Parliament

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 The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement.

As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

 

Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Our Refugee Intake (And Uber’s Woes)

On figures released this week, there are currently 65.6 million people worldwide who have been displaced from their homes by war, famine or other external causes… More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Report: GCSB Support For Groser WTO Bid Not Illegal

“The inquiry has found that the GCSB did not act unlawfully or improperly in providing assistance to the New Zealand government campaign”, Ms Gwyn said. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Pike And Houses

There were questions on Pike River mine re-entry after new video from inside the drift was released over the weekend. English maintained a human effort would not be feasible irrespective of any future coalition demands from NZ First. He said the government would continue to work with families on non-manned re-entry. More>>

ALSO:

Flogging A Dead Horse: NZ First Seeks New s59 Referendum

10 years on from the so called “anti-smacking” law - NZ First calls for a binding referendum. NZ First MP Tracey Martin told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that the law change has had a “chilling effect” on NZ parents including herself. More>>

ALSO:

Always Interesting: Internet Party Has New Leader

The Internet Party has a new leader: Suzie Dawson... She currently resides in Moscow, Russia, where she has applied for temporary asylum due to severe persecution she reports being subjected to by those whose corruption she worked to expose.More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog