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Speaker: Telling Our Own Tales

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  • 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).

    This happened with the "Hope and Wire" thread. Constant complaining about "Wellington" crews, "Auckland-based" actors and the like telling "our" story.

    The average person who lives in the North Island isn't responsible for your house not being fixed or insurance not being paid so stop talking like we are.

    'Bloody Aucklanders don't care about Christchurch' is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Coup,

    Twenty years ago publicly funded broadcasters TVNZ and the NZBC before them had over 300 staffers based in Christchurch. Each day a team of around 40 put together a five night a week, half hour show. It was made by us, about us and for us. From the middle of the city, journalists and camera crews produced daily in-depth stories about all manner of subjects.

    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. Seems support from a network to broadcast it would be the biggest hurdle?

    What am I missing? (probably a lot)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Barnaby Bennett,

    Simon, really tasteful and considerate thing to contribute on the fourth anniversary of the quakes. I've never heard a single person down here talk about hating anyone from the rest of the country. When people have been through enormous grief and suffering telling stories to each other is critical. This is what Gerard does, this is what our book is trying to do. If you aren't interested fine, but please don't put words into our mouths.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2012 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Simon: A workmate (Pom) reminded me about something in a thumping down to earth realisation the other day. He referred to NZ like being in Birmingham.

    Eh?

    The Birmingham City Council is bigger than NZ. Period.

    For anyone in NZ to ignore Chch or berate Aucklanders is as if Auckland was the whole of NZ and Epsom telling Remuera to go get knotted. The hue and cry if Ladies Mile got closed would be heard for miles - well - at least to Papakura. We are that close, that small and that connected. Some north of Bombay need reminding. Gerard is reminding all of us.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1581 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Rob Coup,

    What am I missing?

    The money men need to have the will to do it...
    ...and they don't see a return,
    not even as pro bono
    self publicity...

    their margins marginalise everyone else...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7426 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Thank you Gerard for your words, your stories, your films and your rare ability to find the best of us all in the worst of times. Arohanui

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2879 posts Report Reply

  • Nora Leggs,

    Attachment

    makes my heart ache : (

    Auckland • Since Dec 2011 • 2685 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, 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, I almost deleted your tin-eared comment because it seemed so awfully inappropriate given today's #eqnz anniversary.

    But I would say this. When my friends in Christchurch talk about how they feel the loss of control of their own destiny and storytelling, I don't take it personally. It's not about me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22182 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ross Mason,

    The Birmingham City Council is bigger than NZ. Period.

    With greater metro Birmingham - including Coventry - at a shade under 4 million on the last available figures it looks more like a photo finish.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4496 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    The money men need to have the will to do it...
    ...and they don't see a return,
    not even as pro bono
    self publicity...

    their margins marginalise everyone else...

    This and loss of this ability to tell local stories makes us more easily managed, or am I getting toooo cynical?

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 609 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Simon Lyall,

    can't coders read between the lines?

    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).

    This from the empath who wrote in July 2011:

    Later this month I’ll be in Christchurch for the South Island Chess Champs. Christchurch has been hit by 3 big earthquakes in the last year (and hundreds of small ones) and thousands of buildings have been damaged (Many have or will be demolished) so it will be interesting seeing some of this for myself (although I’ll be playing chess during most of the day). The tournament is one the other side of down from the most damaged areas however.
    - http://blog.darkmere.gen.nz/2011/07/

    hope we afforded you some momentary diversion...
    sorry to be a burden...
    oh, and why don't you
    just fuck off!

    <end story>

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7426 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Dickison,

    I moved to Auckland a year after the main quake. Everyone was extremely sympathetic and wanted to help in any way they could. Perhaps there are Aucklanders who don't care about Chch, but I never met them. What was obvious, though, was that they had no real idea of the scope of the damage, and how little was being rebuilt. Every Aucklander and Wellingtonian I know who's actually visited the city has been surprised and dismayed; the reality hasn't matched their impressions from TV. So it seems like the media outside Chch hasn't done a great job at conveying that reality.

    Does it really matter? Yes. The partial destruction of our second-biggest city is the number one economic and political issue in NZ today. It should the central election issue. The bad decisions being made right now by a few powerful people in this National government are going to have major consequences for the entire country for decades. This affects everybody, and at the last election we voted to keep the Nats, and in NZ “we” means, mostly, people from the North Island. So, technically, yes, they’re why people's houses aren't fixed.

    Tempting as it is to turn this fourth anniversary into some “Yeah, your lives were ruined, but everybody hates Auckland, waah” argument, can we try not to? We’ve got more important things to worry about, and this country's too small.

    Since Feb 2010 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Attachment

    Looking back, September 4 2010 was a gorgeous day.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4496 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Simon Lyall,

    The average person who lives in the North Island isn't responsible for your house not being fixed or insurance not being paid so stop talking like we are.

    The votes of North Islanders and the moral pressure they exert on the nation's leadership make a difference. Please consider whether maybe that does imposes a responsibility on you.

    AM I MY BROTHER'S KEEPER?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3119 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Rather hard to write an article about the loss of strong state owned regional TV in Christchurch and how this is especially a loss during disasters without talking about the main tv channels being based in Auckland, Simon.

    I imagine NZBC Auckland had a strong regional team back then as well though so I don't expect they were neglected in any way.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1009 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Beagle,

    I'm really looking forward to see how Christchurch votes in the general election as I think this will be the real indicator of how they feel about the National government's rebuild efforts.

