Call in the UN

June 11th, 2012 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Press reports:

Aggrieved red-zone residents are taking their plight to the United Nations.

They believe the Government’s buyout offer breaches their human rights and the United Nations should intervene on their behalf.

Oh yes. Send in the Peacekeepers and the black helicopters.

Kaiapoi resident and Wider Communities Action Network (WeCan) spokesman Brent Cairns said the idea of zoning specific areas where repairs and rebuilding were allowed was a violation of civil liberties.

Yes, it is a breach of human rights to zone land as unsafe.

The “supposedly voluntary buyout offer” was structured in such a way that it was, in effect, compulsory and bypassed existing laws that regulated the taking of land by Government.

How awful – the taxpayers are offering the full GV of properties on unsafe land. That is such a breach of human rights. Some people forget that the Government was not obliged to do anything at all – they could leave it all to EQC and the private insurers.

Cairns said the Government’s threats that services would either be removed or not repaired in red-zone areas, should property owners choose to stay on in their homes, more than 7200 families were effectively being evicted.

If only 50 out of 5,000 people stay on in a red zoned area, then the funding responsibility for maintaining infrastructure services is theirs. Just as if you build a new house out in the waps, you are likely to bear the cost of connecting up services to you.

Cairns has developed a template letter he is urging people to use to write to the United Nations Human Rights Council, asking it to investigate.

Oh yes, the good Governments of Angola, Cuba, Indonesia, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Moldova, Russia, Saudia Arabia and Uganda who all servce on the HRC will be just the ones to sort this out.

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36 Responses to “Call in the UN”

  1. Linda Reid (385 comments) says:

    What is it about the psyche of people who think that because something very bad happened, it’s someone else’s duty to make it all right again – that they should not suffer any loss.

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  2. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Oh DPF…where is your compassion!

    Still, you wouldnt want to be those poor buggers..I wouldnt want to be facing a Christchurch winter in a ruined house…it was bad enough in a watertight one….

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  3. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Alright for you David , you don’t live here. More and more NZers will turn to the United Nations because they get ignored or patronised…..I recall a relatively new English immigrant saying this is a country where if you complain about anything , you get viciously attacked. He found it surprising.

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  4. Joel Rowan (99 comments) says:

    Urgh. Some people think everything they happen to want is a “human right”. It’s very fatiguing.

    For instance, I am a supporter of gay marriage, but I sure as hell don’t think it’s a human right.

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  5. jims_whare (389 comments) says:

    Think back a 100 years or 2 – come natural disasters or war, the peasants that were left were thankful that were still alive, dusted themselves off and started again with whatever they had left.

    Skip forward to NZ in 2010, the government offers the red zoners to buy them out at Government Valuation from 2007 (way above the current value of the properties) racks up mega debt in order to stand by the good folk of Christchurch, and all a few wingers can do is whine on about how it all violates their ‘hooman rites’.

    Please – Talk about ungrateful – what do they want a gold plated Mercedes to go along with it??

    I’m sure the rest of the red zoners must shaking their heads at these ungrateful moaners – if they want to carry on living hermit style in their half wrecked homes – good on them – however crying a river that the government isn’t looking after them is just a tad too much.

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  6. James Stephenson (1,885 comments) says:

    a relatively new English immigrant saying…

    The contrast being that if you bother to complain back home, everyone just ignores you.

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  7. jims_whare (389 comments) says:

    a relatively new English immigrant saying…

    These used to be called whingeing poms. Tended towards union affiliation or management….

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  8. flipper (3,266 comments) says:

    Well now, Joanna is exposed as aSouth Island whore.

    The majority, dear joanna, live in little NI, do they not?

    Ergo, the majority pays all (well, most of) the taxes that funds Govt support for ChCh.

    Support, Yes.
    On-going bottomless pit? NO.

    Grow up you silly bint.

    No earthquake victims in history, anywhere in the world, have been better treated than ChCh.

    Ollie Twist., had a point.
    But ChCh (circa joanna’s 2012 et al) is sick!

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  9. rolla_fxgt (311 comments) says:

    Let the UN buy them a tent, for all the complainants to share. I’m sure that’ll fix all the problems the complaints have, oh hang on they’ll be worse off.

    Stupid people deserve stupid solutions.

    Not even the UN is stupid enough to rule on this, imagine if govt’s have to pay in future for the cost of replacing someones house, with like for like. Poor countries already struggle, and none of the countries on the HRC could afford it, so not even they would vote for it. It would mean less luxuries for their anointed leaders.

