Cast ye not the first stone, lest it become avalanche — Gospel of John, chapter 8, verses 3–7.*

Reverend Purdie, Cashmere Presbyterian Church, October 2018

Reverend Purdie, Cashmere Presbyterian Church, October 2018

2018 is the year, five years after it began, that the Cashmere Residents’ Emergency Support Team (CREST) got taken down. For repair, we’d hope. Though that is uncertain. Bringing certainty will be wresting the great weight, of false witness heaped upon CREST, off of it. Stone by stone, traced back to the throwing hand, demanding withdrawal, exposing rich hypocrisy.

In February, the new business manager at Cashmere Presbyterian chose to crush CREST (a local community volunteer initiative, invited within church walls) to rob CREST role and finances, instead of collaborating through it – as had been the previous minister’s clear promise. This action was downright nasty, largely fraudulent.

The new minister chose not to support the CREST Red Cross project and community lunch event, as led by the Cashmere Residents’ Association (CRA), wanting leadership of community response direct from the church instead. This action reveals fraudulent deceit. It kicked CRA initiative out. It took advantage, to profit from several years’ honest, hard volunteer work at this ‘community hub’. And it first had to destroy its trusting partner: broad, stable, good open leadership at the CRA.

Despite having been part of deciding the 18 February public event date and supporting council permit application, Reverend Silvia Purdie turned around to attack the CREST coordination, with venom, to get at the funds. No negotiation would be entertained on the high price Purdie wanted for church help with the catering and hosting: wholly inappropriate as it was a budgeted CRA activity booked with the church. But hungry eyes were set on a prize. If CREST coordination stood between Purdie and use of the CRA-raised Red Cross funds, then CREST coordination would have to go – which Purdie precipitated with aggressive and false accusations of project impropriety.

Further self-interest dove-tailed into Purdie’s, each enabling the other.

The CRA old guard had undeclared axes to grind. They had previously volunteered then fallen out with the church, over an heritage issue and where their works record was weak. Vengeance was nigh and CREST became instant brunt of it. Aggressive accusations of project impropriety were repeated, though later disproved, to deprive the church of resilience infrastructure investment. Merge of conflicted interests this way, robbing good community service cruelly, exposed the CRA old guard as blindly corrupt: narrowly venal; a sad Purdie match. The CRA funding oversight of CREST was rapidly shut down.

Against these great odds, the CRA-CREST 18 Feb 2018 preparedness exercise event carried through – though savagely and needlessly compromised in scale of outcomes (e.g. our community was forced off ‘our space’ – Cashmere Green – and onto church land, making cause for criticism): facebook.com/events/183405702246003/permalink/192092061377367

180218 would-be-CREST community lunch

180218 would-be-CREST community lunch


CRA-CREST 180218 community lunch event poster

CRA-CREST 180218 community lunch event poster


The agendas to destroy CREST, or CRA leadership of it at the church, within Cashmere community, were only just gathering steam. Division and heat would only grow. These are not finished yet.

At stake is potentially increased official support, for community activity in the area, which is generally very tied up: captured and unavailable, in fact.

And so it was when ‘Cashmere was compensated’, eight month’s later, through council funding of Purdie to run the “Cashmere Carnival” – in the space and with the permit that Purdie had denied to CREST (to line herself up for new event funds, eight months later).

Funny, that. It confirms the adage that ‘money will only be spent in Cashmere if it is spent on promoting the Labour Party’. And so it was on 28 October, when all the area Labour politicians rolled out. Smiling and laughing, enjoying the big joke – upon Cashmere itself. Making a very clear point: that Cashmere would be done to, and never doing on its own, ‘ad infinitum’.

'Cashmere' Carnivàle 281018

‘Cashmere’ Carnivàle 281018

For this was a turn out of Presbyterian parishioners, mostly, from the wider south city and not locals. The church was actually proud of this, that it (by Dr David Troughton) could run up the CREST banner, on this occasion, with no real input from Cashmere residents’ organising at all. The coup to shed CRA, from its CREST planning property, work and opportunity, was well underway.

The dirty Labour-Presbyterian council link to undermine residents is confirmed in the Purdie-Clearwater joy, at placing themselves at the heart of faux Cashmere, on 28/10/18: IMG_20181028_142438-crop4

Faux Cashmere Carnival 281018

Faux Cashmere Carnival 281018


It is astounding, the sheer waste of resource pumped into this two-hour ‘public’ jaunt, to only make the point of ‘who’s in charge’ of all Cashmere community funded project space, to ‘ice the cake’ of Cashmere-CREST independence demolition. Appalling. In great need of being exposed.
Faux Cashmere Carnival 281018

Two-hour, faux Cashmere Carnival, 281018


Rev. Purdie enjoys the splash of rate-payer cash, yet behind it, the Labour Melanie Coker face still 'smells a rat'

Rev. Purdie enjoys the splash of rate-payer cash, yet behind it, the Labour Melanie Coker face still ‘smells a rat’.


Also sighted present on 28/10/18, at this rates-funded jolly, was Labour Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson.

Error in Cashmere Fire Report, re 15.02.17: “Leona described to me how she sat at her window all night, watching trees burst into flame in the valley above Princess Margaret Hospital” – facebook.com/1434260603455144/posts/cashmere-fire-reportfrom-silvia-purdie-minister-cashmere-presbyterian-church-chr/1847315355482998/ – Fire was on Worsleys Spur, above Cracroft Valley, nowhere near Princess Margaret Hospital. And the message – “today, after the fire, our church will care for our people, be there for others. We’re part of a good network and response systems. I’m thinking a community BarBQ would be good. But there’s not really much we can do” – casts intentional slight upon CREST, which did activate its response hub at the church that next day, on 16.02.17 around control of the fire, lost homes, evacuations and very worried uncertainty. This attack upon CREST follows that from Mrs Purdie’s first arrival at her church post, when she moved CREST’s small store of equipment from its designated place at the church, showing contempt of clear labelling not to move it, and a $50 item (the CREST banner spike) has been missing since that time. Unresolved angst? A hazard in itself. So one year later, rotten Labour-Presbyterian take-down of CRA-CREST began in earnest; in events detailed above.

