Saturday, December 17, 2011

Latimer Square Demolitions, Six Months Post June 13 quake

Fri 16.12.11. CERA relaxed its grip on Latimer Sq & moved Christchurch CBD, red zone, cordon fence inwards to allow public access to Latimer Sq, 6 months post 13.06.11 quake & 10 months post 22.02.11 quake. CERA's CBD was still red zone, dead zone, demolishers running amock. No public access. No public scrutiny. Contractors making fortunes.

With reopening of Latimer Sq, there was no fanfare like the pre-elections opening of the new, temporary Bus Exchange & Restart Cashel Mall, shipping container shops, west side of the CBD. CERA was perpetuating slower development on the east side of town. Never mind eastern suburbs shattered by serial quakes.

CERA's website showed it's demolition powers:

"Background Information: demolition, partial demolition or make safe work.

The earthquakes of 4 September 2010 and 22 February 2011 caused widespread major damage in Christchurch and Canterbury. Continuing aftershocks in particular those on 13 June 2011, caused further damage.

Works to carry out demolitions, partial demolitions and make safe occurred in different periods.

1) From 22 February to 30 April 2011 a National State of Emergency was in place under the Ministry of Civil Defence Emergency Management (MCDEM). Work to make greater Christchurch safe, particularly commercial buildings in the CBD red zone, after the 22 February earthquake was done under (MCDEM) powers.

Buildings were assessed by engineers. Those determined to be dangerous required full demolition, partial demolition or make safe work.

This work was paid for by the Government (via MCDEM). Reimbursement of the costs was sought by the building owner and / or owner's insurance company.

2) From 1 May to 12 July 2011 a transition period occurred. CERA emergency management measures continued under section 85 of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 (CERA Act). This includes demolitions initiated under MCDEM. During this period full demolition, partial demolition and make safe work also continued.

Much of this work was carried out by CERA in agreement with the building owner. The building owner and / or building owner's insurance company was invoiced.

The 13 June aftershock required many buildings, particularly in the CBD red zone, to have urgent work carried out. This is because the buildings presented an immediate danger. This work was carried out by CERA. Building owners were invoiced. CERA recommended building owners contact their insurance companies as early as possible to meet invoice payment deadlines."

I doubted building owners had much choice when CERA decided to demolish. CERA relied on engineers' advice for demolitions. Engineers had already proved to be denialists, blame shifters & Don't Blame Me squealers - at the Royal Commission of Inquiry regarding the PGC bldg collapse. Engineers would continue their Don't Blame Me denials when the Royal Commission investigated why the CTV bldg collapsed.  

Sat 17.12.11. Cold, overcast afternoon: I wandered Latimer Sq for the first time since the 22.02.11 quake. Other like-minded citizens wandered too. A couple of cyclists did the shrunken, red zone fence a bit faster. That afternoon, I counted 12 demolition sites around Latimer Sq, not counting several more demolition sites behind them.

It was horrifying that most of the abandoned, CBD bldgs I saw would be demolished by CERA over the next few years. CBD demolitions went on for 28 months behind red zone, cordon fences, guarded by NZDF checkpoints, citizen banned. Once NZDF soldiers retreated, CERA demolitions still continued in the CBD for years. In 2015, CERA demolitions still continued...

I drove down Barbadoes St & turned down Chester St East towards red zone CBD. The old Fire Service HQ was quake battered, wall panels peeled off. Behind the Fire Service fence was a demolition site, concrete steps going nowhere, amongst weedy flowers.

Images, quake damaged Chester St East:


17.12.11. Quake trashed Fire Service HQ, Chester St East


17.12.11. Stairs going nowhere, demolition site behind Fire Service HQ, Chester St East

Corner Chester St East / Madras St: The red zone fence cordon curved across Madras St from Crighton B & B, a so-called heritage house, towards Edmonds Clock Tower & Avon River. Behind the cordon fence, The Poplars demolition site was stark naked. Crighton House, quake battered, stood next to a house demolition site, filled with foundation rubble & weedy flowers, by another quake battered, wooden house. The demolished, double storey, wooden house had been a so-called heritage house.

A bronze plaque by the demolished house's garden wall read:

86-100 Chester Street East

Designed and built by William Widdowson

These four pairs of kauri timbered semi-detached
Victorian town houses were built in 1892.
William Widdowson, an early Canterbury colonist,
lived here with his family until the last surviving
child died in 1961. The houses were then sold and
converted into flats and offices during the 1960s.
The corner house was saved from demolition for road
widening of Madras Street. Their heritage listing and
upgrades ensure their survival as desirable town houses.

