How not to repair a building in the Red Zone – Part Two

Here’s some background information to our situation:

Your neighbour’s building is red stickered as a result of the September quake, damaged again in December, and then again in February – in a big way. You then spend the next four months trying to have that building frontage demolished to save your own. You try the building owner with no success since he has no money and wasn’t insured; you then try Historic Places who suggest that you apply for a grant to demolish it (this is your neighbour’s building remember) for which the paperwork is horrific – don’t go there; you try your own insurance (IAG – no, niet, nada); then, to the tune of $1,000 you try your lawyer.

Too late, June 13 happens meaning that 25% of your joint frontage and party wall goes down. Hello big hole to the outside world mentioned in the previous post.

So in desperation you try CERA.

Eight weeks later you have the neighbour’s frontage down, as well as part of yours. This was done by a building company, brick by brick. Shame they left the common I-beam hanging in the wind…the one common to 15 frontages, but – oh well! It was painful to watch the incompetence of this operator, as well as embarrassing – they were CERA accredited – two of us did more work in six hours than his five men did in a week.

Then you think you can go in and repair your building.

Wait, what? Oh, silly you – you who have a plan, an Engineer, bricklayers, builders and steel fabrication workers… and you who has the rest of your building already earthquake strengthened – just in case you think it’s a danger…so you might think all is well BUT – you still don’t have access to your building!

Ok, oh well, let’s apply for access then. So get the Engineer back to do another assessment, do a timeline, an access plan, a site safety plan, get everyone’s name on the plan, apply for passes…

But wait, oh no! There’s too many names on that access plan, says CERA, please reduce it. Ok, you do that and you are granted access for some of your workers. But, wait – you still can’t work because in the meantime CERA have phoned because you are going to be given a Section 38 Partial Demolition Order. And so will all the building owners in the block… and we have 10 days to respond.

Hang on!! I’m still waiting for access to my building…


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