Thursday, June 6, 2013

You're the first person outside of CERA & NZDF to stand here since Feb 2011. Christchurch CBD Cordons.

Fri 07.06.13, 14:30. Corner Kilmore St / Colombo St by abandoned, cordoned Christchurch Town Hall:

NZDF corporal: "You're the first person..."

Me: "What? Can't hear you. I'm deaf."  

NZDF corporal, close to my ear: "You're the first person...

Me: Repeated, as above.

NZDF corporal wrote on paper: "You're the 1st person outside of CERA and NZDF to stand here since Feb 2011."

Images, quake damaged Kilmore St:



07.06.13. CBD cordon, NZDF corporal's note, cnr Colombo St / Kilmore St

It was a half truth as I'd stood on that crossing on 15.08.11 during a snow storm, taking pics of abandoned Town Hall & Crowne Plaza Hotel before it was demolished. But the corporal didn't know that & the red zone fence cordon then went diagonally across the crossing & several bldgs were demolished northwards along Colombo St & eastwards along Kilmore St towards Manchester St crossing & were replaced by glassy Forte Health rebuild. Never mind the NZDF checkpoint while that rebuild occurred.


07.06.13. NZDF cordon corporal leaving the CBD cordon, cnr Colombo St / Kilmore St. Forte Health rebuild behind

The truth was that the Kilmore St section between Colombo St crossing & Manchester St crossing had been red zone cordoned ever since the 22.02.11 quake, citizens banned.

As CERA was busy opening a NE niche of the red zone, CBD cordon, I'd parked my car at Cambridge Tce by Manchester St Bridge. Across Avon River, below poplars, ACC was demolished, a pile of rubble, ready for the Margaret Mahy Family Playground to be built.

Two and a half years later, Dec 2015, the Margaret Mahy Family Playground was opened for the public, months before CERA disbanded in April 2016. So much for CERA's recovery.

I wandered a short circuit of the red zone, reopening, NE CBD:

Manchester St Bridge: A western view of Avon River, recently demolished BNZ & abandoned Forsyth Barr awaiting repairs. Abandoned Copthorne Hotel, Victoria Square flats & Craigs House awaited demolitions. A digger picked over BNZ remains by a heap of tangled reinforcement rods behind cordon fencing.

I wandered along reopened Armagh St, cordon fenced both sides, past reopened New Regent St to Victoria Sq.

Images, quake damaged Armagh St:


07.06.13. Armagh St view of reopened New Regent St. Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) behind


07.06.13. Armagh St view of BNZ demolition site & abandoned Copthorne Hotel awaiting demolition, Victoria Sq


07.06.13. Reinforcement rod steel, BNZ demolition site, Armagh St


07.06.13. Armagh St view of Victoria Sq abandoned bldgs: Forsyth Barr left awaited repairs. Victoria Square flats left behind & Copthorne Hotel right awaited demolitions


07.06.13. Digger, BNZ demolition site, Armagh St



Along Armagh St I looked across fence cordoned demolition sites to Gloucester St & abandoned bldgs around quake trashed Christchurch Cathedral. 


07.06.13. Armagh St view of Isaac Theatre Royal flies, being restored, demolition sites to Gloucester St & Cathedral Sq bldgs, l to r: abandoned Heritage Hotel, repaired Novotel, ruined Christchurch Cathedral, abandoned Camelot Hotel awaiting demolition for the Central Library rebuild


Cambridge Tce side of Armagh St, Avon River seepage had flooded PWC demolition site basement, concrete columns stuck up above the flooded basement, tangled steel rods on top. A rubble truck reversed across the road. Abandoned bank branches like PSIS & ANZ were opposite PWC demolition site. Art prints in a photography shop lay on the floor for over 2 years since the 22.02.11 quake. Above, a tangled blind hung in a broken window. USAR / TF graffiti was scrawled on another window glass. CLEAR meant no bodies.


