Sunday, 7 April 2013

Earthquake Victims... Yet Another People Story

This is Stu Roberts who with his wife Marie
has lived in Brooklands for the last 22 years.
Their house stood up well in the earthquakes
and was under the Earthquake Commission's $100,000
cap for property damage.
However, they are in the red zone and when the
insurance on their house lapses in July
they cannot get any more.
Their insurance contract says 'No insurance, no money'
So that means they would have
to repay their mortgage...
And to do that they would have to
declare bankruptcy.
So they have been forced to accept Government
compensation and abandon their home.
The Crown offered them a rating valuation
amount of $336,000. They have to pay legal fees
and repay their mortgage so will be left with
$200,000... Which is not enough to buy another house.
Stu only works part time after suffering a stroke...
Marie was made redundant in January and
has just started back at work on a low paying part time job.
There is no way they will be able to borrow money...
So renting is their only option...
They are scouring the rental market...
There is very little available and because of the demand rents are high.

These are all tragic human stories, people coping as best they
can with a situation that wasn't of their making.
What was very difficult seems to be made even more
impossible by the Government and Earthquake Commission.

At the same time as all the people struggles are going on
there is of course, road works which have caused Christchurch
to become the 5th most congested city in Australasia.

There is also great argument and controversy about heritage
buildings and particularly the
Christchurch Anglican Cathedral that was the
central focus of Cathedral Square and
was badly damaged in the quakes.
There have been various designs in the Press recently
to reconstruct the same as the original one,
build the same gothic style in modern
materials or to build a totally different new modern  cathedral.
Prices to do any of these runs into the millions of dollars
and will take up to 20+ years.

Some letters to the Press editor this last week
put forward the thoughts...
Where is the church when it comes to looking after
the people... If it can spend millions of dollars
on a building for an aging Anglican congregation...
And to become a tourist attraction...
What is is doing for distressed earthquake victims...
Most citizens affected by the quakes have no interest
in this building, they are far more concerned about
the continuing lack of action on repairs
to their homes as many face a second winter
in damaged homes.
As one writer said, 'I am certain Bible teachings
do not put grandiose buildings ahead of people
and their well-being. Christchurch will not
be a vibrant exciting city and a place people
would want to move to until the last citizen is taken
care of with regard to the repair of their homes.'

I couldn't agree more... What do you think?

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1 comment:

  1. People are more important than buildings!
    Unfortunately neither the government of this country nor the insurance companies, who in good times have made fortunes out of their customers, care about people...