Quakes trashed the so-called, heritage town houses.



17.12.11. Quake trashed, Victorian wooden house, Chester St East


17.12.11. Quake damaged Crighton House, Chester St East


The demolition site had a ubiquitous sign on the cordon fence which read:

EXTREME
 DANGER
    KEEP
    OUT


17.12.11. Extreme Danger sign, fence cordoned, Victorian house demolition site, Chester St East


17.12.11. Quake ruins, demolition site of liquefactioned Victorian house, Chester St East


17.12.11. Liquefactioned driveway, Crighton House, cnr Madras St / Chester St East


17.12.11. Liquefactioned quake ruin, Victorian house demolition site, Chester St East


17.12.11. Quake cracked, concrete-capped well, Victorian house demolition site, Chester St East


17.12.11. Quake ruin, Victorian house demolition site, Chester St East


17.12.11. Quake ruin, Victorian house demolition site, next to Crighton house, Chester St East

The sign was crazy, as the liquefactioned, back driveway to Crighton House was open. At the back of the house demolition site, a concrete-capped well leaked water across a car park, into Madras St. The concrete-cap survived the quakes, with some cracks, but the well burst underground, leaking water ever since the 22.02.11 quake. Birds enjoyed the bird bath. Quakes were returning the area to swampland by Avon River.

Jake was flooded out of his Waltham Rd flat when a capped well burst in the 22.02.11 quake. Besides flood water messing his possessions, he lost his hospitality job & best friend in that quake too. It took him 6 months to recover job & reasonable flat, after 4 flat moves, including a liquefactioned garage "flat" & chemical toilet, no piped water, Cranford St, for 4.5 winter months.

Never mind Luke dumped off a bus in Moorhouse Ave, near Colombo St corner, during the quake, the worst possible place to be during the quake, as we lived in Burnside, NW of the quake trashed CBD where he was dumped by the bus driver. A couple of blocks down Colombo St, 16 people were killed by falling masonry, including 8 red bus passengers.

Luke got back to Burnside 3 days later, after a detour through quake ravaged eastern suburbs to his girlfriend's South New Brighton home.

Images, quake damaged Madras St:


17.12.11. Madras St car park view of The Poplars demolition site, red zone, nr Oxford Tce & Avon River


17.12.11. Post Feb 22 quake flooding of a Madras St car park, after a capped well burst


The snag with so-called, heritage bldgs was that they were crap, old, wooden, stone, or brick bldgs, often quake prone, as they were mostly unreinforced against quakes. Heritage fanatics did lots of public whining post 04.09.10 quake, which diverted attentions of authorities, who should've known better, about making Christchurch quake safe against imminent, dangerous aftershocks.

Heritage fanatics had diverted Council's demolition attentions pre Boxing Day quake & pre 22.02.11 quake. After 185 quake deaths in the 22.02.11 quake, heritage fanatics hadn't learnt from their follies. They continued whining at public protests in 2012. Never mind media reporting their rubbish. Examples:

Ten months later, Oct 2012, heritage fanatics whined about Cranmer Court demolition, hoping for a stay. Cranmer Court was demolished. Never mind heritage fanatics' public protests & court case, delaying demolition of serial quake trashed Christchurch Cathedral.

Across Chester St East was Oxford Tce Baptist Church, demolition site. Bare. Next to it was a boarded house, then another house with garden wall I'd seen months ago, spray-painted: WE'RE OK. Oxford Tce Baptist Church was rebuilt by 2017.


17.12.11. Oxford Tce Baptist Church, demolition site, Madras St, nr Fire Service HQ. Oxford Tce Baptist Church was rebuilt by 2017


An church advert board touting a Xmas service read:

O COME ALL YE OVERWORKED,
WEARY, BROKE AND HOPEFUL.

Succour but not recovery in a broken city.


17.12.11. Quake damaged, boarded house, Chester St East, nr Oxford Tce Baptist Church demolition site

In past months, serial quake trashed, Oxford Tce Baptist Church vicinity was a busy NZDF checkpoint, crawling with cops & NZDF soldiers, guarding contractor access to the CBD red zone. The checkpoint was gone. Just a red zone, cordon fence remained.


