Land confiscations in Christchurch by CCDU

Locked out of undamaged factory for 569 days….

Well it has been an interesting few weeks.  We still have no idea of the fate of our building. That is in the hands of the CCDU and remains a mystery to most of the building owners in the city. That is “democracy” National government style for you! The idea appears to be to flog off the CBD land to overseas buyers.  I have just been informed by one of my fellow building owners that the locks in his building have been changed so that he can not gain access,  bit weird really, there is no sale and purchase agreement in place.  National appears to be hell bend on selling our land and buildings, but they are shutting out the local developers and owners.  Sounds like a re run of the Crafar Farms debacle.

CCDU is demanding that the building owners come up with redevelopment plans for areas, but they appear to be ignoring the fact that the whole of the city is deserted and at the rate they are going will be for years. Not only are the costs of building going up by the second, there is no possibility that the tenants will be able to afford the rents.  They have not thought through what they are doing and they have no property development experience. No surprises here I am afraid.

CHCH CBD  for sale,  Locals Not wanted.

cbd for sale, New Zealanders do not apply

I have popped a photo of the progress of our repairs.  Our wall/frontage is starting to finally shows signs of progress. At least the building is now close to being weather tight. We have the window back in, minus some glass and it is looking good. We now have all our machinery operational, the machinery engineers have been busy with leveling the machinery and repairs on 2 of them, both needed replacement parts. We still have some minor machinery repairs to be finished.- (although we are not allowed to use them or occupy the building.)

Repaired frontage

Inside upstairs frontage is just about closed in.

What I do know is that in my discussions with various Engineers/building owners around the city is that CERA is still hell-bent on getting rid of any building that is made of brick.

I have just read an article in the “Engineering Insight”  Magazine. September/October 2012, volume 13/5,  regarding Heritage Buildings. ( I get to read some scintillating stuff, bed time reading this is not.)  This article is written by Juliet Palmer.  In this fascinating article, which discusses the loss of Heritage buildings in Christchurch and touches on the implications for New Zealand, there are a number of comments that were pertinent.  I am trying to find a link to this magazine I will load it as soon as I do.

  • “Few Engineers have experience with accessing and strengthening URM’s” (Unreinforced masonry)  Mr Win Clark, Executive Officer of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering.
  • “It’s possible insurers or the public in the future, might argue that the engineers had been collaborators in demolishing buildings that did not justify complete demolition”. Mr Adam Thornton, Structural Engineer.
  • “The reality is most structural engineers in New Zealand work with new Buildings.” Mr Win Clark, Executive Officer of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering.
  • “The necessary competence to form judgements about URM’s takes time to acquire. However, in many instances inexperienced engineers are being pressured to make urgent decisions about URM’s.” Mr Win Clark, Executive Officer of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering.
  • “Even badly damaged or unstable buildings can be secured and protected until further work can be undertaken”. Mr Win Clark, Executive Officer of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering.

Nice to see that my views many months ago are now being echoed by others.  See We were not mad after all!

What is also becoming apparent is that building and property owners inside the green frame are bolting to properties outside the frame as fast as they can. It is patently obvious to the land owners that the frame is a barrier.  What is happening is that the building owners are frantically buying up land/properties in the Moorhouse Avenue area, this looks like it is going to be a major retail hub.  The property owners that I have been talking to indicate to me that the rental prices in this area will be the same as in the CBD. So why would you go to the central city.  It is going to be dead.

The other comments I have heard are:

  • CCDU already realise that they have messed up this plan with the frame.
  • Some of the main anchor projects are not positioned correctly.
  • CCDU is run by a bunch of academics with no urban design experience.
  • There is conflicting information coming from CCDU/CERA to the property owners.

There have been a number of comments made by the ex major Garry Moore, that have resonated within the business community. Nice one Garry!  I notice he has also had a few remarks to make about the lack of elections for ECAN until 2016.   links below.  It has been heartening to see some of the comments being made.

It was interesting to note Roger Sutton’s defensive remarks.  Roger you need to talk to the building owners a bit more.
Ho humm, this week I have had:  one meeting with an insurance expert, 1 meeting with High Street owners,  2 lawyers meetings and the most fun all week was one clandestine meeting with building owners .


8 thoughts on “Land confiscations in Christchurch by CCDU

    • Hi Tony, yes that is the depressing bit! Hope your battle with the Mitre is progressing well. The lack of forward movement is one of the most frustrating aspects of this debacle. regards Nicky

      • Got some fantastic news today. My home has been finally zoned red after waiting more than 2 yrs after the 1st Quake. Aparently this is a voluntary Government offer to buy me out at 2007 valuations. Most people in this position treat this as a compulsory acquistion since they can get insurance, EQ repairs and may loose services. I have 2 dwellings on my home site:: 1 destroyed 1 undamaged. I will be staying as this is the best financial outcome and I dont want insurance or need repairs.

      • Hi Tony, one would wonder why it has taken 2 years to get to this stage. I assume that they will cut off your power and water? Should be easy to solve with some solar panels and a generator. Do you think that they will arrest you? Something to look forward to ha ha! regards Nicky

      • Last year the City Council employed a private detective “Verdi van Beck” He was lucky my security systems were working well.
        Being arrested could be OK. Real accommodation with Free power water food. I am Just back from my 1st overseas hoiday in 2 yrs. Spent overnite in Sydney only to return to this hell hole.

      • Hi, I can see the attraction of real accommodation, but there is no way they want people like us in front of the courts. It is likely that the Judges may think that our actions are correct and proper. But I do agree living in a slum is rather depressing. Lucky you, getting to Sydney, must ask why you came back! At the moment a one way trip is looking good. regards Nicky

  1. Hi Bruce, yes it worries me, the young people have totally disengaged with the city. They do not care what happens to the cbd or the heritage fabric that has been destroyed. This shake up with the schools happening at the moment is more about the massive population loss than any thing else, although saying that the National government is also desperate to save money at the moment. We are fast becoming a city of old people trapped by family ties. good luck with your battle. Keep us posted.

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