Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Residential Repairs or Rebuilds?

Tues 03.12.13. Almost 3 years post 22.02.11 quake, Christchurch residential suburbs were a strange mix of mostly inhabited dwellings, but also apocalyptic demolition sites, abandoned bldgs, overgrown gardens, many houses being repaired, many houses not being repaired due to insurer delays or owner skulduggery & few house rebuilds.

As Leah & Luke worked in the CBD & Jake had started a new job at The Brewery next to The Tannery, recently restored on Garlands Rd, I drove around Christchurch to look at demolition
sites & construction sites near their work places.

20 images, London St:

03.12.13. London St view, Bealey Ave / Fitzgerald Ave junction

03.12.13. Post quake house rebuild, London St

1. Leah, Seabrook McKenzie Centre, London St: A new wooden house was being rebuilt between the Funeral Home & Bealey Ave on a demolition site. The original house was badly damaged in the quakes.

03.12.13. Seabrook McKenzie Centre, London St

Closer to Leah's school a new house was being built on an empty lot. In the 22.02.11 quake, a massive liquefaction volcano had risen from the earth, occupying about a third of the site. All that builders did was dig a foundation hole through the liquefaction silt, fill up the hole with shingle about a metre deep, then compress it with a road roller, so a thick concrete foundation slab could be built on top. In the next big quake, I expected the new flats would float on top of liquefaction mashed shingle.

03.12.13. Compressed shingle foundation on liquefactioned site, London St

Within 10 metres of that bldg site I remembered London St pavement, in the 22.02.11 quake, flooded in a metre deep moat of liquefaction muck outside the school gate, while liquefaction volcanoes oozed up all over the school car park & playground.

Across London St, Richmond Working Mens Club, a modern masonry bldg, was in its final demolition throes, leaving a concrete lift shaft & a heap of rubble. A yellow, parked digger, excavator buckets & a wrecker ball were beside the rubble. Over the last 3 years, the club had been demolished in stages, next to Richmond Methodist Church & the school had endured all sorts of demolition bumps & grinds, causing the school to shudder & shake, like aftershocks, which disturbed staff & students. Leah had a guts full!

03.12.13. Richmond Working Mens Club demolition site, cnr London St / Stanmore Rd

03.12.13. Stanmore Rd view, Richmond Working Mens Club demolition site left & abandoned Richmond Methodist Church right

2015. While Seabrook McKenzie Centre was repaired, staff & kids moved temporarily to  abandoned Richmond School. (Already closed during MOE's quake mergers / closures).

2016. Richmond Methodist Church was moved to Marshlands Rd.

2. Luke, Douglas Furniture, between Horatio St & Balfour Tce: I drove along St Asaph St, through quakes & CERA trashed CBD, to Luke's work premises. A commercial demolition site at the end of Balfour Tce was a parking lot. USAR / TF graffiti was still on the abandoned Pigeon Club wall. From Balfour Tce, I looked at the vast demolition site where Canterbury Brewery once stood. For months at work, Luke had endured demolition shakes & bumps, like aftershocks. All that was left was a yellow digger parked on top of a pile of crushed demolition concrete. The site & Luke's work premises, amongst other bldgs to be demolished in Antigua St vicinity would become NZ National govt's / CERA's Blueprint Metro Sports Facility, hopefully built by 2020.

9 images, Balfour Tce:

03.12.13. Douglas Furniture, Balfour Tce, soon to be demolished for NZ National govt's / CERA's Blueprint Metro Sports Facility

03.12.13. Balfour Tce bldgs soon to be demolished for NZ National govt's / CERA's Blueprint Metro Sports Facility

03.12.13. Abandoned Pigeon Club & USAR / TF graffiti, Balfour Tce, soon to be demolished for NZ National govt's / CERA's Blueprint Metro Sports Facility

03.12.13. Balfour Tce view, Canterbury Brewery demolition site, to become NZ National govt's / CERA's Blueprint Metro Sports Facility. Christchurch Hospital far left & CBD bldgs beyond

03.12.13. Balfour Tce view, Christchurch Hospital precinct

03.12.13. Balfour Tce view: Christchurch Hospital staff parking, cnr Antigua St / St Asaph St. Central Police high rise awaiting implosion behind. Forsyth Barr (Crowne Plaza Hotel) right

03.12.13. Yellow digger parked on crushed concrete, Canterbury Brewery demolition site, Antigua St

CERA & cowboy demolishers had a gung ho attitude to asbestos pollution. In Sept 2016 The Press reported that NZ National govt's / CERA's anchor project sites, like the Blueprint Convention Centre, Blueprint Central Library, Blueprint Performing Arts Precinct & Blueprint Stadium had asbestos buried by demolishers. As asbestos affects on lungs took decades to form asbestosis, who would pay for asbestosis years hence? (Aug 2018. Between hospitality jobs, Jake would briefly do gib stopping at the rebuilt Central Library, Cathedral Sq).

