Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > Guest Author: A Cry of desperation from Christchurch

Guest Author: A Cry of desperation from Christchurch

–  Sarah O’Brien




I spoke to my father (84 yrs old) and asked.. ‘are you going to watch Hope & Wire”?

His response… ‘No, it hardly represents what the people here are still going through. It misrepresents Christchurch all together, and the language is unacceptable.  All this intermittant rubbish the writer has crammed into it… represents us as a group of badly educated, sex driven white supremists’!!!

YES.. I couldn’t agree more…

Having now lived through over 13000 earthquakes, and dealing on a daily basis with my own paper war to have my insurance contract with IAG (via the ASB) honoured, living with black mold in the ceilings, no carpet, gib off bedroom & living room walls and having had raw sewerage in the house for 2 years as EQC refused to fix this under ’emergency repairs’ (while my insurers didnt want to know until I was deemed ‘Over cap with EQC, not able to get it fixed myself or ‘I’d loose my insurance claim’!!!)’.

Now I witness see daily ‘fletchered cosmetic repairs failing’, and elderly / disable persons having to shift from their homes for the 2nd or 3rd time, as their floor boards were ‘propped up’ (Jack and Packed) with bits of MDF / Malamine / Gib board and even an old chair leg!!!

Entry doors and windows still cannot be secured, water ingress every time it rains, and drive / pathways inaccessible to those who are elderly or disabled in small ways.

Why?? Because Gerry & his army of twats has decided its OK for up to 20% of structural repairs (replacement of piles) under houses , are able to be completed without consent!!!!! Therefore, we have cowboys being paid millions and their work is not requiring council building inspection!!!! Is this what our insurance is paying for???

YES: the government led (CERA) Fletcher repair scheme has cost the taxpayers three times more than it ever should, caused hundreds of deaths, illness (mental and physical), and this whole Government orchistrated genocide and complete ignoring of the plight of the Christchurch people is criminal….

But do YOU know how I felt at the end of Hope & Wire??

I shed a blubbery tear and felt…



Because I have pleaded with you all to listen, protest, become involved and support us.. You get out there to save the dolphins. You rally to stop fracking. You rally to have emergency houses built in Auckland. You rally to help North Island flood victims or Wellington storm / earthquake victims.. you rally to stop wars in other countries.

Yet you leave the victims of this city for four years to survive sub-zer0 degree nights, relentless floods, living in 3rd world conditions. Many still living in tents and garages…. and STILL STUCK WITH EQC / FLETCHERS AND INSURERS STAFF WHO RELENTLESSLY BULLY AND THREATEN ELDERLY AND VULNERABLE VICTIMS OF THIS. OUR NATIONS TRAVESTY.

Yes… BUGGER YOU. If this was rugby… another springbok event.. would you take a day off work and protest??? THIS IS GENOCIDE HERE!! WAKE UP!!!

Sarah O’Brien
Christchurch resident, July 2014



Previous related blogposts

Interview: Angie, the Earthquake Angel

A tale of two tragedies


Fairfax media: Christchurch rent crisis ‘best left to market’

The Christchurch Fiasco : the Insurance Aftershock and its Implications for New Zealand and Beyond



National's trickle down policy is a frozen tap

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes



= fs =


  1. Dirk
    19 July 2014 at 12:35 pm

    It is easier to protests things that are far away, they are real, but not real. At the very least it is a problem of others, not one which hits me directly.

    Accepting that one’s own government is just as corrupt and inhumane as those others, that it gleefully preys upon its ‘own people’ for profit and political advantage, is just way too close to home. Having to acknowledge that one’s own media is propaganda for elites, that far too many of us are taken in, our fears played upon and manipulated for elite advantage; way too personal, way to scary.

    It takes strength and/or disaster for people to confront the truth of their lives. Some collapse in the face of it. We need, must, support each other in these difficult times. Coming to grips with the realisation that all is not well, our leaders are not well intentioned, is hard.

    Once we do that we may well find that the answers are not as difficult as we feared. Together we can change the world. Let’s start here.

