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Speaker: Telling Our Own Tales

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  • Alfie, in reply to Graham Dunster,

    Hard to call us first world...

    Gordon McLauchlan shares that sentiment in today's Herald.

    The United States used to buy up small Central American countries and arrange for the locals to plant and harvest bananas on low wages before the fruit and the profits were shipped away. They were called, disparagingly, "banana republics". We are already a "pine log republic" and there is still a chance we will become a "milk powder republic".

    Do I see people of integrity, far-sightedness and who are, yes, politically shrewd, available to take this country on to imaginative, independent policies through intelligent, flexible, long-term planning?

    Yeah? Nah.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1315 posts Report Reply

  • Myles Thomas,

    Gerard is absolutely right. ALL the regions are neglected cos the current setup with a govt that requires a profit and no more from TVNZ. The need for regional public service tv is felt more keenly in Chch obviously.

    Of course the way to change things is at the election. People!!!

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Campbell has done really well in covering Christchurch.

    As for Aucklanders, send us some more strong young people, we'll give them a trade and a new future.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Kathy Fryer,

    Christchurch isn't forgotten there are still Aucklanders who believe that the EQC, Insurance companys and Jerry Brownlee should be accountable for the delays in settling damage claims and repairs.

    Auckld • Since Aug 2014 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP,

    The many posts on PA have certainty helped feel a greater sense of empathy and compassion for those living through all this.

    Visiting though made it all the more real.

    Seeing it through the eyes of Emma, Ian, Lilith, Isabel, and all the others who have welcomed us visitors from Aucks Bay [sic], entertained us, and patiently shown us the devastation they've had to live with everyday, while we enjoy a beer, and then fly away to the comfort of our unshaken Northern bungalows.

    Arohanui. We won't forget.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2426 posts Report Reply

  • ilmars Gravis,

    Okay, I live in Auckland and admit I can have no real idea about what people are dealing with, STILL, in Christchurch. I'll admit it was possibly a bit self-serving but why is John Campbell the only person on mainstream TV keeping up with this. Canterbury and the rest of the country deserve so much better than this.
    I'm a first year student doing a degree in Earth Sciences and I would be interested in peoples opinion whom are way more qualified and experienced than me. But here is something in particular that is bothering me. If we can't get the rebuild and recovery right in Christchurch, there is really not that much hope for the future in this country given it's tectonic setting. To put it simply, this isn't going to be the last time this happens and it could easily be worse next time. Something my lecturer told us put it in perspective for me, apparently if we have an event of the magnitude of the 1855 Wairarapa earthquake that considerably altered the coastline of the North Island, the Christchurch events will pale in comparison. I wish the self-serving glory seeking politicians supposedly running the rebuild from the top down would realise we absolutely cannot afford to get this wrong in a country like New Zealand.
    That's just my thoughts, peace and love to the people of Canterbury from an Aucklander who does care and I hope this election produces some positive outcomes for you (not that getting your life and city rebuilt should depend on partisan politics).

    mangere bridge • Since Jul 2013 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to ilmars Gravis,

    To put it simply, this isn’t going to be the last time this happens and it could easily be worse next time. Something my lecturer told us put it in perspective for me, apparently if we have an event of the magnitude of the 1855 Wairarapa earthquake that considerably altered the coastline of the North Island, the Christchurch events will pale in comparison.

    Because power was out for some time after the September 4 quake, and because so many of us had become complacent about emergency-friendly phones and radios, it took a while to discover where the epicentre was. I remember the relief when it was revealed how close it was. As someone put it, if it felt this strong here, and it had been centred in Wellington, there'd be nothing left there but a huge hole in the ground.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4496 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to ilmars Gravis,

    if we have an event of the magnitude of the 1855 Wairarapa earthquake that considerably altered the coastline of the North Island, the Christchurch events will pale in comparison. I wish the self-serving glory seeking politicians supposedly running the rebuild from the top down would realise we absolutely cannot afford to get this wrong in a country like New Zealand.

