Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mt John Village & The Cairns, Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo village: Above SH8, close to Aorangi Cres, are 2 housing developments behind Lake Tekapo School - Mt John Village, named after Mt John Station & The Cairns, complete with golf course, lake & Alpine views. Both developments have new infrastructure & housing.

As both developments are close to farmlands, there are several farm tracks to be walked or jogged over golden hilltop grasslands.

Off Aorangi Cres, Andrew Don Dr leaves Mt John Village housing & becomes a gravel road going down to Tekapo River. Shortly along the gravel road, after going though a farm gate, one can follow a farm track up to the top of the hill. The farm track, sidling by a pine forest which stops erosion above Tekapo River, goes past a radio mast & continues on the other side of the hill to Canal Rd going to Tekapo A power station.

My favourite circular walk, or jogging, is to turn right at the top of the hill by another farm gate, after admiring Alpine views of course & follow The Cairns golf course fencing towards Mt John & SH8.

In the E, I see Mt Edward, Mt Maude, Lake Tekapo Saddle, Mt Dobson, Two Thumbs Range, Mt Ardmore, Mt Richmond. In the NE, Roundhill ski resort beckons above Lake Tekapo. In the N, Two Thumbs Range curves W to The Thumbs peaks & beyond to Mt Chevalier. Closer Mt John obscures N views of Mt Erebus, Mt Sibbald & Mt Mistake.

In the W, Ben Ohau Range dominates with peaks from S to N - Mt Stafford, Ben Ohau, Backbone Peak, Mackenzie Peak, The Razorback, Dun Fiunary, Glentanner Peak, Mt Sealey, Mt Sefton. Thereafter, Braemar Dome & Mt Stevenson obscures Mt Cook & associated peaks. One has to drive along SH8 towards Lake Pukaki for those views. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills & all that.

Going downhill beyond The Cairns golf course, a reservoir on the left, the farm track turns left towards the airport, SH8 & Godley Peaks Rd turnoff to Mt John. A right turn & the airport track takes one above SH8 back to Lake Tekapo village. Along the way one can enjoy the views from 3 Lions benches above SH8. The circular walk takes about an hour.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lake Tekapo Tourist Trap & Rental Trap.

Twenty years ago, while doing my Look See Decide, LSD trip around NZ,  I parked my 850cc Suzuki rental car in a Lake Tekapo carpark & freedom camped there. I never thought I'd live in Lake Tekapo village. Nowadays there're all sorts of prohibition signs around Lake Tekapo banning freedom campers. Locals wanted tourist dollars but not their crap. TV news recently featured German freedom campers squatting & crapping in a Christchurch red zone house. Even turdly CERA officials tut-tutted.

As Lake Tekapo has approx 1.8 million tourists passing through every year, it's a tourist trap, gateway to arid Mackenzie Country plateau & Alpine lake magnificence in the Mackenzie basin.

Leah got a teaching job at Lake Tekapo School. The headmistress told her that after the lethal, Christchurch 22.02.11 quake, school roll doubled overnight from 20 to 40. So we were tourists (or latter-day, quake displaced persons escaping post quake Christchurch, crap living conditions) in the tourist trap, as well as locals living & working in the rental trap. Population is about 320, so small we even got a free Post Office box, as there's no residential postal service in Lake Tekapo village. When I wander Lake Tekapo I see many closed ghost houses / holiday homes, post boxless, which stops junk mail.

Most houses in Lake Tekapo are private holiday homes, closed for most of the year. Some houses are commercial holidays homes, like the one we're renting at Aorangi Cres, $200 / night. Work out how much dosh that brings in annually for one commercial holiday home. And its one of the cheaper ones, an old, 3 b.r, Public Works house, built about 60 years ago for workers constructing hydro-electric dams & canals in the Mackenzie - Waitaki basins. Fortunately Leah's boss pays our rent for a while, until we find suitable accommodation. But where?

Some furnished holiday homes are rented for $400 - $500 / night. That's ridiculously unaffordable for people wanting to live & work at Take Tekapo. In contrast I recently saw a Fairlie Accessible ad where a 3 b.r. unfurnished house rents for $175 / week on Fairlie outskirts. That's affordable. But Fairlie is over 40 kms from Lake Tekapo, too far to commute to work up Burkes Pass.

$400 / week rent for a small, 3 b.r. house with garage is exorbitant, similar in price to Christchurch post quake rentals, where greedy landlords are coining it, due to low supply & high demand for rentals after quake damages. Luke's girlfriend's South New Brighton 3 b.r rental was damaged in the quakes & finished off in a recent storm when the roof blew off. She was sharing the rental with 2 other girlfriends. Now she's back to living with her parents while battling to find another rental.

Some landlord greed: When we asked our Christchurch landlady if our empty Burnside rental could be used to accommodate Luke & friends after their rental roof blew off, she only permitted Luke & girlfriend to stay, not other friends in dire need of accommodation. We didn't bother, as our landlady's reasoning was she preferred untroublesome middle aged tenants like ourselves, rather than youngsters who'd wreck her rental with parties. She tarred all youngsters with the same brush.

Luke's girlfriend confirmed Christchurch landlord greed in her quest for another rental. Some landlords were so greedy they either didn't want pets, or wanted her to pay weekly rent for her collie dog, or a $1000 bond for her dog.

Other Lake Tekapo tourist trap establishments are local cafes & restaurants, some flats on top of restaurants. Of course there's tourist accommodation at Peppers Bluewater Resort (800 plus rooms) The Godley Hotel & several B&Bs, backpackers, homestays, motels & resorts dotted around town. There's also the local YHA & Lake Tekapo camp site, so like Mackenzie rabbits, Lake Tekapo is riddled with tourists.

Recently a concrete path was completed beside Lake Tekapo for campers to stroll to Lake Tekapo village. A camper van effluent & fresh water site was also revamped for camper vans to debouch crap beside SH8, overlooking Lake Tekapo, with NO FREEDOM CAMPING signs on pines. Lake Tekapo is bordered by camper van effluent, as there's another effluent site along the highway, at the other end of town. 

As our Lake Tekapo rental is furnished, we're still renting our 3 b.r. house at Burnside, Christchurch, for our furniture storage. Over the last months I've driven several return trips to Christchurch, fetching & carrying possessions, which are now muddled with our Lake Tekapo rental mod cons.

When we asked our Lake Tekapo landlord if he could move his furniture out, so we could relocate our furniture from Christchurch, he refused, as he'd have to store. Thus we'd have to store our furniture in Christchurch, unless we found unfurnished accommodation in Lake Tekapo. Our Lake Tekapo rental is part renovated, but the kitchen's still awful, with rickety table & cupboard shelves covered in plastic, hiding decades of grime. There are 9 beds in the small, 3 b.r. house, incl 2 double beds & 2 double bunks, enough for 11 bodies a pop. So we had no space for our furniture. Our rental is across the road from backpacker establishments, so our landlord wants it both ways - big spending backpackers, or long term tenants like us, without possessions. So far we were seen by locals as glorified backpackers to be fleeced.  

Meanwhile there are several private, closed, holiday homes, close to our rental. Across Tekapo River, on a recent walk along Murray Pl, I counted over 20 private, closed holiday homes - more closed homes than inhabited homes. And that's just one short street in Lake Tekapo. Ditto parallel Scott St.

The sooner Lake Tekapo sorts out decent, affordable accommodation for people like ourselves who want to live, work & settle in Lake Tekapo the better. Otherwise Lake Tekapo will always be a beautiful tourist & rental trap, riddled with 1000s of daily tourists, just passing through.

The ironic convergence of Lake Tekapo tourist trap & rental trap is seen in the following Peppers Resort ad found on a community notice board, March 2014:


We have a number of hard working staff desperately requiring medium to long term accommodation options in Lake Tekapo, or surrounding townships.

If you are looking for long term, secure and trustworthy tenants - look no further. Single occupant, shared options - whatever you may have will greatly assist. 

Please contact General manager ... @ Peppers Bluewater Resort ...

The biggest tourist accommodation resort at Lake Tekapo didn't even have decent accommodation for its own staff. What a farce, employers expecting excellent staff, but not providing employment or employer excellence.

We looked at a 3 b.r. rental pig sty about 1 km from Leah's school - overgrown "garden," rickety carport, cracked concrete decking, dirty, smelly kitchen, old carpets, dirty bedding, rickety furniture, asbestos backed fireplace. Upstairs bedrooms were a dirty firetrap, the house an old, A frame prefab. The greedy landlord wanted $350 - $400 / week, a tourist trap / rental trap, touting good money for a rickety slum house. He wanted long term tenants while he built another house in the front garden. Tenants in that crap rental paid for the rebuild.

Another furnished, 3 b.r  house, further from Leah's school: an immaculate rats' nest with tidy garden, rent $400 / week. A flat was on top. Snags: Gas cooker, a fire hazard; no fireplace; shared double garage, electricity, washing machine, clothes line & water heating. I foresaw endless disputes with other tenants, as we would pay 60% of the electrical bill while they only paid 40% no matter how little electricity we used & how much they used. Lake Tekapo is expensive with a low standard of living for those wanting to work at Lake Tekapo.

A filthy, 3 b.r. house we saw in Aorangi Cres is another pig sty. The landlady stores stuff in the garage, stopping tenants' use of the garage. The small house was converted to a 2 b.r house, the original lounge became a bedroom. Walls of 2 of the original bedrooms were demolished to make an open-plan lounge, cum dining room & kitchen. A fireplace with corrugated iron backing dominates the lounge & the kitchen has a gas stove. Stove & fireplace together causes miasma. I inspected the house barefoot & felt gunk underfoot. The house has inadequate cupboard space. $285 / week rental is a ripoff, our health would decline in that sty.     

Near the school, Leah's boss rents a wooden, 2 b.r house, sans garage, $350 / week. One teacher lives on a nearby farm. Another commutes daily from Twizel.

Before Easter weekend I wandered 18 Lake Tekapo streets & "posted" RENTAL HOUSE WANTED notices at 72 closed houses. Not one of those houses had a letter box, so I leave it to the reader's imagination how I "posted". There were many more closed houses, but I thought that was enough to test the ghost rental market. So far, only one vague response. Our search so far has revealed only high priced, low quality rentals. Our house search continues...

Content & pics Copyright mark JS Esslemont.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Cowans Hill Walkway, Lake Tekapo

Two summit, Cowans Hill Walkway is a circular walk 6-8km return, depending on one's start & end points & detours. At the time of writing, confusing DOC signs were at the bottom & some way up Cowans Hill alongside SH8. In places DOC marker poles were obscured by pines.

Much of Lake Tekapo village is built on the lower slopes of Cowans Hill overlooking Lake Tekapo & Southern Alps. One can start / end at Lake Tekapo dam control gates by SH8, opposite Pioneer Rd turnoff to Church of the Good Shepherd. A DOC sign by a concrete path shows the way past housing above Tekapo River. That route will give a quick return walk through pine forest to Cowans Hill 793m summit, about 1 hour's duration. 

Alternatively for a longer circular walk through Lake Tekapo village, Cowans Hill tussock grassland & pine forest, one can wander along SH8 past housing & stockyards to the lakeside track beyond another Pioneer Rd turnoff to Pines Beach tracks in Lake Tekapo Regional Park.

Given the confusing signage for Cowans Hill Walkway it seems that the Regional Council, DOC & NZ Transport Authority were at loggerheads as to which organization was responsible for Cowans Hill tracks.

The most logical way around the base of Cowans Hill was along SH8, but NZ Transport Authority didn't provide pavements or footpaths beside SH8 for walkers / MTBs to use. The dam road / SH8 across Lake Tekapo outlet & Tekapo River was a dangerous bottleneck for vehicles, pedestrians & MTBs, as it was narrow & only had one footpath.

SH8 on the road to Fairlie, beyond Pioneer Rd turnoff, one joins a lakeside walking track marked by green & yellow DOC poles going to Lake Tekapo Regional Park. Across SH8 are stockyards by a Lake Tekapo lookout & tourist carpark, with Lochinver Run development behind, going up Cowans Hill to the cemetery road & beyond to pine forest tracks going up to Cowans Hill 793m summit.

