Thurs 27.12.12, Xmas - New Year holiday time. I parked my car on Gloucester St by Latimer Hotel rebuild, so Leah & I could look at quake-ruined Christchurch Cathedral.
We wandered west along quake trashed, CERA demolished Gloucester St. On Gloucester St / Latimer Sq / NE corner, we looked at the Aussie USAR / TF memorial, commemorating 3 Aussie USAR / TF teams who crossed the Tasman to help NZ USAR / TF teams during the 22.02.11 quake aftermath. Pathetic that the Aussie USAR / TF memorial didn't remember 185 quake dead. What Next? More USAR / TF memorials to all the other little USAR / TF teams that polluted Christchurch with their spray-painted graffiti?
The memorial bench was made of quake-ruined, Christchurch Cathedral wood. The recent Royal Commission of Inquiry & Coroner's Inquest established that on 22.02.11 quake day, there was no management coordination amongst cops, fire service & NZ USAR / TF teams at the collapsed CTV bldg, where 115 people died. Eight CTV bldg collapse survivors died, when fire service & USAR / TF bosses dithered over who would put out the CTV fire & who would do rescuing.
Images, quake damaged Latimer Sq:
27.12.12. Aussie USAR / TF memorial bench, Latimer Sq
Part of the Aussie USAR / TF plaque read: "... responded to assist our New Zealand colleagues in saving lives & providing support to the Christchurch community..." Bullshit! Like other foreign USAR / TF teams, Aussie USAR / TF arrived too late in Christchurch to save lives post 22.02.11 quake & community support was moot. I never saw one Aussie USAR / TF team member.
27.12.12. Aussie USAR / TF memorial plaque, Latimer Sq
After Aussie USAR / TF teams arrived on 23.02.11, all they did was check cordoned CBD bldgs & spray-paint USAR / TF graffiti on bldgs & pavements. Years later, USAR / TF graffiti was still seen on cordoned bldgs. The USAR / TF Memorial was later moved from Latimer Sq to south bank, Kilmore St Bridge, opposite the Sept 11 Firemens Memorial.
Gloucester St / Latimer Sq / NW corner, near ZB Newstalk implosion site: Several orange painted tyres, filled with planted petunias, obscured by weeds on a quake demolition site. Rotary put flower-filled tyres at various CBD demolition sites.
Images, quake damaged Gloucester St:
27.12.12. Rotary petunia tyres & weeds, demolition site, cnr Latimer Sq / Gloucester St. Demolition sites & southern red zone beyond
Since its press release on 30 July 2012, five months ago, CERA made little progress in Cathedral Sq. The press release boasted about CERA's CCDU Blueprint for Christchurch CBD, with anchor projects & green Frame, temporary parkland, bordering CERA's shrunken CBD.
Gloucester St: In the northern red zone, New Regent St restoration was quiet, nothing happening during holidays. Isaac Theatre Royal restoration had a triple layer of shipping containers supporting the front facade. The auditorium was gutted & roofless, stage area separated from the front facade.
Across the road, Next to The Press new bldg, workmen repaired cracks on Cathedral Junction concrete walls with epoxy glue. Novotel was being repaired in the southern red zone. Beyond Warners Hotel & the old Press bldg demolition sites, Government Departmental Building, Heritage Hotel, Millennium Hotel & the back of Christchurch Cathedral were in the southern red zone.
27.12.12. Demolition site view of Novotel, Gloucester St
27.12.12. Demolition site view of Novotel & Forsyth Barr left, Isaac Theatre Royal restoration & The Press right
27.12.12. Gloucester St view of Forsyth Barr, northern red zone
27.12.12. Gloucester St view of Isaac Theatre Royal restoration, northern red zone
27.12.12. Gloucester St demolition sites view of new The Press & Cathedral Junction left, Government Departmental Building middle, Heritage Hotel & Millennium Hotel right, southern red zone
27.12.12. Gloucester St demolition site view of new The Press & Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) left, Cathedral Junction right, southern red zone
27.12.12. The Press demolition site view of ruined Christchurch Cathedral, northern transept, southern red zone
Six weeks ago when Charles & Camilla Windsor visited CBD quake ruins, Leah & I looked at NZDF cordoned, quake-ruined Christchurch Cathedral in the southern red zone. Behind the NZDF checkpoint hut, at Colombo St / Gloucester St crossing, CERA had a little pocket of cordon fencing for public to view ruined Christchurch Cathedral.