    Amen. We really are in this together.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3884 posts Report Reply

  • Barnaby Bennett, in reply to ilmars Gravis,

    Thanks for your thoughts. I'm one of the editors of the book that this essay is from. On some levels this government has done ok. There a thousand different scenarios that could have emerged post-quake and the one we have isn't amongst the worst. So in some ways I don' t think the question is whether they are doing a good job or a bad job, or whether it is happening fast enough. Both of these are distractions from the deeper question of the values that are at play. Because the government chose to take control of the rebuild almost entirely the decisions they make are deeply bound to the capitalist and economic and environmental conservatism embedded in the National party. It is a deeply undemocratic process, and the government is choosing which values it finds compatible with its views and which aren't. So we get environmental and urban design guidelines completely removed, and large Convention centres instead. In my mind the whole plan showed a fundamental distrust in the people of Christchurch, that it needed taking over.

    The problem then is that we are governed by a central agency whose mandate comes from the rest of the country. In any other circumstance it wouldn't matter if people didn't follow what is happening here, and I completely understand how it is to stay up with the fast changing city here. But by not following things, the population is tacitly supporting the government. This is why Gerard's article is so important, its not intentional but the voice of people here has no amplification. This adds to the exhaustion and frustration of the whole process.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2012 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Michael PlaysBass,

    As another Chch-born Aucklander, I'd like to thank Russell and all the contributors for their thoughtful comments.

    Except of course the troll bleating like they were actually the real victim because they feel hated. Much easier to feel like a victim than feel empathy apparently. There, there, hope your victimhood turns into a path to a reaching a better place.

    The real victims are of course in Chch or wherever they fled to. Some people have only recently got repairs to houses (like my bro) and had to wait for years in a leaky freezing cold house with one or more unusable rooms.

    The word is that the fancy houses up on the hills (etc) - populated by the "right" kind of people - got priority while the ordinary people got to wait and wait and wait. Also the quality of repairs is apparently very poor in many cases so one problem has been replaced by another.

    The reality of the suffering of Chch people is understood by few people in Auckland and Russell is one of only a few providers of real info on this topic (along with John Campbell). Much respect.

    Cheers everyone.

    Th' Shore (North) • Since Nov 2012 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Barnaby Bennett,

    The problem then is that we are governed by a central agency whose mandate comes from the rest of the country. In any other circumstance it wouldn't matter if people didn't follow what is happening here,

    Understood. Hope for change, and do what you (lawfully) can to precipitate it. Votes matter and may be the best way the rest of us can support the hardy but pressed folk in Christchurch.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 609 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Barnaby Bennett,

    Every word. Where can I buy the book?

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2879 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Hebe,

    Where can I buy the book?

    Looks like you can get it here.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4496 posts Report Reply

  • jeremy botham, in reply to Simon Lyall,

    Well said Simon. Brave words. The xenophobia that exists in Canterbury amongst a few thrives on self-serving conspiracy theories and nonsense. I'm sure that the good people of Timaru could put forward a case that their existence and stories are not given fair exposure in the Christchurch Press in proportion to their population percentage.
    It's simply little brother/big brother ranting that depends on making out that the bigger city [in this case Auckland] has a dedicated agenda to cut Christchurch out of the news loop. I recall reading a letter to the Times from a Birmingham correspondent on how big bad London dominated the news unfairly.
    You're exactly right Simon in mentioning the indignation that accompanied the Hope and Wire Series. It never stood a chance of being approved by these Canterbury xenophobes.
    If Christchurch wants more outsider sympathy, how about facing reality and sell-off assets like the airport.....before you expect the taxpayer to fund your rebuild completely.

    Since Sep 2014 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Barnaby Bennett, in reply to jeremy botham,

    Jeremy. Nothing in Gerald's article or the book or anything I've heard anyone say is xenophopic or negative about people outside of Christchurch. It is a description about the problems that happen when people don't get to tell stories about themselves to each other. No one is asking for sympathy, it is neither wanted or needed. What people do want is some autonomy over there lives and perhaps the ability to be involved in the planning of their own city. Its a shame you consider that to be asking for too much.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2012 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to jeremy botham,

    If Christchurch wants more outsider sympathy, how about facing reality and sell-off assets like the airport…..before you expect the taxpayer to fund your rebuild completely.

