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Lawyers up and running – schools in a dither

  • September 8th, 2010

Not many will be pleased to know that lawyers are among the first back up to speed in Christchurch. Many might prefer our industry to have a permanent crimp in output. But I congratulate my old firm for having its Christchurch branch back up to speed within two days. Stuff has the report:

"Jo Appleyard, a partner with Chapman Tripp said the legal firm had temporarily relocated to the All Seasons hotel in Papanui Road from the PricewaterhouseCoopers tower.

The 35 Christchurch Chapman Tripp staff had the help of group technical staff hooked into the Wellington and Auckland offices to enable them to continue with normal legal work before an eventual move back to Armagh Street."

What a pity there is so much political and official dithering over getting kids back to school. What could be better for the kids, their parents and laying down patterns of resilience than:

  • to get back into a familiar routine as soon as possible. Competence in a routine is comforting. There is more recovery and avoidance of "trauma" when people have tasks they can control than when they have time to wallow in self-pity and to worry about the enormity of what lies ahead.
  • kids should see competent adults carrying on unperturbed, overcoming difficulties. 

The decision lies, as it should, with each school individually. Principals and boards will no doubt get advice on safety issues, but I hope they balance the risks of further accidents or disease from school attendance against the counterfactuals – like:

  • the risks for many of the kids in homes that will stay unrepaired and probably uninspected for longer than public buildings;
  • the hazards they'll explore if they are wandering the city bored and unsupervised;
  • the problems for parents trying to re-establish their own working normalcies if they have to look after kids who should be at school;
  • the message of passivity and lack of initiative inherent in kids seeing adults stumped by non-problems or lack of central 'permission' to problem solve, when most schools patently have facilities that can be used, even if some parts are deficient. 

I wish there was more evidence of the 'sector' standing up to the central and local government nannies. They revel in issuing orders and "responding" to "helplessness" and "needs". I fear we are getting ever further away from the example we saw in the Thai peoples' immediate back to normal response to the tsunami.


  • peterquixote
  • September 8th, 2010
  • 6:24 pm

A lot of people who have little or no damage are out there helping those who are in need.  This not the poor me help me thing. It isa genuine response.
Meanwhile the centre right are revelling in John and Bob, and I can tell you thousands have been converted, without even water baptism.

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