Dalziel claims Cera ditched her
Christchurch East MP Lianne Dalziel says she has been "sidelined" by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) for being outspoken.
Dalziel, Labour's earthquake recovery spokeswoman, made the claim at the launch of a coalition of welfare groups and Left-leaning political leaders calling for urgent Government intervention on quake issues such as insurance, land zoning and housing.
The WeCan! group was launched in Christchurch yesterday, with its spokesman, the Rev Mike Coleman, saying the housing crisis was deepening and many people were upset about insurance and land-zoning problems.
Dalziel said Cera staff had been instructed not to talk to her.
"There are certainly people telling me that I have been banned from dealing with anyone at Cera apart from one liaison person," she said. "I have been sidelined and I don't know why. It is possibly because I have been outspoken. I have only got one person I can contact at Cera.
"I have made contact with other people in Cera, but they don't come back to me. I've heard that people have been instructed that they can't talk to me.
"Every single person has to get prior permission to talk to me. The fact that they have to get permission to talk to the Opposition spokesperson is really strange. I want it to end."
A Cera spokeswoman said Dalziel had been given a single point of contact.
"There are long-established protocols and procedures in place in terms of Opposition MPs requesting information from government departments in order to maintain neutrality from electorate-specific or political matters," she said.
"These requests are generally made from the Opposition MP to the minister, who then provides the information on behalf of the department through avenues such as parliamentary questions or Official Information Act requests.
"In the case of the Canterbury earthquake recovery, it was recognised that it is a unique situation and, as such, Mr Mike Shatford, GM communications, has been designated as Ms Dalziel's and all Opposition MPs' point of contact for any inquiries related to the work of Cera."
WeCan! has called for deadlines on red-zone deals to be extended further, a cap on rental increases, government intervention with insurance companies and a right of review of red-zone decisions.
Coleman said Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee was not listening to people.
"It makes you wonder if the prime minister has forgotten us. He has left us with an earthquake recovery minister who says he is unaware there is a crisis," he said.
"How can he be the recovery minister when he fails to listen to the people most in need?"
The WeCan! group is endorsed by several politicians, including Dalziel, Clayton Cosgrove, Ruth Dyson, Megan Woods and Peter Beck, along with groups such as the Methodist Mission and resident groups in red-zoned suburbs.
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