    That reminds me of Doug Myers’ epithet of the “Peoples’ Republic of Christchurch” when he couldn’t swallow the fact that CCC-owned companies were run just as efficiently as privately held ones. I still have the T-shirt, so there.

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

  • jeremy botham, in reply to Barnaby Bennett,

    Oh no Barnaby. You can't get away with describing Gerard's article as not being "negative about people outside of Christchurch." Comments such as "Aucklanders were just not interested" and "the Auckland-based networks were just not interested" are implicit in the disparaging negativity and xenophobia that themes the article. It's by no means the first time that Gerard's conspiracy-theories on the supposed uncaring attitudes within Auckland media have been aired.
    And no fresh evidence will ever change that bias, that mantra.
    Aucklanders do not comprise some uniquely, selfish tribe that has it in for Christchurch. Like the rest of the country, we are mostly consumed with our own issues, our own lives, our own debates. That is simply human nature, as flawed as it maybe.
    To conclude as you do that I shamefully "consider it too much" for Christchurch to want "some autonomy and to be involved in the planning of their own city" is scurrilous fiction. Where did I suggest that?
    On that subject, I'm aware that Cera for example and its CEO whom Gerard is a friend of has sought substantial input from locals.
    Gerard also glosses over in his article very quickly the fact that Christchurch has its own local television channel but adds that "it's only watched by a small percentage of local households."
    How come? 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.
    Or are even Christchurch folk suffering their very own brand of earthquake fatigue?

    Since Sep 2014 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    As someone put it, if it felt this strong here, and it had been centred in Wellington, there’d be nothing left there but a huge hole in the ground.

    And still on Wellington, the public sector austerity hasn't won John Key many fans in the capital. And even then, given it hasn't saved all that much dosh, it's turned out to be less about austerity, and more about yes-men in high places.

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

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to jeremy botham,

    Jeez Jezza...
    Is an adult helping you with these zingers ?
    or are you coming up with them on your own?

    I can feel your stabby little finger from here...
    but can live without the spittle.

    Patronising prat.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7426 posts Report Reply

  • Barnaby Bennett, in reply to jeremy botham,

    Ok. The only point I've got time to reply with here is the idea that Roger Sutton and CERA have been looking to locals for information.

    The complete lack of public input into the government led plan is a planning and governance disgrace. This is a multi-billion dollar and ten year or so programme of activity that has had no international peer review and no iterative input from the public and no public consultation. It includes the largest compulsory buy out of private land in modern history, and billions of dollars of expenditure with no public oversight or local input.

    It's absolute rubbish to suggest they've asked for substantial input from locals, and illustrates how little you know about the situation down here.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2012 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • jeremy botham,

    Oh Ian. I must have struck a bigger chord than I dare imagined given the personal abuse you've resorted to.
    It's called debate Ian. It's called an opposing view....which tends to break out in a democracy.
    Don't feel so threatened Ian. Take a few deep breaths and put the vitriol aside.

    Since Sep 2014 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to jeremy botham,

    FTFY

    Take a few deep breaths
    and put the bitter troll aside.

    knock yourself out...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7426 posts Report Reply

  • jeremy botham, in reply to Barnaby Bennett,

    I suspect Sweeping Generalisations would be your specialist topic on Mastermind Barnaby.
    Answer the question......if Cantabrians are so ignored and publicity-starved in the media, why is the audience of your local channel, CTV, and the earthquake docos it has aired watched by such a pitifully-small audience.

    Since Sep 2014 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Ward, in reply to jeremy botham,

    I tried to write a reasoned response to your nit-picking post and your supremely patronising response to someone who is living through the Christchurch mess, but words failed me ...

    Nelson • Since Jul 2011 • 27 posts Report Reply

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