How not to Repair a Heritage Building in The Christchurch CBD…

So whats new in High Street?  Update……

  • Sanity has prevailed and peace has broken out between  Gough/Carter/Issacs/Bridges et al and The Peebles group. This was in reality a stoush about tenants.     Links here:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/83924370/christchurch-developers-drop-court-action-over-mckenzie-and-willis-development
    and here:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/83944438/editorial-settling-of-high-st-project-stoush-a-positive-move-for-central-christchurch
  • The road works occurring on our side of the city are being done in a hap-hazard manner.  There appears to be no attempt being made to stagger the repairs.  At the moment ALL of the south side of the CBD is a shambles.  For some reason known only to themselves, the CCC has allowed every street to be simultaneously dug up.  It creates ongoing disruption that never seems to end  and much of it could have been staggered over a longer period of time.
    This is a hopeless situation for any retailer trying to trade.  It is causing considerable frustration.  We could not access our building at all a few days ago, it was a real pain as I had heaps of parcels to cart back and forth.  Oh well.  SNAFU…..
  • I note that in Madras St near the Ng building , the street is still cordoned off by road cones.  Madras St is a major thoroughfare North.  CERA began to demolish a building there in 2011? and found out much to their surprise that it had a party-wall….   dur…..No attempt appears to have been made to resolve the issue.  So the road cones have remained in place for 6 YEARS . Surely we can do better than this.
  • We are still battling with our Amended Building Consent, the Engineer is holding it up, he is slow and over worked. Our Resource Consent Application has been approved, subject to some conditions –  ( that’s $2500 please…..)  and now  we have an Application for Emergency Authority (Historic Places Act) Order 2011, which was approved a few days ago, ye ha!  ( all for the 20sqm replacement/rebuild of a toilet block).  This last application is just in case we find heritage treasures under our old toilet block.

“This emergency authority has been created to carry out earthworks near archaeological sites to redevelop sites affected by the Canterbury earthquake and its aftershocks. The aim of creating an emergency authority is to streamline and simplify the authority process to undertake such work in accordance with the purposes of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011.”  It comes with a couple of pages of conditions which I won’t bore you with.  Heaven help you if you find anything.  It will cost a fortune and hold you up for weeks. The most likely find is some old crockery and a few roof tiles.

 

  • There was an excellent comment by Johnny Moore last week: ““God help you if you’re a small business owner or somebody who wants to invest and live in the city – this isn’t the rebuild for you. If the Government doesn’t scuttle your plans you can be sure the City Council will, because at the moment all of the support goes to the big players and the little guys who create the complexity that makes great cities are being shut down and eradicated by overzealous authorities one lot at a time”. Link here:http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/84288413/johnny-moore-reports-of-christchurchs-previous-death-greatly-exaggerated

    Odd spot:   We had a Dutch cousin in Amsterdam ask the other day about how we were getting on.  We found ourselves “fudging the truth”.  This is not uncommon for those of us in Christchurch facing ongoing issues.

    How can I tell you that I still do not have a house after 6 years?
    How can I tell you that we are going to close our business down after 50 plus years?
    How can I tell you that we are all unemployed?
    How can I tell you that our building in High Street is still not finished?
    How can I explain about the many cases of PTSD in the city?

    I will stop now before your eyes glaze over, we do not blame you for not understanding.  Because we know that is what is happening.  As well-meaning as you are,  you do not really want to know about our problems, so we will say: that “we are making slow progress” we will smile and leave it at that. Thanks for asking.

    I note that straight after I wrote this I saw a similar comment by Garry Moore.

    Link Here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11719369      “Travels and what people ask:
     
    I have been travelling a bit lately undertaking a project for Community Housing Aotearoa. We are talking to all of the political parties and analysing their policies on housing. It’s a fascinating exercise and I will write about this sometime in the future. However what I want to talk about is how people in the North Island, quite sincerely, often ask me how we are getting on now that the earthquakes have stopped. They ask what’s it like now that the city is rebuilt?
     
    It’s hard to answer without sounding a moaner. I mumble that it’s slowly coming right. Most people can’t believe that our family still lives in a house which our insurance company is fighting us over. They think it’s all sorted out. I smile nicely and say no it’s not, for us, and many thousands of other people”.

    sad and true….

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