'Final stage missing in story of CTV building'

CHARLES ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 22/02/2014
Dr Maysoon Abbas
Supplied

VICTIM: Dr Maysoon Abbas, wife of Maan Alkaisi, died in the CTV collapse.

Maan Alkaisi
Joseph Johnson
WIDOWER: Maan Alkaisi lost his wife Maysoon Abbas in the CTV building.

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Three years on, there is a missing piece of the CTV building story, says Dr Maan Alkaisi.

It began with the shock at the collapse of the structure, killing 115 people in the February 2011 earthquake. Then the families of those victims wanted to know what went wrong.

But three years after the event, after a coroner's inquest and a Royal Commission, those families are waiting for the next part of the story. Alkaisi, whose wife Maysoon died in the building, wants consequences.

"You want to make sure that this will not happen again," he said. "We know who is responsible but the story stops there. How do people expect that we move on? The final stage is missing."

The families are still waiting to hear from police whether they will investigate the case. They are still waiting on the results from a coroner's inquest.

And a complaint lodged with the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand has stalled in the High Court. Police plan to announce next week if they will pursue any cases related to the building collapse.

The Royal Commission found the CTV building did not meet construction standards. Alkaisi said the people who died paid a heavy price for that folly.

"We want to honour those people that we lost. They were working to the last minute. They haven't done anything wrong. What is bigger than losing your life? They paid a heavy price and the people responsible for this pay nothing - no price."

Alkaisi and the other families still meet every two months and this week placed 185 potted flowers at the site. He was pleased that it has been cleaned up.

"No matter, it will be a special site; we will never accept it will be like any other place."

He will attend several ceremonies there today. He will remember the good times he had in his 35-year marriage.

"She was strong, beautiful and very determined," Alkaisi said. "It hurts me that she loses a battle that was unfair. If she could fight she would fight."

But for the families to be able to move on they need the final stage of the story to be complete, he said.

"I feel I'm talking in the name of Maysoon because she cannot talk. If she was here she would never accept what happened. She would fight until justice is done."

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