About a year ago during one of the Richmond Working Mens Club demolition phases, there was a BEWARE ASBESTOS sign on the Club gate across the road from Leah's school. There was no such sign more recently. Jake had endured the demolition of the old Chinese Methodist Church next to his Brewers Arms workplace, Papanui Rd, Merivale. Luke had endured months of demolition dust from Canterbury Brewery demolition & other demolitions of bldgs for the Metro Sports Facility. Never mind all the dust I'd imbibed in my quake wanderings.

There'd been no personal warnings from employers, nor demolishers, nor CERA about asbestosis dangers to surrounding workplaces & homes. Occasionally on my wanderings I'd see on contractors' boards a small warning notice written by a site foreman for workers to use masks against asbestos dust. That was all. The asbestos warning was amongst a list of other site hazards.

As for EQC contractors covering quake damaged, asbestos ceilings & walls with gib boards - what a bunch of morons, EQC & contractors.

3. Jake, The Brewery, Garlands Rd, a busy joining road between Opawa Rd & Ferry Rd, so Jake would have lots of customers. Next door The Tannery was post quake, restored with its zig-zag roof & cleaned brick, exterior walls. The atrium was full of busy boutique shops, both sides of a tiled, central passage. Above shop windows a Victorian wrought iron gallery was topped by arcaded, roof glass, shining warmth & light onto the shops. I spotted a butchery, a busy cafe & Smiths Book Shop, which I'd last snapped post 04.09.10 quake, trashed on Manchester St. The Manchester St book shop was demolished with other red light district stores.

So far I'd noted 2 rentals where Jake had stayed pre quakes had been demolished post quakes: a house on Avonside Dr, Avon Loop, a Poplar Mews flat, Poplar Ln in the CBD.

30 images, Garlands Rd:

03.12.13. The Brewery left, The Tannery restoration right, Garlands Rd. Port Hills beyond

03.12.13. Cumnor Tce view, The Brewery

The Tannery beside Heathcote River was already popular with locals, unlike recently restored New Regent St shops, in CERA's core CBD, already battling to get foot traffic amongst SCIRT road excavations, road closures & detours, like closed Gloucester St Bridge. New Regent St shops were just expensive tourist traps.

03.12.13. The Tannery restoration, Garlands Rd

03.12.13. The Tannery atrium restoration, boutique shops, Victorian wrought iron gallery & glass roof, Garlands Rd

03.12.13. Gustavs, The Tannery restoration, Garlands Rd

I looked at new Gustavs bar in The Tannery & thought Jake would enjoy its competitive cuisine & booze. Restoration was ongoing at The Tannery with more new shops being restored alongside the car park. A boardwalk was being constructed beside those shops.

After leaving The Brewery chef job, Jake cheffed a couple of years at Woolston Club, then returned to The Tannery precinct in Sept 2018 to work in a bakery.

Since the 22.02.11 quake, Jake's job hopping showed the shocking state of post quake hospitality work in Christchurch. Jake's shaky jobs: Under The Red Verandah, Worcester St; Speight's Ale House, Bealey Ave; Brewers Arms, Papanui Rd; The Brewery, Garlands Rd; Woolston Club, Hargood St; Central Library rebuild, Cathedral Sq; The Tannery bakery. Never mind crappy, overpriced rentals Jake endured.   

03.12.13. Cumnor Tce by The Tannery view of Port Hills

03.12.13. The Tannery restoration, Garlands Rd

*Wandered London St, Balfour Tce, Garlands Rd.

Wed 04.12.13. I walked the hell drive I did twice on 22.02.11 quake afternoon between Burnside & Leah's London St school, Richmond. Then, from Ilam Rd it was flooded with liquefaction water, ponding on roadsides, mixed with raw sewage & liquefaction water fountaining from drains. Tons of liquefaction mud oozed from the ground covering gardens, roads & pavements. Now, the mud & flood water was gone & some demolitions, repairs & rebuilds were completed.

At Leah's school car park, I started the walk from 5 cypresses, which Leah saw shaking in the 22.02.11 quake. Liquefaction volcanoes had oozed into the car park in that quake & in the 13.06.11 quake.

