Saturday, May 26, 2012

Three Housing Crisis Protests, Christchurch Quakes

Overcast, chilly Sat 26.05.12. This week there were 3 post quake housing protests in Christchurch:

Avoca Valley housing protest;

HOUSING PROTEST at CERA minister Brownlee's Ilam office, Greers Rd;

Christchurch Cathedral Anglican house of God protest, Cranmer Sq & Worcester Blvd. 

As Greers Rd was close to my Burnside home, I wandered to Brownlee's office in time for the Sat, 2 pm protest. I passed our local Green Leaf Indian Cuisine takeaway & snapped adverts in a realtor's office window.

Images, quake damaged Greers Rd:


26.05.12. Post quakes, Cares white ware shop, cnr Wairakei Rd / Greers Rd


26.05.12. Post quakes, Green Leaf Indian Cuisine, Greers Rd


36.05.12. Post quakes, Realtor, Greers Rd







 
About 50 protesters waved signs outside Brownlee's office. A car owner with a WELCOME HOME sign & FOOD NOT BOMBS sign gave free food to protesters. Passersby were chatted to & many passing cars tooted approval. Any concerned person could have their say using a loudspeaker.

The protest was friendly & welcoming, a mix of youngsters, older folks & two dogs. No worries about my snapping pics.

Within minutes of my arrival 2 protestors warned: "Watch out! A man in that black car across the road is spying on us!"

"Sneaky security bastard," I said. "I'll take a photo of him too!"

The HOUSING PROTEST flyer read:

"* More decent social housing for Christchurch

* Sustainable rebuild


* Housing organised according to need not profit

* Acknowledgement of the real levels of homelessness and displacement in our city 

* Rent freeze for private and social housing

* A living wage and affordable housing for all 

* No shock doctrine housing policy

* Democratic process for people's housing concerns to be heard

Bring your concerns!"


36.05.12. Gerry Brownlee, Minister for Earthquake Recovery, MP for Ilam sign, Greers Rd


Protest signs read:

      HOUSING
           IS A
HUMAN RIGHT



   OCCUPY
   O: CHCH
O TAUTAHT


     I AM SO
    ANGRY I
MADE A SIGN



THE HOUSING
  CRISIS IS A
  NATIONAL
  DISGRACE


  FOOD NOT
     BOMBS
O TAUTAHT





    28 YEARS HIGHLIGHTING
THE POLITICS OF FOOD UNDER
             CAPITALISM

FREE HOT SOUP!
FOOD NOT BOMBS

THE POLITICS OF HUNGER

EYM 12 [Black car rego]


"NEVER DOUBT THAT A SMALL GROUP OF THOUGHTFUL
         COMMITTED CITIZENS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
           INDEED IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT EVER HAS"
                                           MARGARET MEAD



     HOMES NOW
STADIUMS LATER


$TOP THE
    RENT
   HIKE$


LET THE
PEOPLE
  LEAD!

  SOCIAL
HOUSING
    NOW


    HOMES NOW
BUSINESS LATER

HOMES
      4
   ALL!



  RENT IS
     TOO
DAMNED
   HIGH!


 
     CAPITALISM
NOT OUR FUTURE!

        CRISIS
    N A TIME [sic]
   OF INTENSE
DIFFICULTY OR
      DANGER





  OCCUPY
EQUALITY
   STREET
 



AFFORDABLE
      SOCIAL
   HOUSING

 THE RICH GET RICHER
THE POOR GET POORER


AFFORDABLE
    HOUSING



POWER 4 THE PEOPLE
NOT KEY'S CRONIES!


ORGANISE
 HOUSING
 FOR NEED
NOT PROFIT



            RENT
IS EXCEEDINGLY
          PRICEY


  FREEZE
THE RENT



      SLUM
LANDLORDS
       OUT!


        THIS KIND OF
              THING
            DOESN'T
HAPPEN IN FINLAND [Brownlee quote]


SOLIDARITY
  WITH THE
 STREETIES


BAIL OUT
     THE
  PEOPLE


     CHANGE
           IS
    COMING!
LOVE JUSTICE




     KIA KAHA
         CHCH
PEOPLE POWER





 
HOUSING 4
       ALL


THERE IS NO CRISIS! [Brownlee quote]
     YEAH RIGHT!
            PACE
        OCCUPY [Flag]



                              LET'S ENGAGE IN
                          DIRECT DEMOCRACY
LET'S STOP 61 MP's MAKING ALL THE DECISIONS



   WELCOME HOME
ARE WE THERE YET




         HOPE &
       CHANGE
           ARE
   HARD  FOUGHT
          THINGS
MICHELLE OBAMA



 


     OCCUPY
BROWNLEE'S
      HOUSE


  SOCIAL
HOUSING


WELCOME
    HOME


I signed a petition against NZ national govt selling state assets. I agreed with mayor Parker giving the middle finger to pressurizing govt about selling Christchurch ratepayers' revenue earning assets, (which kept rates low) like Orion utility, Christchurch Airport, Lyttelton Port... to help post quake rebuild.

After at first spurning a referendum as a waste of money, only in Nov - Dec 2013 did govt have a postal referendum, asking if citizens supported taxpayer owned asset sales? In the interim, govt had sold assets, like shares in Air NZ & utilities like Meridian, Genesis, Mighty River Power.

 

    



















 





I said to the young man who presented the petition to me: "As an immigrant who sold assets to come to NZ, after years of toil, savings & property investments in SA, you don't get sold assets back easily. I think NZ govt asset sales idea is nuts!"

There were no media photographers nor reporters at the Greers Rd Housing Protest for the hour or so I was there. Yet The Press reported the next day there were "about 70 protesters." I disagreed, as I counted several times - 50 including me & the security man in the black car, excluding two dogs. It showed what hearsay crap reporters wrote. Even funnier when nitwits commented on hearsay reporting in Stuff Co. The Press was busy doing gobbledegook surveys & reporting the Save Christchurch Cathedral protest.










26.05.12. Post quakes, petition signing at Brownlee's Ilam electorate office, housing protest, Greers Rd

That Saturday afternoon I drove with Leah to see Avoca Valley Rd / Port Hills Rd crossing, where Avoca Valley residents had protested on Tues 22 May, having been evicted from their homes soon post Feb 22 quake, when Council red stickered their homes.

CERA had dithered for months about rezoning Avoca Valley white zone land, either red or green. CERA's excuse being rock fall or cliff fall danger. CERA dithered over an "area wide" look at rock fall dangers with its bouncing rocks study done by Milan Varsity. CERA wasn't looking at specific properties in its area wide study, but CERA red zoned specific properties. What a crock!

Meanwhile, Avoca Valley residents were forced to live elsewhere, with added expenses, so far about 15 months in limbo, while CERA dithered & insurers laughed all the way to the bank.

Avoca Valley protesters wanted to shame Council & CERA, by totalling the days spent in limbo, daily updates shown on a fence board, while Council dithered to make Avoca Valley safe & CERA dithered with zoning. 

Meanwhile, according to the The Press comments section, other Port Hills valleys, like Heathcote Valley, Bowenvale Valley, Sumner Valley had similar hassles, just waiting...

Corner Avoca Valley Rd: A wooden fence was festooned with 30 laminated, red stickers. Below the red stickers, Avoca Valley protest signs read:

                                  458 DAYS [Updated daily]

SINCE BEING EVICTED FROM OUR AVOCA VALLEY HOUSES

                            COMMUNITIES MAKE A CITY

                                     DECISIONS NOW!

                                     LET US GO HOME

Facebook: AVOCA VALLEY EARTHQUAKE RECOVERY AUTHORITY

Images, quake damaged Avoca Valley Rd:



26.05.12. May 22 protest poster, Avoca Valley housing protest, Avoca Valley Rd

PSYCHOLOGICAL
   TERRORISM

   OCCUPY
YOUR OWN
     HOME


Media pic of town clerk Marryatt having a word in mayor Parker's ear:

         I WILL
STICK A CHARTER
    ON THEM BOB
 THAT WILL SHUT
       THEM UP


 THE QUAKE
         DID
        NOT
     KILL US
CERA MIGHT


RETURN
     TO
SENDER [Red sticker on sign]


COMMUNITIES
       MAKE
           A
        CITY
NOT STADIUMS


HOW MANY
 MILLIONS
    SPENT
  SO FAR?