Opting not to wander up SH8, if one follows the lakeside track, walkers are forced by means of locked gates & fences to enter the Regional Park forest where one crosses stiles by Lillybank Rd & detours through pine forest around a farm house beside SH8. Above the farmhouse one crosses SH8 by another stile to reach a closed to vehicles track going up Cowans Hill beside SH8. The track leads to a closed carpark lookout & beyond to a heap of sand blocking traffic beside SH8,.by Oregon pines & birches.

Near the top of Cowans Hill, beside SH8 one passes through a farm gate by a DOC sign marked LAKE TEKAPO WALKWAY. Cowans Hill is mentioned as an afterthought. After crossing a metal stile one enters tussock grassland overlooking a private observatory, Lake Tekapo & Alps.

In tussock grassland, above Lochinver Run, the 360 degree lake & Alpine views are worth the hassles of confusing DOC & Regional Park signs. Following the DOC marked, shared use track for walkers & MTBs, Cowans Hill hilltops, 783m & 793m are a lesson in how forestry & logging can destroy pristine Alpine grasslands & wetlands. From the 783m grassland summit a Lions bench gives 360 degree views over Mackenzie Country. The grasslands are windy, so all-weather, hoody gear is necessary.

Pinus radiata pines are planted in the grassland & wetlands on top of Cowans Hill. The 783m summit has new pine plantings, the 793m summit has mature, logged pine forest. The pines may stop soil erosion, but will dry out the tarns on top. Some of the tarns are already dried out. A black swan pair & ducks swam a half filled tarn.

Having survived 3 years of Christchurch quakes, 2010-2013, it would be interesting to see the effects of big quakes on Lake Tekapo village, between topside tarns & wetland drainage on Cowans Hill & Lake Tekapo below. Given the close proximity to Alpine ranges & the Alpine Fault, I expected a helluva lot of shaking & liquefaction. Hopefully expensive developments like Lochinver Run, Mt John Village & The Cairns have quake resilient housing?

Following the shared MTB / walker track going up to the pine forest on the 793m summit, one crosses a metal stile into the pine forest. A PINDONE sign on a pine warns about rabbit poisoning - useless as Lake Tekapo village & forests are riddled with rabbits & rabbit warrens. So much for farmers boasting about secretly introducing calcivirus into Mackenzie Country some years back. All that did was toughen up rabbits' immune systems, giving rabbits immunity to rabbit poisons.

Beside a pine forest fence, a farm track in the grassland goes down to a locked gate above Lochinver Run development.

From radio & TV transmitters at the 793m summit, one has views of Lake Tekapo village sewage farm & refuse dump. Following Tekapo River down stream, after an S bend, one sees Tekapo A power station.

W, beside Lake Tekapo, one sees Alpine peaks rising from S to N: Mt Edward, Mt Maude, Tekapo Saddle, Mt Dobson, Two Thumbs Range, Mt Ardmore, Richmond Range, Round Hill & ski field, Mt Gerald.

N of Lake Tekapo, one sees The Thumbs, Mt Chevalier, Mt Erebus, Mt Sibbald & Mistake Peak.

W side of Lake Tekapo one sees Mt John, Braemar Dome, Mt Stevenson & Gammack Range obscuring the view of Mt Cook & associated peaks.

Further W, Cowans Hill gives grand views of Mt Stafford, Barrier Range, W of Twizel & Ben Ohau Range - Backbone Peak, Mackenzies Peak, The Razorback, Dun Fiunary, Glentanner Peak & other peaks going to Mt Sefton.

Doing a S detour from the top of Cowans Hill pine forest, one can follow a forest track to the end of the pine forest & pass through a farm gate, where a stock track follows a cliff top path above Tekapo River. Vegetable sheep, Raoulia australis, on rocks indicate harsh Alpine winds sweeping up the clifftop. Many rabbit warrens showed rabbit pollution. I saw some rabbit carcasses, successful poisonings, but also saw rabbits hopping about, immune to Pindone. Beyond the clifftop, a farm track went down to Tekapo River, a long trek, opposite Tekapo A power station.

The way down from the pine forest summit offers various forestry tracks, a couple with DOC marker poles. The shared use MTB / walker track goes through a logged out section of forest, about 200m x 1000m, full of pine branch windrows, thistles, wooly mulleins, rose brambles, sparse grass, new pine plantings, testament to wetland & tussock grassland destruction by foresters. The pines also obscured Lake Tekapo & Alpine views. All that pines offered was firewood, wind shelter & erosion salvage. Erosion was caused by pioneers' stock overgrazing.

The shared use track passes behind housing above Tekapo River back to the concrete path at SH8 by the the Lake Tekapo dam control gates, a DOC sign there too.

Cowan Hill Walkway takes about 2 hours walking time return, or more, depending on detours one does.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Mt John Walkway, Lake Tekapo

Thurs 13.02.14. On the S side of of Mt John, 1031m, overlooking Lake Tekapo, I wandered up Mt John's zigzag path through larch forest, sprinkled with pines. The climb was about 311m on the DOC maintained path. The climb began beside spa pools, renowned for the world's biggest inflatable hydroslide. Mt John Walkway was popular & many people wandered up & down.

On my way up, through larch gaps, I had glimpses of Mackenzie Country, in the N Mackenzie Basin & S Waitaki Basin, gouged out by glaciers & surrounded by Southern Alpine ranges. Beyond the treeline, the path emerged W of the S Summit, a rocky bluff. The basins were dry, desert like, with windblown grass & treeless, except for occasional farm shelter trees. W, I had Alpine views toward Mt Sefton, 3151m & Ben Ohau Range above Twizel. From S to N, some Ben Ohau / Ruataniwha peaks: Backbone Peak, 2263m, Mackenzies Peak, 2200m, Dun Fiunary, 2500m, Glentanner Peak, 2551m...

On top of Mt John, wooden steps led to a circular summit path, carpark, 5 observatory domes & Astro Cafe with spectacular views. Various boards on the summit gave info. The observatories were run by Canterbury University. Our Christchurch neighbour was studying astronomy at Canterbury Uni & hoped soon to do some star gazing on Mt John summit. Until 1983 the observatory nearest the S summit was a USA spy observatory, checking passing satellites during Cold War times.

Due to Lake Tekapo's clear skies, although Mt John was touted as a star gazers' paradise, it wasn't a conservation hotspot, due to exotic larches, thistles, rose brambles & rabbit pollution. Rabbit dung & rabbit holes riddled Mt John. I spotted a small, green, vegetable sheep, Raoulia australis, covering a stone near one of the observatories. With 1000s of tourists invading Mt John summit annually, I doubted local flora had much chance of flourishing. For the sick, lame & lazy, a tarred road went up Mt John on the NW slope, about 8 km distance from Lake Tekapo - Lake Pukaki SH8.

E, from Mt John's Astro Cafe, one could see Lake Tekapo town on Lake Tekapo S shore, with Mt Edward, 1916m, Mt Ardmore 1989m & Mt Dobson, 2095m beyond. In the distance, gravel roads to Mt Dobson & Round Hill ski fields could be seen on lower mountain slopes. NW of Mt John, Lake Alexandrina & Lake McGregor shimmer, with Lake Tekapo in the E. Mt Erebus, Mt Sibbald, 2811m, Mt Chevalier, 2404m, The Thumbs, 2546m & Two Thumb Range were in the N & NE. Beyond one of the observatory domes, in the W a glimpse of Aoraki Mt Cook summit, 3754m. Mt Stevenson & Gammack Range obscure Aoraki Mt Cook lower slopes.  

The walk through the larch forest to Mt John summit takes about 1 hour. An optional return via N slopes & Lake Tekapo shore takes about 2 hours, but it is exposed grassland. Beware of gnats, smelly horse dung & the elements, as weather changes quickly from benign to harsh.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

NZ Nanny State Spying, Integrity Intervention Centre, Christchurch Quakes

Tues 28.01.14. George Orwell would've liked NZ with its Integrity Intervention Centre. Kiwis regarded integrity as honesty in relation to not stealing, not its real meaning, the quality of having strong moral principles (Concise Oxford English Dictionary.)

There were many Kiwi thieves for the Ministry of Social Development to actually have a department called the Integrity Intervention Centre. A couple of days after arriving back in Christchurch after visiting her mom at her 80th birthday celebrations in Durban, a trip paid for by Leah's older brother, Leah received the following form letter from NZ's Ministry of Social Development:

Travelling Overseas and Your Payments from the Ministry of Social Development

We are writing to you about your recent travel out of New Zealand and your payments from the Ministry of Social Development

Leah's teacher salary was so low we received a weekly accommodation supplement from WINZ, dole dept part of the Ministry, to help pay our house rent. Although a highly qualified teacher, with teaching experience in SA, UK & NZ, Leah's NZ private school salary was insufficient to pay the bills. Thus she had to do part time work, like extra lessons & lecturing teachers, over & above her full time teaching job.

We [nannies] regularly compare our records with information received from other government agencies to make sure the information we [nannies] have is up-to-date and correct. [i.e. Nanny State spying on its own citizens]. A recent check of your file [WINZ dole file. We had to sign a declaration to the effect that we allowed WINZ to check with other govt depts, or we wouldn't get dole rental supplements.] has shown the details held by the New Zealand Customs Service (Customs) and by us are not the same. [Naughty Leah didn't tell WINZ she was going to SA for her mom's 80th birthday party]. We [nannies] want to make sure you are getting the right amount of money, [Yeah right!] so we [nannies] need to confirm these details. [Never mind that I stayed in NZ in our Christchurch rental house all the time that Leah was in SA. Our rent still had to be paid despite Leah going on an overseas holiday. She thoroughly deserved that holiday after receiving crap wages & salaries in NZ's low wage economy for 19 years].

Customs records indicate that you left New Zealand on 18/12/2013 by Flight Number NZ883. [Welcome to Orwellian NZ].

Fascist nannies were such brilliant, programmed spies, they never supplied Leah's return flight date nor number, which their Fact Sheet below informed they must.

We [nannies] have updated your file with the above information.

What happens next:

If this information is wrong:
You can: [Love the bold print, colons & underlining].

Call the Integrity Intervention Centre on this free phone number ... option 3 between 8:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday with the exception of Wednesday when the hours are 9:30am to 5:00pm. [Gotta ask why nannies in the Integrity Intervention Centre were so incompetent that they couldn't call us instead of posting a snotty form letter? WINZ regularly posted 1000s of gormless form letter to clients without any thought involved by WINZ ineptocrats.] We [nannies] need to hear from you within 10 working days from the date of this letter. When you call please tell us your client number ... This will help us give you a better service [Yeah right. WINZ so-called service was always a load of crap!]


Fill in the form at the end of this letter and send it back to us by: 

Mail: ...                                                       Fax: ...                                             Email: ...

Leah filled in the form, posted it to WINZ & phoned WINZ. Nanny Cheryl informed Leah that as Leah had been out of NZ for more than a month at least a weeks' accommodation supplement would not be paid by WINZ to Leah. My accommodation supplement would be paid as usual. So Leah was punished by WINZ for not telling WINZ about her going to her mom's birthday party in SA. Did I hear Orwell sniggering? 

If this information is right:
There is no need to contact us unless you have a query about this letter. If we haven't heard from you within 10 working days of this letter we will review your payments based on the information [spying] we [nannies] have.

A Fact Sheet, which has details about information matching, [spying] your rights and obligations, the actions we [nannies] may take regarding your payments, and what happens when we ask you for more information is attached to this letter. Please read it carefully.

If you need help, please call us. If your situation changes in any way let us know. [Er? What situation?] It might make a difference to the money you get. You can call us free, on the numbers listed at the end of the attached Fact Sheet.

Thank you for your co-operation.

During SA's fascist apartheid, there was a Ministry of Co-operation and Development which forced non white, non citizens to do what they were told!

Yours sincerely [Ha!]

Tania Linton
Service Manager
Integrity Intervention Centre

This sort of insulting letter was concocted by Wellington Baby Boomer nannies, who'd had free tertiary education paid for by NZ Welfare State. There was no such benevolence in present Nanny State NZ. The letter was designed to snare tertiary students & graduates, after signing up for incredibly expensive tertiary educations paid for by student loans & student allowances, then fleeing NZ to work overseas, as they couldn't possibly pay off their student loans in NZ's present Nanny State, low wage economy.

After I arrived in NZ, in 1996 I did one semester's post grad study at Lincoln Uni, before I dropped out. I already had over 10 year's tertiary education, 2 degrees, 2 diplomas, paid for by myself in SA, which NZIS & NZQA happily accepted when I applied for our NZ residence visas 20 years ago, as NZ got all my education, work experience, chattels, family & SA money, free. It took 10 years to pay back my NZ student loan, with interest.

Jake & Luke, although now working, both have expensive NZ student loans to pay back. Jake has worked in the hospitality industry full time for 8 years. His wages are so low, no way can he pay back his student loan yet. Ditto Luke, 2 years in the joinery industry. Snag: Provided they stayed working in NZ they needn't pay interest on their student loans. The moment they went overseas to escape NZ's low wage economy, their student loan time bombs started ticking at exorbitant interest rates. They would be harassed by WINZ, StudyLink, Customs, Integrity Intervention Centre nannies & anonymous spies should they leave and / or return to NZ without coughing up. Those Baby Boomer spies & harassers would've had free tertiary education.

I heard NZ Baby Boomers sniggering over their bank accounts & trust funds. There were 1000s of NZ tertiary students & graduates working in NZ & overseas in the same Student Loan bind as Jake & Luke.

NZ Nanny State, Integrity Intervention Centre provided the following Fact Sheet, a hotchpotch of nanny drivel from various Acts to justify NZ fascist state spying on its citizens:

The letter attached to this Fact Sheet has been sent to you by the Ministry of Social Development. This Fact Sheet sets out important details about information matching [spying] your rights and obligations. It also tells you about any action we [nannies] may take regarding your payments and what happens when we [nannies] ask you for more information. Please read it carefully. 

Information Matching [spying] and the Privacy Act 1993

The Ministry of Social Development manages payouts from Work and Income, StudyLink and Senior Services. We regularly compare information [spy] about our clients with information we receive from other government agencies under relevant legislation. These are formally called authorised information matching programmes, [spying] and the Privacy Commissioner oversees these programmes under the Privacy Act. [Condones spying].

The aim of these [spying] programmes is to make sure our clients are getting the right amounts of money [and to do what you're told by a fascist state]. We [nannies] compare information we hold about you with information about you that we [nannies] receive from the New Zealand Customs Service. [Spying]. This information matching [spying] programme is being done under the Customs and Excise Act 1996. [Spying].

If we detected a problem with your file [an 80th birthday party for an old lady in SA] as part of an information matching [spying] programme, we must, under section 103 of the Privacy Act tell you. [Jawohl mein nanny Fuhrer]. We [nannies] must also tell you of the actions that may be taken as a result of the problem [80th birthday party] being detected from the [spy] programme. The Privacy Act calls these actions "adverse actions." [A nocturnal "Raus!" And detention without trial].

Review of Payments and Adverse Actions

When a person's circumstances change [like an overseas birthday party] the Ministry of Social Development is able to review his or her rate of benefit, Student Allowance, Student Loan or other financial support [aka dole]. For payments and services you receive from Work and Income the review is carried out under section 81 of the Social Security Act 1964. We can also look [spy] into the payments and services you receive from StudyLink under section 307(4) of the Education Act 1989.

The indecent Acts & blackmail were like dildos to the fascist nannies.

The Ministry of Social Development can take any or the following [indecent] actions:

* Ask for more information. If you do not provide that information within a specified period of time, under section 11 of the Social Security Act 1964 we can require any other person or organisation to provide information [by snitching] we might need for the review of your Work and Income payments and services, [Services huh?] and under 307(5) of the Education Act 1989, we can ask any other person or organisation, to provide any information [snitching] we [nannies] might need when we [nannies] look into the payments and services you receive from StudyLink. [Snitching would inflame those fascist nannies].

* In some cases your benefit, Student Allowance, Student Loan or other financial support may be suspended, declined or stopped [so that you may thenceforth live forever afterwards as a streetie in fascist utopia]. We can also decline future applications for Student Allowance and Student Loan if, without reasonable cause, you do not provide any information that we [nannies] request from you [to assist your intellectual suicide].

* If you have been overpaid and owe a debt to us, it must be paid back. We are able to recover this debt because we consider no error was made in establishing this debt. [Laughable. My experience with WINZ over several years was that WINZ was a non stop fascist farce, as WINZ regularly made overpayment errors, then blamed beneficiaries for those errors, as this Fact Sheet did.] You will be given all the details of the debt and will have to arrange repayments. This money can be taken out of a benefit or other financial support you are currently getting.

* If [IF] you owe money to us and you have acted illegally there may be legal action taken against you, or there may be a penalty amount added to your debt.

Moral 1: Don't take out a fascist Student Allowance, a fascist Student Loan, a fascist rental accommodation supplement & don't go to granny parties overseas.

Moral 2: Fascist nannies who posted form letters boasting about their spying, alleging a crime & threatening immoral Acts, legal actions & penalties, without checking & obtaining full information from so-called clients, were retards.

The nannies went nuts:

If you disagree with this decision, you can ask for a review [A slow, tedious, fascist farce, like CERA zoning reviews], We [nannies] must receive your request for review within three months of this letter. You can download a form from the Ministry's website (...) or write to us by letter, email or fax. If you can't do this within three months, please talk to us. [Talk huh?] If you have a good reason for the delay, your review may still be considered.

Under section 22 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Act 2011, clients receiving New Zealand Superannuation are entitled to receive payments for the first 26 weeks of any absence from New Zealand providing that they return within 30 weeks. If they do not return within this timeframe, subject to certain exceptions, they would not be entitled to New Zealand Superannuation and a debt would be established from the day after leaving New Zealand. If they returned after the 26th week and before the 30th week a debt would be set up for the intervening period. 

Fascist nannies forced codgers, retired to the warm Australian E coast, to endure concentration camp & ghetto NZ. Alternatively codgers had to dodge in & out of NZ every 6 months or so to renew their fascist state pensions. What a farce. Meanwhile PM Key was regularly moaning about benighted Kiwis who lived & worked in Oz, who didn't get Oz state benefits, like Oz dole & Oz medical benefits, which NZ provided for Oz citizen in NZ.

Collection of Personal Information

When we [nannies] write to you because of an information matching [spying] programme, we ask you to call us and tell us why we should not take further action on your payments. [Why don't fascist, spying nannies call their alleged criminals?] In some cases we [nannies] ask you to send us more information.

Clients Receiving Payments and Services from Work and Income and StudyLink

If you receive payments and services from Work and Income and we [nannies] ask you for more information, we [nannies] are making a preliminary request in terms of the Code of Conduct (the Code) for obtaining information under section 11 of the Social Security Act 1964. The request meets the terms of the Code for Obtaining Information under Section 11 of the Social Security Act. [Spying].

Delete Social & one had all the fascist iniquities of apartheid SA, with nannies using various Acts to harass, sometimes torture, sometimes murder. With all the nanny spying, justified by various Acts, NZ was on the slippery slope to becoming the skunk of the world as Mandela put it.

If you receive payments and services from StudyLink and we ask you for more information we are simply requesting that you provide that information. [Torturers simply do that too].

The personal information we are collecting from you is for the purpose of reviewing and determining your past and present benefit, Student Allowance, Student Loan or other financial support, and to stop any overpayment before a debt is created. [Aha! Fascist nanny cockups! WINZ is notorious for that].The intended recipients of the information you provide are authorised individuals working for the Ministry of Social Development. [Spies]. Collection of the information is not required by law. It is voluntary. [Which negates this nanny Fact Sheet. What a load of bullshit! Pity nannies didn't underline & bold print this crucial information]

If you are able to provide us with the information requested, we [nannies] will give you a reasonable time to do so. [How kind after threatening legal action & penalties]. If you do not give us the information requested, we  [nannies] will either review your payments and services received from Work and Income and StudyLink, based on the [dubious] information we [nannies] already have or require relevant third parties to supply the information to us.

Fascist threats, snitching & spying. Why would anyone want to live in NZ with all this crap!.

For example, we can require any other person or organisation, under section 11 of the Social Security Act 1964, to provide any information [snitching] we [nannies] might need for the review of your Work and Income payments and services or we [nannies] can ask any other person or organisation, under section 307(5) of the Education Act 1989 to provide any information we [nannies] might need when we look into the payments and services you receive from StudyLink.

The information will be held by the Ministry of Social Development, [Retardation] and you can ask to see it. You can also ask us to correct it [after WINZ nannies' cockups].

If you consider that our preliminary request for information breaches the Code, you may have the right to complain to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. A copy of the Code can be obtained by telephoning the Ministry on ... or by accessing the Ministry's website at ...

If you have any questions, please call:

Integrity Intervention Centre ...

Work and Income ...

StudyLink ... 

If NZ employers paid higher salaries & wages, all the above crap would be void.

Wed 29.01.14. I walked from London St to Burnside about 10 kms, mainly residential suburbs. There were many demolition sites & busy commercial zones like Bealey Ave & Merivale, but also many inhabited houses in need of repairs or rebuilds. Three years post quakes, that was an indictment of slack EQC, slack Fletchers & slack insurers, like slack Southern Response. The named entities were govt entities. Bunch of slackers. SCIRT so-called repaired roads were still crap, full of potholes, bumps, excavations, detours & contractors' graffiti on pavements. SCIRT was a govt / Council entity. Bunch of slackers.

Thurs 30.01.14. The Press reported finance minister English recommending that employers pay employees more as the economy was improving. So long as govt didn't have to cough up of course. It was election year, so politicians were boasting how they'd spend taxpayers' money. Parliament was discussing paid parental leave increasing from 14 weeks to 26 weeks. Labour leader Cunliffe wanted parents of infants to be paid nappy & feed dosh. That would encourage bigger families & more bludgers on the Domestic Purposes Benefit. And more "work" for WINZ nannies the biggest dole bludgers of all. Without all those bludgers WINZ nannies would be unemployed.

PM Key last week touted more pay for excellent school principals sent to poorly performing schools & more pay for excellent teachers. My experience with teacher, merit performance pay in SA was that there was never enough dosh to pay excellence & it wasn't easy to judge teacher excellence, as every class was different. Most principals were arts grads & hadn't a clue about the teaching needs, expectations & work conditions of science & biology teachers like myself.

Fri 31.01.14. On a trip up to Lake Tekapo I picked up a local rag The Fairlie Accessible from Fairlie. If readers think I'm bonkers in my satire of NZ Nannie State & snitching / dobbing in, here's an article by Fairlie small town, nannie cop from the Heartland of the South Island:

Police Notebook

Hello again and I hope the New Year is treating you all well. The weather has not really co-operated [co-operated] during this summer season so far, but will probably come right when the kids go back to school.

A couple of weeks ago a much loved cat was shot and wounded with a slug gun around Regent St area. I would like to hear from anyone that has information on this matter or knowledge of who owns a slug gun in this local area. [All snitchers welcome. NZ a snitcher's paradise]. 

Last week there was a nasty nose to tail crash between a car and a farm ute on Clayton Rd that could have turned out a lot worse if seat belts were not worn. No lasting injuries were received, but the vehicles were extensively damaged. Two sheep dogs got thrown out and later recovered in Fairlie a bit shaken up.

I had reports [snitching] of young kids driving tractors or motorbikes on public roads without any adults around. This type of practice is clearly inappropriate due to the obvious legal issues, [er illegal] but the possible dangers are even scarier. Youngsters unsupervised around machinery and vehicles are a recipe for disaster and we as adults have a responsibility to keep them safe. [Moral blackmail].

Thanks to all good honest people out there who are still handing in found property. If you have lost anything then the police station would be a good place to start. [Years ago when I tried to report Jake's lost SA passport at Papanui cop shop, the fat lady, reception cop, without a word, abruptly turned round, left the office & called a grey haired, paunchy cop, who aggressively objected to my loud deaf voice & basically told me to bugger off & make my report at Central Police station!] If you have found any property, then that should be handed into the police also. The old myth of "Finders keepers losers weepers" does not apply. It is the same as stealing if you do not return found property to the owner or police. [Huh? Who "steals" the property if cops never find the original owner?]

The druggies will be out and about tending their crops over the summer period so be on the alert and report [snitch] suspicious behaviour or activity. You can remain anonymous if you like. [And love your pot growing neighbour as yourself].

It may be a good time to remind people again to check the expiry date on their firearms licences. Ten years can slip by [Ho hum Heartland NZ] and before you know it you are paying an extra $113 to re-apply and unwillingly committing a criminal offence of being in possession of firearms without a licence. [Since when were renewal fees not extortion?] If you have moved address you will also need to contact police in writing of your new address within a month or you are inadvertently committing another criminal offence.

Have you got a licence? Nanny State, Police State NZ.

Until next time be careful out there!
... Fairlie Police 

Leah & I received almost identical form letters, dated 03.02.14,  where nanny Rachel Lock, National Manager, Integrity Intervention Centre, posted us each a repeat Fact Sheet from The Ministry of Social Retardation telling us that the ministry was cutting Leah's accommodation supplement of $27.50 for one week, with the crunch sentence: In most cases a client travelling out of New Zealand cannot receive payments from us. 

Thurs 06.02.14. The Press reported that the WINZ bldg on Winston Ave, Papanui, had been sold. Like so many other govt & Council bldgs, the bldg was briefly closed post 22.02.11 quake for safety inspections. I wondered where all the Ministry of Social Retardation & WINZ nannies would go when their $680 000+ p.a. rents expired? Weekly, I parked next to that gruesome WINZ bldg when I banked at nearby ANZ bank. The white pancake style bldg had toxic WINZ memories for me. The WINZ open-plan office had one-way glass windows, a beefy, security goon at the glass door & myriads of overhead CCTV cams to protect nannies from fearsome dole bludgers, er clients.

I recall a white nanny some years ago at Winston Ave WINZ seriously lecturing me about Labour's "Jobs Jolt," then months later an Indian nanny sanctimoniously telling Leah & I that as we were older beneficiaries we would be "treated differently" from others. We were both 50 somethings then. In other words, WINZ would stop bitching me to getta job! Any job, like envelope stuffing (true, I had that force fed me by a Sydenham WINZ nanny & her Oz eunuch boss Manning) so long as I didn't disgrace their "job seeker" books anymore. The white WINZ bldg at Winston Ave was as gruesome as the blue, tilt slab, Sydenham WINZ bldg on Colombo St. The latter was closed post quakes. I couldn't help humming, "Where have all the nannies gone?..."

Another tale for my nanny narrative: Nanny Heather McKellow at Riccarton WINZ sent us WINZ form  letters for years & other WINZ busy-work bumf purporting to help me getta job. I was sent on several ineffectual interviews by WINZ at various organizations purporting to help job seekers find jobs, all a waste of my time, as I suspected the interviewers just went thru the motions so they could claim funding from WINZ. I remember one grey haired enuuch nodding off in his Hereford St office while trying to interview me.

On one occasion Council & WINZ cooperated to get job seekers like myself off the dole. I was interviewed by counciilor Helen Broughton, purporting to be a personnel boffin, in McKellow's Riccarton WINZ office. When nanny Broughton asked why my medical info (deafness) wasn't on my CV, I knew nanny Broughton hadn't a clue. I was packed off to St Thomas of Canterbury College, Hornby, for an interview, for a footling photocopier / typist job, support for lazy teachers & secretaries, in a nannie's filthy photocopier room.

As the school, Council & WINZ would all contribute to my paltry $11/hour pay, when I asked the principal who my actual employer was, he didn't know. McKellow & Broughton also expected me as a parent to break the law by making Luke, 12 years old then, a latch-key kid while I did the job. When I refused that stupid setup, we got hysterical phone calls from nanny McKellow trying to organize another meeting between nannies & me, even at our home. Like the above Integrity Intervention Centre nannies, they docked our dole for a week, without any explanation why they wanted me to break the law.  

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont

See English backs boost in wages (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Fund sells Papanui landmark for 6.7m (The Press / Stuff Co).

Monday, January 20, 2014

Post Quakes, Christchurch Ineptocracy

Tues 21.01.14. A SA brother in law emailed me a pic found on eBay of a T shirt with Ineptocracy & definition printed on the T shirt:


           - (in-ep-toc-ra-cy) -

A system of government where the
least capable to lead are elected by
the least capable of producing, and
where the members of society least
likely to sustain themselves or suc-
ceed, are rewarded with goods and
services paid for by the confiscated
wealth of a diminishing number of

My email response:

I agree with the Ineptocracy definition, as we're experiencing Ineptocracy in Christchurch since the quakes. Ineptocracy rules Canterbury, with govt appointed commissioners in Environment Canterbury, to ensure stock farmers can pollute pristine Canterbury waters & land can be polluted by fracking for oil. There are several deep sea oil concessions going on around NZ too.

There's also inept CERA, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, a post quake govt dept, a vast number of ineptocrats vs Council ineptocrats. So there's fun & games for post quake land zonings, demolitions, govt land-grabs, rebuilds & new builds. The old ineptocrat mayor was recently booted out (er resigned) with some of his ineptocrat, sycophant councillors booted out, or not seeking re-election. A new mayor & councillors were elected. The inept Town Clerk was recently booted out (er resigned) as his bldg consents dept was a fiasco. A new Town Clerk is pending, ineptocrat moot.

Presently a govt appointed manager in Council is sorting out the consents dept mess & other inept Council depts.

Brownlee, ex woodwork teacher, is CERA minister; Sutton, ex Orion electricity boss, is CERA's appointed CEO; Isaacs, ex small town, Timaru Town Clerk, accountant, was CERA's appointed Demolition boss, now appointed CBD Rebuild boss of the Christchurch Central Development Unit. Demolition boss to Rebuild boss!

Eighteen months ago, CERA ineptocrats produced a CBD blueprint with grand ideas for grand bldgs like a Convention Centre, Rugby Stadium, various Precincts like Health, Sports, Innovation, Performing Arts, Kids' Playground, New Bus Exchange, Justice & Emergency Services & Frame Parkland, but forgot to blueprint affordable housing, shops & schools. So far 3 years post quakes, no foundations have been laid for any CERA blueprint bldgs.

Gotta ask why CERA did a deal with Council to share costs of most blueprint anchor projects with Council, when CERA knew that town clerk Marryatt had underinsured Council assets & wanted to use unknown quake insurance settlements for Council assets to fund shared anchor project costs? Should Council have insufficient funds for CERA's expensive anchor projects, it was rich that CERA then wanted Council to sell Council's revenue producing assets, like Christchurch Airport & Lyttelton Port, to fund CERA's expensive anchor projects. Maybe borrowing on assets was more sensible than selling the family silver. Once ratepayers' assets were gone they were gone forever.

EQC ineptocrats caused much suffering for 1000s of claimants over the last 3 years with settlement delays. Insurers just followed suit. Brownlee was minister of EQC too.

Meanwhile the inept Ministry of Education has closed & merged several Christchurch schools. Thus communities lost staff & school facilities from closed & merged schools, while parents & kids of closed & merged schools had to travel further to other schools, with increased costs - travel & new uniforms.

Mon 27.01.14. Ineptocrat Brownlee demanded that Council showed more transparency in its finances regarding insurance payouts on quake trashed assets & Council asset shares (The Press 25.01.14). Snag was that Brownlee's EQC & CERA showed no transparency in their finances. Brownlee was angling for commercially sensitive information so that Council & ratepayers were forced to pay for CERA's fascist blueprint projects. It was time Brownlee packed up & left Ilam at the 2014 election so a competent person could continue with so-called earthquake recovery.

Fri 31.01.14. CERA's media release boasted of 7349 red zone properties, 98% of which CERA eligible property owners had CERA gun-at-head accepted NZ govt's land-grab offers. CERA waffled about the 2013 census showing that many property owners of quake damaged properties had relocated within 4 kms distance from their quake damaged properties. That was misleading, as tenants like our son Jake, post 22.02.11 quake also moved across town, Jake from a Waltham quake damaged house rental, to a St Albans quake damaged garage rental.

CERA hadn't stated the number of new houses being built in Christchurch to replace CERA's 7349 red zone houses. I suspected too few, hence the present housing crisis, where our 2 sons were paying exorbitant rents with 3 other young tenants for an old, double storey house, overcrowding to enrich a greedy landlord. Given NZ's low wage economy, not one of those young adults could afford to pay the full house rent on their own. Due to low wages, it was impossible for them to save for ownership of their own housing, as they were too busy paying a selfish baby boomer's rental house mortgage. Given NZ housing & land unaffordability, our sons were being locked out of home ownership, no matter how hard they worked for low pay. Greedy baby boomers had lots to answer for, as they'd bought their houses much cheaper.

Since the  quakes, we'd seen Christchurch degenerate into a more dangerous place to live. Demolition dust & road excavation dust were daily hazards. Tagging had increased, a sure sign of degeneracy. Months ago, I'd encountered hoodlums stealing beer from an abandoned CBD property in broad daylight. Not a cop in sight. A while ago, Black Caps cricketer Ryder was mugged near Jake's Brewers Arms work, Papanui Rd. The pub was robbed before Xmas.

On Sunday night at The Brewery by The Tannery at Jake's new work, there was an attempted robbery by 2 hoodlums using sawn off shotguns. A patron was assaulted with a gun butt. No money was stolen, as the pub boss bamboozled the thick thieves with his loquacity. Monday morning when I dropped Jake off at work police tape stopped workplace entry. Jake said he & his workmates waited a long time before they could start work. Nineteen years ago, we'd left SA as there was far too much of that sort of violence. Post quake Christchurch was slipping into the Third World.  

Leah returned from SA last week after visiting family & friends in KZN & E Cape. She said many Christchurch roads were like Third World SA roads. e.g. Christchurch potholed Barbadoes St was like the potholed road to Richmond, KZN, where ANC / Inkatha had bloody faction fights during recovery from apartheid to the Rainbow Nation. So much for ineptocrat Brownlee's quake recovery from Garden City to Demolition City wastelands. Barbadoes St was just one of hundreds of quake trashed streets, poorly repaired by SCIRT.

Wed 05.02.14. The Press pic of Housing minister Smith was flanked by CERA minister Brownlee. The article was titled: "Plan unveiled for 'affordable' 500k housing." Smith planned to build 275 so-called affordable houses for 350k-500k each, between Halswell & Wigram, near the new motorway. I knew the area well as we'd lived in Halswell for years. If Smith though those new houses were affordable he was delusional. If Brownlee though those 275 new houses would solve the post quake housing crisis he was delusional, as there weren't enough houses being build to cover the loss of red zoned houses & loss of quake trashed houses still having to be rebuilt after slow insurer settlements. Sick jokes, Smith & Brownlee were continuing the housing shortage by cynically maintaining low supply & high prices during an election year.

I'd like Smith & Brownlee to tell me how my sons' low wages, in the hospitality & joinery industries, enabled them to save house deposits on so-called affordable housing after they'd paid their bills, including expensive rents?

To jog their selfish Baby Boomer memories, Smith & Brownlee were beneficiaries of properties bought cheaply by their parents. Some History by Michael Bassett & Luke Malpass from their report, "Priced Out. How NZ lost its housing affordability:" 

From 1951 WW2 returned servicemen tenants could buy state housing cheaply.
From 1954 new houses could be build with a cheap 3% loan from State Advances / Housing Corporation.
From 1958 new houses could be built by capitalizing Family Benefits & adding that to the 3% cheap loans from State Advances / Housing Corporation.

Thus many WW2 vets, Korean War vets, Vietnam War vets & early Baby Boomers got cheap housing subsidised by NZ govt. Nowadays all those post WW2 houses, cheaply bought, could be sold at inflated prices, with buyers benefiting from govt largesse. Presently their children were forced to suffer their greed when buying old or new housing in an inflated housing market. Never mind inflated bldg costs due to construction supplier monopolies & real estate agents' commissions adding to housing inflation.

