Saturday, March 10, 2012

Post Quake, Christchurch Cathedral, CERA Demolition Farce

Sat afternoon 10.03.12. Since the lethal, 22.02.11, mag 6.3 quake, Christchurch citizens were banned from Christchurch's shrinking, red zone CBD, by Civil Defence, during the militarized, national state of emergency. More than a year post Feb 22 quake, CERA still banned citizens from the red zone CBD.

CERA occupied the CBD, with Demolition HQ huts & porta-cabins in Cathedral Sq, surrounded by fence cordons & protected by favoured contractors, cops & NZDF soldiers at varying checkpoint crossings on CBD red zone fringes.

While CERA occupied Christchurch CBD, all CERA had done, so far, were demolitions & Restart Cashell Mall & a new, temporary Bus Exchange between Lichfield St & Tuam St.

There was hullabaloo by Council to get the CBD rebuild plan to CERA / govt, which had sat on it without response. Was CERA minister Brownlee having seconds thoughts about CBD rebuild on quake ravaged swamp land?

Besides some red zone, CBD bus tours, Xmas socials in parks & media spin, CERA had zoned houses with terrible financial consequences for red zoners & many green zoners, messed around by tardy EQC, insurers & Fletcher builders, with huge delays in insurance payments & repairs.

Many CBD & Port Hills white zoners & orange zoners still waited for CERA's land zoning. The financial disaster for red zone, home owners, forced to move by CERA's zoning, was worse than the serial quakes disaster.

Regarding Port Hills land zoning, CERA boss Sutton raved about a bouncing rocks study, where geologists mapped potential falling rock paths, with Milan varsity computer modelling, 95% accuracy. It was scientific guesswork with 5% mistake rate & a waste of $500 000. (Weekend Press, 10-11.03.12). Sutton said Port Hills rezoning may be finalised by the end of June, or sooner. (The Star 16.03.12).

Nov 2013, nearly 3 years post 22.02.11 quake, parts of the Port Hills still hadn't been zoned properly by CERA. What a farce!

Images, quake damaged Manchester St:


10.03.12. Post quake demolition site, cnr Welles St / Manchester St



10.03.12. Welles St demolition site view: Quake demolition site car park, cnr St Asaph St / Manchester St. Red zone, CBD high rises beyond: old Council bldg & Westpac were demolished. Odeon Theatre stayed part demolished for years

The Press 12.03.12. reported that although CERA had promised information at the end of February, regarding strengthening of foundations of 28 000 blue / green, TC3 zoned homes, the information would only be available in April from the Dept of Building & Housing (DBH) & CERA. CERA was notorious for delays & feeble excuses by CERA minister Brownlee.

Images, quake damaged Colombo St:


10.03.12. Colombo St, red zone, cordon fence & quake demolition site. All bldgs in the pic were demolished, incl Westpac & Holiday Inn beyond


10.03.12. Red zone, Colombo St, sky bridge, The Crossing

That was the CERA / govt information pattern: Make grand media statements about land zonings & deadlines (or not), building up limbo-land hopes, then crush hopes with delays & blaming tardy investigation lackeys, like DBH engineers. Over the next year or so, CERA minister Brownlee would be the biggest blamer of the lot, Council his favourite jackboot victim.


10.03.12. Red zone, Colombo St W view, post quake Restart Cashel Mall


18.03.12. Restart Cashel Mall queue, waiting to enter Cathedral Walkway


18.03.12. Bottleneck at Cathedral Walkway entrance, The Crossing, Cashel St / Colombo St crossing. Most bldgs in the pic were demolished, incl Westpac & Holiday Inn, middle



10.03.12. Queue waiting to enter Cathedral Walkway , cnr Cashel Mall / Colombo St walkway entrance


10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, S view of Cashel Mall / Colombo St crossing, The Crossing & sky bridge. Ryan Security beggar-bucket on table


10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, cnr Colombo St / High St demolition


10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, Colombo St view: ANZ left & BNZ right were demolished. BNZ stood part demolished for years due to asbestos pollution

As for precious engineers, wanting to shift blame for their slack bldg inspections to slack seismologists, engineers should pay back all the money to those who'd paid engineers for their blame shifting expertise. (The Press 12.03.12).


