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

"New Faces, Wise Heads": Andrew Little Announces New Labour Line Up

Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience.

“Labour has many new and highly capable MPs who will have the opportunity to prove their ability. At the same time our senior hands will be on deck to take the fight to the National-led Government and support our upcoming stars,” Andrew Little says.

“I am pleased to announce Annette King will be my deputy for the coming year. In recent weeks she has shown how crucial her wisdom and strength is to Labour. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Rick Ellis As Te Papa’s New CEO

The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial goals as he did at TVNZ, while similarly neglecting the serious cultural side of his mandate. More>>

Passport Cancellation, Surveillance: Draft 'Foreign Fighters Legislation' Released

The final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill contains proposals previously announced by Mr Key in a major national security speech earlier this month. More>>

ALSO:

Related

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014... More>>

ALSO:


Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news