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

 


Rahui Katene - Earthquake Recovery Bill Third Reading

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Bill: Third Reading

Rahui Katene, MP for Te Tai Tonga

Thursday 14 April 2011

Kingi Tawhiao Potatau Te Wherowhero left us the immortal words:

Ki te kahore he whakakitenga ka ngaro te iwi

Without foresight or vision the people will be lost

At this time, in the third and final reading of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Bill, it is important that we consider those words as we evaluate all the checks and balances that have been built into the Act.

Have we provided sufficient opportunity for the vision of the people to come forth?

Throughout all the powers created under the Bill to ensure a focused, timely and coordinated recovery effort, is there also flexibility – and importantly willingness – to allow for the natural foresight of all our people to shine through?

Have we listened? Are we prepared to listen and learn?

The Bill specifies that the powers legislated into Parliament today are mainly reserve powers – only to be used if they are necessary.

It also stipulates that checks will be in place to guard against the inappropriate use of the powers given to the Minister and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.

Like other parties in this House, the Maori Party can not emphasize enough just how critical it is that these powers are only exercised in accordance with the purpose of the Act and only if reasonably necessary.

And I guess if there is one over-riding consideration that might guide us in all our deliberations it would be to reflect of the simple yet bold tribal proverb that Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu suggests for the recovery of Christchurch.

Mo Tatou, a, mo ka uri a muri ake nei.

For us and our children after us.

It was in this sense, that the Maori Party has appreciated the very clear endorsement from Ngai Tahu for this legislation as an important step in pursuing the vision of Christchurch becoming a global city, within a strong, vibrant community that provides for our grandchildren and their grandchildren.

It is essential that we consider this Bill as one step along the journey of long lifetime plan. This was not a usual event; an event by which the normal powers of local government authorities could be applied to reorganise and rebuild.

And I want to reflect on words shared by Te Rehia Tapata-Stafford in the Tu Mai magazine, 14 days after the quake.

“Extraordinary sights of littered streets, ruptured roads, dust covered vehicles, malfunctioning traffic lights amidst crushed buildings and homes – previously unimaginable in the New Zealand landscape.

Cordoned off areas with USAR, police and army personnel and vehicles taking up designated posts resembled a warzone.

Some of the Maori and Polynesian households would not have had food provisions beyond two days, nor credit on phones, money for petrol, any electricity or sanitation making them critically dislocated from the main welfare centres and void of fundamental needs. Many neighbourhoods resembled scenes typical of third world countries”.

Mr Speaker, how will any of us ever forget these last two months of our lives – lives interrupted by an event of such catastrophic proportion that even now it is hard to believe it happened?

The physical disruption to our lives; the ongoing frustration of normality disturbed; has been of a massive scale. As has been said previously, the earthquake of 22 February 2011 has altered the course of history for Christchurch and the nation.

But the crumbling bricks and mortar; the devastation of homes in ruin; the ongoing impact of the demolition of buildings – as severe as these effects are – all pale in comparison to the inconsolable grief of families mourning for those lost in the quake.

Police now believe 182 people died but it could take months for the last bodies to be identified.

Right across the world, families were united in grief as they waited for every bit of news, about their loved ones lost.

We remember the extraordinary outpouring of anguish that washed over us all, as we attended tangihanga, observed two minutes silence at the national memorial services, and simply listened, watched, read the very real human stories of heartache.

I recall the words Prince William shared from his kuia – the Queen of England : ‘Grief is the price we pay for love. Here today we love and we grieve”.

And so it is that we must move forward, and we must honour all those who lost their lives, by the actions we take today.

There is no question – the powers being conferred on central government through both the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and the responsible Minister – are extraordinary.

But we agree with Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu – extraordinary powers are warranted by the extraordinary circumstances. “A narrower set of powers would result in an inevitable amount of case by case management of the recovery effort, creating delays, uncertainty and contributing to community frustration”.

And so the Maori Party is prepared to back this bill - as we believe it is essential to establish a clear overall direction for the recovery efforts.

