Door To Door in Christchurch

A woman is standing alone watching her neighbours packing mattresses into a trailer. She tells her children to hug the neighbour’s children. They’re moving permanently to Rotorua.

The woman starts to cry as she tries to tell us how frightened she is at night in the dark street and now her neighbours have gone. I hope the power is on now for her, I pray that Work and Income and Red Cross will give her some hardship money. Because her carpets smell and her car is dead.

A man rings a Green Party member and says his street has no water, no power and no portaloos for several blocks, the e-map of the distribution of toilets shows he’s right. He says people are cooking on single gas rings and sharing what they can but food is a problem. He is cycling for water for his neighbours who are too old to get out. I ring the Council and they give me a job number for his street to get on a priority list for toilets. I will check out how that is going today.

The RAC s (Recovery Assistance Centres) are being established to help with emergency grants from Red Cross and Work and Income, housing issues and Council issues. They are a great idea but when we door knocked in the next street people didn’t know they were there.

People are told to check for information on the internet which is irrelevant. The people we met either had no power or had never had the internet. This is the reality of inequality and the digital divide.
 
We encouraged people to ask for the emergency money because their costs have been huge already. Every little thing in Christchurch is harder from the extra petrol to get wherever you’re going by circuitous routes to the cost of batteries for torches and food when most supermarkets aren’t open.

In the neighbourhoods of Aranui and New Brighton fantastic community groups, Maori wardens  and volunteers are providing food, water, and all kinds of goods. But there are people too afraid or unable to leave their homes.

Some Green women have been gathering cooked food and delivering it to vulnerable people identified by the Student Army and their own door knocking. Nikki Berry and Jacinta O’Reilly are working to support many vulnerable households in this practical way. I was at Nikki’s house when a lovely couple dropped off 40 cup cakes to add to the hot dinners being provided. But how long can they keep doing this?

The humanitarian effort on the ground will be needed for a very long time. It needs to be led by the strongly networked groups like Aranui Community Trust and the marae and Pacific community networks. We need to back these people because they are part of the vulnerable communities.

The market will not provide in Christchurch. It never has provided for the well being of these families. But the community voluntary sector can and will.

71 thoughts on “Door To Door in Christchurch

  1. Well done Catherine.

    Expect a ticking off from David Farrar though, just like the one Gareth got when he blogged about the Student Volunteer Army, for your last line.

    Seems that some on the right view it as a sin to talk about anything political in the context of the earthquake – unless it is John Key and Bill English talking about cutting Working for Families and putting the interest back on student loans to pay for it, of course.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  2. taod says “..just like the one Gareth got when he blogged about the Student Volunteer Army, for your last line.”

    That’s because he disgracefully used the tragedy to overtly try to score policical points.

    The volunteer armies have helped massively, but people have to go back to their studies, their work and their farms, so that will taper off dramatically.

    As far as information is converned, there has been an 0800 number that’s been well publicised in all media including radio and papers. Power is now on to 96% of consumers outside the CBD – it will be 99% by the end of today.

    That’s a stunning job from orion who had more faults than they usually fix in 8 years, and installed a whole new high voltage line in a few days, when usually it would take more than two years just to get resource consent.

    It’s pretty obvious tha the market will not provide in Chch – I’ve never heard anybody say it will – so it’s a really silly thing to argue against.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  3. Shunda, photonz – it seems that some of those on the right seem to think that their ideas on how to fix Christchurch are the only ones that should be in the deabte though.

    Russel was attacked for suggesting a levy on NZer living outside Christchurch and earning more than $48K. He wasn’t attcked on the merits of the proposal, which would have been fair enough, but on putting it up at all.

    Similarly, Gareth was attacked for stating what is a self-evident truth – that UCSA having compulsory membership made it much easier to organise the SVA than if it had been voluntary and therefore had no ready means of contacting and organising many, if not most, student.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  4. Toad,

    that UCSA having compulsory membership made it much easier to organise the SVA than if it had been voluntary

    How and why?

    What evidence do you base that statement on?

    The student membership could have been in contact with each other through social media, individual text and phone and as such not reliant on a centralised compulsory student membership database.

    Have you asked the organiser to ask how he contacted other students?

    Or are you basing this on hearsay?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  5. Gerrit, I’m basing on the simple premise that if you have one database that everyone is on, it is far easier to communicate with them (and therefore organise) than relying on people voluntarily opting into Facebook, Twitter or whatever other social media are available to organise.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  6. toad says “Similarly, Gareth was attacked for stating what is a self-evident truth – that UCSA having compulsory membership made it much easier to organise the SVA than if it had been voluntary and therefore had no ready means of contacting and organising many, if not most, student>

    Nonsense – Gareth was rightly attacked for using the tragedy to try to score cheap political points – hence the strong reaction against what he said.

    The problem with Russel’s idea is he wants to put most of the cost on a small number of people, then he wrongly claimed the idea spreads the burden among taxpayers (when after exempting most of them, it did the exact opposite – it concentrated the burden).

    However a levy needs to be weighed up against other funding methods like borrowing. In immediate problem I can see with a levy is that it will instantly drag down spending and the economy, when the country can least afford it.

    Treasury needs to look at the pros and cons of levies, borrowing, etc, which I’m sure theya re already doing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  7. Toad,

    Very big assumption. Surely a quick question to the organser and what database was used (university students admission records or student union) it remains an assumption.

