“The Government’s announcement today about provisions for some of the people who have been most affected by the earthquakes is welcome, but more information is needed,” the Chairman of the Future Canterbury Network Hon Philip Burdon said today.
“People have been in limbo for far too long and if the rebuild of a vibrant new city is to be achieved they need more information as soon as possible. Any successful rebuild depends on its focus being the needs of the people who are going to live here.
“While we can appreciate that the issues are complex and difficult to resolve most Canterbury residents can handle the detail if they are treated with dignity and respect. They need to be told what the issues are that the parties are grappling with and what the options are.
“People’s confidence in their province and its leadership is on a knife edge. We can’t do anything about the quakes but we do expect our leaders to be upfront with us.
“Much can be done to improve that situation if decision makers are more transparent and communicate more openly and effectively about what is happening and what the issues are.
“Transparency from now on is a key measure of the performance of decision makers. They must not keep people in the dark hoping to shield them from unpleasant facts or news. The Government and the City need to lay the information out for everyone to see so they can get on and make critical life decisions about their future.
“If it means there is a major exodus for a time, then so be it.
“That only means we have to do things in the rebuild which will bring these people, or others, back to take up the opportunities which will inevitably arise in a new and iconic city.
“There are many challenges facing the people of Canterbury – we can’t face them without any confidence unless we have all the information the authorities have.
“The Future Canterbury Network will be actively and carefully monitoring the performance of those who have the power to decide our future and we will engage with the community, the public and the decision makers to help them achieve the best decision making outcomes they can.
“It is clear that decision makers must take the community and the people of Canterbury into their confidence, otherwise we will end up with an outcome everyone is extremely unhappy with,” concluded Philip Burdon.