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Key Notes: Rebuilding Christchurch

Key Notes: Rebuilding Christchurch

11 March 2011


All New Zealanders are thinking of Christchurch at this difficult time. We are behind Cantabrians 100 per cent because we know that a prosperous Christchurch will help build a brighter future for this whole country.

Yesterday I visited recovery centres in New Brighton and Aranui. I was impressed by how well the people I spoke to are coping. It's a very trying time but communities are rallying together and showing tremendous resilience.

I'd especially like to acknowledge those who have not yet had power, water or sewerage services restored. I'd like to thank you for your patience and assure you we're working as fast as we can to fix infrastructure.

Many people I've spoken to are worried about damage to their homes. One family said they have too many treasured memories at their home and don't want to move out unless they absolutely have to. I met others who said they love where they live but that the damage is too difficult to deal with and they want to move to another home.

As soon as we have more information about the extent of the land damage and options for housing, we'll let Cantabrians know. The Government is committed to rebuilding Christchurch. It'll be a long and complex task but we will get there.


This week I announced we're holding a national memorial service on Friday 18 March. I hope to see some of you there. The service will be a chance to celebrate the lives of those lost in the earthquake and turn our minds to the challenge ahead of us. Many people will attend including Prince William.

Some other steps the Government is taking as part of the recovery operation include:

Cutting red tape to speed up the recovery process.
• Providing immediate financial relief to families and workers and looking at what support is needed in the weeks and months ahead.
• Providing accommodation assistance for those who need it.
Getting all sewerage, power, and water systems up and running as soon as possible.
• Working with schools so they can reopen wherever possible.
• Continuing to support the health sector in Christchurch, which is doing a great job.
Extending the national state of emergency so we can continue to throw every available resource into the recovery operation.
• Launching an Earthquake Commission rapid house assessment process.
Click here for further information on the Government's response.


I'd like to acknowledge the great support that's rolling in from around New Zealand and the world.

Lots of people have written to me about their fundraising events for Christchurch. I've heard of events all over the world - New York, London, Ho Chi Minh City, Sydney and Washington D.C. to name a few. This support is greatly appreciated.

This week I appointed Mark Weldon to lead the Government's official earthquake appeal. You can make a donation at www.christchurchearthquakeappeal.govt.nz. A special thank you to Owen Glenn who donated $1 million.

On Sunday I'm playing an over in the charity Twenty20 cricket match at Wellington's Basin Reserve to raise funds for Christchurch. I'll be facing Aussie bowler Shane Warne. I've never played cricket before, so I've had a few tips from Stephen Fleming and I'm hoping for some good crowd support.


This week I announced that our next Governor-General will be Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae. Jerry has had a stellar 38-year career with the military and I know he will bring a huge amount of mana, empathy and enthusiasm to the role. He'll be sworn in this August.

I'd like to thank current Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand and his wife Lady Susan for their hard work over the past five years.

Best wishes,
John Key
Prime Minister

Click here to view photos on Flickr of my visits to Canterbury.

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