Saturday, August 27, 2011

Containerized Sumner, DANGER ROCK FALL HAZARD, Post June 13 Quake

In 1995-96, we'd lived our first NZ winter, spring & summer in Denman St, Sumner, before moving to Halswell. Sumner: warm, north facing, Port Hills valley, facing the Pacific, 2 sides of the valley flanked by Richmond Hill bluffs one side & Scarborough bluffs other side, Evans Pass winding its way to Lyttelton up the back of Sumner valley.

I'd already seen rock fall damage to Sumner RSA bldgs & quake damage to Sumner Borough Council bldg, Ruptured Duck restaurant & Croquet Club, Wakefield Ave. It was time for a closer look at Sumner ROCK FALL HAZARD, post deadly Feb 22 quake & two months post June 13 quake.

Images, quake damaged Nayland St & Marriner St:


27.08.11. Scarborough view of Sumner rock fall hazard, post June 13 quake. See shipping containers & Anglican Church along Wakefield Ave below cliffs. Clifton beyond

Sat 27.08.11. I parked my car on Nayland St below the sea cliff, newly blasted rock dust blowing off the fresh cliff face. Sumner looked bomb blasted. Cliff rock falls were contained by shipping containers below Sumner cliff. Sumner Borough Council / Community bldg was gone, a demolition site, opposite the fish & chip shop. Another small demolition site was nearby. Ruptured Duck restaurant was gone, a demolition site. Another demolition site by the library.


27.08.11. Sumner Borough Council / Community bldg, demolition site, cnr Nayland St / Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Shipping container cordon, catching quake rock fall below cliff, Nayland St, post June 13 quake

I did a short circuit walk along Nayland St, Marriner St & Wakefield Ave, taking in quake damaged housing along the way. Round the corner, shipping containers blocked Nayland St, protecting housing from Clifton rock falls. Sensible home owners had installed mine roof bolts & steel mesh above garages & new flats. No rock falls there. Old stone steps above a pavement were quake cracked, a bench & stone shelter danger taped.


27.08.11. Quake damaged garages, Nayland St, post June 13 quake. Mining roof bolts & steel mesh held left side of cliff intact during quakes


27.08.11. Shipping containers protecting Nayland St housing from rock fall hazard, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Quake cracked garden steps, Nayland St, post June 13 quake

Corner house, Nayland St & Marriner St, was badly quake damaged, boarded. On Marriner St, I wandered past pubs & restaurants. By a demolition site I snapped a sign:

Farewell Rockvilla

Thank you to the gentleman that opened the front door after the earthquake, and to all out families, friend and neighbours and strangers for your good wishes.

A very special thanks to Sumner Volunteer Fire Brigade, wives and associates.

We've loved living here, it's been a lovely home and we'll miss being "Rockvillians."

Buildings don't make good times, they don't make families and they don't make communities. People do and we live in an awesome community. Go Sumner, Go Christchurch, Go Canterbury. Thanks New Zealand.

Love Rockvillians.


27.08.11. Quake damaged, boarded house, cnr Nayland St / Marriner St, post June 13 quake




27.08.11. Quake portaloo & WW1 memorial lights, Sumner Beach, Marriner St, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. House demolition site, Marriner St, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Quake damaged, boarded house, Marriner St, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Farewell Rockvilla sign, demolition site gate, Marriner St, post June 13 quake

Images, quake damaged Wakefield Ave:


27.08.11. Demolition site, Ruptured Duck restaurant, Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Demolition site by Sumner library, Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Demolition site, Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake

By a demolition site fence cordon a sign read:

The
HEADLESS
MEXICAN

OPEN AGAIN

A DANGER sign hung next to it.


27.08.11. Sumner Borough Council / Community bldg demolition site, cnr Wakefield Ave / Nayland St, post June 13 quake

I wandered Wakefield Ave past dusty demolition sites. Beyond the closed garage, starting at rock fall damaged RSA bldgs, a long line of double storey, shipping containers cordoned a half side of Wakefield Ave below Sumner cliff.


