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Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition five

Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition five


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: We are still getting feedback from building owners concerned that their buildings, heritage or otherwise, are being demolished by cowboys without authorisation or consultation. Authorisation needs to be given by the CD controller after he has consulted with the building owner. The controller should treat it as a law and order issue if cowboys drop buildings without his knowledge. Today I am attending an earthquake assembly at a local school; speaking to a group in Kaiapoi that has been set up for people suffering from post-quake stress; and attending a Kaiapoi Residents' Association meeting dealing with quake issues. On behalf of my colleagues I am requesting a Ministry of Education briefing on a whole host of issues, such as transportation and loos, associated with schools re-opening.

RUTH DYSON: Yesterday the Bromley area learned that carpet maker Godfrey Hirst New Zealand will not be reopening its Maces Road factory in the Canterbury region due to extensive earthquake damage. Godfrey Hirst is a good employer and the loss of more than 200 jobs is tragic for the region and traumatic for those families involved. Some of these people have worked in this factory for more than 30 years; my thoughts are with them and their families as they deal with another difficult time in their lives. Developing sensible transport solutions for getting our kids to school is a project Lianne Dalziel, Brendon Burns, Clayton Cosgrove and I intend to progress this week working alongside the Ministry of Education. Our intention is to ensure school bus routes can avoid the most badly hit parts of the city. Lastly, Prince William is due to arrive in Christchurch this week for our memorial service. I had initially called the Governor General to see whether the Prince could open Sumner School hall. The hall was due to be opened on February 23 but obviously this didn't eventuate. Unfortunately this could not be arranged but I am pleased that Prince William has agreed to do a walkabout in Sumner instead.

BRENDON BURNS: There is still work to be done on returning cars to owners. I've received advice that all cars that were towable and parked on CBD streets have been removed to Hagley Park where owners can retrieve them with appropriate identification such as keys or registration papers. Other car issues are not so straightforward. Some cars have been retrieved from parking buildings, but other such buildings have damaged ramps and retrieval may take time. And there are other cars parked behind badly damaged buildings that may take months to get out. This leaves many people without cars. Some people may still be making payments, and insurers won't pay out unless there is evidence of cars being destroyed. As I said, there's still work to be done on this issue. I am assured that information is coming on where to empty chemloos, and flyers on how to use them are also about to be distributed. Today I am attending a CD meeting in Richmond, and meeting my electorate staff to discuss possibilities for a new electorate office (the quakes having destroyed the previous two). We are also organising a further delivery of supplies to the City Mission.

LIANNE DALZIEL: Yesterday Labour MP Rick Barker was in the electorate working with me to coordinate a number of meetings which will take shape as the week progresses. But the real message from me today is a shout-out to the Volunteer Student Army who are doing such fantastic work filling and placing sandbags in low lying areas such as Bexley, New Brighton, Avondale and Horseshoe Lake. There has been some concern that stop banks have partially collapsed and these students are working hard to protect at risk homes and communities. It is great to see so many willing and able volunteers. My schedule today among other things will turn to Wellington where I am placing a submission by teleconference before the Justice and Electoral select committee on the Alcohol Reform Bill. Some issues of concern around alcohol abuse have surfaced following the earthquake including increases in domestic violence and incidents of public drunkenness. Police in Christchurch have issued a number of statements as those problems traditionally associated with the central city transfer to suburban areas. The Government needs to take a very firm line on addressing the real issues associated with alcohol related harm which are primarily associated with availability and cost. As the Minister who spearheaded the Law Commission report on which many elements of this legislation is based I am troubled that I have only been given ten minutes to place a submission.

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