New Normal for Dance Classes - two years after the big quake

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Thank you for sharing, Kashmir. I think of New Zealand often and hope there are better days ahead for all of you.
 

Mosaic

Super Moderator
Oh my goodness it is still so bad & the amount of after shocks:shok:, I am sad for you all. Ch Ch is my birth place and I still have relatives there, my 74 year old aunt has moved North to be near my Mum now & doesn't want to return & to be honest I really can't blame her. I know the authorities must be doing their utmost to right things, but it seems to be an uphill battle, I sure hope there will be light at the end of this very long tunnel soon.
~Mosaic
 

Zumarrad

Member
There is light, but it's a long tunnel and many people are very tired. The city is, in some ways, an exciting place to live because there have been a lot of very interesting projects geared to create art, spaces for art, temporary nice things etc, and it's going to be like this for at least five years I reckon. But it can also be depressing. Where I live is like a bomb site really. But construction is beginning and I am close to where some of the fun projects have been happening.

Kashmir's part of town is near/part of some of the hardest hit residential areas, and the residential, insurance stuff is the most frustrating for many people. For stupid reasons, a lot of what got fixed first was the little, cosmetic stuff, so people with a few cracks in their plaster got their living rooms redone and repainted, but people whose houses have actual holes in them are still waiting for repair work and can expect to be waiting for years. When those people have little kids, or are elderly, or have health issues... well, it's very very frustrating. And then there are those who are fighting with insurance companies regarding how much money they will actually receive, whether their house is a write-off or can be repaired (the companies change their minds on this frequently), and all the while paying both mortgage on an uninhabitable property and rent. For two years and counting.

As Kashmir has written, that doesn't translate so well into thriving bellydance classes.

I know the authorities must be doing their utmost to right things
Oh, don't get us started...
 

Mosaic

Super Moderator
It really sounds horrendous - & it sure sounds like the authorities are dithering somewhat. as for insurance companies, they never do what they say they'll do when you take out policies unless it is a small amount of money involved. It is no wonder frustration levels are high. Five years or so must seem like forever when you just want to get back into your home, have electricity, sewerage etc & have a fairly decent road to drive on. Is the government providing funds and the skilled people to help with all the work or is Christchurch being slowly forgotten, I sure hope you aren't being forgotten.
~Mosaic
 

Zumarrad

Member
Oh yeah, there's some money (quite a lot) being spent and skilled workers being sought and employed. Stuff IS happening but very very slowly. But things like a shortage of affordable rental accommodation and people still living in squalor are being left to "the market" to sort out. A lot of heritage is being bowled whether it needs to be or not, and there's a bit of a government landgrab going on. BUT ultimately we will be OK, people always are. It's just going to take a long time, longer than I think even this government thinks. They really need to do something about the insurance companies. It's pretty disgusting that people can pay insurance for decades and then spend years trying to get a payout on something that is most assuredly not their fault.

And while billions will be spent, we could do with a few more really. We just don't have enough insanely wealthy philanthropists who don't expect a return for 20 years in this country, and even though I have little time for the present government, it does have to do more than fix Chch.
 

Kashmir

New member
The question is where is the money going. My neighbour is a roofer. He gets a few days work a week. Recently he was employed to repair the roof of an elderly couple who had water coming into a room every time it rained - for over two years. They had just moved stuff that might be damaged away from the water. His was the first repair they had received. When he got there, there were 7 (7!!) various people with clipboards taking notes and checking stuff. And these people are on big money.

You also hear of huge differences in the cost of official repairs and what people can get things done themselves. The fear is all the money will go to middle men before the work is complete. I even over heard two builders the other day saying "There's no work, mate. The insurance companies have gone bust." - now there is a horrifying thought.
 

shiradotnet

New member
The public doesn't understand how long it takes a community to recover from a big disaster. It's the kind of thing you really don't understand until it happens to your own community.

It's also very frustrating just how short the world's attention span is. The world thinks about your issues for maybe 2-3 days, and then their attention gets grabbed by the next big headline, whatever that may be. Volunteer help starts to dry up, and donated money gets diverted to the next "thing".

The community 30 miles north of me is still very, very devastated in some neighborhoods from a massive flood that happened in June 2008. Over 200 city blocks were under water. Some structures have been restored and reopened for habitation or business, but many remain empty. Rebuilding is NOT a fast process.

And Zum & Kashmir, you're absolutely right - when people are struggling just to live their day-to-day life, and entire neighborhoods still stand empty, you're not going to see thriving belly dance class enrollments.
 

Zumarrad

Member
I honestly wish I had money to burn so I could give some to the Rockaways etc. What they've got there is very similar to what we've got going on.
 

Sirène

New member
It's also very frustrating just how short the world's attention span is. The world thinks about your issues for maybe 2-3 days, and then their attention gets grabbed by the next big headline, whatever that may be. Volunteer help starts to dry up, and donated money gets diverted to the next "thing".
I can't speak for everyone but I know I'm frustrated not by the world's short attention span but by the media's short attention span. I would much rather have an update on New Zealand, Japan (those reactors are still a problem), Egypt and other areas where change—wanted or unwanted— is still taking place but all the media wants to talk about is the model shot to death by her boyfriend.

I can't comprehend how an isolated case which was either domestic violence or a tragic accident trumps whole communities trying to rebuild after being leveled by mother nature or mankind, but unfortunately I don't control the news.

Also, while I would not discourage anyone from donating to a worthy cause I have to say that the post-Sandy rebuilding in the northeast is not short on funds. Short on common sense, YES, but money is there. It's the bureaucratic shenanigans and posturing that's holding things up. :(
 

Zumarrad

Member
Well, I work in news media and I understand the things that drive it - it isn't called the "news" for nothing, it is about what is new and happening now. But it's good, yes, to have followups. The Fairfax NZ world editor is particularly good at sourcing interesting backgrounders and followups to big older stories, within the limitations of space and so on. You do tend to get "X years on" but without some kind of local link to the story it's increasingly less likely to turn up in your newspaper.

It's interesting and rather charming Sirene that you refer to "the model who was shot by her boyfriend" if only because I am seeing so many people frustrated by the fact that the model in question, like so many victims in crime stories, is elided in favour of so much focus on the person who shot her, because he is so much more famous! But the Oscar Pistorius development is news GOLD. Blade runner Olympian national hero disabled role model etc etc *shoots his reality show star girlfriend dead on Valentines Day" either by accident or design. There are so many angles. Everyone loves a good crime, I am afraid.

Making insurance frustrations, living in damaged homes and being surrounded by emptiness after several years into an exciting "news" story is a lot harder. We got a great one for today though. Mothers-survival-against-the-odds
 
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