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Speaker: Telling Our Own Tales

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  • Barnaby Bennett,

    It's too simple to say 'the media doesn't cover it because people aren't interested.' People become interested when they are told stories about things that are told well. So the lack of interest is, in part, a by product of A. lack of coverage, and. B. lack of quality in the coverage.

    We only need to look at how much American television occupies peoples minds, or how easily political opinion can be influenced to see how powerful the media is in establishing interest.

    There is however no conspiracy, and I don't think any accusations that anyone is uncaring or unsympathetic. It's just an unintended consequence of the way a system operates and works. The reality is that most of the population, most of the advertisers and most of the media makers are based in Auckland, and so perhaps inevitably other parts of the country (chch isn't by any means unique in this) struggle to get in the picture.

    You can forget about empathy or sympathy, no one wants that. What is sad is that A. There are so many incredible interesting starting life changing stories down here that everyone is missing out on. B. The NZ economy is currently being propped up by Christchurch and most people have little nuanced knowledge of whether this money is being spent and taxed and governed well. C. Its really hard to have proper functioning democratic institutions when the media serves a population based 1000k away.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2012 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to jeremy botham,

    events that are now over two years old

    You know the situation well, right? If not the date.

    Four. Four years since the start of an on-going situation which has not stopped.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4610 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to jeremy botham,

    Because most of the media headquarters are based here Bruce. Simply a reality.
    As it is in the UK with London. The USA with New York. France with Paris. etc etc etc etc etc.

    Chch is NZ’s 2nd largest city.
    Chch people are not only your fellow citizens, but your tax money is being spent/squandered down here.
    First you tell me it’s a lie that Aucks media aren’t covering Chch, and then that it’s unreasonable to expect you to. Also that you come down here often and know exactly what’s going on.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3884 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to jeremy botham,

    Surely Russell, with your insight into the workings of the media, you’re aware that events that are now over two years old,

    Four years. This post was published on the fourth anniversary of the first quake.

    however monumentally tragic they were, have now lost significant traction outside of Christchurch.
    It’s arguably not fair, but most of life isn’t.

    So people should just do the right thing and STFU so you don’t feel bad? You've gone from calling the inattention a "fabrication" to saying that's just how is so suck it up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22182 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    I just Voted, I live in Wellington.
    How the government has treated Canterbury was a big part of my Party Vote Decision. Christchurch is a national issue. Future Disaster response and preparedness decisions in our country will follow the path of Christchurch, and right now, 4 years on that everything is not fixed well it's not ok.

    I'd also like to say to everyone who lives there, or did, thank you for being brave enough to share your stories, thank you for being vulnerable and trusting us with them.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • Barnaby Bennett,

    Here is just one example of many odd things happening down here that isn't being covered either here or up in Auckland:

    THE LITTLE WE KNOW

    A few weeks ago the PM was in Christchurch to present to launch of the partners for the new Convention Centre Precinct in the heart of central Christchurch. This large, expensive project has been mutely accepted as inevitable and part of the rebuild. Personally I don’t understand why there has not been more discussion of the project, and more analysis of what it means for the city and what it represents for the future of the city. The Government is refusing to offer any real information on the project, so a nuanced discussion is impossible. Below I have presented the facts as we know them.

    What do we know about the convention centre:

    1. It is going to be placed on two of the most important central city blocks in the city. Between Cathedral Square and the Avon River.

    2. It uses land that has been compulsory acquired. That is the full force of the state to force land off its owners.

    3. There is $284 million dollar of government/public money going into the project.
    4. The total project will be around $500 million.

    5. That means a public to private ratio of less than 1:1. International experience shows normal public private ratios should be from 5 and up to 10: 1 before been considered seriously.

    6. The project will be built by a large consortium of companies, including a urban design firm Boffa Miskell that used to be owned by the head designer of the government agency running the project (the CCDU) Don Miskell.

    7. The Carter Group is a major part of the consortium. Philip Carter is the brother of the speaker of the house and National Party MP David Carter.

    8. The Minister in charge of the rebuild is refusing to give any information on the financial or contract information on the Convention Centre until after the election.

    9. Convention Centres are almost never put in the centre of the city because they require very large access areas that become deadzones.

    10. The entire centre will be operated by a very large internation French compary Accor, so presumably any profits will go overseas.