10.03.12. Colombo St, red zone, serial quake trashed, Christchurch Cathedral, nave & S transept



Four months ago, November 2011, I'd last visited Christchurch Cathedral quake ruin, when CERA first opened Cathedral Sq, from Restart Cashel Mall, down Colombo St, red zone CBD cordon to Cathedral Sq.


10.03.12. Red zone, Chalice & serial quake trashed, Christchurch Cathedral. Abandoned Forsyth Barr, Camelot Hotel & PWC beyond. The  last 2 bdgs were demolished. Forsyth Barr was restored as Crowne Plaza Hotel

Images, serial quake damaged, Christchurch Cathedral, Cathedral Sq:


The 23.12.11 quake swarm stopped Cathedral Sq visits & since Cathedral authorities had recently stopped dithering & decided to demolish Christchurch Cathedral, CERA again opened Cathedral Sq, letting citizens see Christchurch Cathedral ruins again.

18.12.12. Immediate demolition was wishful thinking, as public protests & court cases would cause delays for years. The ruined cathedral stood as is, where is, decaying...


10.03.12. Red zone, post quake, heritage protest poster, Cathedral Sq

A heart shaped, protest poster, attached to Christchurch Cathedral, cordon fence read:

Where's the transparency?

The Cathedral belongs to all - it includes ratepayers' money. [Paid for some Cathedral repairs & Council's annual use of the Cathedral for some public functions].

The Anglican Church says this Cathedral is not saveable but refuses to release its engineering reports to the public. [Like CERA's & EQC's non available reports]. Why? Mayamoto Seismic Engineers says we can repair and totally strengthen the building safely for $20 - 30 million, less than the cost of replacing it! They are experts in this field, having saved much older and more damaged buildings in Italy, Haiti and Japan. Can we not at least get the freely offered assessment from these experts before deciding on our Cathedral's fate? What heritage will be left for our children? For tourism? This building has heart, ours.

The poster was unsigned & debate about demolition / restoration / rebuild of Christchurch Cathedral would carry on for years.


10.03.12. Red zone, serial quake trashed, tower, W facade & S transept, Christchurch Cathedral


18.03.12. Post quakes, "Save the Cathedral" protest poster, Cathedral Sq

A Cathedral protest poster had The Press cutting on it with the headline:

A STATEMENT FROM THE WIZARD OF CHRISTCHURCH...

On the side were the words:

DAMAGED?
      YES

RUINED?
       NO
FAR FROM
       IT!

WHO IS THE
BISHOP
TRYING TO FOOL?
         WHY?

Over the 2012 year of public protests The Wizard would bad mouth Bishop Matthews. He'd stood for years, once a week, in front of the Cathedral, jabbering to anyone who'd listen, mostly tourists, purporting to be a sage, a self-promoting charlatan.



Another protest poster had The Press cutting dated Fri Mar 9, with the headline:

INTERIOR VIEWS SHOW EXTENT OF CATHEDRAL DAMAGE...

On the side was an unpublished letter by Ross Gray to The Press editor criticizing the article:

A pile of broken chairs, some tangled metal grillwork and some broken stones, a chunk of fractured timber pointing roofwards. And a chancel arch looking a bit worse for wear. Shock horror.

Wait on, what's this? An intact wall ahead with a pristine-looking stained glass window - and five or so resolute nave columns and arches. A sturdy timber roof. Is this really the best demolition dramatists can do?

What a beat up. Now we have the Gerry [Brownlee] tearful goodbye show, with huge numbers of acquiescent residents swallowing the line, complete with hook line and sinker.

What happened to the Christchurch fighting spirit [Huh?] which stands for the city and its heritage? [Post 22.02.11 quake, The Wizard's frightened spirit vanished for a year to his safe Timaru house]. Yes the Cathedral is badly damaged, but it is not ruined. [External walls were all broken & cracked, the tower & W wall collapsed]. Trust the engineers who do know these things from decades of international experience. [Like the CTV bldg & PGC bldg engineers whose bldgs collapsed in the 22.02.11 quake & engineers who stuffed up post quakes, rapid assessment of bldgs with their crazy green, yellow & red stickering]. It can be safely & economically strengthened to full bldg code. [Huh?] 

