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Yes it will

Written By: - Date published: 12:46 pm, September 6th, 2010 - 71 comments
Categories: Deep stuff - Tags: ,

As far as I know I am the only Standard author to have been right in the middle of the Darfield / Christchurch earthquake. To all commenters and readers in the region – greetings, and keep safe.

I’ve had many reactions to the experience. Some of them are about the importance of having a plan, and the resources on hand to deal with such disasters. A post for another time.

All I wanted to say in this quick post was – yes it can, and in some cases yes it will. Any minor accident or emergency that we think can’t happen to us? Yes it can. Some of those global disasters that people have been warning about for decades? Yes it will. The oil shock is coming and its going to be huge. Catastrophic effects of climate change are coming and they are going to be worse. Don’t listen to any comfortable shortsighted fool that says these things are just scaremongering and that “it” can’t really happen. Because the evidence and the logic are inescapable. Like an earthquake building up deep underground. Yes it can. Yes it will. Be prepared – have a plan.

71 comments on “Yes it will”

  1. lprent 1

    As far as I’m aware you’re the only one in the earthquake affected zone…

    BTW: I’d like more South Island authors – hint hint…

    • NickS 1.1

      Hey, I did register yesterday 😛

      • lprent 1.1.1

        Yep – but you haven’t logged in? 😈 I didn’t realize you were from the south.

        • NickS 1.1.1.1

          I’m logged in now 😛

          Edit; I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned I was down south when you emailed me about that library of sci-fi stuff you have 😛

          Also people, get the word out SJS is working, with one week off, there’s going to be plenty of students wanting some work… On top of any volunteer stuff they’re already doing.

  2. peter 2

    A good friend of mine and his family live on a lifestyle block in Darfield, they still have no power or water 🙁

  3. Bill 3

    On that note, here’s a nice wee piece on global warming, the global economic system and current food riots.

    Not so much ‘Yes it can, yes it will’, so much as ‘Yes it is’.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Every country needs to be self-sufficient in food and water at an absolute minimum. They cannot be dependant upon imported food else they’ll find themselves without any food when shit like this happens. And, as global climate change heats up and oil stocks dwindle such things are going to happen more often.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        One problem with self sufficiency was the impact of Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) that were imposed by the IMF.

        Poorer countries were forced to open up agriculture to foreign competition which meant that the US and others could dump subsidised produce on a country, undercutting local producers and ultimately driving them out of business and the country to be dependent upon food imports.

        It was a deliberate policy that has led to food being used as a weapon to keep poorer nations in line. And it’s not an ability that the west is going to be giving up any time soon…

        Unfortunately a government cannot now seek to develop it’s local agriculture through the use of subsidies or import controls.

        • Bored 3.1.1.1

          It wont be too long the day when the authority of “empire” will be challenged to the degree that the “emperor will have no clothes”. At that point SAPs from imperial HQ (IMF) will be as bankrupt as they are, and appeals to our delegitimised government will be met with the scorn of the people.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2

          So, what you’re saying is that the problem with self-sufficiency is that the empire won’t be able to support itself? I see no problem with that (Although it will be a painful transition for those countries that presently can’t support themselves to being able to do so).

          • Bored 3.1.1.2.1

            Thats exactly right.

          • The Baron 3.1.1.2.2

            By “painful transition” you mean starvation. Oh yes, no problem with that if the evil empire falls huh.

            You’re so caring, Draco – its all about the ideological wins at the expense of the people who have to live with your policies. I can’t wait until you’re appointed chairman for life.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2.2.1

              Well, I was actually saying that I have no problem with the collapse of the evil empire. You, of course, read into far more than I said.

              As for the countries that can’t support themselves I figure that they have two options:
              1.) Tell the evil empire (the US and the rest of the West) to go fcuk themselves and voluntarily move back to self-sufficiency maintaining some control and minimising the pain or
              2.) Self-sufficiency will be forced upon them as the global economy collapses due to Peak Oil incurring massive famine, disease, war and conquest.

              Either way they will be moving to self-sufficiency.

            • Bored 3.1.1.2.2.2

              Baron “buddy”. Painful transition is exactly the issue, dead heads and other near sighted types ignore the danger at their peril, when this issue comes home the roosting chickens will be from all sides of the polity, you included. Anybody with half a brain will be ready enough to at least mitiigate the pain, if you wish to take it full on be dont say we did not give you a peek preview.

            • Bill 3.1.1.2.2.3

              Baron, you think the starvation and crushing poverty billions of people succumb to today is natural or the product of political ideology and policy?

              • The Baron

                I think it is a lesser evil than misguided protectionism and the abolishment of food trade, which is the only sense i can make of Draco’s bizarro policy prescription.

