We can't get no satisfaction, readers declare
Dissatisfaction with the Government's handling of the Christchurch earthquake appears to be growing, with a survey of more than 2000 Fairfax newspaper readers across the country showing almost two-thirds believe it has not done enough.
The strongest negative reaction came from those closest to the quakes and most familiar with the reconstruction. Among The Press readers only 13 per cent thought the Government had done enough to help Christchurch recover, with an overwhelming 87 per cent thinking more should be done. The latter included 40 per cent who said a little more was needed and almost half – 47 per cent – who thought a lot more should be done.
Across the whole country, 72 per cent thought the Government had not done enough. That compares with generally positive reactions to polls commissioned by Fairfax Media before last year's election, when 68 per cent thought the Government had done a good job and 13 per cent believed it had done a poor job.
Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee yesterday said the recovery was "on track". The Government by June 30 would have spent $2.45 billion of the $5.5b Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Fund announced in last year's Budget. Another $2.17b from the fund would be spent in the coming financial year as the repair and replacement of damaged horizontal infrastructure – drinking water, waste water, storm water and roading – ramped up along with new infrastructure. The Crown's share of the "horizontal infrastructure" repair and replacement bill was $2.5b.
Brownlee said that in the next few months under the infrastructure rebuild $40m worth of work would be completed each month and an estimated 120-150 work sites would get under way.
"Already 59 projects valued at $90m are being constructed across Christchurch." Another 168 projects valued at $65m were being handed back to Christchurch City Council, while 121 projects worth $667m were in the design process.
Brownlee said the city's roads and sewerage were expected to be fixed within five years and the work would leave Christchurch an "extraordinary legacy asset".
"A very well-designed infrastructure that will see this city set up better than most in the world, and certainly any in New Zealand," he said.
"I feel the government should put more effort into the needy population of ChCh instead of paying for high priced consultants – people in this day and age shouldn't have to use chemical toilets in a city." Geoff of Wellington
"I am presently living one door away from the orange/greenblue zone, and one block away from the red zone. Problems in the community are not going away, as no remedy for housing is on the horizon." Rachel of Christchurch
"I think more needs to be done for Christchurch but it's HOW the Government has done it that I disagree with! Too much unilateral action not enough consultation and now too much pressure." Clare of Auckland
"I'm not impacted by the loss, but as someone who works in Christchurch, I think they are doing what they can. I'm not sure what they could do better. Having a single minister in charge is moving things along. The rebuild, especially sports facilities, will be an important sign." Allan of Rangiora