"They are clearing the old sewage pipes & the old quake muck is bubbling up our loos. Smells triple horrendous! Worse than Namaqualand skunk stink!"
My text reply: "A fulla shit day."
CERA sucked alright. You'd think that CERA's bastard brat SCIRT would've learnt by now that operating sucker trucks on London St in the middle of a working day was taboo. Morons! That back-flushing was done by sucker trucks all over Christchurch, ever since the 04.09.10 quake, nearly 3 years ago.
Yesterday CERA had opened its Skinners rats maze a little into Cathedral Sq, via Worcester St Bridge, past Cathedral Sq military checkpoint, to Gloucester St. I had a look: Nothing new to see since I'd last passed that way - 4 CERA utes parked on Worcester St Bridge; Our City, metal braced, restoration stalled; demolition sites; abandoned bldgs; cordon fences; ruined Christchurch Cathedral; workmen still repairing Novotel.
Quake trashed highrises around Cathedral Sq, like asbestos riddled Government Life, Heritage Hotel & Christchurch Cathedral ruin were just junk art, like New Regent St, which CERA was so anxious for people to visit - belatedly, after 2 years of red zone, military cordons & citizen bannings.
You'd think CERA would have the savvy to open its rats maze the shortest route from Restart Cashel Mall, past ruined Christchurch Cathedral, to recently reopened New Regent St, battling to attract custom. Instead rubberneckers had to do a long loop along Oxford Tce & down Worcester St, past Clarendon Tower demolition site, to Cathedral Sq checkpoint & Gloucester St...
The only reason for that circuitous idiocy I presumed was to stop people wandering past ANZ demolition site & part-demolished BNZ demolition site, of asbestos notoriety, cnrs Colombo St & Hereford St. Meanwhile CERA's cabin offices squatted behind cordon fences in abandoned Cathedral Sq by the abandoned Telecom bldg.
Viewed from Oxford Tce & Robert Falcon Scott plinth (fallen statue removed) & across Clarendon Tower demolition site, one saw that Christchurch Cathedral ruin was the drabbest & ugliest bldg, dwarfed by more ugly, abandoned bldgs around Cathedral Sq: Rydges Hotel, Government life, Novotel, The Press, Pacific Tower, Cathedral Junction, Heritage Hotel, Millennium Hotel, Telecom, old PO & Tourist Information, Telecom Green, Public Trust Office. Hidden from that viewpoint, there were more ugly bldgs - abandoned Chancery Arcade, Camelot Hotel, BNZ & demolition sites of course.
Three security bods in yellow viz vests prowled Cathedral Sq. Once CBD cordons fell for good, cops would have their work cut out when taggers & thieves spawned in the deserted CBD. Thieves had been stealing recyclable goods, like hot water cylinders, for months in the abandoned, residential red zone.
CERA's so-called CBD rebuild was a hotchpotch of gasping, little businesses & food trailers in a vast matrix of abandoned bldgs & weedy, dusty demolition sites, all bordered by cordon fences with many unwelcoming DANGER signs & HAZARD boards.
Oxford Tce: Cordon fences, demolition sites & abandoned bldgs, like Rydges Hotel & Public Trust Office, both flanking Clarendon Tower demolition site.
Hereford St: Cordon fences, demolition sites & abandoned bldgs, like Equitable House & Scorpio Books. Abandoned Tete a Tete shack still teetered by Wilson Carpark on a demolition site by Restart Cashel Mall back entrance. Telecom Green was being repaired. Ibis Hotel was open.
So-called art in the CBD had degenerated to junk art & I thought idiot Council was paying so-called artists huge fees for sticking or painting rubbish on demolition site walls, like painted parallel lines between abandoned public toilets & IBM demolition site, Hereford St.
I wandered down recently opened High St from Hereford St crossing to Tuam St crossing, just 5 businesses open. Many demolition sites behind cordon fences, parked diggers & abandoned bldgs behind cordon fences, a sushi bar & cafe open below recently reopened Avonmore Tertiary Institute. Holiday Inn, demolition site columns stood above the basement carpark, like a white colony of giant, fossil hydras, iron tentacles tangled on top.
WINZ was abandoned. A next door bldg facade was being repaired. I noticed around town that scaffolders caused more damage to bldgs, by breaking windows, to secure their horizontal scaffold poles within quake trashed bldgs.
Cnr High St & Lichfield St: The only rebuild site, Leighs Construction site, was by a military checkpoint in the red zone cordon. Concrete trucks & workmen were busy pouring concrete at first floor level.
High St / Manchester St crossing: Cordon fences, demolition sites & abandoned bldgs past Struthers Ln to Tuam St.