We agree with the necessity of producing a mandatory Recovery Plan for the Christchurch commercial business district within nine months of enactment – and that this Recovery Plan should then be read into statutory plans.

I have been thinking of that saying “the pessimist looks at opportunities and sees difficulties; the optimist looks at difficulties and sees opportunities”.

And I have been impressed by the work of the disability sector, and the advocacy and leadership of the Minister of Disability Issues, Tariana Turia, in recommending that the Christchurch recovery effort presents a unique opportunity to ensure that Christchurch is a truly accessible city for disabled and older people.

Tariana has set out some clear expectations for the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority including

• that the Chief Executive must be accountable for accessibility;

• that accessibility should be a requirement in the Long Term Recovery Strategy and the Targeted Recovery Plans;

• and that there should be disability representation on the community forum to increase the accessibility of the city’s environment and infrastructure.

This last direction – that of representation –is perhaps the most critical factor underpinning the recovery of Christchurch.

Ngai Tahu made the point in their submission that there is a distinction between statutory participatory rights and community leadership. There must be a collaborative working relationship between the Authority and community leadership that is close, open and generates innovation.

The purpose provisions of the Bill are explicit in their direction that community participation must be planned for, in order to restore the social, economic, cultural and environmental wellbeing of greater Christchurch communities.

The Community Forum and the Cross Party Forum are fundamental in the way in which these relationships will be activated. We must act in ways which demonstrate the saying : he waka eke noa – a canoe which we are all in with no exception.

There can be no exceptions. The need for this Bill to work can not be understated. We must – in this Parliament – provide the appropriate measures to ensure that greater Christchurch and the councils and their communities respond to and recover from the impacts of the Christchurch earthquakes.

As Ngai Tahu put so eloquently, “the community is the recovery. The identity, strength and vitality of Christchurch is in the hearts of our people”.

We must not falter in the steps we take. Our future as a city, as a nation, will depend on the quality of the relationships and the collaboration with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, local and central government, and the wider community

The Maori Party will support this Bill, as we will support every effort of all the parties involved to plan for the rebuild process, and to make the appropriate decisions which will help to protect and preserve the wellbeing of whanau.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sits at 10.30am today before MPs are summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber.

The speech delivered by the Governor-General on the Government’s behalf outlines its priorities for this Parliament.

After this MPs will return to the House for the presentation of petitions and papers and the introduction of any bills.

The Government has five notices of motion on the Order Paper which can be debated. These relate to relating to the appointment of the Deputy Speaker, Assistant Speakers, the reinstatement of business in a carryover motion and one on “Entities to be deemed public organisations”. More>>

 

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:

TPP Leak: Intellectual Property Text Confirms Risk - Jane Kelsey

The US is continuing its assault on generic medicines through numerous proposed changes to patent laws. ‘These are bound to impact on Pharmac if they are accepted’, according to Professor Kelsey... Copyright is another area of ongoing sensitivity... More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith Plans Reform To Ease Urban Development

Newly appointed Environment Minister Nick Smith has announced Resource Management Act reform to foster urban development, where high land prices and expensive resource consents are blocking efforts to provide affordable housing. More>>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On New Zealand getting involved (again) in other people's wars

Apparently, the Key government is still pondering how New Zealand will contribute to the fight against Islamic State. Long may it ponder, given the lack of consensus among our allies as to how to fight IS, where to fight it (Syria, Iraq, or both?) and with whose ground troops, pray tell? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On child poverty, and David Shearer’s latest outburst

The politicisation of (a) the public service and (b) the operations of the Official Information Act have been highlighted by the policy advice package on child poverty that RNZ’s resolute political editor Brent Edwards has finally prised out of the Ministry of Social Development. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On the government’s review of security laws

So the Key government is about to launch a four week review of the ability of our existing legislation to deal with “suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters, and other violent extremists.”

According to its terms of reference, the review will consider whether the SIS, GCSB and Police are sufficiently able right now to (a) investigate and monitor suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters… More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news