Christchurch

Oh the irony – the nuclear yankees Labour kicked out come back to say Hi and they end up helping

The peace protestors and other anti-American fools should really be apologising for stupid attacks.

In our time of need the US military came to help:

Finance Minister Bill English has told the crew of the USS Sampson the reassurance they provided to the community of Kaikoura was vital.

The US destroyer was in Wellington Harbour on a glorious day on Sunday after helping out in Kaikoura, along with ships from Australia, Canada and New Zealand, in the wake of the 7.8 earthquake last Monday.

Mr English said since he’d been in government he had been involved in a number of significant disasters, including the earthquake that killed 185 people in Christchurch and the Pike River mine disaster six years ago where 29 men died.

“On each occasion when these events happen we don’t know what the needs are, we don’t know how people will immediately react to disaster and the need to get on with the basics of recovery.”

The Sampson was coincidently in New Zealand to celebrate the Royal New Zealand Navy’s 75th anniversary and stepped up when disaster occurred, he said.

“You have been part of providing reassurance to the wider population that whatever the needs were in Kaikoura – which we couldn’t know because we couldn’t get there – we had people with the professionalism, the skill and the gear to make a big difference in a very small community.”

The reassurance provided to Kaikoura was vital, he said.   Read more »

The size of the problem or Why you can’t trust the Herald to tell you

The size of the problem in and near Kaikoura is something people are struggling to get information on.

Unfortunately, you can’t rely on the NZ Herald for facts. Here is a prime example.

The scale and the complexity of the slips on SH1 was unprecedented in New Zealand, Knackstedt said, and the task ahead was huge.

“While detailed measurements aren’t yet available, it’s likely that four or five of the large slips which have come down on SH1 could be as large or larger than the October 2011 slip which closed SH3 through the Manawatu Gorge.”

That landslide – the largest in New Zealand history – involved 370,000sq m of material.  

Read more »

Reality sets in as road and rail freight will take “months” to re-establish as before

As we discussed yesterday with an email from a transport sector contact, the solutions for the transport infrastructure are complex. It is going to take a long time to get even cars moving.

It’s going to be months before the South Island’s freight lines will be fully operational.

Monday’s 7.5-magnitude earthquake destroyed parts of State Highway 1 and railway lines between Blenheim and Christchurch.

Most freight, including food, goes north to south.

Companies that send goods via truck and train are already scrambling to sort out an alternative option – shipping.

The extent of the damage was still unknown, said Todd Moyle, KiwiRail Group’s general manager asset services.

Early indications are that the lines will take months to fix, he said.

“We are still in the process of assessing the full extent of the damage. There are areas that we can’t or haven’t gotten to yet,” Moyle said.   Read more »

Freight to Lyttlelton, passengers to Nelson

After the main communications infrastructure of roads, bridges and the rail corridor were devastated by the earthquake  it is pretty clear that the region is going to take a big hit in terms of tourist travel and freight.

So it seems sensible that freight will be sent to Lyttleton and passengers to Nelson. Winston Peters has some helpful thoughts on the matter.

The government should be moving quickly to look into the feasibility of Cook Strait ferries being deployed to sail between Lyttelton and suitable North Island ports.

“This is crucial as the supply lines through to Christchurch are likely to be cut for some time,” says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.   Read more »

There is always some scumbag wanting to take advantage of a crisis

These people are really beneath contempt.

I hope they cop a good hard beating are suitably chastised when they are caught.

Police are investigating three burglaries reported in the aftermath of this morning’s massive earthquake.

Hundreds of Christchurch residents fled their homes as a tsunami warning was issued in the early hours of the morning.

As of 9am Christchurch police had received three reports of burglaries which Canterbury District Commander Superintendent John Price said “appear to have occurred while people were evacuated following the earthquakes”.

“Police will investigate each report as usual and are absolutely confident we can deal with normal crime as well as the earthquake response and reassurance,” Price told the Herald.   Read more »

Two thirds of EQC “customers” unhappy, and that’s not high enough

Natural disasters are natural, and disasters.  The fact that some people find that they have taken a hit on their equity, or their bird bath is listing to one side isn’t a sufficient reason to get pissy.  