Surely the restored Cathedral, at the very heart of the city, is the most dramatic memorial we could possibly have! 

Ross Gray & The Wizard were raving mad. Considering all the Cathedral quake damages I'd seen, you wouldn't catch me entering the Cathedral, ruined or restored, ever again.

Months ago, many quake trashed, Christchurch churches were demolished: Sydenham Heritage Church, Brougham St; Oxford Tce Baptist; St Lukes, Manchester St; St Johns, Latimer Sq; St Pauls, Madras St; lethal Methodist, Durham St Nth; Trinity Avonside; St Marys, Church Ln; others... Fence cordoned, church ruins remained - Knox Church, Bealey Ave; Chinese Methodist, Papanui Rd - Eyesores.

In 2013 the Chinese Methodist Church, Papanui Rd, was demolished & rebuilt in 2014. In 2013-14 Knox Church, Bealey Ave, was restored.


10.03.12. Red zone, post quake, War Memorial, Cathedral Sq


10.03.12. Red zone, serial quake trashed tower, Christchurch Cathedral. Novotel behind was restored


10.03.12. Red zone, serial quake trashed, W facade detail, Christchurch Cathedral


18.03.12. Red zone, serial quake trashed Christchurch Cathedral. War Memorial, Novotel & crane left


On my November visit to Christchurch Cathedral ruin, CERA hung laminated pics on cordon fences, boasting about all the bldgs CERA would demolish: Milano Bldg / KFC, demolition in progress; 24 Hour Dairy, demolished. BZN, ANZ, Clarendon Tower, Grant Thornton, PWC high rises - little demolition progress by CERA contractors, so far.

Images, quake damaged Cathedral Sq:


10.03.12. Red zone, post quake, CERA demolition HQ, Cathedral Sq. Abandoned IBM, old PO & Telecom behind. IBM was demolished


10.03.12. Red zone, post quake, Godley statue plinth, Cathedral Sq. Grant Thornton behind was demolished


18.03.12. Red zone, post quake, Godley statue plinth, Cathedral Sq. Clarendon Tower behind was demolished


10.03.12. Red zone, serial quake trashed, Christchurch Cathedral. Novotel left was restored


10.03.12. Red zone, serial quake trashed tower, Christchurch Cathedral


10.03.12. Red zone, serial quake trashed, W facade, Christchurch Cathedral


10.03.12. Post quake, yellow ribbons, red zone, cordon fence, Cathedral Sq. Most bldgs in the pic were demolished



18.03.12. Red zone, serial quake trashed, Christchurch Cathedral


CERA was ensconsed in the red zone, CBD & spun out demolitions, killing CBD businesses. Most undemolished business bldgs I'd passed outside (& inside) the red zone, cordon fence, especially St Asaph St & Colombo St businesses, were closed, dusty & derelict. Post 22.02.11 quake, most of those businesses relocated outside the CBD. Few would return, as CERA occupied & strangled the CBD for 28 months, protected by NZDF checkpoints.


10.03.12. Security man, red zone, serial quake trashed tower, Christchurch Cathedral. Novotel & Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) left would be restored


10.03.12. Red zone, serial quake trashed tower, Christchurch Cathedral


10.03.12. Red zone, serial quake trashed, W facade detail, Christchurch Cathedral


At Cathedral Walkway entrance by The Crossing at Restart Cashel Mall, Ryan Security had placed a white, plastic beggar-bucket which cajoled, " Voluntary Contribution." A crowd shuffled along Restart Cashel Mall, to Cathedral Walkway & wandered along Colombo St, past quake-closed shops, to ruined Christchurch Cathedral.

First sight of the ruined western facade, Christchurch Cathedral, one saw a red car parked by orange & white plastic barriers, in front of the Cathedral. Apartheid CERA allowed Ryan Security to park a red car in front of the Cathedral, while separated citizens stood behind a fence cordon, staring at their beloved Cathedral.


