Armstrong on Goff's politicking over Christchurch

John Armstrong gets up Phil Goff for his shameless politicking over Christchurch. Labour were always going to politicize the earthquake, they were building up to it as a campaign platform until the second quake hit. Now they are ramping it up again. John Armstrong calls out Phil Goff.

If Phil Goff wants to play politics with the Christchurch earthquakes, that is his prerogative. A year on from the first shake with the timetable for rebuilding the city still seemingly in limbo, it would be surprising if the Labour leader did not start asking some hard questions.

But – and it is a big “but” – it was a bit rich for Goff to criticise the Government yesterday for not making fast enough progress towards restoring some degree of normality to the lives of the citizens of Christchurch when Labour has yet to outline its stance on the crucial question of how much compensation should be paid to those people in the city’s red zone who have to move out of their houses.

That everyone is still none the wiser about Labour’s position did not stop Goff yesterday highlighting the case of a woman who had lost more than $100,000 in equity in her home because of the way the Government was calculating compensation.

Cuddling corpses and now politicizing the earthquake.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee originally indicated that such modifications would be included in offers of compensation. He admitted last Sunday that he had made a mistake.

Goff rounded on Brownlee yesterday, saying the minister had committed “the unforgivable sin” of raising expectations only to later dash them.

When asked whether a Labour government would make up the shortfall, however, Goff would not say. He said his party was working on a policy which would be “both fair and affordable”.

Gerry Brownlee screwed up, but at least he apologised for screwing up, something we are yet to hear from a Labour MP.

How much fairer will be interesting to see given the consensus that National’s offer is at the top end of such compensation payments in historic terms and, at the same time, Labour is eschewing any big-spending election policies.

2007 valuations would be much higher than valuations in 2010 that is for sure. Property prices have been adjusting downwards since 2008 due to the global financial crisis.

As to when Labour’s version would surface, there was likewise no clear answer from Goff beyond saying some time in the 10 weeks left until election day.

And Labour wonders why it is rating so poorly in opinion polls.

Out of touch, unrepentant, and off target is why Labour are polling so poorly.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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