27.12.12. Gloucester St view of ruined Christchurch Cathedral. Novotel left, Millennium Hotel behind, Camelot Hotel right, southern red zone. Camelot Hotel was demolished for the Central Library rebuild
27.12.12. Cathedral Sq NZDF checkpoint, southern red zone, Gloucester St / Colombo St crossing
As CERA was on holiday during the festive season, CERA extended the cordon fencing pocket, across the square towards the cop kiosk. Behind the soldiers' hut at the NZDF checkpoint, CERA propaganda boards festooned cordon fencing. The propaganda boards trumpeted CCDU's Blueprint, media released months ago. The propaganda boards were there to gull citizens & tourists, as CCDU's Blueprint would take many years to demolish old bldgs & transform into new bldgs.
CCDU's Propaganda boards read:
Te Mahere 'Maraka Otautahi'
Central Christchurch will become the thriving heart of
an international city.
It will draw on its rich natural and cultural heritage,
and the skills and passion of its people to embrace
opportunities for innovation and growth.
Redevelopment will acknowledge the past and the
events that have shaped the city, while reflecting the
best of the new.
WHAT DO CHRISTCHURCH
PEOPLE WANT FOR THEIR CITY?
He Aha Nga Tino Whainga?
When Christchurch City Council asked people to Share an Idea about the central
city recovery, it received more than 100 000 suggestions. Advice also came from
professional institutes, interest groups and community organisations.
From the community's responses five key themes formed the basis of the draft
Central City Plan:
1. Green city
2. Stronger built identity
3. Compact CBD
4. Accessible city
5. Live, work, play, learn and visit
These themes are reflected in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan.
THE BLUEPRINT PLAN
Te Hononga Mokowa
The Blueprint Plan provides a spatial framework for central Christchurch. It describes
the form in which the central city can be rebuilt as a whole, and it defines the location
of 'anchor projects' which will stimulate further development.
A large multi-purpose sports and entertainment venue is proposed for central
Christchurch. With seating for up to 35 000 people, the covered stadium will position
central Christchurch as a world-class option for attracting and hosting sporting
events and concerts.
The stadium will include:
* 35 000 seat capacity, with 4 300 demountable seats to allow for staging and
scaling of events
* Corporate seats and lounge spaces with a 4 000 seat capacity
* Option of a fixed, transparent roof to allow natural turf and enable multiple uses
* Optimum spectator viewing through rectangular format for field of play and
Mar 2016. CERA Blueprint Stadium wasn't built yet.
JUSTICE AND EMERGENCY
Te Manatu Ture me Te Kahui Whakamarumaru
The Justice and Emergency Service Precinct will incorporate the government and
emergency service sectors, along with Civil Defence and Emergency Management.
It will bring a substantial workforce into the central city, stimulating recovery by
supporting retail and commercial activity in the central area. The precinct will
accommodate up to 840 justice sector staff and 370 emergency service staff within
31 000 square metres of built floor area, possibly combining above and below
Mar 2016. The Justice & Emergency Service Precinct was built between Lichfield St & Tuam St. A huge steel frame bldg, a terrorist target. Planners & architects were nuts!
METRO SPORTS FACILITY
A new Metro Sports Facility will attract people from across Canterbury, New Zealand
and the world. They will be able to train, participate and compete in a broad range
of sports for all ages and abilities. The facilities will also offer a pleasant and
relaxing environment for spectators. Conveniently located in central Christchurch
and close to other sports facilities, the Metro Sports Facility will be easy to access
by public transport, private vehicle and new walking and cycling tracks.