17.12.11. Former NZDF military checkpoint, cordon fence, cnr Madras St / Chester St East. The Poplars demolition site behind fence. The bldg was demolished


17.12.11. Former NZDF checkpoint, southern view into the red zone down Madras St, by Chester St East cnr, towards Latimer Sq

Corner Madras St / Oxford Tce by Avon River: Fence cordoned, red zone, Edmonds Clock Tower, clock stopped 12.51 pm, when the 22.02.11 quake hit. Edmonds Clock Tower was later decapitated for repairs.



17.12.11. Red zone, Edmonds Clock Tower, cnr Oxford Tce / Madras St. The clock stopped 12.51 pm, when the 22.02.11 quake hit. The clock tower was later decapitated for repairs.

I could've wandered south down Madras St, past Crighton House, along the red zone cordon fence, but instead I detoured down Barbadoes St & turned into Armagh St, where I parked by an old, wooden, quake survivor house, surrounded by weedy demolition sites & Wilson car parks.

Images, quake damaged Armagh St:


17.12.11. Armagh St, quake survivor, wooden house view of tombstone high rises in the cordoned, red zone CBD


17.12.11. Armagh St liquefactioned pavement view of red zone, cordoned, cnr Armagh St / Madras St. Trade Union bldg demolition site right


17.12.11. Quake survivor, wooden house, surrounded by demolition sites & car parks, Armagh St


17.12.11. Armagh St, red zone, cordon fence, nr house demolition site & Madras St crossing

Across the road stood abandoned Girl Guiding bldg. Next to it stood abandoned Kindercare bldg, car park & playground, quake battered, filled with liquefaction mud.


17.12.11. Quake abandoned, Girl Guiding bldg, Armagh St


17.12.11. Liquefactioned, abandoned Kindercare, Armagh St


Behind Crighton House back fence, water leaked from the capped well to Madras St. Crighton House was the only quake survivor on the east side of Madras St, from Oxford Tce to Latimer Sq.

Across Madras St was The Poplars demolition site. Next to it was a quake dilapidated bldg with a neighbour, Free Legal Help / Community Law Canterbury bldg, also quake dilapidated. Those two quake trashed bldgs were the only two quake survivors on the west side of Madras St, from Oxford Tce to Latimer Sq. They too were demolished for NZ govt's / CERA's Blueprint Margaret Mahy Family Playground car park.

Later on, CERA's CCDU would call all those demolition sites between Madras St & Manchester St its green, East Frame - a NZ govt, land-grabbed, land bank. CCDU's implying that CERA's dusty, demolition sites would become green by bureaucratic decree was laughable. CCDU's E Frame was just a nod to Council's City In A Garden idea.


17.12.11. Quake trashed bldg, red zone cordon, nr cnr Armagh St / Madras St. The bldg was demolished for NZ govt's / CERA's Blueprint Margaret Mahy Family Playground car park


Corner Armagh St / Madras St, red zone: Trade Union bldg was gone, demolished, together with an old, wooden house behind it. A yellow digger was parked on the demolition site. The bldgs were demolished for NZ govt's / CERA's Blueprint Margaret Mahy Family Playground car park.


17.12.11. Trade Union bldg demolition site & parked digger, cnr Armagh St / Madras St. The bldgs were demolished for NZ govt's / CERA's Blueprint Margaret Mahy Family Playground car park

Opposite Amargh St corner: Amicus House was gone, demolished months ago, together with Harcourts bldg & Securities House, demolition sites, all the way down west side Madras St, to Latimer Sq.


17.12.11. Amicus House demolition site, red zone, cnr Armagh St / Madras St. Tombstone high rises behind: Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) left was repaired. Forsyth Barr mid right was repaired. PWC right was demolished


17.12.11. Demolition sites nr Latimer Sq, left to right: Securities House, Harcourts bldg, Amicus House, red zone Madras St. All red zone bldgs in the pic were demolished, incl Platinum Sport left. Newstalk ZB right was imploded, 05.08.12.

On the cordon fence across Armagh St hung another red zone sign:

EXTREME
 DANGER
    KEEP
    OUT


17.12.11. Extreme danger, cordon fence, red zone, cnr Armagh St / Madras St. Tombstone high rises along red zone Armagh St: Forsyth Barr left was repaired, PWC right was demolished

Westwards down Armagh St, in the red zone, dead zone, Forsyth Barr & PWC tombstones loured. Forsyth Barr was repaired. PWC was demolished. CERA planned to open the whole red zone CBD by April 2012, 14 months post 22.02.11 quake.

