Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: What Now?

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  • BenWilson, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Peter Hyde (Vicki's partner) has written this pretty good summary of the situation right now, especially in the Eastern suburbs.

    I'd pretty much guessed as much when I made my prioritization list.

    As Peter would put it, it seems like time to move major resources from Rescue City (in which there is bugger all chance that anyone is alive to rescue any more - hard truth), to Refugee City. High priorities would seem to be the very basic things, water, food, shelter, sanitation. Then power, phones (which might come for the most part from phones getting charged), and transportation. Would anyone in the zone disagree?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Which prompts the question, how come borrowing that would have utterly buggered our economy a week ago, is now perfectly acceptable? How can both be true and responsible?

    With all due and sincere respect to Tim, perhaps he’d like to give Emma some time to hide all her sharps then drop in for a cup of tea. I’m certainly feeling a tad stabby.

    FFS, I still think Western economies have a serious and unsustainable debt habit that we can’t decently keep pushing off to our children but it’s even more irresponsible (and unspeakably callous) to let Christchurch die on the altar of ideological purity. Sorry for ranting, but I’m still too raw to get fully into the spirit of this kind of thought experiment.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    you either have to cut or borrow.

    Say what? There's at least 2 more options: Raise tax (and any other income) or sell assets. Also any mixture of all four.


    Also, there's incentivizing reconstruction by lowering tax on it. Tax cuts targeted at reconstruction, rather than just income or profit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Sorry for ranting, but I’m still too raw to get fully into the spirit of this kind of thought experiment.

    Hang from the tapestry if you must, but Watkins had asked a perfectly sensible question: how come ratings agencies, who are not known on the whole as sentimental types, are so relaxed about the economic repercussions of the earthquake on our economy? What has changed that makes borrowing suddenly okay?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Tapestry? How la-de-dah. :) Damn you for being the voice of reason, but the methodology of ratings agencies makes my brain cry. Any insight appreciated.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    What has changed that makes borrowing suddenly okay?

    The credit agencies were always OK with our public debt levels, just not when you add in the private sector. And this government conflated that distinction before the quake to try to justify its ideological preferences. Now showing through a bit. That's all that's 'changed'.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I’m still too raw to get fully into the spirit of this kind of thought experiment

    Hence the other thread whose purity you and I pushed for. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    And I’m thinking, sentiment aside, that a City that has suffered more than 5 major earthquakes in its 150 year history is in the wrong place.

    If you really want to take that to the reductio ad absurdum, the billions of human beings living at the rim of the Pacific basin are “in the wrong place”.

    This picture has been doing the rounds a bit. What gets me is how many of the regions totally obscured by little earthquake dots are also historically highly liveable, populous areas - the whole Mediterranean + middle east, south-east Asia, central America. Perhaps it's no coincidence.

    Cf. the nice rich, fertile soil you get around active volcanoes.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Sacha,

    The credit agencies were always OK with our public debt levels, just not when you add in the private sector. And this government conflated that distinction before the quake to try to justify its ideological preferences. Now showing through a bit. That's all that's 'changed'.

    Bingo.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Lew has a post at Kiwipolitico about Peter Hyde's report.

    A crew toured Aranui yesterday, talking with the residents and broadcasting their concerns — lack of facilities, lack of attention, breakdown of the rule of law. Breakdown of the rule of law. People fleeing their homes because, at twilight, groups of people roam around casing houses for burglary.

    The media must report this, and in some cases it has: but ultimately it is for the government to undertake a response which mitigates against this inequitably-distributed misery. And a government who is reportedly considering policy changes which will weigh heavily upon lower-income New Zealanders would be well-advised to look after those citizens’ response.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Gordon Campbell accuses Bill English of Playing Politics with the tragedy in Christchurch.

    If it looks like English is trying to exploit the earthquake for party political purposes, that’s because it is exactly what he is doing. Barely a week after the quake – and while many people in Christchurch are still lacking basic services – the government has begun to play politics with their plight.

    I have been told several times to "STFU" and that "Now is not the time or place" to mention such things. However. The game goes on and we should not let our eyes off the ball. We know what these people want and we know they will do all in their power to get it, let us not give them any more power by turning a blind eye in the name of sensitivity.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I think the words you are looking for are "Sorry, Emma, that was uncalled for."

