Sunday, July 28, 2013

Churchless Christchurch

Mon 29.07.13. Churchless Christchurch, a paradox, as scores of Christchurch churches withstood the 2010-2011 quakes well, mostly modern churches. Churches that fared badly were old stone or brick churches without quake reinforcements. Walls just collapsed leaving interiors exposed to the elements, roofs mostly intact, held up by wooden arches. Over the last 3 years post quakes, we'd witnessed sacred lands of several Christchurch churches profaned by dirty digger treads.

Heritage fanatics denied dangers of old brick & stone bldgs or quake ruins, but championed the saving of quake trashed bldgs, few of which were reinforced pre quakes. Heritage fanatics & historians were nostalgic for dangerous Christian church ruins & bldgs built on bogs. Never mind that many Christchurch citizens were agnostics, atheists, or followed other faiths.

5 images, Riccarton Rd, Deans Ave:

22.08.13. Quake repairs, Fo Guang Shan South Island, Korean Buddhist Temple, cnr Riccarton Rd / Mandeville Rd

Heritage fanatics didn't mention preserving the Korean Buddhist Temple, Riccarton Rd, presently being repaired, nor the Moslem Mosque, Deans Ave, nor made any outcry when the Jewish synagogue needed repairs, Durham St Nth.

22.08.13. Quake survivor Mosque, Deans Ave

Since the quakes, heritage fanatics had hectored about spending others' money to restore quake trashed stone or brick churches. The latest heritage fanatic was Dr Alma Rae, a psychiatrist, wittering about quake survivors' fears. Rae wanted Christ Church Cathedral saved. A danger to herself & others, she was too lazy to see for herself the quake damage done to churches she extolled:

"The beautiful Church of the Holy Trinity Avonside... was unceremoniously bulldozed in case it might hurt someone, according to parish publications, although no-one had so much as stubbed a toe on it." (The Press  29.07.13).

Demolitions were done by diggers Dr Rae. I hadn't seen any bulldozers demolishing Christchurch bldgs. My 20.08.11 post showed many pics of 22.02.11 quake trashed, Holy Trinity Avonside. Dr Rae's debunkinging citizens' quake fears insulted families of the dead & those injured by quakes. Heritage fanatics like Dr Rae valued old stones, bricks, cement, wood & iron more than human lives.

Dr Rae should also look at quake trashed, Christ Church Cathedral (Anglican) Cathedral Sq & quake trashed Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament (RC) Barbadoes St, to see the walls of those cathedrals were either constructed with grey concrete, thinly clad by creamy Oamaru limestone (RC Cathedral) or grey stone rubble walls, thinly clad by grey stone (Christ Church Cathedral). Any restoration of those cathedrals on liquefactioned swampland would mean every stone being removed, mortared & quake reinforced to a post quake bldg code. A waste of money. Why weren't both cathedral authorities planning Cathedral rebuilds on safer land elsewhere?

Auckland lawyer Mai Chen opined it was illegal that the Anglican diocese could demolish quake trashed Christ Church Cathedral, with CERA's approval of course, as it was a heritage bldg. (The Press 30.07.13).

I doubted Chen in Auckland & Rae ever stood anywhere near quake trashed Christ Church Cathedral & other dangerous bldgs & felt bad vibes those ruins emitted, waiting to collapse on stupid people. Chen & Rae should visit Christchurch & stand next to abandoned Forsyth Barr, or any abandoned bldg of their choice & see & feel them, instead of talking nonsense.

Chen's money-grubbing expedience stirred heritage fanatics, enabling lawyers to enrich themselves with more court cases. Never mind that the High Court & more recently Appeal Court ruled that it was OK for the Anglican diocese to demolish Christ Church Cathedral. Was Chen's opinion above High Court's & Appeal Court's rulings?

Given other Anglican churches demolished & many other bldgs demolished post quakes, why hadn't Chen & Rae tried to save them too? Where were they when protesters whined outside Council bldg, opposing demolition of Manchester Courts post 04.09.10 quake?

I had a mental list of repaired / restored bldgs in Christchurch I'd never enter again. I'd seen far too many quake damaged, tilt slab bldgs, with cracked tilt slabs epoxy glued & painted over.

Since the quakes, churchless congregations shared facilities with quake survivor churches, or public halls. e.g. Christchurch North Methodist, Harewood Rd, shared facilities with St Josephs Catholic, Main Nth Rd. After Leah's weekly yoga classes at Mary Potter Centre, near the medical Blood Bank, Durham St Nth, Leah & other yoga ladies set out chairs for church use.

Pics I took of quake trashed churches were a sample of the many damaged / demolished / part demolished / repaired / restored churches in Christchurch. There were many more churches which survived the quakes well. I didn't take pics of all churchless demolition sites in Christchurch, as weedy demolition sites made boring pics.

