Over the past two years residents of the quake-wrecked suburbs of Christchurch have been forced to endure many hardships and indignities. People are still living in quake-damaged houses. People are still living in overcrowded conditions. People are still living in garages and caravans. People are being exploited by bloodsucking landlords and forced to pay extortionate rents that they cannot afford On top of all this people are fighting what has become a war of attrition with Cera, EQC and various insurance companies. People are in financial trouble and worried about the future. The negative impact of all this on people's health and well-being has been enormous.
But Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee is having none of it: 'I'm a TC3 myself and I'm sick of these people carping and moaning.'
He forgot to mention that his very nice and expansive home was repaired many months ago.
Lord Brownlee was reacting to a survey of 689 TC3 residents that slammed the performance of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, insurers, the Christchurch City Council and the Earthquake Commission. TC3 residents are people whose homes are on land that has moderate to significant land damage.
What is so hypocritical is that Brownlee and his government have deliberately targeted their resources in the direction of big business and the rebuilding of the central city. The proles in the working class suburbs of eastern Christchurch have been left to carry the economic burden while capital reconfigures and rebuilds the central city in its own image.
While the Key government has systematically intervened in the rebuild of the central business district (and sidelined local government in the process ) the Eastside has been exposed to the wolves of the 'free market'.
This is the same Gerry Brownlee who has consistently refused to admit there is a housing crisis in the Eastside and refused to do anything about the extortionate rents being charged. He has fatuously claimed that 'the market' will determine what is a 'fair rate'.
But according to Lord Brownlee the embattled and angry citizens are simply moaning for no good reason and 'buggerise around on Facebook all the time'.
Not surprisingly TC3 residents have demanded an apology from Brownlee.
None has been forthcoming.
Oh, and if you want to 'buggerise around on Facebook' then check out this page.