Where There's a Will
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.
Gap Filler has raised the $80,000 it needs to keep the Pallet Pavilion going for another year. It's an excellent result, but the organisation needs more subscriptions because the costs of running a PledgeMe.co.nz campaign and other expenses mean Gap Filler really needs $90,000.
At 8am Friday, the group needed about another $9000 by 6pm Saturday night.
Public subscriptions are an old tradition in Christchurch. The pier at New Brighton, Mona Vale and even a little-known garden called Ashgrove Reserve, near Cracroft, were all paid for in part by public subscriptions.
There are other examples all over the province.
Mayor Bob Parker and Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee continue to bicker over whether Cantabrians need an insurance advisory service or an insurance advocacy service - as if the difference matters about 30 months after calls for assistance with insurance companies were first aired.
Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove, pictured, questioned Brownlee about the insurance assistance in Parliament on October 26, 2010.
''Will he [Brownlee] support my recommendation to set up an advocacy support service to provide earthquake-affected residents with help in dealing with their private insurers...?''
Brownlee answered: ''I think it is very important that we do not begin by setting out a conflict situation between private insurers and claimants'', as if claimants were creating conflicts.
He continued: ''We first need to let the private insurers go and see what is required on their part, whether it is rebuild or repair.
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