Tuesday, May 14, 2013

CERA Sucked - Cathedral Square, High Street & Junk Art

Wed 15.05.13. A text from Leah from her London St school, besieged by SCIRT cordon fences for months:

"They are clearing the old sewage pipes & the old quake muck is bubbling up our loos. Smells triple horrendous! Worse than Namaqualand skunk stink!"

My text reply: "A fulla shit day." 

CERA sucked alright. You'd think that CERA's brat SCIRT would've learnt that operating sucker trucks on London St in the middle of a working day was taboo. That back-flushing was done by sucker trucks all over Christchurch, ever since the 04.09.10 quake, nearly 3 years ago.

Yesterday CERA had opened its Skinners rats maze a little into Cathedral Sq, via Worcester St Bridge, past Cathedral Sq NZDF checkpoint, to Gloucester St. I had a look: Nothing new to see since I'd last passed that way - 4 CERA utes parked on Worcester St Bridge; Our City, metal braced, restoration stalled; demolition sites; abandoned bldgs; cordon fences; ruined Christchurch Cathedral; workmen still repairing Novotel.

Images, quake damaged Worcester St:

15.05.13. Post quake construction site, cnr Cambridge Tce / Gloucester St

15.05.13. Worcester St Bridge view of abandoned bldgs around Cathedral Sq. Quake ruined Christchurch Cathedral middle

15.05.13. Oxford Tce view of Worcester St Bridge. Council bldg & HSBC Tower left. Steel braced Our City restoration right

15.05.13. Worcester St Bridge southern view of Oxford Tce towards Restart Cashel Mall

15.05.13. Oxford Tce view of Clarendon Tower demolition site & abandoned bldgs south side of Cathedral Sq. Millennium Hotel left, Old PO & Telecom middle. 2016, Millennium Hotel was restored to Distinction Christchurch, a "new" hotel

15.05.13. Red zone, cordoned, abandoned shop, Rydges Hotel block, Worcester St

Quake trashed high rises around Cathedral Sq, like asbestos riddled Government Life, Heritage Hotel & Christchurch Cathedral ruin were just junk art, like New Regent St, which CERA was so anxious for people to visit - belatedly, after 2 years of red zone, NZDF cordons & citizen bannings.

Images, quake damaged Cathedral Sq:

15.05.13. Cathedral Sq view of red zone Government Life awaiting demolition left. Repaired Novotel right & Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) behind

15.05.13. Red zone Cathedral Sq view of repaired Novotel & Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) left. Ruined Christchurch Cathedral right

15.05.13. Red zone, abandoned, old PO / Tourist Information & Telecom behind, Cathedral Sq

15.05.13. Red zone, abandoned, Telecom bldgs, Cathedral Sq

15.05.13. Red zone, abandoned Heritage Hotel & Millennium Hotel left. Both hotels were restored, latter for Distinction Christchurch. Part demolished BNZ right, Cathedral Sq

15.05.13. Cathedral Sq view of red zone demolition site & abandoned Chancery Ln Arcade, awaiting demolition. Abandoned Craigs House & Victoria Square behind, awaited demolitions for NZ govt's / CERA's Blueprint Convention Centre

15.05.13. Cathedral Sq view of red zone, demolition site, salvage steel by abandoned Government Life right. Abandoned Victoria Square apartments behind, awaited demolition for NZ govt's / CERA's Blueprint Convention Centre

15.05.13. Red zone, abandoned Government Life, awaited demolition, Cathedral Sq

15.05.13. Red zone abandoned bldgs around Cathedral Sq. Telecom Left. Central Police, Hereford St, behind NZ flag awaited 30.05.15 implosion. Government Life right awaited demolition

You'd think CERA would open the shortest route from Restart Cashel Mall, past ruined Christchurch Cathedral, to recently reopened New Regent St, battling to attract custom. Instead rubberneckers looped along Oxford Tce & down Worcester St, past Clarendon Tower demolition site, to Cathedral Sq checkpoint & Gloucester St.

