Govt agencies wanted for rebuild

20:39, May 28 2012

Government agencies, and not the Christchurch City Council, should manage the central-city rebuild, The Press' local issues survey shows.

Forty-nine per cent of the 359 people in the Opinions Market Research survey say the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) should be in charge of the rebuild, while only 21 per cent thought it should be the job of the city council.

A quarter of the sample, 91 recipients, said "others" should be leading the charge.

Of those "others", 33 people said it should be a combination of the CCDU-Cera and the council, and 13 said it should be the "people of Christchurch".

Despite the vote of confidence in government agencies, respondents were less enthusiastic about the Government or Prime Minister John Key being in charge, with only eight people opting for that.

Seven wanted the business sector in the vanguard of the rebuild, five said architects and four said "not whoever is in charge at the moment".


Another four said a "brand-new body", three suggested a committee representing all groups and two said "not Fletchers".

Insurance companies came a resounding last in the performance of groups and organisations since the earthquakes.

Greater Christchurch residents gave the raspberry to their insurers, with 64 per cent saying they had performed poorly – 19 per cent considering it extremely poor, 14 per cent very poor and 28 per cent quite poor.

Only 34 per cent said insurance companies had done a good job, with 21 per cent thinking their work had been "quite good".

The performance of city council staff and councillors elicited different responses from a 300-strong Christchurch sample. Sixty-six per cent said the staff had done a good job and 24 per cent said it was poor.

Views on city councillors were less rosy and split 43 per cent each way on whether their performance was good or poor.

Poll respondents rated Cera above the council, with 68 per cent saying it was carrying out good work, and support from central government was also highly rated, considered good by 67 per cent and poor by 30 per cent.

In terms of business and community organisations, the Student Volunteer Army ranked top, with 99 per cent acclaiming it and saying its work was good.

Ninety-eight per cent said charity organisations had done a good job and 96 per cent thought the same about the Farmy Army.

Church groups had performed well in the eyes of 76 per cent, while only 46 per cent said the same of the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce. Forty per cent did not know.

Canterbury lines company Orion New Zealand rated highly in the eyes of 92 per cent of respondents, as did the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (Scirt), with 88 per cent saying its work was good.

Ninety-nine per cent said emergency services had done a good job and 93 per cent said the same about Civil Defence.

On the other hand, Fletcher EQR and the Earthquake Commission (EQC) had average ratings, with 49 per cent each considering their work good. However, only 35 per cent said Fletcher was putting in a poor performance, compared with 49 per cent who said the commission's work was poor.

The Christchurch sample of 300 was harder on the EQC.

In the city, 46 per cent believed it had put in a good performance, while 53 per cent said it was poor.

Opinions Market Research director Karen Selway said the ratings for the groups appeared to highlight "helpful supportive volunteers versus slow-moving bureaucrats".

"There are clear patterns with the `immediate response phase' and `on the ground help-support groups', such as the student and farmy armies, charities and church groups, as well as the emergency services and Civil Defence, Orion and Scirt performance rating highly," Selway said.

"On the other hand, there are the slow-moving, bureaucratic, paper-trail organisations, such as Cera, central government, GNS Science, EQC and insurers, who are involved with resolving the deep-rooted, long-term issues faced by individuals and the city as a whole, whose performance was challenged and viewed more critically."

Tomorrow: The city's rebuilding priorities.

The Press