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Speaker: Telling Our Own Tales

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lilith __,

    And thanks again to Russell for giving us room the last few years here on PAS, it means a lot.

    It's meant a lot to me, too. Not just in feeling somehow useful, but for the fact that you and others have enriched the place by coming here to talk.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And thanks again to Russell for giving us room the last few years here on PAS, it means a lot.

    It’s meant a lot to me, too. Not just in feeling somehow useful, but for the fact that you and others have enriched the place by coming here to talk.

    Thank you. Some time back, among the pictures you posted from your trip to crumbling Avonside, there was a shot taken from two doors along of the familiar river view from what used to be my kitchen window. While it was kind of numbing at the time to realise that it was now in the public domain, it was really cool that you stopped and noticed. Thanks again.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4523 posts Report Reply

  • Lara,

    Seriously Christchurch people. Next time you open your mouths try and talk for more than a minute without saying how much you hate Auckland(ers) and Wellington(ians).

    Wow. Just wow. I’ve not actually seen any of that anywhere. But, hey, enjoy your little bubble.

    I remember that it was such a nice day! Not a breath of wind. The stars were bright without streetlights. In the morning a brilliant sun shone on the cracks in the road. Sand volcanos were a novelty. The front door wouldn’t shut after one aftershock, but closed after the next. I didn’t want to go back inside, and slept under my bed that night.

    Edit:

    And thanks again to Russell for giving us room the last few years here on PAS, it means a lot.

    +1

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2009 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall, in reply to Thomas Beagle,

    Anyone want to predict whether Christchurch voters will vote for National more, less, or about the same as the rest of the country?

    I asked this question last week to someone who works in the media in Chch. He said there's a good chance that, Ilam aside, the electorates will all go Labour. National holds Chch Central by a mere 47 votes and the re-drawn boundaries take in far more Labour-leaning territory, so that's at least one that'll change.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 743 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Over these three months Christchurch appeared on national screens on average for 33 minutes a week. Aucklanders saw themselves for 659 minutes – twenty times Christchurch’s lot. And this was after we had had an earthquake.

    That's incredible. I really had no idea it was that bad. Admittedly that is because I watch very little TV, and such failures are part of the reason for that, but my impression (obviously completely wrong) was that the air time was reasonably fair. I wonder if that is because almost all the Christchurch pieces are so emotionally charged that I put more mental weight on how long they were, because they burned a deeper trace in my memory. I'd watch some Auckland things but I couldn't really remember anything about them.

    Which comes to my tentative explanation. People shy away from the emotionally painful. And the networks cater for that, providing them with safe fluff to veg out on. But it's really astonishing that the Christchurch audience itself should get so little air.

    I wish I could say Aucklanders would like something better and they're being failed by the networks, but I don't think it is so. My sad observation is quite counter to this:

    Perhaps there are Aucklanders who don't care about Chch, but I never met them.

    It seems to me that a fairly big chunk of people I know will say to me (but probably not to someone from Christchurch), that they're over hearing about it. And other things that are "harsh but true", which I won't sully this occasion with. So this wake up call of Gerard's is quite a necessary thing. The quakes are still the most dominant events by far in NZ over the last 5 years, and should be treated as such.

    I think what's happened is that people outside of the region have cauterized their feelings on it. It's something that's "in hand", something that's not good, but is being given an appropriate level of support and care. But it seems to me every single time I hear from a Christchurch resident that this is not so.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    It also must be remembered that the 'quake struck at 4.30am on a Saturday, so there were far less people in the central city, out and about, etc, so that probably saved a few lives.

