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Saturday, 5 March 2011

Brendon Burns - Community Meeting 4th March

We had a much more positive meeting on Friday.

Brendon Burns arranged for Orion CEO Roger Sutton to talk about progress in restoring electricity. Roger Sutton had done an impressive amount of preparation to show what the issues were, and how these influenced what could be done to provide electricity to the eastern part of the city. His presentation revolved around a very long length of newsprint (courtesy of the Press newspaper) on which was drawn a very basic schematic diagram. It showed the problems Orion face between the power source available at Bromley (?) through to the New Brighton substation, from there to neighbourhoods, and finally into individual households. It gave no indication of when individual families would get permanent power but removed all the PR fuzz and gave just the essential information. In the meantime neighbourhood generators are filling some of the need.

Roger Sutton

The Plan

The Generator

Also invited by Brendon Burns was mayor Bob Parker. He tried to address the issues that were most important for everyone but the supply of water and reconnection of the sewer are unknowns at all levels of the council. At this stage it looks like water might be on soon for some (leak testing is currently being carried out in the area) but sewage is months away. He advised that, to provide support in the absence of the city's infrastructure, items from chemical toilets to power generators are coming from various parts of the world courtesy of the Australian and United States air forces. As it happens, the NZ Army had been delivering chemical toilets just before the meeting so the situation wasn't seen to be quite as dire as it had been the day before.
Mayor Bob Parker

Two police officers attended and one, Sergeant Craig from somewhere way up north, talked briefly about security issues. He may have been to the same school as Roger Sutton as he too was down to earth and devoid of fuzzy speech.
Sergeant Craig
Brendon, who brought a car-full of water, face masks, hand wash and first aid kits, also spoke. He covered various issues including the shortage of portable toilets and the mis-match between the number of portable toilets Civil Defence said were around the area, and the number seen (in the latter case, zero). Gail was thanked for her work in helping get things organised. He agreed to another meeting which will be at the same place, 2.00pm on Monday.

Brendon Burns (right) and Evan Smith

Also present at the meeting were two police officers from Sydney, three other NZ police officers (making an overall total of 7), Evan Smith of CanCERN, Natalie Absalom from EQR/Fletchers, and Nicky Wagner (National list MP).

WINZ Mobile Office

Traffic jam on Retreat Road


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