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  10. Lloyd (125 comments) says:

    The government could have left it to EQC to sort out.

    The same EQC that is the first govt agency to be accused of nepotism in its hiring practices; the same EQC that simply cannot sort out its communication about TC3 land; the same EQC that cannot get its sh*t together and calculate apportionment.

    No, the govt did the right thing and made a blanket offer to buy us out of red zone houses. With EQC we’d be waiting until 2021 to get sorted…

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  11. YesWeDid (1,001 comments) says:

    Your mocking tone DPF might be funny to your general readership but anyone caught up in a red zone with a damaged house would find your comments childish and ignorant.

    Luckily my house survived the earthquakes and my land is green TC3 however I have a number of friends stuck in red zone/insurance limbo land and I can certainly appreciate and have symphony with their position.

    [DPF: I do have sympathy for their position. I don't have sympathy for the very very small band who are saying that a voluntary offer from the Govt is a breach of their human rights]

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  12. TimG_Oz (883 comments) says:

    You seriously think these guys are going to do anything for you?

    http://unmemovie.com/

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  13. MT_Tinman (2,790 comments) says:

    Agree 100% DPF.

    The government needed do nothing at all.

    I do not suggest Mr Cairns changes his mind about appealing to the UN, in fact instead of writing he should go and appeal in person, taking with him of course, all those who agree with him.

    Meanwhile the rest of us will carry on with remaking paradise in it’s own image.

    MT_Tinman, Brooklands, Christchurch.

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  14. swan (651 comments) says:

    The question hangs on whether it is or isn’t a compulsory buyout. And it isn’t a compulsory buyout by the sounds of it. So no real issue here. They are welcome to stay, just have to put in a septic tank etc.

    If the government does turn it into a compulsory buyout, then theses people are right to be aggrieved.

    “Yes, it is a breach of human rights to zone land as unsafe.”

    You dont know what you are talking about DPF. It is too simplistic to say the land has been zoned as “unsafe”.

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  15. david (2,482 comments) says:

    Doesn’t cost much to dash off a quick note to “Helen, c/o UN, New York, USA”. She will come thru for the good folks of ChCh who have been so shamelessly shafted by the rapacious NZ Government.

    Naff off. It is those in the blue/Green zone I feel for. Nothing from Government, Fights with EQC over what is earthquake damage and what is “normal wear and tear, settling, weathering etc” and because of the new foundation requirements about $100,000 knocked off their property value (CV) in a sale.

    Nothing that has been said convinces me that the RED zone people are hard done by unless they were stupid enough to be uninsured or significantly underinsured. They may have a fight to get full ereplacement insurance on their houses but that is purely a civil matter and is not a responsibility of Government.

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  16. davidp (3,319 comments) says:

    I’m confused about what the guy actually wants. The only alternatives I can imagine from the article are all stupid:

    1. He wants the UN to demand that the government repair and maintain services in areas where they have been destroyed and are damaged every time there is an aftershock, and the government must continue to do this indefinitely regardless of the cost.

    2. He wants the UN to deploy relief agency staff to Christchurch to provide water, sewerage, electricity, and other services to areas where the current services have been destroyed.

    3. Instead of paying out 100% of the value of these properties, the government should pay greater than 100%.

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  17. RightNow (6,334 comments) says:

    “I recall a relatively new English immigrant saying this is a country where if you complain about anything , you get viciously attacked. He found it surprising.”

    Thank you, thank you joana, that’s the best laugh I’ve had all day. At last a whinging pom is good for something.

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  18. Paulus (2,291 comments) says:

    Send to UN for Helen Clark – she will sort the buggers out.
    Along with Lianne and Jim (who).

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  19. Mark (1,301 comments) says:

    I expect that the UN has a few more pressing issues on their plate

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  20. simonway (356 comments) says:

    Yes, it is a breach of human rights to zone land as unsafe.

    Well, Peter Cresswell would probably agree with that.

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  21. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    They sound like they’d be doing the gene pool a favour if they stayed on dangerous land.

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  22. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    So now I am a whore..what an imagination you have Flipper.

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  23. ephemera (563 comments) says:

    Oh yes, the good Governments of Angola, Cuba, Indonesia, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Moldova, Russia, Saudia Arabia and Uganda who all servce on the HRC will be just the ones to sort this out.

    Juvenile shots at the work of the UN don’t win arguments in the world of the sane.

    DPF is having a Redbaiter moment, here.

