How not to repair a Heritage Building in the Christchurch CBD…Part 140.



Acknowledgement after 5 weeks and 2 days that CERA has received the DEE. (Detailed Engineering Evaluation)  They are “actively reviewing it.”   A Tui moment is required I am afraid,  “yeah right!”  So now if I understand this email correctly they have a problem with my neighbours.  What a surprise.

(Peeps in the know, will be pleased to hear that we are now getting the “NO Name emails, whoa aren’t we scary”)  copy below.

Attention: Catharina Arts.
Dear Catharina,
CERA received your DEE on 26 January 2014, and we have been actively reviewing it since that time. CERA is also reviewing- as we do with all buildings impacted by section 45 restrictions- the adjacent buildings that are also restricted to determine the potential impact they may have on surrounding area, and this is taking time due to incomplete information and information that CERA has not received. This aspect of the review was communicated in part in the email sent to building owners in December- below.
CERA will be in contact in due course once our engineers have reviewed all information at hand.
The Operations Team
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority
Private Bag 4999, Christchurch 8140
—– Original Message —–
From: demolitionenquiries (CERA)
Sent: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 3:46 PM
Subject: 129-181 High Street- Section 45 Restricted Access Revision
Dear High Street Owners,
CERA engineers have reviewed all engineering information currently available to us and having considered their recommendation, the Chief Executive has revised the existing restrictions on your properties under section 45 of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011.  This is the addition of fall hazard zones and the restricted access area is shown on the attached marked-up aerial photograph. Access to the areas marked in yellow is restricted for emergency purposes, damage assessment or making safe. The area marked in red is a prohibited area.
If you are making safe your building or assessing damage in the yellow area, this revised restriction will not interfere with that. For the red area, entry may be possible for the purposes of salvage, demolition, or repair if specific authority is obtained from the Chief Executive of CERA.
As per previous correspondence, public space is now under the Christchurch City Council’s management. While CERA liaise with the CCC and their contractors on fencing issues around the restricted areas in the CBD, normal construction site management procedures will apply, i.e. you will need to deal with the CCC regarding pavement and road encroachments. In addition to this, and also previously communicated, it is the current building owner or their representative’s responsibility to ensure that their building and property is adequately secured.
As per current requirements, the restriction may be removed from your building if CERA receives a full structural assessment of the building and it shows there are no serious structural deficiencies. Any removal would also be dependent on the status of neighbouring buildings and hazards.
Please note, current restricted area as of today does not necessarily represent current fencing placement as per the attached map and may change in the future. (i.e. there may be additional area fenced off).
The plot thickens!

6.3.14 – 4.30pm:

A phone call from CERA.

Your DEE has been accepted, but …. because of your neighbours we will not lift the section 45 ( Emergency access only and make safe work allowed.)

What a waste of time all that work has been.

I see absolutely no point in proceeding with the work, or attempting to open if they can not get their shit together and sort out the neighbours, they have had 3 years, how much longer do David Collins and I have to tolerate this situation?

One would wonder why any building owner in the city bothers to repair their building when this is likely to be the end result.

I am now considering re-plying the frontage. It will probably be for the next 3 years as this is how long it took for us to get to this point and the neighbours have not even “made safe” yet and CERA appears to have no control or influence over them.
(I might point out that Spink’s building can not fall anywhere, and that Jon Webb’s (BBS Australia Ltd) parapet has been tied back at our expense.)

This is very dis-heartening when one considers that CERA brief is to “aid recovery”.  I can certainly say that in our case we have been abandoned.

We thought briefly that communication was improving  but that was an illusion.

On a slightly different subject:

Rumours abound about the release of the Innovation Precinct Plans and the beginning of meetings with the land owners next week.  I have requested a draft of the plan prior to the meeting so that I can give it due consideration.  I do not plan to be ambushed at this meeting as we were last time. This has been promised but has not appeared yet.  ( I have received 3 phone calls about my request and no plan.)

I have already heard from some peeps in the know, that some of the larger building owners have already objected and that the end plan has already been modified, to our detriment of course.

It makes one wonder why a small building owner would actually bother to go to these meetings when we already know that the plan they are about to put in front of us appears to have been superseded by another variation.

Ho humm, another very bad day in Christchurch.

At least the rain has stopped which proves that CERA has no control over it!

ps I still do not have a phone line or decent internet connection! Courtesy of Vodafone, though they did send me a $600 invoice for said phone line.


2 thoughts on “How not to repair a Heritage Building in the Christchurch CBD…Part 140.

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