There has been criticism that Gerry Brownlee talks a lot about nothing but there is a good deal of information in what he says. Perhaps part of the problem is Gerry doesn't have the demeanour or delivery of a television presenter. In the case of the Q+A programme the usual inadequacies of Paul Holmes (not well informed, quick to interrupt and overly fond of his own voice, not following up on some of the key points) interfered with an important opportunity to glean more information.
Whatever the problem, there is information in what Gerry Brownlee is saying. The important bits for me of what he said were:
Liquefaction: "So, liquefaction alone is not a reason for abandoning land. There are other factors, and they're all being categorised and measured against individual sections as we speak." (emphasis added).
Other factors: "I think one of the clear issues will be the capacity of that land to hold housing in a safe way. And there is a balance point, too, between what is economic and what's not." (at this point Holmes interrupted and moved away from the topic before Gerry Brownlee could mention the other factors) .
Increased damage: "Well, we got a 6.3 shortly after that ... And what we observed is - and I think this is a very important point - is that there was an intensification of damage in the most damaged areas; residentially, a couple more areas that become more questionable; ..." (emphasis added).
Should people in Bexley and Avonside still shovel silt: "Well, I think if they want to stay in those homes for however long it may be, then yes. "
Will whole suburbs go: "And I think the other point is there is a perception growing - and it certainly hasn't been driven by me - that it is entire suburbs that will go. I think, uh, that may be the case in some places; it's more likely to be streets or houses. And I think that also presents a bit of a problem. The problem here we've got, in essence, is you can't communicate what you don't know.".