2 images, London St:

03.12.13. Cypresses by Seabrook McKenzie Centre car park, heavily liquefactioned in the 22.02.11 & 13.06.11 quakes, London St

Bealey Ave: I wandered past quake survivor businesses, housing & flats & a couple of house demolition sites to Madras St crossing.

Cnr Bealey Ave / Madras St: Abandoned, quake trashed, boarded house, sold. On the opp cnr a dentist rebuild was on the Hearing Clinic demolition site. I'd consulted that clinic during our early Christchurch days.

41 images, Madras St:

03.12.13. Quake abandoned house, cnr Bealey Ave / Madras St

Madras St N to Forfar St: The road was SCIRT repaired & in good condition. Most houses were inhabited & in good repair, but some houses & commercial bldgs close to Bealey Ave were abandoned. I passed house demolition sites & some recently repaired houses. Some houses still needed repairs, evidence of slow insurer settlements. A few rebuilds.

That was the repair / rebuild pattern all the way back to Burnside, with variations en route. Near Canon St crossing, I passed cattle grazing on a large overgrown lot, where someone had suggested temporary housing could be constructed for rebuild workers. That idea fizzled out. I passed a yellow, Graceworks digger parked on a rubble heap at the Seventh Day Adventist Church demolition site, St Albans.

03.12.13. Quake abandoned house, Madras St

03.12.13. Orange, plastic, road cone. Post quake demolition site, Madras St

03.12.13. Blue portaloo. Post quake demolition site, Madras St

03.12.13. Post quake grazing cattle, open lot, Madras St

03.12.13. Post quake house repair, Madras St

03.12.13. Quake abandoned shop, cnr Madras St / Canon St

03.12.13. Quake damaged houses awaiting repairs, Madras St

03.12.13. Quake damaged house awaiting repairs left, repairs to housing right, Madras St

03.12.13. Quake abandoned house, Madras St

03.12.13. Quake damaged house, awaiting repairs, Madras St

03.12.13. Boarded windows, house awaiting repairs, Madras St

By St Albans Creek there was lots of abandoned housing & quake damaged housing awaiting repairs. When I'd twice driven that way in the 22.02.11 quake, the area was flooded with liquefaction water, mud & sewage. The road had sunk in places making the road almost impassable for traffic, except for the middle.

Parallel Barbadoes St was worse, even more liquefaction flooding & mud. I remembered the horrified look on a woman's face when she'd tried to drive along the sewage flooded road. I'd signalled her to turn back, as we didn't know what sink holes were under the shitty water. SUVs & 4x4s just sailed through, making crappy waves.

As usual in Christchurch, by rivers, streams & creeks, there was more quake damage than elsewhere, due to soft soil, more liquefaction & lateral spreading on riverbanks.

03.12.13. St Albans Creek, Madras St

03.12.13. Quake abandoned house, Madras St

03.12.13. Quake tilted garage & fencing, Madras St

03.12.13. Quake survivor shop, cnr Madras St / Edgeware Rd

03.12.13. Yellow digger. St Albans, Seventh Day Adventist Church demolition site, Madras St

03.12.13. Quake damaged house & garden wall, Madras St

By Edgeware Bowling Club one of the bowling greens was flooded, a mosquito breeding area in summer heat. The club was seeking funds for club repairs.

03.12.13. Flooded bowling green, Edgeware Bowling Club, Madras St

03.12.13. Post quake fence signs, Madras St / Warrington St / Forfar St traffic circle

Forfar St: Still lumpy, bumpy & patch repaired, not as good as Madras St. Most houses were in good repair & inhabited. Some houses needed repairs. No rebuilds. I passed a demolition site & an abandoned house.

6 images, Forfar St:

03.12.13. Quake survivor shops & quake damaged house awaiting repairs, cnr Forfar St / Berwick St

03.12.13. Quake damaged house awaiting repairs, cnr Forfar St / Berwick St

03.12.13. Quake abandoned house, Forfar St

Forfar St / Westminster St / Severn St junctions: I remembered 22.02.11 quake afternoon liquefaction flooding & masses of mud oozing from the ground & covering pavements. A couple of houses at the junctions were still quake damaged, needing repairs. A cnr house was abandoned.

22 images, Westminster St, Severn St:

03.12.13. Repairs to quake damaged house, Westminster St

03.12.13. Quake damaged house awaiting repairs, cnr Westminster St / Severn St

03.12.13. Quake abandoned house, cnr Westminster St / Severn St

Severn St: Like Guildford St near our Burnside rental, it was lined by mature oaks. I remembered Severn St was flooded by liquefaction water & mud in the 22.02.11 quake. Most houses were in good repair & inhabited. Chimneys, which had collapsed in quakes, were replaced with roof tiles or corrugated iron sheets. Some houses still needed quake repairs.