    A mate of mine tells me a great story of a Dutch tourist being found crashed out in a station-wagon near where the Twisted Hop pub was in the inner city. He'd had a big night out on the booze, went to sleep in his car and couldn't figure out why there were all these bricks all over it the next morning.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 743 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Coup, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    My uncle was in a central city hotel that night. A few lessons he took away: always have your phone charged; put your stuff IN the bedside drawers so you're not scrabbling around in the dark under the bed looking for your glasses & phone & wallet after they go walking all by themselves; and if you have to go stand outside in the street at 4:30am don't dress as if you'll be getting back inside quickly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Jeanette King,

    As someone living on TC3 land in Chch and near the Flockton Basin I have found the Facebook groups 'TC3 residents' and 'Canterbury's Flood Affected Residents' to be very useful and vital forums which are being used for information swapping, support and venting. These FB groups have been so important to many of us. There is also a TC3 Rebuild group for those who are rebuilding. As Gerard says, The Press have been amazing, and also Campbell Live.

    Ōtautahi • Since Oct 2010 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Something non-Chch people can do to help us is vote for a government that will restore our local democracy. We can't vote for our Canterbury Regional Council, and the City Council is overruled at every turn by Gerry Brownlee with the extraordinary powers he has been granted by central government.

    We didn't choose the plan for rebuilding the central city, we didn't choose the stadium, or the Frame, or any of that. It's being forced on us, and we are forced to use our rates money to pay for it. This is not right, and you can help change it by voting this government out.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3884 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Thank you. Some time back, among the pictures you posted from your trip to crumbling Avonside, there was a shot taken from two doors along of the familiar river view from what used to be my kitchen window. While it was kind of numbing at the time to realise that it was now in the public domain, it was really cool that you stopped and noticed. Thanks again.

    I thought about it quite a bit. On my previous trip down, I'd done the same thing -- hired a bike and rode through the residential red zone -- but realised I couldn't take photographs while people were still hanging on there.

    The next time, it seemed okay, if still an emotionally turbulent experience.

    What I realised subsequently was that almost none of my Christchurch friends had ventured there -- it was too hard. I think I was able to do something as a visitor (although I grew up in Christchurch) that they couldn't.

    The photo-essay is here if anyone missed it at the time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    This may be stupid, no worries if it is, but is there a way that a u-tube channel or something similar could fill the gap so obviously left by the loss of our state broadcasters.

    The fact is any semblance of a state broadcaster has gone. I would love for it to come back, such an institution fills a role in society that more than makes up for the taxes required to fund it.

    But given it isn't likely to happen soon, is there something else that could be created to take it's place. Cheap low cost in actual dollars, maybe funded by give a little or something similar. With places like PAS linking through, it might become well enough known to at least partially fill the gap you describe.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4364 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    It also must be remembered that the ’quake struck at 4.30am on a Saturday

    And the aftershock that mercifully unjammed my front door was around 4.50am. These things have a way of stamping themselves onto your memory.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4523 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I wish the rest of NZ would get angry about the removal of local democracy in Canterbury. We have little enough democracy in NZ as it is, but for the Government to just remove an elected body - Environment Canterbury - and show no signs of giving control back to the people, is shocking. Regional Councils have a lot of power to make decisions about what happens in their regions yet the Government only allows its appointees make those decisions for Canterbury. Unjust.

    By the way, we felt those main earthquakes quite strongly in Wellington. That first one was strong enough to wake people up but finding out that it was centred on Christchurch was unexpected. I remember that Kim Hill was soon on duty providing excellent information over our public radio. And then there was David Hayward.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3107 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Thanks Gerard for this post, and Russell for continuing great work.

    but is there a way that a u-tube channel or something similar could fill the gap so obviously left by the loss of our state broadcasters.

    As Ian observed, it's mostly about funding. Platforms and technology are pretty cheap; people aren't.
    And people can't do this work as well in a vacuum. A culture of visual story-telling and a community around it takes time to develop.
    Frank Film is a powerhouse in this regard, but it's not enough.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2062 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The photo-essay is here if anyone missed it at the time.

    tears- many of us do really care but feel so helpless

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 609 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    people aren’t [cheap]

    Yup. Especially people with talent, although they frequently sell themselves short.

    But there are tools that allow people like me to contribute, and I think there are a lot of people like me who would contribute.

    I seriously don't know how hard it would be to do, it may well be too hard, and that would be fine. But it's an idea.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4364 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    What I realised subsequently was that almost none of my Christchurch friends had ventured there – it was too hard. I think I was able to do something as a visitor (although I grew up in Christchurch) that they couldn’t.

