Saturday, April 14, 2012

Red Zone Rats & Shit Streets

Fri 13.04.12. TV One News squeaked about Christchurch red zone rats eating red zone cordon workers' lunches & mice found in red zone homes & that rats were leaving red zones to occupy other housing, as there was no food for them in the red zone.

The only red zone rats I'd seen during 2010-2011 quakes were politicians, councillors & red zone contractors, all scavenging on the misery of Christchurch citizens, who so far had endured 10 000+ quakes.

Mayor Parker wanted to rebuild Christchurch red zone CBD on quake trashed CBD land, on old swamp & underground waterways. Post 22.02.11 quake, Parker persuaded 1 000s of citizens to offer CBD rebuild ideas for the Council rebuild plan. Fourteen months post 22.02.11 quake, Parker was fixated by the CBD rebuild.

Parker's Council was so dysfunctional that a Crown observer had to observe Council meetings & advise, to ensure councillors didn't squabble too much.

Before the quakes, Parker's town clerk Marryatt under-insured Council assets & infrastructure, so Parker & councillors wanted to increase rates to cover insurance shortfalls when AMI stadium, Town Hall, Convention Centre, swimming pools ... were demolished / rebuilt / repaired. Take your pick.

Post 04.09.10, mag 7.1 quake, on Tues 7 September, PM Key squeaked that NZ govt would help Christchurch rebuild. (Quake, David Wethey, Ian Stuart, Harper Collins, 2010). Key knew EQC was under-insured pre quakes, as EQC had warned the National govt that EQC was under-insured by reinsurers. Finance minister Bill English did nothing about it.

Overpaid EQC assessors gave crap assessments on quake damages, leaving home owners to battle EQC tardiness & crap assessments.

Land-grabbing CERA offered red zoners a crap govt deal where red zoners would be paid out 2007 govt valuation on their quake trashed land & housing, nowhere near market value for red zoners, who lost land & house title, as well as ceding insurance policies to CERA / NZ govt.

That enabled great rat insurers to laugh all the way to the bank, as insurers would pay less to red zoners, if red zoners opted to battle insurers only. Insurers paid slowly & blamed EQC for their tardiness. Insurers broke promises to home owners, like offering home owners a house rebuild pay out, for which home owners had paid premiums for years, then insurers changed to a cheaper repair pay out. For months post quakes, insurers did the rebuild to repair routine.

Although housing developments were happening in Halswell & Rolleston, a housing crisis loomed, as many red zoners with CERA or insurer pay outs couldn't afford current market prices for new housing, due to crap pay outs & inflated housing market.

NZ govt / CERA's laissez faire approach to the post quake housing market was causing hardship for thousands of red zoners & home owners with quake broken homes.

As for Christchurch's rental housing market, some landlords were crap rats, raising rentals to exorbitant highs. CERA minister Brownlee sat on his paws, allowing the rental market to rip off red zoners & tenants, some forced to stay with family or friends, or sleep in their cars, or rent garages as living quarters.

There was Council & state housing (Housing NZ) in Christchurch & Kaiapoi, but it was mostly boarded & abandoned post 22.02.11 quake.

CERA made some attempt to temporarily house red zoners at Kaiapoi & Linwood Domain & the boasted about, but not yet built, Rawhiti Domain temporary housing. CERA's temporary housing was inadequate for the number of red zoners expelled from their properties & forced to relocate.

CERA boss Sutton squeaked that the red zone CBD was still dangerous, yet CERA put out tenders for commercial bus tours to run in the CBD red zone. (The Star 13.04.12). CERA had so far occupied the CBD red zone for over a year, with NZDF checkpoints blocking citizens' access to the red zone CBD. Only chosen contractors, lean & brawny rats in hard hats & Hi Vis vests, were allowed into the red zone CBD.

CERA cordon checkpoints strangled the CBD red zone. In CERA demolition wasteland, there were high rises still to be demolished & CERA rats would occupy the red zone CBD for 28 months.

Sutton squeaked that some bldg owners actually wanted to be in CERA's cosy cordon, surrounded by fences & NZDF soldiers, the cordon enabling business owners to get organized. (CERA Earthquake Recovery Update, Issue 9, April 2012). Thus cordon fencing & NZDF soldiers kept CERA rats in & citizens out of the red zone. Since when did a few bldg owners own the CBD?

Sat 14.04.12. I wanted to find some wild, furry rats in Christchurch. Over 17 years' living in Christchurch, I'd never seen a wild rat. Lots of mice at Halswell & Burnside where we'd rented. Our cat polished off the mice, but we'd seen no wild rats. Leah said her London St school, on the CBD fringe, was infested with mice post Feb 22 quake.