27.08.11. Shipping container cordon, Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake


Containers protected traffic & walkers from rock falls & obscured cliff side bldgs: quake damaged RSA bldgs; nitwit flats construction below Sumner cliff; Croquet Club with new rock fans below the cliff, fallen rocks on croquet lawns. Further on, stony All Saints Anglican Church, below Sumner cliff, stood unbroken, between cliff & container cordon.

In 1995, when we'd stayed at Sumner, we'd attended All Saints Anglican Church. By 2015 the church was post quake demolished


27.08.11. Rock fall hazard, Sumner Croquet Club, Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake. By 2015 Sumner Croquet Club was demolished



I looked through gaps between containers at rock fall hazards, Sumner cliff louring over Wakefield Ave. Beyond the church, red stickered houses cowered below Sumner cliff. At Arnold St junction the long container cordon ended, briefly.


27.08.11. Gaps in shipping container cordon, Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Portaloo, cnr Arnold St / Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake

I wandered past a stable below a Richmond Hill cliff, past a cliff side, rock fall, opposite Denman St junction. Capt Thomas Track was closed due to rock fall hazard.


27.08.11. Feb 22 quake, rock fall hazard, cliff opp Denman St / Wakefield Ave junction, post June 13 quake


At Campbell St junction, shipping containers completely cordoned Wakefield Ave to Paisley St, traffic detouring past Van Asch Deaf Education Centre. Opposite Richmond Hill bluffs, I wandered a container / pavement alley beside housing & quake closed Capt Thomas Courts, boarded, red stickered.

Capt Thomas Courts were Council flats for the poor, elderly & infirm. (Post quakes, boarded, Council flats were seen all over Christchurch). I coolpixed a letter by Kevin Bennett, City Council Manager, as an example of post quakes bullying of the poor, elderly & infirm, in Christchurch Council flats. The letter, attached to a Council flat door, read:

Dear Tenants

Structural Assessment of your Rental Unit

As a result of the Structural Assessment of your rental unit which is in response to the recent earthquake, your unit has been assessed as being damaged. Please note that this does not apply to the whole complex. [The last sentence had a pen line drawn through it].  

Entry to your unit is restricted and in the interests of your safety you may only enter to remove your property in company with a Christchurch City Council representative.

We have boarded your unit windows / doors to protect your property. We have also changed your door lock to remove any temptation to continue to occupy the unit.

If you are unable to stay with a relative or friends we suggest you go to a Welfare Centre at either:

* Pioneer Stadium - 75 Lyttelton Street
* Burnside High School - Greers Road [Near our home].

Please contact us on ... to make arrangements to access your unit to remove your possessions and to future accommodation options.

We regret the need for this action and will do our utmost to accommodate you as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully

Kevin Bennett

City Housing Manager
Christchurch City Council

Pioneer Stadium & Burnside HS were both across town, miles away from Sumner. Post Feb 22 quake, the media reported stories of the elderly being booted out of rest homes & transported to safer towns, where they were dumped. Families took weeks to find them.

2014. Although Christchurch had more Council flats than any other NZ city, Christchurch deputy mayor, Vicky Buck wanted Council to retain Council flats, at massive expense for ratepayers. As Council had little spare cash post quakes, Council eventually decided to lease Council flats to a private lessee, to manage upkeep & tenants. In NZ's so-called welfare state, it was NZ govt's responsibility (Housing NZ) to provide state housing for the poor, elderly & infirm.



