Wednesday, March 13, 2013

22.02.11 Quake Memorial For Unfound Victims & EQC's Leaked Email Fiasco


Wed 13.03.13. A year ago on the first anniversary of the 22.02.11 quake, the formal memorial garden for unfound victims was opened for the public at Avonhead Park Cemetery, Hawthornden Rd. Avonhead Park Cemetery was a half hour walk from my Burnside home & had easy access from Christchurch Airport. As it was past the second anniversary of the quake it was time I visited.   

185 people died in the Feb 22 quake & 4 bodies were never recovered from the CTV bldg, which collapsed & burned for hours after the quake. Management bungling by cops, fire service & USAR / TF rescuers caused 8 survivors of the CTV collapse to die in the burning rubble.

Bungling by services, paid to protect & rescue disaster victims & put out fires, can be sourced in media records & the Coroner's Inquest report. Never mind sloppy design, bldg construction & inspections by engineers, sourced in the Royal Commission of Inquiry report.

Images, Quake Memorial for Unfound Victims, Avonhead Park Cemetery, Hawthornden Rd:



En route to Avonhead Park Cemetery memorial garden, Hawthornden Rd was a mix of suburban houses & horse paddocks, with semi-rural views to Russley Rd of more tree lined paddocks.


13.03.13. Avonhead Park Cemetery, unfound victims memorial garden, 22.02.11 quake, Hawthornden Rd. Industrial zoned paddocks beyond


The memorial garden was circular, about 50 m diameter. Concentric circles of plant material & memorial structures started with white carpet roses forming the outer circle with a Timaru bluestone plinth & rectangular column at the centre. On top of of the 3 plinth steps the rectangular column was about 1.5 m high. Each side of the column had a grey stone plaque inscribed in different languages of the deceased:

      ETCHED IN OUR CITY'S
                  MEMORY
  NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN 

THE CITY OF CHRISTCHURCH






From a circular road, the circles were broken by a cross of grey stone paths forming a quadrant within the garden. Thus 4 entrances from the circular road each began with 2 Timaru blue stone, rectangular columns either side of the path, the 4 stone paths going to the central plinth. Each column was about 1.5 m high.




The memorial garden's concentric circles from the outside - in were as follows:

1. White carpet roses.
2. Gravestones set in concrete
3. Wide grass path.
4. White carpet roses below cherry blossom trees.
5. Road.
6. Trees on grass path.
7. Shrubs forming a hedge topped by red standard roses.
8. Wide grass path, a bench on each quadrant section.
9. Low Timaru blue stone blocks for memorial plaques. One plaque read:

           INTERRED HERE ARE
       UNIDENTIFIED REMAINS
 RECOVERED FOLLOWING THE
             22 FEBRUARY 2011
CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE



10. Red carpet roses.
11. Grey stone path with a stainless steel band stating:

THE PEOPLE OF CHRISTCHURCH WILL FOREVER REMEMBER THE UNFOUND VICTIMS OF THE 22 FEBRUARY EARTHQUAKE

12. White carpet roses & red standard roses.
13. Central Timaru blue stone plinth & column.

As it was 3 weeks post second anniversary of the Feb 22 quake, dead flowers lay on the plinth steps. Two City Care women wearing orange, Hi Vis vests cared for the memorial garden.



As Council planned to zone 35 ha of clean, green paddocks between the quake memorial garden & Russley Rd as an industrial zone, I thought the memorial garden was a Council PR exercise. Given the plethora of new, ugly, industrial, tilt slab bldgs in Christchurch (Treffers Rd & Wigram Rd sprang to mind) future visitors to the quake memorial garden would see ugly, industrial, tilt slab bldgs.

Wed 20.03.13. The Press reported old news, "Health time bomb lurks under city homes," regarding the health hazard of liquefaction mud & sewage under housing - all the bugs from shit poured out of burst sewage pipes during quakes - bacteria, fungi, etc.

