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Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition four



Tuesday, 15 March 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT

Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition four
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.

BRENDON BURNS: Today I will be delivering supplies from Civil Defence headquarters which include essentials like toilet paper, sanitiser, torches, face masks, telephones and sunscreen. First up we will be heading to the Shirley Community Trust on Acheson Ave and then on to the Christchurch City Mission and the Linwood community. Further to my meeting yesterday with the Civil Defence controller, the property owners’ delegation for the Christchurch CBD have been given some assurance that the demolition of heritage buildings will not be sanctioned where approval has not been granted, unless there is concern for public safety. Any contractor who goes through with the demolition of a heritage building without the necessary approvals will risk prosecution. Tonight I will chair a meeting with heritage and commercial building owners. I will also run another caravan session on the corner of Linwood Ave and England St between 4-6pm.

RUTH DYSON: Following yesterday’s bulletin BNZ and Westpac have been the only banks in touch with me regarding late payment fees on credit cards as a result of unpaid bills due to undelivered mail. Each have stated that they have not and will not be charging late payment fees on credit cards to customers in the Christchurch region following the earthquake. In the event of a customer being charged accidentally, this charge will be reversed by BNZ and Westpac as soon as it is brought to their attention. Any Christchurch residents who have been charged late-payment fees can have them reversed by going into any BNZ or Westpac branch or by calling 0800 ASK BNZ (0800 275 269) or 0800 400 600 (Westpac Customers). The support shown at the Kings College memorial service last night was overwhelming for both Lianne Dalziel and myself. There was a great deal of support shown for those families and friends of students and staff who passed away, some of whom were only at the school for a matter of days before the quake hit. These are families who had sent their children to New Zealand to get a better chance at education and many remain in shock at the atrocity of the situation.

CLAYTON COSGROVE: Today I will focus on a lot of on-going constituent work and continue my visits to local schools. There are still community-wide issues with regard to the availability of portaloos and advice on their use and disposal, which have been raised with Civil Defence this morning. We also raised concerns expressed by business owners about the unauthorised demolition of buildings. I raised the issue of the cordon needing to be tightened with strict management of permission and sign off procedures before buildings are demolished. It is imperative that business owners are consulted in this process. We have had feedback from a variety of people in the community informing us that re-insurance is an issue and that insurance companies are not performing in terms of re-insurance. For example a recent case has resulted in the displacement of one of my constituents. This constituent sold their home unconditionally, with insurance able to be arranged without a problem, but subsequently cannot get insurance on their new home and is now forced to live in a garage.

LIANNE DALZIEL: I can report that my paper on the urgent and on-going needs of constituents was well received at the Welfare Working Group meeting yesterday. I am expecting early feedback on the issues raised. I have been appointed to the Red Cross Commission Board which has been established to deal with donations for the Earthquake. Yesterday I met with the head of the Avonside Residents Association and City Councillor Chrissie Williams for the Burwood- Pegasus Ward. We worked to draw up a plan to bring local agencies and community groups together to create sustainable welfare support for those in the Burwood-Pegasus area which roughly correlates with my electorate of Christchurch East. I also met with the team at the Fletcher Construction EQR Hub in the Burwood-Pegasus area. Each ward has its own EQR hub which was initially contracted by the EQC to deal with the September 4 earthquake. The focus of these local hubs has now switched to the emergency response to those with urgent needs, for example, keeping homes weather-proof, secure and sanitary. Every member of this team is absolutely switched on to the needs of this community. I commend their hard work. If you need urgent assistance securing your home please call 0800 DAMAGE.


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