    Lets see some facts not assumptions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  8. Looks like they’re trying to double team you Toad.

    Come on Gerrit! Having an organization makes it easier to get people organized, hence the name. A group of people using social media is not better than somebody with a list of names and contact details. I would like to know what you’re on?

    Toad’s main point is that the right-wing cannot debate the issues and instead undertake diversionary tactics. When the Green’s wish to initiate a debate about how to solve an issue which is not insensitive to those that the issues effect the most btw, the right-wing should not immediately put the blinkers on. The right-wing are trying to politicise the debate instead of taking all the factors into account, which is not helpful to those most effected.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  9. Photonz1, It seems to me that Russel wants to put the majority of the cost on the people who are most able to afford it. I think he recognizes that nearly all New Zealanders want to help, no matter what their situation. That is why the three proposals were not solely directed at the wealthy.

    Will instantly drag down spending and the economy, when the country can least afford it.

    Did you argue so strongly against GST?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  10. Todd says “….debate the issues and instead undertake diversionary tactics”

    You just described the last sentences of Gareths and Catherines messages.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  11. Todd has his brown cardigan on again (but at least he is not blogwhoring!!) when a simply request for facts such as the establishment of which database (university enrolment or student membership records) was used to initiate the SVA, he comes up again with drivel.

    Go on change the subject again toddy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  12. Ah! Just like that… Out come the fallacious knives. So predictable guys. It is pretty cold today, I have a DKNY jumper on. You asked Toad for those details, not me Gerrit! However they’re not required because you argument is defunct to begin with.

    You just described the last sentences of Gareths and Catherines messages.

    The market will not provide in Christchurch. It never has provided for the well being of these families. But the community voluntary sector can and will.

    I don’t know what you’re talking about phot?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  13. Gerrit says “Todd has his brown cardigan on again”

    Or beige?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  14. My attire has no relevance to the debate Phot. Although I can pretty much guarantee that I am better dressed than either you or Grit! Does it irk you both, that somebody who stands up for poor people might be wealthier than you are? Does it put in question all those bigoted values that you hold so dear? The real funny thing (in a sad kind of way) is that when you lose a debate, all you can do is joke about what somebody might be wearing. Pretty pathetic! Looks like you both have a bit of rotten fruit to clean off yourselves, or you might start to stink even more than usual.

    PS Do you like my website?

    http://thejackalman.blogspot.com/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  15. Todd says “Does it irk you both, that somebody who stands up for poor people might be wealthier than you are? ”

    As you have no idea of my wealth, you are talking from an ignorant viewpoint, but why change a habbit.

    Do you have those leather patches on the elbows of your cardy?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  16. So did you argue against the GST rise or not?

    You just described the last sentences of Gareths and Catherines messages.

    I still don’t know what you’re talking about phot? It would seem to me that Catherine’s statement is all about the issues. Unlike you and your cronies there is no diversionary tactics from the Greens.

    You can continue to make up things about what I wear, but I would determine that frog will get a bit tired of such a childish argument.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  17. Todd says “You can continue to make up things about what I wear, but I would determine that frog will get a bit tired of such a childish argument”

    Like your 95 messages about eating brains?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  18. The cardigan is a synbolic for a certain outlook on life bound by academia (sp?).

    Brown cardigans with elbow patches are for the die hard ones.

    /smirk

    One day you will live in the real world where individuals and private enterprise works alongside the community and state to provide welfare and relief for those in peril.

    Catharine is wrong that the market will not provide. The market is there along with the volunteers.

    But one can live in a fools paradise and believe that the state will provide, go ahead and have a look at Cuba.

    Just laid of 500,000 state employees.

    http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/politics/Cubas-500000-Layoffs-Could-Lead-to-Social-Unrest-102803974.html

    Market at work as well I suppose when there has been no market there for 40 years.

    Socilaists are erronuous in thinking that a society can run wothout the martket or private enterprise, it wont.

    The balance has to be found as they are doing in Cuba

    It added that Cuba would overhaul its labor structure and salary systems since it will “no longer be possible to apply a formula of protecting and subsidizing salaries on an unlimited basis to
    workers.”

    Instead, Cubans will soon be “paid according to results,” it said, though few details were provided. Castro has said repeatedly he sought to reform the pay system to hold workers accountable for their production, but the changes have been slow in coming.

    Same in New Zealand, the market pays for results, the market pays the taxes to enable welfare and a state system.

    Never ever can a society function long term without either the state or the private sector. But finding the balance has seen a continous fluctuation between red and blue without it ever being in kilter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  19. I wasn’t aware that frog had made a comment about my kiwiblog thread jack phot.

    Gerrit!

    But one can live in a fools paradise and believe that the state will provide, go ahead and have a look at Cuba.

    Just have a look at your own country first where we have over 200,000 more unemployed people because of those National free-market ideals you so love to espouse.

    Cuba has endured years of harsh sanctions imposed by America and other countries that tow the line. You aren’t seriously trying to imply that America would instigate similar sanctions against New Zealand if our more socialist political leanings were adopted?

    You will need to get a better comparison than that to mount any real argument Gerrit!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  20. Cuba has endured years of harsh sanctions imposed by America and other countries that tow the line.

    They have been lifted since 2009.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/13/AR2009041302965.html

    More blinkered rubbish.

    Did not stop Cuba from trading with the eastern bloc since the Kennedy era of 1962?

    So all those nasty socialists in the eastern bloc are really to blame.

