(John)Key Notes 25 February 2011


 

25 February 2011
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STANDING ALONGSIDE CANTABRIANS

My thoughts and sympathies are with everyone who’s been affected by Tuesday’s earthquake, especially those who have lost loved ones. Watch or read my speech here

I’ve been down to Christchurch a few times since the earthquake. When I walked through the central city, it felt surreal. It was eerily quiet but as you looked around you knew that a real catastrophe had taken place.

It’s a disaster that has affected all New Zealanders in some way.

I’ve been heartbroken by stories of great loss and pain, and shocked by the extent of the damage. But I’ve also been encouraged by the survivor spirit of Cantabrians. It’s that spirit that I believe will get you through.

In Lyttleton, I saw a community that was devastated but rallying together in its time of greatest need. I met a woman who was cooking almost enough food to feed an army. Locals were bringing food from their freezers to her, she was cooking it, and they were sharing it with all who needed something to eat.

I met international tourists in Hagley Park who had fled from where they were at the time of the earthquake, leaving behind all their possessions including passports. They told me they were amazed by how well Cantabrians had looked after them and helped them.

That extraordinary spirit makes me proud to be a New Zealander.

This earthquake marks the beginning of a long and challenging journey for Christchurch. But New Zealanders stand shoulder to shoulder with you as you face this journey, and the Government is behind you 100 per cent of the way.

I want to acknowledge the huge amount of work being put in by so many people, particularly the hundreds of search and rescue workers, emergency personnel, and medical professionals.

Though lost lives will never be replaced, and though Christchurch will never look the same, we will help Cantabrians rebuild their lives.

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE SO FAR

Our immediate focus is on search and rescue. Here’s some of what the government has done so far:

For the latest information on the Government’s response, click here.

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

I’d like to thank the thousands of New Zealanders, and people around the world, who are donating money and offering to help Christchurch.

If you would like to help, you could contact the Red Cross (www.redcross.org.nz), the Salvation Army (www.salvationarmy.org.nz) or the Rotary New Zealand World Community Service (www.rnzwcs.org). Many banks are also offering ways to help, so contact your bank to find out more.

All other offers of help from the public should be directed to earthquakehelp@msd.govt.nz.

Best wishes,

John Key
Prime Minister

Click here to view photos on Flickr of my visits to Canterbury this week.

 

Comment

Thanks John for these notes, you presence here in Christchurch is, I am sure greatly appreciated. For the first time in a long time they felt for real again.

Appalled


For those that did not follow the news, Christchurch was hit with another massive earthquake again last Tuesday. This time the city is in complete shambles. Horrible as that all may be, again just as after the last time people see in this an opportunity to steal from others.

First we read about the house of one of the missing persons there had been a burglary while the family was waiting and hoping for some good news from the CTV building  here>>>

Or what to think of this message on voxy

Wellington, Feb 25 NZPA – Two men charged with stealing three emergency generators a day after the Christchurch earthquake face a month behind bars after a special Christchurch District Court sitting this morning to deal with criminal cases in the wake of the quake.

Jed Wilson-Calver,
22, unemployed, and Owen Anthony Jackson, a 23-year-old fisherman, offered to leave the city immediately if granted bail, but Judge Michael Crosbie refused, remanding them in custody until March 28, Christchurch Court News website reported.

Judge Crosbie told them: “Those who burgle, loot, steal, or impersonate officials at this time demonstrate that they are capable of anything.”

“Anyone who the courts deem a risk to the community can be expect to be remanded in custody.”

It was the fourth sitting of the court held at the police station following the suspension of regular court sittings since Tuesday.

Judge Crosbie said the generators, worth $6000, were set up to provide back-up power for essential communications. They were stolen between 7.30pm and 10pm on Wednesday.

“My job is to assess the risk,” the judge told both men.

They were charged with stealing vital equipment at a time when people were “dying around us”.

“What would possess someone to do that?” he asked.

The session dealt with other people charged with earthquake-related offences, including Nathan John de Seymour, 22, a hammer hand, of the southern suburb of Beckenham, who was charged with burglary of a house.

He was also remanded in custody to March 28.

Source http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/custody-remand-accused-quake-thieves/5/83591

I guess the Dominion Post coverage of the first two men tells it all:

The two men lifted their middle fingers to the courtroom as they were led back to the cells. Bail was denied, and they were remanded until March 28.

Or what to think of this:

In a separate incident, a looter was caught red handed by police stealing a pearl drum set from a music store in Blenheim Road in the early hours of this morning.

The thief had smashed the front window to gain entry. Police caught and arrested a man 15 metres from the store.

There have also been reports of at least two people – apparently of Australian nationality – presenting themselves to the fire service as both Urban Search and Rescue and Disaster Victim Identification staff. Enquiries showed these people are not credited to either role.

District Commander Superintendent Dave Cliff said as well as making arrests for burglaries and thefts, police had been dealing with cases of drunken disorder and people breaching cordons.

“We urge you to be vigilant, look after the property of your neighbours and if you see something suspicious don’t hesitate to call police.”

Police are continuing to patrol the city with the New Zealand Defence Force, Mr Cliff said.

“We are ramping up our reassurance patrols around the city,” he said.”In he next 48-hours you will see a radical saturation of patrols.”

Police have received reports of people imitating officials, such as aid workers and EQC staff, including one asking to see a resident’s personal possessions with the aim of returning to steal them.

“Please ask for ID, they will have it [if they are legitimate,” Mr Cliff said.

People who have officials come to their home can also call authorities to confirm the identity of the official.

In the rest of the article we read of the first incidents of scams related to the earthquake, people posing as victims that are in need of money. Online the anger about these people can be read on twitter and facebook. And the following initiative was but one that had to transpire:

Public Humiliation for the Looters of the 22/02/2011 Earthquake.

May the bold print of the names above be a small contribution.