The Anglican Cardboard Cathedral was a transitional cathedral awaiting resolution of court cases & funding for Christ Church Cathedral demolition / rebuild, or repairs, or restoration. So far to my knowledge, nearly 3 years post 04.09.10 quake, there were no church rebuilds in Christchurch.  But there were lots of church demolitions & fence cordoned, abandoned churches, awaiting repairs, or restorations, or demolitions, or rebuilds.

Throughout Christchurch, quake trashed churches were found from Fendalton to Papanui to the CBD; Richmond to New Brighton; Sumner to Sydenham, to Halswell, to Riccarton. Nearby towns also had quake trashed churches: Lyttelton, Kaiapoi, Hororata. *Asterisk showed Anglican Church:

*St Barnabus, Fendalton Rd: Fence cordoned, yellow stickered, steel braced nave end walls, many quake cracks road side of the church, especially by windows and tower. Throughout Christchurch, the weight of church tower & steeple often caused quake damage, not only due to tower & / or steeple collapse, but the tower / steeple also damaged adjacent church walls, either because the tower / steeple collapsed onto the church, like Christ Church Cathedral & / or the tower / steeple smashed / pulled against church walls causing cracks, like St Barnabus. The parish hoped to raise $1m for quake repairs & maintenance.

14 images, Fendalton Rd:

22.08.13. Abandoned, yellow stickered, fence cordoned, steel braced, St Barnabus Anglican Church, Fendalton Rd

Post Sept 4 quake, some churches removed steeples from church towers as a future quake hazard, like the Chinese Methodist Church, Merivale. Post Sept 4 quake, there was no consistent treatment of quake hazardous churches. Christ Church Cathedral steeple / tower was left intact by the Anglican diocese despite great shakings in the Sept 4 & Boxing Day quakes, 2010. That resulted in Christ Church Cathedral trashing when the steeple / tower collapsed in the 22.02.11 quake. Ditto the RC twin tower collapses of Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Barbadoes St.

Five minutes walk from my Burnside home, St Stephens, cnr Ilam Rd / Aorangi Rd: Demolished due to a nearby stream flowing though neighbouring Jellie Park. The Church office was OK.

3 images, Ilam Rd:

22.08.13. St Stephens quake demolition site, cnr Ilam Rd / Aorangi Rd. Jellie Park behind

22.08.13. Jellie Park stream by St Stephens quake demolition site, cnr Ilam Rd / Aorangi Rd

Streams & rivers were fatal for any nearby bldg, due to soft ground, lateral spreading of river / stream banks & liquefaction e.g. Christchurch Town Hall was tilted Avon River bank side, as Town Hall was built on Avon River bank. Councillors still wanted to spend $127.5m ratepayers' money to repair / restore the abandoned Town Hall.

Months ago councillors unanimously voted to spend the $127.5m, with most councillors not having entered nor examined the 22.02.11 quake damaged Town Hall in the forbidden red zone. Only in Aug 2013 did councillors actually enter the Town Hall for a look. Some changed their minds about the $127.5m spend.

The Town Hall saga continued to June 2015 when the next clutch of councillors & new mayor Dalziel again voted for restoration of the Town Hall for $127.5m.

Fifteen minutes walk from my Burnside home, St Johns Moraia, cnr Bryndwr Rd / Jeffreys Rd: Fence cordoned, steel braced both nave ends, nave walls cracked both sides, like a brittle twig, caused by quake shaking & tower weight. 

12 images, Bryndwr Rd:

22.08.13. Abandoned, fence cordoned, steel braced, St Johns Moraia, cnr Bryndwyr Rd / Jeffreys Rd

*St James, cnr Riccarton Rd / Mandeville Rd, opp the Korean Buddhist Temple. Like St Barnabus, fence cordoned, yellow stickered, steel braced nave end walls, cracked walls & windows. Parish Office OK.

7 images, Riccarton Rd:

22.08.13. Abandoned, fence cordoned, yellow stickered, steel braced, St James Anglican Church, cnr Riccarton Rd / Mandeville Rd

A sign on St James cordon fence read:


Christchurch North Methodist, cnr Harewood Rd / Chapel St. Fence cordoned, abandoned, steeple decapitated & standing in garden, porta-cabin, church office open for business. The fence cordon was yellow stickered & had DANGER KEEP OUT signs.

18 images, Harewood Rd:

31.07.13. Quake damaged, closed, Christchurch North Methodist Church, cnr Harewood Rd / Chapel St. See removed steeple on ground. Christchurch North Methodist church was demolished & rebuilt

 31.07.13. Yellow stickered, Christchurch North Methodist Church, cnr Harewood Rd / Chapel St, awaiting demolition for rebuild

31.07.13. Porta-cabin Church Office, Christchurch North Methodist Church, Chapel St

Christchurch North Methodist Church was soon demolished & rebuilt as a modern church.

*St Pauls Papanui, Harewood Rd. Presently being restored for $400 000, fence cordoned, office & hall open for business.