27.08.11. Shipping container cordon, cnr Campbell St / Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake. Evans Pass up Port Hills beyond


27.08.11. Containerized rock fall hazard, Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake



27.08.11. Wakefield Ave view of rock fall hazard, Richmond Hill bluffs, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Rock fall hazard # 9, shipping container alley, Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Containerized rock fall hazard, Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Garden rock fall hazard, red stickered, boarded, Capt Thomas Courts, Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Containerized rock fall hazard, Duncan St / Wakefield Ave junction, post June 13 quake




27.08.11. Red stickered, closed, Capt Thomas Courts, Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake. Scarborough bluffs beyond




27.08.11. Bullying Christchurch City Council letter, Capt Thomas Courts, Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake. Tenants were booted out, not only in Sumner, for their own safety



Container gaps were wire meshed & secured by steel cables. Behind containers, fallen rocks lay on Wakefield Ave between Campbell St & Paisley St junctions. Vertical accelerations in the 22.02.11 quake caused rocks to blast out of Richmond Hill like cannon balls & fall to Wakefield Ave & housing beyond. Some Wakefield Ave, fallen rocks were numbered with yellow spray-paint.


27.08.11. Containerized, wire meshed, rock fall hazard, Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake


There were tons of fallen rocks on Sumner border roads & nearby properties below cliffs & bluffs. Post quakes, over the last few months rock blaster teams had roamed Port Hills, dropping loose rocks on container besieged Sumner. Fallen rocks on Wakefield Ave & Heberden Ave I saw: I was unsure whether they'd fallen during quakes, or fallen by human cause? - Geotech explosions?


27.08.11. Red stickered house & rock fall hazard # 44, Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Shipping container cordon, cnr Paisley St / Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake


Along Wakefield Ave, beyond Paisley St junction, below bluffs, I wandered past several red stickered houses. Capt Thomas Track was danger tape closed. Geovert signs on fences & gates read:

DANGER
ROCKFALL HAZARD


27.08.11. Rock fall hazard sign, danger taped, red stickered house, Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake








27.08.11. Quake notice on Van Asch Deaf Education Centre sign, Wakefield Ave, post June 13 quake

I wandered past Van Asch Deaf Education Centre gate, a Council RECOVERING AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE sign was stuck on the school board. Rock fall hazard, Redcliffs School shared school facilities at Van Asch Deaf Education Centre. Early days of our Christchurch stay, I'd gone for 2 job interviews at Van Asch. The headmaster was an impatient man.

I wandered past Sumnervale below Richmond Hill. I headed towards Scarborough bluffs, past the bus stop by Evans Pass, closed, a road sign reading:

NO ACCESS
TO LYTTELTON

2015. Evans Pass to Lyttelton was still closed.

2016. Evans Pass was repaired by SCIRT.

Images, quake damaged Evans Pass Rd & Ocean View Tce:


27.08.11. Bottom of closed Evans Pass Rd, post June 13 quake. Scarborough bluffs above



I wandered up Ocean View Tce. I looked at quake damaged houses. A team of workmen removed tiles from a quake damaged roof. I cut down stone steps to Heberden Ave, where the road was obstructed 3x by Scarborough bluffs rock falls & shipping containers. It was an obstacle course for traffic, but OK for walkers, as container / pavement alleys sidled past two container cordons.


27.08.11. Quake damaged house, Ocean View Tce, post June 13 quake





Heberden Ave: I wandered past new housing, built slap bang below Scarborough bluffs, some houses built on cliff sides, some houses red stickered. Some big houses were squeezed between roadside & cliff side. Some liquefaction mud still lay roadside.

Images, quake damaged Heberden Ave:


27.08.11. Liquefaction mud heap, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Quake damaged house, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake





Those new houses were built after we left Sumner in 1996. What dirty deals were done by engineers, architects, builders, home owners & Council consenters to build houses in such dangerous places?


27.08.11. Portaloo, walkers & shipping container cordon, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Red stickered, quake damaged house, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake



27.08.11. Cliff side house, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake




By Truro St junction, containers cordoned Heberden Ave, where two big rocks had fallen from bluffs, smashing through Van Asch Deaf Education Centre metal fence & stopping behind rugby field posts. Parked on Truro St was a boat named EXTREME. I snapped the red stickered Scouts Den opposite the rugby field. Some Heberden Ave, fallen rocks were numbered with green spray-paint. Some bluff rocks were spray-painted with pink numbers too.


