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Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Labour's earthquake recovery policy

The Labour Party have information on their earthquake recovery policy available on the website here. The full policy document can be downloaded from here.

The key points of the policy (taken from the policy document) are:
  • Intervene to Give Homeowners Choice
  • Resolve the Insurance Gridlock
  • Make Community Engagement a Priority
  • Use Youth Unemployment to Fill the Skills Gap
  • Establish an Independent Insurance Commissioner
  • Labour will Fund Test Cases (NOTE - these are court cases where residents appear to have been unfairly treated, and to set legal precedents on some major issues)
  • Education in Canterbury
  • Ensuring the Return of Activity to Christchurch CBD
  • Review of the Earthquake Commission
The document also covers the fiscal implications of the policy and the impact on business. There is a total of 11 pages of summary and detail so, if you find some of the above items are missing from media or political commentary, check out the document for yourself (here). There is another policy document due out soon relating to Labour's policy to strengthen New Zealand's response to natural disasters.

The response of the government will be interesting. Everyone will have anticipated the "open chequebook" attack, along with horror stories of budget blow-outs, damage to the market etc. The most intriguing part for me will be the role played by Bill English.

Bill English, as Minister of Finance, will have many looking to him for a reasoned analysis and critique of the implementation costs and efficiencies, or inefficiencies, arising from the policy. In the past he has been forthright to the point of stridency with these things.

Bill English is also the Minister in Charge of the Earthquake Commission (EQC). A comparison of the strength of his commentary on the the Labour recovery policy, with his silence on the performance of the EQC (for which he has ministerial responsibility) will be an interesting measure of his conduct as a senior Minister of the Crown.

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