Prime Minister makes third visit to Canterbury

5:59 am on 12 September 2010

Prime Minister John Key has visited two badly affected outlying areas of Christchurch on his third trip to Canterbury since the earthquake.

He's been offering reassurance to locals in Spencerville and Brooklands that everything is being done to help them.

Accompanied by his wife, Bronagh, Civil Defence Minister John Carter and Christchurch mayor Bob Parker, Mr Key met about 200 people in Spencerville, while some 300 gathered to hear him in Brooklands.

He told residents the recovery phase is well under way and the Government understands the anxiety they are facing about their properties.

Mr Key says the Government plans to take away as much anxiety as it can, but it will take some time to come up with all the answers.

He says there should be agreement within days on legislation to help the recovery process in Canterbury and that there needs to be a smooth transition between emergency civil defence legislation and empowering legislation.

In Brooklands, mayor Bob Parker said the water is now safe to drink, but the sewerage system will take a long time to repair.

He told them they would have to use port-a-loos for the forseeable future and more are being trucked in.

Earlier, Mr Key visited the city's main waste water treatment plant at Bromley, where he received a briefing on repair work and praised staff there.

Meanwhile, the man who is the face of Civil Defence advertising says he's been heartened by the stoicism shown by people in Christchurch whose properties have been seriously affected.

Actor Peter Elliott, who toured affected areas of the city with the Prime Minister, says people are showing amazing optimism as they start to think about the future.