27.08.11. Van Asch Deaf Education Centre entrance, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Shipping container cordon, Van Asch Deaf Education Centre, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Rock fall hazard # 35, Van Asch Deaf Education Centre, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Rock fall hazard, Van Asch Deaf Education Centre rugby field, cnr Truro St / Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake




27.08.11. Portaloo, Truro St, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Red stickered Scouts Den, cnr Truro St / Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake


On Heberden Ave, I passed several abandoned, red stickered, cliff side houses.


27.08.11. Red stickered house, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake



27.08.11. Containerized rock fall hazard, cnr Truro St / Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake



27.08.11. Red stickered house, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake





Between Campbell St / Arnold St junctions, another container cordon obstructed traffic. A container / pavement alley enabled walkers to pass fallen rocks on the road.


27.08.11. Heberden Ave view of Richmond Hill bluffs, rock fall hazard, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Containerized rock fall hazard, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake. Scarborough bluffs, rock fall hazard above


27.08.11. Scarborough bluff, rock fall hazard # 5, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Quake damaged, cliff side house, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake


I snapped a small drill rig on a high Scarborough bluff, used by workmen to blast lethal rocks. A man in his driveway asked, "Why're you taking photographs?"


27.08.11. Drill rig above rock fall hazard, Scarborough bluffs, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake


"I'm not a thief," I said. "I write a blog..." He was the second Heberden Ave resident to ask. A lady had asked before. Jumpy home owners & rock fall hazards. Media had run hysterical stories about burglars snapping abandoned houses before thieving.


27.08.11. Shipping container alley against rock fall hazard, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Shipping container cordon, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake. Scarborough bluffs rock fall hazard above





27.08.11. Housing protected by rock fall hazard containers, Heberden Ave. Richmond Hill backdrop

I passed more red stickered houses, built above & below cliffs.


27.08.11. Cliff top housing, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Portaloo & cliff side housing, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake






I passed a small roadside rock fall by Sumner Tennis & Squash Club, while people played afternoon tennis below Scarborough bluffs. By roadside oil drums & a sewage smelly stream, a walkway was closed below Scarborough & Sumner cliff side, new housing. A Council sign on a fence read:

TRACK CLOSED
DUE TO
ROCKFALL HAZARD

A hand-written notice below the Council sign read:

Rock stabilization work in progress above.
To arrange access please contact
... Thanks for your patience.

Post quakes, many Port Hills tracks were closed for years, due to rock fall hazard. Example: Godley Head Track was only reopened in Mar 2013, other tracks were still closed. That left frustrated walkers, mountain bikers & rock climbers in Christchurch. Pre quakes I'd planned to climb Mt Evans. Years later I still waited for rock fall hazard to subside. 


27.08.11. Rock fall hazard, Sumner Tennis & Squash Club, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake



27.08.11. Track Closed due to Rock fall Hazard, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake


Between Wiggins St & Nayland St junctions a huge rock fall blocked Heberden Ave, containers blocking traffic, cliff vegetation crushed, red stickered houses abandoned. DANGER KEEP OUT red tape hung between containers.

Fallen rocks were the size of trucks. I slipped between containers for a closer look at the fallen rocks. Amidst danger & ghost housing, stillness prevailed, no birds sang.

Months later Council went crazy, red stickering containers, trying to stop people walking behind containers. Pity Council wasn't so safety conscious pre quakes, allowing quake prone bldgs to remain unstrengthened for decades & post 04.09.10 & 26.12.10 quakes.  


27.08.11. Portaloo & Shipping container cordon, cnr Wiggins St / Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Containerized rock fall hazard, cnr Wiggins St / Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake















27.08.11. Red stickered house, cnr Wiggins St / Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake



27.08.11. Wiggins St view of containerized rock fall hazard, Scarborough bluffs above Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake

I had to detour through Sumner to reach Nayland St. The chocolate shop below the cliff at the end of Nayland St was closed, so too Edwin Mouldey Track up the cliff to Scarborough Rd.


