Dalziel critical of allocation process

3:57 am on 3 March 2011

Labour Christchurch MP Lianne Dalziel says the city council has made a terrible mistake in allocating resources according to the number of calls it gets to its 0800 number.

Residents in Aranui have only just received portable toilets and residents in Bexley say they only have one for their 600 metre-long street.

Ms Dalziel says the situation needs to be rectified urgently.

Prime Minister John Key says people in the eastern suburbs were not the first priority for emergency response but they will get assistance.

He says the central city was the main priority from a rescue and recovery point of view but attention will soon be focussed on the clean-up and restoration of eastern suburbs.

Toilets on the way

Civil Defence says it is working to source and distribute more portable toilets as quickly as possible.

It says 900 are already deployed and another 1200 are due in Christchurch by the weekend.

About 30,000 chemical toilets are also on their way to the city, with 4,000 of these distributed on Wednesday afternoon.

Civil Defence controller Steve Brazier says toilets are being allocated to suburbs on a needs basis. "I can reassure you that we are being as even-handed as we can."

Feeling forgotten

Some people in Christchurch's eastern suburbs have been complaining about a lack of portable toilets and say they have yet to see any Civil Defence officials.

In the past few days, residents in Aranui, Avonside and Bexley have said they feel forgotten.

Bexley resident Phillip Lumb says there is only one portable toilet in his street, whereas about three days after the 4 September earthquake there were three.

Mr Lumb says residents cannot dig holes to use as toilets because the ground is waterlogged. He says they have not seen any officials from Civil Defence or the Red Cross.

Another resident of the suburb, Bill Cross, says there is only one portable toilet on his 600-metre-long street. His neighbours, Bill Cross and Noleen Te Au, also say they need more portable toilets and the presence of officials would reassure them.

Portable toilets are yet to arrive in the Christchurch suburb of Aranui, with the streets beginning to smell and a lot of the community leaving.

The chair of Aranui Community Trust, Rachel Fonotia, said local councillors have been lobbying to have portable toilets brought into the streets since 25 February but none had arrived.