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Minister Brownlee lost in the floods

Minister Brownlee lost in the floods

The Green Party is calling on Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee to explain his Government’s failure to help flooded residents in Christchurch.

“The Earthquake Commission is letting people down, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) is letting people down and the Minister is letting people down,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

The Earthquake Commission’s flood plain modelling is well overdue. A Green Party Official Information Act request has revealed that CERA has not provided the Minister with any advice on relocating people or raising land, and the Minister insists that floods are the Christchurch City Council’s responsibility.

“Flooding issues in normal life are obviously the responsibility of the city and regional councils, but this isn’t normal life – this is earthquake recovery and it is the responsibility of Minister Brownlee,” said Dr Norman.

“We haven’t heard a single word from Gerry Brownlee in this latest flood – where is he?

“When we put forward our idea of a ‘blue zone’ at the start of March, Gerry Brownlee dismissed the idea but we have since found out that he has received no official advice about relocation of families from flood prone properties on which to base that dismissal.

“It seems that the National Government is just content to sit on its hands and wait, with their wallet in their pocket, while the under-resourced city council has to work overtime to both deal with cleaning up floods as they happen and also work to develop the solutions.

“There are too many families in Christchurch stuck in homes that keep flooding. They need solutions and across Christchurch we need a wider range of options,” said Dr Norman.

The Green Party suggested in early March the option of offering to purchase the houses of Christchurch residents affected by persistent flooding who want to move.

The Green Party is also calling for a National Environmental Standard or National Policy Statement on climate change adaptation that would require councils to make plans for climate change in their area.

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