                I don’t know what the left has against trade – of food or anything else. It has done more to lift people out of poverty than any other modern development. Instead, however, we have this constant tirade of misinformed, delusional propoganda from the likes of draco, who thinks we should be all back in the paddock growing our own food, making our own shoes, and singing kumbaya at the end around a campfire (cos we cant make heaters!).

                And you call that progress? Christ, sounds like China circa 1948. Maybe your right that we will be forced there by peak oil and the like – but I certainly ain’t rubbing my hands with glee at that prospect, like Draco seems to be. Oh sure, maybe your dream of local socialism will arise – but from the ashes of about a billion starved corpses. Wow, what a dream.

                • Bill

                  The ‘abolishment (sic) of food trade’? Where the hell you get that one from?

                  And I don’t know of anyone who against trade. No-one.

                  As for capitalism lifting people out of poverty, jeez…you think the world was full of poor people before the advent of capitalism do you? Capitalism produces poverty. It doesn’t alleviate it. But I guess you will now confound technology, industry and science with the advent of the market economy… or claim that those three things couldn’t exist without a market economy as though there was no science or technology in pre capitalist human history or no industry or science in the old command economies of the east?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  You’re putting words in my mouth.

                  Being self-sufficient doesn’t mean ending trade – it just means that you’re not fcuked if you lose that trade.

                • felix

                  What do you mean “we can’t make heaters”?

                  I don’t doubt that you can’t, but I could make a heater without leaving the room I’m sitting in.

                  No ambition you National party gimps. That’s your trouble. And no real world practical experience neither.

                • bbfloyd

                  baron,… it sounds like you are reading a script from “till death do us part”. alf garnett’s bits…have you got the chromedome and silly little moustache to go with it?

        • nzfp 3.1.1.3

          Bear in mind that the “Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) that were imposed by the IMF” on Ethipoia (a good example) were directly responsible for the famine popularised by Bob Geldoff and that during the worst of the famine, Ethiopia was a net exporter of food, or even worse the Holodomor – starvation of an estimated 10,000,000 Ukranians due to Stalinist soviet economics while the Ukraine was also a net exporter of food.

          Read the book by Professor Michel Chossudovsky – director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) – titled “The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order” (September 10, 2003) for a full and detailed account of the IMF’s impact on the Ethiopian famine.

          The “Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) that were imposed by the IMF” are an example of F****D up rules (economy) for the game (civil society). Rules which make the game selfish, unsustainable and unwinnable. If we change the rules (economy) we change the game.

        • Macro 3.1.1.4

          Right on Bill! Couldn’t agree more more. The IMF, World Bank, and the Capitalist economies that support them, are the true villains in all the world famine culture that persists, particularly in Africa. Trouble is that so few people recognise the evil for what it is.

      • Rex Widerstrom 3.1.2

        Every country needs to be self-sufficient in food and water at an absolute minimum.

        Food security is the primary reason I oppose the sale (rather than leasing) of NZ land to foreign owners. And why I roll my eyes when idiots scoff that “oh yes, they’re going to carve off that bit of land and take it away from the rest of the country, are they?”.

        Nonetheless, like the man with the “end is nigh” sandwich board, I regularly proclaim my unheeded warnings.

        People tend to be naive about it all, such as the (very reasonable) commenter who responded to me in that instance that:

        China’s investments will be worth squat financially and in security terms if for instance the Aus govt changes the rules on food exports or if China’s govt changes focus. So any security premium paid would be wasted.

        Anyone who thinks China wouldn’t respond aggressively to a rule change which restricted their ability to take every bit of food grown on land they own in another country and ship it home is, IMHO, incredibly naive.

        Luckily, the Australian navy doesn’t share such a view… they’re actively training for war with China. And if that occurs, it’ll be over resources – metals and food. Where will that leave NZ unless, as Draco says, it’s already self-sufficient?

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1

          And the comment immediately below yours we see the problem:

          # Caleb (281) Says:
          August 4th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

          Sell the family farm.

          Its worth far more than it could ever produce.

          Retire on the Gold Coast.

          Pure Selfishness.

          • The Baron 3.1.2.1.1

            Nationalise the lot huh Draco – that will stop that selfishness.

            You are seriously nuts.