    CAUGHT
   BETWEEN
     A ROCK
     AND AN
INCOMPETENT
    COUNCIL


BRING
BACK
BUCK [A former mayor]


RED OR GREEN
           NO
  IN BETWEEN


LET US
   GO
HOME










After seeing the Avoca Valley protest signs, I drove to nearby French Bakery, Chapmans Rd. Months ago I'd snapped cracked concrete walls, expoxy glued on several industrial bldgs along Chapmans Rd.

Images, quake damaged Chapmans  Rd:


26.05.12. Quake damaged tilt slab bldg, braced by concrete blocks & steel poles, Chapmans Rd


Opposite French Bakery, while Leah bought us supper, I snapped a tilt slab bldg across the road. Every tilt slab was post quake braced by 2 concrete blocks & 2 angled steel poles.







As Chapmans Rd was between the Port Hills & Heathcote River, quakes had vertically separated each concrete tilt slab. Edges of slabs were broken in places, where they'd knocked during quakes. At one pair of tilt slabs, I placed 3 finger widths into a slab gap close to the ground. Gap about 4 cm wide.

The few post quake rebuilds I'd seen around town were tilt slab bldgs, ugly bldgs, like Westende House rebuild. Creative architects? Not!









 
Sunny, Sunday afternoon, 27.05.12. I parked my car on Peterborough St, near Hagley Park, as Leah & I wanted to walk the 'Save Christchurch Cathedral' route protestors marched yesterday, from Cranmer Sq, along Worcester Blvd to Worcester St Bridge. I wanted to snap protest signs left on red zone cordon fences after the protest.

Park Terrace: I snapped Terrace On the Park, demolition of two apartment blocks, a ghastly gap formed over several weeks. It was a microcosm of Christchurch's housing crisis: Demolition of apartments, but no simultaneous rebuild, as insurers were dodging, ducking & diving pay outs, with pathetic excuses, like waiting for EQC to make up its mind about $100 000 over cap or under cap residential repairs. EQC would deal with $100 000 under cap residential repairs & insurers would deal with $100 000 over cap residential repairs. The over cap / under cap debacle between EQC & insurers would carry on for years.

Images, quake damaged Park Tce:


27.05.12. Post quakes, Terrace On The Park demolition site, cnr Park Tce / Salisbury St








Who was to blame for that debacle? NZ govt & CERA of course - crap planning, organization & leadership, with NZ govt reluctant to kick insurers' asses & finance minister English neglecting to upgrade EQC's reinsurance, after EQC warned him in 2008 that EQC was under insured, long before the 4 Sept 2010 quake.

NZ govt's risible solution was a couple of temporary housing developments in parks, like Linwood Reserve & Kaiapoi Reserve & the adage, Let-the-housing-market-decide, with Brownlee's bullshit: "There is no housing crisis."


27.05.12. Post quakes, Terrace On The Park demolition site, cnr Salisbury St / Park Tce














Below Avon River willows we wandered past a SCIRT rebuild of drains into Avon River. After the big quakes those sort of drains had sewage polluted Avon River for months. A SCIRT sign on a cordon fence read:

    SCIRT REBUILDING THE CITY'S
ROADS AND UNDERGROUND  PIPES...

That was far more important than saving Christchurch Cathedral ruin.


27.05.12. Post quakes, SCIRT repairs to drains, Avon River, Park Tce





Cranmer Sq, corner Armagh St / Montreal St: At Cathedral Office, Cranmer Centre demolition site, I snapped Leah below a glass fibre, Cathedral angel, hung on the office balcony.

Images, quake damaged Montreal St:


27.05.12. Post quakes, Christchurch Cathedral angel, Cathedral Office, Montreal St



27.05.12. Post quakes, Christchurch Cathedral salvaged roof slates & ceramic cornices, Cathedral Office, Montreal St

 
We lingered over wooden crates of Cathedral roof slates, salvaged from Christchurch Cathedral & pallets of new roof slates from Wales. We caressed glazed, ceramic cornices, stacked on 2 more pallets. The cornices fell from the roof of quake ruined Christchurch Cathedral.

Worcester St Bridge: In past quake states of emergencies, I'd snapped NZDF cordon soldiers & cops on the bridge & cop photographers on Worcester Blvd. I snapped Save Christchurch Cathedral signs hung on the red zone fence cordon.