07.06.13. Avon River flooding in PWC demolition site basement, Armagh St


07.06.13. Armagh St eastern view of abandoned bldgs, except reopened New Regent St right


07.06.13. Isaac Theatre Royal restoration left & abandoned PSIS / ANZ, Armagh St



07.06.13. Photography / print shop, abandoned since the 22.02.11 quake, Armagh St

 

07.06.13. Quake trashed window blind, Armagh St


07.06.13. USAR / TF graffiti, Armagh St. CLEAR meant no bodies


07.06.13. Victoria Sq, abandoned bldgs, cnr Armagh St / Colombo St: Forsyth Barr left awaited repairs. Abandoned National Bank / Isaac House middle. Victoria Square flats beyond awaited demolition for NZ govt's / CCDU's Blueprint Convention Centre


07.06.13. Cnr Armagh St / Colombo  St view of abandoned bldgs: Forsyth Barr left awaited repairs. Abandoned Rydges Hotel middle. Central Library middle awaited demolition. Abandoned National Bank / Isaac House right


07.06.13 Abandoned Forsyth Barr awaited repairs, cnr Colombo St / Armagh St




07.06.13. Colombo St view of red zone, abandoned Copthorne Hotel awaiting demolition, Victoria Sq. Abandoned Ernst & Young right awaited demolition, Cambridge Tce



07.06.13. Armagh St / Colombo St crossing, eastern view of demolition sites & abandoned bldgs along Armagh St


07.06.13. Colombo St / Armagh St crossing, southern view of abandoned bldgs: Forsyth Barr left awaited repairs. Camelot Hotel left behind awaited demolition for Central Library rebuild. Ruined Christchurch Cathedral middle. National Bank / Isaac House right


07.06.13. Colombo St / Armagh St crossing, southern view of red zone Cathedral Sq, NZDF checkpoint: abandoned Camelot Hotel awaited demolition left for Central Library rebuild. Ruined Christchurch Cathedral middle. Chalice sculpture right


07.06.13. Abandoned National Bank / Isaac House, cnr Colombo St / Armagh St



Corner Armagh St / Colombo St: I stood in the middle of Colombo St, between Forsyth Barr & National Bank / Isaac House for the first time since the 22.02.11 quake. Northwards beyond a fence cordon across Colombo St, blocking Victoria Sq (Craigs House demolition in progress) stood abandoned Copthorne Hotel awaiting demolition.

Forsyth Barr looked a mess with cordon fencing & warning signs:

 SEVERE FALL
     HAZARD
DO NOT ENTER

As Forsyth Barr was a high rise which was structurally damaged in the Feb 22 quake, concrete stairs collapsing into stairwells & trapped people abseiling out of windows, I didn't want to be anywhere near Forsyth Barr during another quake. Owners planned to turn Forsyth Barr offices into Crowne Plaza Hotel rooms. That depended on the building of NZ Govt's / CCDU's Blueprint Convention Centre. While NZ govt / CCDU dithered over building its Blueprint Convention Centre, it held up decisions about Forsyth Barr & repairs to other nearby, abandoned hotels like Millennium Hotel.

By slowing the Blueprint Convention Centre build, NZ govt / CCDU slowed hotel business around Cathedral Sq. Pity all those Cathedral Sq hotels didn't offer to build the Convention Centre, as they'd all gain business once the Convention Centre was built. The Blueprint Convention Centre, was corporate welfare, paid by taxpayers & ratepayers.

Standing below Forsyth Barr I got that creepy feeling again, which I had over the last 3 years when close to dangerous bldgs, smashed by quakes.

Colombo St: I stood on opened Farmers demolition site & took pics of the demolition scarred backside of National Bank / Isaac House & Forsyth Barr, a hollow, blue pinnacle. Next door more demolition sites extended to Isaac Theatre Royal restoration, Gloucester St. Blue Pearl Gallery Fine Jewellery (awaiting demolition) stood alone & abandoned, its roof covered with a white tarp & surrounded by demolition sites, both sides of Colombo St.

