Another broken promise. Another failed test



“On behalf of the Government, let me be clear that no one will be left to walk this journey alone. New Zealand will walk this journey with you.  We will be there every step of the way.  Christchurch; this is not your test, this is New Zealand’s test. I promise we will meet this test.”

That is the promise John Key made to the people of Christchurch 23 February 2011 – the day after the February earthquake.

But from Cashmere to Bexley, Sumner to St Albans, Lyttelton to Mairehau – the National government has left many people to walk alone – to fight EQC and insurance companies alone every step of the way.

Three years on from the earthquakes many people can’t move on with their lives because of EQC and insurance delays and multiple and contradictory assessments.

Labour has been working to bring to light cases such as that of 85-year-old Dot Boyd, who had been waiting three years for repairs on her Aranui Home.  Because of the attention surrounding her case, a solution has been found for Dot—but EQC has now confirmed there are at least 85 elderly people considered to be “vulnerable” suffering the same plight.

And we have just found out that while the vulnerable are still waiting for answers after more than 3 ½ years, there is a VIP list of high profile journalists, television personalities, and sports stars.  As Clayton Cosgrove has said, “every person affected by the earthquakes should be treated as a VIP and priority status should be given to the most vulnerable, like 85-year-old Dot Boyd”.

Of major concern is those who are, or should be, on the vulnerable list and the fact that they are still waiting after all this time and quite possibly in substandard housing. By the time of the election these people will have been through their fourth winter in these conditions. That is completely unacceptable.

Recently 84-year-old Margaret McGovern said “I think they are waiting for us to die”.

Even those quake/insurance victims who have their own difficulties have told me they would support the most vulnerable, like Dot, having their issues given priority.

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Now, while areas like the Flockton Basin flood again (the seventh time since the quakes for many), the government has left residents there, too, to walk or wade alone.

Engineers identified that the earthquakes have caused the streams to narrow and silt up, and widespread land settlement (land has dropped 0.2-0.6 metres) that has made flood vulnerable areas more at risk.  This is not a new development, either – geotechnical reports had acknowledged this after the September 2010 earthquakes.

Yet last week, National claimed to be unsure whether the earthquakes worsened the flooding risk.

“We’ve asked that question and we haven’t yet got that definitive answer, that’s why I’m being cautious,” Gerry Brownlee said.

National has had over three years to get it right– but they haven’t come close.

Yes we’ve been through extraordinary times, but we deserve an extraordinary response from our Government. We deserve a Government who will honour their promise.

NB: I am keen to tell some of the untold stories of Christchurch.  Feel free to contact me if there is an important earthquake or Christchurch story that ought to be told.


  1. I think the thing that stuns me most about the National Party is just how incompetent many of them are. They don’t listen to alternative points of view and couldn’t probably organize the proverbial in a brewery.

    Obviously their main talents are grasping for power and while I acknowledge this is the main talent of most MPs I still maintain that the members of my local kindy could do a better job than this lot.

  2. Does he actually remember saying that? He just pops in when there’s a new disaster for the photo ops, and then turns his mind and his back. How can he “speak for New Zealand” and ignore them at the same time? He speaks only for himself – platitudes and sound bites for the camera without any true intent. He’s more than incompetent … he’s disingenuous. He doesn’t make promises he can’t keep … he lies. How he’s managed to capture the continued trust and support of his adoring fans beggars belief and simply exposes a vast chasm between two sets of New Zealanders – and primed this nation for a class war. One side of that equation has simply had enough. Another term for National will light the fuse, of that I am certain.

    • He probably doesn’t remember saying it. JK’s memory is not good when he is reminded of things that he would rather not remember. Talk is cheap, action is much harder.

  3. I also heard the very same promise to the Pike families. Still waiting….he is a disgusting liar. Wake up NZ he cares not one iota for the people of this country.

  4. It was the same with the Pike River tragedy. Promises, promises and more shallow promises to the families. What did Key do? Walk away and turned a blind eye to their plight of wanting closure and justice. They received neither, with the latter being bought in favour of the CEO and the company!

    Pike River, Christchurch, as far as Key and National is concerned it’s of little importance. The people involved are unlikely to vote for them anyway, so in the Nats’ distorted mindset it doesn’t matter! It’s a case of leave them to wallow in their own excrement, while the government concentrates on selling us off, keeping their dubious cronies wealthy and handing out welfare to failing corporates!

    And to think the Nat morons use a natural disaster in the form of the Christchurch rebuild as the base of an improving economy! WTF? Do they really think Kiwis came down in the last shower?

    There’s plenty of evidence out there to support the fact National thrives on piss and wind! The sooner they are removed, the better for the whole of NZ.

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