Canterbury residents stressed out from the ongoing rebuild of
earthquake-damaged Christchurch are being offered an unlikely
chance to chill out and relax.
The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party is proposing the
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) uses its
extensive powers to relax the cannabis laws in Canterbury.
Canterbury recovery spokesman Robert Wilkinson said the
people of Christchurch had already suffered enough stress
following the earthquakes.
Legalising cannabis would relieve some of the pressure.
''Cannabis is great for relieving stress and has been proven
to have medical benefits for PTSD.''
Canterbury would also receive an economic windfall worth
hundreds of millions of dollars annually if it became New
Zealand's sole supplier of legal cannabis.
A special levy would direct the profits from legal cannabis
sales to pay down Christchurch City Council debt and pay for
the rebuild, Mr Wilkinson, a former EQC employee with
experience in settling earthquake-related insurance claims,
On a different note, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry
Brownlee took issue with Labour leader David Cunliffe during
Mr Cunliffe's visit to Christchurch yesterday.
Mr Cunliffe had used the leaders debate earlier in the week
to accuse the Government of being slow to react to the
rebuild and claimed that thousands of people were still
waiting for their insurance payouts.
Mr Brownlee said Labour must end its dishonesty over the
number of people yet to get clarity over their earthquake
''Claims of anything like 10,000 Christchurch property owners
in some sort of limbo are an outrageous exaggeration and Mr
Cunliffe knows it.''
Settlement of an insurance claim occurred only when a repair
or rebuild had been completed and the keys handed over, or a
cash offer had been accepted and the cheque had been banked,
Of 170,000 residential dwelling claims, about 900 people did
not yet have an offer from a private insurance company and
about 3500 people were working with EQC to get clarity on how
and when their properties would be repaired.
''After a great deal of patience and hard work from
homeowners and insurers, all of whom I salute for their
efforts, we're actually nearly there,'' Mr Brownlee said.