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Speaker: 11 ways the Opposition has failed Christchurch

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  • Ian Dalziel,

    Chchchanging ...
    The Press today also headlines the dropping of the proposed Coastal Hazard Land Information initiative from the revised District Plan.
    Now at least we are all in it together (what with a mere gradient of a few centimetres between west Chchch and the coast) rather than the few bearing the personal cost - but any coastal lifestyle must be a lottery for the future.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    the cancellation of democracy at ECan (how many terms is it now?)

    Councillors were sacked in May 2010. As elections were previously held every three years, that's 1.76 or thereabouts terms.

    For the record, the Central Plains Water scheme was one of the issues that Megan Woods campaigned against when she stood for the Chch mayoralty against the then-unstoppable Bob Parker. Eugenie Sage was one of the opposing ECAN councillors fired in May 2010.

    Dennis O'Rourke's chairmanship of the CPW oversight trust dates from the year before the mass sacking of ECAN. I don't know if he was ever called upon to justify why he remained in the role after 2010. In retrospect, resigning in support of the sacked councillors would seem to have been the honourable course for someone who hasn't been shy of boasting about his own claimed integrity. Surely the kindest assessment that can be made now is that he spent the last four years asleep at the CPW trust wheel.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment

    Every ‘Thing’ is going to be, alright?
    The Government in keeping with its long term relationship with the US film studios and corporations has, through its local operating arm (Cera) and the CCC, placed a promotional statue of The Thing© in the Avon River (sadly the rebooted Fantastic Four movie has already opened and closed – such planning! Oy vey!)

    …the statues would become a pinpoint in Christchurch to help people position themselves in the city, a bit like a map.
    “Hopefully, it will be a point of pride and will attract visitors,” he said.

    … hopefully?
    $500,000 from the Council and an unspecified amount from Cera/Govt.

    Do these people even know what they are doing – we seem to be becoming a dumping ground for ‘art franchises’ – Gormley has a few of these around the globe now and UK artist Martin Creed now has one of his neon sign pieces up here as well – he has installed this same message elsewhere, so no site specific work this – and thankfully the friend who spoke these words to him when he was depressed wasn’t David Seymour – a large neon ‘Harden Up’ would really set the tone for the city…
    Not to mention the slap in the eye for NZ artists and the huge amounts of ‘arts funding’ heading offshore…

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Graham Dunster,

    If the people at the coalface are not prepared to behave and work to the highest level it is really no surprise that those 'above' them have a similar cavalier attitude.

    I think you have that ass backwards. If those that we are supposed to look up to are asshatted clowns then why should the underpaid underclass give a shit?.

    11 ways the Opposition has failed Christchurch

    Yay, Labour's fault again...
    Will people please take responsibility for voting for these assholes?
    What the hell is Matthew Dooshey doing for you? and why the hell did you vote for him?
    Its all very well saying "Well, I didn't vote National" but your friends and neighbours did, in spades.
    Bur hey, blame Labour, that lovely John Key does.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Its all very well saying “Well, I didn’t vote National” but your friends and neighbours did, in spades.

    So, it's ridiculous to suggest it might be something to do with Labour that people didn't vote Labour, but quite sensible to suggest that it's my fault?

    Also, I counted my neighbours' votes, and they bloody didn't.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Of course its Labours fault, its not like anyone else is running the country, how silly of me.
    There is so much wrong with your statement, National are so much better than Labour?
    You and your neighbours are the only ones that count?
    Why not join Labour, make a difference?
    Anyway, the post wasn't directed at you but hey..

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Gormley has a few of these around the globe now

    Up til now, we've happily been Gormless. Why should that change? (Even at a 'discount' $0.5m is dosh most chch artists can hardly dream of.)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    11 ways the Opposition has failed Christchurch

    Yay, Labour's fault again

    The Opposition is any party not in a support arrangement with the government. Hard to argue the Greens, Winston First, Mana or the Conservatives have been advocating successfully in the interests of Christchurch either.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Sacha,

    I don't think Mana or the Conservatives are in parliament.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Why not join Labour, make a difference?

    You mean, like I did in 1987?

    And you’re the one who raised being responsible, somehow, for the votes of friends and neighbours.

    Let’s leave aside, for a moment, that there was no swing to National in Chch, once you take into account boundary redraws, population movement, and numbers of votes rather than percentages. We’ve been through those numbers several times on this site and it appears to make no difference.

    So Chch is a place where Labour has well-supported electorate MPs, but isn’t winning the party vote. It’s a place where, as people have mentioned here, individual MPs on the ground have worked very hard, yet the opposition (as referred to in the OP, not specifically Labour, but the opposition ) haven’t managed to get any traction on Chch issues on a national scale. We had all this discussion about whether builders should certify their own work, and the conversation went alll the way back to ‘leaky homes’, and ignored the catastrofuck with the rebuild down here, that’s happening right now.

