Sunday, April 14, 2013

Manchester Street Was Fucked, Christchurch Quakes

Sun 14.04.13. On 28.01.11, when I last walked Manchester St from Bealey Ave to Moorhouse Ave, I didn't know it would be over 2 years before I wandered Manchester St unhindered again. Post 22.02.11 quake, the 2 months' national state of emergency, CERA's red zone, 28 months of NZDF cordons, public banning & more quakes would stop my CBD wanderings.

Manchester Street in Christchurch red zone CBD looked like Phnom Penh after 2 years of Khmer Rouge misrule. Manchester St was fucked in more ways than one:

1. Pre quakes Manchester St was the red light district, full of grubby brick bldgs & sleazy shops. Late night whores solicited business near Manchester St Bridge.

2. 2010-2011 quakes fucked Manchester St leaving many broken bldgs.

3. CERA demolitions over the last couple of years fucked Manchester St leaving demolition wastelands.

Today CERA opened the last Manchester St red zone section, between Worcester St & Tuam St crossings. N & S Manchester St, both ends of those crossings had been opened to traffic for several months. Today's opening of Manchester St allowed one-way northbound traffic from Moorhouse Ave & some two-way bits either side of the newly opened section, congestion & detours we'd become used to during CERA's regime.

4. Last year CERA touted it's CCDU Blueprint, wanting to revamp Manchester St eastwards to Madras St into green Frame parkland, CERA's so-called East Frame. All that CERA did was solicit affected properties, at reduced values & turn it into parkland. The idea was to increase the value of properties in CERA touted core CBD west of Manchester St. Never mind CERA making low acquisition offers to affected East Frame property owners, in some cases less than half the rateable value of the property. 

Whores' economy: land-grabbing NZ govt reduced land supply in dirty East Frame, east of Manchester St, thus increasing land prices in favoured CBD, west of Manchester St.

CERA's green Frame, using taxpayers' money, meant demolitions of perfectly good bldgs, replaced by flora. Once green Frame land increased in value, NZ govt intended to profitable sell the land. Thus the Crown used taxpayers' money to speculate on Christchurch's liquefucked, CBD land. The excuse, Christchurch citizens had wished for a City in a Garden in Council's post quake Share an Idea scheme for Christchurch's rebuild. NZ govt / CERA / CCDU warped that idea for its own asset gain. Meanwhile NZ govt happily flogged off other state assets.

Those condoning NZ National govts' misrule, needed to see what was happening in post quakes Canterbury. Never mind the latest spy scandal where NZ citizens' & NZ residence visa holders' rights were eroded by illegal spying by GCSB, the National govt's excuses being WMD scaremongering & wanting to change the law to legalize state spying. Watch out Kim Dotcom & EQC Truths blogger et al! I'd lived through that dictatorial corruption in apartheid SA, where BOSS, Bureau of State Security was SA Nationalist govt's spy apparatus.

Digression: PM Key didn't say what he meant by WMD. Regarding Yanks' spin, Boston Marathon bombing, Key's WMD's were small explosive devices. I'd experienced those for years in apartheid SA. Early 1990s, I was close to a bomb blasting a Council roof off in East London, Oxford St, no injuries. There were many APLA terrorist attacks in & around East London at the time, attacks on buses, pubs, businesses, churches, some close to our Selborne home, people were killed or injured. A father of one of Jake's school friends was killed when the Bahai Church was attacked in Mdantsane.

That was just Christchurch's East Frame. Never mind CCDU's South Frame between Tuam St & St Aspah St where CERA also wanted to buy perfectly good properties & demolish them for flower power.

5. CERA / CCDU / NZ govt wanted to widen Manchester St for separate bus, vehicle & cycle lanes. CERA's document "An Accessible City" Pg 13:

"A soft edge between the Core & the East Frame will be created by converting Manchester St between Armagh St & Lichfield St into a boulevard. This will separate public transport & other vehicles, provide access to business & ensure a high quality connection between the Core & the East Frame. In addition to footpaths & on-road cycling on Manchester St itself, cycling & walking paths will be developed in the Frame."