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  24. RightNow (6,334 comments) says:

    What has the UN got to do with the world of the sane?

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  25. Other_Andy (2,079 comments) says:

    @ephemera

    The UN is nothing more than a bunch of money wasting,corrupt, overpaid, narcissistic socialist bureaucrats.
    Sanity has nothing to do with the UN…

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  26. Viking2 (10,690 comments) says:

    Yep so when is it going to need bailing out again?

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  27. ephemera (563 comments) says:

    The UN is nothing more than a bunch of money wasting,corrupt, overpaid, narcissistic socialist bureaucrats.

    That wasn’t DPF’s argument, though. I don’t remember him slagging the UN off as a confederacy of despots when Geoffrey Palmer delivered his report into the Gaza flotilla. What’s changed?

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  28. Other_Andy (2,079 comments) says:

    @ephemera

    “What’s changed?”

    If that is so, good question……
    Maybe he is only pro UN when it suits him.

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  29. TimG_Oz (883 comments) says:

    @ephemera

    David is referring to the UN Human Rights Council. They are the most corrupt part of the UN. Other areas within the UN, David regularly praises and even calls for donations: Unicef, UNHCR. He is pretty consistent.

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  30. ephemera (563 comments) says:

    @TimG_Oz

    Then I fail to understand his point. Is it that red zone residents shouldn’t complain to the HRC because it’ll fall on deaf ears anyway, as Cuba and Saudi Arabia are in the 2012 group? (in addition to the United States and Norway).

    The argument is lost when he makes some interesting points and then says, in effect, “good luck taking your concerns to a bunch of Arabs”

    It’s smallheaded.

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  31. big bruv (12,319 comments) says:

    A few black hawk helicopters would not go amiss to get rid of some of the more insane residents (and demolition workers)

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  32. TimG_Oz (883 comments) says:

    @ephemera

    The last point is nothing to do with Arabs. The UNHRC is disfunctional to the point of being irrelevant. It is controlled by nations with terrible Human Rights records, to make meaningless one sided resolutions about one other country in particular. Again, David is very consistent with his criticism of the UNHRC. Perhaps you should read the following if you want deeper analysis on what David has said of the HRC:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/tag/human_rights_council

    This post provides a good list of the record of the member nations:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2008/07/our_intended_companions_on_the_un_human_rights_council.html

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  33. la la land (5 comments) says:

    Christ these red-zoners are greedy. I’m just fed up with it. Its not the governments fault there was an earthquake. The tax payers of NZ are doing the best they can to help the people of chch – but no they just want more more more. Yes there was a major natural disaster, yes you may have to take a hit. Get over it.

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  34. Mobile Michael (363 comments) says:

    Great, now Chavez and co will go around saying stupid things about their compulsory acquisitions being fair as no country bothered to raise objections to the NZ scheme. This group are trivilizing real suffering throughout the world if they can compare themselves to the forced evictions in Zimbabwae and elsewhere.

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  35. fooman (38 comments) says:

    The issue is the Govt not realising the impact of their actions on the insurance aspect:

    1. Insurance payouts were based on market prices (not GV – that is a rating tool based on _average_ property value in an area, not actual market value) before the earthquake.

    2. When the Government made the buyout offer, it was Hobbe’s choice: Accept our offer at GV (not what it was insured for, or prior market value) or face compulsory acquisition at the current market value (not very much).

    3. As a result of the Govt offer, the insurance industry pointed out clauses in their contracts which said that loss from government action (i.e. the compulsory buyout) were not insurable – people with repairable houses in red-zones would only get paid for the repair cost – never mind that the property is lost.

    As the result of 2. and 3. some people are facing considerable losses on their property – in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if they were not written off. Indeed, insurance companies are reviewing claims, trying to change write-offs into repair cases, to minimise the insurance company losses.

    The people who were insured, paid higher premiums for full replacement cover, and had properties whose amenity values were not reflected in the crude GV, were left high and dry by the Govt offer.

    David Heywood blogged extensively on this issue – he was affected – and his solution (house shifting), but he was one of at least 5000-10000 home-owners facing considerable losses, despite having insurance supposedly covering the loss – insurance cover which was removed by the government actions (either well meaning, not fully thought through, or bullied by the insurance industry).

    FM

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  36. swan (651 comments) says:

    On the herald website:

    “In Parliament today [Brownlee] ruled out letting people live in undamaged houses in red zones.”

    So it is a compulsory buyout then? That changes the game a bit.

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