31.07.13. St Pauls Papanui, church restoration, Harewood Rd

31.07.13. Blue portaloo. St Pauls Papanui, church restoration, Harewood Rd

31.07.13. Cemetery, St Pauls Papanui, church restoration, Harewood Rd

31.07.13. Parish Office, St Pauls Papanui, Harewood Rd

A board by the Parish Office with Papanui history read: 

Spearers, sawyers, swamp suburbs

The Papanui Bush of about 70 acres (30 hectares) was important to Maori for its bird life. The name Papanui may mean "bird-spearer's tree platform."

Papanui was The Canterbury Settlement's first country village growing around the bush which was early Christchurch's nearest source of timber and firewood. Wagons were frequently stuck in boggy Papanui Road. Pit-sawyers had cut out the bush by 1847 when Papanui's population was about two thirds Christchurch's.

The Sawyer's Arms Hotel (1852) was Papanui's first public building.

The first school was opened in 1858.

The rich swamp ground was drained and became market gardens, orchards and dairy farms supplying Christchurch. The 5'3" gague northern railway (3'6" 1877) reached Papanui in 1872.  

The steam tramway (1880) from Christchurch to the Papanui railway station encouraged suburban growth between city and village.

Papanui had its own Town Hall (1881-1909) but was amalgamated into Christchurch in 1923.

Chinese Methodist Church, cnr Rugby Rd / Papanui Rd. Pre quakes, Jake had flatted in Rugby Rd & presently worked at Brewers Arms next to the church. The cordoned church was abandoned, steeple removed, tethered in the front garden.

20 images, Papanui Rd:

31.07.13. Chinese Methodist Church demolition, cnr Papanui Rd / Rugby St


Wed. 31.07.13. The church was being demolished when I took pics. Three Hi Vis vested workmen cleared rubble in the nave by an abandoned piano, another Hi Vis vested workman worked on scaffolding in the nave. A yellow digger cleared rubble outside the demolished N wall. So much for worker safety, as nave walls could collapse on workmen in the nave. The church hall had been demolished post 22.02.11 quake.

31.07.13. Chinese Methodist Church demolition, cnr Papanui Rd / Rugby St

By June 2015 a brand new Chinese Methodist Church was on site.

*St Mary's, Church Ln. Porta-cabin Parish Office on church demolition site. Original Parish Office / Centre was quake damaged, abandoned, fence cordoned. A salvaged wooden roof was standing on the office lawn.

5 images, Church Ln:

31.07.13. Parish Office porta-cabin, St Mary's Anglican Church demolition site, Church Ln

31.07.13. Salvaged roof & abandoned Parish Office / Centre, St Mary's Anglican Church, Church Ln

Knox Church, corner Bealey Ave / Victoria St. Abandoned, part demolished, wooden arches boarded, fence cordoned. Next door Knox Centre was abandoned.

6 images, Bealey Ave:

31.07.13. Abandoned Knox Centre & Knox Church, cnr Bealey Ave / Victoria St

By the end of 2014 Knox church was restored with exterior copper cladding.

St Athanasius Coptic, Edgeware Rd. Weedy demolition site.

1 images, Edgeware Rd:

31.07.13. St Athanasius Coptic Church demolition site, Edgeware Rd

Richmond Methodist Church, Stanmore Rd. Abandoned, hall demolished. Pre quakes, Leah had taken her school kids to the church hall for weekly lessons. Next door, London St cnr, was Richmond Working Mens Club demolition site.

3 images, Stanmore Rd:

31.07.13. Abandoned Richmond Methodist Church, Stanmore Rd. Richmond Working Mens Club demolition site left.

*Holy Trinity Avonside, Lychgate Cl. Lawn & a carved, Oamaru limestone salvage piece were on the church demolition site. A few salvaged Oamaru stones were scattered by graves. Gravestones & the lychgate were still standing. Parish Hall was demolished. Parish Office was open.

6 images, Lychgate Cl:

31.07.13. Quake survivor, Parish Office, Holy Trinity Avonside, Lychgate Cl

31.07.13. Cemetery, salvaged church stones & lychgate, Holy Trinity Avonside, Lychgate Cl

31.07.13. Holy Trinity Avonside demolition site, Lychgate Cl. Cemetery beyond

Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Barbadoes St. Part demolished, abandoned, fence cordoned. Shipping container layers supported N & S transept walls. There were many cracks on Oamaru sandstone cladding. The concrete core was revealed on collapsed tower walls.

After being dumped by his bus driver on Moorhouse Ave during the 22.02.11 quake, Luke was one of the first people to see the collapsed twin towers of the RC Cathedral. After seeing all hell breaking loose in the CBD, he was picked up by his girlfriend's dad on Moorhouse Ave. Their SUV drive, normally 20 minutes, to South New Brighton during aftershocks on quake trashed roads took 2 hours. Luke returned home to Burnside 3 days later.