    11. Publically owned streets and footpaths have been taken by the crown and included in this project. We don’t know if equivalent or better (and true) public space is going to be part of the design.

    12. We know that contracts have been signed and construction is due to start in 2015.

    13. The economic logic of Convention Centres is that they bring high-yield business customers into the city and the country. However most of the workers running the centres are low waged.

    14. This isn’t the type of project that was asked for in the Share an Idea consultation 3.5 years ago. (The last time anyone was asked about the central city)

    15. We do know that the CCC built a Convention Centre in just north of the Town Hall in 1997 for $15 million. This new one is a little bit bigger and 25 times the cost.

    What we don’t know:

    1. The business case hasn’t been made public for the merits of this building.

    2. We don’t know what the ownership model will be.

    3. We don’t know what areas will be publicly accessible or usable. Convention Centres are like stadiums, they either really busy and you need to pay to get in, or huge and empty (most of the time)

    4. Despite $284 million of public money, we don’t know what is going to be in it.

    5. We don’t know what urban design characteristics it will have. How they will activate the edges? How will trucks enter the site? How much parking is part of the project?

    6. The launch cost $16,000. You can see it here. We don’t know how you can possibly spend that much on a launch for around 50 people.

    7. We don’t know why if this is project makes so much sense economically, it needs $284 million of public money?

    8. We don’t know if there has been extensive economic research to see if a very large convention centre will work in Christchurch.

    9. We don’t know who will be liable for the costs if it doesn’t work.

    10. We don’t know how the spaces in this project fit into the broader ecosystem of venues and facilities in the city.

    I find it very frustrating that these huge financial and planning decisions are being made with little critical examination or discussion.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2012 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Barnaby Bennett,

    I find it very frustrating that these huge financial and planning decisions are being made with little critical examination or discussion.

    Quite! I haven’t found anyone in Christchurch who is happy with the Convention Centre. It’s just a fait accompli with a shitload of taxpayer money. It’s really very definitely a story.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22182 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    And much of the lingering discontent in CHC is strongly related to Big Insurance dragging the chain. If it’s good enough to impose a “full, fair & final” deadline on Treaty of Waitangi claimants, then it’s good enough to impose full, fair & final on Big Insurance. The most likely stumbling block is Big Insurance’s old school ties with the Beehive.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5283 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    It's this cargo cult of wanting to pour as much concrete as possible in the hope it'll attract money.

    Christchurch Airport - finished, at no doubt huge expense at a time when the builders could have been fixing the city, so that people can marvel at its huge, echoing halls of emptiness.

    Even the Greens have been dragged in. I'm sure that if we had a spare $500mln, a light rail system for Wellington would be a swell idea. But we don't have that money going begging, so why not do something much cheaper, quicker and probably nearly as effective, like buying more buses and hiring more drivers?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5523 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to jeremy botham,

    Surely if Christchurch is unfairly starved by national television, I could assume that the locals would be watching CTV and the documentary series on the earthquakes that Gerard made in their droves.

    There was a time when CTV did have a significant audience share. I could run you through the early history, but it would take a while- how it fell to pieces, split in two; how TVNZ dropped $50m on Horizon on the mistaken idea they could do ‘regional’ themselves; onto the eventual re-growth of a station, always strapped for cash, but hanging in there.
    But CTV was ripped to pieces in the Feb quake. 16 staff died when the building collapsed. The fact they were back on air so quickly is remarkable. They’ve made and aired some hard-hitting television post-quake, but yes, it hasn’t found a big audience. And it’s still an open question what future they will have.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2043 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Barnaby Bennett,

    the new Convention Centre Precinct in the heart of central Christchurch.

    This fuelled an immediate ‘wft’ reaction to the CCDU blueprint.
    We’ve been struggling to redesign the central city for decades, to bring people, business, art, culture, life back in. How could they get this so wrong?
    Or put another way: if this wasn’t so obviously bad planning and a two-fingered salute to residents, why were the arguments for it so absent?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2043 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Barnaby Bennett,

    15. We do know that the CCC built a Convention Centre in just north of the Town Hall in 1997 for $15 million. This new one is a little bit bigger and 25 times the cost.

