martes, 15 de noviembre de 2016

MercatorNet: New Zealand’s earthquake shows society functioning as it should

MercatorNet: New Zealand’s earthquake shows society functioning as it should
New Zealand’s earthquake shows society functioning as it should

New Zealand’s earthquake shows society functioning as it should

If only we could always see things so clearly.
Carolyn Moynihan | Nov 15 2016 | comment 

Photo: BBC
An earthquake such an New Zealand experienced on Monday – a double quake with a combined magnitude of 7.5 – tests the calibre of a society at every level: from the truck driver stuck on a highway between two landslips, to the Prime Minister whose budget is blown apart, and everyone in between.
What we are seeing here in the aftermath of the hugely damaging Kaikoura quake is every level of the body politic in top gear, doing what it does best to achieve one goal: to protect people’s lives and restore the structures that help them thrive.
When life is reduced to the basics of survival, everyone quickly sees what they can and must do, and swing into action. If only we could always see things so clearly.
The first responders are necessarily those caught up in the disaster themselves: families, neighbours, whoever is next to you at the time. Mums and dads, if they are not injured themselves, grab the children and run; as soon as possible (phone lines are down in Kaikoura) they try to check on or reassure elderly parents and close relatives. Neighbours check on each other, to the extent they can. It’s midnight, but if there’s anyone still out on the town, the bar or restaurant manager takes charge.
Meanwhile the police, fire brigade and ambulance services have begun to identify the worst hit areas and start rescue operations. The school, the Marae (Maori community centre), clubs and churches open their doors to provide shelter, food and drinks.
“A family near epicentre in Cheviot who couldn't reach their elderly parents instead took supplies down to the football club,” Radio New Zealand reporter Alex Perrottet told MercatorNet. “They gave coffee tea and cake to us and chopper pilots as we came to refuel. People are very generous at these times.”
Yes, the media are there, providing vital information to the nation and to relatives who have no other way of finding out what’s happening. The armed forces have sent helicopters and a ship (the main population centres are on the coast) to evacuate tourists, visitors from other parts of the country and locals who are homeless.
The Prime Minister and Earthquake Minister arrive to survey the damage and reassure people that the government is on the ball.
“It's like the Olympics in Sydney,” says Mr Perrottet, an Australian. “Everyone is talking to each other. People are opening their homes, offering food and shelter openly on Twitter.”
Prized possessions smashed and ruined don’t matter: “A homestead north of Kaikoura lost all their nice gear – glasses, china, old wine, a grandfather clock, pictures and frames -- the guy just laughed as we walked through the house. People always say the most important thing is our lives and we must be grateful.”
Three cows stranded on a land island formed by the Kaikoura earthquake 
have become world celebrities. Photo: Fox News/EQNZ
There’s a massive amount of work to be done to restore life to normal in North Canterbury, New Zealand. Roads, bridges and railways have to be repaired, and perhaps even rebuilt elsewhere. Power and communications infrastructure are out for the count. It will cost billions, says Prime Minister John Key. Well, that’s his job: to figure out with his ministers how they are going to find that money.
And that is precisely the sort of thing that we need governments for: to defend us from acts of war, rescue us from natural disasters, ensure that national highways and railways are safe and sound, that we have sources of water and power, means of communication and hospitals.
The government can’t be in our houses to rescue our children when the roof is falling in; but mums and dads can, and that’s where they normally both should be in the middle of the night. If they can’t be there, the neighbours and community can lend a hand. After that, the government. And that’s how the hierarchy of help should go at the best of times.
We do not need the government to reach over the heads of communities and families to teach children that there are many different kinds of families and genders, or how to have sex. We do not need them to impose an arbitrary morality by promoting contraception. Least of all do we need governments to reach into the womb by funding abortion.
If governments like ours stopped creating social disasters by meddling in things they have no competence for or mandate to carry out, they might even have more money to spend on the things we really need them for. Goodness knows they have enough of their own work to do in New Zealand without looking for more.
Carolyn Moynihan is deputy editor of MercatorNet. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand, well out of harm’s way -- for the moment.

Proving that chatting with President-elect Donald Trump is not the most important thing in the world, the New Zealand prime minister, John Key, missed his call the other day. He had more important fish to fry. The Trump earthquake in American politics had been eclipsed by a real earthquake in the northern part of the South Island. Mr Key didn’t see the call when it came in.
The 7.5 magnitude quake was massive. Two people were killed; there have been billions of dollars of damage to roads and buildings; there were 100,000 landslides; and hundreds of people have been stranded. And three cows, whose bizarre escape features on our home page today.
Our Deputy Editor, Carolyn Moynihan, is safe, I am pleased to report. She lives in Auckland, which was not affected by the terrifying quake. From a distance she has been impressed by how calmly Kiwis have reacted and by how efficiently the government has responded. Fixing things is what government does best, she writes. Why don’t they stick to that, and stop meddling in citizens’ private lives? 

Michael Cook 

Why was Shakespeare’s death such a non-event?
By Ian Donaldson
His name rings down the ages, but his death passed almost unnoticed.
Read the full article
New Zealand’s earthquake shows society functioning as it should
By Carolyn Moynihan
If only we could always see things so clearly.
Read the full article
Hacksaw Ridge: a lesson in courage, a master class in conscience
By Sebastian James
Mel Gibson uses his trademark violence to praise conscientious objection
Read the full article
Why the mainstream media was doomed to call the US election wrong
By Denyse O'Leary
The traditional gatekeeper are rapidly losing viewers, advertisers, and staff and fading into irrelevance
Read the full article
Mr President: A healthy marriage culture is vital to America’s success
By Alysse ElHage
Bridging the marriage divide is an important part of efforts to boost economic mobility.
Read the full article
‘Mum and dad’ views disqualify foster couple for adoption
By Christian Concern
Told the children were destined for a gay couple, their reaction was ‘concerning’.
Read the full article
By Laura Cotta Ramosino
Denis Villeneuve’s latest sci-fi effort is intellectually and emotionally satisfying.
Read the full article

MERCATORNET | New Media Foundation 
Suite 12A, Level 2, 5 George Street, North Strathfied NSW 2137, Australia 

Designed by elleston
New Media Foundation | Suite 12A, Level 2, 5 George St | North Strathfield NSW 2137 | AUSTRALIA | +61 2 8005 8605 

No hay comentarios: