The employment subsidy will be available for businesses in Kaikoura, Cheviot, Waiau, Rotherham, Mt Lyford and Ward who face a dramatic drop in their turnover as a direct result of the earthquakes and the closure of State Highway One.Naturally outsiders sympathize with those economically affected by the quake.
It will be paid to businesses with fewer than 20 employees where closure of the state highway and damage to the coastal environment means they cannot operate and they cannot pay staff wages.
But the collective and compulsory way we organise and protect ourselves means that arbitrary lines will be drawn by bureaucrats who are necessarily disconnected. Kaikoura business Whale Watch, for example, won't qualify. The assumption that they are bigger, stronger and more resilient ignores that they have greater outgoings.
I don't know if there is a better way.
But if people had voluntary and enhanced choice about protecting themselves and their businesses, outcomes may be less fickle and jarring.