With the announcement yesterday that Bill English is shaking up the Cabinet Table, the real losers in the announcement are the loss of Earthquake recovery from the cabinet table. That's how important they see the Christchurch Recovery.
John Key was quick to appoint Gerry Brownlee as the Minister mainly because of his high profile and ranking within parliament. Many things could be said about his attributes to the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery, However, no one can deny he is one of the highest profiled National MP. To be replaced by someone like Nicky Wagner, is like a kick to the guts by this Government.
Anyone looking in can see that Christchurch, in particular, isn't anywhere near where it should be some 6+ years on. Some still fighting their insurance providers for a settlement, Constant roadworks still repairing broken infrastructure, CBD in taters with some buildings yet to be demolished or decided on its fate. Christchurch Cathedral still in doubt.
Christchurch is a City with no real CBD now, its heart has been ripped out, and no one is really helping to rebuild it. Cowboys and Government SOE's are trying to make a quick buck and there is little filtering down to the everyday residents. Many are telling us they have had enough.
Gerry Brownlee announced some major key projects including a new stadium, a new conference centre, etc. Many of these key cornerstone projects are yet to even start. Yet this government wants to wipe its hands clean of it? They are taking it as a Ministerial Position outside of Government. Do they think that Cantabrians have had enough of being mucked around and given the cold shoulder? Maybe.
Mental health services are struggling, students are feeling the effects of living in what resembles a war-torn region. This was a natural disaster, yes, but in a regions time of need, they need all the support that can possibly be given.
Congestion increasing heavy as the city spreads to the outskirts, and infrastructure unable to keep up, throw in some road works and there is a recipe for disaster. This also has a massive impact on an unreliable Public transport system based on these issues.
A lot of the issues and delays can probably be related to Miss Management, Although you would think that the Governments creation of CERA would have streamlined the process, time and money were wasted in ripping up the road several times in places to repair individual services, instead of repairing all services at once.
The cost of living in the region (which still has the odd aftershock) is high, damaged roads causing an increase in vehicle maintenance costs, broken houses still causing high power bills as harder to heat, and the ultimate cost of living going up.
Gerry Brownlee will be remembered as the man with a large presence but doing little for his constituents, unless they are friends of his. This is a shame, Looking at the suburbs the flasher, the suburb the more likely it has been repaired. What sort of message does that send home?
Our Government needs to hold the rebuild as a priority, and they need to do what they can, otherwise if the opposition show they are willing to throw everything at the Earthquake Damaged city, Then Nationals support there may be limited.
Now is the time for opposition parties to step up, show compassion, and determination to fix the broken City. It won't happen overnight, however, this might become the best opportunity for Cantabrians.
The rebuild of Christchurch is dragging the chain from many other international sites, Even Napier's large earthquake was repaired fairly quickly and they didn't have the technology we do now. yet 6+ Years on (Going on 7 Years for initial quake) it seems very very little has been done. At this rate, the city will still be in tatters in 2030.
Published by D Blair, Hamilton