    There are lessons to be learned here, but they don’t start with “Well you ungrateful bastards should vote for us just Because.”

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Brilliantly-written post, Barnaby, thank you. You make sense of a mass of detail that most of the country doesn't know.

    I'm so sad for Chch and so angry with the government which seems hell-bent on wrecking what remains of the city and sabotaging the opportunity to make it an amazing place.

    I'm also angry at the Opposition. You put it so well:

    The Opposition is there not just to sit and wait till they get power again,. Its job is to illustrate competence and improve the performance of the government. This is particularly the role in times of crises and emergency. Sometimes this means supporting the government when you’d rather not, and other times this means challenging them strongly to improve. Sometimes the government needs this challenge to push back against forces within their own special interest groups.

    I worry that in the difficult task of getting elected our Opposition parties have prioritised popularity over their job as being an effective Opposition. The fallacy of this is twofold. In the first instance they risk spending their precious time and energy chasing false idols instead of getting into the job of Opposition, of making the government perform better through critique and pressure. Secondly, when they have been largely absent from the difficult battles of the previous years between election seasons, it is little wonder that the struggling, stressed, and frustrated populace does not turn to the Opposition at election time.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    when they have been largely absent from the difficult battles of the previous years between election seasons, it is little wonder that the struggling, stressed, and frustrated populace does not turn to the Opposition at election time.

    who'd think it?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I worry that in the difficult task of getting elected our Opposition parties have prioritised popularity over their job as being an effective Opposition.

    I noticed that problem. Two of them can sometimes behave a bit like the television networks, who pedal fabricated feel good reality. Winson first is a little bit sports, smoking, drinking, and gambling channel.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Russell,

    Hi Barnaby, thanks for writing and posting this useful article. I couldn't agree more about the absence of concerted and continuing political pressure from those parties in 'opposition'. There has been a strange and alarming silence in this respect. Certainly there have been individual politicians who have worked very hard at it but at a party level this has not been the case. It could and should have been an election issue - nation-wide - as it is such a matter of fundamental democratic rights - and if it can happen in Canterbury it can happen anywhere else in the country.

    In October of 2012 I wrote an article outlining the post-earthquake loss of democratic process in Christchurch and critiqued the power structures that replaced it. It’s frightening. I wrote:

    HOW IS THE GOVERNMENT GETTING AWAY WITH THIS?
    When this sort of thing happens in other countries we call them dictatorships, and foreign envoys are sent in to attempt to reason with reigning despots. What happens when this occurs in our own country and where are the foreign envoys?

    The full article is here:
    Democracy on a slippery slope ~ Christchurch earthquake aftermath

    It seems that the general power structures of that time have changed but little, continuing to stagger about destructively. I grew up in Christchurch so feel its plight keenly. I mourn the profound loss of opportunity for a rebuild that could have been a truly creative undertaking, and for the on-going suffering of so many who live there.

    Otago • Since Jul 2010 • 208 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Leigh Russell,

    In October of 2012 I wrote an article outlining the post-earthquake loss of democratic process in Christchurch and critiqued the power structures that replaced it. It’s frightening.

    A memorable article, thanks for the reminder.
    It's edifying to be reminded that in May 2012 Lianne Dalziel denied having any mayoral ambitrions. Instead she was making it plain that she intended to take over Brownlee's job after a Labour victory.

    These days, Dalziel has reinvented herself to the point where sometimes she works in concert with Labour, while perhaps just as often she definitely doesn't. So far it's a strategy that appears to have won significant concessions from her former arch-enemy Brownlee, but we'll see.

    With the benefit of hindsight though, Labour's resolve on the Canterbury earthquakes appears to have been squandered in early 2013, when the Anyone But Cunliffes decided that a tilt at power via the hapless Shearer was way more important. Dalziel had the ground cut from under her, and "the whole front bench would work on Christchurch issues". Except, of course, it didn't. And there are still people here wondering why Labour's local vote appeared to collapse

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Russell,

    Hi Joe, yes indeed.

    It is a great pity that whereas siesmologists have ramped up monitoring of the Canterbury region, that professional journalistic work does not seem to have matched it. There is so much going on and it is so badly needed.

    I was very sorry indeed to see Christchurch's great advocate John Campbell put out of a job, no doubt by management sensitive to reigning power structures and related funding issues. Our media is after all largely owned and controlled by big business interests.

    The whole basis of democracy is one of collaboration and the right, indeed the need, to critique those in charge, the right of review, the right to justice... It would be patronising to say that the people of Christchurch deserve no less, when it's a basic human right, and supposedly the foundation of political governance here in New Zealand. At present it's very hard to see how this could be reclaimed.

    Otago • Since Jul 2010 • 208 posts Report Reply

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