One kind word can warm three winter months. – Japanese Proverb

Dear Members

With a cold weekend ahead and us cooling our heels waiting for important paperwork to arrive we thought a little light entertainment might suffice for this week’s introduction. We thank those who have sent us feedback on the Residential Advisory Service and the upcoming Red Zone Workshop. Obviously we will pass this feedback on. Keep warm everyone.

regards – The CanCERN Team

During the frontier days, travelers often found themselves seeking shelter from fearsome weather. Sometimes, there was no shelter to be found, and they would press forward, hoping to find refuge before they succumbed to the elements.
On a stormy winter’s nights, a man staggered into an inn. The innkeeper helped the man to a table, and got him some hot food. “I’m terribly sorry that I can’t seat you next to the fire, sir, but parliament is in session and the ministers are occupying that space.”
As the man ate and warmed up, he thanked the innkeeper for his hospitality. One of the ministers commented to the man, “Why stranger, by the looks of you, you traveled through hell and back in order to get here.”
“That’s right,” said the man.
“It is?” asked the minister. “Tell us then, how did you find things in hell?”
“Just like here,” the man replied, “ministers all closest to the fire.”

We realise we are only one of hundreds who get letters like this one below with the agency apologising for not being able to meet OIA 20 working day deadlines. We can understand that in the current environment the OIA is a popular tool so has outstripped the capacity of staff but is it acceptable to have continual delays for information?

I just wanted to provide you with another update on your overdue OIA request. We had been hoping to get this to you this week but unfortunately we have not been able to complete the necessary quality assurance and signout processes in time.

Please accept my apologies for this – I know that the response was due on 8 May so I appreciate your patience in waiting for this. We are doing our best to speed up the remainder of the processes required to get the response to you, and will be in touch as soon as this is completed.

Kind regards, and apologies again,

Manager, Official Correspondence

Office of the Chief Executive

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority

In 1597 Sir Francis Bacon said, “knowledge is power” and that quote really sums up why so many residents are feeling so utterly powerless in this recovery. The ‘keepers of the knowledge’ – the agencies can delay the sharing of information until the information is no longer relevant for the resident. Whilst we are not suggesting this is the case in our situation because we know the information will still be relevant, it is wrong that people are powerless to hold the agencies to account for the very systems that are meant to serve the people.

It’s a topic we’ll be bringing up when we attend this workshop below. If you are free, you might want to register sooner rather than later – registrations are limited to 60 people.