      • Vicky32 3.1.3

        Very true, DTB!
        Deb

  4. Lats 4

    We’re in Rolleston, also pretty close to the epicentre. We had a bit of minor damage (glasses, crockery, that sort of thing) but no structural damage as far as I can tell. Our house is relatively new (7 years) and seems to have come throught he quake pretty well. Aside from a hell of a mess to clean up Saturday morning, and a couple of nights poor sleep due to constant after-shocks and a very stressed dog, we have fared a lot better than many. My sympathies go out to those who have major damage to their homes and businesses.
    We still have ongoing issues in the Selwyn district with drinking water and sewage systems, with latest estimates from the Selwyn District Council that our water system in Rolleston will be pretty much sorted by Tuesday night. More remote and lesser populated areas may have to wait a little longer.

  5. happynz 5

    I’m in St Albans. This suburb got smacked fairly hard. Part of it is that there are heaps of old pre-code houses with chimneys that collapsed punching holes in roofs. Fortunately I live in a proverbial wooden tent and the unit shook like a big bottomed girl strutting her money maker, but it held together, amazingly.

  6. peter 6

    Happy NZ, how did Cranford St fare ? We lived there in 2003 for about 6 months.

    • happynz 6.1

      A good friend of my wife has lost her restaurant on the corner of Cranford and Westminister. The authorities knocked the building down this afternoon as it was a real danger of falling over. Cranford, as you probably know, is a major North South artery to and from the city.

    • NickS 6.2

      A lot of brick chimney’s are down, and as many of the older places have tile roofs, there’s some bloody big holes. Otherwise there’s smallish sand-blows, but no real major ground deformations. And the Hardie’s timber storage building was not looking good, it was a little kinky, but still standing.

  7. NickS 7

    Also, if you need a hand (and don’t have the money to spare (what? bills, coffee and booze don’t pay for themselves)), there’s a facebook group set up by Canty students to help out with volunteer stuff if you don’t know about it:

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/event.php?eid=111867635538916&index=1

    So spread the word. Also, if there’s any standardista’s in the suburbs around Shirley, I can lend a hand potentially, depending on what volunteer stuff I’m doing tomorrow and how the job I’ve picked up works out (not earthquake related…) time wise. Contact is 0276340040, but I’m down to $4.80 on it on I.O.U.

    Anyhow, I’m off to see if I can’t help out over at Bower Ave in New Brighton.

  8. Andrew 8

    This blog seems incapable of making any comment on any event without taking the opportunity to push a political agenda. Since the quake struck, the Standard has used the quake as an opportunity to attack Bob parker and John Key, you have attempted say that looting was a right wing conspiracy despite the fact that the Christchurch District court dealt with a number of people charged with looting this morning:

    http://www.courtnews.co.nz/story.php?id=3021

    The citizens of Christchurch are immensely thankful for the job done by our Mayor, prime Minister and civil defense related teams and all are worthy of our immense gratitude.

    The Standard would be far more credible if your bloggers actually took a step back and thought about events before writing about them, not every event is a right wing conspiracy or evidence of the dangers of capitalism, benefits of socialism or of climate change. Some times shit just happens for no apparent reason and all we can do is deal with it as best we can whether we are left wing or right wing.

    I remember after the Haiti Earthquake a post on this site referring to an increase in these events due to climate change. Once again you are using the Christchurch earthquake to push an anti development agenda. Earthquakes are not in anyway man made, they are the result of plate tectonics and to compare an earthquake to future oil shortages is just ignorant and the use of a disaster for cheap political points scoring.

    I am sitting on the third floor of an office building in the Christchurch CBD now feeling aftershocks up to 4.4 and I am thankful for human technology and development, without the capitalist growth, consumption and economic development that you all seem to despise this earthquake would have been as destructive as the one in Haiti.

    GDP growth and economic development save lives in earthquakes.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      Being anti-capitalism is not the same as being anti-development. Obviously. I don’t think I’ve really seen anything on this site being anti-development.

      • Bill 8.1.1

        mining of s4

        • ZB 8.1.1.1

          The argument used against the new road building efforts goes like this. Oil has peaked, the returned value of cars using the new roads is much diminished as oil will get increasingly expensive. So we should be re-investing in our country by targetting to the new green friendly economy of public transport, broadband and local energy and alternative energy systems. Companies have poor managers who claim their products are crap and the shares dive, banks have fraudsters run off with millions, and in fact all human organisations need re-investing in form time to time, today it Christchurch. A huge amount of investment will have to go into the new Auckland supercity that will restructure how Auckland works. The right would rather call such re-invest in people and society as a cost burden on the taxpayer, and so distract us from what is essentially just house keeping. If the right had its way it would claim housekeeping costs were a burden and should be privatized so the markets could provide the best value.

          The left are talking properly about development, the right is still running off with profits and leaving us to deal with the risks. But while people keep voting in the right, and using the language and ideals of the right, then we will continue to under perform economically.

    • Bored 8.2

      Andrew, Good regulations and compliance save lives in earthquakes, not growth and economic development. If we left building standards to an unregulated market of cut price developers like in Haiti then we would have a catastrophe on our hands. And quite where growth and economic development help is quite frankly nowhere…its all down to sensible and well enforced precautionary building codes using good technology which is based upon experience and expertise (something demonstrably not exclusive to capitalism or any other system).

      I for one am happy to live in a country where the democratic principle (as opposed to capitalist growth, communist malaise, corporate bullshit etc) has allowed people to vote for electoral candidates who have pushed through the necessary legislation to make public safety a well enforced issue. Thank god that successive administrations from either major party have updated and enforced earthquake legislation in the manner demanded by the electorate.

    • KJT 8.3

      Sensible regulation for the common good is what made the difference between ChCh and Haiti.

      • Bill 8.3.1

        No it’s not.

        Crushing poverty…the kind where people eat mud pie to fill their belly…and having to construct shelter for you and your family from scrap materials on steep hillsides and survive in a society that has never been allowed to develop in any meaningful way is what made the difference.

        edit. link

      • ZB 8.3.2

        Sensible regulation!!! WTF! If the earthquake had hit pm not am you’d not
        be calling it sensible regulation. Property developers fought to keep spending
        down on Earthquake protection efforts, and are now reeping insurance payouts!
        That’s what the profit taker does, we loss history, culture, a sense of place,
        for the profit the few. What is S.Auckland but a sprawling designed developers
        profit takers wet dream. These communties cost us more because they are
        harder to get to, hard to intergrate, harder to build into the economy. It wasn’t
        just the homes that were leaky, it was the cheap oil that let many make loose
        financial profits, huge profits, and GDP kept rising. The hangover we are
        now suffering is the market has now, is about to, presently mark in how
        overvalued everything is (as its based on a delusion neo-liberal free market
        thinking that doesn’t appreciate that the consumer – citizens – are always right0.
        Your basic hippie peddled free love, grew up and peddled free markets, and
        we been left with a hug population gult, aging crisis, ecological global damage,
        resource limits hitting, global private and public debt, and what do we have to
        show for all the investment. No broadband, no base on Mars, high suicide
        rates amongst the young…

        We have never be so poorly led for the the last three decades.

        • Carol 8.3.2.1

          zb, you started out with a really good point about the lack of rigour in following regulations, then follow it with some dubious pop history that links some substantial points with historical distortions.

          As a survivor from hippy times, I think the “free-love” element has been sensationalised by the media. The main aspects of hippy philosophy that many of us subscribed to, were anti-materialism, anti-consumerism, and equality/social justice. Where is your evidence that

          Your basic hippie peddled free love, grew up and peddled free markets,

          ?
          My experience has been that most people I know from that era were devastated by the shift to neoliberalism, and protested and struggled strongly against it. If you read people like David Harvey and Naomi Klein on that shift, you will see there’s a lot of evidence that the capitalist elite forged the neoliberal ethos to regain ground lost to the successes of the left in the “hippy” era. The continuing power of such elites is what we continue to struggle against.

          But I do agree with you on the way regulations can be flouted by those focused most on their profits.

          • ZB 8.3.2.1.1

            SO another boomer is offended. Oh, please, you know what a mass movement is, the details of
            why individuals join is subjugated to the needs of the whole. The economy expanded after
            the war due to US oil wells, the hippies was a product of that good dense oil living. Then
            the US wells started hitting peak oil and started declining – running dry. Welcome 70s oil
            crisis, and the opening up of middle eastern oil. Now we are in the same end of eras.
            The US, like the mass media, learnt from the pioneers of the new media – Nazis. Mass
            marketering, and the goal to turn citizens into willing participates in their own subjugation.
            Hippies were a product of cheap oil, the first wave of economic change, not perfect but
            assisted in turning a conservative population in an adaptable progressive work force
            capable of shifting to the new oil rich economy. Similarly after the 70s crisis the
            governments of the west need to (off the bases of a progressive boomer rump)
            grab as much of the benefits of cheap oil flooding the markets – they could not
            have done this without the progressive hippies who challenged old ways and
            willing reconfigured to the needs of the new oil regime. Hippies were proto
            neo-liberals. Hippies were used, since instead of loosening financial industries
            to take up the bounty of new cheap oil from the middle east (and holding
            Iran and Iraq in backwardness to get their oil resources), the hippies should have
            been at the barracades demanding oil be kept in the ground and not pumped
            so rapidly. Would we now have the carbon crisis, the food crisis, the population,
            the middle east wars, the debt, the second long depression.

