While the people of the city were trying to deal with a 1 in a 100 year weather event, they may have missed another rare occurrence: an apology from Gerry Brownlee. After he launched a bombastic attack on the Christchurch Labour MPs, labeling them “despicable” for a photo that was taken with leader David Cunliffe and Aranui resident Dot, he was forced to back down. Labour’s Earthquake Recvoery spokesperson Ruth Dyson put it well when she said this:
He should have checked his facts before he came out swinging. It is astonishing that only now he has stumbled upon a further 85 cases of elderly and vulnerable Cantabrians in rebuild limbo. Three years on he has yet to grasp the magnitude of the number of people who are still stranded in wrecked homes and want to move on.
Brownlee’s behavior in the last couple of weeks has been even more aggressive than usual. On Saturday, he launched an extraordinary attack at the council with an opinion piece in the paper. Just this morning, he was at his belligerent best, talking over quake and flood victims on Nine to Noon. After three years of nature doing it’s worst to the people of this city, they need their political representatives to treat them with respect, not contempt. If Brownlee can’t see that the people of this city are at their wits end, and that shouting isn’t going to help anything, then maybe he should think about passing the portfolio on to someone who still shows some empathy to the poor, patronized people of Christchurch.