Where There's a Will
Saturday's TEDx Christchurch event featured 18 speakers and entertainers spread over more than 10 hours. Here are my top five:
Five. Jessie Hillel
The 12-year-old's first few notes exploded into the Auroa Centre auditorium with such force that almost everyone was taken aback.
How could such power come from a child so small?
The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) has been ordered by a judge to rethink the red-zone offers made to two small groups - those who owned empty sections in the residential red zone and those with residences in the red zone who were not insured for one reason or another. These are the Outcasts.
Canterbury Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee has already announced that the Government will appeal, but there's another way forward that is fairer to these two groups and, provided some administrative steps are taken properly, probably lawful.
Both Outcast groups argued the compensation offered by Cera - 50 per cent of the value of their land based on the 2007 ratings - was unfair.
Monday's court decision setting aside these offers doesn't say what level of compensation is appropriate. Rather, it says the decision was ''not made according to law'' and directs Brownlee and Cera chief executive Roger Sutton to ''reconsider and reach a new decision'' with regard to the compensation.
In my view - and I was briefly a lawyer - a ''new decision'' could be to offer 50 per cent of the valuations, which would be legal provided the decision was ''made in accordance with the law''.
The decision by the High Court to quash the Government's compensation offer for uninsured residential red zone land is some vindication for the owners who challenged the offer.
After finding that the procedure the Government followed in arriving at the offer was unlawful, Justice Graham Panckhurst also took stern issue with one of the main arguments the Government made to justify offering the owners half the 2007 value of their land.
The Government had argued that if it had decided to make 100 per cent offers for damage to uninsured land, it would create a disincentive to owners to take out insurance. While the judge conceded that that was a legitimate factor to take into account, it had been applied too crudely.
It was, in this instance, a blunt instrument, he said, because it failed to distinguish between those who had chosen not to take out insurance from those who could not get it because the land was vacant and therefore uninsurable.
It is an argument some of those who challenged the offer had long been making and they will be pleased to see it has been accepted.
One good thing about the quakes: Not many of us are paying for parking.
There is so much vacant land and roadside nooks and crannies about Christchurch that paying for parking seems flat silly.
Have I moved orange traffic cones to slip my car somewhere free? Absolutely.
Have I parked on the debris of some demolished building? Often.
Have I paid for parking in Christchurch since February 22, 2011? Probably, but I can't remember doing so. Maybe at the airport?
HOW IT SHOULD BE: Bus driver Danny Morgan negotiates Morris St, Avonside, in a 2005 snowstorm.
Environment Canterbury and bus companies must keep the buses running if the province gets another snow session, as predicted for many days by forecasters.
In last June's big snow, Christchurch buses were parked early and without much notice.
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