Monday, August 29, 2011

Christchurch, CBD Red Zone, Hi Vis Vest Fools

Sat 28.08.11. Over 6 months post deadly Feb 22 quake & nearly a year post Sept 4 quake, CBD occupier CERA relaxed its claws & opened a little niche of Christchurch CBD red zone to the public, trumpeted by the media. The niche was from Oxford Tce & eastwards along little bits of Lichfield St & Tuam St to cordon fences near Colombo St.

5 images, Oxford Tce:

30.08.11. Quake cracked pavement by sewage polluted Avon River, Oxford Tce, post June 13 quake

30.08.11. Quake damaged, fence cordoned, medical bldg, Oxford Tce, post June 13 quake. The bldg was demolished

Over the past months, post Feb 22 quake, other red zone, CBD niches had slowly opened too. But public were still banned red zone access, public safety & guarding property excuses, guarded by cops & NZDF soldiers at variable cordon checkpoints, although the national state of emergency was long gone.

30.08.11. Orange digger, quake demolition site, Oxford Tce, post June 13 quake

CERA guarded the red zone & opened it little by little, after demolitions. It didn't need much brains nor time to demolish quake broken bldgs. Why did it take so long for CERA demolishers to open the CBD red zone niche between Lichfield St & Tuam Street?

30.08.11. Quake damaged pavement by sewage polluted Avon River, Oxford Tce, post June 13 quake

30.08.11. Oxford Tce view of Cambridge Tce, quake damaged bldg, post June 13 quake

Tue 30.08.11. I parked my car near Christchurch Hospital & walked to the red zone niche, snapping quakescapes along sewage polluted Avon River, Oxford Tce.

Lichfield St, red zone was empty with silent, USAR / TF graffitied bldgs, fence & shipping container cordons. A fence cordon sign read:


Beyond a parking garage, behind Lichfield St fence cordon, an orange digger demolished a bldg in clouds of dust. I tied my scarf round my mouth & nose, fearing asbestos pollution.

20 images, Lichfield St:

30.08.11. Recently opened CBD red zone niche, Lichfield St, post June 13 quake

30.08.11. Quake damaged, fence cordoned, USAR / TF graffitied bldg, red zone, Lichfield St, post June 13 quake

Between Lichfield St & Tuam St, behind a fence cordon, 2 more orange diggers were parked on empty demolition sites. Post quakes, about half of Christchurch CBD bldgs would be demolished.

30.08.11. Demolition of quake trashed bldg, Lichfield St red zone, post June 13 quake

At the side of Lichfied St fence cordon, I wandered through a fence opening into a car park, by recently opened business bldgs. I snapped more pics of the demolition & empty demolition sites between Lichfeld St & Tuam St to Colombo St.

30.08.11. Lichfield St view of quake damaged high rises: Hotel Grand Chancellor left, Westpac middle, Holiday Inn right, red zone, Christchurch CBD, post June 13 quake. The 3 high rises were demolished

Post quake scenes: Backdrop, quake ruined bldgs - Hotel Grand Chancellor; Westpac; Holiday Inn (all demolished) Colombo St shops; old Council bldg, Tuam St, which would be demolished for the new, permanent bus exchange.

30.08.11. Post quake demolition sites, west side Colombo St, post June 13 quake. Back drop: east side, old Colombo St shops & old Council bldg. Shops & Council bldg were demolished

Tues 30.08.11. Sanitized, fence cordoned, CBD red zone niche: Lichfield St, Colombo St, Tuam St.

Demolishers had sanitized quake destruction, leaving Colombo St a clean movie set, players all wearing orange, Hi Vis vests. Colombo St east side, seedy, old bldgs still stood, quake broken bldgs too, awaiting demolition.

Little men in hard hats & orange, Hi Vis vests wandered empty demolition sites behind the cordon fence: staring at ruins; taking snaps; nattering in groups; hanging around in a crane box; wandering a deserted parking garage, 4th floor; an orange digger demolishing in clouds of dust. I counted 2 orange diggers, 2 orange cranes & 1 white crane behind a cordon fence. Only 1 orange digger was doing any work. What  waste of time & money.

