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Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition 149

Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition 149

A regular bulletin started by the Labour Party's Christchurch electorate MPs, Clayton Cosgrove (Waimakariri), Ruth Dyson (Port Hills), Lianne Dalziel (Christchurch East) and Brendon Burns (Christchurch Central) to keep people in their electorates and media informed about what is happening at grass roots level.
CANTERBURY EARTHQUAKE RECOVERY PLAN:

Labour will:

* Purchase 1500 properties and sell them at cost to red zoned residents
* Ring-fence $100 million as compensation for home improvements
* Release all available geotechnical information
* Resolve the insurance gridlock
* Intervene in the insurance market as a last resort
* Make community engagement a priority
* Use youth unemployment to fill the skills gap
* Establish an independent insurance commissioner

For full policy details go to: http://www.labour.org.nz/news/leadership-needed-to-rebuild-canterbury

LABOUR'S CHANGES TO EQC WILL INCLUDE:

* Ensuring widespread EQC coverage - making it universal by collecting levies through the local authority rates system.
* Increasing the cap on EQC Cover from $100,000 in consultation with the EQC and the insurance sector.
* Making the levy proportionate by basing it on rateable values.
* Reviewing the Operations of Earthquake Commission to ensure the lessons of the Canterbury earthquake are used to secure the long-term reliability of the Commission.
* Covering temporary accommodation expenses.

For full policy details go to: http://www.ownourfuture.co.nz/earthquake-commission


CLAYTON COSGROVE: Statistics revealed yesterday show that in the past year departures from New Zealand have outstripped arrivals leading to a net migration loss for the first time in a decade. The Canterbury figures show that since the February 22 earthquake and up until October this year there were 6000 departures from Christchurch, compared to 3700 in the same period of the previous year. While no one will be surprised to see that an increased number of people have left our region, the reality is that many of these people are skilled workers who will be integral to the rebuild effort. While we can expect many of those workers to return when the rebuild picks up pace, the concern is that many of those workers won't be enticed to return at all and their skills will be lost. This just reinforces the glaringly obvious ---that much more needs to be done to keep our skilled workers in Canterbury. They will be integral to the future of this region, and on up-skilling and training the thousands of workers that we will need.

BRENDON BURNS: Tomorrow will see the 150th Christchurch Earthquake Bulletin from Canterbury's Labour MPs. I believe the bulletins over many months have been hugely valuable in a number of ways. Firstly, it has allowed media to know what we are doing for our constituents and the issues we are raising on their behalf. On numerous occasions, media coverage originating from these bulletins has helped deliver fairer outcomes for Christchurch residents They have also helped provide some balance to the official version of events, which continues to pretend that all is fair and progressing well in Christchurch. The bulletins have regularly provided direct and authentic challenges to the spin. They have also provided a discipline on us as MPs to sit down, daily, and sift through all of the issues swirling through our electorate offices and provide a summary of the most important issues. Thanks to all our staff and the Parliamentary team for their work - I think we've been doing a great job for all too often beleaguered Cantabrians.

LIANNE DALZIEL: The first CERA meeting since the bombshell red zone announcement last week was held last night in Brooklands. I arrived after the meeting started due to a prior commitment, but the exchanges between Roger Sutton and the community confirmed how stressful this has been for everyone. It is true that some want to go but they felt they were being pitted against the overwhelming number who wanted to stay. The question was asked what would happen if the offer wasn't accepted - "that has not been decided". How long would if be before we know - "we can't say". Another question resonated well with the audience: "it's not your fault Roger; where is Mr Brownlee?" And that is the crux of the problem - a political decision is delivered by the people who are not accountable and those who are accountable are nowhere to be seen. The politicians were all over Brooklands in the early days - even the Prime Minister came. Where are they now? Here's what Mr Key said to the residents of Brooklands on Saturday September 11th. And before anyone accuses me of ignoring the impact of the February earthquake, Brooklands was affected by the September earthquake - not the February one. He should front up and answer the question again and explain why it would be so very different as a result of last week's announcement.

RUTH DYSON: There has been growing frustration at the inability of the City Council to support businesses that want to get up and going quickly because of the requirements of the Building Act. The temporary accommodation regime goes part of the way but is not enough to save some of these businesses and to bring some life into our communities. A simple solution would be for a temporary permit to be issued with a clear timeframe for the business to meet the remaining requirements. I am told that this might need Minister Gerry Brownlee to intervene and if that is the case, I will be proposing that to him today. It could get some of the businesses up and running which is becoming a huge and pressing need given that their insurance is running out. Home owners are also facing huge financial burdens, some of which they will not be able to meet, as their temporary accommodation money is getting close to running our and the government subsidy does not meet the cost of renting another place, let alone their home mortgage repayments and the rates that they still have to pay. The stress on families is just massive and the fear and distress that results from this needs to be better understood and addressed.

Authorised by Clayton Cosgrove, Parliament Buildings Wellington.

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