Saturday, October 29, 2011

Restart Cashel Mall, Post Christchurch Quakes

Cashell Mall bldgs were badly damaged by the 2010 Boxing Day quake. Four people were killed by Cashell Mall, falling masonry in the 22.02.11 quake. Gotta ask why those seedy, old bldgs were not quake reinforced properly & made safe before the 2010-2011 quakes?

Cashel St was the most lethal CBD street during the Feb 22 quake, as eastwards across the CBD, 115 people died when the CTV bldg collapsed & burned, corner Cashel St / Madras St.

Post Feb 22 quake & national state of emergency, CERA occupied the red zone CBD & public was banned from Cashel Mall. Only cops, NZDF soldiers, contractors & the favoured few were allowed into Christchurch CBD, red zone cordon. There were many citizen complaints about business people & public being banned from the CBD. The excuse from national state of emergency Civil Defence & CERA was public safety, while demolitions happened. Ha!

On Cashel Mall demolition sites, businessman Paul Lonsdale organized revamping of old shipping containers, as north & south shopping precincts, with 27 shipping container shops. Other Cashell Mall demolition sites became car parks. Later on Lonsdale became a councillor.

Sat 29.10.11, a sunny day, when the red zone CBD livened up. Near Cashel Mall the new, temporary Bus Exchange had already opened, 25.10.11, on quake demolition sites between Lichfield St / Tuam St.

Images, quake damaged St Asaph St & Colombo St:


29.10.11. St Asaph St parking meter, free parking, post Feb 22 quake miracle.

Just after 11:00, I parked my car on St Asaph St, free parking, as meters were switched off by Council, trying to encourage public back to the CBD. Most CBD, quake survivor bldgs I passed that day were closed.

People thronged Colombo St, ready for the official opening of Restart Cashel Mall, 12:00. I wandered down Colombo St from St Asaph St to Tuam St, were 16 people were killed by falling masonry in the Feb 22 quake. Colombo St roadsides were demolition sites, a few dusty old bldgs were quake survivors, closed.


29.10.11. Lethal Colombo St / Mollett St junction, Feb 22 quake: 12 people killed by falling masonry - 8 in a red bus, 4 pedestrians


The west side demolition site / car park I'd seen 3 days ago as shingle, was asphalted with free parking, white markings on asphalt, next door to the new, temporary Bus Exchange.


29.10.11. Colombo St view of Post Feb 22 quake, portaloo & demolition sites / car park. New, temp Bus Exchange by brown porta- cabins beyond

By Tuam St / Colombo St crossing, I wandered past the closed, red zone, NZDF cordon, checkpoint hut, active 3 days ago with NZDF soldiers. The red zone cordon was opening at last to Restart Cashel Mall by Ballantynes.


29.10.11. Closed NZDF checkpoint hut, ex red zone, dead zone, Colombo St, between Tuam St / Lichfield St


29.10.11. Red zone Colombo St, closed NZDF checkpoint hut view of quake demolition site / car park, between Tuam St / Lichfield St. New, temp Bus Exchange beyond

Colombo St shops were still closed, 8 months post Feb 22 quake, evidence of quake survivors fleeing - doors locked, items flung around in shops, National Bank desks awry, quake dust & USAR / TF graffiti everywhere. I got that creepy feeling again while wandering Colombo St, abandoned bldgs both sides. Danger still lurked amongst unstable, abandoned bldgs. And we didn't know the Xmas Quake Swarm was still to come.


29.10.11. CBD red zone, Colombo St, east side of fence cordon. Bldgs beyond fence cordon, closed, dead, post Feb 22 quake. Westpac awaiting demolition middle



29.10.11. Feb 22 quake trashed shop window, 8 months post quake, red zone Colombo St

Lichfield St / Colombo St crossing was still red zone, fence cordoned, where 2 officials waited to open a pavement route to Restart Cashel Mall. On the east side, in the red zone, quake trashed, CBD dead bldgs, awaited demolition, like Westpac, Hotel Grand Chancellor, Holiday Inn, old Council offices. Diggers demolished a bldg.


