How not to repair a Heritage Bulding in the Christchurch CBD… Dirty 30’s again….

What is new in High Street.

  • The Watson’s frontage has been purchased by Shaun Stockman.  An Excellent outcome for the street as he is a very proactive landowner, who has a flare with heritage buildings.  (Although, as you know, I hate just keeping the facades).  I know that the Watson’s Building had been strengthened pre-earthquakes.  So the question should be asked as to why is only the facade still standing?  Did CERA have another of their rushes of blood to the head?  Any one know or remember, or was it another case of an overzealous demo contractor? I will try to find out. Link Here:
  • This is obviously still annoying me…. I see the “dirty 30 list” is rearing its ugly head again.  In the 6 months or so that the CCC has been pursuing the building owners on this list they have sorted out 3?  Really? ( I sorted one-off them for them, I might add.  So consider that 2.)  And you consider that a success? As a building owner still trapped in a street of “Dirty 30’s” I do not consider this a success.  In fact the words Dismal Failure spring to mind.  Link Here:   As you all know, I think that the legislation has let us down badly in this regard. The building owners in many cases have been negligent in their duties to the city.
  • We have now sold all of our plant.  The last of it will transfer in a few weeks to the new owner. We are pleased that we have sold the last of the gear to a local company.  We look forward to helping him get up and running and we hope he has as much fun with the “Cardmaker’s brand” as I have had in the last 20 years.  The factory is slowly emptying as we work our way through 50 years of stuff!  Jeepers we have found some treasures!
  • The demolition of the back of the Duncan’s buildings was supposed to happen a few weeks ago.  I do not know what the hold up has been.  There are multiple engineering issues with this demo.  I have some reservations about it.  One being how they will resolve the issue of the continuous facade and seismic gaps in the rebuild of the backs.  But what would I know.

    No Demo yet….

    Happy days… the sun is shining, the ground only shakes once in a while, I am in my new house, the garden is starting to look better and not working is really great…. May I cost the government a fortune in superannuation payments and health care…. I consider it revenge for the crappy treatment that they dished out to the small land owners in the city… but I would say that!!!


How not to repair a Heritage Building in the Christchurch CBD… St Asaph Street debacle..

What is New in High Street?

  • I see that Barry Watson has finally decided to put his frontage on the market for sale.  Personally I have serious reservations about the efficacy of “facadism”.  My experience is that the cost of repairing such facades is out of proportion to the return that one will get.  ie to get that facade tied back to a new building will cost approximately $1m?  Is it worth it? I also wonder what the cost to the surrounding area has been off leaving this building frontage derelict for 7 years.  A subject that the now EX building minister Nick Smith ignored when I tried to bring it up.   Link here:–without-the-building
  • The building next door at 135 High Street is down.  There is a wee bit of party-wall to be fixed.  From our point of view it looks 100% better.


    Why did this take 7 years?????

  • I threw my toys out of the cot, again… and now finally the CCC has started to sort out the parking issues in our cul-de-sac.  I now have to ring them again as the rubbish bins are not being emptied and the street is awash with trash. What is it with these guys?

    It has improved.

    I have been watching the St Asaph Street roading debacle with interest.  Generation Zero is insisting that the city become cycle only, while the business/building owners want vehicle access for their customers.   The naivety of the Generation Zero group is surprising, we have an aging population and they appear to have no business sense what so ever, while the Business Owners are fighting for the survival of their businesses  (they also have lost the plot, as much of the street was being used as long-term parking by their staff).  Reinstating what we had in the past is not satisfactory.  Any one ever heard the word compromise?

    Link Here:   I will admit that I laughed when they suggested that this plan is going to come to fruition in 10 years time.  Whoops.. shame about the fact that it is not working now! Bit tough on the businesses that are there now…

  • Moving on…. Demolition off the backs of the Duncan’s Buildings begins on Monday.  We are not looking forward to the dust. I will get some photos of it tomorrow.  It could get interesting structurally…
  • We are having a closing down sale next weekend as we are not willing to wait for things to get better.  We have heaps of stock to clear.  We look forward to seeing our clients again after 7 years..close down mail order

have a safe evening!

How not to repair a Heritage Building in the Christchurch CBD…The Tram…

What is New in High Street?

  • The Press has an article about the Tram that was supposed to run down our end of the street.   I note that we get a mention in the comments again.  Link Here:     I had heard a whisper that this proposal would not go ahead, so I am not surprised.  What did surprise me was that they even considered lower High Street as an option at all.  The intersection at Tuam/High Street is so crowded with signage I am not sure that the tram will fit thru!  (I think it is 28 signs).   I will grab a photo and re-do my count.   I wonder if the new stadium, or Victoria Street might be a better option for the Tram? He he!  High Street is a destination shopping zone.  I have yet to be convinced that the tram fits this classification. I know that Mr Peebles’ does not agree and his point about digging up the street after the building repairs are done is valid. CCC has left all the roading repair projects to the last-minute, it has proved to be a costly mistake.
  • Access to our frontage is a nightmare.  CCC has not responded yet.  Unfortunately they seem to have the misguided idea that we are not trading so we do not need access.  And you certainly can not get access from St Asaph Street!  (Narrow, lacks parking, multiple kerbs and channels… etc   Ho hum status normal AFU!  We have only been waiting nearly 7 years….  (Wellington has no idea what joys are waiting for them…)

This is my front door access at the moment. If I can get into the street that is.

  • Work on the demolition of 135 Begins tomorrow I believe. That will make access even more interesting. But the end result will be worth the annoyance.


Hi ho… its off to work I go…..I think i will risk my old bones on the bike… i might just be able to squeeze past to my front door…

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

So, whats new in High Street????

  • Did you know that for our building, according to the CCC that “the heritage listing/protection only applies to exterior fabric of the building. Interior fabric, including party walls are no longer protected as part of the heritage item as a result of the recent District Plan review process.  As such the only elements of the Duncan’s Units that can be assessed in terms of effects upon Heritage value in this consent process are the front High Street facade, the rear Duncan’s lane facade, the roof and foundations.”   Really you have to be kidding me.  Based on this,  I can cheerfully demolish my party walls, without consent, I assume…   What brainless bureaucrat has come up with this nonsense?    (this came out of the CCC report on the non notified Resource consent application for the redevelopment proposal for the Duncan’s Buildings.)  So some wag somewhere has decided that party walls are not part of the Heritage fabric of a building, this is very convenient and I am sure will be news to other Christchurch building owners with party walls.

    Based on this we can all have a field day pulling down our party walls?   Now that they are not part of the Heritage fabric of a building….
    I note that the consulting Engineer also said that the walls are not repairable.  You could have fooled me…  bugger I had better go check my repaired walls ….
    Moving on before I lose the plot completely……
  • The Peeble’s consortium is working on the propping of the Duncan’s Facade that they own.  The propping is starting to take shape.
  • IMG_20171003_122635485_HDR.jpg

    Steel props are going up.


    as at 2.00pm 5/10/17

  • The Billen’s Building is racing ahead.  Apparently finish date is December!  I believe he has tenants already lined up.


    Stockman’s Billen’s building is close to being finished..

  • The CCC has effectively closed off our end of the street, by turning it into a contractor parking area. I was not told off course! It is a “no rules apply” area I am afraid.  Double parking, yellow lines, traffic islands- no problem! it is all legal in High Street. This is not going to help my new, arriving soon, upstairs tenants.   I am trying to get the situation sorted.   WIP I am afraid. By the way rumor has it that the CCC is going to open High Street to one way traffic in December. If this happens it will become very interesting to see how the Peebles group access their building.
  • IMG_20171003_095638125.jpg

    In High St you can park anywhere you like!