Mar 2016. The Metro Sports Facility wasn't built yet. Just a vast demolition site which included DB Brewery & a joinery firm demolition sites, where son Luke had worked. After CERA / CCDU acquired the joinery firm for its Blueprint, Luke joined a salvage firm, as he didn't want to commute to the relocated joinery firm in Halswell.
Te Papa Hauroa
There is the opportunity for a world class hub for health education research and
innovation to be established next to the existing Christchurch Hospital. The Health
Precinct is an inspirational project in which private research and professional
partners, educational and medi-hotel facilities will be within walking distance of the
main hospital. Located at the western end of the south Frame, the precinct will be
well connected to the Metro Sports Facility and the Core.
Mar 2016. Nothing built yet.
PERFORMING ARTS PRECINCT
Te Whare Tapere
The arts and creative industries are crucial to the recovery of Christchurch. They
contribute to the local economy, to community and cultural well being and support
tourism and hospitality. Most of all, they draw people to the city and make it an
inspiring place to be.
Mar 2016. Nothing built yet. A vast demolition site next to restored Isaac Theatre Royal, Abandoned Forsyth Barr loured over the lot.
Defining the Core, and providing new green space and a range of commercial and
residential development opportunities the Frame will reshape central Christchurch.
Its three components - East, South and North - each have their own distinct
character, while the Urban Gateways in the north-west and south-east provide
vibrant entry points to the central city.
Mar 2016. Margaret Mahy Family Playground was built & operating in the N Frame. Otherwise, just vast demolition sites in the N, E & S Frames. S Frame was abandoned to EPIC & car dealers. So far, CERA's Blueprint was an epic failure, as CERA would disband in April 2016, replaced by Regenerate Christchurch & other NZ govt stooges.
AVON RIVER PRECINCT
Te Papa Otakaro
The winding path of the Avon River / Otakaro will mark Christchurch's new river
precinct. Te Papa Otakaro will include Victoria Square (formerly Market Square)
and be part of the central city's spiritual and aesthetic identity.
Mar 2016. Little rebuild. Some riverside restoration of paths, concrete seating & boardwalk by Antigua Boat Shed. Footbridge was repaired by Antigua Boat Shed. Bridge of Remembrance was repaired by Restart Cashel Mall. New concrete steps on Avon River bank below The Terrace slow development. Victoria Bridge was repaired by Town Hall repair. Avon River, below water level, matting was laid on CBD river banks to stop erosion.
Te Whare Pukapuka Matua
The new Central Library will be the city's hub for knowledge, heritage materials
recreational reading & listening. It will be an integral part of central Christchurch
and a gateway to the world via library collections and digital access.
The Central Library will continue to house some of the country's most important
collections of books and audio-visual materials. It will provide easy access to
digital technologies, local heritage collections, exhibition and performance spaces, a
learning centre, spaces to relax - indoors and outdoors - and activities to entertain
and educate people of all ages.
Mar 2016. Old Central Library was demolished. No new Central Library was built yet.
CONVENTION CENTRE PRECINCT
A world-class Convention Centre will be developed to attract new and existing events
to the city. The precinct comprises of a number of buildings that will reactivate
surrounding streets and public spaces and generate new activity. The precinct will
support retail and hospitality within the Core and visitor attractions and services
The Convention Centre will connect to the Square, Victoria Square, Puari Pa and
the Avon River Precinct / Te papa Otakaro and there will be day to day activities at
ground level on all sides.
Mar 2016. Old Convention Centre was demolished, Kilmore St. No new Convention Centre was rebuilt yet. Just a vast, cordoned, demolition site, between Victoria Sq & Cathedral Sq.
The Square will once again be the vibrant civic heart of central Christchurch.
Meet friends, eat lunch, listen to music, enjoy the city's passing parade - the
Square will always entertain. Civic facilities such as the Central Library and the
Convention Centre precinct will give life to the Square during the day. The return of
entertainment facilities such as cinemas, performance spaces, cafes and restaurants
will be encouraged to make it vibrant and safe during the night as well.
