Christchurch Earthquake 2010-2012 – Bipartisan agreement.
Firstly, may I belatedly congratulate you on your election to leader of the Labour Party which has of course raised new hope amongst the affected population here is Christchurch. I know that many Cantabrians feel that it is a just outcome which recognises your many years of service and Cantabrians look forward to a less divided effort from the Party as a result of your leadership.
The purpose of my letter is to solicit your view regarding the ‘bipartisan agreement’ which I understand was entered into by Labour and the National Government at the time of the 2010 first Canterbury earthquake and specifically, whether it is still in effect? I wrote on this topic some time ago, please refer to https://thechristchurchfiasco.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/why-a-bipartisan-approach-to-disaster-recovery-is-not-working-for-Christchurch/
The people of this region, many of whom continue to suffer considerable hardship from government decisions and inaction regarding insurer abuses, etc., see little effective opposition to the policies and corporate-driven agendas of the current Government of the National Party in respect of the arguably blatant abuses which continue daily in Christchurch. These are typically perpetrated by government agencies such as EQC and Southern Response among other corporate entities (insurers).
Take for instance the recent decision by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister, Gerry Brownlee, who has announced a process to give the public a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. This, despite that fact that a legal challenge by the Quake Outcasts group led to the Supreme Court directing CERA to make an offer to the owners of bare and uninsured land. Rather than make a Court ordered decision, the Government has decided to leave the decision to the tax paying public. (See http://cera.govt.nz/news/2015/new-process-for-red-zone-crown-offers-21-april-2015).
I know that you will be aware that Bi-partisan agreements are not good strategies for effective democracy. I ask if Labour’s opposition possibilities continue to be limited by this agreement, and if so, is it not time some four years after the event, to jettison this accord and commence reviewing the actuality of events in Christchurch as an opposition party? This would be preferable than to allow the inaccurate statistical spin placed on progress by the Government and Insurers to go unchallenged. Many of my correspondents question why it is that Labour appears to have abandoned its interest in the Christchurch situation on a national level and in Parliament, and given the very limited success of the Human Rights Commission to bring about any positive change, many look to your Party with some expectation. The current issues are no longer directly related to a natural disaster but rather the absence of or implementation of policies and guidelines that would assist the speedy recovery of all Cantabrians, especially those living in socially demographic vulnerable areas.
I know that affected Cantabrians will be interested in your personal views on this issue. If further specific information/evidence would be helpful, I am sure that it can be provided for your verification and action.
Thank you for addressing my question and concerns.