Images, quake damaged Worcester Blvd:


27.05.12. Post quakes, red stickered door, Worcester Blvd


27.05.12. Post quakes, Worcester Blvd E view of fence cordoned, Worcester St Bridge & abandoned red zone bldgs: Our City, Rydges Hotel & Novotel beyond

  
Christchurch Cathedral ruin was hardly visible beyond masses of cordon fencing, cranes & demolition debris in Cathedral Sq. Across Worcester St Bridge, on Oxford Tce corner, quake damaged Our City, old brick bldg was braced by concrete blocks & steel poles. Across the road Clarendon Tower was a demolition in progress.

I thought protestors rallying against Christchurch Cathedral demolition were misguided & misinformed by protest organizers.

Pity house of God protestors didn't protest against the post quake housing crisis in Christchurch - people living in slum conditions, in quake crapped houses, others living in caravans, tents & garages, with winter upon us.

Months before the housing crisis was known, I'd snapped people living in caravans by quake trashed houses in Horseshoe Lake & Avondale areas. I'd seen tent-in-garden dwellers, various suburbs, in my wanderings too. It was hard to see garage dwellers, as they wouldn't advertise their humiliations by opening garage doors for all to see.

Flooded out of his Waltham flat in the 22.02.11 quake, Jake & girl friend overwintered in a quake trashed garage off Cranford St. So we could personally vouch for garage dwellers enduring disgusting chemical toilets for months. BEWARE SPASHBACK was tattooed on our minds!

I saw The Press photographer Tobin's video & was disgusted by Cathedral protest organizers - ex politician Anderton; ex mayor Moore; ex councillor Anna Crighton; councillor Helen Broughton; band- wagoners Mark Belton & The Wizard. The size of the protest crowd on Cranmer Sq & Worcester Blvd looked smaller than the Asian organized, "No To Racism Yes To Harmony" protest on Worcester Blvd & Cathedral Sq some years ago.

Save Christchurch Cathedral protestors would've been better served had they approached Christchurch Cathedral from Latimer Sq, through recently opened red zone, east side - Gloucester St - Manchester St - Worcester St, to take in all the dusty demolition sites, stretching across dusty, red zone, CBD blocks, including Warners Hotel & The Press demolition sites behind Christchurch Cathedral ruin.

One employee died when The Press bldg was trashed by the 22.02.11 quake, behind Christchurch Cathedral. Post Sept 4 & Boxing Day quakes, 2010, The Press bldg was red stickered. Who decided to use The Press bldg again pre Feb 22 quake?

Approaching from Latimer Sq, protesters would've got a closer look as the dusty derriere of deconsecrated Christchurch Cathedral ruin, rumbled by passing demolition trucks & bordered by shipping containers & demolition doomed Grant Thornton bldg & Government Life bldg, Cathedral Sq.

Leah & I were in Christchurch Cathedral during Xmas holidays, 2010 & saw workmen on scaffolding inside the Cathedral fixing / checking the western nave, fresco wall & rose window & more workmen on scaffolding outside the Cathedral checking nave windows.

Pity protestors didn't protest post Sept 4 quake & Boxing Day quake, 2010, after seeing & experiencing many quake shattered bldgs, aftershock warnings & demolitions. After all, Manchester Courts was almost completely demolished pre Boxing Day quake, with hardly a peep from protestors.   

Why didn't protestors whine about post Feb 22 quake, RC Cathedral deconstruction, Barbadoes St? Why hadn't they protested CERA's post Feb 22 quake demolitions of other churches: St Lukes Anglican, Manchester St; Oxford Tce Baptist; St Johns Anglican, Latimer Sq; St Pauls Trinity Pacific Presbyterian, Madras St; Avonside Trinity Anglican, Avonside Dr; St Mary & Athanasios, Coptic Church, Edgeware Rd (pre CERA, post 04.09.10 quake); St Mary's, Church Ln, Papanui... ?

Not a cheep from Anderton when post 22.02.11 quake, Civil Defence demolished Sydenham Heritage Church in his electorate. 

Protest posters hung on Worcester St Bridge:

             RALLY

            FOR THE
         CATHEDRAL
  SAVE OUR HERITAGE
   SATURDAY MAY 26th
2.30 pm CRANMER SQUARE...