            Hippies were used. The same way conservatives 80 onwards, were used by the right.
            Now its a fight for every policy, to keep our efforts, our ecology, our future in
            our hands. End off the cuff kick hippy cult from a direction other than the right or left.

            • Carol 8.3.2.1.1.1

              Well, zb, I can see the logic of that shift between mainstream movements. But saying the hippies were used, and the movement was followed by a shift to neoliberalism, doesn’t mean the same people became neoliberals. In fact, the people I know from that era, shifted more towards anti-neoliberalism, pro-environmentalism etc. Also, while many of us subscribed to various aspects of the wider, popular movement, most also didn’t swallow all aspects of the movement totally. Most who I knew back then were also commited socialist and many were/are left-wing activists.

              IMO, it’s a mistake to equate wider shifts in popular movements, with attitudes and motivations of individual, actual people. But you seem to acknowledge that by saying that the reasons why individuals “join” are subjugated to the whole. Though I think saying people “join”, makes a loose network of people sound like a more formal organisation.

              A lot of the people who were prime movers in popluarising neoliberalism were never hippies, nor of that generation: eg Reagan, Thatcher, Roger Douglas, and Paul Volcker were of an earlier generation. And, actually, it’s not so much that many in the hippy era were “proto-neoliberals”, but that rather neoliberals adopted some of the social liberal/libertarian ideas on identity politics, that had become too popular to challenge. They did this as a way of winding back the gains in (working) class politics that had been very successful in the 60s to 70s.

              Still looks like pop-political history to me.

              Offended? Well, I’m getting a little sick of the over-generalised, distorted, blame-the-boomers for everything that’s wrong today. It’s especially galling for those of us in that generation who have been actively agititating against neoliberalism and capitalist class power most of our lives…. and there are many boomers who have been doing that and continue to do it.

              • ZB

                I certainly do not have mass mindreading abilities to assert what boomers were thinking when the authorities fueled a consumer culture that promote a relaxation of a whole generation of square olds
                ways of doing. Its nonsense for you to suggest that hippies were not a mass movement that was contained and rewarded by the gult of US oil and economics of the time, and need for the ‘man’ to shift social habits to one of consumption and change. Hippies providing the ‘new’ reward to break out of old ways of thinking. Just as neo-liberals provided the break down of strict finance in their turn were a consequence of the gult of cheap middle east oil. We needed change after the war to soak up the supply of new production. We needed after the 70s oil crisis to loosen finance so we could maintain a share of global activity.
                Just as since the year dot, we’ve had naysayers on the edge worried the water supply is tainted, or will drop as we remove the trees, and were never listen too until too late, all had their ideas folded into the collective decision making process, that would have sent traders off to find new sources of wood, or energy, and potable water or wine to replace and sedate the masses with, maybe some lions to rip a few upstarts just to retain control.
                The hippies were as much a product or their times as the neo-liberals, we are of course all individuals, and smart enough to know that excess of hippies, or neo-liberals, just as much as no hippies or
                neo-liberals, are bad. But let me say, boomers failed to turn the world into hippie paradise, but they did growup and love the consumption of the neo-liberals. This is a fact. And I think its a bit rich for you to assume the anti-hippies of the 50-60s were dumb enough not to understand why change (hippies) was necessary likewise had a clue why loose finance was so necessary. The language of both groups, adherence of simplistic mantras, peace man, deregulation, free love, free markets, are mass consent marketing to rally society in the correct direction.

    • bbfloyd 8.4

      WOW… that was intense… i certainly hope that helped ease what ails ya…. but i have to warn you that psychiatric consultants aren’t budgeted for on this site as far as i know. so they probably can’t help you here.

  9. ianmac 9

    On the lighter side my son and his girlfriend rushed for the doorway in their flat, and so did all the others. The couple didn’t know which was the priority. Hang onto the doorframe or cover their nakedness.

  10. Red Rosa 10

    There are, presumably, some Labour MP’s with ChCh constituencies?

    And these constituencies cover the worst affected areas – the eastern suburbs like Aranui, New Brighton, Bexley? Not to mention Kaiapoi?

    The TV1 clip tonight showed residents in these areas badly afftected, and deeply upset by lack of response.

    But that clip did not show the said Labour MPs even in ChCh, let alone out there getting stuck in to ensure the right things were happening.

    What are they getting paid for? And how do they expect to get votes if invisible?

    • Carol 10.1

      Some Labour MPs with ChCh constituencies have been blogging about the situation and what they’ve been doing in their electorates. Maybe they haven’t seen it as a priority to mount a media PR campaign about their activities. Brendon Burns was on TV One Breakfast this morning, talking from ChCh, interviewed by Henry. I saw him come on, but didn’t have time to stop and watch it.:

      See Brendon Burns & Lianne Dalziel’s posts on the quake:
      http://blog.labour.org.nz/

    • Puddleglum 10.2

      My mum said Brendon Burns was on Breakfast TV talking about how he can’t stay in his house because of the damage (and just missing a chimney falling on top of his bed).

      Mum can get confused so I’m not guaranteeing the source of the above report, but she was quite impressed with his straightforwardness (and that he was going through it too). So I guess his ‘missing in action’ until today is understandable? (I don’t know if he was ‘visible’ on media or on the ground before today, to be honest. If he was ‘on the ground’ in his neighbourhood doing what we all we’re asked to do – checking near neighbours, family, etc. – there’s a good chance what he was doing wasn’t reported.).

      • Carol 10.2.1

        This from Brendon Burns on Red Alert:
        http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2010/09/05/from-ground-zero-day-two/

        First port of call, checking to see if a chimney had come down on Hills Rd. Had stopped there yesterday to photo a constituent taking down the remnants of his chimney. A chap across the road asked if I might help. His car was already crushed by his own chimney; now his neighbour’s chimney was teetering and threatening to fall into his lounge. He’d rung and registered with the Fire Service but hoped there might be a faster response. I asked the chap across the road if he could help but given there were a tonne of unstable bricks involved, he wisely deferred. Today it looked like the ongoing aftershocks had got in before the Fire Service could arrive.

        Fire and Civil Defence staff is working their way across the city, checking the safety of buildings. Phil Goff and Carmel Sepuloni (Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson) arrived at 11am. We walked with a CD team through the inner city. Much has escaped unscathed, at least visibly, though a torrent of running water from a building near Chancery Lane confirmed much is yet to be discovered.

        Mercifully New Regent St, our brightly painted art deco street, looks intact. But at Manchester St the scale of damage becomes apparent. TVNZ, Sky and two Aussie channel crews interviewed Phil at the spot. The upstairs Mexican restaurant with no frontage but tables set and 50 metres away, the scene of the fire when power turned back on ignited something. (The casualties are a party pill shop and brothel.)

        Phil spoke about the scale of damage, the need for us all to work together and the reminder to every New Zealander just how much of a threat we face from earthquakes. Hmmn, my first text yesterday was to my sister in Wellington. I had thought:” God if it’s this big here, how big is it in Wellington!”

        Back at CD HQ for a full briefing with Phil, other city MPs, councillors and community board members. Roger Sutton, whose Orion lines co staff have been doing a sterling job, says 95% of homes have power back on but that leaves 10,000 unconnected. Developing winds and the liquefaction in some areas make pole climbing hazardous. Liquefaction particularly happened in the one km back from the coast. It’s help caused 100 or more reported breaks in water supply lines; each one that’s repaired puts weaker joints under pressure. Sewage contamination risks remain high, so we must continue to boil our water. And the Avon will contain sewage for quite some time as the systems are repaired

        Welfare centres at three locations across the city. I visited the one at Linwood early last night. At that point, only one family. By dinner time, more than 80. Housing NZ staff report they’d had 200 chimneys reported down. A thousand blankets are coming in from Wellington; two thousand tarpaulins The need for these is confirmed when I show Phil and Carmel around the St Albans part of my electorate. It looks like every third or fourth house has lost a chimney.

        The local community centre has lost a wall, the Edgeware Post office building has needed propping up. At the Edgeware Rd/Barbadoes St intersection we meet the owner of the dairy crushed along with half a dozen shops in an entire building collapse. She asks whether there is compensation. I give her my card and ask her to ring so we can check. Later I brief my staff that we will be busy. Parliamentary Service is bringing in staff from Wellington tomorrow and providing backup.

        I take Phil and Carmel to Kaiapoi where Clayton Cosgrove is waiting to show them around his electorate’s worst hit area.

        Continues at the URL

        • Puddleglum 10.2.1.1

          Thanks Carol. I’d just read the posts following your link.

          Alva Rados, the Mexican restaurant that seems to be becoming the ‘poster child’ for Christchurch’s earthquake experience, has made me think about how our lives are made up of small events, memories and attachments to places.

          I came off lightly but seeing the restaurant looking like a doll’s house (with outside walls removed, exposing the interior) I couldn’t help but feel a real loss. Since 1991 (when it was the Mexican Cantina) my wife and I went to it probably once, often twice, a week up until a year and a half ago (when it last changed hands).

          We’ve been only a few times since (it was still very good and very cheap food – I hope the couple who ran it keep it going somehow). So many times we would sit against those vanished walls, talking about our future, chinking glasses of bottom of the rack wine, looking out the windows at the Manchester street evening doing its thing (which was often a real sight!).

