Showing posts from September 18, 2011

Scrutinising Labour's policy

All political parties and policies deserve to be given close scrutiny, and critiqued as required. Some political policies have titles as strident, and meaningless, as headlines in the tabloid news. What lies behind them needs to be teased out. In doing this a balanced and informed approach is essential. One item in particular in Wednesday's Press showed little enthusiasm for the latter part of this approach.

In the Perspective section of the Press (page A19), there is a piece prominently headed Stinging criticism of Labour's generous Christchurch offer. In it the writer looks dismissively at Labour's proposals to intervene in the property market and make land available at "affordable" prices. He is similarly dismissive of the proposal to intervene in the insurance industry. The overall supposition is that the policy is broadly interventionist, would exploit almost war-like powers, likely to become messy if Labour were given the chance to implement it,…

Building a better city - Christchurch Methodist Mission

The Christchurch Methodist Mission is producing information sheets on various social issues, with a view to using the rebuilding of the city as an opportunity to make changes. These issues are important now and, for better or worse, will have a significant influence on what our new city will be like in the future.

Currently there are information sheets available on:
PovertyGamblingAge-friendlinessAffordable HousingAlcoholFood Securitywith additional sheets covering employment, the community sector and social inequalities available soon.

The CMM information sheets are here.

Gambling machine and brothel bylaw changes

The Council has announced that it is looking at the bylaws covering gambling machines and brothels.

Whatever comes out of these reviews, and any temporary permissions that may be issued, will influence the way the new city and greater Christchurch will operate at both a business and social level.

Gaming Venues Policy 2009

The CCC is considering a review of the bylaws regarding gambling machines, as there have been approaches from those who run these businesses for favourable consideration to allow them to relocate from damaged premises (currently not permitted under council bylaws).
The Council’s Gambling Venues Policy was last reviewed in 2009 and is a “sinking lid” policy.  It aims to progressively reduce the opportunities for class 4 gambling (Gambling on Non-Casino Gaming (pokie) Machines (NCGM) is class 4 gambling) in Christchurch by attrition.  It does not allow any increase in class 4 venues or class 4 machine numbers, except in a specific circumstance where two or m…

Labour's Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Plan - issues of detail regarding insurance problems

Labour's Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Plan, like all policy documents, has the big picture but no detail.

Of particular concern is the absence of timing for each of the proposals. When will a specific policy be initiated? What priority will it be given in the whole raft of post-election policies the incoming government would bring with it?

Some proposals are more time sensitive than others and, despite the good intentions, there is a risk that without proper planning many will not happen in time to be useful. Of these time-critical issues the following two in particular come to mind:
Funding test cases against insurance companies Establish an Independent Insurance Commissioner
Funding test cases

Funding test cases against insurance companies is critically time sensitive in Red Zone areas because of the reducing amount of time available to accept the government's offer (closing in May 2012). By then significant insurance related legal questions will need to have been…

Lloyd's of London are well positioned

Lloyd's of London are okay.

According to a Lloyd's media release:
Lloyd's Chief Executive Richard Ward has confirmed that Lloyd's is well positioned to handle the difficulties facing the insurance industry in what is likely to be the second most expensive year ever for insurers.His statement follows today's announcement that Lloyd's made an interim loss before tax of £697m for the six-month period ending 30 June 2011.The figure reflects an unprecedented level of natural catastrophes in recent months including devastating floods in New Zealand and Australia, the earthquake in Japan and tornadoes in the US.Announcing the results, Dr Ward said: "Despite incurring £6.7bn in claims from the costliest first half year on record, Lloyd’s entered the second half of the year with £57bn in net assets to support our business and pay claims." He added that with volatile equity markets and low interest rates, Lloyd's "cannot rely on investment inco…

Action for Christchurch East update

Action for Christchurch East have decided to add no further posts to their website (here).

A new network has been created and Action for Christchurch East will be part of its development. The new network is called Otautahi Solidarity Network and you can find them here.

Lianne Dalziel - update newsletter

An update for Lianne Dalziel's electorate was released earlier today. It can be found here.

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 fromhere.

The key points of the policy (taken from the policy document) are:
Intervene to Give Homeowners ChoiceResolve the Insurance GridlockMake Community Engagement a PriorityUse Youth Unemployment to Fill the Skills GapEstablish an Independent Insurance CommissionerLabour 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 CanterburyEnsuring the Return of Activity to Christchurch CBDReview of the Earthquake CommissionThe 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…

Communicating through crisis: a University of Canterbury earthquake study

The University of Canterbury is conducting a survey COMMUNICATING THROUGH CRISIS: CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE STUDY.

The survey is aimed at people 18+ and:
Anyone who has resided in the Canterbury region at any time during the period of September 2010 to September 2011, and is aged over 18, is invited to participate in this research project by completing the following survey. The aim of this project is to learn about the usefulness and availability of different types of communication by asking about the media usage and communication methods of Cantabrians over the last year. This survey should take between 15 and 25 minutes, and all data collected will remain anonymous.You can find out more about the survey, and take part, by going here.
If you were in  an area where the power, phone, water, or sewerage went off this is a good study to take part in. At the very end there is an bit of an opportunity for comments. I spent around 20 minutes doing the survey last night an…

Waimakariri Red/Green Zoners Rally

The following is from the event organisers:

Sunday 25th September, 2pm, Band Rotunda on Charles Street, Kaiapoi.
 Come hear Rev Mike Coleman and other guest speakers. Full replacement polices should be honoured for those homes to be demolished in the Red ZoneWant transparency when it comes to why our homes have been zoned Green or Red?Is Rateable Value a fair deal for your Red Zoned land? Do you want to be rezoned How are you coping, this maybe one of the largest decisions you make in your life.Improve availability of land in this areaWe will get change by
working together Email or call if you would like to support or assist with this rally..thank you
Brent and Shirley Cairns - 327-0066  email - .

Avonside Girls High School - demolition underway

Demolition has now started at AGHS, beginning with the newer of the two damaged buildings. The photographs show a day's work from yesterday.

Saturday morning, just after 9.00 ...

Saturday afternoon around 5.30 ...