Images, quake damaged Colombo St:

 

07.06.13. Colombo St view across Farmers demolition site to abandoned Provincial Chambers. Other abandoned bldgs, Central Library left, Craigs House & Victoria Square flats right awaited demolitions


07.06.13. Farmers demolition site view of abandoned Forsyth Barr, cnr Colombo St / Armagh St



From Colombo St, SE beyond abandoned Forsyth Barr & Blue Pearl Gallery, I looked across Colombo St / Gloucester St demolition sites, like Gloucester Arcade, to part repaired Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel), The Press rebuild, repaired Novotel & abandoned Camelot Hotel awaiting demolition (for Central Library rebuild) all louring above Gloucester St.


07.06.13. Colombo St foreground view of abandoned Forsyth Bar left, Blue Pearl Gallery middle, Camelot Hotel awaiting demolition right for Central Library rebuild. Behind: Repaired Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) left, The Press rebuild middle, repaired Novotel right


07.06.13. Colombo St view of red zone bldgs: Forsyth Barr left, Isaac Theatre Royal flies middle, Blue Pearl Gallery right


07.06.13. Red zone, abandoned Blue Pearl Gallery awaited demolition, Colombo St. Repaired Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) & The Press rebuild right



07.06.13. Colombo St view of demolition sites & Gloucester St bldgs: Isaac Theatre Royal restoration left, repaired Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) & The Press rebuild middle, repaired Novotel right


07.06.13. Cnr Colombo St / Gloucester St view of repaired Novotel left, abandoned Camelot Hotel right awaiting demolition for Central Library rebuild


07.06.13. Farmers demolition site, cnr Colombo St / Gloucester St view of abandoned bldgs: Government Life left awaiting demolition, Rydges Hotel middle, old Central Library right awaiting demolition for NZ Govt's / CCDU's Blueprint Convention Centre

Colombo St / Gloucester St crossing: Same old NZDF checkpoint blocking access to ruined Christchurch Cathedral, abandoned Camelot Hotel & repaired Novotel. A recently opened, fence cordoned path went across the NW corner of Cathedral Sq, past abandoned Government Life, awaiting demolition & Rydges Hotel to Worcester St Bridge.


07.06.13. Cathedral Sq NZDF checkpoint, Colombo St / Gloucester St crossing. Ruined Christchurch Cathedral & Chalice beyond




 
I wandered west along Gloucester St, past abandoned, weedy, fence cordoned Chancery Lane Arcade & abandoned Central Library, both awaiting demolitions. The ground floor of Central Library was gutted, ready for demolition for NZ Govt's / CCDUs' Blueprint Convention Centre, on all those demolition sites by Oxford Tce & Gloucester St, between Victoria Sq & Cathedral Sq. NZ govt / taxpayers would pay for the Blueprint Convention Centre, but annual, operating costs for the Blueprint Convention Centre would be borne by ratepayers. A disaster.

Images, quake damaged Gloucester St:


07.06.13. Gloucester St eastern view: Isaac Theatre Royal restoration left, Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) right 


07.06.13. Gloucester St western view: abandoned Chancery Lane Arcade left, abandoned Central Library right. Both bldgs would be demolished by CERA for NZ govt's / CCDU's Blueprint Convention Centre


07.06.13. Gloucester St view of weedy, abandoned Chancery Lane Arcade, awaiting demolition for NZ Govt's / CCDU's Blueprint Convention Centre


07.06.13. Oxford Tce view of abandoned Central Library awaiting demolition for NZ Govt's / CCDU's Blueprint Convention Centre

Example of an appointed ECAN & elected Council tiff: ECAN's dame Bazley, a National govt stooge, slagged off Council for not building an ECAN bus stop at Northlands Mall by 3 Dec 2012. Never mind locals not being consulted by dictatorial ECAN. Mayor Parker apologised & blamed an employee who'd left Council.

Meanwhile town clerk Marryatt, who'd under insured Council assets with Civic Assurance, he was Civic Assurance's board chairman (huge conflict of interest) had a secret Council meeting (public banned) claiming that Civic Assurance was under arbitration regarding Council's insured assets & by having a public meeting he'd jeopardize Council's insurance settlement for quake trashed assets. Marryatt had wriggled out of asset insurance responsibility by delegating asset insurance matters to a subordinate. Marryatt took a $500 000+ salary without insurance responsibility. Never mind increased board fees expected. (Weekend Press June 8-9, 2013).

