Brownlee spins recovery, angry residents belie good news
"I have a team of about a dozen in CHCH and I'm struggling to keep them busy."Featured comment
Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee today gave a “recovery” breakfast address at the central Christchurch Ibis Hotel with hand-picked media invited to report the good news story.
NBR ONLINE was not one.
More than 300 almost universally angry residents of the eastern Avondale suburb last night attended a meeting addressed by Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority Roger Sutton along with representatives from EQC, city council and Department of Building and Housing.
It was the third such meeting in days. There are another 17 to come this month and more are planned for coming months in all areas of the city.
On Monday night more than 600 residents attended a similar meeting at the Shirley Intermediate Hall.
And on Wednesday night the Christchurch East Primary school hall was similarly packed.
None of the meetings were reported in the local daily newspaper. No politicians were present except for a couple of council representatives.
The heat from the gathering crowds is palpable.
While the meetings are ostensibly about the TC3 land classification and foundation repairs, the questions soon morph into an array of individual issues about insurance, delays and the unknown.
The crowd control skills of Roger Sutton come to the fore as staff from other support services take the brunt of difficult and at times abusive questioning.
At one stage he assured the residents that most of his time is focused on residents, not the inner city rebuild.
The main message which comes from the meetings is that about one third of the relatively undamaged 28,000 TC3 classified homes probably do not have to do anything.
The other others will have a long wait.
There are not enough ground drilling operators, let alone analysts, to determine what the core samples mean.
The drilling programme probably won’t be completed for at least 18 months. Only after the findings are analysed can homeowners turn to Fletchers for repairs.
The delays almost match the delays at EQC for settling claims. When the actual repairs begin is anyone’s guess.
Mr Sutton exhorted people to help the elderly and vulnerable to obtain priority help from their local Fletcher hub.
Everyone else must just make the best of things in once-prized homes that await repairs
Some of the meetings have been filmed and are available on the CERA web site.