Recovery roadblocks cause for concern

Strong pressure on mental health services, a flagging local economy and widespread issues with dodgy earthquake repairs are all causes for concern for people in Canterbury according to a new survey, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods.

“Today the CDHB’s Canterbury Wellbeing Index has revealed the issues having a negative impact on Cantabrians as we enter the seventh year of our recovery.

“The survey paints a picture of a city making progress, but held back by a number of problems this government is not addressing.

“The first is sustained pressure on our mental health services. Demand for mental health services was 21 per cent higher than before the earthquake, yet the CDHB has a $23 million dollar shortfall in mental health funding.

“A flagging economy was also raised as a concern, with our region’s GDP amongst the lowest in the country, sitting on 1.9 per cent, compared to 5.8 per cent in the year before.

“Finally, widespread problems with earthquake repairs were causing huge anxiety with 43 per cent of homeowners worried about the quality of their repairs or worried they might need re-repairs. This suggests the problem could be much more widespread than the government has suggested.

“Six years on, it’s clear that there is still a real need for faster progress in Canterbury. That means a Government committed to the region – one that will provide adequate mental health funding, kickstart the local economy, and deliver an independent inquiry into the mess at EQC so people can have confidence in the repairs on their most valuable asset. This will put people’s minds at rest.

“Six years on, National simply isn’t making the progress that local people are demanding,” says Megan Woods.