27 images, Barbadoes St:

01.08.13. S nave wall, fence cordoned, abandoned, part demolished, Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Barbadoes St. See tower collapse left & shipping container bracing S transept right


01.08.13. Collapsed twin towers & W facade, abandoned Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Barbadoes St. See concrete structure clad with thin Oamaru sandstone

A cordon fence sign read:

Has moved to St Mary's Pro Cathedral
             373 Manchester Street
  Visitors, Tourists and Parishioners
                are ALL welcome

01.08.13. N nave wall, collapsed tower & W facade, abandoned Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Barbadoes St. Shipping containers brace the N transept

01.08.13. N nave wall & collapsed tower, Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Barbadoes St

01.08.13. Shipping containers bracing N transept & N nave wall, Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Barbadoes St

In May 2015 the Catholic bishop announced that 45 million dollars would be spent to partially restore Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.

In May 2018 the new Catholic bishop wavered, considering building a new Catholic Cathedral elsewhere in Christchurch.

Oxford Terrace Baptist, cnr Oxford Tce / Madras St. Demolished. Edmonds Clock Tower across the road was scaffolded & under repair.

2 images, Madras St:

01.08.13. Madras St view, Oxford Terrace Baptist Church demolition site

01.08.13. Post quake restoration, Edmonds Cock Tower, cnr Madras St / Oxford Tce

*St Lukes, cnr Manchester St / Kilmore St. Demolished. Post quake permanent features: A Chartres Cathedral maze, made out of demolition bricks, laid on the demolition site. Near the surviving, wooden bell tower, a demolition stone memorial honoured 185 people killed in the 22.02.11 quake. The demolition site was pathed & covered in wood mulch to suppress weeds.

6 images, Manchester St:

01.08.13. Manchester St, S view, post quake CBD skyline. Repaired Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) left. Abandoned Forsyth Barr (Crowne Plaza Hotel) high rise awaiting repairs right. Abandoned Ernst & Young awaiting demolition right

01.08.13. Manchester St, St Lukes Anglican Church demolition site, SW view, quake ravaged Christchurch CBD. Abandoned Ernst & Young awaiting demolition left. Court House & abandoned Town Hall middle. Forte Health rebuild right. White, wooden Belfry right, all that was left of St Lukes, post demolition

01.08.13. St Lukes Anglican Church, post quake Labyrinth, copy of Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth, made from St Lukes brick rubble, Manchester St

01.08.13. St Lukes Anglican Church demolition site, Memorial to 185 quake dead, made from demolished church stones, cnr Manchester St / Kilmore St

*St Johns, cnr Hereford St / Madras St by Latimer Sq. Demolished. Temporary Cardboard Cathedral rebuild. Workmen made paths around the Cardboard Cathedral. Smiley, grey haired ladies, seated on chairs had a meeting in the cathedral, Thurs 01.08.13. A sign on the cordon fence advertised music recitals in the Cardboard Cathedral, Aug 2013, to celebrate opening of the cathedral & its great acoustics.

12 images, Madras St:

01.08.13. Latimer Sq view, Cardboard Cathedral, St Johns Anglican Church demolition site, cnr Hereford St / Madras St


01.08.13. Madras St view, Cardboard Cathedral

01.08.13. Cashel St view, Cardboard Cathedral

Saturday 24.08.13. On our first walk in the Port Hills since the 22.02.11 quake, above Victoria Park, below Sugarloaf, Leah & I had grand views of Christchurch on Canterbury Plains, back dropped by snowy Alps, from Kaikouras in the N, to Puketeraki & Torlesse Ranges in the W & Mt Hutt in the S. Little did we know that in 2014 we'd be living in Mackenzie Country, SW of Christchurch.

There were few tall bldgs left in Christchurch CBD. Those I could pick out were abandoned Forsyth Barr (Crowne Plaza Hotel) awaiting repairs, restored Novotel, Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) & abandoned IR bldg. Cardboard Cathedral's distinctive tent shape was easy to see from miles away, the only rebuild of any aesthetic worth. The rest were ugly boxes.

In May 2015, CERA minister Brownlee announced the construction of a Memorial Wall beside Avon River, to remember the 185 quake dead.

Slow rebuild: Despite Council's, CERA's, CCDU's & NZ National govt's rebuild hype, the only rebuilds in the CBD so far were a couple of private sector bldgs, like Westende House & the Cardboard Cathedral. The Anglican diocese had demolished St Johns & built the Cardboard Cathedral on site all within 29 months post 22.02.11 quake.

01.08.13. Peter Majendie's 185 Empty Chairs memorial to quake dead, St Pauls Trinity Pacific Presbyterian demolition site, cnr Cashel St / Madras St. Abandoned IR bldg behind

01.08.13. 185 Empty Chairs memorial to quake dead, St Pauls Trinity Pacific Presbyterian demolition site, cnr Madras St / Cashel St. Cardboard Cathedral & Latimer Sq behind


01.08.13. Artist Peter Majendie, 185 Empty Chairs memorial to quake dead, on St Pauls Trinity Pacific Presbyterian demolition site, cnr Cashel St / Madras St. Beyond car, CTV demolition site where 115 people died when CTV collapsed & burned

St Pauls Trinity Pacific Presbyterian, cnr Madras St / Cashel St. Demolished. 185 Empty Chairs Memorial on the demolition site. CTV demolition site opp cnr, where 115 people died when CTV bldg collapsed & burned in the 22.02.11 quake. A car was parked alongside the white painted chairs & grey haired artist, Peter Majendie pottered amongst them.