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    running out of excuses.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  21. @Toad, the UCSA was not part of the SVA. You, very much like Gareth Hughes need to check your facts. It was a facebook initiative. Trying to claim credit for something a National Party member did are we? His actions destroy the lefts oft-quoted lies that conservative people are not socially conscious. Must hurt that you didn’t think of it first clearly, as you seem to be trying to score some points over this. Very, very low class and unbelievably spiteful. Also if you want to see some more examples of spite, see the film of Catherine Delahunty calling some young students political party “bullshit”. Charming stuff from a ‘charming’ ‘woman’.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  22. If a group of young people starting yelling abuse and laughing at me by myself, I wouldn’t resort to words in retaliation… I would go get some of my mates to show them the meaning of the word intimidation. Very well done Catherine.

    Blue… I was not aware that a young National supporter organized the USCA through FB. Could you link to those posts so I can thank them personally please?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  23. Gerrit, two years is not enough time to recover after fifty years of trade embargoes. If similar sanctions were imposed on New Zealand, we would all be living like it was 1699.

    However: On September 2, 2010, President Barack Obama extended the embargo through September 14, 2011, determining that the embargo “is in the national interest of the United States.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_embargo_against_Cuba

    There’s more similarity to Nazism and National than your comparison.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  24. @Todd, – http://www.facebook.com/StudentVolunteerArmy. The chap (the national Party member who’s efforts Gareth Hughes thinks aren’t worth much) who started it did so by himself, a very late arrival was the UCSA. He was on the news a couple of days ago. They also have a new website. Also your comment about Catherine being intimidated by these young people is laughable. She was the only one who had to resort to profanity. Says a great deal about ones character that that is her only coping mechanism, don’t you think? They weren’t threatening her, just laughing. Is her skin so thin that she takes offense in young people enjoying themselves, and/or taking an alternative view to hers. Thats the problem with the left. you get so pink, wobbly and hysterical when challenged. Whats next – tears?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  25. Actually Gerrit, the Cubans still have problems because they can’t sell sugar into the US market. That’s not a Cuba thing, that’s a USA-isn’t-a-free-market thing.

    oops

    Nor are 3 decades of nearly complete economic isolation going to be repaired in 2 years of finally being able to sell cigars.

    Cuba is in for a rough time, to be sure. It isn’t because they weren’t willing to work. Socialist/Capitalist, not important in this.

    BJ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  26. BJ,

    So the eastern and soviet block countries dont have sugar in their coffee?

    Come on, the USA and the western countries are not the only economies that use sugar.

    If the USA is such an important world economy how come it is so ridiculed by the likes of Todd and yourself?

    Problem for Cuba is that it was for long a puppet to the soviet block and (in a similar situation as a tomato grower is to the supermarket chains), once they have your economic situation controlled by way of sole customer, they set the production and pricing.

    Long ago Castro should have diversified (he did try mecenaries for hire to African despots but they did not pay too well) into other crops and economic activities.

    And the failure to do so cannot be blamed on the Western Countries or the USA.

    They had plenty of customers (China, North Korea, USSR, African and Eastern Communist/Socialist/Despot states, etc) to sell a diversified range of products to but Castro would not let them.

    They would not let the market decide what they were good at and choose not to find out, instead they build a reliance on the Eastern/Communist Block sugar trade and where shafted by them, not the USA or the west.

    Remind me again why there were no new cars in Cuba throughout the seventies, eighties or nineties. Could they not buy a soviet one?

    Or is the USA emergo to blame when they could have bought in Ladas, Skodas, or any Chinese make of vehicle, etc.

    Failure to set the market free has resulted in the huge layoffs (on hold for now but destined to increase by another 500,000 in 2013.)

    All those laid of workers are going to be licensed to enter the free market and produce goods or services that the world market requires.

    And more power to their right arm.

    I would imagine the Cuban economy will be freed up much like the Chinese has over the last 20 odd years. Slowly but with increasing speed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  27. Blue, It would appear that Catherine was just walking past and was set upon by these people. At one stage four males surround her. There were at least seven young people some of whom are swearing at her and yes, the girls using the camera were also laughing at everything she says. Have another look at the video. Hm! One against seven abusive idiots isn’t intimidation? I think she handled herself remarkably well. It is a pity the right-wing are so childish when they have no real argument to provide.

    There’s plenty of things to cry about at the moment blue. I would not put a few Act supporters stupidity amongst them.

    Gerrit, you’re trying to heist the thread. Anyway, do you like my website?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  28. Not trying to heist the thread at all.

    Catherine said the market cant provide. I disagree. The market does provide.

    As long as the market is not suffocated by ideology like the Cuban one is/was and that people with ideological blinkers on like Catherine, would like to follow into mind numbing subjucation (sp?).

    I think she sees herself a a Castro and lead us into a market free (not free market) economy.

    She will never acknowledge that communities and markets actually do equally important jobs.

    Had a quick look at your whorelinked site, not worth the effort for me to study in detail, looks like a grown up version (that is a complement by the way) of PhilU creation bucket of tripe.

    Says nothing of importance to me.

    I’m only suprised that the term fascist is used so sparingly in the few posts I perused.

    ———————–

    PS The Cuban economy is freeing up and even in New Zeaalnd we can buy Cuban Rum. I think that by the taste of it they could be onto a winner IF they market it as well as Appletons or Mount Gay out of Jamaica do.

