Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nailing it to CERA

Back in June Prime Minister John Key declared that no-one would be worse off as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes. When pressed recently on the campaign trail to explain the groundswell of discontent among those affected, he offered that there had to be winners and losers. On Saturday November 19, earthquake-affected Cantabrians took to the streets in unprecedented numbers to voice their discontent with the Government and CERA, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.

The Show Your Colour Crusade.
Despite the name and trappings, not a religious revival but a gathering at Cranmer Square of over 400 aggrieved residents of Canterbury's colour-coded quake-damaged zones.

Not happy, State Insurance.
Protest organiser Darla Hutt holds crosses representing the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority's complex - and many claim hopelessly confusing - colour coding system for quake-affected zones. 

A different drummer.
A funeral procession, complete with coffin, joins the rally.

Numbers are swelled by a contingent from the Occupy Christchurch camp at Hagley Park.

Evan Smith addresses the rally.

Christchurch Central MP Brendon Burns stresses the urgent need for transparency and clear communication from the Earthquake Recovery Authority. He described how even the City Council was kept in the dark about the recent decision to condemn 400 homes in the suburb of Brooklands.

Kaiapoi resident Brent Cairns, whose home is effectively condemned despite having no evidence of real earthquake damage, shoulders his red zone cross.

The rally sets off for CERA's headquarters.

Taking it to the streets.

On Worcester Boulevard, where the trams have been absent since February's quake.

Gathered outside CERA's offices on Worcester Boulevard.

Evan Smith and the Reverend Mike Coleman select a spot for the big cross at CERA's offices.
The rainbow hues represent Earthquake Recovery Minister Brownlee's 'amazing technicolor dreamcoat' of colour-coded quake-damaged zones.

Mike Coleman reads aloud from his open letter to New Zealand. Members of the audience hold crosses representing the zones where their homes are. Red means condemned, while white zoners are still waiting for clarification.

Mike Coleman symbolically nails his open letter to the cross at CERA's door.

People place their crosses at CERA's door.

The open letter delivered to CERA.

Play nice State Insurance, or they'll be back.

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