Since the quakes I'd wandered & driven along quake trashed Avonside Dr & passed quake trashed junctions in an Avon River bend bordered by Avonside Dr. I wanted to find red zone rats in Avon River bend from Retreat Rd to Avonside Dr.

Avonside red zone roads I wandered: Bracken St; Keller St; Morris St; Galbraith Ave; Maling St; Robson Ave; Acland Ave. They were all shit streets with quake trashed housing. Housing NZ, state housing windows & doors were all boarded. Some houses were already demolished, bare demolition sites. I saw only 5 inhabited  houses, the rest were abandoned, gardens overgrown, rubbish in gardens.

Liquefaction mud was cleared from roads. No maintenance was done to roads - pot holed, buckled, lumpy, bumpy & puddled. Foul puddles were caused by the high water table, due to Avon River proximity. Rat wonderful. Several roads had FLOODING road signs. Several cars were parked on roadsides. A few rubberneckers rattled by.

Telecom wiring was tied to some quake-leaning power poles, festooned with electrical wiring & cables. I hoped electricity was switched off, as some cables hung so low I could've jumped up & touched them. Green stickers on house windows showed where electricity was disconnected.

Blue plastic, water pipes ran along pavements & across roads, giving fresh water to those still living in the red zone. Green & blue, plastic tanks were buried on roadsides. I opened the lids of a couple - foul underground water drained inside. As aftershocks were ongoing, quake / tidal flooding formed foul, slimy puddles, polluting roadsides, mosquito paradise. Green plastic, sewage tanks stood on roadsides & street corners. Portaloos littered roadsides, stinking in the afternoon sun.

Fourteen months post 22.02.11 quake, Council notes stuck on portaloo doors asked citizens to contact Council if they still needed a stinking portaloo. The note read:

"This portable toilet will be removed within two weeks of today's date, 13 April 2012..."

Bracken St: Potholed & lumpy. Deserted. Abandoned, quake trashed houses, gardens overgrown. Street signs gone. Dirty puddles. Roadside portaloos. No rats.

Images, quake damaged Bracken St:


13.04.12. Red zone house & portaloo, Bracken St


13.04.12. Overgrown driveway, red zone, Bracken St


13.04.12. Red zone house, Bracken St







13.04.12. Quake / tidal flooding, liquefaction mud & portaloo, red zone, Bracken St


13.04.12. Overgrown driveway, red zone, Bracken St




13.04.12. Green window sticker shows disconnected power, red zone house, Bracken St



13.04.12. Red zone house, Bracken St




13.04.12. Portaloo, red zone, Bracken St

Keller St: Potholed & lumpy. Some parked cars. Deserted. One house was inhabited. Abandoned, quake trashed houses, gardens overgrown. Roadside portaloos. No rats.

Images, quake damaged Keller St:





13.04.12. Sewage pump & blue water pipe, red zone, Keller St


13.04.12. Red zone house, Keller St. Green window sticker shows disconnected power





13.04.12. Quake / tidal flooding, liquefaction mud & portaloo, red zone, Keller St





13.04.12. Switched off power lines, red zone, Keller St


13.04.12. Red zone house, Keller St






13.04.12. Liquefaction mud at front door, red zone, Keller St


13.04.12. Red zone house & blue water pipe, Keller St



13.04.12. Abandoned table, red zone house, Keller St



13.04.12. Abandoned mattress, red zone, Keller St


13.04.12. Abandoned household items, red zone, Keller St







13.04.12. Red zone house, Keller St












13.04.12. Portaloo & earthquake notice, red zone, Keller St



13.04.12. Quake trashed house, red zone, Keller St


13.04.12. Disconnected Telecom cable, power pole, red zone, Keller St


13.04.12. Red zone house, Keller St



13.04.12. Concrete blocks supporting quake tilted power pole, red zone, Keller St



13.04.12. Red zone house, Keller St








13.04.12. Overgrown garden, red zone, Keller St

Morris St: Potholed & lumpy. Some parked cars. One house was inhabited. Abandoned, quake trashed houses, gardens overgrown. Dirty puddles. Roadside sewage tanks & portaloos. No rats.