It was about time Brownlee & Smith produced some egalitarian schemes to help their children's & my children's futures. Otherwise they were producing a Jilted Generation, as Pom authors Ed Howker & Shiv Malik put it in their book: "Jilted generations how Britain has bankrupted its youth." The likes of Brownlee & Smith were jilting our children's futures with risibly expensive housing & student loans.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Christchurch homes severely unaffordable (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Gerry Brownlee EQC & CERA Minister (National Party). 

See EQC Truths blog. 

See Work kicks off on justice precinct (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Plan for Triangle Centre Shelved (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Brownlee's need for openness in Council finances (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Arrests over armed bar robberies (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Govt cool on new stadium deal (The Press / Stuff Co).

See No tenants left for the CBD (The Press / Stuff Co).

See CERA's recovery milestone reached today with final flat land red zone settlements, 31 January 2014.

See Warning on cost of quake repairs (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Plans unveiled for "affordable" 500k homes (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Quake claimants take the cash (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Priced Out. How NZ lost its housing affordability (Michael Bassett, Luke Malpass). 

Forget smooth perfect roads city told (The Press / Stuff Co).

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Three Years Post Quakes, Christchurch Kitsch Capital & CCDU's Core CBD Slow Rebuild

Sun 15.12.13. 4.28 pm, 3.5 mag quake, 9 km depth, 5 km SE of Christchurch (Geonet). I felt it shaking my lounge sofa while I was relaxing after my Christchurch CBD walk. More than 3 years post 04.09.10 quake we still experienced aftershocks.

Leah would be visiting SA soon for her mom's 80th birthday & as Leah would have my digital camera there, I'd gone on my last quake walk for the year in the CBD. It was a hot summer afternoon & it was evident that CERA & Council had become slack again about public safety. Although many cordon fences were still around abandoned CBD bldgs, some cordon fences were down. Whether that was by wind, or vandals, or thieves I didn't know, but the CBD was a demolition mess, dust everywhere. I'd become complacent too, reasoning that as the bldgs I passed under or walked close to had survived 10 000+ quakes over the last 3 years & hadn't collapsed I'd be safe.

I'd wanted to see sections of Lichfield St & Hereford St which had opened a while ago, but which I hadn't walked yet since the 22.02.11 quake nearly 3 years ago. I'd driven the Lichfield St section a few times, past the part demolished, old bus exchange.

I parked my car on Manchester St by St Lukes Anglican Church demo site & did a circular walk along Kilmore St, Durham St, Oxford Tce, Lichfield St & Manchester St with a detour along Hereford St. Many bldgs had been demolished by CERA in its core CBD. Most bldgs left were abandoned. Commerce was spluttering along in Restart Cashel Mall & tourists & locals wandered Cathedral Sq & New Regent St. Despite CCDU's blueprint 17 months ago, little development was happening in its core CBD.

A few new bldgs were rising from the apocalypse:
- Forte Health, a steel & glass private hospital to be run by doctors with shares in the bldg, Kilmore St.
- An office complex along Durham St Nth, between Armagh St & Gloucester St, opp quake damaged Provincial Council bldg. I counted 5 construction cranes & 2 pile drivers when I passed. Another office bldg rose on Gloucester St / Cambridge Tce cnr.
- The Terrace, foundations were being laid for 4 bldgs, 2 lanes & a court along The Strip demolition sites, Oxford Tce.
-  Triangular, steel & glass edifice, cnr Manchester St, Lichfield St & High St.

Other than that there were no other new bldgs in the CBD streets I passed, an indictment of CERA & CCDU slackness. Over the last 17 months there'd been big talk by CERA / CCDU about all the wonderful things to be built in the CBD, like a Stadium, Convention Centre, permanent Bus Exchange, Metro Sports Zone, Performing Arts Precinct, houses & parkland in N & E Frames, kids' playground in the N Frame by the Centennial Pool, Justice & Emergency Services Precinct, Innovation Precinct a black joke, Health Precinct... but so far not even foundations were laid. Never mind land not yet completely bought / land-grabbed by CCDU for such grand schemes by NZ fascist govt. All those CBD areas were either barren demo sites covered in weeds, or shingle, or were infested with abandoned bldgs ever since the 22.02.11 quake.

CERA's / CCDU's slowness was encouraging a hell of a lot of demo kitsch. In previous posts I'd blogged quite lot of demo kitsch purporting to be art. On Manchester St / Cambridge Tce cnr, by Manchester St Bridge, a tree wrapped in orange tape had attracted the eye of passersby to the demo site for over a year.

Specifically, cnrs Kilmore St & Manchester St: 3 cnrs were demolition sites. St Lukes Anglican Church demolition site had been vacant for over a year with a brick maze in one cnr, based on Chartres Cathedral maze, French religious kitsch. Red poppies bloomed next to the maze.

15.12.13. Poppies & post quake, brick maze, St Lukes demo site, cnr Kilmore St & Manchester St

15.12.13. St Lukes history info board on wooden belfry, St Lukes demo site, Manchester St

On the diag opp cnr, grass grown by CERA last year on demolition sites was weedy, all the way to the PGC demolition site, where 18 people perished in the 22.02.11 quake. SE, I could see all the way across demolition sites & empty streets to repaired / reopened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) & quake trashed, abandoned Christchurch Cathedral, obscured by repaired / reopened Novotel & abandoned Camelot Hotel.

15.12.13. Cnr Kilmore St & Manchester St S view of abandoned bldgs & post quake, repaired / reopened hotels in CCDU's core CBD: Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) left, Novotel right

15.12.13. Cambridge Tce, PGC demo site S view of copper dome on Avon River bank, after demo of Retour Restaurant. Abandoned bldgs & repaired / reopened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) beyond, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Cambridge Tce, PGC demo site S view of back of restored Isaac Theatre Royal left, repaired / reopened Novotel behind, abandoned Christchurch Cathedral middle, abandoned Camelot Hotel right, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Kilmore St SW view of demo sites & abandoned bldgs: Ernst & Young left, Victoria Square apartments right, CCDU's core CBD

W along Kilmore St, I wandered past abandoned Ernst & Young. In the SW distance across demo sites I saw abandoned Forsyth Barr & Victoria Square apartments. I wandered past new build Forte Health to abandoned Town Hall. In the distance beyond Town Hall stood abandoned Fino Cafe & apartments.

15.12.13. Kilmore St SW view of demo sites & abandoned bldgs: Ernst & Young left, Forsyth Barr middle, Victoria Square apartments right, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Kilmore St W view: Abandoned Town Hall left, Forte Health new build right, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Forte Health new build, Kilmore St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Kilmore St / Colombo St crossing W view: Abandoned Town Hall left, abandoned Fino apartments middle right, Venuti restaurant new build right, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Venuti restaurant new build, Colombo St, CCDU's core CBD

Cnrs Kilmore St, Cambridge Tce & Colombo St: Colombo St Bridge was cordon fence, closed for repairs. Abandoned Forsyth Barr loomed above the lot, a blot on the quakescape. A hopeful banner hung from the top of Forsyth Barr with the words:


15.12.13. Closed for repairs Colombo St Bridge S view of CCDU's core CBD: Repaired / reopened Novotel left, abandoned / For Sale Forsyth Barr middle, abandoned Christchurch Cathedral right

New build Venuti restaurant was open for business on Colombo St, with demolition site neighbours.

Kilmore St: Town Hall was cordon fence, closed since the 22.02.11 quake, pending restoration when Council made up its mind whether to restore or not. Green ads on the cordon fence touted the Town Hall & nearby Performing Arts Precinct, in CCDU's blueprint, the future existence of which was moot depending on funds & rebuild of the Town Hall or not. Over the last year there'd been much to-ing & fro-ing by the previous Council & current Council whether to restore the quake damaged Town Hall or not, as opposed to a new Performing Arts Precinct nearby bounded by Colombo St, Armagh St & Gloucester St.

The Green ad stated:


The ad was as pathetic as Council's & CCDU's dithering, duplicating, non-decisions. It was just one example of poor decision making by the retarded Siamese twins - Council & CERA.

15.12.13. Abandoned Town Hall, Kilmore St, CCDU's core CBD

The snag with CCDU's Performing Arts Precinct was that dangerous, abandoned Forsyth Barr highrise loomed over the precinct. During the 22.02.11 quake, concrete stairs collapsed in Forsyth Barr & office workers saved themselves, by lowering themselves out of windows using rope. Forsyth Barr was a blue monstrosity blocking any safe development of the area. If Forsyth Barr was restored you wouldn't catch me ever going in, or attending any nearby theatre, new or not, like restored Isaac Theatre Royal.

Across Kilmore St, beyond the old Convention Centre demolition site, I saw Peterborough Street Library, where Leah & I'd experienced 5 vicious quakes at the start of the Xmas quake swarm 2011, before we got the hell out of the library. Why CCDU & Council wanted to build their white elephant Convention Centre on the abandoned Central Library site, other demo sites & across Gloucester St to Cathedral Sq was beyond me. It just looked like a massive waste of money.

Like other bldgs around Cathedral Sq, the blueprint Convention Centre would dwarf Christchurch Cathedral. CCDU needed to complete its kitschdom & rename Christchurch: Conventionopolis, or Stadiumopolis, or Healthopolis, or Sportsopolis, or Theatreopolis, or Innovationopolis... Take your pick.

The old Convention Centre demo site, opp abandoned Town Hall, looked perfectly alright for a new Convention Centre, not as big & pretentious as the blueprint one. After all, any decent sized hotel (& several had reopened in the CBD) had their own convention rooms, which would compete with CCDU's grand Convention Centre. For Christchurch, pop about 400 000, servicing Canterbury farms, a grand Convention Centre was laughable.

15.12.13. Kilmore St N view of old Convention Centre demo site & post quakes, Central Library Peterborough St, CCDU's core CBD

On the Convention Centre demo site, a post quake, belated board on a lamp pole yelled:


15.12.13. Evacuation sign, old Convention Centre demo site, Kilmore St, CCDU's core CBD

A waste of money as no one had used the trashed Town Hall since the quakes.

15.12.13. Abandoned Fino Cafe, Kilmore St, CCDU's core CBD

Cnr Kilmore St & Durham St Nth: The Crowne Plaza Hotel demo site looked a kitsch mess, stuffed full of Gap Filler temp junk - the Pallett Pavilion; The Arcades, a series of wooden arches; Gap Filler huts; a garishly painted, business container; a red, double-decker, tourist bus. Devoid of tourists, the bus would pass me a couple of times on my walk. It was as kitsch as red buses taking rubberneckers on trips in the red zone CBD under CERA occupation a couple of years ago.

15.12.13. Gap Filler temp projects on Crowne Plaza Hotel demo site, cnr Kilmore St & Durham St Nth. Beyond, Court House left, abandoned Spicers right, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. The Arcades temp project, Crowne Plaza Hotel demo site, cnr Kilmore St & Durham St Nth, CCDU's core CBD. Abandoned Forsyth Barr beyond, a bit of Pallett Pavilion right

15.12.13. Red tourist bus, Crowne Plaza Hotel demo site, cnr Kilmore St & Durham St Nth, CCDU's core CBD. Abandoned Town Hall behind

15.12.13. Pallett Pavilion temp project, Crowne Plaza Hotel demo site, cnr Kilmore St & Durham St Nth, CCDU's core CBD. Court House beyond

15.12.13. Salvation Army demo site view of abandoned / For Sale Forsyth Barr left, abandoned Victoria Square apartments middle, Court House right, Durham St Nth, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Salvation Army demo site view of The Arcades on Crown Plaza Hotel demo site & abandoned Town Hall, CCDU's core CBD

Post quake Christchurch had degenerated into a kitsch hotch-potch, seen all over Christchurch on demo sites & abandoned bldgs, a taggers' paradise.