29.10.11. Couple waiting for opening of Restart Cashel Mall, 8 months post Feb 22 quake, Colombo St, nr Lichfield St crossing


29.10.11. Colombo St / Lichfield St crossing, still red zone closed, before the opening of Restart Cashel Mall


29.10.11. Southwards view along red zone Colombo St, before opening of Restart Cashel Mall. Port Hills beyond


29.10.11. Red zone, fence cordoned, cnr Colombo St / Lichfield St. Bldgs in red zone, closed, dead, since Feb 22 quake. Most bldgs in the pic would be demolished


29.10.11. Cnr Colombo St / Lichfield St, officials waiting to open the red zone, cordon fence for the 12:00 opening of Restart Cashel Mall.



As it was before 12:00 opening time, while a crowd gathered by Colombo St / Lichfield St, fence cordoned crossing, security men in Hi Vis vests stopped public entering the cordon.

Images, quake damaged Lichfield St:


29.10.11. Colombo St crossing, westwards view along Lichfield St



29.10.11. Rohits Indian restaurant, Lichfield St, red zone closed post Feb 22 quake. USAR / TF graffiti on yellow stickered door. CLEAR meant no bodies


29.10.11. New car park on Feb 22 quake demolition site, by new, temp Bus Exchange, Lichfield St


29.10.11. Post Feb 22 quake, Ballantynes extension, opp new, temp Bus Exchange, Lichfield St


I wandered west along Lichfield St, past the new, temporary Bus Exchange, past soon to be opened Ballantynes new extensions, past a demolition site by Plymouth Ln.


29.10.11. Plymouth Ln view of DTZ bldg demolition site / Wilson $1/hr car park. Central Police high rise left. Cashel Mall post Feb 22 quake remains right. Central Police was imploded 31.05.15


29.10.11. Plymouth Ln view of DTZ bldg demolition site / Wilson $1/hr car park. Beyond: remains of Cashel Mall & Clarendon Tower, awaiting demolition


29.10.11. Plymouth Ln view of post Feb 22 quake demolition site, Lichfield St




29.10.11. Traffic jam, cnr Lichfield St / Durham St Sth, before opening of Restart Cashel Mall. Gridlock was common around the red zone CBD post Feb 22 quake

Security men & a cop directed busy traffic on Lichfield St / Durham St Sth corner. I walked towards Restart Cashel Mall, by Bridge of Remembrance, where crowds gathered to enter at 12:00, by DTZ bldg demolition site, new Wilson $1/hr carpark, Oxford Tce. Security men in yellow, Hi Vis vests stopped crowds entering cordon fences along Oxford Tce.

Images, quake damaged Oxford Tce:


29.10.11. Man cleaning 8 months old USAR / TF graffiti off shop window, red zone Oxford Tce, before 12:00 opening of Restart Cashel Mall, shipping container shops. The bldg was demolished


29.10.11. Post Feb 22 quake, USAR / TF graffiti on Mad Cow, Oxford Tce. Mad Cow was demolished

Eight months post Feb 22 quake, at Oxford Tce businesses, newly released from the red zone, I watched two men clean USAR / TF graffiti from a shop window. Pity USAR / TF didn't offer to clean up their own mess - 1 000s of bldgs, pavements & roads were spray-painted with USAR / TF graffiti.

USAR / TF teams enjoyed media glory of being heroes & saviours of quake victims, but not a cheep from USAR / TF about the visual pollution they left behind, or offering to clean up their mess. Most USAR / TF teams arrived too late to save anyone on 22.02.11. A lot of the life- saving was done by ordinary citizens on the spot. Meanwhile volunteer Response Teams, RT, also trained in Urban Search & Rescue, were used as dogs bodies. (Deb Donnell, "Responders," Keswin Publishing, Christchurch, 2013).


29.10.11. Oxford Tce, NZDF checkpoint hut by CBD red zone cordon, nr Restart Cashel Mall




29.10.11. Crowd gathering on Oxford Tce by, Bridge of Remembrance, for 12:00 opening of Restart Cashel Mall, shipping container shops, 8 months post Feb 22 quake






29.10.11. Chinese / NZ friendship plaque, Oxford Tce, by Bridge of Remembrance, nr Cashel Mall

I wandered along Cambridge Tce by sewage polluted Avon River to Bridge of Remembrance, the crowd growing thick bridge-side on Avon River bank, corner Cashel Mall / Oxford Tce.

