Friday, 22 October 2010

Some good, some bad

I'm home, well set up with a raised chair for the dining/lounge area and a raised seat above the toilet. All seems OK, and of course in 10 days I'll feel radically different, so I mustn't assume that I'll be an invalid any longer than a week or so.

Earthquakes, EQC, and confusion
The canyon in the vege garden. Good thing we hadn't planted anything except some beans.
We didn't get the geotech report that most of our neighbours received yesterday, because EQC have decided that some houses in our block are different from the others - don't ask me why. I've just finished an email to my brother about the latest EQC fiasco, so I'll paste a lightly edited version of my rant here, just for interest.

They plan to bury huge gabions of rubble (from demolished houses?) and rocks from the Waimak, under the river banks to stop any sideways creep in further quakes. Then they'll compact the ground and tell us that we can rebuild. That could be 18 months or more, then building could take another year.

We have our rented accommodation for a year. Then we'll have to rent for another year or 18 months, and even then who knows what will follow? Would you buy my new house? We may have a lovely new 4 bedroom 2 bathroom 2 garage modern house in a great location with river views, but worth doodly squat if future buyers can't get mortgages or insurance. Rumours are flying because the confusion in EQC is causing people to get rattled; some got info packs this week, others didn't, and weird stories are flying around about what's happening to the area.

Anyway, I'm not worrying right now. First things first, get this hip healed up. In 4 or 5 weeks I'll be ready to fight the bureaucratic battles; I've got pretty good at that since our latest restructuring happened, and I've learned how to put people's words back in their faces. In a funny way, it's my English degree paying off; you look for linkages in everything you read, and I often see critical phrases that other people miss.

The suits in power are pretty good at trying to slip important things through in innocuous terms - look at the Geotech report, (4th link on the left). To me the killer phrase is in the last paragraph of the main text, on page 24; "...remediation to levels significantly above most of the Canterbury Plains cannot be justified." In other words, "Why should we make your land any better than a section in Geraldine?" Because it's on a liquefaction zone, that's why! They are subtly redefining the parameters of "remediation" and hoping nobody notices. (I know the report is from Tonkin and Taylor, but I'll bet a bottle of something Scotch and expensive that it got well "reviewed" by Brownlee and English's minders.)

The University tried slipping through phrases of a similar style in their restructuring plans, and the suits got a bit rattled when we asked them "What does this phrase actually mean?" several times at staff forums. Of course, the university is ever so consultative and did actually hold feedback forums, but there's no guarantee that Brownlee will be that democratic, especially now he's got the Fuhrer Act giving him amazing powers with no appeal or review.

I've lived my life since the 60s on the premise "Don't trust anyone in power", and it's served me well so far, so I'll continue on my cynical ways. A cynic is a skeptic with evidence, I always say.

1 comment:

TwistedScottishBastard said...

Yep, don't trust the bastards.
Never mind how good their (initial) intentions may be, the power they are given alters their perceptions.
If I was telepathic, I wonder how often I would pick up the message "It's for your own good" from the mandarins and bureaucrats.

Another name for a cynic is a realist.

Good luck with the hip. I always find a large Laphroig to be beneficial for most ills.