Unlike CCDU's core CBD, Victoria St opp the Pallett Pavilion was bustling with reopened businesses & 2 new builds, steel & glass of course. I would've thought all those architects & engineering designers would've come up with something more brilliant than boring steel & glass boxes with frilly facades, made of concrete slabs, plastic, wood, or metal. They all looked fit for an Industrial Park, like all those boring bldgs (some quake damaged, esp the concrete slab ones) in the Industrial Park on Sir William Pickering Dr near Christchurch Airport. Architectural & engineering designer kitsch.

15.12.13. Crowne Plaza Hotel demo site N view of new builds on Victoria St

I wandered past Salvation Army demo site, Durham St Nth. Further along, the Methodist Church demo site showed no respect for 3 people who'd died there in the 22.02.11 quake. It was a Council carpark with an Espresso trailer catering for Court House denizens across the road. Commercial kitsch.

15.12.13. Carpark & Espresso trailer on Methodist Church demo site, where 3 people died in the 22.02.11 quake, Durham St Nth, CCDU's core CBD

Landsborough House / URS House & Amuri Courts demo sites behind cordon fencing, between Armagh St crossing & Gloucester St crossing, was full of cranes & 2 pile drivers, Sunday sentinels for a new commercial complex. Across the road, dusty Provincial Council bldg awaited restoration behind cordon fencing. Restoration kitsch.

15.12.13. Office complex new build, Durham St Nth, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Office block new build, cnr Gloucester St & Cambridge Tce, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Provincial Council closed for restoration, Durham St Nth, CCDU's core CBD. Abandoned Rydges Hotel beyond

Did heritage fanatics honestly believe potential millions spent on restoring ruined bldgs like Provincial Council, Christchurch Cathedral, Our City, Arts Centre... that those crappy, old bldgs would withstand the next big quake? After all, Christchurch Cathedral steeple was toppled by quakes ages ago. Victorian & Edwardian idiots had rebuilt the steeple on swampy soil for the steeple to collapse again. Our generation of heritage fanatics hysterically wanted to repeat their mistakes. What a farce! While lawyers rubbed their paws in glee.

Over the last 3 quake years we'd experienced all sorts of mass hysterias: NZ fascist govt hysteria in competition with local govt, trying to control quake aftermaths; Ongoing hysterias amongst inept Council, NZ govt, ratepayers & protests; Mass grieving at 185 deaths, ongoing & mass memorial services; Mass helper hysterias, like Student Army, Farmy Army & self promoting celebs, clerics & commercial visitors; ongoing; Cop, rescue workers & NZDF mass hysterias, with CBD red zone cordoning & checkpoints for 28 months; Ongoing hysteria visits by various cop explosives jaunts & soldier visits, like US Marines visiting red zones, some over the top, some under, in their so-called duties, like threatening to shoot looters; Share & Idea scheme by Council for a new post quake Christchurch; Demo hysteria by civil defence & CERA, ongoing; Red zoning & TC3 green zoning hysterias by CERA & many protests; NZ govt / CERA / CCDU land-grabbing hysteria in the residential red zone & CBD Frame lands; EQC & insurer hysterias & many  protests; Heritage fanatics hysteria & protests; Repairs & rebuilds hysterias, new builds hysteria; Kitsch art & tagging hysterias. Of course media specialized in whipping up the hysterias.

Armagh St Bridge was closed due to a cordon fence across Armagh St by abandoned Victoria Square apartments & CCDU's delays in purchase of land, demolitions & new build of its grand Convention Centre. CERA & CCDU were good at demolitions, delays, land- grabbing & demolishing 1000s of red zone homes & CBD Frame properties for its fascist Crown & big talk, little else. Three years post quakes, due to CERA & CCDU delays, there was very little business going on in its so-called core CBD, little rebuild & next to no new builds.

15.12.13. Amargh St Bridge closed, due to cordoned, abandoned highrises beyond: Victoria Square apartments & Forsyth Barr For Sale, CCDU's core CBD

Another  new build rose on Cambridge Tce / Gloucester St cnr. A yellow kitsch mural with enigmatic black lettering was on a nearby bldg. The lettering was so:


15.12.13. Cambridge Tce view of kitsch mural on tilt slab wall & new build. CCDU's core CBD

Gloucester St Bridge was closed for repairs. That blocked customers for recently restored New Regent St. If CCDU's new Convention Centre was ever built, occupying the Central Library site & some of Gloucester St, it would become a permanent constipation for Gloucester St traffic. Kitsch CCDU style.

Gloucester St: On an abandoned wall was a kitsch mural reflecting Government Life bldg, awaiting demolition, Cathedral Sq Closed for repairs Gloucester St Bridge, SE view of Cathedral Sq bldgs: Repaired / reopened Novotel left; abandoned Government Life middle, with kitsch mural below; abandoned Millennium Hotel right, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Closed for repairs Gloucester St Bridge, NE view of abandoned bldgs in CCDU's core CBD: Victoria Square apartments left; Forsyth Barr For Sale middle, Central Library awaiting demolition for CCDU's Convention Centre

Avon River beside Cambridge Tce: Punters were on the Avon & had frequented that stretch of CBD Avon for months. Edwardian kitsch.

15.12.13. Cambridge Tce upstream view of Avon River punters near Worcester St Bridge, CCDU's core CBD

Worcester St Bridge was open for pedestrians walking to Cathedral Sq desolation. Demo kitsch. Trams trundled over too. Edwardian kitsch.

15.12.13. Worcester St Bridge / Cambridge Tce view of abandoned Central Police & repaired Council bldg, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Tram crossing Cambridge Tce by Worcester St Bridge, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Worcester St Bridge, E view of Cathedral Sq: Steel propped Our City left, abandoned Rydges Hotel beyond left, abandoned Christchurch Cathedral middle, abandoned Millennium Hotel middle right, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Worcester St Bridge, W view of Cambridge Tce crossing & Worcester Blvd, CCDU's core CBD. HSBC Tower left, Harley right

I wandered beside the Avon To Hereford St Bridge. Along the way, E across Clarendon Tower demo site was ruined Christchurch Cathedral, squatting behind cordon fencing, awaiting doom & the ravages of heritage fanatics, wanting to save the kitsch cathedral via court cases galore vs the Anglican diocese wanting to demo the kitsch cathedral. The cathedral cordon fence was black with kitsch floral decorations on it. On the W side of Cathedral Sq, in front of the ruined cathedral, a kitsch Maori whare stood, filled with plants. Post quakes, all sorts of goons jumped on the arts bandwagon with their cultural kitsch. Cambridge Tce view of Cathedral Sq: Clarendon Tower demo site in foreground. Abandoned Rydges Hotel shops & abandoned Government Life left, repaired / reopened Novotel & Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) middle, abandoned Christchurch Cathedral right, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Hereford St Bridge, E view of reopened Ibis Hotel middle left, part demolished BNZ beyond, Hereford St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Oxford Tce, N view of Our City awaiting restoration left, CCDU's core CBD

Hereford St Bridge: An E view to Restart Cashel Mall, shipping container shops on several demo sites - commercial kitsch. The derelict, wooden Shands Emporium, demo kitsch, had been relocated from Hereford St closer to Restart Cashel Mall shipping containers.The Press, Xmas Day reported that a local "nutter" would spend $250 000 to relocate Shands Emporium to Redcliffs & restore it. What a waste of money.

15.12.13. Hereford St Bridge, SE view of demo sites on The Strip, Oxford Tce. Relocated Shands Emporium beyond by Restart Cashel Mall, CCDU's core CBD

Oxford Tce from Hereford St to Lichfield St crossings was either demo sites or abandoned bldgs, like Mad Cow. Along The Strip, The Terrace offices & cafes development along Avon River bank already had foundations laid behind cordon fencing. Boards on the cordon fencing described The Terrace concept for passersby to read. The Bridge of Remembrance was being repaired.

15.12.13. The Terrace new build, Oxford Tce, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. The Terrace foundations, Oxford Tce, Restart Cashel Mall beyond, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Bridge of Remembrance repairs, Oxford Tce, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Oxford Tce, E view down Restart Cashel Mall, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Demo site carpark, Restart Cashel Mall, Oxford Tce, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Abandoned Mad Cow, Oxford Tce, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Abandoned bldg, cnr Oxford Tce & Lichfield St, CCDU's core CBD

Private sector, commercial development in post quake Christchurch was much quicker than slow govt, commercial development in CCDU's core CBD, epitomized by CERA's / CCDU's slow purchasing of land, designing & no anchor project bldgs so far. Private sector Victoria St, Riccarton Rd & Moorhouse Ave were humming with new developments. CCDU's core CBD was stagnant.

Lichfield St: I wandered E past abandoned Omega Rental Cars, past a demo site carpark going to Restart Cashel Mall, past an abandoned carpark garage, past flower tubs by the busy temp Bus Exchange, past post quake Ballantynes Fashion Atrium, past abandoned Rohits Indian restaurant.

15.12.13. Abandoned Omega Rental Cars, Lichfield St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Lichfield St, N view of demo site carpark for Restart Cashel Mall, Hereford St beyond, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Abandoned carpark garage, Lichfield St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Flower tubs, Temp Bus Exchange, Lichfield St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Lichfield St, Temp Bus Exchange view of Ballantynes Fashion Atrium new build, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Lichfield St, E view of abandoned bldgs, incl Rohits Indian restaurant right, CCDU's core CBD

Lichfield St / Colombo St crossing was filled with road cones, fence cordons & a trench down the middle of Colombo St towards the skybridge at The Crossing by Cashel Mall. Skybridge sides were covered with kitsch pics of a blue sky with white clouds. I kid you not.

One cnr of Lichfield St crossing was a weedy demo site, the other 3 cnrs had abandoned bldgs, like R & R Sport & The Frontrunner, with a broken window & a series of silvery, plastic mannequins running beside inner walls of the shop.

Council's idea of high art was to waste money painting kitsch, geometric patterns & flowers on Colombo St & Gloucester St, giving colour to drab demo sites & attracting citizens back to the CBD. Over the last couple of quake years, we'd seen 2 life sized, bronze bull statues on 2 grand pianos, on a Madras St demo site & 2 giant, silver gnomes guarding the closed- for-quake-repairs Art Gallery, Worcester Blvd. There were new murals, graffiti & pavement graffiti by contractors all over town. There was container art covering shipping containers below cliffs on the way to Sumner. What next?

15.12.13. Cnr Colombo St & Lichfield St, N view of post quake Colombo St repair, demolition site & abandoned bldgs. Note kitsch road markings on pedestrian crossing, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Colombo St / Lichfield St crossing, post quake N view of Colombo St repair & kitsch art on skybridge at The Crossing. Abandoned Forsyth Barr behind, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Colombo St / Lichfield St crossing, post quake S view of Colombo St repairs & abandoned bldgs, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Abandoned shops R & R Sport & The Frontrunner, Colombo St / Lichfield St crossing, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Colombo St / Lichfield St crossing view of abandoned The Frontrunner, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Colombo St / Lichfield St crossing, W view of Colombo St repairs & abandoned bldgs, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Quake demo site & abandoned old bus exchange, cnr Colombo St & Lichfield St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Lichfield St / Colombo St crossing, E view of Lichfield St & abandoned bldgs. Abandoned, old bus exchange left, CCDU's core CBD

Lichfield St E to Manchester St: The old pre quakes bus exchange was a part demolished, dusty mess with gaping holes in the walls & twisted reinforcement steel rods awaiting final demo. Who needed tagger kitsch when demo kitsch was all over town? Beyond the part demolished bus exchange was abandoned Lincoln House, surrounded by demo sites.

15.12.13. Part demolished bus exchange, Lichfield St, CCDU's core CBD

As usual when seeing several demo sites for the first time since the 22.02.11 quake, I had a WTF experience with an epiphany when I realized what I was looking at amongst all the demo kitsch:

N across demo sites & empty cordoned streets, I saw across Cashel St to Hotel Grand Chancellor demo site. Beyond were a trio of abandoned bldgs - Malvern House, an apartment block & Broadlands House on desolate Hereford St. Behind them I saw the back of Government Departmental Buildings, now reopened Heritage Hotel. Next door was the Millennium Hotel still closed. Behind Heritage Hotel, repaired / reopened Novotel could be seen. NE repaired / reopened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) loomed above the lot.

