Christchurch deserves more than photo ops for the PM
A few weeks back I reported on the flooding in Flockton. It is the area that has had the most media (thanks to the passionate advocacy of Jo Byrne), but it is not the only area seriously impacted by flooding in Christchurch.
In the weekend David Cunliffe outlined Labour’s Christchurch flooding proposal in an open letter to the Prime Minister. This letter was informed by the local Labour MPs and candidates and what we are seeing and hearing on the ground.
There were two key parts to the letter.
First, the importance of politicians and agencies working together. Flood affected people are absolutely fed up with fighting between the Council, Government and others and want people to work together on solutions.
The most important factor is the wellbeing of residents. We can do more to support them. We simply must act now and act together.
I believe all political parties should work in partnership with local authorities to offer immediate and enduring solutions and give confidence and certainty to the residents so that they can plan their lives and their futures. We recognise that those whose lives are in disarray need progress and certainty as soon as possible, while fair solutions that ensure beyond the next few months are also needed.
Second, specific suggestions that Labour wants the Government to consider as part of any response to Christchurch flooding.
On Monday 12 May an Extraordinary Christchurch City Council meeting was held, where members of the Mayoral Taskforce on Flooding presented a report outlining short-term flood mitigation options for the prioritised flood-prone areas.
It is an excellent report and consistent with the approach Labour outlined. Council staff worked incredibly hard to prepare it. But it is just the start – not the end. And the Government will need to come to the table and outline their contribution to resolving these issues.