Me: "Are you the artist?" 

Peter Majendie: "Yes."

Me: "I see you're doing maintenance on the chairs. I've always admired your art. I remember when it was at Oxford Tce Baptist Church last year. I'm writing a blog post 'Churchless Christchurch.' There are not many churches left in the CBD."

Peter Majendie: "Can you help me with this repainted chair to get it out of my car."

Me: "Sure."

Wandering to Cathedral Sq along Hereford St, I took in Torrens House demolition in the E Frame. Although it was more than 2 years post 22.02.11 quake, CERA still demolished bldgs & boasted about its mythical CBD rebuild. 

4 images, Hereford St:

07.08.13. Torrens House demolition, Hereford St, E Frame

07.08.13. Worcester St view, Torrens House demolition, E Frame

I wandered past Westende House rebuild, cnr Worcester St / Manchester St. It was in CCDU's E Frame, where NZ's National govt used taxpayers' money to play Monopoly with people's lives & commercial properties.

For its E Frame follies, CCDU wanted to demolish Westende House, rebuilt post 04.09.10 quake. Post Sept 4 quake, the site was Ground Zero, where breathless TV anchor girls reported, back-dropped by lurid red lighting & ruined Westende Jeweller. I had no problems entering Westende House, as it was a post quake rebuilt, much stronger than pre quake bldgs. Across the road was serial quake trashed Octagon Restaurant.

July 2015, CERA demolished rebuilt Westende House for Manchester St widening.

Sept 2018, Westende House repeat demolition site was a shingle car park beside a widened pavement.

Trinity Church / Octagon Restaurant, cnr Manchester St / Worcester St: The owner was looking for a buyer to restore the quake trashed bldg, as he'd run out of post quakes, restoration money. If Trinity Church / Octagon Restaurant was restored, I'd never enter it. No way could its restoration ever be as strong as new Westende House across the road, no matter how much money was spent. The same went for quake trashed Christ Church Cathedral down the road.

7 images, Manchester St:

07.08.13. Westende House rebuild, E Frame, cnr Manchester St / Worcester St. Westende House was rebuilt post 04.09.10 quake. July 2015, CCDU demolished rebuilt Westende House for Manchester St widening

07.08.13. Serial quake trashed Trinity Church / Octagon Restaurant, cnr Manchester St / Worcester St


Worcester St behind Christchurch Cathedral: I wandered past abandoned, boarded, fence cordoned, design & art college. Plaster had fallen off ground floor, concrete columns, showing quake cracks. If that bldg was restored I'd never enter it. 

4 images, Worcester St:

07.08.13. Quake trashed design & art college, Worcester St

07.08.13. Cathedral Junction undergoing post quake repairs, Worcester St. Westende House rebuild beyond

I wandered past Cathedral Junction undergoing post quake repairs. Cathedral Junction was a hotchpotch of repaired old & new bldgs. Pre quakes trams had rumbled through Cathedral Junction, not the smartest idea for quake prone bldgs. The same went for nearby New Regent St with a pre quakes tram line down the middle of the narrow street, Spanish Mission bldgs recently restored.

*Christ Church Cathedral, Cathedral Sq. Part demolished, abandoned, fence cordoned. Three weeks pre 22.02.11 quake, Leah & I were inside Christ Church Cathedral & saw workmen on scaffolding, checking 04.09.10 & 26.12.10 quake damages, murals & windows.

79 images, Cathedral Sq:

07.08.13. Worcester St view, E end, abandoned, fence cordoned, Christ Church Cathedral, apse, chancel & transepts, Cathedral Sq

07.08.13. Shipping container cordon, Christ Church Cathedral, N side apse, chancel & transept, Cathedral Sq

07.08.13. Close up, quake damaged stonework, N transept window & buttress, Christ Church Cathedral, Cathedral Sq

07.08.13. Quake collapsed, part demolished tower, damaged N nave wall & useless steel braced, quake collapsed, W facade, Christ Church Cathedral, Cathedral Sq. WW memorial statue in foreground

07.08.13. Quake collapsed, part demolished tower & quake collapsed W facade, Christ, Church Cathedral, Cathedral Sq. Steel bracing proved useless in the 13.06.11 quake. See stone rubble, clad by thin stones structure of collapsed / part demolished tower walls.

A Cathedral Sq info board said Maori used the area as a worship place long before colonists arrived, hence the flowery whare before Christ church Cathedral ruin. Like the jarring junk art on cordon fencing, the whare blocked access & view of ruined Christ Church Cathedral.