Images, quake damaged Cambridge Tce:


29.10.11. Cambridge Tce view of Bridge of Remembrance / Oxford Tce crowd, waiting for 12:00 opening of CBD, red zone cordon, Restart Cashel Mall, 8 months post Feb 22 quake



Bridge of Remembrance top was still fence cordoned, Remembrance Arch too quake unstable. I stood on a brick wall on top of the bridge steps & snapped a demolition site, corner Cambridge Tce / Cashel St. Road cones by Bridge of Remembrance steps had plastic flowers inserted into road cone tops. Road cone flowers would later symbolize Feb 22 quake remembrance days.


29.10.11. Cambridge Tce / Cashel St steps, Bridge of Remembrance, just before opening of Restart Cashel Mall, 8 months post Feb 22 quake


29.10.11. Plastic flowers on road cone cordon, Cambridge Tce by Bridge of Remembrance steps


29.10.11. Bridge of Remembrance western view of post Feb 22 quake demolition site, cnr Cambridge Tce / Cashel St


29.10.11. Cashel Mall opening photographers, Bridge of Remembrance & western view of Cambridge Tce / Cashel St crossing, 8 months post Feb 22 quake


At 12:00 the fence cordon opened Oxford Tce side & crowds streamed in, while I snapped the historic scene. There were many photographers that day, CTV & One News cameras too. That evening, One News reported the crowd was 10 000 strong, demolition site to demolition site crowd on Restart Cashel Mall, for at least 100 metres.


29.10.11. Cordoned Bridge of Remembrance view of crowd entering the CBD red zone cordon, 12:00, when Restart Cashel Mall, shipping container shops opened, 8 months post Feb 22 quake





I wandered along Cambridge Tce & snapped across Avon River, a red zone demolition site where restaurants once stood on Oxford Tce. I wandered to newly opened red zone Hereford St Bridge & snapped Library Chambers demolition site, corner Hereford St / Cambridge Tce, below the new Council bldg.


29.10.11. Cambridge Tce, E view of sewage polluted Avon River & restaurants demolition site, Oxford Tce red zone. Closed, dead, CBD bldgs behind


29.10.11. Hereford St Bridge, W view of Library Chambers demolition site, cnr Hereford St / Cambridge Tce. New Council bldg behind, serial quake damaged, but repaired

Images, quake damaged Hereford St:


29.10.11. Hereford St Bridge, E view of 12:00 opened Hereford St, CBD red zone cordon. Dusty, skeleton bldgs all closed, dead


29.10.11. Hereford St Bridge, N view of cnr Hereford St / Oxford Tce. Red zone, dead zone, CBD bldgs behind cordon fence


29.10.11. Hereford St Bridge, SE view of post Feb 22 quake restaurants demolition site, Oxford Tce, just after 12:00 opening of red zone by Restart Cashel Mall

Hereford St: I snapped dead, closed bldgs, besmirched by USAR / TF graffiti, in the newly opened red zone, Oxford Tce side. Red zone bldgs were dusty, bleached skeletons. A ubiquitous EXTREME DANGER KEEP OUT sign hung on the cordon fence before abandoned Scorpio Books. Along Hereford St, the red zone cordon fence resumed just beyond a Cashel Mall demolition site / another new Wilson $1/hr car park.


29.10.11. Hereford St, N view of demolition cranes on Oxford Tce, looking towards Worcester St Bridge & serial quake damaged Our City bldg



29.10.11. Closed, dead, red zone, CBD shops, with USAR / TF graffiti, Hereford St. C meant CLEAR no bodies





Like I'd seen so many times over the last 8 months, since the Feb 22 quake, whenever a bit of the red zone cordon was opened, citizens gathered & stared through the fence cordon into the dead CBD, down desolate streets - dead bldgs, quake wasteland.


