I was going to write an item on the stagnated Christchurch rebuild, but over the last year, I have already written these articles, which at this time I cannot better:
And leave you with the comment that perhaps with billions of dollars worth of Government funds being thrown at the rebuild and not all of the intended outcomes being achieved, perhaps it is time to to take a look at what Christchurch ACTUALLY needs as opposed to what people/Government officials THINK it needs. Now, in all honesty we are admittedly in uncharted waters with the rebuild, doing things that would have been thought outlandish even a couple of decades or less ago. We are actually now dealing with the actual long term repairs to infrastructure rather than the temporary ones necessary to make the long term fixes feasible.
But let us check the projects that were promised by the Government and see how many have come to fruition and how many are still cute drawings on paper. The repair work on major tourist attractions such as the Arts Centre is well under way, though the Cathedral is still on ice (and no one knows when it will be sorted), and fundraising for several smaller tourist attractions such as Lyttelton’s Time Ball Station is also well underway. However debate still rages – and might do so for some time – about the necessity of a stadium as opposed to a multipurpose venue; the location of the Convention Centre and what should be in it. I am personally uncertain what a four lane conversion of Manchester Street will achieve, especially given that the lack of adequately planned public transport is central to a number of problems in Christchurch.\
And then there is eastern Christchurch, from where large numbers of people fled in droves to get away from sunken houses, liquefaction, lateral spreading and – once the land had sunk – flooding. It is a socially combustive part whose social well being concerns me in more ways than just knowing there are people there still living in houses with quake damage now nearly 5 years old. The social situation in Christchurch at large concerns me for a whole smorgasbord of reasons. The major ones are:
- The post quake rate of domestic violence increased as lives became frayed over jobs, homes and insurance problems
- The quality of life decreased because of the reduced quality of accommodation many people are in as a result of suffering quake damage and to a lesser extent shoddy repair work
- A post-quake generation of deprived children or those with developmental issues may begin to appear because of the trauma, and loss of educational and developmental opportunities due to the quakes
Individually they are bad enough, but combined they might – among other things – cause more taxpayer funding to be thrown at the wrong targets. Therefore getting these problems sorted is essential.
But does anyone in a position of power want to know? Not as far as I can tell.