Christchurch stagnates….And so another year passes…..

Locked out of undamaged factory for 668 days….

Do we own our building…..142 days who knows…?

The business community is swirling with rumours about the CCDU. Unfortunately I can not tell you most of them as I will end up in court. But lets just say that unreasonable pressure is being exerted upon building owners to sell at silly prices.

One Building owner was told in writing that:    “the Crown has only invited your client to sell their land.” – this was 2 days before a compulsory acquisition notice was received.   What part of negotiate did I miss?   How weird is that!  Willing seller willing buyer? I think not.

Also a remark by a building owner that “They are desperately trying to prove that the building is “uneconomic to repair”, because that will let them avoid any payouts including to tenant, other than bare land LESS demolition costs
over my dead body
Oddly, enough, their figures that support this claim are unavailable”

Now that is One very angry Building owner!

Interesting that the CCDU does not table the valuations they have had done on the buildings that they are trying to acquire.  One suspects that they have not done any proper valuations at all.

Interestingly also is that the CCDU is only carrying on from where CERA left off. (Mind you the staff is the same). “Pressure” from Cera/CCDU is not new, this situation began 2 years ago with the section 38’s and 39’s “make safe and  property demolition orders” which were thrust upon building owners  who were given 10 days to come up with complicated detailed engineering reports and plans.   They have obviously refined their methods to force recalcitrant building owners into line.

“Remember that this is for the greater good of the city.”  is the catch phrase that is constantly being repeated – ad  nauseam.  This is no comfort to those of us being screwed by the Government as they offer us peanuts for our sites and buildings.

The sad issue is that there are major flaws in the new CCDU draft city plan,  you have heard me rant on before about the retention of the one way traffic systems,  a  failed 1960’s traffic solution, let alone the silly position of the stadium, the size of the central city and the “contraceptive properties” of the green frame in locking the east from the west.  It is like the Berlin wall.  I guess they are too young to remember.

It has been obvious for some time that The CCC is powerless to help the Building Owners, as are any of the Business/Building owner groups. Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First have been totally ineffectual… They agreed not to politicize the earthquakes and in doing so have not served their electorates or the Christchurch people well.

It is time these agreements were re assessed.  This is shameful treatment of large sections of the community, namely those on the East side of the city and the small building owners.

To his credit: Cr Peter Beck said the way heritage buildings were being pulled down in Christchurch, at the stroke of Cera’s pen, left him feeling impotent.
”It’s another example of the way in which the local community, through the council, is being ignored. The view of the people in this city is not being listened to.”

He said a ”true partnership” was needed between Cera and the council but it did not exist: ”It is a disgrace.”  (Lois Cairn article, link below)

He is not wrong.  The way the Building Owners have been treated in Christchurch is a source of deep shame.

A pity that there seem to be so few investigative journalists who are taking an interest in this subject. Again a code of silence has been maintained by the Press.

Re :The issues of acquisition and compensation as the CCDU starts to do a Christmas ramp up of pressure on the building owners.

“Property developer Antony Gough became the first landowner to settle with the Crown when he signed over his Poplar Apartments site on Madras St for about half its registered valuation.
Cutting his losses early would save money over time, he said. “If I let it go through to compulsory acquisition, they’ll take my land, I’ll continue paying rates, we’ll argue the toss for two or three years, spend a lot of money on legal fees and still get the lower price,” Gough said.”     Okay…..  Sounds reasonable….. but…..Than he made a silly comment about accepting half of GV and being happy about it.  yeah right , you did not tell the full story here Mr Gough. The Truth will out…..

Fascinating that the CBD  property owners get “market value”,- after being locked up for 2 years, with no access, power, etc  As I have said before: The red zone fences have been very handy.  They have kept values “down”. And also stopped sales in their tracks, which is exactly what the CCDU wanted.

Dishonest, fraudulent, theft, extortion…..

It has been really hard to get enthusiastic about 2012.

A short summary of the year reads like a list from hell…

  • Insurance troubles..
  • Shortage of labour hassles-Certified Builder, bricklayer, Engineer, roofer, steel workers and the list goes on.  In total the hours worked on our building by all the contractors would total less than 1000 ( and most of these have been done by the bricklayer)
  • Unwillingness of labour to work in the red zone
  • unwillingness of Cera to force the neighbours to do repairs.
  • unwillingness of Cera to police our section of red zone, hence the arson the other night, and someone has again tried to force entry to our building, damaging one of our door locks.
  • Unwillingness of the CCDU to tell us once and for all if they are confiscating the building ….  and we have 5 years of that to look forward too.
  • Draft transport plan for city still includes one way streets, a failed 1960’s experiment. And traps our building between 2 race tracks.
  • CCDU plan for the CBD has artificially skewed the values of the land in the CBD. In favour of the large landowners in the city.  They are rubbing their hands in glee at getting rid of us small landowners.
  • Democracy is missing in Christchurch.  “Governments in New Zealand frequently think they know best, and hardly ever is their confidence justified. Absolute power in the end brings absolute disaster.”  Says Sir Geoffrey Palmer

To add to this my house is a mess.  AMI/Southern Response is a joke.  42 rebuilds this year???    at this rate I worked it out that it will take 200 years to rebuild the houses of those insured with Southern Response.  At The moment I am trying to opt out of their process.  They have not rung me back!!   surprise…..

There will be many of us changing insurance companies or refusing to insure at all when this is over.

We have renamed our building:

It was the Duncan’s Building,  than the Dungers Building.

Now know as “One Ton Camp.”

Captain Scott died 11 miles away from “One ton Camp” his resupply depot.

Like him we are slowly dying in full view of the end goal.

One Ton Camp

One Ton Camp

By the way, no shorts and tee shirts please in the red zone, you must be adequately covered.  What a bunch of National Nannies.
The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) has proposed “new minimum safety requirements” for red-zone workers, directing they wear “long pants, hard hats, long-sleeved tops, gloves, protective boots and eyewear”.

Look out everyone this is obviously new government policy that will filter through to the farming community and every painter, plumber and lawn mower in the country.  I believe it is now common practice among some companies, so this looks like it will become nation wide policy.

Have a happy and safe Christmas.  May 2013 be a damm sight better than 2012.


2 thoughts on “Christchurch stagnates….And so another year passes…..

  1. Wicked Post. I got some great news from EQC when I lodged Court proceedings for my Heritage building. They now confirm I have a valid claim after waiting 27 months. Up to now it was ” we neither confirm or Deny” Miracles do happen.

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