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Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition 153


30 November 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT
Christchurch Earthquake bulletin edition 153

A regular bulletin started by the Labour Party’s Christchurch team to keep people in their electorates and media informed about what is happening at a grass roots level.

Our quake bulletin has taken on a new shape since Saturday's election. The team decided that one bulletin highlighting key issues across Canterbury was the most useful form of communication at the moment. We will review this over the coming days and weeks, in order to ensure that our primary aim of delivering good earthquake related information to our constituents is assisted with this bulletin.

We all spent the entire day yesterday at the Labour Caucus in Wellington. It was strange to be away from Christchurch! Our meeting heard the decisions of both Phil Goff and Annette King’s resignation as Leader and Deputy Leader. The Canterbury MPs all acknowledged the huge support from our leadership team and our colleagues over the last 15 months, with Labour MPs across the country carrying an extra weight for us in Parliament so we could support our constituents. Both Phil and Annette regularly visited Canterbury and their support was appreciated at a local level.

Our new leadership team, to be elected in a couple of weeks’ time, will give our region the same attention and support. Our colleagues have demonstrated an understanding of the situations we all face (as much as anyone from another area can understand) and have offered hugely practical support to us all.

In government, there may be different Ministers in positions relevant to Canterbury, such as within the Department of Building and Housing, The Ministry of Social Development, Small Business, Health and perhaps even the Earthquake Recovery Minister himself. We are committed to ensuring that the voices of our constituents are heard with the right Minister - whoever he or she is.

Access to full information is still a primary concern. It is unacceptable that people are being required to leave their homes and communities without complete information. These are life changing and distressing decisions, people deserve to know what the authorities know, when they know it, and should have access to a ‘peer review’ or independent review of the decision.

Those in the ‘evicted from their home’ category with a Section 124 notice on their property are as adversely affected by a lack of information as those in the red zone. Many can plainly see landslide or rock fall risk which prevents them from living in their homes, but others think there is little, if any, risk and are reluctant to move without an explanation. The City Council has taken the seemingly extreme measure of hiring private investigators to remove people who remain in homes with a Section 124 red sticker. How much does this private investigator team cost? Is it more than releasing free and frank information which explains the supposed risks people face by staying in their homes? This is some of the critical information which is being withheld by government and which Labour will continue to pursue.

Christchurch East Labour MP Lianne Dalziel is giving a keynote address at the NZ Industry Shockwaves Conference this afternoon. This one of a kind event has been established to confront key earthquake related issues that insurance professionals are facing in light of recent activities in the Canterbury region. Lianne has been asked to reflect on the importance of social capital and resilience in recovery and will draw from international literature and her experience in her electorate to present an optimistic view of Christchurch’s future.


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