Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition 98
The Labour Party's Christchurch electorate MPs, Clayton Cosgrove (Waimakariri), Ruth Dyson (Port Hills), Lianne Dalziel
(Christchurch East) and Brendon Burns (Christchurch Central) have started a regular bulletin to keep people in their
electorates and media informed about what is happening at grass roots level.
CLAYTON COSGROVE: John Key has done some sort of backflip on providing legal support for families of Christchurch quake
victims, but it is up to the families to say if they are satisfied. The initial response is one of disappointment, but
all families need to see the detail before we know what they think. Key has always said he will be there to support the
families, so we still wonder why he seems so opposed to completely independent advice as offered to the Pike River
families. On another issue, I attended a meeting yesterday of about 20 families in a rural part of my electorate. They
all sustained earthquake damage to their wells, and as a result their water supply has been contaminated by arsenic,
sand, sediment, manganese and other nasties. In one reported case, a mother got ill from arsenic contamination. EQC has
re-drilled the wells, but water still can't be used because of contamination, and EQC refuses to supply replacement
water filters or pumps. The residents are scratching their heads as contamination has directly resulted from quake
damage to their wells. They are even more confused because a drilling expert told them that elsewhere in Canterbury EQC
had paid for replacement pumps or filters for 60-plus clients. Once again, this is inconsistent policy, and I'll take it
up with EQC and, if necessary, Gerry Brownlee.
RUTH DYSON: I have heard much puzzled resentment that the Government chose to "mark" the six-month anniversary of our
February quake by denying the request for legal representation presented to Ministers Finlayson and Brownlee. Instead it
decided to fund an extra lawyer attached to the Royal Commission, a rushed decision made with little respect for the
views of the families of victims. There is also stunned anger at the unannounced change of heart in regard to the red
zone offer. Gerry Brownlee is on public and private record saying that home alterations post the most recent valuation
will be discussed with a view to inclusion in the red zone offer, but this is not reflected in the letter of offer. This
is not acceptable. On a happy note, however, I have heard that Harbour Union, a magnificent collective of Lyttelton and
Harbour Basin talent, is to perform at the Silver Scroll Awards in Auckland on September 13.There are five finalists and
amongst them is Delany Davidson (of Harbour Union) nominated for his song Little Heart. They have cheered our spirits
and it's great that they are getting centre stage.
LIANNE DALZIEL: Last Friday I attended the opening of the Earthquake Assistance Centre (EAC), designed to provide
information and assistance for insured red-zone homeowners deciding on Government offers to buy their properties. It is
not designed to provide a dispute resolution service between homeowners and insurance companies, nor a forum for
negotiating individual settlements. It can, however, provide information to help people decide on a purchase option, if
any. The centre is managed by CERA and there will be staff from Christchurch City Council, Canterbury Earthquake
Temporary Accommodation Service (CETAS), the Earthquake Commission (EQC), Community Law Canterbury and some insurance
firms. I am very pleased with the concept of a one-stop-shop as it is convenient to get all your answers at once, but I
am concerned not all the answers are known yet. At the last Cross Party Forum, I raised concerns about part settlement
affecting temporary accommodation entitlement for people in the red zone, then followed it up with an e-mail explaining
the detail, and I still haven't had a reply. However, I am particularly pleased with the location and am very grateful
the Avondale Golf Club has made its facilities available. The centre is at the Avondale Golf Club, 141 Breezes Road,
Avondale, 10.00 am to 6.30 pm Monday to Friday, 0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372).
Paid for by Vote Parliamentary Service and Authorised by Lianne Dalziel, MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington.