However they may have been caused, we, the people of New Zealand, owe the Christchurch Earthquakes something – even if it is only the fact that the aftermath and Fiasco made some of us examine
the situation beyond our personal disasters and to look more closely at what the governance and politics of this Nation have become. To question was inevitable and after five years, more and more of us are opening our eyes.
From the outset, we questioned the motives of Government attempts to pass an Act so draconian and authoritarian in its establishment of minister Brownlee as the ‘earthquake Czar’, that every law faculty in the country and the Law Society felt obliged to write in protest.
Citizens also wondered about the motives of an opposition that would enter a ‘bi-partisan’ agreement with government at a time when every action of government to assist/use the Canterbury situation should have been questioned and scrutinized under the spotlight of true democracy, every step of the way. See http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10779345 Later, we were saddened, but not surprised, when Labour ‘sacked’ its two most outspoken shadow ministers who questioned the sanity of a government that would rather build convention centres and stadiums than house the province’s suffering victims.
But perhaps the biggest red flag has been, and continues to be for tens of thousands, the insurance debacle. Regardless of the feigned protestations of Mr. Grafton of the Insurance Council that all is well and as it should be, as Shakespeare put it ‘ Methinks he doth protest too much’. Anyone of sound mind knows that it does not take five years to settle an insurance claim and the same corporates operating in Australia must meet legislated time-frames to perform. Why not here, you ask? In the meantime, thousands suffer their four winter in awful conditions and what has the Government done about it? Even now, five years later, nothing. Even the Human Rights Commissioner came to realised that there are fundamental breaches of human rights going on in Canterbury. The Prime Sinister’s response is to tell him to ‘shut-up or lose funding’…. .and to cap it all, the High Court issued a declaration that Brownlee acted illegally in the ‘red-zone’ affair. It does not take a flash of brilliance to realise that there has to be an agenda here.
The Christchurch earthquake was arguably utilised by Government as a corporate benefit from the outset. It was set up on the basis of capture and exploitation. Fletchers were given EQC work and the other construction corporates arranged themselves around the private insurers. Total capture of the work. (Market forces?) They arrange the pricing and manage the work. There was no good reason for it to be that way as the insurers could have assessed, paid out and moved on, leaving homeowners to arrange their own repairs and local industry would have been the beneficiary. Instead, Government supported EQC by lowering the engineering standards three times with the result that many jobs were priced on one standard but completed to a lower (and cheaper) standard. And there are no doubt, further reductions to come. (http://www.dbh.govt.nz/UserFiles/File/Publications/Building/Guidance-information/pdf/guide-canterbury-earthquake-revised.pdf).
The degree of fraud perpetrated by the insurance industry (which fraudulently adopted these debased standards), is now clearly apparent. The insurers, for their part, have sat on their hands and invested their re-insurance monies, reaped five years profits and in most cases they have probably not paid out the liabilities that they indicated to the re-insurers. Recently, there has been good evidence that EQC also colluded with them to reduce the liabilities of both. http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/blogs/where-theres-a-will/6894833/C-mon-EQC-explain-apportionment; http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/blogs/where-theres-a-will/6943482/C-mon-EQC-explain-apportionment-No-2
The government has never even considered the people still living in garages, the ill-health, the mental illness and the suffering. Only the Central Business District is important.
But the insurance misdemeanors are merely a part of a much more sinister affair.
Perhaps you think that this account is a tad biased – but when you look at the evidence, it’s pretty sobering. This is the Government which did a deal to allow a corporate to provide more gambling in exchange for the cost of a convention centre, carried out a full scale, armed raid of staggering ‘over-kill’ on a New Zealand resident, at the request of a foreign power and was subsequently found guilty of illegal spying. Most recently the Government signed a Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement without releasing the content of what it was signing. (See http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/76517301/tppa-signing-live-coverage-from-auckland-as-trade-deal-signed). Having to admit to the illegal spying, your Government then changed the law governing the activities of the GCSB to permit legal spying, listening, e-mail scrutiny, drones and whatever else they can think of that will provide them with your private information. ‘Private’, is now a word of the past. The surveillance society is truly upon us. George Orwell would not have been surprised.
But it doesn’t stop there. It is no secret that Western finances are in a hopeless mess.
The EU and USA are technically bankrupt and only kept in business by printing large quantities of money which has no actual asset backing. Banking is global and more bank failures are a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’. Bailouts are an illusion. The Cyprus event, where the failed corporate banks openly stole depositors money, is widely reported as the new ‘template’ for bank failures. (http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/tag/bank-failures). This Government, via the corporate Reserve Bank of New Zealand has sponsored an ‘Accord’ (http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/regulation_and_supervision/banks/policy/4368385.html) which will make it legal for the corporate banks in this country to do the same. Now why would any government in its right mind do such a thing? We are talking about legalized theft by the banks of the people’s deposits, not taxpayer-funded bailout. Didn’t hear too much about that did you? You don’t suppose that they actually think it’s coming, do you? You bet they do. Take a look at the small print in your banking ‘terms and conditions’ – it’s something you might want to think about – that is, if you are not thinking about a government which is dedicated to selling off the infrastructure assets of our country to corporate mates as fast as it can, be they foreign owners or not. You can be sure that very few purchasers will be the ‘mums and dads’ of this impoverished population who will be too busy trying to find the increased cost of the government tax on fuel to worry about shares….
And then there are the little bits ‘under the rug’ which we are not allowed to see.
It goes like this …… Winston Peters has a whiff of scandal concerning our Government and the Fiji Government and asks a question in Parliament. (See http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11119897). He is told by the Minister of Finance in words to the effect “we are not going to answer that question.” Peters’ response, like mine, is to ask “What kind of a democracy is this?” and we do need to think about that. It’s getting worse by the day and only you and I can change it. This Government appears to no longer believe that it is accountable to us for anything. I really do not enjoy being depressing, but it is past time that we woke up to what is being prepared for us………
Anyway, do enjoy your weekend, watch the footie and have another beer – You know that these things will take care of themselves – and after all, you’re only a voter.