Talkback takes over
Last updated 12:34 11/03/2011
I've been listening to a lot of talkback radio lately. It started when the earthquake hit, and it turns out I've grown quite fond of the medium. I've mostly been listening during my drives to and from work, so what I've been hearing is not so much calls from listeners, but for the most part news and interviews.
Just as an aside, it seems the days of me voluntarily tuning into talkback radio have arrived around 25 years earlier than I anticipated.
Unsurprisingly, the earthquake has dominated the discussion over the last few weeks. Much of what I've heard has been stories from residents and business owners detailing how they have been affected by the quake.
In addition, there has been a lot of talk about how the government is planning to raise the cash needed to help Christchurch get back on its feet. Would money previously pledged to upgrade schools around the rest of the country now be redirected to Christchurch schools? Would we be seeing an increase in GST on certain consumer goods? Would high-earners be taxed at a higher rate to create extra revenue?
I'm not sure there have been any clear answers yet, but one thing is certain - the government is going to have to generate a lot of money in a relatively short period of time.
There has also been a lot of discussion about buildings. There is no doubt that Christchurch is an incredibly beautiful city and an integral part of that has always been the gorgeous heritage buildings, many of which are now in ruins. New Zealand has a short history and with the partial and total destruction of so many historic buildings in Christchurch the little that we had is now even less.
Should the heritage buildings be restored to help retain the history of the Garden City? Or is this an opportunity to start over with some exciting new architectural advances? Then of course this story surfaced today (well, I guess technically it surfaced in 1996) which really raises the question, should Christchurch be rebuilt on such unstable ground at all?
I didn't tune into talkback this morning, but I suspect the debate about the timing of next week's official memorial service would have been on the talkback table. Some businesses are not happy that next Friday has been declared a public holiday in Christchurch as they're already struggling to get back on their feet and having to shut down for a day will only further hamper their efforts. John Key is now publicly defending the date that has been chosen for the memorial.
I'm interested to hear your thoughts on all this stuff. How do you think the government should generate extra revenue to help cover the costs of the quake? What do you think should happen to Christchurch's damaged heritage buildings? What do you make of the decision to hold the official memorial service for the victims of the earthquake next Friday?