Mar 2016. Cathedral Sq rebuild was retarded by the demolish / restore / rebuild deadlock between ruined Christchurch Cathedral heritage fanatics & the Anglican diocese. No Convention Centre yet. No Central Library yet. Novotel & Heritage Hotel open. Millennium hotel closed. BNZ part demolished for years. Several demolition sites.
Images, quake damaged Cathedral Sq:
27.12.12. Cathedral Sq cordon fence view of Camelot Hotel & Novotel, southern red zone. Prophet posters on fence. Camelot Hotel was demolished for the Central Library rebuild
All that CERA hype needed taxpayer & ratepayer billions pumped into new CBD bldg projects, facilities & precincts. Further along the fence, a halfwit had hung 2 A4 size posters proclaiming he / she / it was a prophet:
HEAR YE HEAR YE
TEAR DOWN THAT CORDON
In my capacity as newly minted Prophet of Canterbury
And on behalf of the good people of Christchurch
I call upon CERA to remove the cordon around Cathedral Square
So that we may once again
Especially at this magical time of year
Walk freely among the ruins of the city centre
Which although broken and down, is not out
As it remains for many of us, and will always be
Both the sacred and secular heart of Christchurch.
The Prophet of Canterbury
December 2012 AD
Meanwhile CERA boss Sutton condoned the insurer / EQC travesty with the following:
"CERA is continuing to work with EQC and insurance companies to remove roadblocks to the rebuild and it's positive that nearly all the major insurers have now said they will get all greater Christchurch homes repaired or rebuilt by the end of 2015 to mid-2016." Yeah right Sutton. I bet Sutton didn't wait 5-6 years to have his quake damaged home repaired or rebuilt. (CERA's Greater Christchurch Recovery Update Issue 17 January 2013).
Shame on CERA for condoning incompetent EQC & insurers' settlement delays. So much for recovery.
Since Leah & I had passed that way 6 weeks ago, The Gloucester arcade on Gloucester St was gone, demolished. Farmers multi-storey car park demolition was completed. Forsyth Barr still stood, blocking CBD access from Victoria Sq, in the northern red zone, with owner & insurer dithering whether the high rise should be demolished or not.
27.12.12. Cathedral Sq military checkpoint view of WW memorial & ruined Christchurch Cathedral, southern red zone
27.12.12. Cathedral Sq military checkpoint view of ruined Christchurch Cathedral
27.12.12. Pre quakes tourist info board, Cathedral Sq military checkpoint. Forsyth Barr, northern red zone beyond
Since our last visit, big talk CERA had done zilch new in Cathedral Sq. A pile of rubble was all that remained of demolished Clarendon Tower. Ugly Government Life bldg still awaited demolition. Other ugly bldgs, surrounding ruined Christchurch Cathedral, were cordon-closed since the 22.02.11 quake.
27.12.12. Cathedral Sq, NZDF checkpoint view of ruined Christchurch Cathedral. Cop kiosk right
Christchurch Cathedral ruin was more dilapidated & weathered. As the heritage fanatic, demolition stalling, court case was over, the judge ruling Anglicans must use quake insurance money to rebuild the Cathedral on Christchurch Cathedral site, it was time Cathedral authorities & CERA stopped dithering about Christchurch Cathedral rebuild.
CERA pulled finger in 2011 & in Oct 2011 CERA got Restart Cashel Mall going & a temporary bus exchange going off Tuam St & Lichfield St. Since those temporary facilities evolved, besides demolitions, CERA did next to nothing in 2012 about rebuilding the CBD. So far, CERA's 5 months old CCDU Blueprint was just big talk, no action. As demolitions & rebuilds were stalled in Cathedral Sq & environs, when would CERA expedite its boastful CCDU Blueprint.
Early evening: I drove along red zone Avonside Dr, from Avondale Rd Bridge to Swanns Rd Bridge. There were scores more residential demolition sites along Avonside Dr since I'd last driven that way. On the quake trashed road, there was lots of ponding from road subsidence & Avon River seepage. The post 22.02.11 quake stop bank was barely effective.
During my quake wanderings over the last couple of years I'd witnessed many shaky verticals & firmer horizontals. Quakes & CERA produced more horizontals than verticals.
