The Christchurch “DePress”

It cannot be easy living in Christchurch I do not want to debate that as we all agree.  It is debatable if the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan is as good as everyone is raving about but again that is not what I want to mention here.

It cannot be easy working in Christchurch in places such as CERA, staying put when many have fled to easier lifestyles for their families elsewhere. Mistakes have been made, but out of the very long hours they are putting in it is precious few for all the work they are doing.  A problem shared is not a problem halved in this case, these workers take their jobs very personally at this time and have to sit through hours of terrible stories of other people’s terror and misery while dealing with their own.

Christchurch’s own “The Press” now has the insider “riverway” sniggering name of “DePress” thanks to its catastrophe coverage of every little mistake or grievance against the poor workers sent down and staying put to help the people there.

Egged on as usual by Labour politicians as I have already highlighted.

Cut the workers down in Christchurch some slack and help them out.  The Whale is watching and the tipline is always open for business.


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  • parorchestia

    The function of the media is to probe and expose and there is no doubt there has been much to expose. There have been serious failures in organisation and prioritisation so that many people are living in miserable circumstances. Meanwhile, others, in the rich part of town, get their drives fixed!
    As a community we did rescue very well although one government body so held up rescue efforts that many people died who could have been saved. But we have not done recovery at all well. These failures must NOT be repeated when the next town gets hit by an earthquake, a volcano or a tsunami. These local disasters will happen, so we want the best recovery possible for them having learned from the ChCh experience. We are extremely grateful for the help given by the rest of NZ, but we still reserve the right to point out deficiencies and poor performances of those who have vital roles to play. Gerry B has been a big disappointment. The CEO of CERA is a brilliant fellow who has been hog tied by others (guess who). The town plan was foisted on us by central government and it leaves much to be decided. Eg, The plan allocates 18 city blocks as a green frame – how are we going to make up the rates revenue lost by this town planner’s dream?
    In the meantime, the local economy has been hardly affected as people make their own arrangements with bugger all help from government. Thank God as ChCh is responsible for 20% of NZ’s GDP with only 15% of its people. It makes a great profit for NZ so is too valuable to ignore or stuff up.
    More power to the Press’s pen.

    • Random66

      I certainly agree that media should expose the frustrations and failings of the insurance industry during this time and believe the government could use their influence more to hasten the insurance companies along in the settlement process (and perhaps CERA too if they are holding up the works). I also wonder why the media doesn’t look into how the funds were spent (or not spent) that were so generously donated to the Red Cross and Salvation Army specifically to help those in need in your area.

  • AnonWgtn

    I see that the overseas (Wholesale) Reinsurance Industry (Swiss Re) has said that they anticipate that the total loss in Christchurch is around US$16 billion of which the Insurance and its Reinsurance backers will shoulder around US$13 billion.
    New Zealand has been bloody lucky – but there will be along term payback to these payments. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

  • parorchestia

    I understand your query Random66 but I can assure you that the money so generously donated was spent wisely and well – I served on a number of bodies that dispersed some of the money (as well as raising a lot locally ourselves – and donating!!).
    But the problems were largely due to government inaction or inappropriate action (including CERA) which allowed insurance companies to slow down/cease the payouts and for the EQC and others who put into place very difficult procedures for those who wanted action. And the job results lists were fluffed up by doing easy jobs that were largely cosmetic. AMI was the worst offender. Before the quake it did not cover most of its risk exposure in order to offer lower premiums than its competitors. When the worst case happened and it was caught badly short it ran to the government and was given a massive hand out – God knows why. The government should have nationalised it and kicked out the naughty Board and CEO, but they left them in place. And the government refused to open an Insurance Ombudsman’s Office here in ChCh. At this stage, many months after the major quakes (we are still getting minor ones of “only” 4.5 or so) most people have not had any payouts. Many are living in houses that are wrecked and impossible to heat or even keep dry because they have large holes or openings in roofs and walls. The problem is far beyond the reach of charity even though we did our best.
    Some of the stories of corporate/government mismanagement are coming to light, and The Press is doing an excellent job in exposing the very poor performance of so many representatives and officials. I’m sorry that Whale thinks the paper is whining, but I can assure him that the misery they expose is real, and it should have been avoided if the government had pulled finger.
    And CERA workers that you feel sorry Whale for at least have an income. Many of my business friends have lost major assets and businesses, so who should you feel sorry for?