10.03.12. Security man, post quake, red zone, war memorial, Cathedral Sq


10.03.12. Red zone, serial quake trashed, W facade detail, Christchurch Cathedral


Serial quake trashed Christchurch Cathedral was more damaged by the 23.12.11 quake swarm. Collapsed W facade: rose window & collapsed tower windows gone; crooked buttresses, with displaced stones; collapsed slate roof on the porch between rose window wall & belfry; piles of stones below the W facade; pigeons roosting on roof beams inside Christchurch Cathedral. Useless "Battering Ram" metal bracing, stopping the rose window falling outside, still obscured the W facade & closed door entrance.

Only snag with CERA permitting citizens seeing ruined Christchurch Cathedral, was that viewers were only allowed to see some of the S nave wall & S transept from the walkway & from behind cordon fencing to gawp at the collapsed tower & conked W facade.

Citizens weren't allowed to see the N nave wall, including N transept, nor E facade including chancel & apse. As close public scrutiny wasn't allowed, there would be questions about what was hidden from public eyes. That gave protest morsels for heritage fanatics. CERA & the Anglican Church had lots to answer for.

From what I could see on the outside, the S nave wall, S transept, clerestory & nave roof looked OK to me. Just the tower & W facade were kaput. The N nave wall, N transept, chancel & apse were anyone's guess.

So far, there'd been no convincing photos made public of extensive internal damage of the Cathedral. Just CERA demolition boss Isaacs saying on TV that an engineer, who'd been inside the Cathedral for less than 5 minutes post 23.12.11 quakes, had "felt very uncomfortable" & soon left. Funny the Cathedral was still standing months after the scared engineer left.

I'd felt very uncomfortable near & in many dangerous bldgs over the last 18 quake months, but stayed to take pics. One can snap many digital pics on automatic mode in a few minutes. Was the scared engineer not paid enough to take photos to back up his fears?


10.03.12. Red zone, post quake Chalice, Cathedral Sq. BNZ behind, awaiting demolition


10.03.12. Post quake, red zone crowd, Cathedral Sq. CERA demolition HQ hut & portaloo, abandoned old PO & Telecom behind



10.03.12. Post quake, red zone, Godley statue plinth, Cathedral Sq. Clarendon Tower behind was demolished


10.03.12. Post quake, red zone crowd, Cathedral Sq. Clarendon Tower left & Grant Thornton right were demolished


10.03.12. Post quake, red zone, War Memorial & Cathedral Visitors' Centre, Cathedral Sq


10.03.12. Red zone, serial quake trashed, tower & W facade, Christchurch Cathedral


CERA apartheid minions, Ryan Security in snot-green vests lurked along the walkway, polluting the crowd. Two Ryan Security goons in limey, Hi Vis vests & yellow hard hats slouched behind the cordon fence, by white-orange, plastic barriers, before the W facade. One lurched to the cop kiosk in Cathedral Sq. How many cops hid behind the one-way glass?

Of course security was there to intimidate heritage half-wits like Cr Keown, who'd threatened to chain himself to Christchurch Cathedral, over his dead body, after bishop Matthews announced Christchurch Cathedral demolition. It was obscene that security was paid to obstruct public in Cathedral Sq, thanks to Keown's Wagnerian manner.

Yellow ribbons were tied to a cordon fence & a couple of cardboard heart signs were tied to fences, with emotional-blackmail messages (as above) by heritage fanatics. They hadn't learnt a thing from deaths caused by masonry falling from unreinforced bldgs in the Feb 22 quake.


10.03.12. Red zone, CERA demolition HQ, Cathedral Sq. BNZ left, IBM middle, old PO right. BNZ & IBM were demolished


10.03.12. Red zone, CERA demolition HQ huts, Cathedral Sq. Clarendon Tower behind was demolished


10.03.12. Post quake, red zone, old PO & Telecom, Cathedral Sq


10.03.12. Post quake, red zone, ANZ & USAR / TF graffiti, Cathedral Sq. ANZ was demolished

The only emotional impact Christchurch Cathedral had on me was in Feb 1994, when I was on my recce trip to NZ, before emigrating from East London, SA, 1995. Christchurch Cathedral's message board in the nave, with intercession prayers had the same emotional impact, as when I'd visited Bethlehem's Nativity Church grotto, Israel, 1982.