I'd waded through liquid shit many time post quakes: Madras St, London St, Stanmore Rd, Avonside Dr, Robson Ave, New Brighton Rd, Locksley Ave, Kingsford St, Bower Ave, Waygreen Ave, Atlantis St, Baker St, Pratt St, Waitaki St, Bexley Rd, many more liquefaction / sewage flooded streets. I arrived home, my jandals & feet stinking of dried, crusted shit.

Never mind Avon River flooded with sewage for months post quakes.

Soon post 22.02.11 quake, when liquefaction dust flew around on nor'wester days, a doctor expediently assured the public that liquefaction dust wasn't a health hazard. Yeah right. Two years later it expediently became a health hazard, with floorboards rotting & fungus growing on walls above liquefaction flooded foundations.

I'd seen algae & mushrooms growing on floors of abandoned, liquefactioned bldgs in Peterborough St & Fitzgerald Ave. Some of those bldgs were demolished, some not, so far. They weren't the only streets where I saw flora growing in abandoned, liquefactioned bldgs.

As Leah's London St school was liquefactioned in the 22.02.11 & 13.06.11 quakes, it wouldn't surprise me that Leah's work headaches last week were not only from noisy sewage renewal excavations near the school, but also from liquefaction bugs multiplying in the school's foundations. As a biologist, I imagined billions of bacterial & fungal spores blowing around.

During those quakes, I saw liquefaction mud oozing up through concrete near the main front door, in the playground, car park & on London St & Pavitt St. Leah's ground floor classroom had liquefaction mud, varying in depth from 1-15 cms, along 3 outside walls & by the front door nearest to London St. On the afternoon of the 22.02.11 quake, I waded though brown, knee high, liquid shit by the school front gate to get to the school bldg.

Monday 25 March, TV One News, then Tuesday 26 March The Press reported the EQC email fiasco: A minion emailed contractor (ex EQC) Bryan Staples an attachment with all the $100 000 under cap, repair details of all 83 000+ claimants. The iniquity was that claimants hadn't even received those details from EQC, despite many asking.

Staples said before deleting the email, he looked up one of his clients for whom he did $55 000 work. Then the crunch reporting:

"The EQC had said $55 000 was too much and had cash settled for $30 000 with the homeowner, but the spreadsheet showed EQC had allocated $59 000."

In other words the client was ripped off $29 000 by EQC. Multiply $29 000 by 83 000 claimants to give a rough idea how much Cantabrians were ripped off by EQC & NZ govt. Roughly $2.4 billion. So much for PM Key's promise post 22.02.11 quake, that no one would be worse off post quakes.

Those 83 000+ homeowners & many more homeowners over the $100 000 cap had paid their EQC premiums for years.

PM Key's minimising response to the email fiasco was that everyone in the internet age sends emails & texts in error. Never mind database protection needed in more govt depts, like ACC, WINZ & Health where citizens' private information was recently compromised by shonky computer controls. Key's National govt proved to be sloppy with citizens' private information.

Labour MP Dalziel said CERA minister Brownlee should resign. Brownlee wanted to know from EQC why the email / attachment leak happened.

EQC boss Simpson went on TV & apologised to the public, then offered his resignation to Brownlee, but Brownlee rejected Simpson's resignation & offered his support instead.

Pity Brownlee & Simpson hadn't heeded protesters led by Rev Coleman, Dalziel & ex mayor Moore at EQC's Princess St office last year, Wed 08.08.12. Some protest signs read:

EQC
2 YEARS AND STILL
NO RESULT!
YEAH GERRY EQC ARE DOING NOTHING REALLY WELL!!!

OF COURSE
IT HURTS
WE ARE BEING
SCREWED
BY EQC

EARTHQUAKES
BROKE MY HOME
BUT EQC BROKE
MY HEART!!

Democracy Protest 01.12.12, Latimer Sq, CBD & Cranmer Sq:

THANK YOU NZ GOVT
AND SPECIAL THANKS TO
EQC FOR STUFFING
UP OUR LIVES

In a flurry of EQC spin, weeks ago EQC said that staff were abused by irate clients, hence the increase in security staff, higher reception desks & razor wire on EQC fences at depots like Bower Ave depot. Customer services boss Emson said EQC was following up cases where claimants were defrauding EQC with false claims. Yet EQC was short changing claimants, revealed in the email fiasco.

Since the 04.09.10 quake, EQC had a history of delaying property inspections, payments & repairs, using tactics like Christchurch clients having to call Wellington or Brisbane; assessment delays; too many inspections; lost files; repair deadlines years hence; apportionment after various quakes & drilling of 10 000 TC3 properties to check land status, which caused insurers to delays payments too, as insurers relied on EQC information.

Never mind Fletcher EQR having an EQC monopoly on house repairs, causing irate home owners to opt out of EQC / Fletcher repairs to get their broken homes sorted. More delays.

Wednesday 27 March, The Press headline: "EQC goes to police over leak." Bullying by EQC to frighten & shut people up.

Thursday 28 March TV One News: Another leak from EQC, Dalziel tackled Brownlee in parliament regarding a claimant being emailed stopped cheque information for 2 000+ claimants about a month ago. Brownlee shut down EQC's emails system, a cover up, so that EQC could resurrect their systems during Easter weekend. Censorship. Pity Brownlee didn't get EQC to release requested information to claimants months ago.

Mainland Press 28.03.13, EQC boss Simpson's "open letter to EQC customers:

On behalf of EQC I want to sincerely apologise for the privacy breach that occurred on Friday 22nd March.

The breach was caused when an EQC spreadsheet was sent to the wrong person in error. Embedded in the spreadsheet was information about the 83 000 properties in EQC's Canterbury Home Repairs Programme (CHRP)

There were no names, but the information included claim numbers, street addresses and information about damages and repairs. The information in question related to homes with the damage between $15 000 and $100 000 that will be in the Canterbury Home Repairs Programme. [Under cap repairs].

So far, EQC has dealt with about 450 000 claims from the Canterbury earthquakes. This breach does not affect EQC customers who have or will be cash settled.

Unfortunately, the breach was caused by human error, and EQC is taking a range of  measures to increase the security of customer information.

Again, we apologise for any distress this has caused any of our customers."

Simpson apologised expediently as EQC slackness was found out. Pity Simpson didn't have the integrity to apologise for distress caused by over 2 years of payout & repair delays. Some home owners' repair deadline was 2015. They would have to wait 5 years for EQC / Fletcher repairs. If Simpson drove from Wellington & had a look around Christchurch, especially the eastern suburbs, he'd see the results of EQC's slack decisions - ruins, broken houses, slum living conditions, Third World.

The Press Wed 03.04.13, EQC Boss Simpson's half page advert:

"Here's what we're doing to keep our customers' information secure.

You may already know that last Thursday EQC shut all IT systems down temporarily to ensure our customers' information is protected.

This is one of several steps I'm taking to ensure that we resolve this issue as promptly and thoroughly as possible.

Our first priority was to restore our Claims Management System and ensure we can continue to pay contractors working in the Canterbury Home Repair Programme.

[Wrong priority. Those who suffered land & bldg damage should be first priority, not contractors!]

We have undertaken a comprehensive review of our handling of customer information. Following that review, we'll be making changes over the coming days and weeks.

In addition we've established a confidential hot line [dobbing in] to report any potential disclosures. If you have received any  information from EQC that you believe you shouldn't have, please call...

We appreciate your patience and support while we resolve this issue..."

Ass covering. Brownlee's jackboots wore thin with all the ass kicking.

The Press cartoonist Evans drew a fuming Brownlee clutching paste pot & dripping brush, after pasting a red sticker on EQC's porticoed office door.

EQC's email fiasco showed that claimants were not getting the money they deserved. The value chain was top heavy with Brownlee & EQC ineptocrats Simpson & Emson hogging & delaying payment of EQC funds, while protecting other ineptocrats, like managerial emailers & assessors, squabbling with middle men like Staples & claimants, resulting in EQC paying claimants as little as possible.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Health time bomb lurks under city homes (The Press / Stuff Co).

See EQC needs to be more transparent (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Minister backs chief after email blunder (The Press / Stuff Co).

See EQC goes to police over leak (The Press / Stuff Co).

See EQC reboot might not fix problems (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Please explain couple tell EQC (The Press / Stuff Co).


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