Christchurch mosque shootings

NZ Prime Minister at press conference about the shootings

❝ A crisis meeting of national security agencies is ongoing at Police National Headquarters in Wellington after the Christchurch mosque shooting…

❝ The Officials Committee for Domestic and External Security Coordination – commonly referred to as ODESC – is a committee of Chief Executives which manages the response to national security in New Zealand…

Ardern cut short her press conference in New Plymouth so she could meet the group. She was being flown back to Wellington by a military plane.

❝ At least 30 feared dead after gunmen with automatic weapons open fire at two mosques

3 men, 1 woman are in custody at this hour [10PM MDT USA]

Care home charges grieving daughter £3,000 for access to dead father’s room following his death — WTF?

A care home has apologised and altered its policy after charging a grieving daughter more than £3,000 for “access” to her father’s room following his death.

Sue Cann branded the fee “daylight robbery” after finding her father Kenneth’s nursing home contract required four weeks notice in the event of a resident “passing away”. The 54-year-old described her treatment by Highcliffe Nursing Home in Christchurch, Dorset, where Mr Cann lived for 17 months, as “callous” and “ridiculous”.

She said she understood an additional tariff was justified to allow the care home time to arrange a new tenant, but that a month’s fee was too much. It was only after she paid the substantial figure that officials at the home agreed to reduce their notice period to seven days, in line with most other UK care homes.

Miss Cann said: “When the letter came I was so shocked about it. My father had to give 28 days notice for moving or passing away…But how on earth can you do that? Nobody knows when they are going to die. It’s ridiculous. To pay for a month which covers his food, laundry and nursing care is daylight robbery.”

Mr Cann, who spent 42 years working as a service manager for British Gas, lived with wife, Winnie, until March last year when she died aged 74 from ovarian cancer. Soon after he was admitted to Highcliffe Nursing Home, run by Suffolk-based Kingsley Healthcare, but he passed away following a long battle with dementia on January 30.

Mr Cann, who had worked hard to save for his retirement, ended up spending £63,000 for the duration of his time at the home…

“I wouldn’t mind paying for a week but I really object to a whole month. His belongings were removed from the home on the evening of his death as far as I’m aware.

Yesterday, a spokesman for Kingsley Healthcare said following a review the company’s notice period for death had been changed from 28 to seven days.

Following a review – and the stink in the press and online about their greedy, moneygrubbing policies.

Christchurch, New Zealand unveils plans for a low-rise future

The earthquake-devastated New Zealand city of Christchurch has announced plans to rebuild its downtown area as a low-rise precinct dominated by parkland.

Much of the central city remains cordoned off after the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that killed 181 people in February, with the danger of falling debris from damaged buildings making it unsafe for the public to enter.

Christchurch Council unveiled a NZ$2 billion draft plan Thursday to rebuild the shattered city’s heart over the next 20 years, including a memorial to earthquake victims. “It’s a safe, sustainable, green, hi-tech, low-rise city in a garden,” Christchurch mayor Bob Parker told reporters.

Under the plan, buildings would be restricted to a maximum of seven storeys and constructed to rigorous standards to avoid the carnage seen in February, when collapsed office blocks accounted for most of the quake’s fatalities. “We have to build a safe city technically but it also has to feel safe for our community — low rise is what people want,” Parker said…

It calls for extensive parkland on the banks of the Avon river that runs through the city and proposes a light rail system linking the downtown area to the suburbs.

There would also be sporting facilities, including an aquatic centre, as well as convention facilities, a library and a redeveloped hospital.

Parker said the council formulated the plan after receiving more than 100,000 suggestions from residents and it would seek public feedback in the coming months. “It’s not the end of the job by any means, it’s a really strong starting point,” he said.

The only real benefit from a natural disaster is the opportunity to rebuild – better than before.

Am I alone in thinking Christchurch will be pretty much complete before the United States, Louisiana and the city of New Orleans complete sorting out the Hurricane Katrina disaster?

The Kiwis I’ve known are clearly folks who believe that building a better life for their family includes doing the same for their community. The United States and especially our politicians have given up on that idea.

Parts of Kiwi earthquake city must be abandoned

Christchurch was so badly damaged in last month’s deadly earthquake that parts of New Zealand’s second largest city will have to be abandoned, Prime Minister John Key has said.

Key confirmed 10,000 homes faced demolition after the 6.3-magnitude tremor which is believed to have claimed more than 200 lives, warning that rebuilding would not be possible in some areas.

“We simply don’t know,” he told Radio New Zealand when asked which parts of the city would be deserted. “We know there’s been substantial liquefaction damage.

“It’s a statement of fact that there will be some properties that can’t be rebuilt… the question is whether it (rebuilding) is possible for certain parts of the city, certain streets or houses.”

Key said geotechnical engineers were working urgently to clarify the areas worst affected by liquefaction, caused when the quake’s shaking loosened the bonds between soil particles, turning the ground into a quagmire.

Community worker Tom McBrearty said the prime minister’s comments had increased anxiety among residents still reeling from the February 22 quake. “They interpreted… it as being that the riverside communities would not be allowed to be rebuilt, which is at this stage is incorrect. We don’t know, we’re still waiting for final analysis.”

Key said the government would provide financial assistance to those who were forced to move and was in talks with developers about releasing new subdivisions to cope with the demand for housing in the stricken city.

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker said speculation on the fate of entire suburbs was “alarmist” and urged residents to wait until geotechnical reports were complete.

Sad, sad tale. Although this earthquake technically was an aftershock of last year’s quake, it blasted along a new fault and being closer to the surface and in a populous area – just did an enormous amount of damage. More than anyone had foreseen.