I was struck to read this comment by the Prime Minister in the wake of the Kaikoura quakes:
Key said it was important to show the international community that New Zealand was well equipped to withstand earthquakes and cope with the aftermath.
"We need to make sure those people … say as terrible as it was, the New Zealanders were brilliant. And that was the experience out of Christchurch."
Frankly, my jaw dropped. That looks as if he’s learned nothing from the experience out of Christchurch. From day one, when brilliant New Zealanders were banned even from rescuing people from the rubble, they have been shut out. From that, this Prime Minister has watched but, evidently, learned nothing
Nothing at all about having locked brilliant New Zealanders, by armed force, out of their own businesses and their central city for years; nothing from the hydra-headed debacle of EQC; nothing at all from how in refusing to tear up their pre-quake plans town planners did their best to shackle the rebuilding that was going on; nothing whatsoever from the lesson never learned that central planning a city actually delivers (and has delivered) the very uncertainty that ‘planning’ was intended to avoid. (The tale of Joplin holds in capsule form the lesson neither learned nor understood by the PM.)
So it looks as if he’s learned nothing at all from the experience out of the Christchurch earthquake how government both central and local has hindered rather than helped the recovery of what was New Zealand’s second-biggest city. So I fear the worst for those seeking to recover from this one.