    Good stuff, keep it in the deep freeze and drink it straight, nectar from the gods.

    That is what a market economy does, provide goods and services that the market wants to return a dividend to the providers.

    Delusional if you think like Catherine that the market cannot provide what people need.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  29. Gerrit, how has the market ever provided for the people of Aronui in Eastern Christchurch.

    The market stuffed them before the quakes, and is dumping on them big-time now.

    The invisible hand of the market, which you idealise Gerrit, unfortunately has no heart and no brain.

    Just a wandering hand!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  30. Todd ask “Did you argue so strongly against GST?”

    GST was tax neutral. Pretty much everyone got the same or more in increased benefits or tax cuts as any extra that they spend on GST.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  31. Todd says “Blue, It would appear that Catherine was just walking past and was set upon by these people. At one stage four males surround her.”

    Which is complete nonsense because they were standing still, and Catherine turned around and walked back to them. Two of them even walked away. She went to leave, and kept turnng back.

    The whole thing is a mountain out of a molehill anyway. So what if she told a few students their party was bullshit. It all looked like it was done as (reasonably) good natured banter on campus rather than anything particularly hostile.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  32. Toad,

    The market has not provided jobs prior to the earthquake? The market has not provide the means for the people to supply the basics they needed after the earthquake?

    No buckets to use in the toilets?

    No fresh water by the tanker load?

    No primary food supplies for the good people of Rangiora to turn into hot meals and deliver by market fuelled helicopters (even though it took a televsion campaign to prod supplies into the tanks)

    Private enterprise did not stump up nothing, not even a single donation of food, money or toiletry?.

    That is what you are saying, yes?

    And those cranes, diggers, bulldozers, water tankers, portacoms PLUS equipment operators, etc. where not provided by the market?

    All state and community provided?

    It took the community PLUS PLUS PLUS the market to help the people of Christchurch.

    Dont belittle the market or private enterprise for their response for idealogical reasons, toad.

    They were there alongside the communities. One could not survive without the other.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  33. Catherine; You have my utmost support I will try to se what I can do for Christchurch with the Greens.

    The capitalist market that garret is talking doesn’t seem to be providing for East Christchurch, because not many can easily get to the supermarkets!!!!!!

    But the social market is definately providing with all the volunteer work that is going on and that is a God send.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  34. toad asks “how has the market ever provided for the people of Aronui in Eastern Christchurch”

    Who do you think supplied the water trucks? (it wasn’t council)
    Who do you think supplied the water? (it wasn’t council)
    Who do you think had portaloos and chemical toilets? (it wasn’t council)
    Who supplied generators to power the grid where the lines were broken? (not council)
    Who had over a hundred trucks collecting all the liquifaction? (not council)

    Dozens of tons of food were donated EVERY DAY from companies.
    Air NZ gave heaps of cheap flights to and from Chch from any destination on the world.

    Dozens of campervans were donated to house rescue workers.
    Dozens of rental cars were supplied free of charge.
    And private companies and cooperatives gave money, like Zespri ($100,000), Natural Dairy ($200,000), Canon ($50,000), BMW ($200,000), Feltcher Building ($5 million), HRV ($50,000), AMP ($700,000 + up to another $300,000), BP (matching donations at BP stations $ for $), Progressive Enterprises ($100,000), BNZ ($1 million +), Helicopter Operatior doing Rangiora food run ($80,000 of services), Rabobank ($100,000), Westfield Shopping Malls($250,000).

    As well as cash there were the likes of bakers supplying 40,000 loaves of bread PER DAY, and literally tonnes of free food from Sanitarium, Hubbards, Frucor, Nestle, Colgate palmolive, Unilever, Mars, Coca Cola, Inhams, Heinze Watties, Cerebos Gregs, DB breweries (for water), and about another 50 companies, and that’s just on one list I’ve seen.

    Also donated are medical supplies, infant formula, transport and distribution for all the above, hand sanitizer, waterless shampoo, cleaning products, utensals and plates, garbage bags, batteries, personal toiletry packs, and petfood – just to mention a few products on a very long list.

    Almost everything that has been supplied to people has been donated from private companies.

    What a slap in the face you give them by asking what they’ve done.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  35. Trying to attribute the effectiveness of the humanitarian effort in Christchurch to capitalist ideology is rather unbecoming. I would appreciate it if you debated socialism vs capitalism using a different context.

    Phot, you clearly do not understand that the GST rise adversely effected the poor the most. Couple this with all the other increases and taxes and there are some people out there who are far worse off under National. Before you go into a big rant about it, just have a look here:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/economy/news/article.cfm?c_id=34&objectid=10710467

    Personally I think the market does provide sporadically and disproportionately. The wandering hand full of promises has no real concern for humanity. By all accounts such mismanagement of resources is going to get worse. If you guys cannot see the reality we’re facing, I’m going to staple those troll signs to your foreheads permanently.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  36. Todd says “Trying to attribute the effectiveness of the humanitarian effort in Christchurch to capitalist ideology is rather unbecoming.”

    Funny that you come up with that comment now, but were completely silent when toad first raised the subject with the rediculous claim that the market has done nothing for Christchurch.

    The massive food and water distributions to eastern suburbs have been almost entirely due to the private sector.

    For toad to insinuate they’ve done nothing is disgraceful misinformation to try to score cheap political points from the disaster.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  37. Gerrit

    If you haven’t ever watched an American dump sugar in his coffee (and I am an American so I get to watch people’s faces here when I do it), you could be excused for not knowing about it. “How many sugars would you like?” “How many have you got?”.

