Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Too little, too late

Gerry Brownlee has finally woken up to the housing crisis in Christchurch, and moved to release funding to the Christchurch City Council so it can repair quake-damaged social housing. He's also got Housing New Zealand to move to repair state houses in the region. But while this is better than his previous stance of denying the problem and doing nothing (while calling critics "hysterical", of course), it is now too little, too late. Winter is coming, and that actually means something in the South Island. But the first of those repaired state houses won't be ready until June.

Brownlee's inaction and denial means we are going to see a spike in cold-related deaths in Christchurch this winter. People will die needlessly, largely of flu and respiratory diseases, because he did nothing. And that makes him nothing more than a murderer.

Update: It looks like someone doesn't like this blunt assessment. Well, fuck him. Policy has consequences. In this case, the consequence is that (statistically speaking) people will die. And not for the everyday reasons of lack of resources or unfavourable cost-benefit analysis, but because Gerry Brownlee reacted to reports of a housing crisis in Christchurch with his knee-jerk response to criticism rather than action. That's depraved indifference, and he needs to be held accountable for it.