29.10.11. Eastern view along red zone, CBD cordon fence, Hereford St, soon after 12:00 opening of Restart Cashel Mall, shipping container shops. Dusty, closed, skeleton bldgs beyond. Most of the masonry bldgs on the right side of the pic were demolished. Green, wooden Shands Emporium stood alone, awaiting relocation to Manchester St



29.10.11. Hereford St demolition site / car park view of Oxford Tce restaurants, demolition site & bldg survivors on 12:00 opened Restart Cashel Mall, 8 months post Feb 22 quake. Abandoned Shands Emporium left awaited relocation to Manchester St


29.10.11. Citizens staring through cordon fence into Hereford St red zone, dead zone, 8 months post Feb 22 quake, shortly after 12:00 opening of Restart Cashel Mall red zone


29.10.11. W view along Hereford St, soon after 12.00, partial opening of Hereford St red zone & Restart Cashel Mall red zone, 8 months post Feb 22 quake


29.10.11. Hereford St demolition site, N view of Hereford St, closed, dead, red zone bldgs, soon after 12:00 opening of red zone, Restart Cashel Mall, 8 months post Feb 22 quake

Wandering through the car park, I coolpixed quake trashed, Hotel Grand Chancellor left & right, Oxford Tce restaurant demolition sites by the car park, two diggers parked on top of rubble with a view over Avon River.


29.10.11. Hereford St, demolition site view of Feb 22 quake trashed Hotel Grand Chancellor Hotel,  demolition in progress


29.10.11. Hereford St, demolition site view of Oxford Tce restaurants demolition site






Images, quake damaged Cashel Mall:

29.10.11. Restart Cashel Mall, northern view of demolition site / car park & Oxford Tce restaurants demolition site

At the end of the car park by a new wooden fence, 2 cops stood by people joining the Restart Cashel Mall crowd. Speeches began. The crowd was still. Latecomers like me stayed outside the wooden fence & gate. I found a wheelbarrow amongst demolition junk & stood on it, enabling me to see speech makers over the wooden fence.



29.10.11. Speech by Brownlee, Minister of Earthquake Recovery, Restart Cashel Mall, opening of shipping container shops


29.10.11. Speech by PM Key. Sutton, CERA boss, seated right, opening of shipping container shops, Restart Cashel Mall

Minister of Earthquake Recovery, Brownlee spoke, PM Key spoke, mayor Parker spoke & others spoke from a wooden podium in the middle of Cashel Mall, surrounded by people, quake survivor bldgs, young oak trees & Restart shipping container shops, painted bright colours, no more than one storey high.

While listening to speeches, peoples' faces said it all. We'd all been to hell & back. National speeches used hard work by Restart Cashel Mall businesses for electioneering purposes. Christchurch citizens voted in droves for National at the next election, then got nasty aftershocks when National govt didn't kick inept EQC & tardy insurers' asses & allowed unelected CERA officials & unelected ECAN commissioners to dictate to Cantabrians & allowed an unelected Crown Observer & later an unelected commissioner into squabbling Council as Mr Fixits & Ministry of Education ineptocrats to mess up Canterbury schools with poorly consulted closures & mergers. National's disaster post natural disaster.

Disenfranchised Cantabrians would protest in the streets, an outpouring of protests over the next year. We would endure many Council, CERA, govt & business cockalorums over the next few, so-called rebuild years.


29.10.11. Crowd listening to speeches at Restart Cashel Mall, shipping container shops





29.10.11. Listening faces in the Restart Cashel Mall crowd.







29.10.11. Crowd listening to speeches at Restart Cashel Mall, shipping container shops











29.10.11. Crowd moving along Restart Cashel Mall, after speeches at opening of shipping container shops






















29.10.11. Speech podium in crowd, Restart Cashel Mall, shipping container shops



29.10.11. Crowd along Restart Cashell Mall, opening of shipping container shops



After speeches, the crowd moved forward, from formal focus on speeches to informal shopping. Amongst watchful cops & security goons, Brownlee & Key mingled & pressed the flesh, smiling broadly, as elections loomed. Key smiled so much, like he'd personally built Restart Cashel Mall, shipping container shops.

