Two years on

The other day I was sitting in Dunedin at our friends, the Gallagher’s place. Steve and I were sitting there, watching the news or reading something about the Christchurch rebuild (Steve, Sarah and Iris are Christchurch people who’ve moved to Dunedin post earthquake).

Without looking at him, and in a monotone, I asked him “what do you reckon the chances are that they (where the is the people in charge) won’t screw up the rebuild?”… Steve thought for a second and said “Oh, maybe 40%.” I reflected on this and then asked “and if you include the Eastern Suburbs?”.. without a pause he replied “oh…about 25%”. I nodded and we went on with whatever it was we were both doing.

This is where we are today, two years on.

We’re still locked out of a lot of the CBD (downtown to you North American folk), much of what is going on is not at all open. Worse, there seems to be very little urgency on the part of anyone about affordable housing. There continues to be some sort of belief in the magic of the market. So far, from where I’m sitting, the market is doing a piss poor job of taking care of people. There is also the ongoing reshaping of the Christchurch educational landscape at the schools level and the ongoing pressures on the three tertiary institutions.

To be sure there are those who will say that it’s because the market is hampered by regulations and red tape and rules. MOAR FREEDOMS! they will roar. To them I point out that, in my opinion, the reason it’s 183 dead and not many hundreds more, is because of the nanny state and it’s rules, because I reckon that the CTV building seems to be a really really good example of what happens when folks get let of the regulational chain.

So today, I think about what I’m scared of for the future, I think of those who lost so much and I think of the amazing people who helped out.

At 12:51 today I will try very hard to be hopeful. But mostly I will mourn all that has been lost and hope that sometime soon Christchurch and the greater Canterbury family stops getting kicked.



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