Fri 28.12.12. I parked my car on Armagh St, by CCDU's Blueprint Avon River Precinct & walked the southern red zone cordon again, past Christchurch Cathedral checkpoint. Bar demolitions, CERA did nothing new since I walked the southern red zone cordon 6 weeks ago.
"New" points of difference:
* Worcester St Bridge - The cordon fence was moved across the bridge to Our City bldg, for public access across the bridge to punts on Avon River bank. Prophet posters hung on that fence too.
Images, quake damaged Worcester St:
28.12.12. Worcester St Bridge cordon fence signs, southern red zone
28.12.12. Worcester St Bridge, cordon fence view of southern red zone. Cathedral Sq bldgs right, revealed by Clarendon Tower demolition - rubble beyond fence
28.12.12. Worcester St Bridge, cordon fence view of Our City restoration & Rydges Hotel, southern red zone
* Hereford St by reopened Ibis Hotel - Demolition of IBM bldg in progress. BNZ bank demolition across Colombo St stalled - Same demolition status as 6 weeks ago. Diagonally opposite Ibis Hotel, bldg on Colombo St was being demolished. A digger was parked atop a rubble heap by the temporary soccer turf.
The Press 04.01.13 reported that the stalled BNZ demolition was due to BNZ asbestos hazard found at the demolition site & surroundings in July 2012. No wonder demolitions were stalled in Cathedral Sq. Never mind pubic access to Ibis Hotel & the Hereford St / Colombo St cordon fence & daily shopping & commerce at Restart Cashel Mall a block away.
It was time CERA reported other CERA demolished bldgs containing asbestos. Where was CERA dumping asbestos waste? Despite nor'westers, I hadn't seen water tankers laying demolition dust for months.
Images,quake damaged Hereford St:
28.12.12. Hereford St view of demolition site, temp soccer turf & Colombo St demolition site
28.12.12. Demolition site, soccer turf view of IBM & BNZ demolitions, cnr Hereford St / Colombo St
* Restart Cashel Mall - More trinket sellers, more shoppers enjoying holiday shopping. A 1929 Baby Austin for Joyrides hire, $15 / ride
Images, Restart Cashel Mall:
28.12.12. 1929 Baby Austin Joyrider, Restart Cashel Mall
28.12.12. Restart Cashel Mall, shoppers & shipping container shops
A memorial plaque on a concrete slab in a flower bed read:
In memory of those
who lost their lives
in City Mall during
the earthquake of
22 February 2011
28.12.12. Memorial to 3 quake dead, Restart Cashel Mall
28.12.12. Restart Cashel Mall, shipping container shops
* The Crossing, Colombo St / Cashel St view into the southern red zone - Holiday Inn, a pile of rubble. Twinkle Toes, giant digger demolished fast.
28.12.12. Restart Cashel Mall, The Crossing view into the southern red zone
* Tuam St - For Lease signs & USAR / TF graffiti on a brick bldg by a razor wired & boarded alley to Sol Sq.
Images, quake damaged Tuam St:
28.12.12. Sol Sq, boarded, razor wired alley, off Tuam St, southern red zone. Old Council bldg left was demolished for the new bus exchange
28.12.12. For Lease sign & USAR / TF graffiti, Tuam St, southern red zone
28.12.12. Weedy demolition site, cnr Tuam St / Manchester St, southern red zone
* Tuam St - Red Fix Espresso Bar, temporary trailer, opposite Alice in Videoland (old PO). Bordered by Gap Filler planter boxes, Espresso Bar was closed, missing holiday trade. Behind stood McKenzie Willis ruin, awaiting restoration
28.12.12. Red Fix Espresso Bar, Tuam St. McKenzie Willis awaiting restoration, High St behind, southern red zone
28.12.12. Red Fix Espresso Bar, Tuam St. Alice in Videoland (old PO) behind
28.12.12. Red Fix Espresso Bar, Gap Filler garden, Tuam St. EPIC behind
28.12.12. Tuam St view of McKenzie Willis, awaiting restoration, High St, southern red zone
* Cordoned High St, to St Asaph St - Part of High St facade was burnt out, next to part restored McKenzie Willis facade. Arson I guessed, as electricity was off since the 22.02.11 quake.