15.05.13. Red zone, abandoned Tram Stop & CERA office hut, Cathedral Sq

15.05.13. Red zone, CERA office huts behind plinth, sans statue, Cathedral Sq

15.05.13. Red zone, ruined Christchurch Cathedral, Cathedral Sq. Abandoned Millennium Hotel right, awaited 2016 restoration for Distinction Christchurch

15.05.13. Cathedral Sq, NZDF checkpoint view of red zone, abandoned Camelot Hotel left, awaiting demolition for Central Library rebuild. Repaired Novotel middle. Repaired Cathedral Junction right.

The only reason for that loop was to stop people wandering past ANZ demolition site & part-demolished BNZ demolition site, of asbestos notoriety, corners Colombo St / Hereford St. Meanwhile CERA's cabin offices squatted behind cordon fences in abandoned Cathedral Sq by the abandoned Telecom bldg. As usual, NZDF soldiers did checkpoint duty at Colombo St / Cathedral Sq checkpoint.

15.05.13. Colombo St / Cathedral Sq, NZDF checkpoint view of red zone, abandoned Camelot Hotel, awaiting demolition for Central Library rebuild

15.05.13. Colombo St / Cathedral Sq, NZDF checkpoint view of ruined Christchurch Cathedral. NZDF soldier doing checkpoint duty. Abandoned Millennium Hotel behind awaited 2016 restoration for Distinction Christchurch

A NZDF checkpoint sign read:


15.05.13. Colombo St / Cathedral Sq checkpoint, red zone fence. Government Life awaited demolition behind 

Viewed from Oxford Tce & Robert Falcon Scott plinth (fallen statue removed) & across Clarendon Tower demolition site, I saw that Christchurch Cathedral ruin was the drabbest & ugliest bldg, dwarfed by ugly, abandoned bldgs around Cathedral Sq: Rydges Hotel, Government life, Novotel, The Press, Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) Cathedral Junction, Heritage Hotel, Millennium Hotel, Telecom, old PO & Tourist Information, Telecom, Public Trust Office. Hidden from that viewpoint, there were more ugly bldgs - abandoned Chancery Ln Arcade, Camelot Hotel, BNZ & demolition sites.

Three security bods in yellow, Hi Vis vests prowled Cathedral Sq. Once CBD cordons fell for good, cops would have their work cut out when taggers & thieves spawned in the deserted CBD. Thieves were stealing recyclable goods, like hot water cylinders, for months in the abandoned, residential red zone.

15.05.13. Cathedral Sq security staff

15.05.13. Cathedral Sq security staff by Oxford Tce & Worcester St Bridge. HSBC Tower left, abandoned Our City right

CERA's so-called CBD rebuild was a hotchpotch of gasping, little businesses & food trailers in a vast matrix of abandoned bldgs & weedy, dusty demolition sites, all bordered by cordon fences with unwelcoming DANGER signs & HAZARD boards.

Oxford Tce: Cordon fences, demolition sites & abandoned bldgs, like Rydges Hotel & Public Trust Office, flanking Clarendon Tower demolition site.

Images, quake damaged Oxford Tce:

15.05.13. Oxford Tce view of Clarendon Tower demolition site & abandoned bldgs around ruined Christchurch Cathedral middle

15.05.13. Abandoned Public Trust Office, Oxford Tce

Hereford St: Cordon fences, demolition sites & abandoned bldgs, like Equitable House & Scorpio Books. Abandoned Tete a Tete shack still teetered by Wilson Car park on a demolition site by Restart Cashel Mall back entrance. Telecom was being repaired. Ibis Hotel was open. Example of post quake business disruption: Scorpio Books relocated to Restart Cashel Mall for a couple of years, then relocated back to Hereford St in 2016.

Images, quake damaged Hereford St:

15.05.13. Red zone, abandoned Scorpio Books, Hereford St. Scorpio Books relocated to Restart Cashel Mall for a couple of years, then relocated back to Hereford St in 2016

15.05.13. Hereford St: Abandoned Tete a Tete & abandoned Central Police left, awaiting 30.05.15 implosion. Abandoned Equitable House right. Council bldg beyond right

15.05.13. Demolition site, Wilson car park & Restart Cashel Mall back entrance, Hereford St

15.05.13. Hereford St: Red zone, abandoned bldg left. Telecom Green middle right. Reopened Ibis Hotel right

So-called art in the CBD had degenerated to junk art & Council was paying so-called artists huge fees for sticking or painting rubbish on demolition site walls, like painted parallel lines between abandoned public toilets & IBM demolition site, Hereford St.

