anything-but-regular times. I last spoke to some of you in mid-March. That was an opportunity to reflect on an extraordinary 12 months, but also to reflect on how the future was shaping up. In what ...
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    2 days ago
  • Te Hurihanganui growing with Nelson community celebration
    Nelson is the latest community to join the Te Hurihanganui kaupapa to drive change and address racism and bias in education, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Speaking at today’s community celebration, Kelvin Davis acknowledged the eight iwi in Te Tau Ihu for supporting and leading Te Hurihanganui in ...
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    2 days ago
  • Te Hurihanganui Nelson Community Celebration 
    Te Hurihanganui Nelson Community Celebration  Victory Community Centre, Nelson   “Racism exists – we feel little and bad”. Those were the unprompted words of one student during an interview for a report produced by the Children’s Commissioner in 2018. They were also the words I used when I announced the ...
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    2 days ago
  • Child wellbeing reports highlight need for ongoing action
    The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, while setting out the need for ongoing action.  ...
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    2 days ago
  • Formal consultation starts on proposals for Hawera schools
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced a formal consultation for the future of schooling in Hawera. "Recent engagement shows there is a lot of support for change. The preferred options are for primary schools to be extended to year 7 and 8, or for a year 7-13 high school to ...
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    2 days ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Government is progressing another recommendation of the Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain by convening New Zealand’s first national hui on countering terrorism and violent extremism. He Whenua Taurikura, meaning ‘a land or country at peace’, will meet in Christchurch on 15 and ...
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    3 days ago
  • Hundreds of new electric cars for state sector
    Total of 422 new electric vehicles and charging infrastructure across the state sector $5.1 million for the Department of Conservation to buy 148 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure $1.1 million to help Kāinga Ora buy 40 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure 11,600 tonnes of carbon emissions saved over ...
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    3 days ago
  • Apartments give new life to former Trade Training hostel
    A building that once shaped the Māori trade training industry will now revitalise the local community of Ōtautahi and provide much needed housing for whānau Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. The old Māori Trade Training hostel, Te Koti Te Rato, at Rehua Marae in Christchurch has been ...
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    3 days ago
  • Opening of Te Kōti o Te Rato at Rehua Marae, Ōtautahi
    *Check with delivery* It is a great pleasure to be here with you all today. I acknowledge Ngāi Tūāhuriri and the trustees of Te Whatu Manawa Māoritanga o Rehua Trust Board. The opening of six new apartments on these grounds signifies more than an increase in much-needed housing for Ōtautahi. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Major step to pay parity for early learning teachers
    Certificated teachers on the lowest pay in early education and care services will take another leap towards pay parity with their equivalents in kindergartens, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said in a pre-Budget announcement today. “Pay parity for education and care teachers is a manifesto commitment for Labour and is reflected ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand Wind Energy Conference
    Tēnā koutou katoa Tēnā koutou i runga i te kaupapa o te Rā No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa  Thank you Grenville for the introduction and thanks to the organisers, the New Zealand Wind Energy Association, for inviting me to speak this morning. I’m delighted that you ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to New Zealand Drug Foundation 2021 Parliamentary Drug Policy Symposium
    Speech to Through the Maze: On the road to health New Zealand Drug Foundation 2021 Parliamentary Drug Policy Symposium Mōrena koutou katoa, Tēnei te mihi ki a koutou, Kua tae mai nei me ngā kete matauranga hauora, E whai hononga ai tatau katoa, Ka nui te mihi! Thank you for the opportunity ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt to deliver lower card fees to business
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark has today announced the Government’s next steps to reduce merchant service fees, that banks charge businesses when customers use a credit or debit card to pay, which is estimated to save New Zealand businesses approximately $74 million each year. “Pre COVID, EFTPOS has ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government support boosts Arts and Culture sector
    Government support for the cultural sector to help it recover from the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in more cultural sector jobs predicted through to 2026, and the sector performing better than forecast. The latest forecast by economic consultancy ‘Infometrics’ reflects the impact of Government investment in keeping people in ...
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    4 days ago
  • Govt takes further action against gang crime
    The Government will make it illegal for high risk people to own firearms by introducing Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) that will strengthen action already taken to combat the influence of gangs and organised crime to help keep New Zealanders and their families safe, Police Minister Poto Williams and Justice Minister ...