Oct 2012. Red zone CBD was still cordon closed with NZDF checkpoints, citizens banned.

Mar 2013. Red zone CBD was still cordon closed with NZDF checkpoints, citizens banned.

CERA was incompetent with its failed deadlines. 28 months passed before CERA left its comfort zone & lifted its NZDF checkpoints. Meanwhile Christchurch CBD died a death by bureaucracy, citizens banned.

East side Madras St, from Armagh St crossing to Latimer Sq, was also empty - car parks & weedy demolition sites, including Charlie B's Backpackers demolition site. I wandered the red zone, cordon fence from Armagh St to Gloucester St by Latimer Sq.

Images, quake damaged Madras St & Latimer Sq:


17.12.11. Demolition site, nr car park, east side Madras St, nr Latimer Sq


17.12.11. Madras St, red zone, cordon fence, N view towards Oxford Tce. The bldgs were demolished for NZ govt's / CERA's Blueprint Margaret Mahy Family Playground car  park

A few bldgs were quake survivors around Latimer Sq. Many bldgs were gone, demolished. Tombstone high rises in the red zone CBD remained, some still awaiting demolition, others being demolished, like Hotel Grand Chancellor.

Image, quake damaged Latimer Sq, north side:


17.12.11. Latimer Sq N view along Madras St. Securities House demolition site, cnr Madras St / Gloucester St. The bldgs were demolished for NZ govt's / CERA's Blueprint Margaret Mahy Family Playground car park

Images, quake damaged Latimer Sq, west side:


17.12.11. Cnr Latimer Sq / Gloucester St / Madras St, W view down Gloucester St, into CBD red zone. Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) left was repaired. Platinum Sport right was demolished


17.12.11. SE view across Latimer Sq to Worcester St cnr demolition site, with blue shipping containers & abandoned Park Tower On Latimer

NW Latimer Sq / Gloucester St: Abandoned Platinum Sport awaited demolition. Nearby, an orange digger was parked on demolition rubble, tombstone high rises behind.


17.12.11. Latimer Sq NW, red zone, abandoned Platinum Sport bldg, awaiting demolition, Gloucester St


17.12.11. Latimer Sq NW, red zone, demolition site & tombstone high rises: Forsyth Barr left was restored. PWC right was demolished

Corner Latimer Sq / Gloucester St: Old, wooden, double storey shops, later demolished.


17.12.11. Latimer Sq west, red zone, closed, wooden shops, cnr Latimer Sq / Gloucester St. The bldg was demolished

Next door, a demolition site with 3 static, orange diggers & static men in hard hats & orange, Hi Vis vests, were Saturday afternoon slack. How much weekend overtime did they bill CERA? Newstalk ZB & Pacific Tower tombstone bldgs loured behind, while CERA contractors dithered & a DEMOLITION truck waited for rubble. Newstalk ZB was imploded, 05.08.12.


17.12.11. Latimer Sq west, red zone, demolition site, back dropped by tombstone Newstalk ZB. Hotel Grand Chancellor, demolition in progress left. Newstalk ZB was imploded, 05.08.12



17.12.11. Latimer Sq west, red zone, demolition truck by Latimer Sq demolition site



17.12.11. Latimer Sq west, red zone, demolition in progress. Cathedral Junction middle & Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) right. Cathedral Junction & Pacific Tower were both repaired


17.12.11. Latimer Sq west, red zone, demolition in progress. Tombstone high rises behind, left to right: Newstalk ZB, imploded 05.08.12; Pacific Tower was repaired; Forsyth Barr was repaired; PWC was demolished


Next to the demolition site, facing Latimer Sq, stood abandoned, double storey, Morley House. Behind loured Newstalk ZB bldg & other tombstone bldgs in the dead zone, red zone. Next to Morley House, stood abandoned The Bicycle Thief & an abandoned clinic along Worcester St.


17.12.11. Latimer Sq west, red zone, abandoned Morley House


17.12.11. Latimer Sq west, red zone, abandoned The Bicycle Thief, cnr Latimer Sq / Worcester St


17.12.11. Latimer Sq west, red zone view down Worcester St


Corner Latimer Sq / Worcester St: Abandoned Christchurch Club was part demolished.


