When I saw the headline on the front of Saturday’s Mainlander, “Life Inside the Red Zone”, I thought that the media were finally going to turn their attention to the plight of those who called the centre of Christchurch home. You can imagine how disappointed I was to find that it was a piece that was more about the journalist himself than the people who live(d) in the red zone. It is coming up to 70 days since the quake, and for the many of the people who lived in the red zone, that means 70 days since they last went home, last saw their house, got their favourite possessions. Many of the places we lived in are so badly damaged that property won’t be retrievable; further more, some may never be lived in again. However, lives are in limbo, as we cannot get in to assess the damage, to proceed with claims to EQC and insurance companies. We don’t know how long it will be before we can move on from these places, and what used to be our lives.
The story of the residents displaced from the red zone is a desperately sad one, but surely more compelling than the one that Keith Lynch told on Saturday.
This is a letter I had published in the paper this morning. The heading was given by the letters editor, not me.