7 months ago

The Star: April 12, 2018

10 Latest Christchurch

10 Latest Christchurch news at Thursday April 12 2018 News Local News Now The Star Fire rages, homes at risk CTV families continue battle for ‘justice’ • By Kurt Bayer FAMILIES OF loved ones who died in the CTV building collapse have called on the Government and the Solicitor- General to review the “offensive” decision not to prosecute anyone over the disaster. Professor Maan Alkaisi, on behalf of the CTV families, said at a press conference yesterday, held near the CTV Building site where 115 people died when it pancaked during the magnitude-6.3 earthquake of February 22, 2011, that “significant evidence” and critical issues were not considered when the decision not to lay charges was made. Police announced last November that it will not pursue criminal charges – a decision made after lengthy “complex, technical” investigation involving expert engineering advice, reconstruction and examination of structural elements of the building, excavation of the CTV site, plus legal reviews by the Christchurch Crown Solicitor and Crown Law. The decision dismayed many families of loved ones who died in the tragedy. The CTV Families Group met with representatives of the police, Crown Law, and the Christchurch Crown Solicitor in December where they received a briefing on the background to the decision and were provided with an opportunity to ask questions. The group has since completed an analysis of new documents released under the Official Information Act, which revealed police took serious issue with parts of the Crown Law review and showed that detectives were unconvinced by the conclusion of the Deputy Solicitor-General that there should be no prosecutions but eventually fell into line. Yesterday, the families sent a formal request to Attorney- General David Parker, along with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Justice Minister Andrew Little, calling for the decision not to prosecute to be reassessed. They say that during a meeting on December 14 last year, Deputy Solicitor-General Brendon Horsley said he was not aware that the CTV Building’s engineer Alan Reay had been given two opportunities – in 1986 and in 1990 – to “make the building safe ACTION: Maan Alkaisi said yesterday some of the families of those killed in the CTV Building would be calling for the decision not to prosecute for the building’s collapse to be reassessed. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER to occupy.” “Mr Horsley looked right to Peter Read [the detective superintendent overseeing the police investigation] and left to [Christchurch Crown Solicitor] Mark Zarifeh, indicating that he did not know about these factors and stated that they had not told him about them,” Mr Alkaisi said today. “[Mr Horsley] said, ‘This could be used to press charges … for negligence’.” After three years of investigation, police initially decided to lay criminal charges – 115 charges of manslaughter – against the two engineers, Mr Reay and David Harding. The CTV families now believe that the decision-makers came to their conclusion not to prosecute without taking into account all information. “[It is] simply outrageous that the person who essentially took the whole decision and advised the police to change their decision was not aware of all the facts,” said Mr Alkaisi, whose wife Maysoon Abbas died in the collapse. “We have informed the Attorney-General that we found the explanations given for the decision unsatisfactory and concerning. “We maintain that the CTV case is justified and must go to trial to ensure just judgement without external interferences. “We ask for justice and accountability and we will never give up until justice is done.” Tim Elms, who lost his daughter Teresa McLean in the CTV Building, pleaded for the Government to “do the right thing.” Civil actions have been ruled out by lawyers and he said a criminal prosecution was the “last chance for some accountability.” Strengthening Communities Funding If your organisation needs funding to make things happen in your community applications are now open for the Strengthening Communities Fund. Applications are invited from not-for profit community groups who contribute to community well being in the areas of community, social, recreation, sports, arts, environment or heritage. Applications are accepted from Tuesday 3 April until midnight Tuesday 8 May 2018. Visit or phone 941 8999 for more information. Christchurch City Council Woolston Brass presents Vita Destructa Iconic performing arts organisation Woolston Brass has a distinguished 127 year history and has maintained a playing strength of around forty musicians, with members drawn from all walks of like brought together by a creative talent for making music. Woolston Brass also takes great pride in its pioneering Academy that includes a learners group and two training bands; Woolston Junior Band and Woolston Concert Brass. To celebrate New Zealand Music Month Woolston Brass presents Vita Destructa on Sunday 6 May, 3pm at Christchurch Boys’ High School Auditorium. A musical showcase of established and emerging New Zealand Composers and talented musicians including Kiwi Euphonium Soloist Buzz Newton. Woolston Brass will perform major work Vita Destructa written by emerging New Zealand composer Todd Smith about the February 2011 Woolston Brass presents Vita Destructa Music Director Tyme Marsters Guest Soloist Buzz Newton - Euphonium Sunday 6 May, 3pm Christchurch Boys’ High School Auditorium Door sales available (Eftpos/Cash); Adult $30, Senior Citizen/Student/Unwaged $25, Child $15, Adult + 1 Child $30 Early Bird Tickets available at advertorial Christchurch Earthquake, it portrays the tragic disaster and a resilient community recovering and rebuilding from such events. This will be the premiere performance in Christchurch since it was commissioned by Professor David King in 2013 in recognition of Dame Adrienne Stewart, a longtime Christchurch resident and supporter of the arts. Guest Soloist Buzz Newton will perform Matthew Hall’s Kiwi Dragon and Kenneth Young’s Reverie. Buzz is one of the world’s top euphonium soloists and a leading figure in brass education in New Zealand. The programme will also include works written by iconic New Zealand Composers Kenneth Young, Anthony Ritchie, the late Professor John Ritchie, and emerging New Zealand composer Dale Vail. Door sales available or Early Bird tickets available online at

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