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 Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point.

By ‘some quarters’, I mean (a) RadioLive host Sean Plunket who called Catton a “traitor” and (b) Prime Minister John Key who dismissed her views as being those of a typical Green Party supporter, which is apparently almost as bad.

In context, Catton seemed to be talking about the mixed feelings she felt after what she had created suddenly becoming a kind of public property claimed by the entire country and its leaders. That must feel weird at any time, in any place. Catton evidently finds it particularly alienating when the government of the day has shown little interest in the arts beyond their promotional/economic value. More>>

 

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news