    I reckon that on a per-capita basis the US probably uses at least 4 times the amount of sugar that is consumed in the former USSR. At least. I have a Russian wife. Sugar is not a feature in any of the baking and torts and cookies either. This is probably one contributing factor to the number of fashion models who’s names end in “-ova”

    So no. The natural market for Cuba was the USA and it was closed and it remains closed because the sugar lobby in the USA runs that particular market and owns enough of the US Congress to keep right on running it.

    Anyone here who is delusional enough to accept the stories about how the TPP will open the US market to our dairy industry, needs to look at their basic facts again. It WILL NOT happen that way.

    What will happen is difficult to discern but my expectation is that dollars of dubious real value will flood in, screw our inflation numbers to hell and gone and destroy our country.

    However, back to the sugar. The answer is – not much went to the USSR, but when it did Cuba’s economy was a bit better than it became when the USSR collapsed economically and that market/subsidy disappeared as well.

    Rough times in Cuba for the past 20 years. But it isn’t entirely a matter of a socialist failure, as you can clearly understand. Certainly socialism did not “fail” Sweden or Denmark either. It is not any better than Capitalism and it has to be subject to actual control by the actual people of the country to work, MUCH AS CAPITALISM MUST BE.

    If you do not have real democratic principles applied to either, the descent into fascism or simple dictatorship is extremely rapid. This is a reason to stay clear of the USA BTW.

    respectfully
    BJ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  38. Photonz

    The MARKET didn’t do that. Individuals and companies which make up the market did that. The market means money changing hands, goods and services being exchanged. It does not mean charity, which is what these efforts were and are.

    Conflating the two is deceptive as hell. I don’t care who did it first.

    Nobody here regards all big corporations as entirely evil or entirely heartless and everyone in NZ is on the team when it comes to getting aid to Christchurch…

    In a way what they are doing is quite good communism… from each according to his means – to each according to his needs.

    That’s supposed to be how it works, with the state withering away and dying because it is unneeded. (One has to remember that epic fail of Marxist theory whenever one praises the principle espoused)… and in better times those same companies were motivated rather differently.

    However, to regard the companies and the individuals comprising them as “the market” is to be extremely disingenuous.

    The MARKET has done nothing for Christchurch and will not for a good year or so, until the city is rebuilt sufficiently to be functioning as a commercial center and Capitalism has the underlying structure to allow it to work.

    People and Companies will do a great deal for Christchurch… but they are NOT “the market”.

    I am not sure who started this sub-thread (and it may not have been you) but it deserves to be clarified.

    Companies in the private sector are NOT “the market”.

    respectfully
    BJ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  39. BJ,

    Like you am totally against the free trade agreements with both the USA and China.

    They are one way streets leading not into New Zealands’ directions.

    Glad you can see that the Cuban socialist model had flaws, the biggest being their inability to diversify from a sugar (commodity) producer, with very few customers, into a finished goods producer with many customers (sounds like New Zealand does it not?).

    Their cigars, rums, medical expertice, beaches, etc were easily marketed to non Americans (you could fly to Cuba from Canada and most Latin American countries) and why they were not perhaps lies more in the Castro mindset then in the American embargo.

    That is one of the problems with a revolution (as the Egyptians are finding out right now), you need a plan to keep the economy going.

    Something revolutionairs are not good at. Castro being a prime example, Mugabe another.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  40. Todd,

    If all else fails, fall back onto violence.

    If you guys cannot see the reality we’re facing, I’m going to staple those troll signs to your foreheads permanently.

    Sounds like a fascist statement to me. Would the troll sign be yellow and in the shape of the star of David?

    Back to your brown cardigan. Or is it now a brown shirt?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  41. bj – toad and Catherine said the market is doing nothing for the people of the eastern suburbs.

    March 7, 2011 at 11:18 PM I gave some partial lists of what they are doing.

    Now you say the the companies that make up the market, don’t actually count as the market.

    Have you got a elbow-patched cardy on now too?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  42. If Catherine has a different view of what the “market” is, she needs to explain.

    What did the market not supply that they should have, could have?

    Or is she having a Gareth Hughes moment?

    The one you have when a hugely constructive opinion piece is destroyed by blind ideology ravings in the final paragraph.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  43. Photonz1

    Funny that you come up with that comment now, but were completely silent when toad first raised the subject with the rediculous claim that the market has done nothing for Christchurch.

    Firstly deflecting the argument onto somebody else is silly. Secondly I would not say that the “market” has done nothing for Christchurch. It has done little for the poor and disaffected. Did you see some of the interviews whereby people said they had had no help or contact after the first Earthquake? I repeat, NO CONTACT AT ALL.

    I’m sure if you were arguing from the other perspective, you would be jumping up and down about how the humanitarian effort run by good will and donations wasn’t doing a good job. I’m not saying that of course, I’m saying that the free market has little to do with people helping those affected and everything with those people not being able to help themselves as well as I would like. Let’s look at the free market: Expensive food, petrol, unaffordable houses, less money to save for a rainy day and it is a rainy day Photonz1. These things are not helping those affected by the Earthquake at all. The humanitarian effort is and this is not based on capitalistic ideals.

    ~

    If you do not have real democratic principles applied to either, the descent into fascism or simple dictatorship is extremely rapid.

