Ode to Christchurch

Locked out of undamaged factory for 792 days

Do we still own our building????   who knows???? 265 days

Progress on the building is completely stalled as we wait for an Engineering Evaluation from our seriously overworked Engineer. Very frustrating.

I apologise for the multiple links in this blog, it was a busy news week!

There have been a number of articles referring to the High Street area, (as we are next on the acquisition list.)  By the way the Globe/Billens building is still lying in the street following the pre-Christmas fire. Is it not fascinating that we can be bullied in 10 days to act and demolish/fix/make safe our buildings under a section 38 and 39 but if you are ” powerful enough” you can leave your building lying in the street and hold up progress completely”.

And so the demolitions continue:  “The Lichfield, High St and Poplar Lane area was the most creative part of town before the earthquakes . . . now they want to put an IT hub [innovation precinct] there. It could be restored and that grungy, edgy feel that it had should not be lost.”

Dean Marshall said Christchurch would become a “very dull city” if rebuild officials did not “see the bigger picture”. “I just don’t understand what is going on in this city. It’s like they don’t want property developers to help with the rebuild and it’s frustrating.” Link here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/8549884/Sammys-Jazz-Bar-building-under-threat

So they have not finished with us yet!

“Last month the Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation announced a request for proposals from firms interested in moving to the innovation precinct – an area covering about 35,000 square metres bounded by Lichfield, Manchester, St Asaph, High, Tuam and Madras streets. A ministry spokesman yesterday said 16 proposals had been submitted in response and a decision was expected in June.

He said the Government would like to see Christchurch’s Enterprise Precinct and Innovation Campus model replicated.  The precinct would be funded by the private sector and the majority of tenants would be private companies, he said.

Construction would hopefully start before the end of the year. Some existing buildings in the area would remain, he said.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority recently issued acquisition notices for 69 properties on Tuam, High, and Lichfield streets and Poplar Lane and a spokesman said there was more to come but no final numbers were available.”http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/8570382/Owners-draw-up-plans-for-inner-city-buildings

I wait with trepidation for my letter in the mail box!

On the same subject I see that the Epic Centre was bemoaning its in-ability to find cheap land in our precinct that they could purchase for their Innovation Centre. This puzzles me some what as these Innovation Centre clients were never able to afford the paltry rentals in this area pre-earthquake and now with the artificially created land shortage they are surprised by the lack of cheap land.  Land is only cheap if you force land owners to sell it at below market value.  Whoops I forgot that’s what the CCDU is doing! silly me! Link Here:  http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/8570390/Land-costs-put-Epics-future-in-doubt

On a happier note:

What an excellent summary of the issues in Christchurch. Well written, unlike my ranting and raving (Well, he is a lecturer and I am only a crazy paper pusher) by Dr Eric Crampton a senior lecturer in economics at the University of Canterbury. He blogs at Offsetting Behaviour. 

What I liked about his article in the NBR was that he brought together all the issues that are causing distress and discontent and compressed it into one concise article. http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/oh-christchurch-ck-138972

I did rather like his comment that in March 2011 the business people were still locked out of their buildings but if your Wedding Dress was locked up some policeman was likely to let you through. On this subject this link here tells me that this situation is still occurring in the city. This business owner has not had access to their equipment after  2 + years.  My guess would be that the building owner is refusing to pay for an Engineer (cost approximately $1000) to accompany them and allow them access. And I know of at least one other business operator in our block that is in the same situation.  This is a patently absurd situation. It reflects the total lack of common sense that has prevailed throughout this sorry saga. http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/city-centre/8576132/New-Regent-St-tenant-protests-at-reopening

In my search to analyse the deteriorating mental health of many of us in the city I came across this interview.  One of the issues that has puzzled me is the total lack of counselling help available to the cities residents.  This is a part of an interview with an Australian Clinical Psychologist Dr Rob Gordon an expert in disaster trauma. Apparently year 3 is the worst! Drat I did not think it could get worse…. Unfortunately I missed the opportunity to go and hear him speak. http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/more-stress-come-quake-victims-video-5366909

I was also sent this link by a fellow building owner to a blog by “Woza Wanderer.”  He posts some excellent pictures.  He talks about the rebuild by the private sector in the suburbs.  “The private sector was doing a better rebuild in the suburbs than CERA’s nothing in the CBD.”  Due to the Road blocks being provided by CERA,  well worth a look! Love his pix! http://wozawanderer.blogspot.co.nz/2013/01/2013-spotty-christchurch-rebuild.html

Oh well I had better go and do some real work to pay for my insurance for my house.  I have just finished propping up the roof, this is just in case we have another shake and the wall/corner blows out. Southern Response where the hell are you???  Gosh I have learnt some useful skills. My apologies to any scaffolders out there, I am sure it is not as professional as it could be, but I had limited resources to work with. Ho Humm another interesting day in Christchurch.IMGP4049

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2 thoughts on “Ode to Christchurch

  1. Obviously a Heritage Precinct just isn’t on the agenda. No, it’s Gucci Handbags, offices for Suits and a string of ritzy booze establishments all round. That’s what you get when you put in charge money men completely devoid of taste and culture. Thanks Warren.

    • Hi Warren, I am very afraid that you may be correct. Our fate is looking increasingly fragile. There does seem to be a point coming where we should just give up. You are right about the “ritzy booze establishments” also I am puzzled by the number of cafes that the city appears to need! ah well we will see. I believe that the July is the time for the ” Final report and Spatial framework”. dont you just love the wording.! thanks Nicky

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