For those who didn’t realize, I live in Canterbury, a region of New Zealand that last weekend suffered a fairly major earthquake. I am a shareholder in a company that owns a fairly large commercial building, and part own a number of businesses that are tenants of that building – with reasonably significant damage there re some business impacts on those operations.
My post however is a little more general than that, this evening I saw the following appeal on Facebook:
Bear in mind some economic impact context:
- New Zealand has the Earthquake Commission that covers domestic earthquake loss. This body has a $15 billion funding pool
- Estimated damages to the region are around $2 billion
- Many large New Zealand corporates have already donated large sums to a hastily set up “Mayoral fund” for rebuilding
- Central Government has also pledged significant funding
And some human context:
- Our 7.1 scale event caused no fatalities while the recent Haiti event (the same intensity) killed 230,000
- We have excellent Civil Defence and community support bodies already set up
- We have a pretty good social welfare system that will cover people impacted through economic hardship
So… given all of this context, is it really appropriate to be asking people to donate to Canterbury citizens? Especially when Haiti is still reeling from its own event and Pakistan is flooded (literately and figuratively) with natural disaster impacts.
I say no. As a community we’re more than capable of looking after ourselves. While the concern and interest is much appreciated – it’s way better directed to Haiti, Pakistan or some other location that really needs it…