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    The audio of the Power interivew on Nine to Noon is now live.

    Okay, let's talk about this. First of all: "At this stage I had to ask myself how best to serve my own interest"? REALLY?

    And the whole I'm going to go at a time of my own choosing? That's insane. He's the minister of everything in a party that is about to get a strong second mandate at a very delicate time in the nation's history. He's 41. And he's in a rush to get a private sector job three years early?

    I don't know what the behind-the-scene is in all this, but what's in front of the scene is pathetic.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Peter Hyde (Vicki's partner) has written this pretty good summary of the situation right now, especially in the Eastern suburbs.

    Wow. That's quite an account and largely what I'd heard on the w/e.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I have been told several times to "STFU" and that "Now is not the time or place" to mention such things.

    That's what this thread is for, now. Not last week.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Sacha,

    That's what this thread is for, now.

    Suggesting that people should leave the region or move into bouncy castles is still going to be frowned upon, I would hope, now and forever.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    People fleeing their homes because, at twilight, groups of people roam around casing houses for burglary.

    Yet the Police seem to be concentrating on the CBD and have been stopping concerned family members from searching for their loved ones, I know these people are "Not Qualified" and "Maybe a danger to themselves and others" but the breakdown of public order at the fringes of society are a greater problem. We do not want a free for all instead of an organised response but neither do we need further disempowerment of the local populace, the feelings of helplessness are turning to desperation in the poorer parts of town and the people would be better served by increased aid and protection where it is needed right now rather than the blanket shutdown of society by the police, as seems to be their reaction to all situations where they feel they need to be in charge.
    We remember the outcry over their control over the Pike River disaster, the feeling that the families and friends, in fact the entire country, were shut out of the information loop, we know that a lack of clear information leads to speculation and distrust so why the heavy hand?. The Police would do well to remember that they are empowered to serve not control, to protect not persecute.
    Unless this situation is addressed by the Government then I see the social damage from this horrendous set of events becoming a nightmare of its own.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Gordon Campbell accuses Bill English of Playing Politics with the tragedy in Christchurch.

    Campbell makes some clear points, as usual.

    Every candidate for spending restraint and revenue relief that has surfaced in the past 48 hours (Working for Families criteria, interest free student loans, postponing or scrapping the CBD rail loop in Auckland, the partial privatisation of state energy companies etc) was on the government’s political wish list well before the earthquake.

    ...

    Government spending is, after all, only one half of the revenue equation. If English wants this to be a genuine process, all forms and all rates of revenue gathering should also be back on the table, including (a) the possibility of a special national tax levy for Christchurch and (b) a review of the government’s highly skewed tax cuts programme.

    The principle behind reviewing the criteria for Working for Families is supposedly that certain upper middle class families have little need for the WFF subsidy. Well, if means testing is to become the new norm, the same principle should be applied to the tax cuts programme – given that its benefits were showered disproportionately on the least needy income earners in New Zealand.

    ...

    Why should WFF middle income earners, students and Aucklanders be selected out to shoulder the main burden of the quake, and of the government’s related borrowing programme? Last year, no such restraint was in evidence when nearly $2 billion was magically found to bail out the investors in Alan Hubbard’s business empire.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Suggesting that people should leave the region or move into bouncy castles is still going to be frowned upon, I would hope, now and forever.

    Respect applies, yes

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Suggesting that people should leave the region or move into bouncy castles is still going to be frowned upon, I would hope, now and forever.

    Then frown on.
    Examples of inflatable shelters.
    The 40 Second
    Inflatable Shelter

    Airshelter
    LifeCube

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    REDACTED

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    shut out of the information loop

    Reading that Peter Hyde piece, it sounds like an urgent investment in door-to-door circulation of clear printed material is warranted - and asking at the same time what each household needs. Then repeating the process regularly.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    frown on

    not helpful - and you do want to help, right?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Damn these multiple posts!!!! Have put Peter Hydes link on the other thread as well.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Sacha,

    Sacha - those pages of inflatable shelters (with other links to other kinds of emergency shelters) - are a good & helpful idea. Marae & hall/school emergency
    shelters are good for a night or so, but in the Otautahi instance, there should be serious contemplation of other forms of temporary emergency accomodation.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

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