A load of crap, as pre-quakes traffic / bus congestion on Colombo St to ~ from the Bus Exchange would be "converted" to Manchester St congestion, as the post quakes permanent Bus Exchange would be on the old Council bldg site, Tuam St, between Colombo St & Manchester St.

Asterisks * on pics indicated green Frame properties for Crown land speculation.

I parked my car on Cambridge Tce by Manchester St Bridge where I was solicited by a whore. I thought business must either be very good or very bad. Take your pick?

"How's business?" I asked.

"Slow," she said.

"Do you think business will pick up like pre quakes?"


She was the only business open on Manchester St during my walk that sunny afternoon. All other Manchester St businesses up to Tuam St crossing, if not demolished, were fence cordon closed & abandoned.

I wandered along Cambridge Tce to Madras St Bridge & saw that the Thesophy bldg was demolished. A new tilt slab construction was going up two sections along by Madras St. Across Avon River on Oxford Tce, there was no sign of the CCDU strumpeted kids' playground, touted by CERA, quick to blow its own strumpet, but slow to rebuild, even its own Blueprint. I wondered if the playground would become CERA's new open-air brothel & pedophiles' grooming ground?

Back at Manchester St Bridge, I saw how quakes had clockwise rotated bridge spans several cms, leaving buckling on the pavement at one abutment join. Across the bridge in the red zone, Retour Restaurant's copper dome still lay on Avon River bank, sans demolished bldg. Across Cambridge Tce was PGC demolition site, where 18 people died in the 22.02.11 quake.

Over past months, as I'd already seen many demolition sites along Manchester St & would see many more, whore-like I noted corner demolitions on my Manchester Street walk from Manchester St Bridge to Tuam St crossing. Many of the old shopfronts were gone, demolished, revealing sides or backsides of neighbouring red zone bldgs, or dusty demolition wastelands.

Walking notes:

Corner Manchester St / Oxford Tce: NE corner, Luneys closed, abandoned. CERA would buy & demolish Luneys for its East Frame, Blueprint playground. West side of Oxford Tce - red zone PO & more abandoned bldgs.

Corner Manchester St / Armagh St: NE corner, abandoned Luneys; 3 corner demolition sites, including Verkerks, SW corner. NZDF checkpoint on NW corner.

Southwards down Manchester St - east side, Orion demolition site. West side - abandoned City Seafoods Market & abandoned YHA, red zone weedy.

Corner Manchester St / Gloucester St: NE corner, abandoned, multi storey car park garage. CERA wanted to buy & demolish the garage for its East Frame; 3 corner demolition sites. Closed Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) Gloucester St loomed above the lot. Westwards along Gloucester St, New Regent St & Isaac Theatre Royal restorations were seen.

A Manchester St sign read:


  Gloucester St Closed
between Manchester St
     and Colombo St
    from 8am to 8pm
 19/04/13 to 21/04/13

For info...

Images, quake damaged Manchester St:

14.04.13. Manchester St western view of Gloucester St. Isaac Theatre Royal & New Regent St restorations right, core CBD red zone

Southwards down Manchester St - demolition sites both sides of street. Demolition sites eastwards, included NewstalkZB implosion site, till Latimer Sq. Abandoned Morleys House & The Bicycle Thief left by Latimer Sq. CERA would buy & demolish Morleys House & The Bicycle Thief for its East Frame. Car parks on demolition sites.

A scruffy orange mural on Cathedral Junction side wall. Gap Filler mini golf on a west demolition site by 2 food trailer shops, a Serious Sandwich van & a caravan office for red zone workers. So far, Gap Filler, using rubbish, had filled demolition sites with temporary junk projects & junk art.

It would've been better to grass the demolition sites & plant trees to lay hazardous concrete silicon dust & asbestos dust. Never mind copper, chromium & arsenic dust from treated wood & lead dust pollution from old paints. And bacterial spores from dry sewage. Fucked Manchester St was covered in a thick layer of demolition dust.

