Friday, 28 October 2011

“Mr Brownlee: Tear down this wall!”

There are two film featurettes highlighting this year’s disaster in Christchurch. Here’s the trailer for the first, When A City Falls:The People’s Story, a feature documentary about the people in Christchurch before, during and immediately after the earthquakes. It is harrowing.

The second film has a different focus, takes in the longer time frame since the quakes, and looks at a different, though related, disaster.  With interviews from local Christchurch business owners and commentators, this one looks not at the earthquakes directly, but at the man-made disasters following in their wake.

As someone said on Twitter yesterday, “the first disaster was the earthquakes.  The second disaster is the political decisions made in their aftermath.”

Because what wasn’t destroyed in the earthquake is being destroyed now, by government both central and local. Literally. And I don’t just mean people’s buildings—often without their permission, or even their knowledge. What’s being destroyed is enterprise, people’s futures, and the very future of business in what was New Zealand’.

What’s needed to repair and renew the city is not gobs of (borrowed) government money; it’s the enterprise of entrepreneurial NZers who are currently locked out of their city.

Referring to both the hurricane fencing that surrounds the Christchurch CBD, and the unhelpful attitude of CERA and other bureaucrats who are impeding access to private property within the CBD and delaying the resuscitation of business activity, let us all echo the youngest of the interviewees on the second featurette:

"Mr Brownlee, tear down this wall!


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