Friday, November 9, 2012

Council Shenanigans & South New Brighton Shops Trashed, Christchurch Quakes

Mayor Parker & town clerk Marryatt were determined to show what a dysfunctional Council they misled: In 2012, citizens protested Council shenanigans regarding the pre-quake bail out of bankrupt property developer Henderson. Pre quakes Marryatt under insured council assets, like AMI stadium, trashed by the 22.02.11 quake. Councillors & Marryatt double dipped Council boards of directors' fees, added to their salaries. Post quakes, much Council work was taken over by CERA, like infrastructure rebuild, bldg demolitions & rebuilds. Council just had to give consents for rebuilds.

Tired of Council shenanigans, CERA minister Brownlee called Parker "a clown." Early in 2012, NZ govt installed a Crown observer for a couple of months, checking on Council & $80 000 was spent on a report checking Council's communication problems. None of which proved any use, as Council shenanigans continued. Parker tried to wheedle an overseas trip with his wife, paid for by ratepayers, but that was stopped.

Never mind that Marryatt's $540 000 p.a. salary was more than PM Key's, UK prime minister's & US president's salaries.

Parker had so little Council work, he wrote a book Ripped Apart, published 2012. Post quakes Marryatt gave his council workers 11 days extra paid leave in 2011 & reprised that perk in 2012. Mayor Parker & deputy mayor Button weren't in town when Marryatt announced that travesty. Marryatt's granting a paid leave perk for so-called hard work would be OK, if there were improvements in ratepayers' quality of life in post quake Christchurch.

But 1 000s of ratepayers still lived in squalid, quake trashed housing in E suburbs, with poor roads & infrastructure. EQC & insurers were slow to fix housing & CERA / SCIRT were slow to fix infrastructure.

I regularly drove to New Brighton & road conditions were appalling - New Brighton Rd, Travis Rd, Rookwood Ave, Bowhill Rd, Estuary Rd, Bridge St...

The latter two roads were especially bad after Council / SCIRT spent months digging up the roads to replace quake trashed sewage pipes, then digging up the roads again after a botched repair job.

Images, quake damaged Estuary Rd:


10.11.12. N view of road sign, Estuary Rd, South New Brighton



Post 22.02.11 quake, Avon River bridge repairs by Council / SCIRT were neglected for over a year. Only lately, Council / SCIRT began repairing South Brighton Bridge on Bridge St, with more detours & traffic congestion ratepayers endured over 2 quake years, so far.


10.11.12. S view of road signs, Estuary Rd, South New Brighton. Port Hills & Mt Evans beyond



10.11.12. Pump by road works, Estuary Rd, South New Brighton

In September adding insult to quake injury, the MOE wanted to consolidate quake ravaged Canterbury schools, with laughable consultations after MOE's inept decisions to consolidate.

One MOE consolidation was to merge Central New Brighton School with South New Brighton School, to flog the land on which Central New Brighton School stood, as it was close to New Brighton shopping mall.

Snag: Central New Brighton School was 3 kms distance from South New Brighton School on Southshore spit, a death trap should a tsunami strike. Never mind the bottleneck while trying to escape via quake trashed South Brighton Bridge.

At a so-called parent consultation, a parent heckled education minister Parata with the slogan:

A LIFE JACKET SHOULD NOT BE PART OF ANY SCHOOL'S UNIFORM 

I'd stood next to that parent at the recent education protest, Hagley Park netball courts.

Twenty one months post 22.02.11 quake, shops on Bridge St / Estuary Rd corner were closed by CERA with a yellow sticker dated 8 November 2012 & a day's notice to pack up & leave. That closure said much about CERA's dictatorial stickering of post quake bldgs & more about damages caused to bldgs by jolting excavation machinery run by Council / SCIRT. Those shops endured excavations & slow road works along Estuary Rd & Bridge St for months.

Later on, Luke told me that the bldg owner didn't want to pay for expensive repairs, so just evicted tenants & close the shops. The bldg was demolished in 2013.


10.11.12. N view of Estuary Rd road works, South New Brighton


10.11.12. S view of road works, Estuary Rd, South New Brighton. Port Hills beyond


10.11.12. E view of Bridge St road works, South New Brighton


 10.11.12. W view of Bridge St road works, South New Brighton

Marryatt, Parker, SCIRT boss Ford & CERA boss Sutton had lots to answer for. Council / SCIRT workers enjoyed their extra paid holidays for messing Estuary Rd shops & livelihoods, with slow excavations, road blocks & detours.

Town clerk Marryatt scuttled off to his Hamilton home during weekends & SCIRT boss Ford lived in Auckland.


10.11.12. CERA closed shops, 21 months post 22.02.11 quake, Estuary Rd, South New Brighton










Sat afternoon 10.11.12, I snapped closed shops, E side of Estuary Rd. W side of Estuary Rd the shops had a stay of execution. Signs in 2 shop windows read:

Valued clients
 we have now
    relocated
Ph...

      WE ARE OPEN
  Come across the road to
the Doctor's surgery to get
  your Pharmacy supplies.

Two Chinese men moved stock out of their dairy. Another move, like 1 000s of post quake moves. Few cared. There were no Council workers helping, although Estuary Rd was riddled with road cones & Bridge St crossing too, after months of road works. No cops nor NZDF soldiers formed fence cordons to protect stuff.

Gotta ask why shop keepers were allowed to continue working in their shops for 21 months post 22.02.11 quake, during 1 000s of aftershocks, before eviction by CERA? So much for engineer checking.

In late 2013 the dairy returned as a container shop on the opposite corner. There were several container shops around town since the quakes. 


10.11.12. Pump at road works, Estuary Rd, South New Brighton


10.11.12. Open shop, E side cnr Estuary Rd / Bridge St, South New Brighton


10.11.12. CERA closed shops, 21 months post 22.02.11 quake, Estuary Rd, South New Brighton. In late 2013 the dairy became a container shop on the opp cnr.





No photo opportunities for big wigs, no CERA officials, no big talk Sutton & Brownlee, no Ford supervising road cones outside shops, no Marryatt looking after ratepayers who paid his astronomical salary, no Parker looking after ratepayers who paid for his overseas junkets.

Marryatt & Parker should use some of their paid long weekend holidays to drive around Christchurch, especially E suburbs, to see how pathetic their self-serving posturings were.

A closed fish shop sign read:

Dear Valued Customers,

We regret to inform you that
we will be closed until further
notice.

Thank you so much for all your
support over the years and we
wish you all the best for the
future.

Hope to see you soon.

South Brighton Fish Supply.

Content & pics, Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Ripped Apart: A City in Chaos (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Parker lets rip at officials (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Councillors in the dark over paid leave (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Shock closure upsets South Brighton residents (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Council leave inquiry sought (The Press / Stuff Co).

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