Images, quake damaged Morris St:




13.04.12. Red zone house, Morris St



14.04.12. Quake trashed garden wall & blue water pipe, red zone, Morris St



13.04.12. Quake trashed house, red zone, Morris St




13.04.12. Red zone house, Morris St




13.04.12. Portaloo removal notice on portaloo door, red zone, Morris St


13.04.12. Portaloo, red zone, Morris St




13.04.12. Blue water pipes, red zone, Morris St


13.04.12. Post quake, 30 km, speed limit sign, red zone, Morris St


13.04.12. Red zone house, Morris St. Green window sticker shows power disconnection











13.04.12. Quake cracked garden wall, red zone, Morris St
 


13.04.12. Red zone house, Morris St






13.04.12. Quake tilted, concrete, power pole, red zone, Morris St



13.04.12. Red zone house, Morris St







13.04.12. Quake notice on quake tilted, wooden, power pole, red zone, Morris St / Keller St junction


13.04.12. Green, plastic, sewage tank, red zone, cnr Keller St / Morris St


13.04.12. Red zone house, Morris St














13.04.12. Post quake, speed limit sign & blue water pipe, red zone, Morris St / Galbraith Ave junction


13.04.12. Red zone house, Morris St



13.04.12. Blue water pipe, red zone, Morris St



13.04.12. Green, plastic, sewage tank, red zone, cnr Morris St / Avonside Dr. Post quake, raised stop bank by Avon River beyond



13.04.12. Quake trashed garden wall, red zone, cnr Morris St / Avonside Dr


13.04.12. Portaloo, red zone, Avonside Dr


13.04.12. Portaloo & digger, red zone, house demolition site, Avonside Dr



 
Galbraith Ave: Potholed & lumpy. Cars parked in yards. One house inhabited. Abandoned, quake trashed houses, gardens overgrown. State housing boarded. Sullivan Park deserted, kids' playground deserted. Corrugated iron shed, business, locked up, abandoned. Dirty puddles. Water streaming from a gutter pipe formed a slimy roadside stream. Roadside drainage tanks & portaloos. A portaloo man with portaloo truck checked roadside portaloos. No rats.

Images, quake damaged Galbraith Ave:


13.04.12. Portaloo & blue water pipe, red zone, Galbraith Ave



13.04.12. Portaloo man & quake / tidal flooding, red zone, Galbraith Ave



13.04.12. Red zone house with broken chimney, Galbraith Ave



13.04.12. Red zone house, Galbraith Ave



13.04.12. Portaloo & red zone house, Galbraith Ave


13.04.12. Red zone, boarded state house, Galbraith Ave






13.04.12., Quake tilted garage, red zone house, cnr Robson Ave / Galbraith Ave




13.04.12. Red zone, boarded, state house, Galbraith Ave








13.04.12. Blue water pipe & abandoned Sullivan Park, red zone, Galbraith Ave





13.04.12. Red zone, closed, business shed, Galbraith Ave





13.04.12. Portaloo & quake / tidal flooding, red zone, Galbraith Ave

A Galbraith Ave sign read:

     PLEASE
       BOIL
       THIS
    WATER
FROM WELL





13.04.12. Boil Water sign, red zone, Galbraith Ave

 

13.04.12. Abandoned rubbish bins, house demolition site, red zone, Galbraith Ave



13.04.12. Post quake flooding, drainage tank & roadside flooding, red zone, Galbraith Ave


13.04.12. Quake tilted, cell phone tower, red zone, Sullivan Park, Galbraith Ave


13.04.12. Disconnected Telecom wiring on quake tilted, power pole & quake / tidal flooding, red zone, Galbraith Ave



13.04.12. Quake / tidal flooding, roadside drainage tank & portaloo, red zone, Galbraith Ave


13.04.12. Red zone house, Galbraith Ave









13.04.12. Road signs on quake tilted, wooden, power pole, cnr Gabraith Ave / Avonside Dr. Post quake, raised stop bank by Avon River beyond



13.04.12. Red zone, quake trashed house with collapsed chimney, cnr Galbraith Ave / Avonside Dr



Maling St: Potholed & lumpy. Deserted. Abandoned, quake trashed houses, gardens overgrown. State housing boarded. Roadside drainage tanks & portaloos. No rats. Our connection with Maling St was that another Esslemont family had lived there for years. They moved out post quakes, leaving us the only Esslemonts in Christchurch. In 1995 after we first arrived in Christchurch, Leah endured many phone inquiries about drug sales, so we sussed someone in the other Esslemont family was a drug dealer.

