Labour takes steps towards Chch recovery

Last updated 10:00 27/06/2014
Christchurch CBDf
Stacy Squires

REBUILD: Time to let people get on with things.

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This is an opinion piece in response to the news item 'Labour offers full red zone buy outs' - Labour's new policy to buy all red-zoned bare land is the first major recovery promise seen in a long time.

It must nearly be election time.

Still, this is the right decision because it has the best interests of earthquake recovery in mind.

The fact we have a group called "Quake Outcasts" at all is worrying.

It is also worrying that they have won a judicial review against the government that has been ignored - twice. The matter itself heads to the New Zealand Supreme Court for a final decision.

To borrow another quote from an article entitled "Two wins yet back to court" the item reported:

"We have won the case twice and yet we have to now go to the time and trouble of appealing our successful judgment, just because the minister cannot decide what to do." 

I cannot imagine the real difficulties of the Quake Outcasts to first deal with recovery, and second having to go all the way to the Supreme Court.

The minister doesn't have to make a complex decision on his own.

The High Court and the Court of Appeal have already held the Government's offer to buy uninsured properties and empty sections at 50 per cent of the land valuation was unlawful.

That alone suggests the Supreme Court will likely agree with these earlier decision. I feel for the Quake Outcasts who may rightly ask "what's the point?".

This is where Labour promises to step in.

Labour's new policy agrees with the decision of the courts and adopts it.

The creation of this policy appears to be a simple exercise of simply listening to the courts.

It is a very respectful policy.

It listens to both the courts and the quake outcasts. Labour also goes one step further:

"Labour will also make clear that it will not use compulsory acquisition powers against red-zone property owners".

I started with "It must nearly be election time", and it is that time of year. But, this policy fills the vacuum created by a Government digging its heels in.

In short, Labour takes steps towards Christchurch's recovery.

It will take the money to fund a costly appeal and put it towards earthquake recovery.

Ultimately, it let people get on with things. That is something I feel compelled to support.

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