14.04.13. Manchester St southern view of Gap Filler mini golf, food trailers & abandoned bldgs: D&A College & Heritage Hotel middle, Cathedral Junction with mural right, core CBD red zone

14.04.13. Manchester St southern view: East Frame, Westende House rebuild left, abandoned Trinity Church  / Octagon Restaurant middle, abandoned D&A College right, core CBD red zone. *Left side of street, East Frame, due for demolitions. Right side of street, core CBD red zone. Brand new Westende House would be demolished by CERA for its East Frame

14.04.13. Serious Sandwich van on demolition site for red zone workers, Manchester St. Abandoned  bldgs behind: Heritage Hotel left, Cathedral Junction with orange mural right, core CBD red zone

Corner Manchester St / Worcester St: NE corner, Westende House rebuild; abandoned Octagon Restaurant, SW corner, awaited restoration; 2 corner demolition sites.

Westende House was on the 04.09.10 quake, ground zero demolition site, where media had used lurid red back-lighting to sensationalize reporting of that first 7.1 mag quake. CERA would buy brand new Westende House & demolish it for its East Frame widening of Manchester St.

14.04.13. *Brand new Westende House rebuild due for East Frame demolition, cnr Manchester St / Worcester St

Diagonally across the street, heritage buffs wanted to spend millions restoring old Trinity Church, older than Christchurch Cathedral, latter day Octagon Restaurant, tower demolished. Derelict Trinity Church, its gaping vagina windows, anal hole windows & boarded walls looked like a seedy brothel.

Since the quakes, Christchurch was ruled by hysterical lunatics with keys to red zone bldgs, including old & new businesses & churches, all guarded by red zone, NZDF checkpoints in a 2 year old military cordon, so far. Wandering down fucked Manchester St, I expected to see the Queen of Tarts romping around yelling, "Off with his head!" Not unusual for post quake Christchurch, as on other walks, I'd seen the disconsolate Town Crier wandering his former domain looking for lost bldgs & the hysterical Wizard, a protest demagogue.

14.04.13. Trinity Church / Octagon Restaurant, sans tower, due for restoration, cnr Manchester St / Worcester St, core CBD red zone

Southwards down Manchester St - several demolition sites both sides, including Druids Building west side & The Civic east side. Luke had once played drums in a schools' band competition at The Civic.

14.04.13. Manchester St view of demolition sites & abandoned bldgs between Worcester St & Hereford St crossings, core CBD red zone

14.04.13. Abandoned Chinese Restaurant & Bistro, Manchester St, core CBD red zone. Feb 1915 the restaurant became the Mexico restaurant

Corner Manchester St / Hereford St: NE corner, abandoned Bradley Nuttal House (later demolished) & abandoned Chinese Restaurant & Bistro. NW corner; 2 corner demolition sites.

In Feb 2015 the Chinese Restaurant became the Mexico restaurant with loud music. Leah & I walked out one night when ear splitting music assailed us.

14.04.13. *Abandoned Bradley Nuttal House (demolished) cnr Manchester St / Hereford St. All bldgs due for East Frame demolitions

14.04.13. *Abandoned Bradley Nuttal House (demolished) cnr Manchester St / Hereford St. Latimer Sq trees beyond. Reopened Calendar Girls right. All bldgs due for East Frame demolitions

From Bradley Nuttal House there were abandoned bldgs & demolition sites eastwards down Hereford St to Latimer Sq & reopened Calendar Girls. CERA would buy & demolish those bldgs for its Blueprint East Frame.

Westwards along Hereford St - NZDF checkpoint in red zone. Green plastic sewage tank across Hereford St. Abandoned red zone bldgs loomed beyond, above an inverted U shaped truck wash, to lay dust.

A sign by the checkpoint read:


14.04.13. NZDF checkpoint, cnr Manchester St / Hereford St. All bldgs abandoned, core CBD red zone

East side Manchester St - Rockshop & Manchester Courts demolition sites & abandoned Sullivans, Boogie Nights & Shooters, with broken window. Green walled Shooters sported red & white Steinlager advert boards. Round the corner on eastern Cashel St, a demolition site between Shooters & Oaks Smartstay Apartments. CERA would buy & demolish all those bldgs for its Blueprint East Frame. Boogie Nights & Shooters were demolished in 2013.

