GERRY Brownlee has apologised for offending Christchurch residents after saying he was “sick and tired” of their moaning.
Brownlee, who is Earthquake Recovery Minister, made the comments yesterday following an online survey of TC3 residents (those living in technical category three – green/blue), who had expressed their anger and impatience over the lack of progress.
Brownlee accused those responding to the survey of “carping and moaning” about their situation, and said those that complained were likely those who had time to “buggerise around on Facebook all day”, The Press newspaper reported.
He was later more circumspect.
“I empathise and sympathise with those people, but I’m also extremely angry at the way some people are characterising the Government as not caring or doing nothing for residents on TC3 land.
“I know [progress] is not fast enough from many frustrated residents, but if we make poor decisions in haste because of this pressure then it will still be our fault in the long run.”
He said he realised some residents were living in “uncomfortable conditions”, but the powers that be were doing everything they could to aid recovery.
“Hundreds of people in insurance companies, the Earthquake Commission, engineering firms and building firms are doing all they can to provide certainty to the estimated 10,000 residents on TC3 land in Christchurch who will need foundation rebuilds or repairs.
“Land is being assessed, homes are being fixed, and every day clear insurance pathways are being identified.
“I know this is not fast enough from many frustrated residents, but if we make poor decisions in haste because of this pressure then it will still be our fault in the long run.”
Readers responded angrily to Brownlee’s comments in The Press, calling for him to apologise.
The story drew almost 300 comments online.