27.05.12. Save Christchurch Cathedral protest signs on red zone fence cordon, Worcester St Bridge. Clarendon Tower demolition in progress behind


                 GO TO
          www.change.org
& SIGN THE PETITION TO
              SAVE THE
            CATHEDRAL

Red post cards, Save Christchurch's heritage buildings, addressed to PM Key were supplied, to be posted to parliament. The post cards read:

Save Christchurch's heritage buildings

Dear Prime Minister

We implore you to STOP CERA
demolishing heritage listed buildings in
Christchurch. The Christchurch Cathedral is
the heart of our city and we urge you to act
immediately to save our beautiful building.

Name
Signature
Date






 OUR CATHEDRAL
      OUR CITY
   OUR CHOICE
OUR DEMOCRATIC
      RIGHT TO
       DECIDE!!!

  
RESTORATION
        COST
   EFFECTIVE



     ITS OUR HERITAGE
STOP THE DESTRUCTION

PROTEST EVERY SUNDAY

 
      SAVE
       THE
CATHEDRAL
      NOON
     EVERY
   SUNDAY
        AT
  MUSEUM




    "THE CHRIST CHURCH
 CATHEDRAL IS PROBABLY
  NEW ZEALAND'S NUMBER
ONE MOST ICONIC BUILDING"...  [PM Key quote. Plastic sleeved A4 size book of quotes]


CHRISTCHURCH CATHEDRAL
          MYTHS VS FACTS...


DEMOLITION
      IS AN
  ABUSE OF
      CERA
   POWERS!







RESTORATION
         IS
      SAFE



  CHRISTCHURCH CATHEDRAL CAN BE SAVED

ONLY 25% to 30% OF CHRISTCHURCH CATHEDRAL
                     WAS SEVERELY DAMAGED

                 [Aerial pic of Christchurch Cathedral]

                                 HOW CAN
                       * BISHOP MATTHEWS
       * THE ANGLICAN CHURCH AUTHORITIES
                 * MINISTER GERRY BROWNLEE
    BEGIN TO JUSTIFY DEMOLISHING A BUILDING
                       WHICH LOOKS LIKE THIS?

Help save our Cathedral. Come to a public rally in Cranmer Square
                         Saturday May 26 at 2.30 pm



27.05.12. Worcester St Bridge cordon, zoom view of serial quake trashed, Christchurch Cathedral W facade, Cathedral Sq


                      Stop Heritage Destruction

                         [Pic of The Wizard]

                                                                  Save

                                                              Restore

                                                          Strengthen

The heart and soul of Christchurch - Our Cathedral





Rally leaders were all baby boomers. Misinformation peddlers. Codgers "leading" youth to their doom & buggering agnostics, atheists, other Christian denominations & religions.

As for Anderton, joint chairman of the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, I didn't hear a cheep from Catholic Anderton when post Feb 22 quake, CERA demolished old shops opposite Anderton's Wigram electorate office, Selwyn St. We knew the area well, as Luke did picture framing work at the Sylvan Gallery Cafe down the road. Like the quake trashed shops, Sylvan Gallery Cafe was closed post Feb 22 quake.

We returned to our car via Cambridge Tce & Durham St Nth. Across Avon River we saw quake trashed, red zone, abandoned bldgs. I snapped housing protest signs stuck on lamp poles:

                                          SLUM LANDLORDS OUT
                                          SOCIAL HOUSING NOW

[Pic of restaurant waiter pouring wine over a slum landlord's head, seated at a table].

                                         Workers Solidarity Movement

Images, quake damaged Cambridge Tce:


27.05.12. Cambridge Tce view of serial quake damaged Our City, Oxford Tce


27.05.12. Post quakes, housing protest sticker on lamp pole, Cambridge Tce


At Gloucester St crossing, we stopped to look over Gloucester St Bridge into the dead, red zone - Brannigans gone, a dusty demolition site. The bridge, NZDF checkpoint was still there, but fence cordoned closed, hut closed, no NZDF soldiers.


27.05.12. Post quakes, Danger sign & Tourist Map on red zone, CBD cordon fence, Cambridge Tce

Like on Worcester St Bridge, a plethora of Warning / No Access / Extreme Danger / Hazard signs abounded, as if citizens who'd endured 1 000s of quakes were unaware of dangers. Tourists thrills were confirmed by juxta-position of an Extreme Danger sign with a tourist map of the CBD red zone: Welcome To Christchurch. Weeks ago I'd seen the same juxta-position on a cordon fence at the bottom of Victoria St, by Crowne Plaza Hotel demolition site.