          We felt like it was ‘our’ restaurant – a refuge from stress, a place we introduced to our friends and where we made decisions, or just kept reiterating to ourselves what we thought life was all about and what mattered. Seeing it opened to public view, its image sent around the world and published on news websites – it felt like our lives had somehow been folded outwards to the world. It didn’t feel good.

          It’s a small matter compared to what some are enduring, I know. But it’s a loss, nevertheless. I guess what I really mean is that it’s more than the loss of a cheap restaurant option. There’s no ‘substitutability’ – as economists say – for something that was one of the small threads woven into your life for decades. Rebuilding doesn’t do it.

    • Anne 10.3

      “What are they getting paid for? And how do they expect to get votes if invisible?”

      Do you think they may be too damm busy trying to help constituents to go running after TV cameras and reporters Red Rosa? And the same goes for Jim Anderton.

      They’re not much help to said constituents hanging around Civil Defence headquarters in the hope a cameraman will walk past and they get to do a John Key type PR exercise. I would have more respect for the man if he had donned gumboots and done some digging – or something. I have a memory of Helen Clark doing something like that during the Hawkes Bay floods about two or three years ago.

    • bbfloyd 10.4

      R>R…there you go again, believing tv 1.. good way to make a fool of yourself, quoting from that source.

  11. Jenny 11

    Hi R0B, this has come through from Christchurch Unite.

    Media Release

    10.00am 06-09-10

    Union flooded with calls from worried workers in Christchurch

    Unite Union’s Christchurch office has been flooded with phone calls and text messages from worried workers in post-earthquake Christchurch.

    “Many workers at Christchurch’s restaurants, cinemas, hotels and security firms are worried that they will not be paid for the working days lost because of the earthquake. We are very worried that some employers will seek to withhold payment for work that employees were rostered to do over the weekend,” said Unite’s Christchurch organiser Matt Jones.

    “Union members with young children have also been calling us concerned that their employer will force them to work before schools and childcare centres reopen after Wednesday.” said Mr. Jones.

    Staff at a local fast food outlet unanimously voted to return home once they were reminded of their rights at work on Saturday. Whilst the discussion took place the store was rocked by one of the numerous aftershocks the city has felt over the weekend. The Canterbury Medical Health Officer has advised locals to stay away from their workplaces unless they are deemed fit by structural engineers. Both the Health and Safety Act and the Civil Defence Act support this statement

    “John Key will bail out property owners and big business using state cash but who will help out the thousands of low paid Christchurch workers who have lost jobs and incomes because of the quake? Key should provide instant cash relief to Christchurch’s struggling working population.”

    “Precarious and casual workers face unemployment, bankruptcy and hard times in Christchurch. If New Zealand’s large corporations and employers cut adrift the workers of Christchurch then the city will face a social disaster on top of this natural disaster,” concluded Mr. Jones.

    Unite is prepared to name and shame businesses that abandon or rip-off their workers in the aftermath of the earthquake. Workers’ can call 0800 2 UNITE (0800 286 483) to share their story and seek workplace advice.

    Matt Jones | Christchurch & Nelson organiser

    Unite Union
    6A Western Springs Road
    Kingsland
    Auckland 1021
    New Zealand

    Phone: 029 201 3837

    Freephone: 0800 2 UNITE

    Website: http://www.unite.org.nz
    Email: matthew@unite.org.nz

    • r0b 11.1

      Thanks Jenny, I posted it.

    • Loota 11.2

      The union needs to portray at some business understanding of this situation and express a willingness to get commerce on the move again. No pay packet, for management or for frontline staff, is sustainable unless this starts happening.

      I don’t know about corporates, but a lot of small businesses with 10 or less employees will go under because of this event and then no one is going to be better off.

      Many small business owners are already in debt to the eyeballs trying to keep cashflow going to pay bills; whether these businesses are named or shamed makes no difference to the financial cliff both business owners and business employees are facing.

      Of course big corporates have massive financial other resources and they should do the right thing by employees caught out by this event.

  12. I wish the bloody ground would stop shaking.

    [I’m pretty sure you were banned dad. But it was quite a while ago now, so let’s try a second chance. Please play nice here. — r0b]

    • I like second chances. Thanks. Man this earthquake has been a rough ride.
      Great to see the community working together on the huge problem.

      • r0b 12.1.1

        Yeah, it was quite a thing. I’ve been impressed by the response in the city so far. But it’s going to get tougher as the novelty and adrenaline wears off, and the months of rebuilding drag on.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    I must be close to coming of my month ban now, so hopefully this comment will get through.