30.08.11. Orange digger, post quake demolition of quake trashed bldg, Lichfield St red zone, post June 13 quake

30.08.11. Two orange diggers, 2 orange cranes, 1white crane, post quake demolition sites & quake damaged parking garage, Lichfield St red zone, post June 13 quake

30.08.11. Post quake demolition sites & Colombo St east side, quake damaged bldgs, post June 13 quake. Old Council bldg back drop. East side shops & Council bldg were were demolished

While I snapped quakescapes by a cordon fence, a chinless, buck-toothed lady in orange, Hi Vis vest, sans hard hat & wearing joggers, pointed at my jandals & twice barked, "This is not a public area!"

"You're talking nonsense!" I said, twice. "Where's your hard hat & hard cap boots?" I said, twice. She shut up & left.

Why Hi Vis vested Fools wanted to boss public around post quakes was beyond me?

30.08.11. Business car park view of post quake demolition sites & Colombo St east side bldgs still standing, awaiting demolition, post June 13 quake. Back drop: Quake damaged Holiday Inn left & old Council bldg right. Both bldgs were demolished

Her fence cordoned car park was behind empty demolition sites (soon to be the new, temp Bus Exchange) & other fence cordons closer to Colombo St. Both ends of her fenced patch were open, with no official, access restriction notices from Lichfield St side, nor Tuam St side. Her car park had a couple of skips filled with quake rubbish. Cardboard boxes & blue pallets were strewn by the cordon fence.

30.08.11. Tuam St view of post quake demolition sites (soon to be the new, temp Bus Exchange) & parking garage. Central Police bldg behind left (imploded 31.05.15) New Council bldg behind

24 images, Tuam St:

30.08.11. Quake survivor, Council bldg, to become Tuam Library in 2012
I wandered closer to Tuam St fence cordon, snapping quake damages, with silent, orange, Hi Vis vested men behind the cordon fence. A person was killed in the Feb 22 quake by Tuam St / Colombo St cnr.

Southwards down Colombo St, 15 people were killed by the Feb 22 quake, old bldg bricks falling on 7 killed pedestrians & 8 people killed in the 702 red bus.

I still got angry, questioning why those lethal old, brick bldgs weren't condemned & demolished post Sept 4 quake? Dithering authorities, hounded by heritage fanatics, had more than enough time to demolish unreinforced, old, brick bldgs, as aftershock warnings continued between Sept 4 & Feb 22 quakes.

Bldgs in the red zone niche still had USAR / TF graffiti on closed, shop windows & doors, Lichfield St & Tuam St. Behind the cordon fence, a bldg's first floor, red cnr was nylon strapped against aftershocks. I snapped more quake closed shops in Tuam St, decorated with USAR / TF graffiti.

30.08.11. Nylon strapped, quake damaged bldg, Tuam St red zone, post June 13 quake

30.08.11. Tuam St, fence cordoned, red zone, post June 13 quake. Old Council bldg left, later demolished, to make way for the new bus exchange

30.08.11. Cnr Tuam St / Colombo St, post June 13 quake: 8 people were killed in the 702 red bus, masonry falling from old, unreinforced bldgs nr Mollett St junction

30.08.11. Cnr Tuam St / Colombo St, post June 13 quake. The orange, Hi Vis vested man faced where someone was killed in the Feb 22 quake. Old Council bldg, Tuam St beyond was demolished to enable the new bus exchange

30.08.11. Tuam St cordon view of quake damaged, CBD, red zone bldgs, Colombo St & beyond, post June 13 quake

30.08.11. Former CBD red zone, Tuam St business, post June 13 quake. Cordon closed for 6 months post Feb 22 quake

Tuam St: Through Lighthouse shop windows, I snapped broken lamps & chandeliers, 6 months post Feb 22 quake. Although USAR / TF graffiti marked C - Clear no bodies, post Feb 22 quake, Tuam St niche shops were stone dead.

