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Earthquake Recovery Grinds to a Halt

Denis O’Rourke
Spokesperson for Christchurch Earthquake issues

28 March 2012

Earthquake Recovery Grinds to a Halt

New Zealand First says the government has failed in its response to the Christchurch earthquakes and recovery has ground to a halt.

Christchurch Earthquake Issues spokesperson Denis O’Rourke says the government’s response has become a leaderless mess fronted by Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee.

“There are big problems that will lead to a cold winter of discontent and they all lead back to the failed leadership of Mr Brownlee,” says Mr O’Rourke.

“The rebuild of Christchurch is too slow. Central city demolitions will take up to another two years, and of the 100,000 homes needing repair the Earthquake Commission has reported only about 10,000 completed.

“Many red-zone home owners will get too little compensation to replace their home. New Zealand First wants the government to provide bridging finance up to $100,000 interest free for up to 10 years.

“Thousands of people are left jostling for accommodation and they face horrendous rents with a modest four bedroom house costing about $900 a week.

“Mr Brownlee says ‘leave it to the market’. What he really means is leave it to the wolves, the profiteers, and the law of the jungle. The government must act now to regulate rents in Christchurch.

“The government has also failed Christchurch home owners and commercial building owners by failing to ensure that insurers act promptly and ethically.”

Mr O’Rourke says insurance companies are using “delaying tactics” to encourage cheaper cash settlements.

“The situation in Christchurch is still extreme. Winter is coming and the rebuild – a strategic priority for the government – is failing,” says Mr O’Rourke.


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