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    4 days ago
  • Thousands of MIQ spaces allocated to secure economic recovery
    Five hundred spaces per fortnight will be allocated in managed isolation facilities over the next 10 months, many for skilled and critical workers to support our economic recovery, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor say. “The Trans-Tasman bubble has freed up more rooms, allowing us to ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Sign Language Week a chance to recognise national taonga
    This week (10 – 16 May 2021) is New Zealand Sign Language Week (NZSL), a nationwide celebration of NZSL as an official language of New Zealand. “We’re recognised as a world leader for our commitment to maintaining and furthering the use of our sign language,” says Minister for Disability Issues ...
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    5 days ago
  • Economic resilience provides more options in Budget 2021
    Securing the recovery and investing in the wellbeing of New Zealanders is the focus of Budget 2021, Grant Robertson told his audience at a pre-budget speech in Auckland this morning. "The economy has proven resilient in response to COVID-19, due to people having confidence in the Government’s health response to ...
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    5 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to BNZ-Deloitte Auckland Breakfast Event
    Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today, and to share with you some of the Government’s thinking leading into this year’s budget. This will be my fourth time delivering the annual Budget for the Government, though the events of the past year have thrown out that calculation. ...
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    5 days ago
  • Rotuman Language week affirms language as the key to Pacific wellbeing
    The first Pacific Language Week this year  makes it clear that  language is the key to the wellbeing for all Pacific people said Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This round of language  weeks begin with Rotuman. As I have always  said language is one of the pillars of ...
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    6 days ago
  • Budget delivers improved cervical and breast cancer screening
    Budget 2021 funds a more effective cervical screening test to help reduce cervical cancer rates A new breast screening system that can proactively identify and enrol eligible women to reach 271,000 more people who aren’t currently in the programme. Budget 2021 delivers a better cervical screening test and a major ...
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    6 days ago
  • NZ-France to co-chair Christchurch Call Leaders’ Summit
    New Zealand and France will jointly convene the Christchurch Call Community for a leaders’ summit, to take stock of progress and develop a new shared priority work plan. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President Emmanuel Macron will co-chair the leaders’ meeting on the 2nd anniversary of the Call, on 14 ...
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    6 days ago
  • New South Wales travel pause to be lifted tomorrow
    COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says the current travel pause with New South Wales will lift tomorrow – subject to no further significant developments in NSW. “New Zealand health officials met today to conduct a further assessment of the public health risk from the recently identified COVID-19 community cases in Sydney. It has been determined that the risk to public ...
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    1 week ago
  • March 15 Collective Impact Board appointed
    The voices of those affected by the March 15 mosque attacks will be heard more effectively with the establishment of a new collective impact board, Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Priyanca Radhakrishnan announced today. Seven members of the Christchurch Muslim community have been appointed to the newly established Board, ...
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    1 week ago
  • More young Kiwis supported with mental health and addiction services
    Nearly quarter of a million more young New Zealanders will have access to mental health and addiction support in their communities as the Government’s youth mental health programme gathers pace. New contracts to expand youth-specific services across the Northland, Waitematā and Auckland District Health Board areas have been confirmed, providing ...
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    1 week ago
  • New hospital facilities mean fewer trips to Auckland for Northlanders
    Northlanders will no longer automatically have to go to Auckland for lifesaving heart procedures like angiograms, angioplasty and the insertion of pacemakers, thanks to new operating theatres and a cardiac catheter laboratory opened at Whangārei Hospital by Health Minister Andrew Little today. The two projects – along with a new ...
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    1 week ago
  • Fair Pay Agreements to improve pay and conditions for essential workers
    The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Fair Pay Agreements will set minimum standards for all employees and employers in an ...
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    1 week ago
  • Establishment of the new Māori Health Authority takes first big step
    Sir Mason Durie will lead a Steering Group to provide advice to the Transition Unit on governance arrangements and initial appointments to an interim board to oversee the establishment of the Māori Health Authority. This Group will ensure that Māori shape a vital element of our future health system, Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Cycle trails move up a gear in Central
    Work on new and upgraded cycle trails in Queenstown, Arrowtown and Central Otago is moving up a gear as two significant projects pass further milestones today. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has announced new funding for the Queenstown Trails Project, and will also formally open the Lake Dunstan Trail at Bannockburn ...
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    1 week ago