15.05.13. Hereford St view of IBM demolition site & abandoned or part repaired bldgs around ruined Christchurch Cathedral

15.05.13. Post quake, junk art on Ibis Hotel wall, by IBM demolition site, next to abandoned public toilets, Hereford St

15.05.13. Cnr Hereford St / Colombo St view of ANZ & IBM demolition sites. Abandoned Cathedral Sq bldgs beyond - public toilets left, old PO & Tourist Information middle, Telecom behind, Government Life right awaited demolition

15.05.13. Part demolished BNZ, cnr Hereford St / Colombo St

I wandered down recently opened High St from Hereford St crossing to Tuam St crossing, just 5 businesses open. Many demolition sites behind cordon fences, parked diggers & abandoned bldgs behind cordon fences, a sushi bar & cafe open below recently reopened Avonmore Tertiary Institute. Holiday Inn, demolition site columns stood above the basement car park, like fossil tree ferns, reinforcement steel tangles on top.

Images, quake damaged high St:

15.05.13. Reopened Sushi below Avonmore Tertiary Institute, High St

15.05.13 High St view of demolition site by The Crossing, cnr Cashel St / Colombo St. The demolition site would become ANZ Centre, built 2015-16. Reopened Ballantynes middle, flanked by abandoned bldgs

15.05.13. High St view of demolition site & red zone, abandoned bldgs towards Manchester St

15.05.13. Abandoned, red zone bldg, High St

15.05.13. High St view of Westpac demolition site & more demolition sites towards Lichfield St. Closed old Council bldg beyond awaited demolition for the rebuilt Bus Exchange

15.05.13. High St view towards Cathedral Sq

15.05.13. Cnr High St / Cashel St view towards Restart Cashel Mall. Bldgs mostly abandoned

15.05.13. Cashel St view of Westpac demolition site & red zone, abandoned bldgs

15.05.13. Red zone, abandoned shop, High St

15.05.13. High St view of Hotel Grand Chancellor & Holiday Inn demolition sites & abandoned bldgs

15.05.13. High St view of Holiday Inn demolition site & abandoned bldgs

WINZ was abandoned. Next door Bonnington House was scaffolded & being repaired. Scaffolders caused more damage to quake trashed bldgs, by breaking windows, to secure their horizontal scaffold poles. 

15.05.13. High St view of abandoned red zone bldgs. Bonnington House under repair left. Abandoned WINZ middle

15.05.13. Repairs to Bonnington House, High St

15.05.13. Cnr High St / Manchester St view down High St, flanked by red zone abandoned bldgs to Cathedral Sq

Corner High St / Lichfield St: The only rebuild site, Leighs Construction site, was by a NZDF checkpoint in the red zone cordon. Concrete trucks & workmen poured concrete at first floor level to rebuild Stranges bldg, a glass walled, triangular bldg, which in 2014 won an award as one of the first rebuilds in the area.

The new Stranges bldg looked good, but I disliked the old brick bldg behind it, with ground level restaurants along Stranges Ln, between old & new bldgs, waiting for the next big quake to strike. Council planners hadn't learnt a thing!

Across Manchester St, CCDU's East Frame loomed, a host of abandoned bldgs due for acquisition by CERA, demolitions & conversion to grass. All paid for by taxpayers of course.  *Asterisk captions showed E Frame or S Frame land.

15.05.13. Stranges rebuild construction site & bldg repair site, cnrs High St / Lichfield St / Manchester St

15.05.13. Stranges rebuild construction site, cnr High St / Lichfield St / Manchester St

*15.05.13. High St view of Majestic House awaiting demolition, cnr Manchester St / Lichfield St. Nucleus sculpture middle survived the quakes & CERA demolitions

15.05.13. Manchester St view of red zone, abandoned bldgs flanking Lichfield St & construction site, cnr Manchester St / Lichfield St / High St

15.05.13. Stranges rebuild site, cnr Manchester St / Lichfield St / High St. Checkpoint hut & NZDF soldiers left

15.05.13. NZDF checkpoint, cnr Manchester St / Lichfield St / High St. Stranges rebuild site right

15.05.13. Stranges rebuild site, cnr Manchester St / Lichfeld St / High St

High St / Manchester St crossing: Cordon fences, demolition sites & abandoned bldgs past Struthers Ln to Tuam St.