I mingled & happy-snapped in Restart Cashel Mall.


29.10.11. Crowd along Restart Cashel Mall, opening of shipping container shops








29.10.11. Brownlee, Minister of Earthquake Recovery, working the crowd before elections, Restart Cashel Mall opening of shipping container shops



29.10.11. Crowd along Restart Cashel Mall, opening of shipping container shops





29.10.11. PM Key working the crowd before elections, Restart Cashel Mall, opening of shipping container shops




29.10.11. Crowd along Restart Cashel Mall, opening of shipping container shops





29.10.11. PM Key working the crowd, Restart Cashel Mall, opening of shipping container shops







29.10.11. Crowd along Restart Cashell Mall, opening of shipping container shops



29.10.11. Crowd along Restart Cashel Mall, opening of shipping container shops


























At the bottom of Cashel Mall by The Crossing at Colombo St, a wooden fence bordered the red zone again, dead high rises looming. The Crossing over Colombo St was Christchurch's mobile Berlin Wall, where people stood at the wooden cordon fence & stared into the CBD red zone, desolation wreaked by earthquakes & CERA demolitions.

Red zone cordon fences had contracted, slightly & citizens still waited for months to enter the CBD, while CERA boss Sutton & Brownlee manipulated people's lives, both hiding behind an anonymous, media spokeswoman's skirts.


29.10.11. Restart Cashel Mall cordon fence by red zoned CBD at The Crossing, Colombo St. All bldgs in the red zone, dead, closed by the Feb 22 quake


I wandered amongst shipping container shops & snapped colourful shops & the crowd. At a shop window where a live model wore knickers & bra only, my camera battery expired.


29.10.11. Crowd, Restart Cashel Mall, shipping container shops, northern precinct











I returned later that afternoon with refreshed battery & Leah (she'd lectured teacher students that morning) & resumed snapping the happy crowd & shipping container shops. Earlier at a coffee shop a customer queue had started. Hours later the queue was still there. People drank wine at cafe tables.

Oct 2012. A year later, Restart Cashel Mall shipping container shops still did business, but the CBD rebuild had stalled, with citizens still banned from the red zone, dead CBD, amidst 100s of red zone, dusty demolition sites & CERA's Christchurch Central Development Unit, CCDU Blueprint hype.

Never mind 1 000s of eastern suburb citizens enduring quake broken homes, waiting for EQC & insurers to hurry up, while National govt did next to nothing about tardy insurers.

EQC & insurers did stupid things like assessing semi-detached house units & semi-detached flats with differing assessments & differing insurers & risible outcomes, like one half of a semi-detached house deemed to be demolished, the other half deemed repairable, with shared walls on the same concrete slab foundation.

2016. Restart Cashel Mall was still going, while retail shops were rebuilt along Cashel Mall.


29.10.11. Newly opened, shipping container shops, N precinct view of S precinct, Restart Cashel Mall


29.10.11. Newly opened shipping container shops, S precinct, Restart Cashel Mall




29.10.11. Shipping container shops, southern precinct, Restart Cashel Mall









29.10.11. Shipping container shops & quake demolition site / car park, southern precinct, Restart Cashel Mall

Images, quake damaged Oxford Tce:


29.10.11. Quake obsolete sign, cnr Cashel St / Oxford Tce


29.10.11. Feb 22 quake trashed restaurants demolition, Oxford Tce, between Hereford St / Cashel St


29.10.11. Post Feb 22 quake, USAR / TF graffiti, cnr Oxford Tce / Hereford St


29.10.11. Trailer fruit juice shop, pure pulp, Oxford Tce, nr Restart Cashel Mall. Dead, red zone cordon bldgs beyond. Clarendon Tower left, awaiting demolition


29.10.11. Wilson $1/hr car park on DTZ bldg demolition site, Oxford Tce, by Restart Cashel Mall. Dead, red zone bldgs beyond.


29.10.11. Closed NZDF checkpoint hut, ex red zone cordon, cnr Oxford Tce / Lichfield St

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

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