An NZDF checkpoint sign read:

                    ACCESS POINT
             HOURS OF OPERATION
          6.30 AM TO 6.30 PM DAILY
        OUTSIDE OF THIS TIME USE
MANCHESTER ST / CAMBRIDGE TCE
                    ACCESS POINT

On the opposite corner of Gloucester St the corner bldg was gone, a dusty demolition site.



27.05.12. Post quakes, demolition site, cnr Cambridge Tce / Gloucester St

Images, quake damaged Gloucester St:



27.05.12. Closed cordon checkpoint, Gloucester St Bridge view of the dead CBD red zone. Brannigans demolition site right below abandoned bldgs



27.05.12. Closed cordon, NZDF checkpoint, Gloucester St Bridge view of CBD red zone. Closed, Victoria Sq high rises left, Central Library & Farmers middle, all awaited demolitions. Forsyth Barr behind was restored as Crowne Plaza Hotel


27.05.12. Closed cordon checkpoint, Gloucester St Bridge view of red zone, abandoned high rises: Farmers left, awaited demolition. Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) & Novotel right were restored


27.05.12. Closed checkpoint hut, NZDF soldiers gone, red zone, Gloucester St Bridge



Images, quake damaged Durham St Nth:


27.05.12. Closed red zone, NZDF checkpoint  / Gloucester St Bridge view of quake dead Landsborough House, awaiting demolition, cnr Gloucester St / Durham St Nth


Northwards along Durham St Nth, Feb 22 quake trashed Provincial Council was tarped & desolate. Opposite URS House & Amuri Courts were gone, a dusty demolition site. Post Feb 22 quake, louring URS House & Amuri Courts spooked me whenever I passed. Spooky Landsborough House awaited demolition, corner Durham St Nth / Gloucester St.


27.05.12. Serial quake trashed, Landsborough House, cnr Gloucester St / Durham St Nth

 

27.05.12. Serial quake trashed, Landsborough House view of quake trashed Provincial Council, Durham St Nth


27.05.12. Serial quake trashed, tarped & red zone cordoned Provincial Council, Durham St Nth


27.05.12. Post quakes demolition site, cnr Durham St Nth / Armagh St


27.05.12. Post quakes URS House & Amuri Courts demolition site, cnr Armagh St / Durham St Nth

Further along Durham St Nth, at Chester St West corner, I snapped Methodist Church, dusty demolition site, where 3 people died in the 22.02.11 quake.



27.05.12. Methodist Church demolition site, where 3 people died in the 22.02.11 quake, cnr Durham St Nth / Chester St West


Across the road stood Tower Building, Court House. I'd been jury summonsed weeks ago & was excused due to my deafness. The summons pamphlet extolled the anti-quake strength of Tower Bldg & the Court House still had a faded green sticker on a glass door.


27.05.12. Serial quake survivor, Tower Building, Court House, cnr Durham St Nth / Chester St West



27.05.12. Faded green sticker, Tower Building, Court House, cnr Durham St Nth / Chester St West

A cordon fence was across Durham St Nth by the Salvation Army bldg, soon demolished. A gaggle of Sallies bandsmen & bandswomen were leaving. I looked through the cordon fence at Copthorne Hotel, dusty demolition site & Crowne Plaza Hotel, dusty demolition site, a rubble heap. The nor'wester blew clouds of demolition dust & grit, a health hazard.


27.05.12. Sallies by quake survivor, Tower Building, Court House, cnr Durham St Nth / Chester St West

 

27.05.12. The Salvation Army, cnr Durham St Nth & Chester St West. The Salvation Army was demolished

Council must decide what to do with all the hazardous demolition sites: Grow weeds? Grow grass & make mini parks? Fill with Gap Filler plants or recycled junk? I expected years hence that many Christchurch citizens would have respiratory ailments due to quake liquefaction / demolition dust. All that asbestos & silicon dust blowing around. Never mind fungal & bacterial spores from sewage.


27.05.12. Red zone, Crowne Plaza Hotel demolition site, cnr Durham St Nth / Kilmore St



27.05.12. Copthorne Hotel demolition site left, cnr Durham St Nth / Kilmore St. Quake survivor, Christchurch Casino beyond left

While we looked at a quake X crack, on the Radio New Zealand bldg, opposite Salvation Army bldg, a Sallies bandsman overheard us talking, while I exclaimed that the X crack had quake-widened every time I saw it. I shoved two finger widths into the X crack. A chunk of concrete brick had fallen from the X middle since I'd last wandered by.