Example of inept CERA: CERA owed Council $500K (The Star June 7, 2013) while slagging off Council for not selling assets to pay for CCDU's Blueprint anchor projects. CERA minister Brownlee used every opportunity to slag off Council, like moaning about slow repairs of Council housing.

Then there was the Port Hills farce where CERA had green zoned housing, while Council had red stickered 51 green zoned houses, stopping citizens living in their perfectly sound homes. (The Press 07.06.13). Council's excuse - rock fall danger, whereas CERA's computer model deemed rock fall danger minimal. (Weekend Press June 8-9, 2013). Home owners were piggy in the middle between inept Council & dictatorial CERA.

Govt stooges ECAN & CERA did everything possible to belittle Council..

Example 12.06.13: One News reported that CERA minister Brownlee was dissatisfied by Council's slow processing of building consents & said the consent process may be removed from Council. Pot calling the kettle black, as CERA was slow with residential zoning after many delays & CERA's residential zoning reviews still weren't completed more than 2 years post 22.02.11 quake. Never mind CERA allowing EQC & insurers to get away with delay after delay regarding rebuilds & repairs of homes. Yet Brownlee thought EQC did a good job.

CERA's greater Christchurch Recovery Update, Issue 22 June 2013, gave the following projections for IAG insurer's rebuilds / repairs:

2013: 1646
2014: 1127

Projected total rebuilds / Repairs: 2773

So IAG would keep 2773 households waiting for 3-4 years post 22.02.11 quake before it even did house rebuilds or repairs. Gotta ask why IAG delayed so long to do rebuilds / repairs & hadn't completed the lot within 2 years post 22.02.11 quake? Imagine the suffering and anguish to householders. Never mind years of paying rates & insurances on broken houses & rent costs while IAG dithered. Gotta ask why PM Key, CERA minister Brownlee & CERA boss Sutton didn't sort out IAG soon post 22.02.11 quake? NZ Govt's / CERA's laissez faire attitude to tardy insurers allowed insurers to delay claimants' settlements for years.

According to CERA: "IAG trades under the NZI, AMI** and State Insurance brands, and underwrites general insurance business for ASB, BNZ and the Co-operative Bank.
**AMI's earthquake claims are managed by Southern Response."

IAG wasn't the only tardy insurer messing homeowners around with lengthy delays.

Regarding residential red zone clearances (CERA's word choice was reminiscent of Scottish clearances) CERA's Update boasted:

"The pace of residential red zone property clearances is now really gaining momentum. More than 2 000 demolitions are complete and CERA is on target to finish another 1 000 by the end of September 2013...

Brownlee said: "We can now put more effort into speeding up the clearance process. It's important these areas are made safe, kept tidy and are maintained until a future use of the wider red zone is decided."... [Ignored a citizens' petition to parliament for an Avon River Otakaro Park].

"Of the 7 414 residential red zone properties eligible for an offer, 7 090 have signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement with the Crown (as at 28 May 2013)."

NZ govt thus protected tardy insurers & land grabbed over 7 000 red zone residential properties (owners' insurances paid for red zone properties, not taxpayers) & stayed mum about what it would do with all the residential red zone land. Funny how NZ govt / CERA land grabbed residential red zone properties, thus increasing govt assets, yet NZ govt was hell bent on selling other assets.

Oxford Tce: Opposite Provincial Chambers, undergoing repairs on the opposite bank of Avon River, I looked across Farmers demolition site, between abandoned Central Library & Craigs House, to all the abandoned, or half repaired, half restored bldgs along Gloucester St, to part reopened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) hoping, like Forsyth Barr, to attract tourists again.