Three years later, June 2016, post CERA era, Christ Church Cathedral was still a fence cordoned ruin. No progress had been made by NZ National govt, the Anglican diocese, nor heritage fanatics, Anderton, Burdon, et al, on a decision to demolish, or repair, or restore, or rebuild Christ Church Cathedral.

Sept 2018. NZ Labour coalition govt: Dr Megan Woods, Labour MP, Regenerate Christchurch (CERA morph) was leading restoration of Christ Church Cathedral. Many years still to go...

07.08.13. Abandoned, fence cordoned, Christ Church Cathedral, Cathedral Sq. Abandoned Millennium Hotel (Distinction Hotel) behind

07.08.13. Fence cordoned, Cathedral Sq, NW view, abandoned bldgs: Chancery Arcade middle awaiting demolition. Abandoned Rydges Hotel behind. Government Life right awaiting demolition

07.08.13. Abandoned, fence cordoned, Christ Church Cathedral, Cathedral Sq. Steel bracing didn't stop W facade collapsing in the 13.06.11 quake. See stone rubble structure clad by thin stones. Repaired Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) left. Abandoned Millennium Hotel (Distinction Hotel) right

07.08.13. Flowery Maori whare, Cathedral Sq. Abandoned Christ Church Cathedral & abandoned Millennium Hotel (Distinction Hotel) left. Chalice right

07.08.13. Abandoned, fence cordoned, Christ Church Cathedral, Cathedral Sq. See stone rubble structure clad by thin stones. Bordered by various abandoned or repaired hotels

07.08.13. Maori whare view, quake trashed W facade & tower, Christchurch Cathedral, Cathedral Sq

07.08.13. Abandoned, fence cordoned, Christ Church Cathedral, Cathedral Sq. See stone rubble structure clad by thin stones. Repaired, reopened Novotel behind

07.08.13. Abandoned, fence cordoned, Christ Church Cathedral & Chalice, Cathedral Sq

07.08.13. Cathedral Sq, NE view, abandoned, fence / shipping container cordoned, S transept of Christ Church Cathedral. Repaired, reopened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) right

07.08.13. Worcester St, W view, abandoned fence / shipping container cordoned apse, chancel & transepts of Christ Church Cathedral, Cathedral Sq

Durham St Methodist, Durham St Nth. Demolished. 3 people died there in the 22.02.11 quake when the church collapsed. Like so many CBD demolition sites, Durham St Methodist became a car park, where there was nothing to remember the dead, or the horror of the collapsed church.

2 images, Durham St Nth:

07.08.13. Durham Street Methodist Church, desecrated as a car park, cnr Durham St Nth / Chester St West

Late August, a church Information board was erected by the car park cnr, remembering the dead. The Information board read:

Durham Street Methodist Church

From 1864 to 2011 this was where the Durham Street Methodist Church stood. Badly damaged in the earthquake of September 2010 the building collapsed as a result of the major earthquake on February 22nd 2011. Sadly three men who were removing the organ for restoration lost their lives when the building fell. 

Constructed of locally quarried stone it was the oldest stone church in Christchurch.

From 1984 the site was shared with the Methodist Mission serving social and community needs for Christchurch city.

Plans are being prepared for a replacement building that will continue the work and worship of the Methodist Church in this place.

Currently the congregation worships off site - details of services...

It was a shame, there was little of significance erected in the CBD to remember the 185 quake dead. Majendie's 185 Empty Chair memorial was a temporary memorial needing maintenance & vigilance against hooligans desecrating & stealing chairs from the temporary memorial at St Pauls Trinity Pacific demolition site. Driving around Christchurch, daily evidence of increased tagging was a sure sign of abandoned, dilapidated bldgs.

Late August, Anderton's heritage fanatics, peeved by losing court cases to save Christchurch Cathedral ruin, wanted to continue their squabble with the Anglican diocese & bishop Matthews (there'd been media slagging off bishop Matthews) by appealing to the Supreme Court. Their energies & money wasting, enriching lawyers, would've been better spent organizing a decent quake memorial. Their whinging insulted families of the quake dead & those injured by quakes. People from over 20 nations died in the 22.02.11 quake.

Sydenham Heritage, cnr Colombo St / Brougham St. Demolished. A makeshift, white board hut was on top of the rubble with 3 pics: King Brownlee; Joker Parker; Knave Insurer. The church was "illegally" demolished, during the 22.02.11 quake, national state of emergency, hence the rubble eyesore years later. Once rubble was removed, heritage fanatics hoped to save artifacts, like wooden pews, from beneath the rubble.

2 images, Brougham St:

07.08.13. Sydenham Heritage Church demolition site, cnr Colombo St / Brougham St.

Samoan Seventh Day Adventist, cnr Cashel St / Olliviers Rd. Demolished. Church hall still standing.