15.05.13. Cnr Manchester St / High St view of demolition sites & abandoned bldgs bordering Struthers Ln & Tuam St. *E Frame left of Manchester St

*15.05.13. High St view of demolition sites & abandoned bldgs. Reopened C1 Cafe / Alice in Videoland / old PO behind, E Frame

*15.05.13. High St view of junk art atop reopened C1 Cafe / Alice in Videoland / old PO, E Frame

*15.05.13. Demolition site, abandoned bldgs & facade saved for restoration, cnr High St / Manchester St, E Frame

*15.05.13. Demolition site & Majestic House awaiting demolition in E Frame, cnr High St / Manchester St / Lichfield St

*15.05.13. High St view of  abandoned bldgs awaiting demolition in E frame

*15.05.13. Facade saved for restoration in High St, E Frame

Corner High St / Tuam St: C1 Cafe / Alice in Videoland (Tuam St) & Mainz had opened months ago, surrounded by abandoned bldgs & demolition sites - Majestic House, 2 facades braced by shipping containers, Poplar Ln, Mckenzie Willis, CF Cotter & Co with old adverts on brick side walls:


*15.05.13. Old ad, abandoned CD Cotter & Co, High St, E Frame

*15.05.13. Mainz & facade saved for restoration, High St, E Frame

*15.05.13. High St bldgs in E frame awaiting demolition. Middle bldg beyond Nucleus sculpture, Manchester St, not in E Frame

*15.05.13. C1 Cafe / Alice in Videoland / old PO, cnr High St / Tuam St

*15.05.13. High St view of Poplar St demolition sites & abandoned bldgs awaiting demolition in E Frame

*15.05.13. Restoration of McKenzie Willis facade, cnr High St / Tuam St, S Frame

East of Manchester St to Madras St & south of Tuam St to St Asaph St was CCDU's proposed Frame, to be converted to parkland grass. Only CCDU / CERA could tell which abandoned bldgs would become parkland, as NZ govt's / CERA's / CCDU's interference in the CBD property market enabled CCDU to make cheapskate offers to Frame property owners.

CERA sucked at CBD rebuild. You'd think after 2 years of hogging the NZDF cordoned, red zone CBD, CERA would have many CBD rebuilds going strong. The reality was a depressing, grey void, demolition sites, cordon fences & abandoned bldgs. A night drive down Manchester St was more depressing - a black void. So much for CERA minister Brownlee's rebuild.

Images, quake damaged Worcester Blvd:

15.05.13. CERA vehicles parked on Worcester St Bridge. Abandoned Cathedral Sq bldgs beyond

15.05.13. Worcester St Bridge view of CERA officials crossing Cambridge Tce to Worcester Blvd. Council bldg & HSBC Tower left. Harley & Christchurch Art Gallery right

Via Worcester Blvd, I wandered back to my car at Botanic Gardens car park. Some degenerate art works were outside the Art Gallery, closed for quake repairs:

1. Giant portrait of a bug eyed woman, staring across Worcester Blvd towards the Council bldg. Grimace from me.

15.05.13. Outdoor Art, Christchurch Art Gallery, Worcester Blvd

2. Two giant, silver gnomes straddling Art Gallery steps, also staring at the Council bldg. I restrained myself from projectile puking.

15.05.13. Outdoor art, Christchurch Art Gallery, Worcester Blvd

3. Montreal St side of Art Gallery: By a locked gallery door, a giant photo of a bricked up door in a brick wall of the old Stables, Bedford Row. Council would've paid 1 000s of dollars for the junk art.

15.05.13. Outdoor Art, Christchurch Art Gallery, Montreal St

4. On an opposite wall of a small bldg, 2 lounge lizards stared blankly at the Art Gallery.

15.05.13. Outdoor art, Christchurch Art gallery, Montreal St

15.05.13. Pissoir & ads, Rolleston Ave, nr Hagley Park

On my return home, our neighbour was standing by our gate. She had 4 adult offspring & lived alone in a state house on the dole. Years ago I'd banished her from our property, as she'd pestered us with petty domestic problems: "Can I use your  phone?... Can I borrow your mower?..." She tried hassling Luke when he was still a high school pupil. She once cheeked Leah at our front door, the last straw. Banned.

