Prime Minister John Key
Prime Minister John Key will visit suburban Bexley when
he returns to quake-ravaged Christchurch today.
Bexley is one of the worst-hit areas of the city and
questions have been raised over why it was allowed to be
built on reclaimed land.
Much of the suburb now lies beneath sandy silt, and many
houses have been deemed unfit to live in.
Kaiapoi, Pines Beach and Kairaki, in the Waimakariri
district, have also been hit hard, with nearly 400 homes
there categorised as unsafe.
Adding to the northern district's woes were "rubber-neckers",
Waimakariri mayor Ron Keating said yesterday.
"The rubber-neckers are just driving everyone crazy. They
just drive out of Christchurch. They just came off the
motorway and last Sunday they were chocka. It's macabre, and
they were bumper to bumper and unfortunately we weren't ready
for it," Mr Keating told NZPA.
The police and army may have to control all four entries into
the town this weekend, "just to let people get on with their
lives", he said.
In a sign that some normality was returning to inner-city
Christchurch cordons were removed last night, but some
streets remain closed, including
Worcester, Manchester, Hereford, High, Cashel and Tuam.
Donations for quake victims had reached $11 million,
including $3.5 million pledged to the Red Cross and the $5
million Government contribution to the mayoral fund -- now
combined into one fund. Fletcher Building has given
Christchurch City Council a $1m grant to go towards the
protection and rebuilding of heritage buildings.
The Waimakariri District Council estimates the cost of
repairs to its region could range from $67m to $120m, to
replace community buildings, utilities, road and footpath
Chief executive Jim Palmer said repairing parks and buildings
alone, including the library, was likely to cost about $7.6m,
to be met by insurers, the council and government funding.
Repair of roads -- which cannot be insured -- could cost
$25m-$35m but the Government had signalled it would meet up
to 90 percent of that.
Fire crews from around the country are being deployed in
Christchurch this weekend to relieve tired staff and increase
resources at the front line, Internal Affairs Minister Nathan
While most schools will reopen on Monday, the students of
some may end up at other schools such is the scope of the
damage at some schools.
Gerry Brownlee, the minister responsible for co-ordinating
the Government's recovery response to the Canterbury
earthquake, announced the first stage of streamlined measures
to deal with the large volume of claims arising from the
earthquake, including the payment from early next week of
claims for property and contents damage or loss where there
has been no structural damage to the building.
The Christchurch City Council pushed through a new policy for
earthquake-prone buildings, meaning they will have to reach a
much higher standard of structural strength.