Sunday, April 7, 2013

Red ZoneTour, Post Quake Christchurch & EQC Truths Leak

Sun 07.04.13. I parked my car on St Asaph St by a demolition site & a row of ruined brick bldgs which had rotted on High St for more than 2 years since the 22.02.11 quake. Why anyone wanted to preserve those ruins, from McKenzie Willis on Tuam St / High St corner to St Asaph St / High St corner, was beyond me?

Images, quake damaged St Asaph St:

07.04.13. St Asaph St view of demolition sites & High St ruins. Reopened Alice in Videoland (old PO) left

The row of ruined High St bldgs, one fire razed, was as rotten as any dangerous, brick bldgs I'd seen post quakes, like old, brick bldgs on Manchester St, or old, brick bldgs on Colombo St, Sydenham, all demolished now. Part demolitions had peeled off back walls, exposing rooms to weathering.

07.04.13. Manchester St view of demolition sites & High St ruins. McKenzie Willis left, fire razed bldg right

St Asaph St: I checked out a scaffolded bldg with an old HODSON & Co Ltd advert painted on a side wall by a demolition site. Further along, I looked at recently opened St Asaph Street Kitchen & Stray Dog Bar. The restaurant was busy.

07.04.13. St Asaph St view if High St ruins left & old Hodson & Co Ltd ad on wall right

07.04.13. St Asaph St Kitchen car park, St Asaph St

St Asaph St / Manchester St corner: Past Theme Basic demolition site, I cut down Manchester St by post quake, black & blue EPIC shed, an ugly rebuild. Next to quake survivor, The Drawing Room I looked at Odeon Theatre roof which lay on a demolition site for months, since part demolition of Odeon Theatre. The auditorium was gutted with jumbled chairs & side walls exposed to weathering. I looked at Oregon pine trusses supporting the corrugated iron roof. Rusty roller wheels, for theatre fly ropes, were attached to beams.

Images, quake damaged Manchester St:

07.04.13. Post quake EPIC, cnr Manchester St / Tuam St

07.04.13. Part demolished Odeon Theatre roof, Manchester St

07.04.13. Part demolished Odeon Theatre, Manchester St

07.04.13. Cnr Manchester St / Tuam St western view of Odeon Theatre facade awaiting restoration left. Old Council bldg far right, site to become the new Bus Exchange in May 2015

07.04.13. Cnr Manchester St / Tuam St eastern view of reopened Alice in Videoland (old PO) left & ruined McKenzie Willis right, facade being restored

Corner Manchester St / Tuam St: By Real Groovy demolition site, Odeon Theatre facade was protected by a triple layer of shipping containers, as the facade was due for restoration. On the opposite corner Peaches & Cream demolition site grew weeds.

I wandered along an orange, plastic, road barrier / fence cordon corridor for pedestrians, separated from one way Tuam St traffic, past a razor wired & boarded entrance to Sol Square, past boarded, abandoned, old Council bldg to Colombo St. The old Council bldg would be demolished & the rebuild would become the new Bus Exchange in May 2015.

Corner Colombo St / Tuam St: 4 demolition sites, one site turned into a Wilson car park, adjacent to Tuam St ~ Lichfield St, temporary Bus Exchange, built on demolition sites. Beyond was post quake Tuam Library in a Council bldg. 16 people died in the vicinity, 22.02.11 quake, when old brick bldgs collapsed along Colombo St, between St Asaph St & Tuam St crossings.

Images, quake damaged Colombo St:

07.04.13. Cnr Colombo St / Mollett St view of demolition sites & abandoned red zone bldgs. 16 people died in the Mollett St vicinity, 22.02.11 quake. Old Council bldg Tuam St right was demolished for the new Bus Exchange opened in May 2015

07.04.13. Cnr Colombo St / Tuam St view of abandoned red zone bldgs. Old Council bldg right was demolished for the new Bus Exchange opened in May 2015

07.04.13. Colombo St demolition site view of Lichfield St red zone, abandoned bldgs. Old bus exchange left, part demolished

07.04.13. Temporary Bus Exchange car park view of Wilson car park on demolition sites & view across Colombo St demolition sites to abandoned red zone bldgs. Old Council bldg right was demolished for the new Bus exchange opened in May 2015

On Tuam St, opposite the post quake, temporary Bus Exchange, D&A College side wall was sullied by graffiti, which had hugely increased in the CBD & suburbs since the quakes.