Leah's & my adult son's taxes paid for her slack life. This time, another pathetic request: 

"Can you fill my empty gas bottle?"

"No!" I replied, "I will not do that! That's the thin edge of the wedge!" She wandered off muttering. She had a screw loose. State Housing New Zealand dumped mental cases amongst ordinary citizens without warning citizens of crazies in our midst. She also pestered other neighbours with her sob stories. Cops were called.

Meanwhile heritage fanatics, Anderton, Belton & Co, nagged again, wanting Council to cough up $10 million spread over 10 years for their cheapskate Christchurch Cathedral restoration. Never mind that the Anglican diocese actually owned the Cathedral Sq land & Cathedral. Like my mad neighbour, heritage fanatics expected others to pay for their welfare-statism. Not a word about raising funds themselves for their junk art Cathedral restoration.

If Christchurch Cathedral junk art was ever restored by heritage fanatics, like Novotel, Pacific Tower, Isaac Theatre Royal, Provincial Council, Arts Centre restorations & other quake trashed, restored bldgs, you'd never catch me entering those dangerous bldgs. I'd boycott.  

Anderton, Belton & Co needed to take a walk in Hagley Park, beneath magnificent avenues of trees, planted by their Victorian forefathers. There they'd see cathedrals - quake survivors, quake dancers & thriving - not needing $millions for shonky restorations.

Never mind atheists, agnostics, Hindus, Moslems, Buddhists, other religions in Christchurch. I doubted they'd be happy paying rates for 10 years for restoration of a mock Gothic, ruined Cathedral. Like my neighbour's bludging, heritage fanatics demanded others pay for their follies.

In early 2015, some Christchurch citizens still lived in caravans & garages, while still battling EQC & insurers. The Press ran a series of articles about post quake caravan & garage dwellers in Christchurch. John Campbell's TV3 Campbell Live was pulled, as he'd run several TV programmes on Christchurch garage dwellers. So much for NZ govt 's / CERA's recovery.

Fri 17.05.13. 3.59 pm, 4.2 mag quake, 6 km depth, 25 km W of Christchurch (Geonet). Rumbled by while I edited pics.

Mon 20.03.14. More CERA sucked examples: I drove Jake to Sumner. En route we were detoured around McCormacks Bay while SCIRT repaired the causeway. There was another detour along Beachville Rd past Redcliffs, as the quake trashed house above Moa Bone Point Cave was being demolished by CERA.

Why did CERA & insurer take over 2 years to demolish that dangerous house above Main Rd, when the yellow adobe house below was demolished soon post 22.02.11 quake? Then there were scores more abandoned, cliff top houses above Redcliffs & Peacocks Gallop awaiting demolitions, while Redcliffs School shared school premises elsewhere, while authorities dithered. Meanwhile nothing was done about fixing the 500m quake titled ~ sunk sea wall, stopping Avon / Heathcote Estuary flooding Beachville Rd. (The sea  wall was fixed by SCIRT in 2015-16).

Leah drove home early that afternoon from her London St school, as SCIRT's excavation thumpings in front of the school by her classroom were driving her bonkers. She'd endured SCIRT's digger joltings & thumpings & truck shakings for months.

After Sumner I drove Luke to South New Brighton. SCIRT had torn up Estuary Rd for the 4th time since the 22.02.11 quake outside South New Brighton School. Why didn't SCIRT just excavate, repair pipes & reseal once? Excavating, repairing & patch resealing the same bit of road 4 X in 2 years was incompetence. All over town, SCIRT detours round road excavations caused traffic congestion for months & would continue causing congestion, while its lazy workers received sinecures.

Thurs 23.05.13. PM Key grinned like a Hillmorton absconder, while being televised by One News at Stranges rebuild site, corner High St / Lichfield St, giving the false impression that High St was bustling with construction sites. In reality it was devastated - demolition sites, abandoned bldgs, KEEP OUT cordon fences & a NZDF checkpoint by the construction site.

CERA's media release, 23.05.13, boasted about only 2 more construction sites in the CBD, Gloucester St & Kilmore St, hardly a ramping up rebuild. 

CERA's sucking boiled down to who paid? Neither Key nor One News mentioned that across Manchester St abandoned bldgs loomed in CCDU's / NZ govt's East Frame land-grab, where properties would be taxpayer bought, acquired by CERA / NZ govt & turned into grass, to manipulate the CBD property market, to increase land prices in CCDU's core CBD. Adding insults to Frame land property owners' quake injuries, CCDU / NZ govt offered peanuts for Frame lands.

Only one High St construction site, surrounded by a NZDF cordon, demolition sites, abandoned bldgs & govt decreed destruction of scores of East Frame properties across the road was NZ govt's / CERA's deceit for the rest of NZ to think all was well in Christchurch. NZ govt / CERA / CCDU excelled at propaganda photo opportunities, but failed at fast rebuild.

So far, nearly 1 000 days post 04.09.10 quake, NZ govt had proved to be extremely weak regarding its so-called Christchurch "recovery." By means of 1 000s of demolitions, CERA had razed Christchurch's red zone, NZDF cordoned CBD & razed red zone, residential lands along Avon River from the CBD to the sea. Demolitions of red zone Port Hills suburbs hadn't happened yet.

In the structurally violent process of red zoning & demolitions, NZ govt had land-grabbed huge chunks of land in Christchurch red zone CBD & red zone suburbs. Christchurch citizens were pillaged & oppressed by NZ govt. CERA minister Brownlee carped & moaned, "deeply offended" by criticism of CERA's secrecy regarding a policy change to look case-by-case at red zone leavers wanting more time to leave:

"I'm deeply offended that people think we are trying to hide something here or that we are being in any way secretive. The information was given to a public meeting where 400 people attended and I released it yesterday. There is not much secret about that." (The Press 25.05.13) 

Why all the secrecy behind the NZDF cordon, banning citizens for 2 years from the CBD, while little rebuild happened in the CBD? CERA's farcical insurer advisory service, shadowed by Council's insurer advocacy service, was offensive, when CERA had the power to kick insurers' asses & get them to speed up pay outs, repairs & rebuilds. After Brisbane floods, the Australian govt gave insurers a deadline to settle pay outs. Why wasn't NZ govt doing so?

NZ govt did nothing about EQCs' & insurers' delays, leaving 1 000s of citizens to battle EQC & insurers over tardy repairs or rebuilds, so called housing "recovery." Never mind slow, post quake repairs to Council housing & state housing in Christchurch.

More "recovery" involved duplication of Christchurch Council bureaucracy with CERA bureaucracy & squabbles over who would pay for NZ govt's CCDU projects, like loss-maker, 35 000 seater covered stadium & Convention Centre. Never mind squabbles amongst CERA, heritage fanatics & the Anglican church over "recovery" of quake ruined Christchurch Cathedral.

CERA's SCIRT was botching its so-called infrastructure "recovery," underground pipe repairs / replacements & road repairs, by digging up some road bits over & over again, leaving patched & pot holed roads far worse than quake damaged, buckled, cracked, liquefactioned, pot holed & sink holed roads. London St & Estuary Rd excavations pertained...

While CERA sucked, MOE sucked too & announced an interim decision that on the Aranui HS site a new super school, Y1-13, would be built to accommodate Jan 2017 closed Aranui, Wainoni & Avondale primary schools & closed Aranui HS. The new super school would open in Jan 2017. Nearby Chisnallwood Intermediate would stay as is, its future reviewed in 2020. (Christchurch Mail 23.05.13). Why didn't MOE make super schools in other Christchurch suburbs? 

Coda: Sun 14.02.16. Valentines Day, 5.7 mag quake. Christchurch Cathedral's western facade crumbled more, despite the so-called, steel, "Battering Ram" buttressing the facade. Heritage fanatics vs Anglican diocese restore / rebuild squabbles continued, while Christchurch Cathedral ruin rotted behind a cordon fence.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See $10m requested for cathedral (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Housing New Zealand (NZ govt, state housing).

See NZ to go without to fund rebuild (The Press / Stuff Co). 

See CERA's 23.05.13 media release: Christchurch CBD construction ramps up.

See Stranges building wins supreme award (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Temporary respite for Steve and Sasha Bell after four garage years (The Press / Stuff Co).

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