Images, quake damaged Maling St:


13.04.12. Red zone, boarded, state house, Maling St







13.04.12 Plastic drainage tanks, red zone, Maling St



13.04.12. Quake / tidal flooding, red zone Maling St


13.04.12. Red zone house, Maling St






13.04.12. Quake tilted, power pole & quake / tidal flooding, by red zone, boarded, state housing, Maling St










13.04.12. Red zone, fence cordoned house, Maling St


13.04.12. Overgrown garden, red zone house, Maling St















13.04.12. Shoes on power lines, red zone, Maling St



Robson Ave: Potholed & lumpy. Some parked cars. Two houses inhabited. Abandoned, quake trashed houses, gardens overgrown. State housing boarded. Roadside sewage & drainage tanks & portaloos. No rats. Dirty roadside puddles. Avon River, quake sunk at Robson Ave / Avonside Dr junction. Asphalt footpath & willow tree sunk into river. FLOODING road sign.

Images, quake damaged Robson Ave:



13.04.12. Blue water pipes, red zone, cnr Robson Ave / Avonside Dr. Post quake stop banks by Avon River beyond


13.04.12. Red zone, boarded, state house, Robson Ave



13.04.12. Abandoned table in red zone, overgrown garden, Robson Ave


13.04.12. Green, plastic, sewage tank & red zone housing, cnr Robson Ave / Maling St



13.04.12. Red zone house, Robson Ave


13.04.12. Red zone, boarded, state house, Robson Ave






13.04.12. Green, plastic, sewage tank by red zone, boarded, state house, Robson Ave


13.04.12. Quake trashed, red zone house, Robson Ave




13.04.12. Portaloo by red zone house, Robson Ave




13.04.12. Red zone, boarded, state house, Robson Ave






13.04.12. Quake / tidal flooding by red zone housing, Robson Ave





13.04.12. Fence cordoned, red zone house, Robson Ave




13.04.12. Red zone house, Robson Ave
















13.04.12. Red zone, boarded, state house, with quake collapsed chimney, Robson Ave



13.04.12. Quake 30 km, speed limit sign by red zone housing & quake tilted garage, cnr Robson Ave / Galbraith Ave



13.04.12. Quake trashed, red zone house, cnr Robson Ave / Galbraith Ave





  


13.04.12. Red zone, boarded, state house, Robson Ave




 

13.04.12. Quake trashed, red zone, Galbraith Ave house, seen from red zone Robson Ave


13.04.12. Red zone house, Robson Ave






13.04.12. Red zone, boarded, state house, Robson Ave










13.04.12. Road cones by quake-raised, manhole & snapped, concrete curb, red zone Robson Ave


13.04.12. Road cones by quake-raised manhole, red zone Robson Ave. Green, plastic, drainage tank & boarded, state house behind



Acland Ave: Pot holed & lumpy. Deserted. Abandoned, quake trashed houses, gardens overgrown. State housing boarded. Roadside drainage tanks & portaloos. No rats.

Images, quake damaged Ackland Ave:




13.04.12. Red zone house, cnr Robson Ave / Acland Ave



13.04.12. Red zone, boarded, state house, Acland Ave



















During my 3+ hours Avonside, red zone wander, many wooden houses (there were many more in other suburbs) looked OK to me from the outside. Including all those boarded state houses. There were many sound or slightly damaged houses on liquefactioned land. It was risible that all those sound houses were demolished by CERA.

Images, quake damaged Robson Ave:


13.04.12. Red zone house, Robson Ave


13.04.12. Red zone, boarded, state house, Robson Ave









13.04.12. Low-hanging power lines, red zone, Robson Ave



13.04.12. Useless surveillance sign & graffiti, red zone housing, Robson Ave





13.04.12. Dahlias, red zone, house demolition site, cnr Robson Ave / Avonside Dr. Post quake stop bank beyond



13.04.12. Green, plastic, sewage tank & dahlias, red zone, house demolition site, cnr Avonside Dr / Robson Ave

  

13.04.12. Red zone house, Avonside Dr

 




13.04.12. Quake tilted power pole & quake / tidal flooding, red zone, cnr Avonside Dr / Robson Ave


13.04.12. Red zone, Avonside Dr, Flooding sign, by post quake stop bank, Avon River


13.04.12. Quake-sunk, flooded, Avonside Dr footpath by red zone, Avon River stop bank


13.04.12. Red zone, post quake, stop bank view of Avon River & River Rd


13.04.12. Red zone rubbish bins & quake snapped, concrete curb, Robson Ave


13.04.12. Red zone, plastic, drainage tank, Robson Ave



NZ govt / CERA, in a state of mass hysteria, having expelled red zoners, would demolish sound, wooden houses which could've been relocated on trucks & sited elsewhere on good land for resale. Pity CERA didn't relocate good red zone housing, instead of glamorous CBD demolitions. CERA would long be remembered for its demolitions before homes fiasco & slow rebuild. There was no housing crisis according to CERA minister Brownlee. Ha!


