MARTIN FAMILY EARTHQUAKE EXPERIENCE

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As a result of the earthquake and the falling of the chimney on one house, the breaking of water and sewerage pipes in one daughters home and the sand volcanoes and general mess in the areas in which we all live, the family as a whole initially went to the shelter at Linwood College.

NOTE: Kia ora whanau. We have followed the experiences of the Martin whanau since the issue was raised by Maori Party MP Rahui Katene and thought it important for the whanau to speak for itself. This korero is directly from Manawai so please read and respectfully reply. Aroha mai, aroha atu…

On the Monday, we and three unrelated families were relocated to Addington shelter as the shower facilities and general space had become insufficient at Linwood. The family were located in three corporate rooms in the Addington grandstand, and during the time there different family members assisted the Civil Defence personnel in various ways, including several kapa haka performances for entertainment. One of the younger (14) members efforts was of a such and degree that comment was made that she should have an official Salvation Army vest.

At no time did the family have any loud arguments, nor were there any displays of violence. There was no contact with or from any Civil Defence staff member about the behaviour of any family members as there was no need.

Civil Defence claimed that they spoke to us on the Tuesday advising that our house (which one is unclear) was habitable. No member of the family, least of all either me or my husband was spoken to in this regard. On the Thursday, September 9, my husband returned to the Shirley Road house, saw a notice on the front window but, because it was late and dark he returned to the shelter and told me that a Notice was there. I responded that I would go to the house on the Friday to see what the Notice said.

On going to the Shirley Road house the next morning (Friday 10th), I found a green notice advising that it appeared there was no structural damage and the house could be lived in. This notice had been fixed to the house on Thursday 9th at 4.15pm. Clearly the statement made by Civil Defence that we had been advised our house was okay to return to and live in on the Tuesday was wrong, as the house was not inspected until the Thursday.

However, when I returned to the shelter on Friday about 10.30, I was approached by two police officers on the stairway to our rooms at Addington. I was asked my name, did I understand what a Trespass Order was and told that I had until 2.40pm to vacate the premises. Upset at this sudden, unexpected turn of events, I tried to ask why we were being evicted but received no answer. The information that I had until 2.30pm to vacate was simply repeated. I returned to our rooms and found the rest of the family had no knowledge of what was going on, so I told one of my daughters that we were being evicted and if we were not all out of the shelter by 2.30pm we would be arrested.

There were Maori Wardens present wanting to help as there were 17 children number the age of 14 present, as well as the 12 adults, but they were instructed by Te Puni Kokiri (Meikura Arahanga) not to assist and leave it to the Police. All they were going to do was help carrying the bags and help with the babies. One of the wardens was concerned about that was occurring but Meikura was adamant that it was none of their business and strictly a Police matter.

The whole family left the shelter, being constantly told by the Police to Get! You are being evicted.

Following our return home, we still had no knowledge of the reason for the eviction and on the Friday night it came over the TV that a 31 strong family were evicted from the Addington Shelter because (i) they had taken donations from the shelter; used stand-over tactics in the shelter; were intimidating in the shelter; had domestic disputes in the shelter; and had stated that their home had been red-stickered.

Not one of these accusations is true.

All of these things did occur in the Shelter, which my husband also saw. There were different Maori families in the shelter however, and it seems we have been labelled with every negative thing which happened. He is also aware of the identity of the family which took donations of clothing, and the persons responsible for the domestics to which both Saint Johns and the Police were called. St Johns would have an incident report as the young person involved in the domestic had put her hand through a plate glass window and it required bandaging.

Civil Defence have indicated that there has been a mix up in identity between my husband and another Maori male, but no apology has been forthcoming from anyone, least of all Civil Defence and the Christchurch Mayor.

The failure by the media to make proper inquiry and get the full story has made matters far worse, as the issue as was reported by the media resulted in us being publicly humiliated and made to feel ashamed.

To make matters worse, when one of the whanau went to Social Welfare for genuinely required assistance from the effects of the Earthquake emergency she was Trespassed from the office and escorted out by security guards. Only when she wrote out a complaint and it was read by the Manager was an apology given and she received the help to which she was entitled. Additionally all of the children, once schools re-opened, were teased and labelled as free-loaders by the other children, resulting in 3 of the children refusing to attend school for some days.

Additionally hurtful consequences occurred via Talkback (Michael Laws) where there were completely false statements about the family made, including one where we were all dole-bludgers (my husband has always worked) and we should have had all the children and grand-children taken off us. Blogs on Facebook showed a similar ignorance and racial bias, made worse by our Mob affiliation. The consideration and discretion shown by my husband leaving his patch in one of the vehicles was seen as an indication of the shame we feel from being a Mob family.

Above all, what has become the most hurtful issue has been the complete lack of courtesy shown by Civil Defence, the media, the Mayor and all those who were so noisy about the claimed bludging by the family. The continuing failure by each and everyone of those groups and people, having become aware of their mistake, to respond to our requests for a public apology makes a mockery of their credibility and allegedly non-judgmental concerns.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I was there. I saw the behaviour of this 'persecuted' family. The above article and Mrs Martin's responses are biased, ridiculous, and untruthful. Her Mongrel Mob member husband, and her mob supporting family were intimidating others throughout their time at the centre. Her cries of racism and persecution are without merit. Her and her family are a disgrace to all of us in Maoridom. She should be ashamed of herself. Kia ora.

  2. the reason why they wont aapologise is because like you said the stufft up alright, and finding it difficult to answer to us and because we are asking for an apology well what do you expext them to feel "shame" so the avoiding answering us and so the run it by Parker and got him to respond on their behalf .

    as far as we are concerned we weren't confronted by parker at the shelter.

    His letter stated police and maori wardens didn't have to intervene in the the shelter, by crikey's what is he on.

    im sure you and others read the media accusation's , was pointed directly to myself and the rest of the whanau.

    I have just written to Civil Defence for a response and i have asked them incident reports

  3. Civil Defence, Christchurch Mayor & other so called do gooders think its beneath themselves to help the underdogs. These people were genuine in their plight for help. Civil Defence should have verbally informed them of the state of their home. Where does all the finance that enables u to help others come from…..yeah from the people of Aoteroa. I could rat on all day. All these people are asking for is an apology….is it so hard to admit that yous stuffed up. No wonder our country has racialism. Wait til voting time then these same people will have amnesia & be sucking up for your vote…….Bloody hypocrits

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