Images, quake damaged Oxford Tce:


07.06.13. Oxford Tce view across Farmers demolition site to abandoned / restored / repaired / rebuilt bldgs along Colombo St & Gloucester St. From l to r: Craigs House awaiting demolition; Forsyth Barr, awaiting repairs; Isaac Theatre Royal restored; Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) repaired; The Press rebuild; Novotel repaired; Camelot Hotel & Central Library awaiting demolitions


07.06.13. Craigs House demolition in progress left, cnr Oxford Tce / Armagh St. Abandoned Victoria Square flats behind awaited demolition. Forsyth Barr right awaited repairs



07.06.13. Craigs House demolition in progress, cnr Oxford Tce / Armagh St



Victoria Sq: In the demolition process, Craigs House had more blue windows broken, since I'd passed on Wednesday & piles of aluminium & broken glass were strewn below Craigs House, Oxford Tce side. Below Craigs House, two gardeners in Hi Vis vests dug a marigold flower bed by Armagh St Bridge. Besides me & the gardeners, Victoria Sq was empty.


07.06.13. Victoria Sq view of Craigs House demolition in progress, cnr Armagh St / Oxford Tce. Abandoned Victoria Square flats left awaited demolition



07.06.13. Victoria Sq view of Queen Victoria, Boer War statue & abandoned bldgs: Forsyth Barr left, National Bank / Isaac House right


I wandered past Pallet Pavilion & The Arcades on Crowne Plaza Hotel demolition site to Kilmore St, which was cordon closed for over a year by abandoned Town Hall. Only CERA could tell why that section of Kilmore St was closed for over a year, as nothing went on there behind NZDF cordon fences.

Images, quake damaged Kilmore St:


07.06.13. Eastern view of Kilmore St & abandoned bldgs. Town Hall right


07.06.13. Kilmore St view of The Arcades & Pallet Pavilion on Crowne Plaza Hotel demolition site. Abandoned Spicers behind awaited demolition, Durham St Nth


07.06.13. Kilmore St view of The Arcades on Crowne Plaza Hotel demolition site. Court House, Durham St Nth behind, later became part of Science Alive, relocated from Moorhouse Ave


07.06.13. Kilmore St view of The Arcades & Pallet Pavilion on Crowne Plaza Hotel demolition site. Abandoned Town Hall & Forsyth Barr left; abandoned Victoria Square flats awaited demolition middle, Court House right


07.06.13. Kilmore St view of Gap Filler temp office & The Arcades, Crowne Plaza Hotel demolition site. Abandoned Forsyth Barr left awaited repairs. Victoria Square flats middle awaited demolition

Opposite Town Hall, a couple of Kilmore St bldgs were abandoned with USAR / TF graffiti on doors. The old Convention Centre demolition site sprouted construction storage opposite  Peterborough St Central Library.


07.08.13. Abandoned bldg with USAR / TF graffiti, Kilmore St




 




07.06.13. Kilmore St view of construction storage on old Convention Centre demolition site, opp post quake Central Library, Peterborough St

Kilmore St / Colombo St crossing by the Town Hall: A flurry of orange, Hi Vis vested, CERA workmen were busy at the crossing doing God knows what by Colombo St cordon fences with a road marker truck & a crane truck. That was where I met the NZDF corporal. Glassy, 3 storey Forte Health on Kilmore St was almost completed, a cheap & nasty looking bldg.

The Press 17.06.13. Brownlee announced Town Hall should be demolished in favour of a Performing Arts precinct, off Gloucester St. As I'd spent much of my youth in drama productions, acting, singing & directing, I'd support that. But Brownlee didn't say where all the actors, singers, dancers, musicians & directors would come from, as Canterbury University didn't have much of a drama dept.

Wishful thinking by Brownlee, as two years later, June 2015, new mayor Dalziel & her Council confirmed the previous Council's decision to repair & restore quake trashed Town Hall. It made sense to use insurance money to repair the Town Hall, rather than opt for an expensive rebuild.


07.06.13. Abandoned Town Hall, Kilmore St

 

 

07.06.13. Reopened Kilmore St / Colombo St crossing. Part reopened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) left. Abandoned Copthorne Hotel awaiting demolition & Forsyth Barr awaiting repairs middle. Town Hall awaiting repairs right



07.06.13. CERA workers at reopening of Colombo St / Kilmore St crossing. Part reopened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) left. Abandoned Copthorne Hotel awaiting demolition & Forsyth Barr awaiting repairs right