14.04.13. *Abandoned Manchester St East Frame bldgs due for demolitions, between Hereford St & Cashel St crossings




14.04.13. *East Frame bldgs, due for demolitions, cnr Manchester St / Cashel St. Shooters left, Oaks Homestay Apartments behind, IR bldg right behind. Shooters was demolished in 2013

West side Manchester St - demolition sites & Kensington House, including abandoned Topkapi Turkish Kebab, Comics, an Optometrist & Christchurch Idol Karaoke. The latter's side wall was stripped off, showing weathering rooms. Kensington House owners restored the bldg. Next door demolition site had a Nikau office hut, Cashel St corner.

14.04.13. Manchester St SW view of abandoned Kensington House right & abandoned Te Wanaga Aotearoa left, core CBD red zone. Kensington House was restored

I named abandoned, survivor bldgs I remembered on fucked Manchester St, as the majority of sites were demolition sites all along Manchester St. Kensington House, west side of Manchester St & Sullivans, Boogie Nights & Shooters, east side of Manchester St all looked quake trashed. Yet CERA would demolish only the east side, not the west side, as the former was in CERA's East Frame & the latter was in CERA's core CBD. Whoever concocted that idea was certifiable.

Corner Manchester St / Cashel St: NE corner, abandoned Shooters; 3 corner demolition sites, including Malbas, SE corner & Holiday Inn, SW corner. Beyond Holiday Inn demolition site, in the red zone were Westpac & Hotel Grand Chancellor demolition sites, one each side of Cashel St. An orange, Hi vis jacketed workman opened & closed a cordon fence gate, allowing Nikau dump truck access for hauling rubble from Holiday Inn, while 2 red zone diggers dumped rubble.

14.04.13. Manchester St western view of core CBD red zone demolitions along Cashel St towards The Crossing by Colombo St: Holiday Inn demolition site left, Hotel Grand Chancellor demolition site right. Trees in Restart Cashel Mall beyond

14.04.13. Manchester St / Cashel St crossing view of core CBD red zone Holiday Inn & Westpac demolition sites. Core CBD red zone High St, abandoned bldgs beyond

14.04.13. Manchester St N view of dump truck leaving Holiday Inn demolition site, at Cashel St crossing. Kensington House, core CBD red zone left. *All bldgs due for East Frame demolitions right

14.04.13. Manchester St / Cashel St crossing, southern view of *Majestic House due for East Frame demolition left. Core CBD red zone, Holiday Inn demolition site & abandoned Te Wanaga Aotearoa right

14.04.13. Manchester St view of core CBD red zone, Holiday Inn demolition site. Abandoned Millennium Hotel & Heritage Hotel right


14.04.13. *East Frame bldgs due for demolitions, Manchester St / Cashel St crossing

Southwards down Manchester St - demolition sites both sides of street to Bedford Row junction.

Corner Manchester St / Bedford Row: NE corner demolition sites stretched along Bedford Row to Madras St. Ditto south side Bedford Row. Few bldgs were left in Bedford Row. SE corner, old brick, blue bldg, facade propped by 4 layers of shipping containers. Top floor of blue facade toppled, exposing rooms & covered in tatty, black plastic, fluttering in the breeze. CERA would buy those sites & demolish the bldgs for its Blueprint East Frame.

14.04.13. *Demolition sites & East Frame, bldgs due for demolitions, cnr Manchester St / Bedford Row

14.04.13. *Manchester St view of Bedford Row, East Frame, bldgs due for demolitions

Corner Manchester St / Lichfield St / High St: NE corner, Majestic House, awaited demolition for CERA's East Frame. Pre quakes teenager, Jake went to church services at Majestic House.

