WTF is John Key doing in the middle of an earthquake zone? It limits his effectiveness, puts him in danger and distracts resources. He should be in Wellington. I can't shake the nagging suspicion that Key needed to be choppered in to Christchurch because Phil Goff happened to be there as well.
What's happening in Christchurch is a disaster and a tragedy for those involved. But it doesn't need his immediate presence. As I/S points out, there's no effective difference between a local and a national emergency (1).
The buildings stood up pretty well when the first Earthquake struck, back in September. Since then, it's been continual aftershocks and a particularly brutal one today. I think the buildings did as much as could be expected of them. People just didn't take the hint and move after the September jig.
I'm baffled by the behaviour of tourists."Oh, here's a place that's just suffered a massive bastard of an earthquake and is still experiencing continual significant after shocks, lets go there. And while we're there, lets climb up the steeple half hanging of the half ruined cathedral, that's not at all stupid."
Of course, the tourists themselves are only acting predictably because they were told the cathedral was safe. Whoever allowed access to the tower can expect to be in for a pretty thin time.
Slightly more sympathy for the poor buggers who lived there, as the September quake was out of the blue (comparatively) and it's not like you can easily sell a house in an quake ravaged city in the middle of a recession.
1 - "No difference," posted by Idiot/Savant on No Right Turn on the 23rd of February, 2011. (http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2011/02/no-difference.html)