03.12.13. Post quake repaired roofs, Severn St

03.12.13. Quake damaged house awaiting roof repairs, Severn St

03.12.13. Quake damaged house awaiting repairs, Severn St

03.12.13. Repairs to quake damaged house, Severn St

03.12.13. Quake damaged house awaiting repairs, cnr Severn St / Innes Rd

Innes Rd to Papanui Rd crossing: A long hot stretch with patchy, bumpy road in places. Most houses were inhabited & in good repair. Several double storey, Merivale houses near a stream & Browns Rd were still damaged, needing repairs, a couple were abandoned. A cnr house on Papanui Rd had no quake repairs since the 04.09.10 quake. A gutter pipe hung from the roof for over 3 years. I wondered if the owner was blind, waiting for insurer settlement, or what? (The gutter pipe still hung loose in Sept 2016).

23 images, Innes Rd:

03.12.13. Post quake rebuild site next to shops, Innes Rd

03.12.13. Repairs to quake damaged house, Innes Rd

03.12.13. Quake damaged house awaiting repairs, Innes Rd

03.12.13. Post quake, wood braced, garden wall, Innes Rd

03.12.13. Quake abandoned house, Innes Rd

03.12.13. Quake damaged house awaiting repairs, Innes Rd

03.12.13. Roadside stream, Innes Rd

03.12.13. Post quake abandoned house, Innes Rd

03.12.13. Post quake demolition site, Innes Rd

03.12.13. Quake damaged house awaiting repairs, Innes Rd

03.12.13. Quake damaged house awaiting repairs, cnr Innes Rd / Papanui Rd

Heaton St: Patchy, bumpy road. St Georges Hospital was being repaired. Mostly inhabited houses were in good repair. There was 1 new house build. Many roof repairs were completed. Chimneys which had collapsed in the 04.09.10 quake were mostly repaired. I remembered being caught in a traffic jam along Heaton St, while worried parents fetched their kids from Heaton Intermediate School during the 22.02.11 quake, with liquefaction water pouring from gardens across pavements onto the road.

34 images, Heaton St:

03.12.13. Post quake road signs, Heaton St

03.12.13. Quake damaged garden fence awaiting repairs, Heaton St

03.12.13. Post quake repaired roof, Heaton St

03.12.13. Post quake house repairs, Heaton St

03.12.13. Post quake repairs to St George's Hospital, Heaton St

03.12.13. Quake damaged house awaiting repairs, Heaton St

03.12.13. Post quake, wood braced, garden wall, Heaton St

03.12.13. Post quake house rebuild, Heaton St

A couple of brick garden walls were wood braced, needing repairs. A double storey house was being rebuilt. A clutch of double storey houses opp Elmwood Park were abandoned, needing repairs. One damaged roof was part covered in white plastic. Two girls sold cherries & other berry fruit from their cars. A house demolition site was next to a stream by the park, awaiting a rebuild.

03.12.13. Post quake, wood braced, garden wall, Heaton St

03.12.13. Quake damaged house awaiting repairs, Heaton St

03.12.13. Cherries & berry fruit for sale by quake damaged house, Heaton St

03.12.13. House demolition site by stream, Heaton St

Cnrs Heaton St /  Rossall St / Strowan Rd crossing: A brick garden wall was wood braced, needing repairs. On the opp cnr, Parkdale house had black plastic garden fencing, a blot on the landscape ever since the 22.02.11 quake. A hopeful Harcourts FOR SALE board stood by the quake crooked, iron gate.

03.12.13. Quake trashed, brick, garden wall, Heaton St

03.12.13. Post quake, FOR SALE, Parkdale, cnr Heaton St / Rossall St

Back to Burnside I snapped a couple more pics of real estate boards on Strowan Rd & Ilam Rd, but didn't bother with more pics, as I'd blogged repairs & rebuilds on the home stretch, via Wairakei Rd, Ilam Rd & Clyde Rd, back to Guildford St & Heath St in other posts. The 10 km walk from London St to Heath St took me about 3 hours with many pic stops.

That afternoon a HydroTech sucker truck sucked muck from manholes in the middle of Heath St. Although sucker trucks had roamed & sucked Christchurch ever since the 04.09.10 quake, more than 3 years ago, it was the first time I'd seen a sucker truck sucking in Heath St. Sucker trucks systematically cleared all Christchurch drains.

