An article published on the ABC website focuses on the rescue efforts, but should the responders be the real target of criticism?
Commentary from AEES member Kevin McCue:Someone is always blamed for casualties after a disaster but why the responders? Why didn’t Christchurch building owners ensure their structure complied with current code requirements? Many NZ building owners were required to upgrade their buildings after the new NZ Loading Code was gazetted but instead negotiated with the Christchurch City Council to delay strengthening for several years for financial reasons. Was the CTV building owner one of these? A map of areas of Christchurch susceptible to liquefaction had been prepared several years before the earthquake but was never acted upon, why not? Blaming the rescuers is not addressing the underlying issues of failure to use expert advice. Acceptable earthquake risk is a concept that policy makers should discuss and be accountable for, rather than leaving it up to building code writers.