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

    (And yes, this is a comment about politics in relation to a national disaster, but politics is how the country decides what is important and what we should spend our collective resources on.)

    New Zealand • Since Nov 2007 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The Mainland Touch...
    at NZ on Screen

    I often wonder how that Tower would have survived the quakes, if they'd built it...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7426 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Dear Devil's Advocate. I've deleted your revolting bit of trolling there and I'm about to ban your account. You have no idea.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22182 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, 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).

    Seriously, Simon. You read this piece, today, and this was what you felt a burning need to say? That, what, we're failing to see who the real victims are here?

    Your self-involvement and lack of empathy are pretty sad to see, to be honest. Maybe go and be this small somewhere else, at least until tomorrow.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4612 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    I wish we could hear more tales fromChristchurch and other towns and cities too -as someone who has lived in a few small regional places the only time the news ever mentions them is always in relation to crime or some other disaster & sport - its simply not good enough!

    As a Christchurch born Aucklander I feel a huge disconnect with what is happening in the city of my birth - my friends and family still there don't talk about it, much. My visits to the city haven't helped but deepen my sense of helplessness. I fear my donations have been earmarked for a stadium, my tax contribution to a convention centre not one of the many in need..

    Thank you Gerard and all of those who continue to speak via social media, Campbell live, the press online and here at PA, you all give me some small understanding and connection to you there - for this I am grateful as you and the city DO matter and most of us care

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 531 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Thank you Gerard for this excellent post. I absolutely agree that Chch ppl lack a forum to communicate not just with officialdom but also with each other. Let alone with the rest of NZ.

    Some groups, notably Gap Filler and the Avon River Park group have used FaceBook to good effect. But that's barely scratching the surface of the stuff we need to talk about.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3884 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Coup, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    The money men need to have the will to do it…
    …and they don’t see a return,
    not even as pro bono
    self publicity…
    their margins marginalise everyone else…

    I’m getting further & further away from my realm of expertise here, so bear with me. We’ve historically said the same about all sorts of things “too hard, will never happen” but with a few committed people we see Big Hard things can actually happen – some examples off the top of my head: Open Government Data, the Akl City Rail Link & Congestion Free Network, Media7 incarnations, cycleways, Harbour Bridge Skypath, mountain biking in National Parks. Which all started with "hahahaha. Let me think, NO."

    And the successes aren’t about saying “you should give me money and I’ll do X!” they’re about finding ways to prove X is a benefit for everyone and is cheaper, more efficient, sustainable, and a generally better investment compared to the status quo. Takes a huge amount of work and persistence and evidence to demonstrate you’re not a nutter and that it’ll work, but it will eventually resonate with the people who matter (because they’re people just like the rest of us).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

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

    Arohanui to all Chch people today, and to those elsewhere who support us and listen to us. You've no idea how much that helps.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3884 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Rivers,

    I support the view that the real makers of meaningful news are at the margins notwithstanding the efforts of the Press and Campbell Live's coverage of Christchurch. This need not have been the case but the shape and texture of our media landscape is at least as much a result of political aseconomic decision making. In fact the quality of information available for all citizen's is a core democratic issue. Alain de Botton's The News: A users guide made a really good point that the news media ought to help us decide who we want to be as a nation and that far too much time is spent of trivia and simplistic solutions.

    If a government were to close the public interest TV channel, fix the income of the publicly funded radio station for 6 years so that a re-organisation forces it to make the head of news redundant and subsume the news function into a 'content directorate' you might wonder about its commitment to hearing a variety of voices.

    If it sold ALL of the available digital, wireless and analogue capacity into the private market so that there is no ability for low cost community or public broadcasting to broadcast nationwide causing the marginalisation of the community television network as a form you might wonder about its commitment to an informed democracy.

    If it then made a big deal about the importance of content however delivered but refused to make any meaningful commitment to net neutrality you might wonder whether the government's marketisating of almost every aspect of our media landscape is entirely accidental.

    When you notice that the head of the public radio station hasn't ruled out philanthropy but the government provides millions of dollars in a non-transparent way to one media outlet and provides all of New Zealand's publicly funded content to another you wonder whether it really values any role for a public news and information domain at all.

    Christchurch is bearing the brunt of this marginalisation of the public voice and denigration of community activism. Hey but to echo Stephen's comment above we were advised by our PM that in WE ARE ALL OUR BROTHER'S KEEPER IN NEW ZEALAND. So hey. I guess we can all be relaxed about that.

    Since Apr 2011 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Liam Dann, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'm pretty sure I wrote the essay in the book which most strongly argues that Aucklanders don't really care much anymore. So far I think I've upset far more Aucklanders than Cantabrians with this premise. I didn't mean we don't care about the suffering or have sympathy when we actually stop to think about the situation in Chch. But I did mean we (I've been an Aucklander for nearly 20 years) don't spend a lot of time or energy talking about it or worrying about it - at least not in my professional or social worlds. Auckland is once again obsessed with its own development issues - housing, transport etc. My experience is that Christchurch people I talk to understand this. They don't expect Aucklanders to care about their local body politics etc. The whole point of this book is that Christchurch people are trying to find their own way forward and good on them. I'd like to think Auckland remains broadly supportive about the rebuild even if we don't have time or energy for the detail of the debate.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 2 posts Report Reply

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