Home' The Wellingtonian : June 23rd 2011 Contents 11
THE WELLINGTONIAN, JUNE 23, 2011
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Christchurch residents need to know
As Spiderman says, with
great power comes great
Yet so far, the sweeping powers
granted to Earthquake Recovery
Minister Gerry Brownlee don't
seem to have resulted in Brownlee
taking any responsibility for tell-
ing Christchurch residents which
land in the city is safe to rebuild
on, and which parts of the city will
need to be abandoned.
Instead, Brownlee has said this
is self-evident, and refused to
identify which parts of Christ-
church have been judged to be
This seems highly insensitive.
At Pike River, families feared
the worst for their loved ones, but
the official announcement that all
hope was lost still came as a
What seems self-evident to
politicians is not necessarily obvi-
ous to the people on the front
lines, for whom an official verdict
is crucial to them getting on with
It is not as if the recent spate of
aftershocks has made such
decisions more difficult. Quite the
At one of his recent press con-
ferences, Prime Minister John
Key said that, in fact, the
aftershocks were making those
So why have Key and Brownlee
been so coy about sharing what
they know about the Christchurch
Reportedly, there is still day-
light between the Earthquake
Commission, the private insurers
and the Government over who will
pay what level of costs -- and how
widely the compensation net will
Clearly, difficulties arise in
suburbs where, for example, some
properties may have escaped rela-
tively unscathed but the
wastewater system has been
deemed unsustainable in future.
Possibly, there could also be
legal consequences if the Govern-
ment prematurely writes off areas
of the city and sets compensation
boundaries before the insurers
have agreed on them.
Still, they are not reasons
enough to condone Brownlee's dis-
Surely, Christchurch residents
have earned the right to be kept
informed about what is holding up
the official designations.
The situation is all too remi-
niscent of the delays in announc-
ing the fate of the Rugby World
Cup games originally set down for
As weeks went by, it became
obvious those games would be
Ultimately, the Government's
delay in saying so meant it
escaped being the bearer of bad
news, and positioned itself instead
to providing mere confirmation of
what everyone had assumed by
I'm not suggesting the Govern-
ment is engaged in a similar exer-
cise in cynical political manage-
ment about the land remediation
It would be totally unacceptable
for any Government to rely on
stress and attrition to wear down
Christchurch residents and
induce them to pack up and leave
-- thus leaving fewer people
needing residential assistance.
The trouble is, though, the
longer the Government postpones
decisions, the more stress is being
generated among people who have
already suffered enough.
For years, we have been told
that when it comes to economic
policy what business needs more
than anything is certainty,
because only then can firms make
plans and allocate their resources
Certainty becomes doubly
essential when it comes down to
knowing where you can live,
where you can work, and where
your children can go to school.
Brownlee and Key need to show
some leadership here, and the
sooner the better.
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They are also a further instance of
our younger generations' belief
they know more about the
Western world of 1945 to 1975
than those of us who actually
experienced the era of their
parents and grandparents.
I don't have to hand the
statistics proving the number and
rate of sexual attacks or any other
crimes has greatly increased, but
those of us who recall media
reports since 1945 know that this
is glaringly so.
I'd suggest those
Statistics New Zealand for a sight
of crime statistics for the period
1945 to 2010.
It is for them to prove me
wrong; I challenge them to seek
those official figures.
So far as the notion that power,
not sexual lust, is the real motive
for rape, that's another of those
femintern furphies'' promulgated
A good many experts on crime,
including female ones, have more
recently declared that rape is
indeed about sex, not power.
And are those correspondents
too chicken, lest I be proved right,
to try my suggestion that dressing
modestly might considerably
reduce present statistics?
We all know the main cause of
pollution, but addressing that
doesn't have the feel-good buzz
that personal recycling gives.
Jenny Chisholm stated (June 9)
that she was puzzled but then
went on to agree to place smelly
items in the rubbish. Personally
I'd rather they were just collected
Using the planet's most
precious resource, fresh water, to
gleefully rinse plastic containers
seems like the antithesis of good
resource management, especially
when the recycling plant will do so
I'm sure one of your readers will
soon suggest taking the cans in
with the morning shower, just as
Catherine Bindon suggested
(June 9) peeking into neighbours'
That gave us a good chuckle. It
was almost as whimsical as
having sent out calendars with
black writing on a dark green
A simple swinging arrow with
two images marked on the bin
would likely have been a better
approach for the fortnightly bin
That could have been placed
under the bin lid for peeking at.
I am disappointed that many
Wellingtonians are ridiculing the
recycling system introduced
Everyone was sent a calendar
indicating what to put out each
How hard is it to follow? When
it comes to stinky rubbish,
washing the container will do it or
if it is some smelly fish, popping
the item in a plastic bag and into
the freezer will take care of that
until you put out the rubbish.
If you do not have enough to fill
a weekly bag does it matter if it
goes out fortnightly?
Sometimes people just like to
Will they complain when our
planet is ruined by those who are
not interested in taking care of
what we have? MICHAELA MANLEY
There's a simple solution for
scooter riders frustrated at being
unable to activate traffic signals.
Attach a metal strip, such as a
piece cut from a used drink can, to
This will activate the induction
coil that is buried in the road and
triggers traffic lights.
It's a bad idea to run red lights.
Our advice to people, whether
on a bike, scooter or in a car, is to
follow the rules and show common
Cycling Advocates Network
have a plan?
It is a given that governments
work for the people, but our
present Government appears to be
working for the wealthy few.
It is also a given that
governments have a long-term
Our present Government
appears to think short-term.
In the area of early childhood
education, the loss of subsidies
will mean only the children of
wealthy will have access. Early
childhood education is regarded
by our Government as a cost, not
a long-term investment.
What of our beneficiaries who
want to earn their living and
cannot because there is no
suitable work? Are they to lose
their benefit and what are the
long-term prospects for them?
With the demise of the Mental
Health Commission, will mental
health consumers again be
sidelined under a standalone
public health agency?
Our ACC scheme, once a world
leader, is set to go.
This will mean increased costs
to accident victims and fewer
With government borrowing at
high levels and our state assets
about to be sold, what is our long-
Is there any party out there
that has a vision for a fairer
society and a long-term plan to
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