When Christchurch had its earthquake in February 2011 it was a devastating event in New Zealand’s history. 185 people died. Many buildings were damaged, one collapsed completely, this was the Canterbury Television Building and this is where a large number of the earthquake victims died. It was an absolutely heartbreaking event and the whole country, and a lot of the world, felt the pain of the Christchurch people who were left with damaged buildings, homes, lost people, injured people, lost livelihoods, severe liquefaction and ongoing aftershocks – many of them quite large. Christchurch is still recovering from these devastating earthquakes six years on, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Christchurch_earthquake. It is an event that will never be forgotten by New Zealanders and that will be forever in the history books of our country for the devastation and heartache it caused.
I feel for anyone who lost loved ones in the earthquake. Their loss from this act of nature was huge. However, I do not believe it is the government’s responsibility to pay for the parents of the deceased as claimed by Shidu parent’s in this article http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11802155. The earthquake was no one’s fault and whilst investigations are ongoing as to why this building collapsed, it does not change the fact that it fell because of an earthquake. Investigation reports show that things did go wrong, however, had there been no earthquake it wouldn’t have collapsed. In September the previous year, there had been an even stronger earthquake and the building hadn’t collapsed, so it was of a very high standard. Those questioning whether criminal charges should be laid are being very unfair. Any investigation is about making sure changes to construction take place to protect future buildings from collapse. It is a painful lesson but we learn from heartbreaking events such as this so we don’t let the same thing happen again. In the case of an earthquake there are no guarantees a building won’t fall. Learning to make improvements to building standards will likely never have a 100% guarantee that it won’t happen again, but it is important to try and learn what went wrong to save from heartache from future events, however it will never bring back those who were lost in this incident.
The Shidu parents of the children lost in the New Zealand earthquake are asking for more assistance from the New Zealand government. Shidu parents are parents who lost their only child. Under the Chinese policy people were only allowed to have one child and whilst that has now been lifted to two children, it comes too late for many families who lost their only child when they were too old to have more children. In Chinese culture the children are expected to pay for their parents in their retirement years. Some Chinese children died in the Christchurch earthquake when the building where they were studying English collapsed. Their parents are now suffering hardship because they were depending on their old child supporting them. I can’t understand when you are from a culture where you are only allowed one child and when you are relying on that one child to provide for you in your retirement why you wouldn’t take out a life insurance policy on your children. There are more than a million Shidu families in China and these people generally face financial hardship. Insuring their children to protect them financially seems like a no-brainer to me. It is the Chinese government that expects the children to provide for the parent’s retirement so the Chinese government should either take responsibility for the Shidu
Insuring their children to protect them financially seems like a no-brainer to me. It is the Chinese government that expects the children to provide for the parent’s retirement so the Chinese government should either take responsibility for the Shidu parents, or be advising them to take insurance out to protect themselves in retirement should something happen to their only child. China’s one child policy is the Chinese government’s decision. China’s policy that requires children to look after their parents in retirement is China’s policy. The New Zealand government provides its citizens with a pension at age 65 and they supply their healthcare. That is the way New Zealand does things. Campaign your own government to pay now that your children have died. Don’t expect the New Zealand citizens to pay. We have to pay for our own and I don’t mind paying because the generation we paid for, paid for the generation before. It’s fair because everyone pays. The Chinese system where it basically depends on the luck of having a healthy child, a child that is successful at school, gets a good job and a child that outlives you is the Chinese way. If they have an issue they need to speak to their own government. The cost of the Christchurch earthquake has been hugely expensive for New Zealanders. There are huge medical costs for people who were injured, benefits to families where the parent died and now the parents need additional family help, infrastructure improvements, rebuilding of public areas, the list goes on. The New Zealand government has had enough to pay for that it is responsible for, it is not responsible to provide for the parents of the people who died in the earthquake.
They claim as parents they were dependents of their deceased children and believe the Western definition of the term discriminates against Chinese traditions. The earthquake happened in a Western country, so Western definitions of dependents are what counts. The same way when I go to China their definitions of how things work is what matters. It is not discrimination but a fact as to how things work in this country. People from China have no say as to how the New Zealand government runs the country, just as New Zealanders have no say on how China is run, so if they need assistance, they need to talk to their government, not the New Zealand one. The very next paragraph after they say how desperate they are for government assistance they say they want open-ended visas to be able to enter New Zealand as often as they want. I would be quite happy for extended visas to happen, as long as they can get medical cover for any medical incidents, it seems like a fair request, but presently it has been declined. Kind of contradicts that they are struggling financially though, the flight from China to New Zealand a lot of money.
They claim, “This is not good behaviour for government”, yet it is their government who is not providing for them in their old age, the New Zealand government provides for their citizens. Personally, I think if any government is displaying, “not good behaviour”, it is theirs.
The New Zealand government have been generous with the overseas families who lost loved ones. Overseas relatives received help from the government to travel to New Zealand just after the earthquakes and the course costs of all the deceased students were refunded. They also got a payment of $5,540 which is an ACC grant to cover funeral costs. From the Red Cross appeal families of the deceased got an additional $20,000. So that’s over $25,500 of cash, it is an unknown figure how much was refunded for their course costs – this likely varied, as well as a free trip to New Zealand. So the New Zealand government has done far more for them than the Chinese government who should be paying for their own people. This article is just a tiny example of how much the government has paid out as a result of this earthquake. http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/5764099/ACC-quake-payout-nears-11-million.
An earthquake is a natural disaster. The New Zealand people have done their part helping these families, it is time for the Chinese government to step up and look after their own people. I feel for the Shidu parents, they do deserve more help, but they need to band together and get help from their government, not whichever country their child died in, some Shidu parents would have children died in China so they have no one else to try and gain sympathy from. The Chinese government and Chinese people need to step up to help them as their situation is a result of their one child policy and their weak social welfare system.