Things today were, as Talking Heads would say, looking like a movie, and to mix my musical metaphors, I can’t tell you why.
All I’ll say is that my domestic life today has provided me with enormous amounts of laughter, adrenaline, hope, sadness, and a fabulous dessert which was eaten for breakfast. (Hugo Manson has been pestering me to know what this special morsel is – and I’m going to torment him yet again:)
I had a personal matter to deal with which took up most of my day and meant I had to bump a meeting, not like me. (I did manage to complete reading tomorrow’s agenda for the full council meeting – 9.30 at Beckenham if you’re interested, open to the public, nothing much on the agenda so it will naturally take twice as long as it should.)
But I didn’t miss the session tonight with CERA (Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority) and the local elected members of “Greater Christchurch” – that’s Christchurch, Selwyn & Waimakariri.
A packed house. I have six handwritten pages of notes. Here’s the short version.
Gerry Brownlee. “I have absolutely no desire to see elected roles set aside.” “Absolute support for people who are elected.”
John Ombler, Acting CEO, CERA. “Elected members are a critical connection between communities and CERA”.
John, quoting Minister Brownlee. “This is not just an opportunity to fix things. It is an opportunity to fix it and make it better.”
Introductions from the various CERA senior management teams. Snapshot – competent, clear, matters well in hand. Understand the need to engage closely with council at the appropriate level and systems are being developed to do that better.
The statistics are just mind numblingly huge. Here’s my favourite. There are an estimated 4 million tonnes of building waste and debris. 89,000 tonnes have been taken out of the Red Zone so far. Because of the nature of the waste, 9 tonnes fit on a truck. You do the maths around truck movements and see what lies ahead.
The commercial demolition numbers yet to come are so big I can’t write it here without going back and triple checking I have the number right. It is heart pounding stuff. (My heart’s been pounding all day – I’m overdue for a big run and I won’t get one now til the St Clair half on Saturday.)
We had updates from EQC, Fletchers, Department of Building and Housing – please look at the website for CERA, http://www.cera.govt.nz and you can follow them on facebook and twitter. A mass of information was presented tonight. I wish I’d been able to tweet as I went – it was extraordinary not in terms of hard breaking news but just bringing home the scale of what’s happened.
Gerry Brownlee demonstrated yet again his grasp of his portfolio, and I have to say his self-deprecating humour is something I wish more people saw. But I’m in a very warm fuzzy mood right now, having just had the minister congratulate me publicly for my return to CTV. “Twenty years. A bit more makeup. No difference.”
It’s a lot more makeup, Minister – and a whole lot less hair. There’d be a fair few in Wellington could say the same. 🙂
Enough for the night. 🙂