Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Goff - Christchurch earthquake memorial speech

Phil GOFF
Labour Leader

Friday, 18 March 2011
Speech

Goff- Christchurch earthquake memorial speech

At 12.51 pm on Tuesday the 22nd of February, Christchurch and the lives of its people changed forever.

So violent was the earthquake that struck this city that buildings crumbled, roads cracked, homes were broken and families were torn apart.

None of us who were here when that happened will ever forget that experience.

Seeing the trauma it caused. The anxiety as people frantically tried to phone their husbands, wives, parents, children and friends to see if they were alright.

Seeing the terrible damage done to this city. Buildings devastated and heritage lost. People killed, injured and trapped in collapsed buildings. The eerie silence of the central city whose time stopped at 12:51.

At the PGC building, I stood with those waiting with a mixture of hope and worry for their family members and colleagues trapped in the ruins to be rescued.

There were good news stories. One man whose fiancée was in the building had just received a text from her to say she was trapped but ok. They were married three days later. Another had heard nothing from his wife but I learned from him the next day that she had been rescued.

Not all were so lucky.

Today we grieve for those who have lost their loved ones – young and old, taken before their time. We grieve for the bereaved families here in New Zealand and for the families of international students who were guests in our country and who will never go home.

Today we also think of the people of Japan who endured the double tragedy of an earthquake and tsunami. The tragic losses they have suffered on a massive scale and the added worry of leakage of nuclear radiation.

For those in Christchurch, our hearts ache for families unable yet to say a final goodbye because their loved ones have not been identified.

This is a time to grieve but it is also a time to be grateful.

Grateful for courageous search and rescue workers who risked their lives to save others and for volunteers, community groups and service workers who worked tirelessly to help others.

Grateful for the renaissance of a strong Kiwi community spirit and commitment to help others.

Grateful for the love and support neighbours, family and friends have given each other and for how New Zealanders and countries and friends around the world have rallied to help and have been so generous.

It is also a time for hope.

Hope borne from the resilience and determination of Cantabrians to come through this.

Hope and confidence that this city and community will rise again.

That homes will be rebuilt, stronger and better than before.

That a new city centre, beautiful, people friendly, sustainable and high tech can be created.

We will have the vision and commitment to do that. And we pledge today that as New Zealanders, we will stand together beside our Christchurch brothers and sisters to help them through these difficulties times to better times ahead.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about the leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. According to Groser, ‘extreme’ positions are common at the outset of negotiations, and these get whittled down over the course of negotiations. Fine.

Except that we’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations.

Still, Groser did promise that the cost of medicines would not rise as a result of the TPP trade deal. Great. But this is not what politicians in other countries are saying. More>>

.

 
 

Parliament Today:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:

Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news