    Very well said BJ.

    Gerrit!

    Sounds like a fascist statement to me. Would the troll sign be yellow and in the shape of the star of David?

    Not at all, it is a metaphorical statement that if you and phot continue to be completely unreasonable, I will treat you as trolls. You don’t honestly think I’m going to come around to your house and staple a troll sign onto your forehead do you? Similarly I don’t physically want to eat your brains, but I would like to consume some better substance that comes out of your cranium.

    Speaking of a violent solution, I think the first comment of yours I read was one concerning giving unemployed youth a good hiding because they were all a bunch of girls or something along those lines. Is this mentality applicable to the youth who are now unemployed because of the Christchurch Earthquake I wonder?

    PS As I have already shown, I am better dressed than either Grit or phot, not that this has much to do with a sound argument.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  44. @photonz1 9:37 AM

    Catherine’s point was that the market has never provided for the people of suburbs like Aranui – she wasn’t just referring to the post-earthquake scenario.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  45. Actually the people (consumers or suppliers) are the market.

    So Cathering is wrong, the market (people) did EVERYTHING to help themselves.

    The formed communitities (individual markets) to meet the demands for their needs.

    PHEW, glad we sorted that out and proved that markets actually are the ONLY thing that services the needs of the people.

    They are the the market providers and users.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  46. Todd,

    The SVA has shown that the youth who fronted today have a backbone and am proven wrong for those who manned the shovels and wheelbarrows.

    Am encouraged for the future by them.

    Your labelling me as a troll is a badge of honour. Making headway at last.

    No blogwhoring today for you or did frog post you a little slap across the wrist?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  47. Todd says ” ..people said they had had no help or contact after the first Earthquake? I repeat, NO CONTACT AT ALL”

    So you are blaming the MARKET because the AUTHORITIES made no contact?

    If I have a problem with water or sewer, I don’t expect my council to telepathically know about it. Even more so in a city with 3-400,000 residents where there are a myriad of problems.

    If people still have a problem that hasn’t been fixed months after the first earthquake, and they haven’t bothered to contact council to let them know, then it’s no surprise a snowed-under council hasn’t telepathically realised they have a porblem.

    It’s all about attitude.

    What can I do to improve my situation, OR
    Why don’t others improve my situtaion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  48. toad says “Catherine’s point was that the market has never provided for the people of suburbs like Aranui”

    You mean “never provided” as in never been a charity?

    Or “never provided” like never allowed the oportunity for someone to get ahead if they worked hard – like someone could never go from a state house in a poor suburb of Chch to the countries top job?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  49. Have you got a elbow-patched cardy on now too?

    Like I thought… there isn’t any actual argument you have to offer about this.

    Ridiculous on the face of it actually, to concern oneself about “the market” providing assistance in a disaster. That isn’t what the market does or is intended to do. It is intended to manage the distribution of scarce goods and services in the most efficient manner possible. It doesn’t “do things for people”. It does things for money…

    …you COULD take Gerrit’s point of view and assert that the establishment of exchanges based on goodwill by people like students with shovels and people providing portaloos is a form of “market”. I don’t think that it is exactly what Adam Smith had in mind but one could conceivably imagine that there is some form of “market” being established to serve the needs of the stricken suburbs. Such a point of view bends the notion considerably IMO.

    Capitalism isn’t the only method of distributing goods, services and assistance. At times like this, it isn’t actually the best method… and when someone says “The Market”, they are talking about capitalism, not individuals. Pretending otherwise is a sophistry.

    …and trying to guess what color my jumper is will not conceal the sophistry.

    BJ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  50. Catherine Delahunty says “The market will not provide in Christchurch. It never has provided for the well being of these families.”

    BJChip says “Ridiculous on the face of it actually, to concern oneself about “the market” providing assistance in a disaster. That isn’t what the market does or is intended to do.”

    You comments are better aimed at Catherine, who started the “rediculous” (to use your word) link between the market and the disaster.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  51. Gerrit!

    I have just posted a link to an article I wrote about NZ childhood poverty in another thread, is this what you mean by “Blogwhoring?” I really don’t think frog minds me linking to other sites from here.

    [frog: Okay as long as they are relevant to the thread. Otherwise, they should be linked from a general debate thread]

    Photonz1.

    There is nothing telepathic about services giving a preference to the wealthier areas. Now that I have pointed out where there is a failure, is that failure due to the “market” or not? You cannot have it both ways.

    BJ

    It doesn’t “do things for people”. It does things for money.

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  52. Todd says “There is nothing telepathic about services giving a preference to the wealthier areas. ”

    A claim that was completely rubbished by the council, who asked for proof of the claim. No one came up with any.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  53. As you say BJ, there is a mountain of seperation between the meanings of the terms “market” and “capitalism”. There are markets in communist/socialist societies as much as in capitalist ones.

    The two are not linked and Catherine’s use of the term “market” in the context used was totally wrong.

    Did capitalism help in the aftermath of the quake? Define the term and the answert could be yes and no.

    Did the market help in the aftermath of the quake? Absolutely.

    Maybe my call on Catherine to explain her interpretation of what is ther “market” could be answered and a clear difinition established.

    Maybe also an explanation how the quake aftermath could/would be better handled in a communist/socialist emvironment.

    Maybe the capitalist could learn something on how to do it better.