07.04.13. Cordoned demolition site & graffiti on abandoned D&A College wall, Tuam St

Colombo St northwards: I wandered past demolition sites & blocks of fence cordoned, dusty, abandoned shops, with orange, plastic road barriers forming pedestrian corridors on Colombo St. Drivers along that section of Colombo St weaved their vehicles one-way southwards from Lichfield St to Tuam St crossings. Multiply that traffic obstruction 1 000 x for an idea of CERA / SCIRT obstructions drivers endured in post quake Christchurch. Never mind the NZDF cordon around the CBD red zone for 28 months, citizens banned. 

07.04.13. Cordoned, abandoned red zone shops, Colombo St

07.04.13. Cordoned, abandoned red zone Frontrunner, Colombo St. See traffic obstructions

07.04.13. USAR / TF graffiti, abandoned, red zone Frontrunner, Colombo St

Corner Colombo St / Lichfield St: Frontrunner was dusty & abandoned next to a cordon fence, blocking off Lichfield St by the pre quakes, abandoned Bus Exchange. Behind the red zone cordon fence on Colombo St / Manchester St corner, a red bus was parked, RED ZONE TOUR in digital letters in front.

07.04.13. Cnr Colombo St / Lichfield St northwards view of Colombo St walkway to The Crossing. Abandoned shops left, demolition site right

07.04.13. Colombo St view of red zone tour bus, Lichfield St red zone

Although CERA minister Brownlee fantasized that the red zone CBD was a rebuild zone, there was no rebuilding yet. CERA's red zone bus tours hadn't got the rebuild message yet.

Yesterday, CERA opened a red zone, cordon section of Colombo St for pedestrians only, from Lichfield St to Hereford St crossings. I wandered down Colombo St, past demolition sites, past active Mid City, past abandoned National Bank, past reopened Ballantynes, past closed, abandoned, pre quakes Bus Exchange to The Crossing by Restart Cashel Mall. Except for Ballantynes, all shops along Colombo St were closed, abandoned.

07.04.13. Colombo St demolition site & abandoned red zone bldgs by The Crossing


I stopped at the old, abandoned Bus Exchange by The Crossing & looked at dusty glass doors & windows of shops, closed since the 22.02.11 quake, 2 years ago. Cosmetics were scattered from low shelves on one shop floor. Upper shelves still held more cosmetics perfectly intact. Those shops still had intact awnings. Much damage was caused by collapsed awnings in the quakes. I liked copper lion heads on the Bus Exchange awning. USAR / TF graffiti still besmirched shop windows & doors.

07.04.13. Red zone, abandoned Bus Exchange view of The Crossing, cnr Colombo St / Cashel St

07.04.13. USAR / TF graffiti, Colombo St nr The Crossing

07.04.13. Lion head decorated awning, abandoned, red zone Bus Exchange, Colombo St

07.04.13. Quake strewn cosmetics, red zone, abandoned Bus Exchange shop, Colombo St

From The Crossing, Cashel St eastwards was a vast demolition site, where one could see across demolition sites to High St & Hereford St. A couple of abandoned bldgs spotted the demolition site. Westpac, Holiday Inn & Hotel Grand Chancellor high rises were gone, demolished. A tangle of steel reinforcement rods lay on HGC rubble.

I looked through abandoned Starbucks dusty windows. Furniture was frozen since being abandoned in the 22.02.11 quake, over 2 years ago. Dust lay thick on furniture by the fireplace, ceiling panels hung loose. 

07.04.13. Abandoned red zone shops, The Crossing, cnr Colombo St / Cashel St

07.04.13. The Crossing, Cashel St view of demolition sites & red zone, abandoned bldgs

Images, quake damaged Cashel St:

07.04.13. Red zone, abandoned Starbucks, Cashel St

07.04.13. Red zone, abandoned Westpac demolition site, cnr Cashel St / High St


07.04.13. Red zone, abandoned Holiday Inn demolition site, cnr Cashel St / High St

Images, quake damaged High St:

07.04.13. High St view of red zone Hotel Grand Chancellor demolition site, Cashel St

07.04.13. High St NW view of red zone demolition sites & abandoned shops towards Cathedral Sq

07.04.13. Red zone, abandoned Jeanswest, High St

07.04.13. High St SW view across Cashel St demolition sites & red zone, abandoned bldgs by The Crossing. Reopened Ballantynes right

From The Crossing, I wandered down Colombo St, past bright painted planter boxes - a row of trees & garish painted road patterns, past abandoned Pagoda Court restaurant, where Luke recently bought a fish tank from the owner, trying to recoup quake losses. Luke said Pagoda Court furniture was quake jumbled. I wandered past McDonald's & KFC demolition sites. The only bldg standing in the vicinity was boarded, abandoned Timezone.