Images, quake damaged High St:
28.12.12. High St view of burnt out facade, next to McKenzie Willis restoration
* Corner Madras St / Cashel St, St Pauls Trinity Pacific Presbyterian demolition site - 185 Empty Chair Memorial to 185 dead in the 22.02.11 quake. Beyond, the arch for the Anglican Cardboard Cathedral was seen.
Images, quake damaged Madras St:
28.12.12. 185 Empty Chairs Memorial to 185 dead, 22.02.11 quake, St Pauls Trinity Pacific Presbyterian demolition site, cnr Madras St / Cashel St. Anglican Cardboard Cathedral arch beyond
* Corner Madras St / Cashel St - Floral tributes on cordon fence, to 115 CTV dead, CTV demolition site. Council gazanias in pavement tubs, Namaqualand gazanias were desert plants. Beyond the southern red zone, cordon fence was demolition wasteland.
28.12.12. Floral tributes to 115 dead, CTV demolition site, cnr Madras St / Cashel St, southern red zone
* Corner Madras St / Hereford St by Latimer Sq - Erection of Anglican Cardboard Cathedral arch on St Johns demolition site. At least the Anglican diocese was building its temporary Cardboard Cathedral. Meanwhile Council dithered with bldg consents & CERA demolished.
28.12.12. Anglican Cardboard Cathedral arch, St Johns demolition site, cnr Madras St / Hereford St, by Latimer Sq
28.12.12. ZM 91.3 ad on shipping containers, Arrow House demolition site, cnr Hereford St / Madras St, by Latimer Sq. IR bldg left, Les Mills gym right
* Corner Latimer Sq / Worcester St - Latimer Hotel rebuild was at double storey height. Latimer Hotel was renamed Rydges Hotel.
Images, quake damaged Worcester St:
28.12.12. Latimer Hotel rebuild, cnr Latimer Sq / Worcester St. Latimer Hotel was renamed Rydges Hotel
CERA was a slow demolisher, using taxpayers' money to destroy. Since CERA's red zone CBD occupation in May 2011, CERA made no go wastelands in Christchurch CBD & along Avon River banks. CERA wanted to cheaply buy, or confiscate & demolish good CBD bldgs for its Blueprint green Frame. CBD bldgs were still demolished long past CERA's April 2016 expiry.
After nearly 2 years of CERA's CBD occupation, the CBD was a mess. Since CERA's 30 July fanfare of its CBD Blueprint, CERA was supposedly making another 100 day plan for CBD rebuild. So far nothing. That was CERA's delay pattern throughout 2012. Big talk, no action CERA ignored its own deadline dates for land zonings & took its time, blaming tardy Tonkin & Taylor geotech engineers, or awaiting a bouncing rocks report from Milan University, while quake hassled & CERA hassled homeowners waited.
Christchurch CBD's post quake incarnations:
1. Council's Central City Plan, 2011.
2. CCDU's Blueprint, Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, 2012.
3. NZ govt's Regeneration Christchurch, 2016.
Images, quake damaged Madras St:
28.12.12. Spring & ponding on Amicus House demolition site, cnr Madras St / Armagh St
28.12.12. Danger sign, Orion bldg, Armagh St
Coda: Sun 14.02.16. Valentines Day, 5.7 mag quake. Christchurch Cathedral's western facade crumbled more, despite the so-called, steel, "Battering Ram" buttressing the facade.
Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.
See Impressive projects anchor a compact, green city, 30 July 2012 (CERA press release).
See Owner plans to 'fix, open' IRD building (The Press / Stuff Co).
See Asbestos hazard in CBD (The Press / Stuff Co).
See Asbestos in houses a health landmine (The Press / Stuff Co).
See F grade unfair insurers council (The Press / Stuff Co).
See Big fight ahead for red zoners (The Press / Stuff Co).