    What has been quite amazing here in Christchurch is the incredible disparity of damage. On the North West side there has been very little damage. In fact, driving through a lot of areas it looks like an earthquake never happened. On the eastern side, however, the city is largely trashed. There are probably some areas where rebuilding won’t be possible.

    We are lucky. Our house has showed no damage whatsoever. I called into our work building in Sockburn on Saturday morning at 7.00am expecting to see total destruction. But all the buildings in the area were completely unscathed. There was a couple of boxes of fittings that had fallen off our shelves. That was all.

    We have spent the day making contact with our clients (a wide variety of Christchurch industry).
    Most of our clients are fine and back into production today. This is because a lot of industry is located in areas that are not so earthquake prone. This is a good thing because a lot of the local industry seems to be intact and able to function to help in the rebuilding.

    [I’m feeling plenty of good will to Cantabrians right now so will remove the remaining ban. Glad you got through OK. — r0b]

  14. Jenny 14

    .
    Last week the government opened it’s wallet to give investors in South Canterbury Finance $1.3 billion dollars.

    This week government has given $5 million to the Christchurch rebuilding fund.

    A number of private banks are also reported to have put in $1 million each into the same fund.

    According to John Key the government is also committed to cover 90 percent of the cost of rebuilding the the city’s damaged water, waste water and road infrastructure.

    These amounts will still be well short of that needed to cover the full cost of rebuilding estimated to be about $2 billion, (and possibly a lot more).

    Maybe the government is wishing that they hadn’t carelessly given all that money to SCF after all.

    It’s not to late.

    The government could at least cancel the $100 million cheque they gave to George Kerr and put that $100 million into the earthquake recovery fund.

    Already being a multi-millionaire George Kerr would never miss it, and even if he did, he wouldn’t experience any hardship because of it. Not like the real privation and uncertainty faced by many thousands of those badly affected by the Christchurch earthquake.

    Since the Christchurch earthquake – has Kerr announced that he is going to give any of his $100 million windfall to the Christchurch relief fund?

    No doubt a public fund raising event will soon be launched asking us the public to reach into our pockets and donate to make up the funding shortfall.

    And no doubt grass roots New Zealanders will respond magnificently.

    Maybe in line with this fund raising drive, the nation could run a parallel campaign to shame George Kerr into donating the bulk of his lucky windfall to the Christchurch recovery.

    If he refuses:
    Kerr should be publicly disgraced in every public forum in the country. And the government should be asked to withhold his passport in case he high tails it to the South of France before the people in Christchurch made homeless by the Earthquake are reduced to living in shanties.

  15. prism 15

    What a strange weekend. I flew to Chch on Friday evening as a detour on way to Auckland to a family 60th birthday get together. The cheaper prices on main routes made this viable for only $30 extra. At 4.35 am we were really rocking but no party. There was a shake which seemed severe and I put my head under the blanket as the window creaked but it went on and we rushed outside and stood scared in the cold. Then we dared to go inside and get rugs and stood with rugs around us. Dark, we knew there was some glass broken, but no electricity. No hot drinks, search for torches, footwear, primus for hot drink, tried to go back to sleep but too strung-up and sat up wrapped in our rugs and dozing, moving to the door ready to throw it open and scarper outside as new jolts happened. No flight out to Auckland on Saturday and most of day focussed obtaining flight bookings, first for the day and if not, then to get home tomorrow. Went to airport when it opened mid afternoon, the systems were operating smoothly and helpfully.

    I was near Ilam not badly hit for damage, but I find reaction set in on Sunday, quite jumpy. And they can’t get a full night’s sleep when they are getting 5 Richter shocks, which will jolt you awake. I think most people are stoic now and don’t rush outside but still you can’t be sure. Comforting and calming children would be hard.

    I now find that my niece was also down there for husband’s family 60th birthday celebrations. Snap! Their motel room plaster was flaking as they left and they spent the rest of the night in the car. Both they and us used gas cookers and had get-together and meal over the barbie, definitely useful for emergencies. Common comment – Wake-up call! “We had some stuff but weren’t ready with our emergency pack”.

  16. Jenny 16

    The Feds are still doing a sterling job.

    The Feds have been polling their members for offers of emergency accommodation for their urban neighbours:

    Can you offer accommodation to urban residents?
    We are still awaiting details from the Red Cross/Civil Defence, but Federated Farmers wishes to collate offers of accommodation to accommodate urban residents of Christchurch. If you can offer any assistance, please register on 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING).

    The Feds have also put all their executive leaders contact details on line. They are also providing reports on expected weather conditions, and the progress being made with power reconnections.

    Credit where credit is due.

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