10.03.12. Post quake, red zone, Cathedral Walkway, Cathedral Sq. All bldgs in the pic were demolished



10.03.12. Red zone, serial quake trashed, W facade & S nave wall, Christchurch Cathedral


10.03.12. Red zone, serial quake trashed, W facade, Christchurch Cathedral. PWC left, Chalice right. PWC was demolished

In its prime, Christchurch Cathedral was neo Gothic to grander churches I'd seen in UK: St Pauls, London; Westminster Abbey, London; Canterbury; Wells; Salisbury; Coventry; Lincoln; Durham; St Giles, Edinburgh... I saw better in Europe too: Chartres, France; Sacre Coeur & Notre Dame, Paris; Sagrada Familia, Barcelona; Sienna, Italy; Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence; St Peters, Rome; Koln, Germany...


10.03.12. Red zone, serial quake trashed S transept, Christchurch Cathedral. Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) was restored right



I wandered back up Colombo St, snapping abandoned BNZ & ANZ high rises & demolition in progress at Milano / KFC bldg, corners Colombo St / High St & Hereford St. Across the street, Timezone was part demolished. Burger King & McDonald's were abandoned, awaiting demolitions. I snapped Colombo St, red zone, abandoned shops, all with USAR / TF graffiti on windows.

Over the next year or so, most of the abandoned shops on Colombo St I passed, between Cathedral Sq & Restart Cashel Mall, would be demolished by CERA, leaving dusty wastelands.

Images, quake damaged Colombo St:


10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, BNZ to be demolished, cnr Cathedral Sq / Colombo St. BNZ stayed part demolished for years





10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, USAR / TF graffiti on BNZ, to be demolished, cnr Colombo St / Hereford St. BNZ stayed part demolished for years


10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, cnr Colombo St / Hereford St. BNZ to be demolished. BNZ stayed part demolished for years


10.03.12. Security man, red zone, Cathedral Walkway, cnr Colombo St / Hereford St. Quake demolition site behind


10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway crowd, Colombo St. ANZ was demolished


10.03.12. Red zone high rises, Cathedral Walkway, Colombo St / High St / Hereford St crossing. All bldgs in the pic were demolished, incl Hotel Grand Chancellor, demolition in progress middle & Holiday Inn right



10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, cnr Colombo St / High St


10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, Colombo St view: Hanafins demolition site, cnr High St / Hereford St


10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, quake trashed shop, Colombo St, nr Hereford St crossing. The bldg was demolished


10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, quake trashed shop & USAR / TF graffiti, Colombo St, nr Hereford St crossing. The bldg was demolished



10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, quake demolition site, cnr Colombo St / High St





10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, quake trashed shop, Colombo St, nr The Crossing


Back at the shopping throng on Restart Cashel Mall, I lingered to snap The Crossing & the old bus Exchange, Colombo St, behind red zone cordon fencing. The dark bldgs by the old, bus exchange were red zone abandoned for over a year, so far. I continued past revamped Ballantynes, past several closed shops to Lichfield St crossing, one side, fence cordoned, red zone.


10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, The Crossing & sky bridge, Colombo St / Cashel St crossing


10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, quake trashed shop & USAR / TF graffiti, Colombo St, nr The Crossing. The bldg was demolished



10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, The Crossing, Colombo St / Cashel St crossing. The bldgs were demolished


10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, Colombo St, The Crossing, E view down Cashel St. All bldgs left & Holiday Inn & Westpac right were demolished


10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, Colombo St, The Crossing, E view down Cashel St. Hotel Grand Chancellor, demolition in progress left. Most other bldgs in the pic were demolished



10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, The Crossing, Cashel St / Colombo St crossing S view & sky bridge


10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, The Crossing, quake closed Food Court, Colombo St / Cashel St crossing


10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway, The Crossing, girls looking at quake tribute flowers, Cashel Mall, cnr Colombo St / Restart Cashel Mall


10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway entrance, The Crossing, Cashel St / Colombo St crossing


10.03.12. Red zone, Cathedral Walkway entrance view of Restart Cashel Mall



10.03.12. Cashel Mall, quake tribute flowers, The Crossing, Cashel St / Colombo St crossing


Post 22.02.11 quake, early days of the national state of emergency, in the red zone, Ballantynes & other shops were robbed by a Tauranga contractor, who tried selling his loot at a Tauranga garage sale. It was the time when cops were hysterically slagging off "looters" in the media, implying that Christchurch citizens, who'd already endured months of quakes since the 04.09.10, mag 7.1 quake, were all potential looters. (Canterbury Star 25.02.12).