07.06.13. CERA workmen by abandoned Town Hall awaited repairs, cnr Kilmore St / Colombo St


07.06.13. Reopened Kilmore St / Colombo St crossing. Abandoned Ernst & Young awaited demolition right, Cambridge Tce


07.06.13. Forte Health rebuild, cnr Colombo St / Kilmore St



07.06.13. Kilmore St / Colombo St crossing view of abandoned Town Hall awaiting repairs

Cambridge Tce: For the first time since the 22.02.11 quake, I wandered past muddy demolition sites & abandoned Ernst & Young, awaiting demolition. I snapped Colombo St Bridge & abandoned Town Hall, both still cordoned. The CBD skyline from that side of Avon River was completely changed since the quakes & CERA disaster, after all the demolitions: Tall Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) left, smaller high rises middle, like Novotel & Millenium Hotel, dwarfing ruined Christchurch Cathedral & tall Forsyth Barr right.

Images, quake damaged Cambridge Tce:


07.06.13. Cambridge Tce view of demolition sites & Forte Health rebuild, Kilmore St


07.06.13. Abandoned Ernst & Young, awaiting demolition, Cambridge Tce


07.06.13. Cambridge Tce view of Avon River, closed Colombo St Bridge & abandoned Town Hall awaiting repairs


07.06.13. Cambridge Tce view of Avon River & part opened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) left. Abandoned Forsyth Barr middle awaited repairs. Copthorne Hotel middle awaited demolition. Abandoned Victoria Square flats right awaited demolition


07.06.13. Cambridge Tce view of Avon River, Oxford Tce & abandoned Forsyth Barr left awaiting repairs. Copthorne Hotel right awaited demolition


07.06.13. Cambridge Tce view of Avon River, abandoned Oxford Tce & Forsyth Barr awaiting repairs


07.06.13. Cambridge Tce view of Avon River & Oxford Tce. Behind: The Press rebuild & Isaac Theatre Royal restoration left, repaired Novotel, ruined Christchurch Cathedral & abandoned Camelot Hotel awaiting demolition middle, abandoned PSIS / ANZ, Armagh St right


07.06.13. Cambridge Tce view of Avon River & BNZ demolition site. Behind: Part opened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) middle, The Press rebuild, Isaac Theatre Royal restoration, repaired Heritage Hotel right


07.06.13. Cambridge Tce view of BNZ demolition site. Behind: Part opened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) middle, The Press rebuild right


07.06.13. Abandoned Ernst & Young, awaiting demolition, Cambridge Tce



07.06.13. Workmen removing red zone, cordon fencing, Cambridge Tce. Behind: Abandoned Forsyth Barr left awaiting repairs, Copthorne Hotel awaiting demolition middle, abandoned Town Hall right awaiting repairs

 
By Ernst & Young, I wandered past 3 orange, Hi Vis vested blokes in hard hats removing fence cordons by the PGC demolition site, where 18 people died in the 22.02.11 quake, when PGC collapsed. I looked across the grassy PGC site, across recently grassed CERA meadows (demolition sites) to Kilmore St / Manchester St crossing & St Lukes Anglican Church demolition site. All that was left was the white, wooden bell tower.
 

07.06.13. Cambridge Tce view across grassy PGC demolition site towards Kilmore St / Manchester St crossing & St Lukes Anglican Church demolition site


07.06.13. Cambridge Tce view across grassy demolition sites to St Lukes Anglican Church demolition site & quake survivor bell tower


Behind a cordon fence by Retour Restaurant demolition site & decapitated copper dome, 2 workmen in orange, Hi Vis vests sledge-hammered a stake into the ground on Avon River bank. No oil pollution that day.


07.06.13. Workmen sledge-hammering a stake, Retour Restaurant demolition site, cnr Cambridge Tce / Manchester St. Abandoned Luneys behind, awaited demolition for NZ govt's / CERA's Blueprint Margaret Mahy Family Playground, Manchester St



Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Council totally incompetent (The Press / Stuff Co). 

See Port Hills red stickers to stay - mayor (The Press / Stuff Co).

See City must not be bullied Greens say (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Architects defend dull new city buildings (The Press / Stuff Co). 

See Town Hall should go - Gerry Brownlee (The Press / Stuff Co).

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