17.12.11. Latimer Sq west, red zone, Christchurch Club part demolition site, cnr Latimer Sq / Worcester St


17.12.11. Latimer Sq west, red zone, abandoned, wooden house, next to Christchurch Club part demolition site, Latimer Sq

Corner Latimer Sq / Hereford St: Avonmore House was gone, demolished.


17.12.11. Avonmore House demolition site, red zone, cnr Latimer Sq / Hereford St. All bldgs behind were demolished incl Torrens House


17.12.11. Latimer Sq SW, Avonmore House demolition site. Quake trashed, red zone bldgs & demolition site across Hereford St


Corner Latimer Sq / Hereford St, opposite Avonmore House demolition site: Quake dilapidated blue & white, six storey bldg, with boarded windows, demolition sites both sides of the bldg. Quake battered bldgs stood westwards down Hereford St, an orange digger on demolition rubble.


17.12.11. Latimer Sq SW, red zone, quake trashed bldgs & demolition site, cnr Latimer Sq / Hereford St. Hotel Grand Chancellor demolition in progress behind


17.12.11. Latimer Sq SW, red zone, demolition site & quake trashed bldg, seen from cnr Latimer Sq / Hereford St. The bldg was demolished


17.12.11. Latimer Sq SW, red zone, quake trashed, boarded bldg, Hereford St, opp Latimer Sq. The bldg was demolished



Images, quake damaged Latimer Sq, south side:

17.12.11. Latimer Sq, red zone, southern view of Arrow House demolition site. CTV bldg demolition site & quake survivor, IR bldg behind


Corner Latimer Sq / Madras St / Hereford St: Arrow House demolition site. Behind was CTV bldg demolition site, where 115 people died in the CTV bldg collapse, 22.02.11 quake. Beyond CTV demolition site, across Cashel St, stood abandoned IR bldg. On SE Madras St / Cashel St corner was St Paul's Trinity Pacific Presbyterian Church demolition site.


17.12.11. Hereford St, N view across Latimer Sq to Gloucester St & Madras St


17.12.11. Latimer Sq, red zone, S view of Madras St to Port Hills. St John's Anglican Church demolition site left. Red zone, CTV bldg demolition site & IR bldg right. Holden Blackwells left awaited demolition


17.12.11. Latimer Sq, red zone, S view of Arrow House demolition site, CTV bldg demolition site, Madras St & IR bldg, cnr Madras St / Cashel St



17.12.11. Cnr Latimer Sq / Madras St / Hereford St, W view down red zone Hereford St. Many of the bldgs in the pic were demolished by CERA


From Latimer Sq, a red zone, fence cordon blocked the way down Madras St to the CTV demolition site. Madras St east side, the fence cordon stopped at Holden Blackwells, by St John's Anglican Church demolition site. (The Anglican Cardboard Cathedral was built on site, 2012-2013). The fence cordon, southwards down Madras St, by CTV bldg demolition site, resumed the other side of Holden Blackwells.


17.12.11. St John's Anglican Church demolition site, cnr Latimer Sq / Hereford St / Madras St

Corner Latimer Sq / Hereford St / Madras St: Serial quake trashed, St John's Anglican Church demolition site was flattened mud with views of Arrow House demolition site, CTV demolition site & Hotel Grand Chancellor demolition in progress, in the red zone. On a church car park wall, a painted sign read:

PARISH BUSINESS ONLY!

The only parish business that bleak afternoon was a muddy demolition site, salvaged church stones & tombstone bldgs in the red zone CBD.


17.12.11. St John's Anglican Church, car park view of Latimer Sq, cnr Hereford St / Madras St

Eastwards, St John's demolition site extended to Hereford House demolition site, brick bldg gone, demolished. So many old, stone churches & brick churches were pulverised by quakes & reduced to mud after demolitions.