Trouble with that military mind set was that cops & checkpoint NZDF soldiers didn't bother searching contractors & vehicles entering & leaving the red zone cordon. How many more contractors helped themselves, protected by cordon fencing, slack cops & NZDF soldiers, with citizens & bldg owners banned from the red zone CBD? More than a year post Feb 22 quake, I had yet to see any searching at red zone checkpoints. NZDF soldiers just checked CERA passes.

I wandered back to my car along Colombo St, snapping abandoned bldgs & quake demolition sites, in & out of the red zone, cordon fence. Fading, red stickered, abandoned shops, with fading USAR / TF graffiti on windows, were gloomy. Rotting contents were strewn behind shop windows. Reflections of ghost shoppers wandered by while I snapped. By the old, Bus Exchange, I got that creepy feeling again, amongst dangerous bldgs, most of which would be demolished.


10.03.12. Red zone, quake closed shops & USAR / TF graffiti, Colombo St, nr The Crossing. The old Bus Exchange bldg was demolished





10.03.12. Red zone, recently re-opened Ballantynes, cnr Colombo St / Restart Cashel Mall


10.03.12. Red zone, quake closed National Bank ATM, Colombo St


10.03.12. Red zone, quake closed shop, Colombo St, nr Lichfield St crossing


10.03.12. Red zone, cordon fence, Colombo St / Lichfield St crossing


10.03.12. Colombo St E view: Red zone, serial quake trashed, abandoned, old Bus Exchange, Lichfield St. The old Bus Exchange was demolished


10.03.12. Red zone, serial quake trashed shop, Colombo St, nr Tuam St crossing




Sadness seeped from dry flowers & tributes by Mollett St demolition sites, where 16 people died in the Feb 22 quake. Across Colombo St, Beggs Music Centre stood dusty & abandoned, behind cordon fencing, awaiting demolition. Beggs relocated to South City.


10.03.12. Red zone, serial quake trashed, Beggs Music Centre, Colombo St, nr Mollett St junction. Beggs relocated to South City


10.03.12. Lethal Colombo St / Mollett St junction NE view, quake demolition sites made into car parks. Red zone, CBD high rises beyond: Left Westpac; Hotel Grand Chancellor middle; Holiday Inn; old Council bldg, Tuam St right were all demolished


10.03.12. Lethal Colombo St / Mollett St junction, N view, quake demolition sites made into car parks


10.03.12. Lethal Colombo St / Mollett St junction, S view: Quake demolition sites made into car parks


10.03.12. Lethal Colombo St / Mollett St junction, W view, post serial quakes, demolitions & clean up


10.03.12. Mollett St S view: Quake-lethal Colombo St block & demolition sites to St Asaph St



10.03.12. Mollett St NE view, quake-lethal Colombo St to Tuam St crossing & red zone, abandoned CBD high rises beyond. Westpac & Hotel Grand Chancellor right were demolished


10.03.12. Tributes to 22.02.11 quake dead, cnr Colombo St / St Asaph St. 16 people died in the vicinity, due to fallen masonry



10.03.12. Serial quake damaged, cordoned bldg, St Asaph St, nr Colombo St crossing


10.03.12. Serial quake trashed, cleaned up, Colombo St / St Asaph St crossing


10.03.12. Tribute to 22.02.11 quake dead, cnr Colombo St / St Asaph St. 16 people died in the vicinity


10.03.12. Post quake, cnr St Asaph St / Colombo St. For months post 22.02.12. quake, a red zone, NZDF checkpoint was on this fence cordoned cnr

The Press 12.03.12 reported that over 30 000 people visited Christchurch Cathedral ruin: 13 000 Saturday, 18 000 Sunday. Cathedral Walkway would be opened next weekend too - last time, then demolitions.

