High Street a NATIONAL Disgrace…..The forgotten precinct….

  • Locked out of undamaged factory for 1022 days – (since Feb 2011)
  • Do we still own our building????    Now 495 days since designated “South frame, Innovation Precinct” – only 1332 days to go before we get told if we are going to be compulsorily acquired by CCDU.
  • Innovation precinct Plan Due:  September,  October,  November 2013 December????  Rumour has it not till march NEXT YEAR!!!!!

Still waiting……

Gerry’s disappointed with the lack of progress in The Innovation Precinct…… The forgotten precinct.

ha ha, he should try being a building owner down there. One who has nearly finished repairs and is still in limbo!

His report card indicates: “he should try harder, Gerry has not understood the importance of this issue, and could do much better. Perhaps more understanding of the importance of Heritage precincts could be learnt by spending more time talking to his teachers and reading his history books.  A trip to Melbourne or Europe is desperately needed….. 1/10

We were interviewed by CTV the other day, attached is the link.  As usual with these type of interviews you get a few sound bites…..   but one does ones best! Not a situation I enjoy. Link Here: http://vimeo.com/81238212

Well that is funny!   Mr Brownlee is  “extremely disappointed” that the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment  (MBIE) who are responsible for the Innovation Precinct Plan,  “don’t seem to be able to make much progress” says Mr Brownlee, on this he is correct and we are in agreement for the first time in 3 years.  We have had one conversation that I can recall with MBIE and it was “unhelpful”. (Less said about that meeting the better)

He had a meeting with some building owners in the area 2 years ago?????? I wonder who that was????  (I have my suspicions…)

We seem to be unable to get it through their thick heads, (for the last three years) that it is repairable and that the “highest and best use for the land and buildings is as a repaired Heritage Precinct.”   Contrary to the stated intent of the Cer Act “to assist recovery”, CERA/CCDU/MBIE are hindering recovery, their lack of progress, Inability to tell us exactly what an Innovation Precinct is and inability to sort out the building owner issues is legendary.

I have been regularly talking to the tourists who are walking up and down our block and they just shake their heads in disbelief at the neglect and wanton destruction that has been under taken by the National Government in this area. ( We will not even discuss the Cathedral issue, that defies belief and there is no doubt that future generations will shake their heads in amazement).  The tourists I talk to fail to comprehend why the “Powers that be”  can not see the importance of this Heritage block.  In fact it has been embarrassing to have to constantly explain what is happening here. Because I have no rational explanation.

High Street, a NATIONAL Disgrace

Mr Brownlee is incorrect to say that “Absolutely no action whatsoever has occurred in the innovation precinct”.  In our block, David Collins has begun repairs, going to 100%NBS, we are basically repaired barring some finishing and tidying up.   And a further 5 units had been strengthened prior to September 2010 earthquakes.  The Billens building was due for repairs prior to the arson in Dec 2012.
The block may look in poor shape, but it is repairable, at a cheaper price than pulling down and rebuilding. Remember also that much of the damage at the back of the buildings was done by civil defence “taking a digger for a walk!

Frontage with the ply removed just for CTV, now back on!

Frontage with the ply removed just for CTV, now back on!

I also note that Mr Brownlee’s fear of brick buildings is emotive and not based on the facts.  He knows the figures just like I do.
– Footnote:  We are reluctant to remove the ply from the frontage of our building, which would show considerable progress has been made. There is a complete lack of security in the street.  Not assisted by the so-called “security fencing”.  They have locked security out with the fencing.  CERA takes no responsibility for security. I note that CERA have not done what they promised to do and open the walkway along High Street.  In fact there is no real reason why the street could not be opened to one way traffic. This would improve security immensely.

I would also note that the CCDU owns 6 units (that I know of, in our block) we note that they have NOT begun repairs yet.  We have no idea what their plan is.  We would be interested to know?  Could some one ask them???  We also would like to know why they have not dealt with the problem of recalcitrant building owners? (Today we “made safe”  our neighbours parapet, as no one would assist us to force the land owner, Jon Webb (BBS Australia LTD) to undertake repairs. This repair was done at our cost, in an attempt to mitigate further damage.)

Also until some certainty is given re the status of the block, very few owners or purchasers will volunteer to take the risk of doing repairs. ie we have a 5 year designation hanging over our heads. Then we may be confiscated and demolished by the CCDU.  A point Anna Crighton made very clearly in this interview.

New Regent Street has had similar problems with land owners as High Street.  For some reason Cera has been willing to help resolve the deadlock.  This has not occurred in our case.


It is clear that the New Regent Street Heritage Precinct is in trouble, as the new shops struggle to pay high rents, have low foot traffic and are isolated by road works and the surrounding desert!.  There is really no reason to go to that side of the city.  Hopefully Groovy Glasses moving down there will help. She is a niche destination.  The building owners down there need to change the mix of tenant.  They need to be destination tenants not general ones like bars and cafes. It is going to be some time before the right mix is reached. More thought needs to be given to this issue.  ( Rumour has it that so far 8 businesses have pulled out of this street. They need to think a bit more strategically.)

ho hummm….. Maybe Gerry should come and talk to David Collins and I. We will try to get him to see the importance of The High St Heritage precinct. Until he understands, we are fighting an uphill battle. The ball is in your court Mr Brownlee….. you hold all the cards, but you have not come to the correct conclusions.


6 thoughts on “High Street a NATIONAL Disgrace…..The forgotten precinct….

  1. Mmm So will Gerry be talking to Steven Joyce (minister of MoBIE) and Chris Findlayson (Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage) to sort this all out? Sadly I have my doubts but I wish you and Joe all the best! Keep battling these bastards!

    • Hi Alex, Like you I suspect that there will be no help forthcoming. Chris Findlayson has been totally silent. How he has managed this for 3 years as the Minister of heritage defies belief. He should be fired!
      I am starting to think that our new Mayor may be slowly cranking up the pressure on gerry, but that may be wishful thinking. Thanks for putting up with our ranting! We have not given up yet but its tempting at times. regards Nicky

      • Well it seems easy for Chris Findlayson to do Gerry’s bidding because all he has to do is do nothing which he seems to do very well! If you haven’t seen this, this is well worth a watch http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a/2013-12-01-video-5737158 Mark Solomon’s comments about the proposed stadium are very interesting, considering that he said them right in front of the tzar in cheif himself at 25:25 mins onwards (he describes the proposed stadium as nonsense)

      • Hi Alex, watching that Q&A clip was a sure fire way to get my blood pressure up. It was good to see Sir Mark say so bluntly that the stadium project was nonsense. It is a white elephant as he so rightly observed. Ms Dalziel has suggested also that the cost sharing document that was signed by the previous council is not to the cities advantage. I suspect from the smirk on Gerry’s face that it is a nasty document. The previous council was obviously incapable of dealing with the govt. and my guess is that we have been shafted. The sooner she releases this document the better. I think it will show the governments true colours.
        I will link it through to the blog. many thanks Nicky

    • Hi BrucetheMoose, you are right. What I can not figure out is why they can’t see what has happened and the reasons for it. I am afraid they must be thick!
      Simple logic in a nut shell:
      Red zoned CBD area = Desert
      Outside Red zone area = rebuilding and thriving.
      therefore locking up red zone was a mistake.
      therefore need to change plan….
      Dur…. not that hard to figure out eh!
      cheers Nicky

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