30.08.11. Quake damaged, Lighthouse shop, Tuam St, closed for 6 months post Feb 22 quake, in CBD, fence cordoned, red zone

I returned to my car, past an orange digger loaded on a truck, ready for another post quake demolition, past quake closed Antigua Boat Sheds, by sewage polluted Avon River, past quake damaged, Christchurch Hospital.

How long would CERA take to open more CBD niches in the red zone? How many more Hi Vis vested Fools would order public around? National govt declared States of Emergencies had enabled cops, soldiers & Hi Vis vested Fools to order citizens around, causing an "us & them" toxic ethos.

Mar 2013. More than 2 years post 22.02.11 quake, Christchurch CBD was still red zoned, CERA occupied / NZDF cordoned, citizens banned. When I lived in apartheid SA, cops, soldiers & NO GO areas symbolized SA's fascist state. Post quake Christchurch too was symbolized by cops, NZDF soldiers, Hi Vis vested Fools, NO GO areas & fascist CERA.

30.08.11. Green portaloo, cnr Tuam St / Durham St Sth, former red zone, post June 13 quake

30.08.11. Orange digger on truck, ready for another post quake demolition, Tuam St, post June 13 quake

*Wandered Oxford Tce, Lichfield St, Tuam St.

Wed 31.08.11. Aftershocks while I worked on blog pics:

1.15 pm, mag 4.00, depth 5 km, within 5 km of Lyttelton.

1.30 pm, mag 4.7, depth 11 km, 20 km SW of Christchurch. Jolted & rumbled our house while I uploaded pics.

2.26 pm. mag 3.4, depth 12 km, 20 km SW of Christchurch. (GeoNet).

31.08.11. Christchurch Mail: "As of yesterday, we have had a staggering 2 684 aftershocks of magnitude 3.0 or higher batter our region."

Regarding insurance: "The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has received more than 388 000 claims for the Canterbury earthquakes, since September last year...

The Canterbury and Christchurch earthquakes are likely to rank globally as the fourth most costly for insurers since 1970 - after Northbridge, California, in 1994, the 9.0 [mag] earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan in March this year, and Kobe, Japan in 1995."


Fri 02.09.11. 3.29 am, mag 4.9, depth 6 km, 10 km E of Lyttelton. (GeoNet).

Sat 03.09.11. Weekend Press. EQC's incompetence since the 04.09.10 quake a year ago:


All events include aftershocks.

No of claims 383 501
Open 324 336
Closed 59 165
Total paid to date $1 321 980 700"

After 1 year, EQC's successfully closed pay outs, just 15%. NZ National govt said EQC's liability to quakes had increased by $4 billion to about $7 billion.

Sun 04.09.11. Sunny spring afternoon. Anniversary of the 04.09.10 quake. City circuit drive, CBD & eastern suburbs.

Rolleston Ave, CBD sanitized zone. Busy scene, citizens & tourists viewing outside photo-poster exhibition, on the pavement by Christ's College & Canterbury Museum. Drawing people back into the CBD. Citizens & tourists strolled along Worcester Blvd past quake damaged Arts Centre.

Cnr Hereford St / Cambridge Tce, CBD sanitized zone, by quake trashed, old, brick Library Chambers, fence cordoned, awaiting demolition.

Cambridge Tce, CBD sanitized zone. Citizens, tourists, rubberneckers viewed closed, red zone CBD, across sewage polluted Avon River: dead, empty, cordoned, red zone restaurants, high rises, streets. Lively Bridge of Remembrance, fence cordoned across middle, pulsed with rubberneckers & cameras. Dead, empty, cordoned Cashel Mall & associated demolition sites.

New normal, post quake scene: South Library, Colombo St. Citizens enjoyed coffee, reading books, magazines, newspapers, selecting books & DVDs. Citizens watched plasma screen TV & worked on computers. South Library was more crowded due to Central Library quake closure & closures of many other Council libraries.

Later on, South Library, south wall was steel braced, but stayed open for the public. Pre quakes, it was built too close to Heathcote River & needed post quake strengthening.

