New Zealand Labour Party

Another kick in the guts for Christchurch

The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson. 

“Over the last four years, local MPs have provided a critical service to their constituents as they battle their way through EQC, insurance and other earthquake related issues. Christchurch residents should feel let down by the government which has yet again walked away from offering support.

 “One of the most troubling consequences of this refusal to continue funding, is that this is the very time when people are most in need of the service. We are assisting people who have been arguing for the last four years and they are desperate for a resolution. For the government to claim that there are other services available is nonsense. Are they suggesting that residents who we have been assisting for four years now, go back to square one and start the process again? 

“This is a heartless move. All the Labour MPs asked for was one additional year of funding for the service in order to resolve cases and help people move on with their lives. The cost of providing this service for another year is miniscule in relation to the cost of the recovery," said Ruth Dyson.

 “To add insult to injury, the staff who have been working with some of the hardest earthquake related caseloads in the region have been notified that their contracts will expire on Christmas eve. If this is the Prime Minister’s idea of a Christmas present for the people of Canterbury then we can all be certain that the Prime Minister has lost all sense of goodwill in relation to our recovery.”