    Thanks for laying this out, Barnaby. This bit particularly beggars belief. People wonder why Chch folk are angry with this government. They don't know the half of it.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3884 posts Report Reply

  • jeremy botham,

    Blatant hyperbole doesn't do your argument any favours Barnaby. To claim that the NZ economy is "currently being propped up by Christchurch is a total falsehood. It is a factor but no more so in recent times than the dairy industry and the thriving Auckland property market.
    Do your credibility a favour and stop the silly sweeping generalisations.
    I think as an overall comment, I reckon all you complainers should cease the blame game and put your energies solely into positively supporting the rebuild.
    As Simon said in the first reply, constantly harping on about supposed Auckland-based insensitivities does become a self-fulfilling phenomenon.
    That being the more moaning that emanates from Christchurch, the more it evokes apathy and ill-feeling from outsiders and enhances earthquake fatigue.
    The Auckland media isn't the enemy. A lack of harmony in ChCh is more so. Progress will only come from within Christchurch and not by haranguing those who live elsewhere.

    Since Sep 2014 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    This buffoon probably won't be the last refugee from Slater's foundering trollfarm to crawl ashore here.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4493 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to jeremy botham,

    Hang on a bit, Jeremy. I think that Barnaby raises some very interesting questions. I wasn’t aware of some of these dodgy connections.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2496 posts Report Reply

  • jeremy botham,

    Feel better Joe? I bet your doctor is pleased with your progress.

    Since Sep 2014 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to jeremy botham,

    Hey, cut that out!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2496 posts Report Reply

  • Barnaby Bennett, in reply to jeremy botham,

    Jeremy, please don't go there about what we've done in terms of positive things. How about helping out helping found and organise the Festival of Transitional Architecture (festa.org.nz) that has brought, 50,000 people into the struggling city, how about publishing 2 books that have highlighted all the amazing things happening in the city, or the 30 or so public talks I've given carefully explaining the positive energy and potential of the place, or the Songs for Christchurch CD that raised $10,000 for community groups, or the $2500 we've given to City Mission to help with the homeless here. It's taking quite a lot of willpower not to swear at you, but I'd appreciate that you don't cast judgements on people and things you obviously know little about.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2012 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Barnaby Bennett,

    oh, and here's the essay I wrote! https://medium.com/@mrbarnabyb/design-and-democracy-339fa4688d70

    Enough from me!

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2012 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to Barnaby Bennett,

    The launch cost $16,000. You can see it here. We don’t know how you can possibly spend that much on a launch for around 50 people

    Marketing it in Auckland.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 279 posts Report Reply

  • jeremy botham,

    Surprising then Jeremy you have time to slag Auckland media and also compile a bevy of sweeping generalisations like ChCh propping up the NZ economy etc.
    You have been busy.
    How extraordinary to think that I originally sent in a reply refuting much of the claims in the original article.....only to unleash such a tidal wave of anger along the lines of "how dare you put up opposing viewpoints!"
    Obvious that the Public Address site is only intended to preach to the converted and woe betide any dissenting opinions.

    Since Sep 2014 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to jeremy botham,

    Blatant hyperbole doesn’t do your argument any favours Barnaby. To claim that the NZ economy is “currently being propped up by Christchurch is a total falsehood. It is a factor but no more so in recent times than the dairy industry and the thriving Auckland property market.

    No, actually, the Canterbury rebuild is the single biggest driver of recent economic growth. See Deloitte’s view. Canterbury’s economic growth in the last calendar year was 5.6%. It has a lot to do with the government’s rockstar economy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22182 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to jeremy botham,

    How extraordinary to think that I originally sent in a reply refuting much of the claims in the original article…..only to unleash such a tidal wave of anger along the lines of “how dare you put up opposing viewpoints!”

    You didn't refute much, if anything. You've basically disagreed and then got precious when you've been called on your lack of sensitivity and factual errors. You've made it about you.

    Obvious that the Public Address site is only intended to preach to the converted and woe betide any dissenting opinions.

    Okay, I'm asking you to pull your head in a bit. I will actually remove you if you can't do this.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22182 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to jeremy botham,

    refuting

    may not mean what you have been deluded into believing it does..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19382 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    may not mean what you have been deluded into believing it does..

    Thanks to John Key, the meaning of refute has actually changed. It is now synonymous with dispute, and there is no word for the original meaning. Do you refute this?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10477 posts Report Reply

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