27.08.11. Containerized rock fall hazard by Edwin Mouldey Track, cnr Nayland St / Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake. Chocolate shop on cnr



I wandered the container alley, obstructing traffic & containing rocks on Heberden Ave to Scarborough Reserve, the roadside stream also sewage smelly.


27.08.11. Shipping container cordon by chocolate shop, cnr Nayland St / Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Shipping container alley against rock fall hazard, below Edwin Mouldey Track, Heberden Ave, post June 13 quake


I walked the Esplanade by high tide Scarborough Beach to Cave Rock.

Cave Rock was danger taped & fence cordoned, rock fall hazard, entry forbidden to Sumner Beach cave. West side of Cave Rock, rocks had fallen onto the beach. Rocks had fallen by the cave mouth too.

 A fence cordon sign read:

      HEALTH WARNING
CONTAMINATED WATER...

     POLLUTED
       WATER
PLEASE AVOID
    CONTACT...

Many of those signs were seen along riverbanks & Avon / Heathcote Estuary shore.

Another sign read:

    DANGER
     DO NOT
      ENTER
   LOOSE AND
FALLING ROCK

Images, quake damaged Cave Rock:


27.08.11. Fence cordoned, rock fall hazard, Cave Rock, Sumner Beach, post June 13 quake



Concrete paving was quake cracked by Cave Rock & a nearby restaurant. At one place by Cave Rock, quakes had raised 10 cm thick, concrete paving by half a metre. A beach retaining wall was quake broken & the Jutland, WW1 memorial plinth was quake cracked.


27.08.11. Quake raised concrete slab, Cave Rock, post June 13 quake



POLLUTED WATER signs hung on Cave Rock cordon fence, as Avon River & Heathcote River were open sewers, sewage pipes trashed by quakes.


27.08.11. Quake damaged Sumner Beach retaining wall, Cave Rock, post June 13 quake



27.08.11. Portaloo at fence cordoned, rock fall hazard, Cave Rock, Sumner Beach

As my Samsung camera battery was low, I returned the next day Sunday, with Leah to snap Cave Rock pics & walk / drive Sumner again. Sumner containerized valley sides were unique, nothing else like quake trashed Sumner in quake broken Christchurch.


27.08.11. Quake sinkhole & quake cracked tar seal, Cave Rock, Sumner Beach, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Quake damaged restaurant, Cave Rock, Sumner Beach, post June 13 quake


27.08.11. Quake cracked, WW1 Jutland memorial plinth, Cave Rock, Sumner Beach, post June 13 quake

Nearly a year post Sept 4 quake & 6 months post deadly Feb 22 quake, all Sumner roads I'd walked & driven had roadside portaloos. Sumner was still in shit.


27.08.11. Portaloo, Burgess St, post June 13 quake

When I checked the following Sumner streets - Nayland St, Marriner St, Wakefield Ave, Heberden Ave, Esplanade - CERA's Landcheck website classified them all white zone, "mapping still underway." With all the Council red stickers & rock fall tonnage, I wondered what fools those CERA mappers were? Over the next couple of years, CERA would delay many Port Hills zonings. And CERA - Council conflicts would  increase.

The Press, 06.09.11 reported recent zoning changes: "Areas that have been rezoned green include most of Lyttelton, Sumner, Scarborough, Redcliffs, Mt Pleasant, Cashmere, Heathcote, Westmorland and Kennedys Bush. However, large parts of Cashmere, Lyttelton, Sumner and Clifton Hill remain white, particularly streets further up the hillside..."

White zones waited for more geotech jabbering & CERA delays.

Coda: Sun 14.02.16. Valentines Day, 5.7 mag quake. Rock falls at Godley Head & Sumner's Richmond Hill & Peacocks Gallop.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Christchurch Earthquake: Rest Homes Evacuated (NZ Herald)


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