27.05.12. Serial quake, X crack, commonly found on quake trashed bldgs, Radio New Zealand bldg, cnr Chester St West / Durham St Nth. The bldg was demolished




Post Feb 22 quake, the Sallies bandsman was an USAR / TF team member. He said Radio New Zealand bldg was more cracked inside, when he'd inspected its ground floor, which was liquefactioned throughout, close to Avon River. An engineer with him reckoned the bldg was OK. I shook my head. The USAR man smiled. The bldg was demolished.


27.05.12. Post quakes, Canterbury Regional Emergency Management Office prefabs, Chester St West


Leah & I cut through a demolition site, past Canterbury Regional Emergency Management Office, prefabs, to Kilmore St & argued our way past demolition doomed Cranmer Courts: Leah liked kitsch life-sized photos of people stuck on boarded windows & doors, doing things like skateboarding, working, standing doing nothing. I liked the boards' weathering from yellow to grey, revealing woody grain over time. We agreed we'd soon got used to quakescapes around town, demolition sites, bumpy roads & dusty hell.

Mon 28.05.12, 5 am, 4.4 mag quake, 8 km depth, 10 km E of Christchurch. (Geonet) Rumbled by, shook our house & shook my computer while I typed.

Leah hoped the quake swarm we'd had over the last couple of weekends would pass, as the quakes unsettled her school kids.

After biggish quakes, Leah often phoned a single parent friend, who lived at Southshore. Leah's friend said Friday's 5.2 mag quake had left her feeling poorly.

Mon-Tues 28-29.05.12. For the housing crisis doubters & misinformers: Round about midnight, I fetched Luke from South New Brighton. I regularly drove that way late at night & noticed an increase in nocturnal car parkers. On the way I pulled into the cenotaph car park near New Brighton pier, beach loos & showers. A van & 4 cars were at the seaside car park, windows misted in the frosty night. Several cars with misty windows were also parked on Marine Pde & Estuary Rd. I didn't window-knock to inquire who was inside.

Sat 02.06.12, 8.52 am, mag 4.3 quake, depth 9 km, 10 km E of Christchurch. (Geonet). Rumbled by & wobbled our house.

Coda: Only in Nov 2013 did Brownlee acknowledge there was a housing crisis, after publicly denying it for over a year. Although 1 000s of red zone houses were being demolished by CERA & not replaced by developments, Brownlee's solution to that debacle, buttressed by an ECAN report, done by govt appointed commissioners, after govt booted out ECAN's elected management, was to redesign Christchurch as a slum, aka high density housing - granny flats sold as housing, pensioners' Council flats sold as housing, big houses sub-divided into flats, quarter acre properties turned into two houses instead of the time-honoured one.

At least the new Council under mayor Dalziel saw through that nonsense & only allowed some high density housing development in some suburbs.

If Brownlee got off his derriere, he'd see there was already lots of high density housing in his Ilam constituency - along Grahams Rd for instance, between Guildford St & Wairakei Rd & more along Clyde Road E to Greers Rd, N of Fendalton Village shops - Hooker Ave, Morley St, Truman Rd & environs for instance. Old state housing in tightly packed abundance - semi detached, single storey houses; cottages like ours at Heath St; double storey, semi detached houses. And Brownlee wanted to make that sort of housing more densely packed, like battery chickens - 30-65 dwellings per hectare. Great for developers & landlords. Crap for tenants.

29.01.16. The Press reported that in mid 2017 Science Alive would relocate from the old station, demolition site, Moorhouse Ave, to Court House bldgs, Durham St Nth, once the Blueprint Justice & Emergency Services Precinct was built between Lichfield St & Tuam St.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Avoca Valley residents protest at delays (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Group calls on Brownlee to address housing (The Press / Stuff Co). 

See Thousands rally to save Christ Church Cathedral (The Press / Stuff Co).

See A roadmap through the rebuild (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Battle looms over zoning (The Press / Stuff Co). 

See Concern at red zone deadline (The Press / Stuff Co).

See New $50m Science Alive building in Christchurch (The Press / Stuff Co).