    After all that is what she is implying, no?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  54. Catherine’s point was that the market has never provided for the people of suburbs like Aranui – she wasn’t just referring to the post-earthquake scenario.

    The problem Toad is that the market did provide for these people – even if it didn’t provide for them in a manner that they would have preferred. If you think I am talking out my backside, then let me ask you this simple question – if a person in Aranui wished to get a loaf of bread, then how would they go about it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  55. Photonz1, There were clear reports of distribution issues. I personally believe the people I viewed on TV saying this… Are you calling these people liars? Could you link to where the council has said their is no distribution problem please? I’m inclined to believe the people, as they have no reason to lie. To believe a council that gives hefty fines to quake effected people who do not mow their lawns, seems silly to me. But then again I have a natural educated inclination not to believe a word Councils say.

    John-stone, The issue is really about how much the market provides, not whether it can provide. The poor cannot resolve their problems by purchasing their way out of the crises because the market has not provided them with the means to do so. In this respect Catherine’s statement is correct. There is not much point having all that technology and achievements many like to attribute to the capitalist dream, if most of the people cannot afford to utilize them.

    PS Thanks frog :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  56. Gerrit

    I basically regard “the market” as irrelevant to any emergency situation, and the benefits of capitalism vs communism in said situations as equally irrelevant. Silly argument to be having IMHO… especially silly without having defined terms.

    I think I will leave this. It isn’t (the argument is not) improving. :-)

    BJ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  57. Toad asked “how has the market ever provided for the people of Aronui in Eastern Christchurch.”

    First and foremost by declaring that th former swampland in ast Christchurch was worthless for housing and thereby ensuring that no private developers built subdivisions there. Unfortunately the state decided that the cheap land would be ideal for affordable worker housing. The rest of the east was only developed by private developers when the green prevented more subdivisions in the north and west. However I would go as far as saying that the root cause was the political decisions from the 1890s through to the 1950s to try to solve the housing shortages by building single family homes in the suburbs instead of following the european, American and Australian practice of also building lots of apartments and terraced houses.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  58. I to must decline to debate this subject further. I actually find it rather upsetting that certain people are trying to foist their capitalist ideals onto a humanitarian effort.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  59. Todd,

    Rubbish, no one hoisting any ideals, all we are asking for is clarification on what Catherine refers to as the “market” that failed the people of Aronui.

    Our interpreation is that she refers to capitalism, your interpretation is what exactly?

    My interpration continues to be that Catherine and yourself have no incling what the “market” that failed in Aronui is.

    Because capitalism is not the “market”. Markets appear in every society.

    So what failed pray tell?

    Kevyn is close but that situation could have developed in any society.

    It iwas a market decision made by a cardigan wearing state servant that allowed building of housing on drained swampland.

    And who bought this “market” concept into the argument?

    The Greens trying to score political points.

    Note not a single explanation from the Green members, except for Kevyn, on how the “market” let down the people of Aronui.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  60. @Gerrit 5:16 PM

    Hang on a minute, Gerrit and Kevyn. I don’t get the impression that Catherine was talking about the decision to build a suburb on reclaimed swampland at Aranui at all. Whoever made that decision, it was a pretty stupid one.

    What I think Catherine was talking about though was the poverty in Aranui (both per and post the earthquakes) – i.e. that the “trickle down effect” espoused by neo-liberals doesn’t actually enrich the poor through further enriching the rich.

    The only “trickle down” the poor get is being pissed on by the rich from an even greater height.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  61. Todd says “Photonz1, There were clear reports of distribution issues. ”

    First you say that preference was given to wealthy areas, and when you can’t provide any evidence to back your claim, you change your arguement to “distribution issues”.

    I’ve got news for you Todd.

    There was an earthquake.

    There are distribution issues all over the place.

    Which has nothing to do with your unsubstantiated claim that the council favoured sending services to wealthy areas over poor areas.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  62. I would lik to point out that I wasn’t defending the perfect free market, since there is no such thing, I was emphasising the fact that democracy is just as imperfect due to the involvement of the same imperfect humans. Having had to negotiate the expressway detours through Wainoni to get to a factory in Woolston to collect some rainwater barrels might I suggest that the apparent neglect of Aranui is likely due to the difficulty of access rather than any middl class bias from the sallies or the student army.

    While I’m here, hopefully frog will forgive me for asking for anyone with access to supplies of materials for making rainwater tanks to email
    kevyn.miller@lincolnuni.ac.nz
    or visit facebook page Christchurch Water for photos of what I want the supplies for.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  63. Gerrit – If you wish someone to explain Catherine’s words, I suspect that the best source would be Catherine. I have no knowledge of Aranui, and cannot interpret at that level.

    I can make a generalization, that “The Market” fails the poor in every environment and in communist as well as capitalist based societies, but not through operating imperfectly. It fails (when it does fail) to provide their needs because there is not enough money in their community for it to provide them. This is not an failure of market forces. They are operating exactly as expected. The provision for the poor by the society as a whole is the point of actual failure. Doesn’t matter what ideological trap one chooses. Some socially aware people regard this as a failure of the market to provide for the needs of the poor as opposed to society providing for the needs of the poor. They blame “the market”. This is perhaps a LITTLE sloppy thinking, as their real objection is to people and parties who regard the market as the infallible judge of people’s worth and distributor of wealth. The result is that the right wing is still insulted.

