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PM's Presser 8/2/11: Memorial & Demolition

PM's Presser: Memorial & Demolition


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A national memorial for the victims of the Feburary 22 earthquake will be held in Christchurch on Friday March 18, the Prime Minister announced today. At his post-cabinet press conference Mr Key called the memorial a time to mourn and also to "reflect on the preciousness of life". There will be legislation to allow a provincial holiday for Canterbury on the day of the memorial.

Mr Key said the half-masting of flags will finish this Tuesday.

Regarding the demolition of heritage buildings, Mr Key said comments by Gerry Brownlee were intended to indicate many such buildings were likely to be lost. My Key said there is a process before any damaged building can be demolished and for heritage building this is more rigorous.

He said that 10,000 homes will have to be demolished, and in some areas the damage to the ground is so significant that it cannot be remediated.

A report from Civil Defence on the distribution of portaloos has convinced the Prime Minister that they have been fairly distributed, although the number available was not sufficient.

Other topics included planning for a new framework for administering the earthquake recovery, emergency housing issues, the difficulties delaying identifying local and international dead, the feasibility of holding Rugby World Cup games in Christchurch's damaged stadium, and future tourism funding for Christchurch.

The Prime Minister did not consider delaying the contentious legislation on the foreshore and seabed, which will return to Parliament this week, until a later date.

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