Parliament

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

 

Govt has to step in with help for South Isld flood

Sun Nov 21 1999

If there is a change of government next weekend, Alliance leader Jim Anderton wants a senior minister despatched to the flooded South Island areas immediately to co-ordinate hands-on assistance. He visited the flooded area today to see the effects of the disaster first hand and to meet with community leaders about potential government support.Jim Anderton is urging the government to accept moral responsibility for flooding in Alexandra, and to roll up its sleeves up and pledge support for the communities affected by the natural disaster in the Queenstown Lakes District.' The Government should send a senior minister to Alexandra immediately , with engineers and other specialist expertise and a brief to come up with a solution.'If the Alliance is part of the government next week, this is what we will do: A Minister will go to Alexandra to co-ordinate relief in partnership with the local authority and community with the object of fixing the problem, not avoiding it.'There are two options. The first is to fix silting in the river, which is now a massive job. The second option is to close off part of the town which is likely to be subject to flooding in future and redesign it as a park and stop-bank that protects the rest of the town. That option would require compensation of the people whose land was wrecked, but it may be the cheaper and more viable option.'What should not be an option is for the government to simply sit on its hands and say 'good luck' to a community that needs its help.'The government has a moral responsibility for the crisis in Alexandra. It has developed the hydro scheme there for forty years without adequate maintenance or prevention of silting which has led to the flooding there.'The Alexandra flood is not a natural disaster. It is caused by hydro developments. But the township is caught in an argument between government and Contact over which is liable. It's far too small to take on the government and a massive transnational corporation like Edison. 'The government should not be trying to wash its hands of responsibility just because it has sold Contact. It has a moral responsibility on behalf of all New Zealanders to protect individual communities and give them support when they are hit by disasters which are beyond their ability to cope. That is especially so when the disaster is the result of a hydro scheme that the government has been benefiting from for forty years.'The government's priority should be relief for Alexandra. It can sort out the liability with Contact later, but it can't just sit on its hands and say 'it's Contact's problem not ours', while Contact is saying 'it's the government's fault' and the township gets nowhere.'Jim Anderton said the Queenstown Lakes District flooding is different, because it is the result of a natural disaster, but he says the government should still be co-operating with the local community to do everything necessary to relieve the effect of the floods.'They can't just leave this to the local community and insurance companies. The government should roll up its sleeves and offer whatever help it can. The Lakes District is a major tourism resort of national significance to New Zealand and all New Zealand suffers if it's under water.'It's no wonder that people hold the government in contempt when its response to a natural disaster is to call for reports, tell the community 'we'll see' or even tell the affected individuals to go and see Income Support.'The government should start from the premise that a New Zealand community needs a hand. It should roll up its sleeves and immediately indicate that it will co-operate however it can.'The alternative is that a new government will do exactly that in seven days time,' Jim Anderton said.

Visit http://www.alliance.org.nz for more information about the Alliance




© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Gordon Campbell: On Reforming Parliament’s Toxic Culture

It would be nice to think Parliament was a forum where rationality ruled – and where policies are raised and evaluated in terms of their contribution to the greater good. Obviously, it isn’t like that... More>>

Historic Assualt Allegation: Parliamentary Service Staff Member Stood Down
Rt Hon Trevor Mallard said today: “I do not want to cut across any employment or possible police investigations, but I am satisfied that the Parliamentary Service has removed a threat to the safety of women working in the Parliamentary complex." More>>


 

Fatal 2018 Crash: Police Officer Should Not Have Engaged In Pursuit

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that a Police officer should not have tried to stop or pursue a car thought to contain young people in Palmerston North on 28 May 2018. More>>

ALSO:

New Poverty Targets: Goals Overlook 174000 Children In Worst Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group is pleased to see the Government set ambitious 10-year targets for child poverty reduction, but we are disappointed not to see a target set for improving thousands of young lives where the worst of poverty is found. More>>

ALSO:

Study: Guidelines Needed To Avoid Risks In Government AI

New Zealand is a world leader in government algorithm use – but measures are needed to guard against their dangers. This is the conclusion of a New Zealand Law Foundation-funded report from the University of Otago’s Artificial Intelligence and Law in New Zealand Project. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Families Welcome Opening Of Drift

The group representing 29 of the Pike River Families - the Pike River Family Reference Group - has welcomed the unsealing of the mine at a private family event this morning... More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Harbour Bridge: New Design For Walking And Cycling Crossing

The NZ Transport Agency has released plans for its preferred option for a shared path over the Auckland Harbour Bridge which will transform walking and cycling not only across the harbour, but throughout the city. The Transport Agency says its preferred ... More>>

ALSO:

Wellington:

Shaw First Reading Speech: Climate Change Response Bill

Madam Speaker, today we begin the task of amending the Climate Change Response Act [2002], to fulfil the commitment that we have made, as a country, to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: More Unsold Kiwibuild Houses Bought By Govt

The Crown underwrite for unsold Kiwibuild homes has been triggered for a second time. Now lack of sales in Mike Greer's development in Canterbury and Auckland means the government has had to buy back seven more homes. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels