As CERA had occupied Christchurch CBD for over 2 years in the red zone, NZDF cordoned CBD, with NZDF checkpoints banning citizens, CERA did next to no rebuilding. Christchurch had become more suburban, CBD businesses relocating to suburbs, where more clubbing & nightlife happened in suburbs like Addington, Merivale & Riccarton.
Friday night, cold wet, rainy: After dropping Luke off at Riccarton Mall, I was ambushed by a horde of light flashing cops between S bends on Kahu Rd near Christchurch Boys High School. A cop wearing powder blue shirt & navy blue, bullet proof vest & longs checked my breath for alcohol, none & checked my Toyota Corolla licence & WOF sticker on the windscreen. No problems.
Saturday night, Aikmans Rd, Merivale, cold, wet, rainy: After fetching Jake from his Brewers Arms work, I was stopped by a light flashing cop, constable S, past Merivale Mall. Constable S also wore a powder blue shirt, navy blue, bullet proof vest & longs. It was the night the ABs thrashed Les Bleus 30-0. A crowd of pub boozers stood on the pavement near Aikmans Rd corner, watching the test on a big screen TV. Several taxis congested the road waiting for pissed patrons.
It was the area where a Black Caps cricketer was recently mugged. After I passed that lot, constable S flashed his car lights & harassed me by a driveway. Never mind my parked car stopping owners leaving their home for about 5 minutes.
Constable S: "Have you got ID? Your licence? Your tail light isn't working." Constable S checked my breath for alcohol. None.
Me: "No it's at home." Leah gave constable S her licence.
Constable S took Leah's licence to his car in the rain & took his time in his car sorting out a ticket. He gave me the ticket: INFRINGEMENT NOTICE. Offence: Operating Vehicle Not Up To Warrant Of Fitness Standard. Infringement Fee Payable $150.
4 images, NZ Police notices:
15.06.13. NZ Police Infringement Notice, Toyota Corolla
Constable S: "Have you got a licence?" (He was deluded by L plates on my windscreens, as Luke had a learners licence & I gave him driving lessons).
Me: "Of course. I've been driving for over 40 years! When I go for WOFs, light bulbs are often replaced, as Christchurch roads are so bad with all the quake pot holes. Roads need to be fixed!"
I didn't check on constable S, as it was raining & we took his word that a tail light wasn't working.
I drove Jake to his Albemarle St flat, where we checked & found all lights were working.
I drove back home to Burnside, looking for cops along the way, to verify my car lights were working. Not a cop in sight when you need them.
Back home Leah phoned Central Police, St Asaph St, as we wanted a cop to verify my car lights were working so I could appeal the ticket. A phone cop advised we couldn't go to nearby Papanui cop shop as it was closed on a Saturday night. Pathetic.
After midnight, I drove to Central Police, St Asaph St - front door was locked. Leah didn't know that central cop shop had relocated from Hereford St post quakes to the temporary St Asaph St location. I passed it daily, driving Luke to work via Antigua St cop shop entrance.
At an after hours office, Leah spoke to muscly sergeant H, who also wore a powder blue shirt, navy blue, bullet roof vest & longs. Sergeant H spoke from behind a thick, bullet proof glass window, with a CCTV camera above our heads watching our every move. We middle aged citizens were so dangerous.
Sergeant H inspected my Toyota car lights, finding they all worked. He tried to contact constable S, but failed. Sergeant H said constable S was a "nice guy" & would contact us. Sergeant H advised that we must contact Wellington office to appeal the ticket.
That was: Send a letter to NZ Police Wellington & include: infringement notice; photos showing working lights; sergeant H's note; copy of the Toyota's WOF check. (WOFed 2 weeks ago).
15.06.13. Toyota Corolla, working tail lights
15.06.13. Police note, Christchurch Central Police, St Asaph St
15.06.13. WOF Check Sheet, NZ Transport Authority
Bureaucratic madness, time wastage & more harassment. I was guilty of a crime I hadn't committed & had to prove my innocence to Wellington bureaucrats. Surely Christchurch cop shop could've cancelled a ticket it issued? True to Kiwi blame shifting, sergeant H said the cop's job was done after issuing a ticket. Another dept (faraway Wellington) received revenues & dealt with appeals.
That allowed any malicious cop to issue tickets at whim, leaving distant unreasonable cops to sort out his unreasonable mess. Thus little Christchurch cops weren't permitted to face up to their inept harassment, as BIG BROTHER in Wellington would do all the thinking for them. Police State indeed.
I wasn't pissed, while constable S looked for pissed drivers by the Aikmans Rd pub. Several cars passed while constable S harassed. I wondered if those drivers were pissed while constable S fiddled.
We couldn't afford flash, new cars. I carefully kept our 2 old cars roadworthy, as we used them daily driving long distances around Christchurch. NZ registration plates easily showed old cars like ours to cops, enabling them to target old bombs, as registration lettering for old cars was double letters. Newer cars had 3 letters.
Constable S didn't roadside check my Toyota's road worthiness in the rain, things like tyres, windscreen wipers, hooter, flicker lights, headlights, brake lights, just a tail light while driving behind me. The moment I braked my car before him he would've seen my tail lights & brake lights were working. Constable S should get his night vision eyes tested! Constable S was wrong expecting us to pay $150 fine, as my Toyota was roadworthy. Looked like cynical revenue gathering on the night the ABs beat Les Bleus.
Police state Christchurch. I'm still waiting for "nice guy" constable S to contact us. We awaited BIG BROTHER'S response.
Since CERA's post quake red zoning of Avon River lands, cops in Christchurch had used red zone riverside areas, like Horseshoe Lake & Avonhead, as battlegrounds for cops & robbers games, disturbing quake stressed adults & terrifying kids. Never mind nearby green zoners harassed with BIG BROTHER escapades.
Cops justified their fascism as never having real housing in which to practise cop drills. Shame on the lot of them! They should shell out to those still existing in crap housing while they played cops & robbers amongst red zone housing.
CERA deemed it OK for cops to disrespect red zone housing, but deemed it not OK for vagrants, taggers, thieves & arsonists to disrespect red zone housing.
The Press 18.06.13 reported BIG BROTHER cops still playing war games with 3 loud explosions disturbing citizens late at night. Given that insensitivity to citizens who'd endured 13 000 quakes over nearly 3 years, one can only shake one's head at cops' harassment over the last week. 1 000s of citizens were physically & mentally harmed by banging, collapsing buildings, underground rumblings & joltings during quakes. We awaited an apology from cop minister Anne Tolley. Christchurch Police State indeed.
NZ Arms Act 1983, section 48:
"Discharging firearm, air gun, pistol, or restricted weapon in or near dwelling house or public place.
Every person commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or to a fine not exceeding $3 000 or to both who, without reasonable cause, discharges a firearm, air gun, pistol, or restricted weapon in or near -
(a) a dwelling house; or
(b) a public place -
so as to endanger property or endanger, annoy, or frighten any person."
Cop explosives certainly endangered CBD property & endangered, annoyed & frightened many citizens, still with raw emotions from the quakes. Those who thought that was the way cops should treat law abiding citizens were idiots. Quakes or no quakes.
If I wandered about Christchurch quake ruined CBD chucking thunder flashes willy-nilly, I'd soon have Armed Offenders Squad taking pot shots. Why were cops above the law in Christchurch?
Post 22.02.11 quake, NZ National govt doomed Christchurch CBD to louts - NZDF soldiers, cops & CERA, who razed the CBD to a ruined wasteland. As NZDF soldiers were leaving CBD red zone checkpoints & as CERA & cops had turned the CBD into a glorified paintball zone, with cops playing war games & artists painting junk murals, CCDU's Blueprint was hogwash. So much for CERA's "recovery."
In 2007 NZ cops had raided Tuhoe lands & unsuccessfully tried to get terrorist convictions for Tuhoe tribes-people doing military drills in the Urewera bush.
So who were the terrorists Tolley?
Kiwis who thought cops were doing road blocks to test breath alcohol, think again. Cops could soon set up road blocks to catch "terrorists", like at Urewera. With NZDF soldiers' support too.
Never mind Christchurch Police State scenes with cops & mostly NZDF soldiers at CBD red zone, cordon checkpoints for over 2 years.
We'd experienced real bombings in SA. We emigrated to NZ as we though it was safer. Insidiously in Christchurch it wasn't armed terrorists terrorizing citizens, it was cops & NZDF soldiers.
Sunday 23.06.13. Mad Max weekend. CERA had boasted about opening a third area of its occupied red zone CBD, between Manchester St & Colombo St & between Hereford St & Tuam St, on Friday 21 June. It had rained, sleeted & snowed most of the week, so CERA workers didn't remove fence cordons, so that CBD area was still closed to the public.
All that was open was a small section for cyclists & pedestrians along Cashel St by Holiday Inn demolition site & a big pile of concrete rubble backside of abandoned All Seasons Hotel, on Hotel Grand Chancellor demolition site. Across Cashel St, Holiday Inn basement was flooded by rain water, as was another basement demolition site, opp Ballantynes on Colombo St.
5 images, Cashel St:
23.06.13. Plastic, road barrier, yellow truck, orange, Hi Vis vested workmen. Part reopened Cashel St by abandoned All Seasons Hotel right, cnr Cashel St / Manchester St
23.06.13. Abandoned All seasons Hotel, cnr Cashel St / Manchester St
23.06.13. Orange, Hi Vis vested workmen, pedestrians, orange digger, yellow crane by a cordoned rubble heap, Hotel Grand Chancellor demolition site, Cashel St
23.06.13. Flooded Holiday Inn basement, Holiday Inn demolition site, cnr Cashel St / High St
Along Cashel St in CERA's Blueprint E Frame, 6 sots had a winter solstice, street party, between 1-2 pm, after breaking & entering Galangal Thai Restaurant in Development House. The ground floor glass window & steel door wasn't broken when I'd passed that way last weekend. A Maori sot enter the broken window & about 5 minutes later he returned with a cardboard box full of beers to replenish the sots. When I took a pic, a fat, Maori sot got aggro. After I went into my pat-on-back, "I'm-deaf. Are-you-having-a-party?" routine they got friendly, so I left them to it. Not a cop in sight when needed on Sunday.
23.06.13. Sots boozing looted beer, Cashel St. The looter I witnessed stealing a carton of beer from Galangtal Thai Restaurant was off pic, behind me
So who were the biggest criminals or looters?
(1) 6 sots breaking & entering, stealing beers from Galangal Thai Restaurant, closed for 2 years in CERA's red zone CBD cordon? And having a party on the spot in full view of passersby?
(2) Me (or other smiling passersby) for not dobbing in 6 sots to lazy cops, who'd pissed me off last weekend with a petty harassment fine.
(3) Cops for not walking the beat doing preventative patrols in the week after CERA opened the Blueprint E Frame?
(4) Cops for disturbing the peace with explosions in the CBD last weekend? With CERA's permission of course.
(5) My SA expat, ex friend who'd told me on Facebook soon post 22.02.11 quake, that Christchurch quake looters should be shot & he supported cops shooting looters?
(6) CERA for leaving Development House with Galangal Thai Restaurant & Insignis House next door uncordoned? (Passing the buck to owners to look after their properties, after CERA's cordon removal).
(7) Galangal Thai Restaurant owners for not cordoning the building & looking after their stock? (Probably already written off by insurers & cash settled).
(8) NZ National govt / CERA for making the Blueprint E Frame & condemning all the bldgs therein, including Development House & Insignis House, to low payouts by NZ National govt, to become trees, grass, or housing?
Given that most cordons were down, that NZDF soldiers were departing CBD checkpoints & that many people were wandering CBD streets on sunny Sunday, it was obvious that cops were slack in guarding remaining bldgs.
Remembering all the threats from cops & Civil Defence, during states of emergencies post 04.09.10 & 22.02.11 quakes, about arresting & maybe even shooting looters, with Ari Voorkamp being mugged by soldiers for stealing a light bulb, it was laughable there were no cops on duty in the CBD after cordons dropped. Open invitation for taggers, looters, sots & vagrants. Galangal Thai Restaurant wasn't the only abandoned restaurant I saw in the CBD with recently broken windows.
Despite all the cops & robbers games last week, I found robbers on Cashel St, but no cops.
Fri 28.06.13 was the last day NZDF soldiers manned red zone, cordon checkpoints around Christchurch CBD. NZDF soldiers had done cordon duties around Christchurch CBD during the post 04.09.10 quake state of emergency & had been on cordon & checkpoint duty / military occupation for over 2 years post 22.02.11 quake.
During June, CERA reduced many cordon fences & NZDF military checkpoints evaporated. CERA's idea was that bldg owners had to be responsible again for their bldg's security. It also meant cops had to pull finger again with proper foot & vehicle patrols.
Once CBD cordon fences were down, I expected more vandalism happening in the abandoned CBD, like tagging, broken windows, looting & arson, as had happened in red zone residential areas. Cops would be busy chasing vandals & thieves again.
*Wandered Cashel St.
I received a NZ Police form letter dated 15.07.11:
Dear Sir / Madam,
I refer to your correspondence regarding the above infringement notice.
After careful consideration of your comments and the circumstances surrounding the issue of this notice, it has been decided in accordance with the Police Compliance Policy scheme to waive the following offence(s):
Operating Vehicle Not Up To Warrant Of Fitness Standard.
Accordingly, you are no longer required to pay the infringement fee(s).
Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.
See All Blacks thump France (The Press / Stuff Co).
See Loud bangs rattle city residents (The Press / Stuff Co).