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:

  • Govt Probed Over Health & Safety
  • Questions and Answers 28-05-15
  • Week in Parliament 22-05-15
  • Saturday Sitting
  • House Rises At Midnight
  • Telco Levy Bill Passes
  • Telco Levy Bill Completes First Reading
  • Social Housing Bill Passes Under Urgency

  • Labour Party: McCully Doesn’t Deny Bribe In Saudi Sheep Scandal

    “In Parliament today I asked Murray McCully directly: Why is he the first Minister in history to back a multi-million dollar facilitation arrangement which in other jurisdictions is called a bribe? says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson ... More>>

    ALSO:

    Welfare: Closure Of Relationships Aotearoa

    The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) Chief Executive Lucy Sandford-Reed is concerned about the closure of a national service which provides a wide range of services to rural and urban communities throughout New Zealand. More>>

    ALSO:

    TPPA: University Of Auckland Warns Of Negative TPP Impact

    The University of Auckland May 20, 2015 University of Auckland Warns of Negative TPP Impact With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation drawing to a close, the University of Auckland has expressed serious concerns about its potential implications. ... More>>

    NZ Flag: Flag Referendum Gets Hit Hard In New Poll

    The latest Campbell Live text poll confirms it is time for the Prime Minister to listen to the public and shelve his flag referendum, says the New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: The Government’s Belated Moves On Property Speculation

    Is it a property tax on capital gains or a capital gains tax on property? The Jesuitical distinctions in the government’s spin about its latest moves on property speculators are all about whether the government can claim that it jumped, or confess that it ... More>>

    Grant Robertson:
    Key Can’t Just Be Prime Minister For Parnell

    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In a ... More>>


    Labour Party: More Regional Jobs Go In Corrections Reshape

    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • NZ First - Prison Job Losses to Send Money Offshore
  • TPPA: ‘Team Obama’ Regroups On Fast Track, Still Not Deliverable

    ‘After yesterday’s stinging and unexpected defeat for the Obama administration’s attempt to advance Fast Track legislation in the US Senate, Senate leaders have worked up a compromise they think will get them past this blockage’, according to Auckland ... More>>

    NZ Government: 5,500 More Doctors And Nurses In Our Hospitals

    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a record number of doctors and nurses are working in District Health Boards across the country. More>>

    Controller and Auditor General: Katherine Rich Conflict of Interest Decision

    We are writing to you about a matter that has been raised with us by members of the public. More>>

    ALSO:

    Budget 2015: Andrew Little On The 2015 Budget

    Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, the Labour opposition leader attacked the government’s approach to economic issues facing New Zealand. He said they have been “more than reckless in their complacency” and “the next week’s budget will do nothing ... More>>

    Defence Force: NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel In Iraq

    NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel in Iraq The New Zealand Defence Force Building Partner Capacity training mission contingent is in place at Taji Military Complex in Iraq. The Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating says the ... More>>

    PM Press Conference: ACC Levy Cuts Announced

    In a press conference this afternoon in Wellington, ACC Minister Nikki Kaye proposed $500 million worth of ACC levy cuts. More>>

    Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

    Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Parliament
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news