    The photo-essay is here if anyone missed it at the time.

    Thanks Russell. Here's the shot. Just out of right frame a new place was built in 2009, with around 3 weeks of noisy piledriving before the real construction started. Despite the expensive precautions it's gone now.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4523 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Rob Coup,

    Seems puzzling to me with magnitudes better technology, and excess journalists and TV/film techs that it's not relatively cheap to produce local content today? Journalist/tech teams of two, low cost gear, pitch in and do what needs doing.

    You're correct Rob - the cost of news gathering is miniscule these days in the overall scheme of things. For this reason, both TVNZ and TV3 switched to one person crews back in the early 90s.

    When all of our TV transmission moved to Auckland, the commercial value of airtime became the overriding currency which killed any meaningful local coverage. Since our state-funded broadcaster lost any pretence of acting in the public interest years ago, 'How much can we earn from commercials' became the main deciding factor when allocating time to programming. And that's unlikely to change any time soon.

    [Gerard Smyth]: It does not seem to matter what the network, the stories by each were so often clones of each other – competing media were bussed together to the same events, all under the prescribed direction of governmental communication advisors.

    When the Qantas/Aotearoa TV Awards were still operating I was proud to serve as a judge in some categories. In that role I must have watched dozens of earthquake stories -- mostly produced by well-meaning people but which, because of their sameness, were merely the clones Gerard mentions. Gerard's powerful and moving documentary When a City Falls stood out from the bunch because it was a genuine, from-the-heart film, told from someone on the inside. It was damned good filmmaking and it brought tears to my eyes.

    Down here in the south we don't "hate" people from Auckland or Wellington -- but the people of Christchurch deserve more of a say in their city's future. I don't know anyone in Christchurch who is impressed by the Gerry-built city which is emerging from the dust. Some of the bigger players are getting richer from the rebuild... lots of people in the eastern suburbs are still living in third world conditions. Only the Campbell Show has singularly done a stirling job of keeping Canterbury stories in the public eye. For me, that is true public service broadcasting.



    ASIDE TO SIMON LYALL
    Your poorly conceived comment would be better received on Whaleshit or some other similarly redneck blog. I hope you've realised that it was neither appropriate nor necessary in this forum.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1326 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Salmon,

    Thanks for that Gerard. We all need to be reminded that our audiences aren't just ourselves (particularly us Aucklanders). I look forward to seeing the footage sometime.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    It’s something that’s “in hand”, something that’s not good, but is being given an appropriate level of support and care.

    It's what happens when you abdicate responsbility to a 'leader'. It's this govt's style, and people voted them back in. But it corrodes community (and perhaps morality as we're seeing play out).

    I'm grateful I got to see Chch the day before the quake, and wasn't one of the hotel guests on the 4am pavement. Thanks for that final beer at the Dux, Emma.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Sacha,

    Thanks for that final beer at the Dux, Emma.

    Might have been my final beer at the Dux too, Sacha. Sorry it was pissing with rain.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4619 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Swadel,

    Well done, Gerard. A great read

    Auckland • Since Jul 2014 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Simon Lyall,

    Simon, need I remind you of the Oily One’s outright contempt? This issue is a whole lot bigger than just old-fashioned AKL vs CHC rivalry.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5328 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason, in reply to Simon Lyall,

    Seriously Christchurch people. Next time you open your mouths try and talk for more than a minute without saying how much you hate Auckland(ers) and Wellington(ians).

    Simon, guess what? This very thoughtful article wasn't about you. I know that may be hard to stomach, but really, it wasn't.

    Gerard, thanks for your excellent thoughts. We need more like you.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 255 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster, in reply to Lilith __,

    Agree 100% that changing the government as a result of their disinterest in the people of Christchurch should be the overriding priority of the election.
    Fortuitously this may well mean that a lot of other ills also get addressed, but irrespective of that the ongoing crucifixion of Christchurch is a travesty. Hard to call us first world...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 184 posts Report Reply

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