How not to repair a Heritage Building in Christchurch…

I notice that my infamy has spread beyond New Zealand.  A fellow building owner has spotted an article in The Wall Street Journal.

“CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand—A sign on a fence meant to keep intruders out of a badly damaged row of historic shops on Christchurch’s high street reads “handyman’s dream. Good indoor-outdoor flow.”

They are referring to this signage……

For sale- 7 units, "Handymans dream". Indoor/outdoor FLOW... complete with rats, rubbish and no progress. PHONE THE GOVERNMENT.

For sale- 7 units, “Handymans dream”. Indoor/outdoor FLOW… complete with rats, rubbish and no progress.

The brick masonry facade of this once-vibrant shopping strip, filled with cafes and art galleries, is held up by steel support structures. Part of the brickwork has collapsed and hangs open to the street. Many other nearby buildings have been reduced to rubble. Pile drivers reverberate like cannon shots in the derelict heart of New Zealand’s second- largest city, pounding new foundations deep into the earth.
More than four years after a 6.3-magnitude quake struck Christchurch, killing 185 people including scores of foreign students, many residents wonder how long it’ll take to recover. For some, the initial stoicism has given way to despair”.

It makes depressing reading.

Incidentally, there are a number of issues starting to show up in the city.

  • The tourists are not coming.  I have been told that the international tourists are being advised to by-pass the city. I have not seen the figures yet but most tourists are bolting as soon as they get here.  I cannot blame them either.
  • There are increasing closures of small businesses.  As we all reach the 5 year mark, most of us have decided that it’s not worth the effort.  There are no support structures in place to advise or assist and the “powers that be” have abandoned the CBD.  Again the figures are hard to find and look shonky when you do find them!
  • Also an excellent article by John McCrone in the CHCH Press.  Cam Preston, an accountant has done some much-needed number crunching on the rebuild figures.  Specifically talking about the so-called “Government contribution to the rebuild. “They show considerable  “accounting games being played”.  Why are we not surprised? Link here:

PS: CCC Building consents are still causing us frustration.  They are still arguing about How we repaired a small section of a 105 year old wall.   What is really annoying me is that it took 1 phone call and an email, to be told after a 3 week wait, that no, our email response was not lost, they just did not bother to inform us that they did not like the answer.

Is 2 years too long to wait for building consent resolution???

ho humm, another day in hell…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s