Cnr High St & Tuam St: CI Cafe, Mainz & Alice in Videoland (Tuam St) had opened months ago, surrounded by abandoned bldgs & demolition sites - Majestic House, 2 facades braced by shipping containers, Poplar Ln, Mckenzie Willis, CF Cotter & Co with old ads on brick side walls:
East of Manchester St to Madras St & south of Tuam St to St Asaph St was CCDU's proposed Frame, to be converted to parkland grass. Only CCDU / CERA could tell which abandoned bldgs would become parkland, as govt / CERA / CCDU interference in the CBD property market had enabled CCDU to make cheapskate offers to Frame property owners.
CERA sucked at CBD rebuild. You'd think after 2 years of hogging the military cordoned, red zone CBD, CERA would've got its act together with many CBD bldg sites under construction. So much for CERA minister Brownlee's rebuild. The reality was a depressing, grey void & the mantra - cordon fences, abandoned bldgs, demolition sites. A night drive down Manchester St was more depressing - just a black void.
Via Worcester Blvd, I wandered back to my car at Botanic Gdns carpark. Some degenerate art works were outside the Art Gallery, closed for quake repairs:
1. Giant portrait of a bug eyed woman, staring across Worcester Blvd towards the Council bldg. Teenage humour. Grimace response from me.
2. Two giant, silver gnomes straddling Art Gallery steps, also staring at the Council bldg. I had to restrain myself from projectile puking.
3. Montreal St side of Art Gallery: By a locked gallery door, a giant photo of a bricked up door in a brick wall of the old Stables, Bedford Row. I supposed idiot Council had paid 1000s of dollars for the junk art.
4. On an opp wall of a small bldg, 2 lounge lizards stared blankly at the Art Gallery.
On my return home, our neighbour was standing by our gate. She had 4 adult offspring & languished alone in a state house on the dole. Years ago I'd banished her from our property, as she'd pestered us with petty domestic problems: "Can I use your phone?... Can I borrow your mower?..." She'd tried hassling Luke when he was still a high school pupil. She'd once aggressively cheeked Leah at our front door & that was the last straw. Banning.
Leah's & my adult son's taxes paid for her slack life. This time, another pathetic request:
"Can you fill my empty gas bottle?"
"No!" I replied, "I will not do that!" Repeated. "That's the thin edge of the wedge!" She wandered off muttering. She had a screw loose. I was pissed off that state Housing New Zealand dumped obvious mental cases amongst ordinary citizens without warning citizens of crazies in our midst. She'd also pestered other neighbours with her aggressive sob stories. Cops were called.
Meanwhile heritage buffs, Anderton, Belton & Co, were nagging again, wanting Council to cough up $10 million spread over 10 years for their cheapskate Christchurch Cathedral restoration. Never mind that the Anglican diocese actually owned the Cathedral Sq land & Cathedral. Like my mad neighbour, mad heritage fascists expected others to pay for their mad welfare-statism. Not a word about raising funds themselves for their junk art Cathedral restoration.
If Christchurch Cathedral junk art was ever restored by mad fascists, like Novotel, Pacific Tower, Isaac Theatre Royal, Provincial Council, Arts Centre restorations & other quake trashed, restored bldgs, you'd never catch me entering those dangerous bldgs. The dangerous bldgs would be boycotted.
Anderton, Belton & Co needed to take a walk in Hagley Park, beneath magnificent avenues of trees, planted by their Victorian forefathers. There they'd see live ecumenical cathedrals - quake survivors, quake dancers & thriving - not needing $millions for shonky restorations.
Never mind 1000s of atheists, agnostics, Hindus, Moslems, Buddhists, other religions in Christchurch. I doubted they'd be ecstatic paying rates for 10 years for restoration of a mock Gothic, ruined, junk art Cathedral. Like my neighbour's bludging, Cathedral Bludgers & Co demanded others pay for their folly.
Matthew 7:17 pertained: "Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but the corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit."
Thurs 16.05.13. PM Key continued to show contempt, slagging off Cantabrians' "hard luck stories," as stupid as his "psychological" comment when the 23.12.11 quake swarm struck, while he was holidaying overseas. Key needed to walk Christchurch streets incognito to see how his CERA sucked.
Fri 17.05.13. 3.59 pm, 4.2 mag quake, 6 km depth, 25 km W of Christchurch (Geonet). Rumbled by while I edited pics.
Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.
See $10m requested for cathedral (The Press / Stuff Co).
See Housing New Zealand (NZ govt, state housing).
See NZ to go without to fund rebuild (The Press / Stuff Co).