15.12.13. Lichfield St N view of demo gap by part demolished bus exchange left. Back sides of abandoned bldgs beyond, around Cathedral Sq. Only Novotel & Heritage Hotel middle left & Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) right beyond were repaired & reopened, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Lichfield St demo site N view of Hereford St & bldgs around Cathedral Sq: part demolished BNZ left, abandoned Millennium Hotel middle, repaired, reopened Novotel & Heritage Hotel right, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Lichfield St demo site, NE view of abandoned Hereford St bldgs: Malvern House middle left, apartments middle, Broadlands House & Mancinis Cafe middle right. Repaired Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) behind left, abandoned Design & Arts College behind right, CCDU's core CBD. The rubble heap was where Grand Chancellor Hotel once stood. The cars were parked on Westpac demo site

15.12.13. Abandoned bldgs, Lichfield St. Part demolished bus exchange left, Lincoln House right, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. New build, triangular office block, cnr Lichfield St / High St / Manchester St, CCDU's core CBD

S across a CERES demo site & cordon fences was a parked CERES crane surrounded by irrigators spraying water to lay asbestos dust, I presumed. Hard on the lungs, as there was no explanatory board nor DANGER signs on the cordon fence. CERA & CERES were becoming bloody slack. To hell with public lungs! Beyond the sprayers was the backside of abandoned, Tuam St Council bldg, covered in a wall of white plastic, to stop dust I presumed. I'd seen several bldgs over quake years covered in white plastic, like kitsch Xmas presents. All they needed were CCDU ribbons with MERRY CHRISTMAS & a happy, "Your lungs suck!"

15.12.13. Lichfield St view of back of abandoned Council bldg covered in white plastic, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Part demolished bldg & abandoned bldg propped by shipping containers, Lichfield St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Triangular shaped new build & shipping container wall propping a facade, Lichfield St. Red tourist bus searching for tourists, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. USAR graffiti, abandoned, cordoned bldg, Lichfield St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Abandoned, cordoned bldg, Lichfield St, CCDU's core CBD

Next to the white, plastic-wrapped Council bldg was a part demolished, brick bldg. The next door facade of another brick bldg was propped up by a 6 layer wall of shipping containers. That area of the still forbidden CBD around Sol Sq specialized in engineer designer kitsch: Four more bldgs in the vicinity had old, brick facades propped up by shipping container walls - one facade on Manchester St, another the Odeon Theatre facade propped up by containers on Tuam St, another facade propped up on High St & another facade propped up, cnr Manchester St & Bedford Row. I wondered when heritage fanatics would raise funds to save all those propped facades? They were already chirping about saving quake damaged, abandoned  Majestic Theatre, cnr Lichfield St & Manchester St & the old Council bldg, Tuam St.

Cnr Lichfield St / High St / Manchester St: A new, triangular, steel & glass bldg similar in mod kitsch design to ironic Forte Health on Kilmore St, the only two recent rebuilds so far in CERA's core CBD. If those steel & glass mediocrities were the kind of bldgs to expect from CERA & CCDU, it was time to leave boring Christchurch. Although CERA minister Brownlee was now demo-kitsching post quake Christchurch as the "Sports Capital of NZ," as he once again wanted to flood Avon River red zones to make a rowers' paradise, it looked like CERA / CCDU was also intent on making Christchurch Kitsch Capital with all that glass.

15.12.13. Cnr Lichfield St / Manchester St / High St, W view of abandoned bldgs & triangular new build, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Cnr Lichfield St & Manchester St, S view of demo sites & abandoned bldgs towards Sol Sq, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Manchester St, SW view of demo sites & abandoned bldgs by Sol Sq, CCDU's core CBD. Odeon Theatre facade propped by shipping containers left, Tuam St, CCDU's S Frame

15.12.13. Manchester St, S view of demo sites, facades propped by shipping containers, CCDU's E & S Frame & abandoned bldgs by Sol Sq, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Cnr Manchester St & High St, E view of demo sites, abandoned bldgs & facade propped by shipping containers, High St, CCDU's E Frame

15.12.13. Cnr Manchester St / Lichfield St / High St, E view towards part demolished Poplar Ln, CCDU's E Frame

15.12.13. Cnr Manchester St & High St, N view of abandoned bldgs on Manchester St: Te Wanaga o Aotearoa left, CCDU's core CBD & Majestic Theatre right, CCDU's E Frame

15.12.13. Abandoned, cordoned Majestic Theatre, cnr Manchester St & Lichfield St, CCDU's E Frame

15.12.13. Triangular new build, cnr Manchester St / Lichfield St / High St, CCDU's core CBD


15.12.13. Manchester St, W view down High St, restored Bonnington House left & abandoned bldgs, CCDU's core CBD

Manchester St was still fucked. It was raped by CCDU cleaving the W side into core CBD & the E side into E Frame. I wandered N past cordoned Bedford Way, its demolition sites & abandoned bldgs. I wandered past all Manchester Street's quake ravaged, demo sites & abandoned bldgs, like Majestic Theatre, Te Wananga o Aotearoa by the nucleus sculpture, Holiday Inn demo site, Kensington House & All Seasons Hotel behind. I wandered past fallen cordon fences by Te Wananga o Aotearoa & Kensington House. There were orange plastic, road barriers & ubiquitous orange road cones, as ubiquitous as rebuild workers in their orange or greeny-yellow viz vests.

15.12.13. Cordoned, abandoned bldgs on Manchester St. Majestic Theatre right, CCDU's E Frame

15.12.13. Facade propped by shipping containers, cnr Manchester St & Bedford Row, CCDU's E Frame

15.12.13. Cordoned Manchester St / Bedford Row junction, E view of demo sites & abandoned bldgs, CCDU's E Frame. Abandoned IR bldg middle

15.12.13. Manchester St, SE view of abandoned bldgs between Bedford Row & Lichfield St, CCDU's E Frame. Abandoned Majestic Theatre behind

15.12.13. Yellow stickered, USAR graffitied, abandoned Te Wananga o Aotearoa, cnr Manchester St & High St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Manchester St, SW view of demo sites like Holiday Inn, Cashel St, & CCDU's core CBD abandoned bldgs

15.12.13. Manchester St, NW view of CCDU's core CBD demo sites & abandoned bldgs like All Seasons Hotel middle. Repaired, reopened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) behind

15.12.13. Manchester St view across demo sites & cordoned Cashel St to abandoned bldgs, like WINZ middle, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Abandoned, cordoned Kensington House side wall stripped off by quake, Manchester St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. USAR graffitied, yellow stickered Kensington House, Manchester St, CCDU's core CBD

On the E side of Manchester St, E Frame bldgs awaited CCDU's purchase / land-grab & road widening, like Shooters, Manchester Courts demo site & Oaks Smartstay Apartments, Cashel St. It was demo kitsch with a sprinkling of revived bldgs in its dirty E Frame desolation - Alice in Videoland, Tuam St; CI Cafe, High St; Les Mills Gym, Cashel St & Calendar Girls, Hereford St, awaiting CERA's axe.

15.12.13. Manchester St view of Cashel St abandoned bldgs, CCDU's E Frame: Shooters left, Oaks Smartstay Apartments behind

15.12.13. Manchester St view of demo sites & abandoned bldgs along Cashel St, CCDU's E Frame. Oaks Smartstay Apartments left

15.12.13. Abandoned Shooters, Manchester St, CCDU's E Frame. Oaks Smartstay Apartments behind

15.12.13. Abandoned bldgs, Manchester St, CCDU's E Frame

Cordoned demo sites went all the way E, along Lichfield St, past ruined High St & flattened Poplar Ln, to Madras St & beyond where CERA / NZ govt wanted to impose a stadium beyond CCDU's E Frame, the height of demo kitsch, on long suffering ratepayers.

Not to be outdone by CERA in demo kitsch the Anglican diocese had erected its temp Cardboard Cathedral, free Jap kitsch, Jap architect Ban, on its St Johns demo site by Latimer Sq, just outside CCDU's E Frame, but close to its kitsch stadium site. I wondered if Ban would offer his free services to CCDU, to design a Cardboard Stadium? After all, kitsch had to be consistent. Right CCDU, CERA & NZ fascist govt?

At Hereford St crossing, I detoured W to look at demo sites & abandoned bldgs I'd not seen closeup since the 22.02.11 quake.

Manchester St / Hereford St cnrs: Desolate demo site on 3 cnrs, incl Bradley Nuttal House & Torrens House on NE cnr

15.12.13. Demo sites, incl Bradley Nuttal House & Torrens House, NE cnr Manchester St & Hereford St, CCDU's E Frame

15.12.13. SE cnr Manchester St & Hereford St, E view of demo sites & abandoned bldgs, CCDU's E Frame. Reopened Calendar Girls left. A bit of Cardboard Cathedral beyond

Hereford St: There were demo sites both side of the street, lined by ghost bldgs. I looked S across the Hotel Grand Chancellor demo site to wasteland Cashel St & High St to the triangular steel & glass rebuild, restored Bonnington House & abandoned bldgs like WINZ & beyond, once again to part demolished, old Bus Exchange, Lichfield St & plastic wrapped, old Council bldg, Tuam St. Another demo site had a parked digger next to an almost demolished bldg by 2 yellow skips. Demo rubble was either crushed on site for rebuild foundations, or stored in skips, or vomited straight into trucks for dumping at Burwood dump, Bottle Lake Forest Park.

15.12.13. Hotel Grand Chancellor, demo site S view across wasteland Cashel St & High St to restored Bonnington House middle left & abandoned bldgs, CCDU's core CBD. Abandoned All Seasons Hotel left

15.12.13. Hotel Grand Chancellor, demo site S view of triangular steel & glass rebuild & restored Bonnington House, High St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Hotel Grand Chancellor, demo site S view of restored Bonnington House left, abandoned WINZ middle & more abandoned bldgs, High St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Hereford St & Hotel Grand Chancellor demo site, SW view across wasteland Cashel St, High St & Lichfield St demo sites & abandoned bldgs to abandoned Tuam St Council bldg, covered in white plastic, middle right & part demolished, old bus exchange right, Lichfield St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Hereford St, SE view across Hotel Grand Chancellor demo site to abandoned All Seasons Hotel left & High St rebuild & restored bldgs, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Demolition in progress, Hereford St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Hereford St, SW view across demo sites to High St & Cashel St abandoned bldgs, CCDU's core CBD

N, I had a close look at an abandoned, cordoned, cnr Chinese Restaurant & Bistro & abandoned, cordoned Mancini's, steel & concrete block propped, black plastic flapping in the wind at roof height. Across a cordoned lane 3 abandoned bldgs were wedged together - Broadlands House, abandoned apartments with powder blue outer walls & Malvern House, all with quake broken windows & rubbished by quakes. A big demo site with loose excavator buckets, demo rubble & parked digger gave a similar view to what I'd seen way back in Lichfield St. Reopened or still closed hotels had Christchurch Cathedral apse sandwiched between hotels.

15.12.13. Abandoned bldgs in CCDU's core CBD, cnr Manchester St & Hereford St. Repaired / reopened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) behind

15.12.13. Abandoned Chinese Restaurant & Bistro, cnr Manchester St & Hereford St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Hereford St N view of demo site & abandoned bldgs: Mancini's left, Design & Art College behind, CCDU's core CBD 

15.12.13. Hereford St NW view of demo sites & abandoned bldgs in CCDU's core CBD: Millennium Hotel left, Malvern House & apartments middle, Broadlands House right

15.12.13. Hereford St NW view of demo sites & abandoned bldgs in CCDU's core CBD: Millennium Hotel left; Malvern House, apartments & Broadlands House middle; Mancini's right

15.12.13. Abandoned Mancini's, 167 Hereford St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Abandoned Broadlands House left; abandoned, concrete & steel propped Mancini's right, Hereford St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Abandoned Broadlands House entrance, Hereford St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Abandoned apartments entrance, Hereford St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Abandoned Malvern House entrance, Hereford St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Quake trashed office, Malvern House, Hereford St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Hereford St N view of demo site, abandoned Millennium Hotel & Christchurch Cathedral apse left, repaired / reopened Heritage Hotel right, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Hereford St N view of demo site, abandoned Millennium Hotel left, repaired / reopened Novotel middle, repaired / reopened Heritage Hotel right, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Hereford St NE view of demo site, repaired / reopened Heritage Hotel left, repaired / reopened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) behind abandoned Malvern House & apartments right, CCDU's core CBD

Although Avonmore Tertiary College was opened months ago on Hereford St, it was dusty & bordered by demo sites, abandoned bldgs & a cordon fence across the street. How the hell they did business God only knew? We were all quite used to CBD cordon fencing.