5 images, Heath St:

03.12.13. Post quake sucker truck, Heath St

News this week: EQC wouldn't finish its scheduled, $100 000 under cap home repairs by December. Customer Services boss Emson made excuses & apologised. (EQC news, 3 December 2013). A public protest was led by Rev Coleman at Southern Response insurer, Addington, with boss Peter Rose saying he'd deal with specific protesters' claims soon. (The Press 02.12.13). As both EQC & Southern Response were Crown entities & accountable to CERA minister Brownlee, why did Brownlee do nothing about their delays & incompetence?

Anyone wandering or driving around Christchurch could see there were far too many houses still needing repairs more than 3 years post 04.09.10 quake. That was an indictment of EQC & insurers. Evidence of needed repairs could easily be seen - cracked walls, boarded windows & walls, plastic covered walls & roofs, boarded & braced garden walls, abandoned houses with overgrown gardens, junk mail in overflowing letter boxes. So few house rebuilds was further indictment of insurers' low ball offers to claimants.

On the other hand those lucky enough to have house repairs done, who'd opted out of EQC repairs, or settled with EQC or insurers for cash, had either repaired their houses themselves, or sold to cash up. From the CBD to Fendalton & Burnside, there were many real estate boards touting FOR SALE or AUCTION bargains in post quake Christchurch. The boards & brochures made interesting reading about TC2 land, nearby schools, EQC repairs done, or not, as is where is, geotech reports, EQC reports, LIM reports...

BUYER BEWARE. If I had the money to buy a house, I wouldn't buy any pre quakes house, repaired or not & would only consider a new post quakes house built on TC1 or TC2 land. House auctions looked like real estate agents' rats' nests, whereby quake damaged houses could be sold with little control over repairs being done, or not. There was nothing stopping owners of quake damaged housing doing cosmetic repairs - a lick of paint here, a bit of asphalting there - pocketing EQC's or insurers' cash payouts & flogging their damaged properties without full repairs.

There was never a dull moment in post quake Christchurch regarding repairs & so-called rebuilds. On Clyde Rd, I'd recently seen a raised, double storey house railed across the garden from its old, quake damaged foundation, to a new concrete slab foundation, next to a new post quake garage. Rebuild post quake style. BUYER BEWARE.

4 images, Clyde Rd:

03.12.13. Post quake new garage & house moved forward on rails, onto new concrete foundation, Clyde Rd

*Wandered London St, Madras St, Forfar St, Westminster St, Severn St, Innes Rd, Heaton St, Heath St, Clyde Rd.


Sept 2015: The Press reported that many quake damaged houses had shoddy repairs, particularly jack & pack foundation repairs (MBIE report) controlled by EQC. CERA minister Brownlee blamed "Cowboy" contractors, who must repair their shoddy repairs. A lawyer touted a petition for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into EQC's / Fletcher's shoddy repairs. CERA minister Brownlee once again went into delay, deny, defend mode. Meanwhile 5 years post 04.09.10 quake, many home owners still waited for incompetent EQC to decide whether their home repairs were under cap, or over cap. Crown insurer, Southern Response then blamed incompetent EQC for delays in over cap decisions. What a farce. If NZ National govt's MBIE & Crown insurer, Southern Response were complaining about inept EQC, minister Brownlee should've done something about EQC's incompetence years ago.

It's not that CERA minister Brownlee was unaware of inept EQC. Media had reported for years about EQC's mishandling of quake damaged, housing assessments. Three years ago, 08.08.12, I'd attended a protest at EQC's Christchurch office, Princess St, where EQC's boss Simpson & EQC's customer services boss Emson (recently resigned) fielded questions from protesters. Rev Coleman had led the protest. Former mayor Moore, former Labour MP & current mayor Dalziel, current councillor Livingstone & former councillor Carter were there. As Brownlee did nothing about EQC's incompetence, he too was incompetent.

CERA minister Brownlee oversaw a systematic shafting of 1000s of Canterbury home owners, due to EQC's under assessments, shoddy repairs & risibly slow decisions regarding $100 000 under cap & over cap housing. There'd already been EQC Truths blogger, a former employee at EQC's Wellington office, who whistle-blew leaked EQC documents & subsequent silencing court action by EQC & the Solicitor General. EQC Truths whistle-blower fled overseas & silenced his EQC Truths blog.

Where was the Royal Commission of Inquiry into EQC's incompetence?

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Hundreds join insurance protest (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Death or EQC which is worse? (The Press / Stuff Co).

See More homes under the hammer (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Christchurch anchor projects plagued by land contamination (The Press / Stuff Co).

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