    It is difficult to take the argument that this is political opportunism seriously. A general observation offered in opposition to a generalized notion that market forces will provide (which is ground occupied by NACT ideologically and invariably)… but Catherine did not identify a party or individual in this, just (and only by inference) the principle she opposes.

    You guys are being just a bit too precious IMHO.

    I am not sorry. We won’t stop making politically sensitive observations during this election.

    NACT cannot be allowed to turn the earthquake into a shield of invulnerability to criticism of its philosophies over the year.

    For that is a different form of “political opportunism”.

    BJ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  64. BJ,

    The poor all around New Zealand are about to be presented with an opportunity to lift out of poverty.

    To become the Norway/Denmark/Sweden of the Pacific if the “market” (communist or capitalist it does not matter) is allowed to function.

    Pretty soon Rio Tinto will be anouncing with (Maori and Government alongside them – why do you think Hone was pushed and schedule 4 land targetted for mining ??) the proposal to undersea mine the vast (and I mean vast) ironsand deposit that is just off the west coast of New Zealand.

    Here is an income for New Zealand of many thousands of billions of dollars.

    Will the Greens object to lifting the poor out of poverty by this undersea mining proposal?

    I would suggest an even better system of lifting the poor out of poverty (even a member of the VRWC can have socialist ideas!) and that would be for New Zealand Inc. to build the largest steel making facility it could afford on the West Coast.

    Mine the coking coal at Pike River, dam a few rivers to provide electricity, expand the lime stone quarries and shift the Aranui people to the West Coast as the labour force.

    Simple he.

    But will New Zealand Inc. have the gumption ??

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  65. The expectation that this will entail a labor force of native New Zealanders seems somewhat optimistic given the degree of technical nous required to do that sort of work and the amount of automation involved in the mining.

    If it is the west coast it needs wind as much as or more than dams, using the dams to back up the wind… but I am not automatically saying no to that. Sounds reasonable to build a plant. Do we know if there is significant Titanium locked into those sands?

    Not opposed to coking coal extraction, but I doubt that Pike River is the best place for that. Why pick the hardest one? Trying to aggravate us?

    What I think we would unconditionally oppose would be mining the resource to export the raw material to china.

    The real nasty is what is the impact of the undersea ironsand mine. Seems to me that it entails a dredge and barges and processing and ultimately a dumping of slag from the steel mill. What is the value of the fishery that would be destroyed there?

    It could work. It might even be possible that getting the minerals out of the sand might leave us with (gasp) white sand :-) That’d be a shocker.

    I suspect it wouldn’t do as well for us as you might hope.

    ciao
    BJ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  66. BJ,

    Titanium by the truckload.

    New Zealand Steel have built a pilot plant to extract titaniam dioxide (not sure if you are refering to the metal titanium or the mineral) from ironsand tailings and proven the viability of the potential.

    Just needs a major investment to built a manufacturing plant. Something New Zealand is desperately short off.

    Current iron sand mining is done on land and there is disruption and reinstatement required.

    If we look at New Zealand Steel plant the slag is actually used in many applications. Roading, grit blasting, etc, etc.

    And no black sand does not become white after the extraction of iron.

    The highest iron concentrate is actually found in the clay under the sand.

    I agree the shipping of raw materials to Chinese mills is not a good outcome however it does provide a long term revenue stream to lift the people of Aranui out of poverty.

    To get them into meaningful tax paying work requires a sacrifice of building a mine, mill, power generators, etc.

    It opens up the possibilities in so many work areas (sales, marketing, management, sciences, etc. for the poor that some level of sacrifice is required.

    The answer is how much.

    For without any sacrifice the the poor wont be lifted out of poverty.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  67. BJ,

    This may be of interest

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/4745771/Editorial-Littles-prospecting-fails-to-find-paydirt

    Sand-mining off Taranaki’s coast is one such subject. It may be the official policy of Mr Little’s Labour Party to support the processing of offshore iron sands at a coal-fired steel mill; it may be the accepted doctrine of a national union and its leader who wants to keep his members in employment and their industries in work.

    But it is too early to say whether the people whose votes Mr Little needs on November 26 are supportive of such endeavours when there are clear and valid concerns about the impact of sand mining on the Taranaki coast and its ecosystem.

    Unions keen to get involved but the party? Will the Greens support Labour if they (Labour) endorse the employment prospects of ironsand mining?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  68. The market will not provide in Christchurch. It never has provided for the well being of these families. But the community voluntary sector can and will.

    So when “these families” go to the supermarket, what do you think they’re doing Catherine? This is the market in action. They are playing in it. You’re quite right, it won’t provide for them, anymore than your motor vehicle or bicycle will get your slippers and cook your dinner after a hard day. See, “the market” transfers goods and services from one willing party to another willing party using automatic mechanisms widely known and agreed and understood. But that’s all it is. It never pretends to be otherwise than a simple distribution mechanism. So proponents of the “market” are in fact simply proponents of efficient distribution mechanisms and what pray tell is wrong with that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  69. Finally caught up with the lively debate ion the word “market”. Let me briefly clarify that I am talking about the ideology of the “free market” not the farmers market in Riccarton and trying to make the point that “leaving it to the market” in Chch would not work. The leadership from the community and voluntary sector has been fantastic, the role of many state agencies and business has been great too. But the student army etc are not “the market” but volunteers motivated by compassion and solidarity. (Re my episode at O week it was my fault not the students from ACT and National, I lost my temper. I could blame the VSM Bill etc but really I just behaved badly!)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>