Images, quake damaged Colombo St:

07.04.13. Red zone, abandoned Pagoda Court restaurant, Colombo St

07.04.13. Red zone, abandoned Timezone, flanked by demolition sites, Colombo St. Restart Cashel Mall shipping containers left

07.04.13. Colombo St S view of demolition sites & red zone abandoned bldgs by The Crossing

07.04.13. Colombo St NW view of demolition sites towards Hereford St crossing & red zone abandoned Cathedral Sq. Abandoned Government Life left, awaited demolition. Chalice middle

Images of Restart Cashel Mall:

07.04.13. The Crossing view of Restart Cashel Mall. Reopened Ballantynes left

07.04.13. Restart Cashel Mall where 4 people died in the 22.02.11 quake. Bridge of Remembrance beyond

At The Crossing, I chatted to the red-coated & tricorn hatted Town Crier who said he was there every day. An anachronism. I didn't look at recently opened High St & Hereford St niches as I'd seen them last weekend.

07.04.13. Town Crier, The Crossing, cnr Cashel St / Colombo St

07.04.13. The Crossing eastern view of red zone Cashel St & abandoned bldgs. Westpac & Holiday Inn demolition sites right

The vast demolition site eastwards along Cashel St became part of CERA's retail precinct, the west ~ east vista going from Bridge of Remembrance down Restart Cashel Mall past Ballantynes & the retail precinct & beyond to CTV demolition site, where 115 people died in the CTV collapse & burn, 22.02.11 quake.

Mon 08.04.13. The Press reported more on the EQC fiasco: An anonymous blogger (ex EQC) had received another EQC email leak giving claimants' details. The EQC Truths blogger said he'd divulge information to claimants who provided ID, as it was their right to get personal information held by a govt dept, which EQC wasn't providing, despite requests from claimants. Staples was helping EQC Truths blogger with ID details on the latest email leak.

One News reported that EQC boss Simpson got a High Court interim injunction against Staples & EQC Truths blogger. Bullying again by EQC, as EQC's ineptitude & defrauding of claimants would be clarified by exposure & transparency.

Funny how Simpson was quick with legal action, but slow with EQC assessments & payouts. Instead of enriching lawyers with his ass covering, pity Simpson didn't devote his energy to paying claimants what they deserved & fixing quake damaged housing pronto. It was 2.5 years since the 04.09.10 quake & over 2 years since the 22.02.11 quake. His payout / fixing inaction & legal action were examples of EQC's perennial delays.

Where was CERA minister Brownlee, Simpsons' boss, in the EQC leak fiasco?

Wed 10.04.13 EQC Truths blog: "EQC Truths intends to Release All Information within 24 hours." The blogger implied that blogging was offshore, therefore NZ High Court injunction was a waste.

Thurs 11.04.13. EQC Truths blogger said the information wouldn't be released within 24 hours as the overseas source had advised regarding the High Court injunction that EQC Truths blogger would be in contempt of court & needed to self protect.

Instead EQC Truths blogger challenged Simpson to a public TV debate, 6 pm, 11 April, "or else I will reveal everything."

EQC Truths blogger implied the overseas source would leak the EQC information. Failing that, EQC Truths blogger would still leak it. There would also be "more damning revelations" about EQC.

The TV debate didn't happen, so EQC Truths said the spreadsheet information for 67 000 claimants was leaked offshore, online by the original leaker via File Dropper website. According to EQC Truths, although 1 000s of people checked the link, it was taken down within hours, then uploaded again on other links. 

Fri 12.04.13. One News reported Simpson's minimising comment: "the bulk of the information is already known to customers." Why the injunction Simpson?

Sat 13.04.13. Protesting teachers whined at Brownlee's Ilam office, Greers Rd. I thought those unionised teachers feared National govt touting of Charter Schools. Leah, highly specialized, experienced teacher, saw Charter Schools as a professional opportunity.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Access given to leaked EQC files (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Blogger plans to defy injunction (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Homeowners can use OIA to get EQC info (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Leaked EQC details posted online (The Press / Stuff Co).

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