That was the challenge of any business brave enough to reopen in CCDU's core CBD - surrounded by dust, demo sites, abandoned bldgs & grinding, thumping machines. Some examples - Avonmore; Restart Cashel Mall, temp shipping container shops; Ibis Hotel; Novotel; Rendezvous Hotel (Pacific Tower); Heritage Hotel; New Regent St shops; The Press rebuild; Cathedral Junction shops.

There were also shops beyond CCDU's core CBD, mostly in CCDU's E Frame, struggling to do business, surrounded by demo wastelands & abandoned bldgs, like Westende House; Calendar Girls; Les Mills Gym; Alice in Videoland; C1 Cafe; NG Gallery.

The only organization bustling with activity was the Anglican Cardboard Cathedral by Latimer Sq, on  CCDU's E Frame fringe.

Hot air regularly expelled by authorities like Council, CCDU & Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce needed to be converted to action in the form of new shops, rebuilds & new builds & encouragement of building owners' reopenings of abandoned bldgs. Otherwise Christchurch zombie CBD would be a spectral monument to said authorities' ineptitude.

While I wandered Hereford St looking at asbestos polluted, part demolished BNZ bank by Colombo St crossing, 3 young women wandered by, one pushing a pram. Infant asbestosis or silicosis imminent.

15.12.13. W view down cordoned Hereford St: Reopened Avonmore College left, part demolished BNZ middle right, reopened Ibis Hotel beyond, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Reopened Avonmore College, cordoned Hereford St, CCDU's core CBD

Back on Manchester St, I wandered back to my car, past vast demo sites both sides of the road. By Worcester St crossing, on the SW cnr was fence cordoned, boarded, steel braced Trinity Church / Octagon Restaurant. Any demo kitsch buyer out there?

15.12.13. Manchester St W view of abandoned Chinese Restaurant & Bistro left, abandoned Mancini's middle, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Manchester St SW view of abandoned bldgs: Mancini's left, apartments middle, Malvern House right, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Abandoned Design & Arts College left, abandoned Trinity Church / Octagon Restaurant right, repaired / reopened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) behind, Manchester St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Boarded, steel braced & abandoned Trinity Church / Octagon Restaurant, Manchester St, CCDU's core CBD

Across the road was Westende House new build, scene of collapsed Westende Jeweller, Ground Zero in the 04.09.10 quake. Slighted that someone had had the temerity to new build Westende House, before CERA's tyranny, CERA / CCDU during its blueprint orgasm, had threatened to demo new Westende House for CERA's Manchester St widening & E Frame fantasies.

15.12.13. Westende House new build, Ground Zero 04.09.10 quake, where Westende Jeweller once stood, cnr Manchester St & Worcester St, CCDU's E Frame

Both sides of Manchester St, between Worcester St & Gloucester St, had dusty demo sites going to Latimer Sq. Cathedral Junction had recently opened with slow trading. A big CJ logo was high on the wall Manchester St side. Months ago, at the bottom of the CJ wall, a nitwit had splashed orange paint, kitsch art. Other idiots called it street art, as opposed to tagging.

15.12.13. Manchester St NW view of kitsch mural on repaired / reopened Cathedral Junction. Repaired / reopened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) behind, CCDU's core CBD

I detoured briefly up Gloucester St to New Regent St, confirming my belief it would become a kitsch tourist trap. Yep Asian tourists happy snapped there. The Wizard's kitsch, red VW Beetle was parked on New Regent St. It had 2 fronts of 2 VW Beetles welded together, 2 steering wheels, 2 bonnets, 4 doors, symbolic of the Janus nature of post quake Christchurch.

15.12.13. Gloucester St NW view of shipping container wall supporting Isaac Theatre Royal restoration left, repaired / reopened New Regent St middle, abandoned Forsyth Barr behind, CCDU's core CBD 

15.12.13. Repaired / reopened Cathedral Junction, Gloucester St, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. The Wizard's kitsch VW Beetle parked on repaired / reopened New Regent St, CCDU's core CBD

On a neighbouring demo site was a kitsch demo mural with a poem by Lorca, memorial to a quake killed Spaniard. People from many lands died in the 22.02.11 quake. More mural poems for different nationals killed in the quake were pending. On the dusty demo site locals flogged kitsch on tables. The kitsch bike fixing shack was closed.

15.12.13. Gloucester St demo site kitsch, behind New Regent St: Rotary tyre / weed pot; mini golf; kitsch wares for sale; kitsch bike repair hut; kitsch mural with Lorca poem, CCDU's core CBD

Cnr Gloucester St & Manchester St: More demo kitsch, a dark mural of Christchurch Cathedral & The Wizard in black garb flailing his arms on a dark & stormy night (I kid you not) & a lady in black garb in the right cnr. Demo kitsch yeah. Artists were recently encouraged to cover demo walls with graffiti art. The real reason was to cover ghastly tilt slab, concrete walls, new blots on the CBD.

15.12.13. Kitsch mural right, Gloucester St demo site, abandoned Sampan House left, repaired / reopened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) middle, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. Empty tourist bus & kitsch road markings, Gloucester St. Repaired / reopened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) behind, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. "Cleaned" demo site, cnr Manchester St & Gloucester St, CCDU's core CBD

Council had got into the kitsch stuff too. Gaudy flowers were painted on some CBD pavements & garish green stripes were painted on Colombo St & Gloucester St roadsides. If that wasn't enough kitsch, garish planter tubs were placed on some roadsides. Metal flower tubs too. Rotary placed orange painted tyres as flower pots on some demo sites. They mostly ended up surrounded by weeds. Greening the Rubble bods tried tarting up some demo sites with pot plants, but were unsuccessful. The overall effect of attempts to make silk purses out of demo sows ears was a dusty, weedy, junky mess.

Cnr Gloucester St & Manchester St: On a dirty demo site, a cordon fence sign stated:


15.12.13. Manchester St Bridge view of quake broken, Avon River bank wall, demolished Retour Restaurant dome, abandoned Ernst & Young behind, CCDU's core CBD

I wandered back to my car along Manchester St past demolished Retour Restaurant. Its copper dome had stood on Avon River bank for months. Beyond was abandoned Ernst & Young on Cambridge Tce.

15.12.13. Manchester St W view of demo sites & abandoned Ernst & Young left, Forte Health new build right, CCDU's core CBD

I wandered dry grass by the PGC demo site & looked S across Avon River at the CBD's post quake skyline. There were few highrises left: restored Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel);  glassy The Press new build; restored Novotel; abandoned Forsyth Barr. Abandoned Christchurch Cathedral could be seen below Novotel.

From all viewpoints on my circular walk around CCDUs' core CBD, abandoned Christchurch Cathedral was insignificant. Despite demolitions of some surrounding bldgs, Christchurch Cathedral was still zombie-dwarfed by modern bldgs. So all the angst, protests & wasteful court cases by heritage fanatics were piss in the north west wind.

15.12.13. 18 people died when PGC collapsed in the 22.02.11 quake. PGC demo site S view of CCDU's core CBD & post quake skyline: Repaired / reopened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) left, The Press rebuild middle left, repaired / reopened Novotel middle right, abandoned Christchurch Cathedral right

15.12.13. PGC demo site S view of repaired / reopened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) left, repaired / reopened New Regent St middle, The Press rebuild right, CCDU's core CBD

15.12.13. PGC demo site S view of repaired / reopened New Regent St left, The Press rebuild middle left,  repaired / reopened Novotel middle right, abandoned Christchurch Cathedral right, CCDU's core CBD

Jan 2014. More graffiti: Symbols on pavements, spray-painted by contractors sorting infrastructure - many lines, arrows, numbers (many with decimal points) words & letters, incl W, H2O, PWR, PW, P, POD, LV, 11KV, S, SW, T/C, Telecom, TC, ENTER, END. A common symbol was a circle with a line through it. Others were white, right angles forming a rectangle, or yellow, parallel, dotted lines signifying areas of asphalt to be cut.

Over the last few weeks on my morning newspaper walks, I'd wandered a section of Glandovey Rd between Idris Rd traffic circle & Memorial Ave. Pavements & roadsides were full of contractor symbols beside Ditch Witch drills, concrete cutters, mini diggers & a host of orange viz vested workmen. I counted 8 spray-painted, symbol colours signifying different underground pipes, cables & areas to be excavated - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, white, while dodging road cones & pavement boards ordering me to use the footpath on the other side of the road.

One morning, contractors had closed both pavements, barricaded by cones & sign boards & when I crossed the road & looked at the Traffic Management bloke he shook his hard-hatted head in exasperation & embarrassment at all the contractors & traffic activity around him. By the next day he's sorted out pedestrian safety & traffic cones, with one pavement safe for pedestrians the other banned. Glandovey Rd wasn't the only graffiti polluted & contractor clogged road I wandered.

Lettering was inconsistent depending on which contractor did what job? In addition to some of the above spray- painted lines, numbers, colours, words & letters, on Garreg Rd & Ilam Rd I saw E/E with associated direction triangle, SWE, G, XS. Also TELSTRA, London St; GAS, Bealey Ave; CHORUS FIBRE, JOINT, B, each circled, Papanui Rd, Harewood Rd;  DROP, WASTE WATER, WASTE H20, Greers Rd... That sort of graffiti was found all over Christchurch where road & pavement excavations progressed. 

Many SCIRT & Council excavations had warning boards about worker safety behind cordons - Slow Down, 30 km speed limit, etc, but few warnings about driver, cyclist & pedestrian safety. 

There was a graffiti / symbol research thesis for a varsity student. I'd already had 2 Masters degree students & a UC lecturer using some of my blog pics for their sapiential authority. Never mind taggers, contractors were competing with symbols.

10.01.14. 3.33 pm, 4.2 mag quake, 9 km depth, 20 km W of Christchurch (Geonet). Jiggeled my pc monitor while I edited a blog post & thumped my chair like a kick up the arse.

On Greers Rd pavement near my Burnside home, I found the following Achtung letter from SCIRT / City Care, dated 16.01.14:


We are working on the video inspection (CCTV) of the wastewater and / or stormwater pipes in your area. This inspection is to determine the extent of repairs required to the pipes as a result of the earthquakes.

We expect to be in your area from the 16th January to 20th January 2014.

Some of this inspection work needs to be carried out at night. There may be noise from the pipe cleaning trucks and flashing lights associated with this work.

We appreciate this work may cause some disturbance to you. We apologize for this and request your patience while we undertake this essential work.

This work is being undertaken by PipeWorks with the work being managed by a City Care representative... Please contact... if you have any questions in relation to these works.

Thank you, 

City Care CCTV

"Disturbance" was CERA understatement of the year, as citizens who'd had such inspections complained about back-blasts of explosive shit in their toilets & bathrooms during such inspections. SCIRT / CERA took its time 3 years post 22.02.11 quake, as plumbers had recommended such inspections soon post 04.09.10 quake.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont

See Christchurch of the future (The Press / Stuff Co).

See CERA archive pic of Amuri Courts.

See Mural poem honours quake victim (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Arts infusion adds SPARK (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Restart retailers in dark on leases (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Haste urged on citys performing arts precinct (The Press / Stuff Co).

See $217m metro sport facility launched (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Artist resurrects red zone houses (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Opportunity springs from disaster (The Press / Stuff Co). 

See Charming nutter saves Shands Emporium (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Rebirth built on loyalty to home (The Press / Stuff Co). 

See Business reflects on Canty in 2013 (The Press / Stuff Co).