1 image, Cashel St:

07.08.13. Samoan Seventh Day Adventist Church demolition site, cnr Cashel St / Olliviers Rd. Church hall behind

New Brighton Union Church, Union St. Demolished, decapitated steeple stood on the ground. Church Hall & Op Shop OK, Church Office in a porta-cabin.

1 image, Union St:

07.08.13. New Brighton Union Church demolition site, Union St. See decapitated steeple

*All Saints, Wakefield Ave. Abandoned behind a double layer, shipping container cordon on Wakefield Ave below Sumner cliff. Abandoned All Saints was next to several abandoned, tagged, red zone houses.

Nov 2015. All Saints was demolished.

9 images, Wakefield Ave:

07.08.13. Abandoned, red zone house below Sumner cliff, Wakefield Ave

07.08.13. Abandoned, fence / shipping container cordoned, All Saints Anglican Church below Sumner cliff, Wakefield Ave

*St John of God, Aidenfield, Halswell. Fence cordoned, boarded, scaffolded, undergoing repairs.

3 images, Aidenfield, Halswell:

07.08.13. Abandoned, scaffolded, fence cordoned, St John of God, Aidenfield, Halswell

*St Peters, Church Corner, cnr Riccarton Rd / Main Sth Rd. Fence cordoned, boarded, repairs stalled.

7 images, Riccarton Rd:

07.08.13. Abandoned, fence cordoned, St Peters Anglican Church, cnr Riccarton Rd / Main Sth Rd

*Wandered Riccarton Rd, Deans Ave, Fendalton Rd, Ilam Rd, Bryndwr Rd, Harewood Rd, Papanui Rd, Church Ln, Bealey Ave, Edgeware Rd, Stanmore Rd, Lychgate Cl, Barbadoes St, Madras St, Manchester St, Hereford St, Worcester St, Cathedral Sq, Durham St Nth, Brougham St, Cashel St, Union St, Wakefield Ave, Aidenfield,

Last month CERA minister Brownlee announced that cordons would be dropped in Christchurch CBD when NZDF soldiers evacuated, after occupying the CBD for 28 months. That was only part true, as there were many CBD bldgs & streets still fence cordoned or orange, plastic, road cone cordoned. Never mind the many bldgs, roads & churches fence or cone cordoned all over Christchurch, nearly 3 years post 04.09.10 quake.

For the last few months it was frustrating driving anywhere in Christchurch, due to SCIRT excavations, fence cordons & detours. New road cordons & detours sprung up daily, obstacle courses worse than the earthquakes. SCIRT obstacle courses would continue for years to come, according to CERA's Greater Christchurch Recovery Update, Issue 24, August 2013:

More detail about the sequence and timing of works will be available in coming months. Work will increase significantly from October this year. From then there will be up to 40 SCIRT work crews in the central city at any time to get the work done by the end of 2016 finish date.

It took Civil Defence (3 months worth) then CERA (since 13 June 2011) more than 2 years to demolish quake trashed CBD bldgs, an indictment of Kiwi workmen & management. (No wonder builder firms recruited cheaper, more efficient foreign labour, like Filipinos & Irishmen). Then SCIRT would take another 3 years to complete CBD infrastructure rebuild - waste water, sewage & water pipes & repairing roads, another indictment. Never mind a greater suburban mess by SCIRT rebuilding suburban quake trashed roads.

Imagine having several Hi Vis vested persons at various road detours, wearing hard hats, brandishing STOP - GO signs & chatting into radios, obstructing your vehicle daily for years. That was the reality of post quake Christchurch roads.

Given SCIRT's slow progress & poor man management (workers loafing for all to see) for road infrastructure rebuild, one could expect a slow CBD rebuild by CERA, hardly begun, nearly 3 years post 04.09.10 quake. So far there'd been much boasting by CERA, CCDU & SCIRT, but little rebuild.

08.08.13. Dominion Post reported that after Christchurch quake hassles with weak bldgs, NZ National govt found there were approx 25 000 quake prone bldgs in NZ. The govt report was only released post Seddon / Wellington quakes. NZ National govt gave bldg owners 5 years to assess bldgs, then 15 years to strengthen those old bldgs, up to revised bldg code, or demolish thereafter. 20 years to sort out quake prone bldgs! So-called heritage bldgs were given 30 years!

Despite all the post quake demolitions in Christchurch, I could think of several so-called heritage bldgs, including churches, needing strengthening. NZ National govt gave owners 30 years grace to quake strengthen their rubbish bldgs. Pre quakes, bldg owners already had many years to strengthen those quake prone bldgs up to code. NZ National govt had little value for human life. It insulted families of the 185 quake dead & many injured.

Having witnessed the recent Memorial Service for 185 quake dead in Latimer Sq, where squads of local & govt politicians & hangers-on jostled for photo coverage, their self-serving & commercially expedient actions disgusted me.

