So in the wake of the Canterbury earthquakes, the government gave itself extraordinary powers, and the rest of the parliament fell in behind. Today, Gerry Brownlee invoked those powers. Given what has happened down here, you would think there were a number of valid reasons for him to do so. Is he going to use his powers to rapidly build homes, to house the people of Christchurch who are in dire need of quality accommodation? Is he going to step in to speed up the EQC process, or to tell the insurance companies that he means business? No, of course not.

He is using his unprecedented powers so he can buy up the buildings in the east frame which refuse to sell to the Crown, so he can knock down those buildings to widen a road. Yes, that’s right. Extraordinary powers being invoked. To knock down buildings. So he can widen a road. Got a problem with that?

Owners who feel they have suffered a loss have the right to appear before Brownlee and appeal for further compensation.

So if you’ve exhausted every other avenue, you can go before the Minister, the wonderful, enlightened Minister, who is so convinced about this that he has invoked his powers so he can do so, and plead your case personally. I know we joke about Lord Brownlee, but this is beyond a joke. Send help. Send help now.