Silly season: Close up TV debate was cancelled, between Cr Keown & Cathedral authorities, as the Anglican church refused to debate its own decision to demolish Christchurch Cathedral.

The Wizard, who'd harangued tourists outside Christchurch Cathedral since 1974, but vanished to Timaru post 22.02.11 quake, said he too would save Christchurch Cathedral ruin, together with heritage fanatics (The Press 10.03.12). The Wizard said he'd cast a spell to "Save the Cathedral" & would protest at Canterbury Museum every Sunday.

CERA soon part demolished Christchurch Cathedral tower, but protests & court cases stopped more Christchurch Cathedral demolition for years.

Images, quake damaged St Asaph St & Manchester St:


10.03.12. Post quakes, St Asaph St car park NE view: Red zone, quake damaged, Odeon Theatre, Manchester St. Odeon Theatre was part demolished, Tuam St facade retained


10.03.12. Welles St N view: Quake demolition site made into a car park; Red zone, CBD bldgs - serial quake trashed, old Council bldg left, Westpac middle, Odeon Theatre right. Council bldg & Westpac were demolished. Odeon Theatre was part demolished, Tuam St facade retained


10.03.12. Post quakes demolition site, cnr Welles St / Manchester St


10.03.12. Welles St S view of Port Hills: Left - cnr Manchester St / Southwark St, quake demolition site, made into a car park. Right - serial quake trashed, old station clock tower. The old station was demolished

Sun 18.03.12. Leah & I had a last look at Christchurch Cathedral ruin. Mid afternoon, we queued a bit (100m+) in Restart Cashel Mall, before entering Ryan Security bottleneck entrance to Cathedral Walkway. A security man used a hand counter to count walkers. Another security man sat on a plastic seat in the 27C sun at the walkway entrance.

Like last weekend, a couple of white, plastic, beggar-buckets solicited voluntary contributions for Ryan Security along the walkway. The queue went fast & congestion eased in the walkway.

A food-rotting smell wafted when we passed the KFC demolition site & abandoned McDonald's & Burger King. The red car was still parked in Cathedral Sq, a Ryan Security car was parked by the cop kiosk, with 2 cop vehicles too. A slack Ryan Security man sat on a plastic seat beneath a tree by the cop kiosk.

By the cordon fence, heritage fanatics collected signatures to "Save the Cathedral." People queued to sign. By Novotel, a tall crane stood, with a steel oblong on a chain, ready for CERA's demolition once citizens left.

Mon 19.03.12. The Press reported that 32 000 people visited Cathedral Sq last weekend. Thus over two weekends, over 60 000 people visited Christchurch Cathedral ruin, before CERA's demolition attempt.

Leah & I both had Campylobacter diarrhoea, vomiting & fevers. I suspected it was caused by the dry, hot nor'wester blowing bacterial spores around the red zone, CBD. Several times during quake months, I'd had mild infections, due to sewage spores & rot spores scattered by nor'westers. Pre-quakes, my immune system was potent. There weren't enough CERA dust-laying, water tankers on nor'wester days.

November 2013. Although Cathedral Sq was open to the public again, abandoned Christchurch Cathedral ruin was still fence cordoned. CERA demolition was still delayed due to legal wrangling between heritage fanatics & the Anglican diocese.

March 2015. No Christchurch Cathedral progress, wrangling still. Christchurch Cathedral ruin was weathered by elements & fence cordoned still.

The Press 25.01.16. Christchurch Cathedral was still as is, where is, with no progress on CERA demolition versus heritage fanatic restoration versus Anglican diocese rebuild. A mediator between Christchurch Cathedral authorities & Burdon / Anderton restoration fanatics was paid $43 000 for a report saying Christchurch Cathedral could be restored for $105m, or rebuilt for $66m. What a farce!

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 Rules on blue-green homes delayed (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Huge uncertainty in building design (The Press / Stuff Co).


See Wizard in save cathedral bid (The Press / Stuff Co).


See Man accused of earthquake thefts (Star Canterbury).


See Sadness as 60 000 pay homage to doomed cathedral (The Press / Stuff Co).


See Govt paid lawyer $43K for Christchurch Cathedral report (The Press / Stuff Co).

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