17.12.11. St John's Anglican Church demolition site, Latimer Sq. The Anglican Cardboard Cathedral was built on site, 2012-2013




17.12.11. Latimer Sq, St John's Anglican Church demolition site view of Hotel Grand Chancellor, demolition in progress



17.12.11. Latimer Sq, St John's Anglican Church, demolition site view of CTV bldg demolition site & Hotel Grand Chancellor demolition in progress. Quake survivor, Les Mills Gym in mid ground


17.12.11. Madras St / St John's Anglican Church demolition site view of Arrow House demolition site & red zone, abandoned high rises PWC & Newstalk ZB awaiting demolition

By Holden Blackwells back wall, several pallets bore salvaged stones from St Johns Church, including Oamaru limestone & a couple of broken, white marble, memorial plaques. On one pallet a column capital was plastic-wrapped. Another pallet held the baptismal font. Next to a Structex shipping container, an Oamaru white stone altar awaited church resurrection. Leaded glass windows & wrought iron were strewn.

Images, St Johns Anglican Church salvage, corner Madras St / Hereford St:


17.12.11. Salvaged St John's Anglican Church white stones on pallets, by Holden Blackwells back wall, St John's demolition site, cnr Madras St / Hereford St. Holden Blackwells was demolished














17.12.11. Cnr Madras St / Hereford St, St John's Anglican Church demolition site view of Arrow House demolition site, CTV bldg demolition site & Hotel Grand Chancellor, demolition in progress


By St John's metal fence, Hereford St side, was another pile of salvaged church stones, some on pallets & several white, plastic bags, filled with church stones, awaiting church resurrection.


17.12.11. St John's Anglican Church, demolition site view of salvaged church stones, cnr Madras St / Hereford St


17.12.11. Latimer Sq, St John's Anglican Church demolition site view of Holden Blackwells bldg left, IR bldg behind & CTV bldg demolition site right, Madras St. Holden Blackwells was demolished

Images, quake damaged Latimer Sq, south side:


17.12.11. Cnr Latimer Sq / Madras St, W view of abandoned bldgs down red zone Hereford St. Most of the bldgs in the pic were demolished



Images, quake damaged Latimer Sq, east side:

17.12.11. Cnr Latimer Sq / Hereford St / Madras St, NE view of abandoned Park Tower On Latimer

Corner Latimer Sq / Hereford St, opposite St Johns Church demolition site: Beaufort House, part demolished.


17.12.11. Part demolished Beaufort House, cnr Hereford St / Madras St / Latimer Sq



17.12.11. Abandoned house, Latimer Sq east, next to Beaufort House


17.12.11. Madras St, NW view across Latimer Sq. Red zone, tombstone high rises beyond: Pacific Tower, Newstalk ZB, PWC, latter 2 demolished

East side Latimer Sq / Madras St: Next to Beaufort House, an abandoned house. Also abandoned Park Tower On Latimer flats. Letters fallen, a wall name read:

P-R- TOWE- ON LATI-ER

Next door a demolition site with shipping container border, Worcester St corner.


17.12.11. E side Latimer Sq / Madras St, abandoned Park Tower On Latimer.


17.12.11. Worcester St, cnr demolition site with blue shipping containers, by abandoned Park Tower On Latimer, E side Latimer Sq.


17.12.11. Worcester St view across Latimer Sq, towards red zone Worcester St. Abandoned Christchurch Club left, abandoned The Bicycle Thief right


East side, corner Latimer Sq / Worcester St: Latimer Hotel demolition site, awaited hotel rebuild.


17.12.11. Latimer Hotel demolition site, awaiting rebuild, cnr Latimer Sq / Worcester St





17.12.11. Latimer Sq / Madras St, NW view across Latimer Sq towards red zone Gloucester St


East side, corner Latimer Sq / Gloucester St: another abandoned bldg. Opposite side of Gloucester St, 2 more demolition sites, including Charlie B's Backpackers.

Images, quake damaged Latimer Sq, north side:


17.12.11. Latimer Sq view of weedy, Charlie B's Backpackers demolition site, cnr Gloucester St / Madras St. Trade Union bldg demolition site & yellow digger behind left, Madras St


I wandered north along Madras St to my car. Two little girls played amongst weeds, in Charlie B's Backpackers demolition site, by a Wilson car park, before joining their their mom & gran in Latimer Sq.


17.12.11. Wilson car park, cnr Latimer Sq & Gloucester St


17.12.11. Gloucester St, SW view across Latimer Sq towards red zone bldgs


17.12.11. Latimer Sq / Gloucester St view of weedy, Charlie B's Backpackers demolition site & weedy, Wilson car parks, Madras St



I wandered east along Armagh St to Barbadoes St crossing: Quake trashed houses were red stickered. Two street corners, 2 quake demolition sites, one site had a pile of quake rubbish, next to a mural.