New normal, E suburbs: I drove past Bromley sewage ponds / sewage works, undergoing post quake repairs.

I drove along Estuary Rd, South New Brighton, passing many orange, plastic, road cones, due to pipe excavations in road. (Switch to night view of New Brighton Pier, purple lit along pier length. Bar boozers at seaside bars. Bowhill Rd... Bower Ave... New Brighton Rd... still lethally pot holed & bumpy.)

I drove along Breezes Rd & Wainoni Rd, quake scabby roads, due to post quake, patch repairs. Quake damages / repairs to houses.

Quake damaged east suburbs, unchanged over the last few months, post Feb 22 quake. Bumpy, shingled Avonside Dr by Porritt Park. Shingle stop bank. Quake trashed, unsanitized, red zone houses. Dry, grey, liquefaction silt dust.

I drove along bumpy, shingled Kerrs Rd detour, past fence cordoned Avonside Dr by Kerrs Reach / sewage polluted Avon River. Quake trashed, unsanitized houses. Dry, grey, liquefaction silt dust.

I drove the bumpy detour along Torlesse St to Avonside Dr. Some post quake, shingle repairs to Torlesse St. Dry, grey, liquefaction silt dust.

I drove along shingled, bumpy, red zoned Avonside Dr to Avonside Girls HS, by sewage polluted Avon River. Shingle stop bank. Desolation, quake trashed road, trashed pavements, trashed red zone houses, cracked, all angles & states of quake wreckage. Some houses staunch, lived in, bits of mowed grass. Most Avonside Dr houses, abandoned, unsanitized, gardens overgrown. Dry, grey, liquefaction silt dust.

I looked at views, across shitty Avon River, to River Rd abandoned houses, unchanged desolation for months. Dry, grey, liquefaction silt dust.

Stanmore Rd. Borderland between E, quake trashed, suburbs; red zone CBD & clean, W suburbs.

Richmond Working Mens Club demolition side wall, tidied with black plastic, after weeks of demolition, cnr Stanmore Rd / London St.

Cnr London St / Fitzgerald Ave. Blue National election fence poster of grinning, PM Key & election slogan: BUILDING A BRIGHTER FUTURE. Ha!

Sun 04.09.11. Evening, anniversary of 04.09.10 quake.

TV1 news. Minister of Earthquake Recovery, Brownlee sat on a white, plastic chair in the red zone, fence cordon, viewing sanitized Lichfield St, Colombo St & Tuam St. Brownlee wore his red CERA jacket & apologized to red zoners for his gaffe about payments for home improvements.

Tardy insurers & incompetent EQC needed ass kicking by Brownlee, who would do lots of public apologizing for CERA's zoning delays over the next few years. What a farce. 

TV1 news, evening. Male news reader, dressed in undertaker black suit, jabbered by quake ruined Christ Church Cathedral.

Cut to dog-collared, Christchurch Cathedral dean, jabbering inanities, like his post quake TV ads. (The dean soon resigned & became a councillor, briefly).

Cut to Christchurch Cathedral choirboys in red cassocks, in CBD red zone. They sang by quake ruined Christ Church Cathedral at night. A solo was sung by a curly, red haired boy. Choirboys also wore orange, Hi Vis vests & plastic hard hats. Red back-lighting shone on Christ Church Cathedral quake rubble. A little blonde girl, sucking her cheeks in, wore a plastic, hard hat & yellow, Hi Vis vest, & switched on white (actually blue) lights of hope, two blue, light columns gyrating in the night sky above quake trashed Christ Church Cathedral, till Feb 23.

In the 1930's, Nazi architect Speer did Cathedral of Light columns in the night sky for Hitler's Nuremberg Rally.

What was Brownlee thinking?

Sun 04.09.11. 7.41 pm, mag 4.4, depth 7 km, 20 km W of Christchurch (GeoNet). Disturbed our Fathers Day supper.

Early Mon morn, 05.09.11. Starry night sky, spoilt by blue light columns gyrating above, like fascist search lights.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.


See Building a Brighter Future, NZ National party

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