Key Notes: Marking the second Christchurch anniversary
22 February 2013
Key Notes: A message from the Prime
Rt Hon John Key
Reducing crime - video
Today marks two years since the destructive Christchurch earthquake, which claimed the lives of 185 people. I've spent the day in Christchurch, and I joined with thousands of Cantabrians at the memorial service in Latimer Square.
Today's anniversary is about remembering those who lost their lives, or were badly injured in the earthquake. In my speech at the memorial service, I spoke about the massive disruption and uncertainty Cantabrians have faced over the past two years. And I spoke about the many ways Cantabrians have shown strength and resilience as they recover and move forward.
This was confirmed in a recent Wellbeing survey which found Cantabrians continue to find things to be positive about, despite the challenges they have faced.
Rebuilding Christchurch is one of the four priorities my Government has for this term in office. The destruction in greater Christchurch means we're facing unprecedented circumstances, but each time I visit the city I am staggered by the progress that has been made.
The land zoning process is pretty much complete, and by the end of the year more than 50,000 house repairs are expected to be completed under the EQC managed repair programme. The CBD red zone is decreasing and we expect the cordon to be gone by the middle of the year.
Economic activity is improving, with latest figures showing 7.5 per cent growth in the region year on year, and over 16,000 more people were employed in Christchurch last year.
On Monday, Education Minister Hekia Parata announced the next stage of the Government's plans to renew and restore the education sector in greater Christchurch. The Government will invest $1 billion in greater Christchurch schools over the next 10 years. This includes plans to build or rebuild 15 schools.
I'm optimistic about the future of Christchurch. Though the face of the city has changed forever, it's an opportunity to build a modern, vibrant city all New Zealanders can be proud of.
Did you miss my new video message?
This week I've started a series of videos which will help keep you up to date with the latest news from National. I talk about National's proud record reducing crime, supporting our police, and keeping you safe at home and in your communities.
From my diary
Yesterday I spent the day in Rotorua visiting some tourism businesses, and attending the fantastic Te Matatini Kapa Haka festival. Tomorrow I'm looking forward to the Helensville A&P show in my electorate. It is always a fantastic family day out.
www. johnkey. co. nz