Thank you so much for sharing this. I found it extremely well written and an excellent summary of the rebuild to date. I wish there was more than could be done to resolve the anger and frustation that is being felt by many in the region.
The process in Chchch could also be titled
'From Draft Plan to Daft Plan'
and this is how the Govt's grand plans are unravelling
Land for anchor projects reduced and many, many similar stories - the Govt has just got in the way for 4 years, the bits outside their ambit (in the inner city) are progressing brilliantly...
There is no clear dividing line between the disaster and the subsequent plans, actions and developments. The city’s character is saturated with the disaster; the earthquake remains an inescapable daily presence and topic of conversation.
Living through the past few years has been difficult here, but it has also provided moments of joy, engagement and a sense of collective effort rarely experienced in the routines of normal daily life.
anger has been present from the very first moments the quakes disrupted the lives of people in Canterbury. Like the issues that radiate from the earthquakes, anger and frustration have spread to other aspects of life in the city such as traffic problems, dealing with insurance companies and government agencies, school closures, rent increases, political decision-making and more. But it is belittling to treat this anger as simply an emotional consequence of the quakes to be mitigated by holidays and relaxation. Much of this anger is justified.
Very well written, all of it. These 3 excerpts particularly resonate with me.
Reading this made me cry. Although I moved to Dunedin early last year, I'm still deeply affected by what happens in my hometown.
Something I try to explain to non-Chch people is that the distress and dislocation hasn't lessened in the years post-quakes. For many people it's actually gotten progressively worse. Insurance, infrastructure, housing and transport difficulties which we all thought were temporary have become perpetual.
I send all my love to Chch peeps and particularly those who are still able to visualise and work towards a beautiful future for the city.
Another 'must be read out loud' piece.
I'm not sure if this is relevant, but I remember hearing or reading about all of the bureaucratic contortions and power struggles the writers detail. ALL of them.
I think what that tells me (and hopefully the people in Christchurch) is that those of us in the rest of the country did care, do care still. We did take notice, we take notice still.
I look forward to getting my mitts on a copy of the book.
I'm with you - still care and still taking notice. Have just ordered the book.
difficulties which we all thought were temporary have become perpetual.
This. We knew rebuilding and regrouping would take a long time. We didn't know how comprehensive the changes in our lives would be: it's not only about the physical fabric of the city. For some of us, almost every facet of our lives has changed, in ways we never could have imagined.
Thanks Barnaby et al. It's a very thought-provoking piece.
For some of us, almost every facet of our lives has changed, in ways we never could have imagined.
Very much still coming to terms with things - perhaps the most profound being a struggle to connect with
whether and how to re-assert our old values and choices or take time to flirt with rare new possibilities
For me, it's been disturbing to be confronted with a dominant set of values (the values of business) I only partially understand and sympathise with, and which seem all-too-often to prioritise profit over people.
This has been the main result of the government takeover of the rebuild - it's felt driven by the values of the National government, rather than those expressed by Chch people at large in eg 'Share an Idea'.
But even though the govt's values are at best endorsed by 50% of the population, they've won three elections -and increased their Chch vote beyond anything I can remember. So perhaps 'business first' is what NZ and Chch DO value.
And that's a tough idea for me to swallow.
Beautifully written, and so calm as well.
Disaster 101: Those who fight the battle are not the ones to build the peace. Ngai Tahu changed the guard and by passed Sir Tipene O'Regan once the court case was won. Hamilton & Brownlee should be thanked and replace. Hamilton wasn't thanked and Brownlee has not been replaced.
Did Civil Defense fail as an organisation? I think it did and this role must be taken over by NZDF. They have the people, the training and the gear. Probus need to find another hobby.
Where are any learnings in the Blue Print?
What we all learned was to spread the risk. What we've got is concentrations of our essential service on two city blocks,with no scope for redundancy of service. Any thing from a bomb threat to a burst water main will stop all of our regions emergency services from operating.
Shall we talk of carpet baggers and cowboys?
This is the real mind fuck and this is where you really have to fight, constantly insist on these guys to to the job as stated. I was told "physics has nothing to do with earth quakes" by Fletchers EQR inspector. He just spouted total rubbish to justify inaction or dodgy work.
Four years on there is light and hope for a better tomorrow and not just because EQR are closing.
Flex - part II
“...physics has nothing to do with earth quakes” by Fletchers EQR inspector
I had the same experience...
Was his name Mario?
...he eventually stormed off when I called him a patronising prick who was arguing against the laws of physics because he didn't want to sort a difficult job.
Glad to see the back of him/them!
How they sleep at night is beyond me...
Sounds like the same guy. An over qualified Spanish interior decorator (assuming the quals are legit). Nothing was too hard here, they just did as little and as quickly/badly as they could. The physics line was from the EQR Manager. I suspect it was to confuse or antagonise. It achieved both.
they just did as little and as quickly/badly as they could.
... don't forget the continuous overtone of 'grudgingly'.