  2. 19 July 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Reblogged this on thechristchurchfiasco and commented:
    I could not agree more Sarah – it is a travesty. ‘Hope and Wire’ was insulting – what a wasted opportunity! He detracts attention from the truth. How are people outside Canterbury ever going to understand the full truth of what is happening here. The only people seemingly willing and capable of helping Christchurch citizens are a few Cantabrians themselves and the rest seem unwilling to stand up for themselves or their entitlements. Its truly desperate.

  3. francis
    19 July 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Sarah is right. If it weren’t for Campbell Live, NZers would think things are back to normal. The govt has majorly let those affected down.

  4. Mechelle
    19 July 2014 at 4:11 pm

    The gnats and key and brownlee have totally let You down … Vote Labour for a Positive Change & They WILL give You the Helping Hand You so Desperately Need !!! I am so Sorry other New Zealander’s have treated You this way , I take that responsibility on board because I Believe We New Zealander’s are Meant to Be Better than this !!!

    • pat
      19 July 2014 at 7:49 pm

      Labours inaction over the past years signals their complicity in this whole manmade disaster

  5. 19 July 2014 at 4:13 pm

    I agree totally with you Sarah, the treatment of Christchurch people in need is disgusting. John Key pledged full support to Christchurch when the earthquakes happened… There needs to be a change in government, a government who actually cares about people and who will do much much more for the people of Christchurch.

  6. Bron Williams
    19 July 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Desperately saddened each time I hear what people in Christchurch are still going through. It is just so wrong. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. Mooloo magic
    19 July 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Another good reason we must vote out this cruel callous Govt that has so badly let Christchurch down. If National is returned the people of Christchurch will still be waiting in vain for their houses to be repaired in 3 years time. Key and his wicked cabinet have only paid lip service to the citizens of our second biggest city. This is a national disgrace that we all should feel outraged over.

  8. linda192
    19 July 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Your final paragraph struck a chord. Many of us have been there. It has always reminded me of Niemoller’s poem, “First they came”

    “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.”

    They came first for me, a red zoner, in June 2012. Our house and land were undamaged, but the offer document made it clear we had little choice but to move – in particular the warning that if we did not sell to the government our house and land might be compulsorily acquired at a later date at a much lower price because the red zoning had robbed our homes of their value. The country clapped and applauded and said how wonderful it was to live in New Zealand and weren’t we magnanimous people helping out the red zoners. We tried to point the realities of red zoning, but no-one was interested. Then Kaiapoi was red zoned, and suddenly they understood what we were saying, and Brooklands, and on it went.

    In many ways our battles are over, while yours continue. We’ve been treated with complete disrespect by our government, by the insurers, but the government put a deadline on our having to leave our communities. For some of us, we’ve moved and are trying to rebuild our lives in a new community, some of us will never own a house again. There have been deaths and suicides – Hope and Wire was correct there. But that government deadline means that much of what you are enduring is now over for us. Meanwhile your struggles, your anguish, your battles continue.

    Even though some of us are further along in the process than you, our battles are not over, because if we forget about what we have endured, if we do not have people like you publicising those battles, then when next their is a major disaster, once again it will be a case of “first they came”.

    As you say, New Zealand, wake up, and thank you to all those who are speaking up.

  9. Pete
    19 July 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Dear Christchurch mr key says it’s sorted, so it must be….if it wasn’t for tv3 we would believe him.

  10. 19 July 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Three years ago, on 14 July, I started this blog.

    I never realised the number of lives of fellow New Zealanders it would touch…

  11. 20 July 2014 at 8:33 am

    thanks Sarah for your time in writing this- the truth. I’m a Cantabrian living in AKLD. had moved before the quakes. Went down after Feb to help out family and friends still living there. Saw a heart breaking CHCH. This heart break continues…as these stories continue. We need something to keep the focus on the true issues- like the ice challenge- but more the quake challenge. I know the challenges you are going through – a best mates family had to go to court to get there insurance company to payout for their East Linwood home in the red zone. No one should have to go through that, when it was inspected and red stickered. Margaret Bazley who has a history in public health needs to fight and act for the people.

  12. Who Gnu
    25 July 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Many thanks Sarah for reminding us what our brethren down south are going through. Christchurch has been a clear lesson to the rest of the country what lies in store for us next time disaster strikes. Firstly, expect no mercy from insurance companies. Secondly, expect no help from a National government. Thirdly, the free market economy means only one thing – we’re on our own!

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