No CREST partners that had committed to 18.02.18 Red Cross exercise event saw it through – not the church, nor the school, nor CRA committee, and Rotary were inactive with us then. So CREST could not activate as designed to, though volunteers committed to CREST were fully capable of carrying event response to success – with new Business Association invited help. It is strategic lying to say CREST could function normally from that time on until now (this is yet unresolved). Repairing the CRA-Presbyterian relationship is very first order, for CREST to be able to continue authentically. Anything moved without that is plain deceit.

Bellowing Clearwater misinformation for Labour is: https://hail.to/cashmere-primary-te-pae-kereru/publication/EIr27V2/article/Q44WTff – where all partner parties absented from agreed CREST 180218 event, so have no valid vote for bringing such fake news about. Simply dangerous.

CREST is formally suspended, for safety and repair, as it must be – see COMMUNITY NOTICES.

If people knew that, in approaching a church, there was risk of being beaten up and robbed, they really would not go there. This has been the Cashmere residents’ group experience, to learn from.

To recap, Reverend Purdie made a grab for the maximum possible Red Cross CREST generator and water tank fund amount, to be diverted into her church consolidated fund to run a public event, contrary to the facts that CRA had raised the fund to run the event and all the related items were strictly budgeted. The concluding, reporting-to-community event, was not the main purpose – as the minister insisted it be. So Purdie attacked the Red Cross project coordinator, to undermine it all and ultimately stop the generator and water tank purchases from being completed. Shame!!!

From this whiff of funding, some church leaders now push to complete Mrs Purdie’s attack upon the residents’ leadership of CREST, for travelling on without us. But significant investment has already been made there, and this grab falls far beside the point – of serving Cashmere residents, in readiness. Of being able to connect Cashmere residents, in our own interest, in an emergency, without dirty politics.

CREST had formed at the church in 2013 because: a. the door was open; b. an inviting Community Centre sign stood outside; c. Christchurch city council (Cr Clearwater) had refused Cashmere its own community centre, at the time of Cashmere Masonic Lodge building sale; d. conversations had been taking place about a community response hub in the church facility, since its 2009 upgrade, between its managers and city council CDEM**; and e. because of interest in preparedness by CRA members post-earthquakes, that moved to utilise the opportunity of meeting space to organise CREST and start the Cashmere response planning. CREST, through overwhelming failure of institutional support on 18.2.2018 plan exercise day, has had to be withdrawn from service – temporarily? Reverend Purdie caused that, with equally destructive help:

Cashmere Residents’ Association (CRA)
Note, uploaded reports to Companies Office (search # 697181): CRA Financial Report AGM 2017 and CRA Financial Report 31 Feb 2018 – “I / we Leona Murahidy (Secretary) certify that the annual statement attached has been approved by the members of a general meeting held on 21st day of March 2018 for 2017.” – As with the dates referenced, and the disappeared $9,312.50 CREST Red Cross project balance revealed in comparison here, everything about Murahidy ‘management’ in Cashmere is fictional. Unaccountable. Too often dishonest. Of extreme harm.

23 May 2018, a CRA Special General Meeting did happen, that had capacity to make the above declaration true. But before that, on 21 March, a closed and domesticated ‘committee’ meeting would have taken place. This (basically illegal) role confusion sums up the huge liability Leona Murahidy is to Cashmere community organising. Devastation of constructive and viable systems lay in its wake. The year has mostly been a write-off, due to this. Someone, our community, has to bring the CRA back on track. Or suspend it, for safety and regrouping, adding vision for change.

The October 2018 CRA AGM put this committee on a very short leash, until February 2019. Officer written reports were read but not given out or made public yet. Read an AGM review here. CRA has run outside of its Constitution all year – by Associate member illegal votes, etc. etc.

Ms Murahidy and family/cohorts are running a private club – in the name of Cashmere Residents’ Association – to further very particular, less than community, interests. When a CRA committee member pointed out that the 2017 financial report needed to be uploaded to the Companies Office, but after membership endorsement through a Special General Meeting therefore due, the response was instant and unconstitutional expulsion – and then the false financial reporting. Completely sackable offences by Murahidy and crew; looking prosecutable. – Not a transparent organisation or responsibly open to all as it should be: true victim of Murahidy-Labour ‘activism’.

Summary
The link between all points of wreckage done to Cashmere and its sound resilience program (up until this year) is that of Labour affiliation or alliance by the above main actors. No question. These are public figures who have generated an absolute shambles out of nothing, to advance their own Labour-loyalist grubby career agendas. Performances have been corrupt. Caustically jealous and vengeful. Acquisitive.

The above incidents speak to the lengths that the Labour Party network will go, to manipulate communities, to assert outright authority over them, and to waste any measure of good value in building up social hegemony this way.

There must be political neutrality for good community organising to thrive. Cashmere, its Residents’ Association and Emergency Support Team, to succeed, must claim this back through thoughtful shared action. It is to our collective loss and significant risk otherwise.

Kia kaha

* N.B. Those deep in religion do not understand religion.

** CDEM = Civil Defence Emergency Management
e.g. see Nationwide test of Emergency Mobile Alert 25 November 2018.

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