INDEPENDENT NEWS

Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition 99

Published: Wed 24 Aug 2011 10:16 AM
Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition 99
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: I visited more than 50 constituents yesterday and found genuine anger that Gerry Brownlee is refusing to give them the full geotech and other information that led to them being red-zoned. I have since told Waimakariri district councillors exactly how these constituents feel. There is actually anger on both sides of the colour coding. I talked to people whose houses are in pristine condition, whose properties are pristine and showing no obvious signs of liquefaction --- and yet they red-zoned and they are asking why. I also met a constituent who has the only green-zoned house in a red-zoned street. She wants to go red, and can't find out why she's been treated differently. That raises the issue of how people can appeal, especially if Brownlee refuses to allow them access to the evidence he is apparently relying upon. He's told me to my face that he will decline any OIA requests for this information. No wonder there is so much deep-seated anger. There's also real anger that he and John Key have broken their solemn promises relating to the offer for red-zoned houses. Excluding improvements that haven't added to the floor area blatantly contradicts what they said in June when people were told to keep their receipts for bathroom and kitchen improvements. Some people are reportedly more than six figures out of pocket So much for Key saying no one would be worse off. Clearly that was done for political reasons -- and another blatant political stunt has now come to light in my Waimakariri electorate. National MP Kate Wilkinson has invited Environment Minister Nick Smith to the area to have a meeting with stakeholders about the airport company's absurd opposition to opening up large areas of affordable Kaiapoi land for those whose properties have been red-zoned. Kate Wilkinson and Nick Smith have opposed my bill allowing fast-tracking at the same time as safeguarding the airport company. The Wilkinson-Smith 'initiative' is clearly being seen for what it is --- a political stunt of the most cynical kind.
RUTH DYSON: I had a wonderful time at the Hargest Street Kindergarten watching the children bounce on their new mini trampoline to the sound of lovely music. Both the trampoline and the stereo were purchased from the donated funds from Rolfes Nursery School in Kensington Park Road, London. The London raised about $1800. It is so wonderful to see children from earthquake hit homes having such a fantastic and fun time as a result of the generosity of others, particularly those on the other side of the world. But a not so happy event was the Lyttelton red-stickered homes meeting where people are out of their homes because of rock fall risk. Our understanding was that once the remedial work was signed off and completed, then the red placards would be removed and people could move home. Not so! Their move home is now dependent on CERA zoning their home green. This could be months away and is totally bizarre, and will cause further resentment among people who just want to return to what are now their safe homes!
LIANNE DALZIEL: I am concerned about the way the Government has announced the land decisions. Brooklands is on tenterhooks now, knowing that the decision is coming but not knowing precisely when. Many of the residents there have felt like the forgotten people -- a tightknit community, with a lifestyle they value and hoping theirs will not be the red letter announcement that around 1000 Kaiapoi people received last week. Again the main details were leaked (this time to The Press) before the official announcement was made to the media. In the press release that accompanied the offers that go to red zone home-owners, the Minister spoke of the way the government had engaged with the community in a meaningful way. That phrase could have been taken directly from one of my letters to him asking that this engagement occur. Apparently the seminar held at the CERA Expo was his version of engagement. It isn't mine and it isn't anywhere near the standard set by international best practice. And the Expo was aimed at the red zones before the offer was made - and Brooklands is orange...for now.
Paid for by Vote Parliamentary Service and Authorised by Clayton Cosgrove, MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington.

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