14.04.13. *Majestic House due for East Frame demolition, cnr Manchester St / Lichfield St

14.04.13. *East Frame, Manchester St / Lichfield St / High St crossing. Majestic House left due for demolition. Alice in Videoland (old PO) middle, shipping containers propping facade right

14.04.13. *Cnr Manchester St / Lichfield St, East Frame bldgs due for demolitions. ANZ Bank Chambers & Poplar Lanes precinct demolition sites middle

14.04.13. *East Frame, Majestic House due for demolition, cnr Manchester St / Lichfield St

14.04.13. *Manchester St / Lichfield St / High St crossing. East Frame bldgs due for demolitions

14.04.13. *East Frame, Manchester St view of High St demolitions & Majestic House, awaiting demolition, Lichfield St

14.04.13. *Manchester St view of Lichfield St bldgs due for East Frame demolitions

Crossings eastwards, many demolition sites, including domed ANZ Bank Chambers. Poplar Lanes boutique shops & gastro pubs precinct between Lichfield St & Tuam St was obliterated from Manchester St to Poplar Ln, including Poplar Mews where Jake had pre-quakes flatted.

Eastwards demolition sites were so vast, one could see from Manchester St to NG Gallery, Madras St by Turners & Growers site & see southwards across High St to Alice in Videoland (old PO) Tuam St.

CERA would buy all those demolition sites & bldgs for its East Frame & anchor project, 35 000 seater, roofed, rugby stadium on Turners & Growers site.

14.04.13. *Manchester St / Lichfield St / High St crossing. East Frame bldgs due for demolitions. ANZ Bank Chambers & Poplar Lanes precinct demolition sites middle



14.04.13. *Manchester St view of High St. East Frame bldgs due for demolitions. Alice in Videoland (old PO) right


14.04.13. *Artist sketching Manchester St / Lichfield St / High St crossing. East Frame left. Core CBD red zone right. Port Hills beyond

Opposite corner Manchester St / High St by orange Nucleus sculpture, Te Wanaga Aotearoa bldg was abandoned. Weedy demolition sites on west Lichfield St corners, including new reinforcement steel rods lying on the pavement in the red zone.

A man sat on a pavement by the High St cordon fence, doing a charcoal sketch of Manchester St east side devastation. Like myself, he tried to make sense of it all with visual memory. There were other passersby, pedestrians & vehicles. No smiles, just grim faces & sadness, taking in quake & CERA demolition destruction.

14.04.13. Manchester St view of Holiday Inn rubble, back of Te Wanaga Aotearoa bldg, core CBD red zone

14.04.13. Abandoned Te Wanaga Aotearoa bldg, Manchester St, core CBD red zone

14.04.13. N view of Nucleus sculpture & abandoned Te Wanaga Aotearoa bldg, cnr High St / Manchester St, core CBD red zone

14.04.13. Manchester St SW view of Nucleus sculpture & abandoned bldgs, core CBD red zone between Lichfield St & Tuam St

14.04.13. Manchester St SW view of High St abandoned bldgs, core CBD red zone

 14.04.13. NW view of Manchester St / Lichfield St / High St crossing. Abandoned Te Wanaga Aotearoa bldg & abandoned hotels behind in core CBD red zone

Palm trees still stood both sides of High St crossing. Demolition sites all along east side of Manchester St till a brick facade propped up by 5 layers of shipping containers near Tuam St crossing. CERA would buy the sites & demolish the remaining bldgs for its Blueprint East Frame.

West side of Manchester St / High St crossing: Nucleus sculpture & Holiday Inn demolition site seen again & the orange Hi vis jacketed workman again opening & closing the red zone fence for truck access. NW down partly closed / recently opened High St, I looked past demolition sites to red zone Cathedral Sq.

14.04.13. Manchester St NW view down High St to Cathedral Sq. Leighs construction site offices left & abandoned core CBD red zone bldgs beyond  

14.04.13. Cnr Manchester St / High St NW view of Holiday Inn demolition site & core CBD red zone bldgs, incl abandoned Cathedral Sq hotels: Millennium Hotel left, Heritage Hotel middle

14.04.13. Manchester St W view down Lichfield St & abandoned bldgs, core CBD red zone

14.04.13. Cnr Manchester St / Lichfield St W view of demolitions sites & abandoned bldgs, core CBD red zone

14.04.13. Manchester St W view of demolition sites & abandoned Struthers Ln bldgs, core CBD red zone

West side of Manchester St & Struthers Ln junction: Weedy demolition sites from High St / Lichfield St crossings to Tuam St crossing. Abandoned Sol Sq bldgs, like Le Petite Croix, were revealed by Struthers Ln demolitions. Southwards beyond Struthers Ln, old Peaches & Cream bldg was demolished to Tuam St crossing.

14.04.13. Manchester St W view of demolition sites & abandoned Struthers Ln bldgs, core CBD red zone

Looking southwards from the vast demolition site at Manchester St / Lichfield St / High St crossing, I could see part demolished Odeon Theatre & its shipping container propped facade on Tuam St & EPIC rebuild, corner Manchester St / Tuam St crossing.

14.04.13. Cnr Manchester St / Tuam St demolition site. Opp cnr, shipping containers propping Odeon Theater facade, core CBD red zone

14.04.13. *East Frame, shipping containers propping a facade, cnr Manchester St / Tuam St. Opp cnr EPIC post quake bldg. Port Hills beyond

14.04.13. *East Frame, shipping containers propping a facade, Manchester St

Ugly black & blue EPIC rebuild struggled to attract tenants for its second phase build, as it claimed land prices were rising in the CBD. That contradicted CCDU boss Isaacs, who claimed CBD land prices were low due to quakes, so CCDU could offer peanuts to East Frame land owners & the East Frame would then boost core CBD land values, later enabling CERA / CCDU / NZ govt to profitably sell East Frame land after East Frame land values increased too. Insane idea. So much for the CBD property market balancing itself without NZ govt's CBD land-grab intervention.

Corner Manchester St / Tuam St: NE corner, abandoned Two Fat Indians Restaurant had an old Polson's Decorators & Signwriters advert on a corrugated iron side wall, revealed by another demolition. Demolitions had revealed hidden, old adverts on walls all over the CBD.

Round Tuam St corner, a row of ruins could be seen on High St, including McKenzie Willis slow restoration. The High St ruins were an eyesore ever since the 22.02.11 quake.

14.04.13. *Abandoned Two Fat Indians Restaurant, due for East Frame demolition, cnr Manchester St / Tuam St

14.04.13. *Cnr Manchester St / Tuam St view of East Frame, McKenzie Willis restoration & other High St ruins

Once CERA had bought East Frame land & turned it into parkland, CERA intended widening Manchester St for separate bus, vehicle & cycle lanes. Great cruising zone for a revamped red light zone.

East of Manchester St on that vast demolition site, instead of CERA's East Frame parkland, the demolition site could be a good site for a new Christchurch Cathedral on the Swamp, Le Grande Croix. After all, many cathedrals in UK & Europe were built on swamps & fens. All engineers had to do was suss out how a new Christchurch Cathedral could safely withstand swamp & quakes for hundreds of years.

On returning to my car the whore was gone. A week later, Mon 22.04.11, The Press ran an article: "Sex workers return to old haunt."

EQC fiasco continued:

Fri 19.04.13. EQC Truths blog post: "Today's Bombshell: EQC makes $100,000,000 in Over payments." An email describing over payments to claimants - "There has been $100 million NZD paid out in error by EQC..."

Sat 20.04.13. Weekend Press headline: "Overpaid claims of $100m by EQC revealed." Overpayment details regarding 3 300 properties in an EQC email leaked to The Press.

Neither The Press nor EQC Truths blogger offered solutions to EQC's management mess.

Like rotten managements showed by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into quake collapsed bldgs & the Coroners Inquest into quake deaths, EQC Truths blogger & The Press details showed rotten EQC management by EQC boss Simpson & CERA minister Brownlee.

Contents & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Charity set to restore old Trinity Church (The Press / Stuff Co). 

See Soft spot for old office saves shops (The Press / Stuff Co). 

See Land costs put EPIC's future in doubt (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Overpaid claims of $100m by EQC revealed. (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Sex workers return to old haunt (The Press / Stuff Co).

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