I just got back from a community meeting for citizens of Avondale, Avonside, Dallington, Aranui, Linwood and Wainoni. The meeting consisted of about half an hour of listening to officials talk and five to ten minutes of audience questions. There was a lot of waffling by said officials (and use of personal pronouns such as “we” and “us”, surprise surprise). Most people at the meeting were, of course, much worse off than us, and the meeting was mostly useless in terms of getting answers about what is happening to services in this area.
Here were some of the concerns raised:
- EQC never showed up to assess damage from the 4th September quake so many people are living in houses which have been badly damaged (twice) and they don’t know whether or not they should be there. Many are worried that their houses won’t be assessed by winter.
- Not enough port-a-loos – there are 80-90 year olds using self-dug holes in their gardens as toilets, as well as large families with children.
- Port-a-loos not being maintained – that is, they are full up and therefore unusable.
- Transport: some residents have been told to go to the Welfare Centre in Burnside, but they have no way of getting there.
- No information has been given about primary schools in the area – what the situation is, when they will begin again etc.
The questions from audience members were not publicly addressed because they “ran out of time”. So no specific answers were provided for the above questions. No specific information was given about the restoration of services other than by Orion (who got a big applause). We, like many residents in East Christchurch, have no idea when we will have running water again.
What can I say? Lots of people in East Christchurch are currently living in developing world/3rd world conditions. And that’s bullshit for a developed/1st world country.