Kaikoura is turning into the Marlborough equivalent of Christchurch’s eastern suburbs, a residential area that was affected badly during the Christchurch earthquakes.
And it looks as if the same, tired solutions will be used in Kaikoura that were used in Christchurch: people are likely to be homed in expensive caravans and mobile homes that will cost them more than their mortgages. So much for the ‘earthquake relief’ the government promised.
The government has received 60 requests for emergency housing following the Kaikōura quake, with the number expected to climb…
Temporary accommodation service manager Joel Browne said the requests had come from North Canterbury and South Marlborough. He said the biggest challenge was finding enough places in rural areas where people often needed to remain for work reasons. Kaikōura, for example, only had about 1800 dwellings in total.
“So it’s a matter of tapping into that existing supply and seeing what is vacant, and whether that’s through real estate agents, holiday homes listings or online channels, but tapping into all resources to see what’s vacant and that might suit someone’s immediate need,” he said.
He said they preferred to house people in the community they lived in. If that was not possible then a mobile home was an option, which is what they were doing now to get people through the Christmas and New Year period…Mr Browne said government funding has been made available to help with the cost of temporary accommodation, but most could expect to pay over and above what they might already be paying on a mortgage.
“People are ‘nervous and on edge‘”
Add to that the trauma caused by the quakes and you have to ask why people aren’t being encouraged to leave the area and establish themselves elsewhere?
Obviously, the answer is the region needs its agricultural workers, but is it fair to expect scared young families to remain just so the cows can get milked?
Support services are still on-call for those affected by the earthquake. Parish nurse Rachel Westenra from Marlborough’s Awatere Valley said emotional support had been critical for many. She highlighted what was important in times like these. “Just to feel that they’re not on their own, and I know the community feels that – they feel humbled by the amount of support that has come through from New Zealand.
“They just need to know this has been big for the community and it has impacted on a lot of lives, that support is there for them and they are being heard.” Mrs Westenra said her role within a Christian joint venture offered outreach services targeted at the elderly, but it was parents of young children who remained vulnerable. “There are some really fearful people out there. They are nervous and on edge about what could happen.The elderly have been quite resilient and quite calm. It’s the poor young mothers – I know how that would feel if you have a young family you know you have to keep safe, and that’s where people are feeling a bit fragile,” Mrs Westenra said…
‘World Class” in New Zealand’
Look at the amount of spin being put on this story. This is unbelievable, do people honestly believe this? It’s been a month since the earthquake but communities are still cut off by it. Does that sound first or third world to you?
Marlborough District Council communications manager Glyn Walters, who had only just moved from Auckland when the quake hit, said there were communities in the district still isolated by the quake.
He said the level of integration among Marlborough’s emergency services, and its air force capability, meant the response was world class.
Meanwhile, Kaikoura’s mayor thinks a share in a $2.7 million dollar gift from the Lotto should be used on his town’s quake-damaged swimming pool and skate park:
Mr Gray said the damage to the town’s swimming pool and skate park hadn’t yet been fully assessed, but he thinks they would be worthy things to spend the money on. Mr Gray said details around how the money would be split, and what it can be spent on, still needed to be worked through… read the full report here
Really Mr Gray, don’t you think the money would be better spent putting world class roofs over people’s heads?
Faulty Seismic Steel Mesh
Sixteen blocks in Wellington were damaged by the Kaikoura earthquake, among them new buildings supposedly built to a higher EQ code. No doubt ‘Kiwi ingenuity and know how‘ and some sub-standard steel (NZ’s next ‘leaky homes crisis’) were to blame?
Interestingly, John Key announced his resignation the same day the Commerce Commission said they were taking 3 prosecutions relating to grade 500E seismic steel mesh (used to strengthen concrete slabs and driveways) and Fletcher Steel was “issued with a warning for engaging in conduct that was likely to breach the act for retesting its product in a non-standard manner”.
Auckland lawyer Adina Thorn’s firm is likely to be taking a class-action against manufacturers of faulty steel mesh. She has the financial backing of Harbour Litigation Funding, the UK’s largest litigation funder. Basically, everyone who has had a house built in the last 5 years should register as they may have a claim. Note: this probably includes owners of many of the new buildings in Christchurch.
This has been known about since April, but failures due to substandard, less ductile, steel mesh would’ve only started happening during the Kaikoura earthquake…
Read the full Radio NZ article here http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/301049/buildings-checked-for-failed-steel-mesh
So what happens now if a sizable chunk of the Christchurch rebuild, and Wellington’s new buildings, are now effectively uninsurable due to the use of faulty/substandard steelmesh? and what if some of those buildings were damaged on 14 November? The cost could run into billions…
You couldn’t make this stuff up…could you?
You may also be interested in
Raising The Profile Of The Eastern Suburbs: Following on from yesterday’s post Christchurch Quake a Tale of Three Cities – More Help Needed in Eastern Suburbs we’d like to continue to raise awareness of the plight of the people of eastern Christchurch (March 2011)
Christchurch’s eastern suburbs ‘neglected’ – Brownlee: As the Christchurch earthquake death toll hits 161, earthquake recovery minister Gerry Brownlee has admitted the city’s eastern suburbs have been neglected… Today’s NZ Herald (March 2011)
Three weeks after quake and Avonsiders abandoned to third world conditions: Today’s Stuff.co.nz is carrying a NZPA article highlighting the plight of a group of Avonside residents who say that, three weeks after the Christchurch 7.1 quake, they feel abandoned by their local council who have left them without basic services. Some say they are living in third world conditions… (Sept 2010)