Went for a ride through the Red Zone yesterday, and I am feeling it today.
Not so much in the legs, as it wasn’t a particularly long ride. More in the heart.
14 years ago we were looking for a house after moving back to CHCH , and Avonside was where we wanted to buy. We spent a lot of time looking in the area, before settling on one “one suburb over” in Richmond.
I felt connected to this part of town. But not any more. After yesterday I realise that there is nothing left to connect to.
To many people reading this, that statement won’t really be real. Even sympathetic readers might take the position , “Well, yes of course, this has been a major event – people have been displaced and their lives disrupted”.
It is so much more than that. Almost all of the terrain that I covered yesterday was broken ground, filled with broken stuff – that will never be fixed. And it is that last statement that “gets me”.
Some people have hung on, but they will all be gone by April next year. I saw one family packing up. No moving company involved, just an old Holden and a trailer. Something must have been keeping them there for them to hold on this long. None of the houses around them looked to be maintained.
I could keep on writing on this theme, or should that be “I could keep on carping and moaning” (don’t do Facebook), but I want to change tack.
Two bloody years, this has been going on – and people are still, largely left to cope with this on their own. Where is the leadership we were promised. Or alternatively, what efforts have been made to empower people to solve their own problems?
Either option could work, but instead information is withheld, or arrives at a glacial pace. Every month seems to bring another layer of bureaucracy to navigate through.
And our so called leader has just shown himself, again in case you missed it the last time, to be an incompetent, gutless, bully. Gerry, if the job is too hard for you, stand down and let someone else have a crack.
Most of the people caught up in this disaster paid their insurance and taxes in good faith. What some of us are slowly waking up to is that the whole process of redzoning, government buy outs, “negotiations” with insurers and the wall of vacuous silence from the likes of the EQC have all served to slowly, step by step, get us to accept that commitments that were made to us via things like “full replacement policies” are never going to be met. The contract with the community has been broken. Like the land, the houses, the roads and a good few of the people.
We should do better. And yes, Gerry, I am looking at you.