Images, quake damaged Armagh St:


17.12.11. Quake trashed, yellow stickered, abandoned house, Armagh St, nr Barbadoes St crossing


17.12.11. Post quake rubbish & mural, shop demolition site, cnr Armagh St / Barbadoes St



17.12.11. Demolition site & quake survivor cafe, cnrs Armagh St / Barbadoes St


I wandered along Armagh St to Fitzgerald Ave, snapping quake trashed houses: A wooden house had collapsed chimneys. An A-frame house, double storey end wall was collapsed, green tarp fallen, showing bare rooms. Another double storey house had a metal brace propping a collapsed verandah wall. More houses had brick firewalls gone, papered or boarded over. Some of those quake trashed houses were still inhabited. One house was gone, demolished.

The houses were a microcosm of Third World living conditions citizens endured. Citizens were expected to live in their quake trashed houses, despite all the powers of NZ govt & CERA doing nothing about speeding up EQC settlements & repairs & insurer repairs & rebuilds. That slackness by NZ govt & so-called RECOVERY CERA would cause huge discontent over the next few years.


17.12.11. Quake damaged house, Armagh St, chimneys gone, roof trashed, between Barbadoes St & Fitzgerald Ave crossings


17.12.11. Quake damaged house, brick firewall gone, Armagh St, between Barbadoes St & Fitzgerald Ave crossings



17.12.11. Post quake, house demolition site, Armagh St

Three Maori kids, jabbering & waving a dog chain, chased their rottweiler pup, which barked at me. "SHUT UP!" I yelled. One kid's skin was burn scarred.


17.12.11. Armagh St suburban view of red zone, tombstone high rises: Forsyth Barr left was repaired, PWC right was demolished


17.12.11. Quake damaged house, boarded window, Armagh St, between Barbadoes St & Fitzgerald Ave crossings


17.12.11. Quake collapsed, house end wall, Armagh St



17.12.11. Yellow stickered house, Armagh St


17.12.11. Quake collapsed, brick, verandah wall, metal braced, Armagh St


17.12.11. Quake collapsed garage, Armagh St

Ten months post 22.02.11 quake & 15 months post 04.09.10 quake, as many Armagh St houses I saw were only part repaired, or abandoned, either the home owners weren't insured, or EQC & insurers were taking their time to pay, forcing citizens to live in Third World crap.

As most of the quake crapped bldgs along Madras St & around Latimer Sq were demolished months ago, gotta ask why CERA took so long releasing Latimer Sq from its red zone clutches?

Meanwhile at the Royal Commission of Inquiry hearings, as to why so many CBD bldgs collapsed, there were feeble excuses from bldg inspector engineers, bldg owners, EQC & Council.

Despite Christchurch CBD being shaken to hell by 4 major quakes & 1 000s of aftershocks, Council & CERA planned to rebuild the CBD on soggy ground, recommended by Tonkin & Taylor engineers. Never mind the CBD Fault.

Rebuilding on soggy ground, Council & CERA would repeat mistakes Victorians made before them. Council's & CERA's crazy planning condemned citizens to increased rates, higher insurance costs & more quake tragedies. Authorities would experiment on citizens by rebuilding untried, quake strengthened bldgs on soggy ground. Only future quakes could tell whether bldgs would stand or fall.

The Press Tues 20.12.11, reported town clerk Marryatt's salary, after a 14% increase vetted by councillors, as $538,529 p.a, or $10,356 weekly. The Press also reported EQC's announcement:

"Eighty per cent of Canterbury's earthquake-damaged homes in the Government managed repair programme will be fixed within three years..." THREE YEARS! Never mind some of those houses had already waited 15 months for repairs post 04.09.10 quake.

As Marryatt's $68 000 pay rise was more that the average wage of $37 970 & his annual salary 14 x more than the average annual income & that Marryatt was invisible in the quake aftermath for the last 15 months, his salary & increase was a travesty.

As for mayor Parker, deputy mayor Button & councillors who'd voted for Marryatt's increase, their judgement was poor. All I heard were Council slurps & grunts in the trough.

In 2012, Marryatt's & Parker's collusion, silences & poor communication with the public would cause huge public discontent. 2012 would be the year of public protests.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See $70 000 pay boost for council boss (Stuff Co / The Press).


See EQC sets repair target for homes (Stuff Co / The Press).

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