13.04.12. Blue, plastic, water pipe & green, plastic, drainage tank, red zone, Robson Ave


13.04.12. Blue, plastic, water pipe & orange, plastic, road cones, red zone, cnr Robson Ave / Galbraith Ave


13.04.12. Red zone housing, Galbraith Ave






13.04.12 Magnolia grandiflora, red zone, Galbraith Ave

Tues 17.04.12. The Press report: "Housing NZ figures last week showed 683 of the more than 6 000 state homes in Christchurch were still out of action after more than 14 months. Of those, 183 are inside the residential red zone...

500 properties outside the red zone were empty...

Brownlee said repairing the damaged state houses and 280 council-owned units would  make a 'massive difference' to the housing shortage..." Ha!


13.04.12. Thx 4 The Memories sign on boarded door, red zone, Avonside Dr

On my drive back to Burnside along quake-crapped Avonside Dr, I saw a boarded front door with a white painted sign: THX 4 THE MEMORIES. Further on by a quake trashed house, a farewell street party was in progress, home owners & chardonnay tipplers on roadsides. A fence cordon in front of the house was festooned with memorial pics. A drunk woman waved me through.

Wed 18.04.12. CERA minister Brownlee squeaked that CERA demolition boss Isaacs would become rebuild boss & that Isaacs had 100 days to action plan what to do about Council's CBD rebuild plan. More delays. So far, Isaacs hadn't shown interest in residential suburban rebuilds, but had demolished CBD bldgs since the 22.02.11 quake.

Farcical CERA usurped & duplicated Council functions, whereby Council produced a rebuild plan, then NZ govt / CERA took over the rebuild plan. Elected Parker's vaunted rebuild plan was expediently absorbed by CERA & unelected Isaacs & concocted as CERA's CBD Blueprint.

Mayor Parker's councillors squeaked about prestige rebuilds for under- insured Town Hall, AMI Stadium, Convention Centre, swimming pools... & rearrangement of CBD one-way streets, without any thought for citizens displaced from their homes by serial quakes.

Weeks back Brownlee had called Parker a clown, yet was squeaking Parker's praises as marketer for Christchurch. A new layer of CERA appointed govt bureaucracy would emerge, with Isaacs, ex Timaru District town clerk & latter day Christchurch CBD demolisher, seconding Council workers & replacing functions of town clerk Marryatt, who should've managed the CBD rebuild, if it wasn't for Council squabbling & February citizen protests against Parker & Marryatt. In effect CERA produced 2 town clerks for post quake Christchurch - Marryatt & Isaacs. What a waste!

Dysfunctional Council was a rats nest, councillors squabbling with Marryatt & a Crown observer observing councillors squabbling. More waste.

Our landlord increased our rent.

Sun 22.04.12. 10.08.pm, 4.2 mag quake, 11 km depth, 20 km E of Christchurch. (Geonet). Rumbled by, disturbed our TV viewing.

Tue 24.04.12. The Press reported that state houses in the red zone would be repaired in May. That was 15 months post 22.02.11 quake. Housing NZ rats hadn't a clue about the post quake housing crisis in Christchurch. There were 500 quake damaged state houses, of which 140 out of 400+ boarded state houses were in Christchurch & Kaiapoi red zones. I snapped many vacant, boarded, state houses during my Avonside wander. They all looked liveable to me.

Wed 09.05.12. Following The Press report a week ago, TV Close up interviewed a man, who took over 200 hours to cut through red tape to relocate his wooden house from red zone, Robson Ave to Dunsandel. He'd worked on the relocation since the 04.09.10 quake.

Close up interviewed CERA boss Sutton who squeaked that he didn't know about the red tape, but CERA would make a list of Christchurch land where red zone houses could be relocated to.

It was time Sutton sorted out obstacles insurers made for long suffering, quake stricken, home owners, as insurers made all sorts of excuses to delay settlements.

By Nov 2013 many of the red zone houses I'd wandered past in Avonside were demolished by CERA.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See 'Pontius' Brownlee sees no rental housing crisis (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Reinsurers will pay up says Bollard (The Press / Stuff Co).

See A damaged state house preferable to no home (The Press / Stuff Co). 

See 100 day action plan for city centre (The Press / Stuff Co). 

See Army land considered for housing (The Press / Stuff Co).

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