Hard News by Russell Brown


What Now?

The discussion we started here on hearing news of Tuesday's earthquake has been a remarkable thing. Not because it has done big numbers -- although it has -- but because it has provided a focus for this website's community, and allowed our friends in Christchurch to tell their stories as they've been able to check in.

But as the talk turns to what comes next, the inevitably more political tone of that discussion hasn't sat so comfortably there.

So, by popular demand, have at it here as to what comes next for Christchurch.

John Hartevelt looks at the government's "daunting" challenge "to plot a path to keep Christchurch viable, to maintain its population and its economy."

David Fisher and Hamish Fletcher in the Herald cover the exodus from Christchurch.

In the Sunday Star Times, Rod Oram emphasised the need to rebuild the right way.

At The Standard, r0b took a break from cleaning up the mess in his own house in Christchurch to reflect on a decade of rebuilding:

Let’s try and see past the disaster for Christchurch, and forward to the opportunity. A chance to re-imagine the city. My vote – a proper light rail transit system, free bicycles and a car-free CBD. Plan now for a post-oil city, a chance to do it right.

Greg Ford wrote an impassioned but barely logical column in the SST demanding a "promise" from Martin Snedden, on pain of resignation, that the Rugby World Cup games will be still be held in Christchurch.

And, of course, Fran O'Sullivan declared that John Key "should not hesitate to ask other New Zealanders to play their part towards financing the rebuilding of Christchurch," and then, glibly, that Christchurch's disaster should be "the spur for Auckland's leadership to get on to its own feet and stop being a drain on the nation's finances":

It's now time for Len Brown to flick a few of the Auckland Council's gold-plated assets to fund his pet infrastructure project instead of asking for tax funds.

There's no sense that she's done any real work on the numbers involved. And it might also be observed that setting up Auckland vs Christchurch as a zero-sum game isn't a very smart thing to do right now.

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