Labour's Cosgrove, Dyson & recently resigned, revolving door leader, Shearer had shown their mugs at the memorial service. Shearer had shown no interest in post quake Christchurch. He'd demoted Dalziel, the only effective Labour voice against National's edicts regarding post quake land zonings, clearances & the ravages of EQC & insurers. That resulted in Dalziel wanting to be Christchurch mayor, like Anderton at the last mayoral election, a recycled politician foisted on Christchurch. As for affirmative action, poofters in parliament, one of them coveted Labour leadership. What a farce, while PM Key mocked Labour's "Idol" competition - TV OneNews, 26.08.13. 

Nearly 3 years post 04.09.10 quake, Christchurch rebuild was a myth. There was some housing development by Halswell Junction Rd & Aidanfield, but many demolitions still had to go in the residential red zone & CBD. There was little rebuild in the CBD. Residential & CBD rebuild mythology was created by CERA to bamboozle credulous Kiwis. Anyone visiting the CBD & residential red zones could see CERA's non rebuild.

Fri 16.08.13. Seddon & Wellington were shaken by the 6.6 mag quake & aftershocks. There was damage to bldgs at Seddon, Ward & Wellington, the latter gridlocked, trains cancelled for the day. TV anchor ladies were wide eyed & breathless in their jabberings. News copied the Cantabrian script of tough, resilient citizens, complacent of dangers. Like the 04.09.10 & 26.12.10 Christchurch quakes, the 2 Seddon / Wellington quake swarms, a month or so apart, were warnings & warm ups for future bigger quakes. (14.11.16. The 7.8 mag Kaikoura quake caused extensive damage to the N part of the S Island & Wellington).

Looking at a GeoNet fault line map of Marlborough, one saw that Seddon was close to several NE trending faults. After the Seddon quakes, would NZ National govt change its plan to relocate Cook Strait ferry terminal from Picton to Clifford Bay, between Seddon & Ward on the NE coast of the South Island?

Two & a half years post 22.02.11 quake, there was a huge disconnect between those wanting to save heritage bldgs in Christchurch & those wanting justice for the 185 dead. NZ National govt wasn't interested in pursuing justice for the families of the dead. It still allowed 30 years for quake prone, heritage bldgs to be brought up to code & 20 years for other quake prone bldgs to be brought up to code. It ignored all the Coroner's reports & Royal Commission of Inquiry reports. There was no outrage at 185 deaths from NZ National govt, just silence.

And cops did zilch about it. Cops had the CBD red zone to themselves with Civil Defence & CERA demolishers & NZDF cordon soldiers for 28 months post 22.02.11 quake. What criminal evidence did cops find regarding the quake dead in the CBD? Council, engineering, builder, owner accountability?

We endured all sorts of newspaper articles & cop TV programmes where clever cops investigated road accident deaths, cold murder cases & cops expecting citizens to dob in various perps caught on CCTV cameras. I heard no outrage from cops about 185 quake dead, nor outrage from lawyers like Chen. Where were the clever cop TV programmes about 185 quake dead?

Post 04.09.10 quake, daily I'd driven past quake trashed, cordoned bldgs by Stanmore Rd / Worcester St crossing. One couldn't miss seeing those quake trashed, cordoned bldgs, as some were covered in gaudy tarps flapping in the breeze. During the 22.02.11 quake one of those bldgs collapsed on Wicks Fish shop, killing 2 people. Along Worcester St & Stanmore Rd more shops collapsed, like Argonaut bldg. During the 13.06.11 quake more shops collapsed at that crossing.

If I could snap many pics of those dangerous, cordoned shops over several months before demolitions, why couldn't cops gather enough evidence for a manslaughter case at Wicks Fish shop? And that was just one example. Never mind 115 people killed when the CTV bldg collapsed & burned.

Meanwhile NZ National govt passed its latest GCSB law, a police state law, enabling govt stooges to secretly check anyone's emails, for state communication security, to catch international terrorists.


Sun 14.02.16. Valentines Day, 5.7 mag quake. Christ Church Cathedral's W facade crumbled more, despite the so-called, steel, "Battering Ram" buttressing the facade.

30.11.17. After years of CTV investigation, NZ Police media release: "Police has determined that there will be no criminal prosecution in relation to the collapse of the CTV building in Christchurch in February 2011..." What a crock of bullshit by snivelling top cops!

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Merivale 1894 church demolished (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Christ Church Cathedral needs to stay (The Press / Stuff Co). 

See Second campaign group prepare legal case (The Press / Stuff Co). 

See Joyfully unmunted festival for cardboard cathedral (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Cardboard Cathedral finally unveiled (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Traffic hub to help drivers save time (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Stadium date upsets rugby boss (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Deadline for quake safety set at 20 years (Dominion Post / Stuff Co).

See Rumblings of rebellion in Christchurch (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Christchurch Town Hall $127.5m restoration approved (The Press / Stuff Co).

See $45m restoration plan for Christchurch's Catholic Cathedral (OneNews, TVNZ).

See New Catholic bishop reconsiders Christchurch Cathedral restoration (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Outcome of investigation, collapse of the CTV building (NZ Police).

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