We'll be fine in Christchurch, thanks

I have just read the "opinion" piece by Cr Lee Vandervis and I urge him to visit the GNS website map of active faults and see what's on Dunedin's doorstep.

While undoubtedly the seismic risk to Dunedin is far less than Christchurch and Wellington, that's hardly a good reason to shift Christchurch to Dunedin.

I attended the recent GNS and Canterbury University experts' briefing on the seismicity of Christchurch, and we're in for the long haul. Things are going to bump around up here for decades but that's no reason to pause the rebuild, they say.

There's a very low likelihood of a magnitude 7 originating on what's now called the Kaiapoi Fault and the Alpine fault will go with at least a magnitude 8.

That last statistic takes care of pretty much all of the assertions made about ports and airports.

The whole South Island will be affected by that one.

But there are some assertions made by Cr Vandervis as "fact" which are not. Recent geotechnical and historical evidence do not indicate the "earthquakes have ended", nor the reverse. Recent geotech surveys have in fact shown faults they had no idea about, and previous quakes provided no such evidence either. What indicator of Dunedin's seismicity did the 1974 quake provide?

I have no idea who Cr Vandervis has been talking to but I have never heard of this "always anticipated terror" which "has now become a permanent epidemic of social shellshock".

This has absolutely no basis in fact whatsoever.

The people of Christchurch, by and large, are coping and coping well. We all have a shot at what size that last one was, and everyone has www.canterburyquakelive.co.nz on internet "favourites", and what we owe to our children is the love, care and concern in making light of the situation in this way, infinitely better than uprooting them on the premise they're safer elsewhere.

I'll leave it to others to point out the errors in the claim that Christchurch is no longer the South Island's main business hub, but we all know up here that the Canterbury contribution to the nation's GDP has varied virtually nil.

District councils and the North Canterbury Federated Farmers can get stuck in about the claim that not much business is generated north of Christchurch.

Sure the heart of Christchurch is physically broken. I wouldn't want to be walking down Princes St in a 6.3 either, or living in South Dunedin, or sitting in the Forsyth Barr Stadium.

But with the engineering and ingenuity of Canterbury University, Christchurch will be reborn, safe and beautiful. Our businesses will continue to flourish as they do now, albeit in better buildings.

The best revelation from the Christchurch/Canterbury earthquakes has been the community togetherness of the people. That was once referred to as "one-eyed Cantabrians" but that small-town-in-a-big-city feel has really come to the fore and we the people of Christchurch do not want to move anywhere else.

Especially, it seems, Dunedin.

This is the second pot shot the Dunedin City Council has taken at poaching Christchurch businesses. Put simply, if Christchurch businesses saw any opportunity at all in Dunedin, they'd be there already. I'm afraid that this whole lame-brained and cack-handed effort to boost the city's coffers off the broken backs of your friends up the road will be seen for what it really is.

There is a deep, dark river of resentment in Dunedin, sustained by a handful of those who remember the glory days of the city. That minority of mediocre talent never had (or made) the opportunity to move on, literally and mentally.

Their cry has been obstructively insular. "We can do it here". To them I say, well, if you can why haven't you? And what does it say about those who claim justification for kicking a community when it's down already?

It might take 10 or more years for the full fabulousness of the new Christchurch to start being revealed but by all accounts, by then we'll have a new town hall, convention centre, Olympic standard sport facilities ... oh, and that will include a covered stadium.

Islay McLeod is the deputy chairwoman of the Hagley Ferrymead Community Board, the most earthquake-affected ward; and she is the national fundraiser for LifeLine New Zealand.


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