The EQC system isn’t a 100% fix-it-as-new insurance scheme.  As long as people are living in their home, are safe and dry, then the minor stuff is what they should take on the chin.  Welcome to living on the Ring of Fire.

Customer satisfaction with the way the Earthquake Commission (EQC) handles claims has dropped.

The commission set itself a target for this year’s annual report of getting a tick from at least 50 percent of its customers, but the result was well short of that.

Its report for the year to June (PDF, 2.8MB – part two of two) showed about 34 percent were happy with their experience – a fall from last year, when 44 percent said they were satisfied.

Jennifer Dalziel is among the two thirds of clients unhappy about their experiences, after she approached the agency about its failure to properly repair her home.

“What they do is just keep fobbing people off, that it’s gone to the engineers, that it’s gone for a review and now we have to send someone else out, and there’s a six-month time lag between each of those things happening.

“So after three years people are no further ahead.”

Ms Dalziel had now decided to take EQC to court.  Read more »

Bludgers will be bludgers

Some people can never make a positive change in their life.

More than 200 beneficiaries who accepted a $3000 grant to work in Christchurch have been forced to return the money.

The 3K to Christchurch scheme was introduced July 2014 in an effort to help Work and Income job seekers relocate for full-time employment. They were offered a one-off $3000 payment.

Figures released to RNZ showed one out of every 10 who took the grant had to give money back.   Read more »

Karl du Fresne feels let down by John Minto

by Karl du Fresne

Minto had me fooled

I’ve tended in the past to take a charitable view of John Minto. The worst thing I could find to say about him was that his devotion to left-wing causes was so wide-reaching and so passionate that he had become an almost comical fixture – a caricature – in the political landscape.

In a Dominion Post column in 2012, I wrote that I almost felt sorry for him. “His brain must hurt when he wakes up every morning. So many downtrodden people, so many heartless capitalists, so many injustices – which one will he deal with today?” I described him as a compulsive serial protester and said that images of him addressing rag-tag gatherings with a megaphone were one of the few constants in a chaotic universe.

Beneath this mockery I felt a degree of respect for him. There was no doubting the sincerity of his convictions, or his commitment. Besides, a democratic, pluralist society needs to make room for people of every political shade. There might even have been times when I felt Minto had a valid point to make, even if he did himself no favours by coming across as intense and uncompromisingly dogmatic.

Now I realise I’ve been wrong all this time. What caused me to reassess Minto was a column he wrote for the far-left Daily Blog last week on the result of the Brexit referendum.

It reveals him as an unreconstructed Marxist, which is hardly surprising. He uses the tired, anachronistic rhetoric of class warfare – language that I thought had died with the passing of the People’s Voice. But more tellingly, it’s the language of malice and hate. Read more »

Poor Christchurch – the worst thing to happen since the earthquakes

Veteran activist John Minto has put up his hand to run against Lianne Dalziel for the Christchurch mayoralty.

The well-known political agitator, who ran for the mayoralty in Auckland three years ago, is standing for the Keep Our Assets group.

He will go up against incumbent Dalziel, a former Labour MP who succeeded Bob Parker as mayor in 2013.

Keep Our Assets is a Christchurch-based coalition of community groups, political parties and individuals campaigning against the sale of state and local assets.

The group has been demanding an end to secret Christchurch City Council meetings, and has asked for the renegotiation of the council’s cost-sharing agreement with the Government to be delayed.

Minto would not comment ahead of an official announcement, which is due tomorrow morning.

Speaking from Singapore, Dalziel said: “I welcome the announcement. It will be good to able to debate these issues with John.”

Really?

Do you think Phil Goff is looking forward to debating the issues with Penny Bright? What a stupid thing to say.  Read more »

Hands across the sand? They barely managed the length of a football field

Seventy people dressed in scarves, woolly hats and coats in late Autumn have held hands to show they worry about climate change and a warming planet [snigger, snort].

In a sign of solidarity, men, women and children held hands on a wintry morning in Christchurch.

More than 70 people, and a handful of dogs, lined New Brighton beach for Hands Across the Sand.

University of Canterbury student Bridget White, 18, co-ordinated the event at New Brighton pier, which was part of an international action that called for a halt to deep sea drilling and the use of more sustainable energy sources to protect the planet from climate change.

Read more »