  • The Press is still talking about the “Dirty 30….  now apparently the “Dirty 15”.  I Note that there are buildings missing from this list. Link here: I note also that we get a mention in the comments.  I am heartened to know that someone out there is watching. Unfortunately the CCC has not managed to get the owners of 141 High Street to co-operate (BBS Australia Ltd) nor the owners of the Ace Video Building on the corner.   – I did also think it was rather unfair of them to show a picture of the Shands/Trinity buildings in Manchester Street as an example of the “Dirty 30”.  Both of these buildings have repairs well under way and in fact I was in Shands a few days ago for a meeting, it is looking amazing! They have done a great job in a year.
  • The derelict building at 135 High Street, next door to us, will be demolished on the 13th- 20th of October.  It will help with the tidy up of our frontage! Progress at last! Apparently it will not take long.

    The shell of 135 will be demolished next week.  (p.s. Some idiot threw a rock thru our upstairs circular window. Hence the cherry picker)



    Ah well,  I better get my skates on, I am trying to tidy up our retail area for the real Estate agent, he wants some pretty pictures.  The worst of it is that I have to move it all back for our upcoming stock clearance sale…..

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

Lower High Street gets the “Council Treatment again”.  I came to work this morning to find that our access has been cut off…….. again.  We had no prior warning.  Apparently they are trying to solve the storm water issues that have been causing grief for 3 years now…

These are photos of our current access…. I am starting to develop a persecution complex…..  What is it about coming and seeing us to warn us that is so difficult?

Ho Hummmm   …. my sale planned for last February this year is postponed again….. just so the council can park their trucks and digger in front of us during the day.

This just adds to our security issues and is not helpful to our leasing prospects.  As if they give a S…..

Case Manager??????

I am starting to get grumpy.

Duncan’s Buildings again…..

When I finished choking on my coffee this morning, I laughed.  We make the front page again. Link Here:

There are a number of Irony’s here.  Some of which will land me in trouble again…. or is that still….

The CCC Heritage Team appears to have made no attempt to save the Duncan’s Buildings at all.  In fact they have allowed the further demolition of the 2 end units that is proceeding as I type. Pix below.

At the same time the backs of 8 units in the middle section is going to be demolished shortly leaving only the frontages.




There also appears to be a disconnection between the CCC and the Heritage building owners.  What are they actually doing to help the Heritage owners?  Actually what are they doing at all?  there is only a hand full of us Heritage Owners left, now I know why…..

It has also been brought to my attention that a number of Building owners in the city, who have “Earthquake Prone Buildings”  have been given until 2047 to either repair or demolish their buildings. This I believe, includes the building next door to us.  What does the Minister of Building and Construction think he is doing????  Re-building the city one grain of sand at a time?

Really 2047?  You have to be kidding me…. So I have to wait until then before you will force my neighbor to act.  Jeepers, by that time I will be dust, so I will not care anyway!

Ho Hum, we really do need some one to advocate for us….  drat, I thought that what the Heritage team at the CCC was for?  Silly me….

Be very afraid Wellington, you could end up in the same situation I am in…

ps… No parking warden has been sighted in High Street since September 2016.  It’s a flaming shambles. We are struggling to access “our paid” for contractor parking. And I will not even bother mentioning the fact that the drains are full of leaves and blocked and that there is well water running down the footpaths/street and CCC has no interest in dealing with the issues, despite I believe 6 increasingly irritated phone calls.

The question has to asked as to why they are making it so difficult for the existing business’s in the CBD to function.  I can not explain it.


IMG_20170607_102032954.jpgThe Heidelberg GTO 52 zp Press inches its way to the door, on its way to a new home here in Christchurch.



CCC Regeneration letter…

News Flash – Hot off the Press:

I have just opened my mail.

When I finished choking on my very nice Sauvignon blanc,  I see that the CCC has sent out a letter telling me and 30 other building owners, that we are holding up regeneration progress in the central city.  They are now going to take a “more proactive role in addressing this problem”.

Our property was identified as “warranting attention” “The Council is keen that there is timely action to resolve the issues concerning your property”.

“From 1 July 2017, normal fees and charges will become payable for the temporary use of a legal road and for traffic management”….    “If discussions between you and the council prove fruitless, the Council and its regeneration partners, LINZ and Environment Canterbury may use other tools in existing legislation to spur progress…..”.

blah blah…

“You will be assigned a case manager whose role is to help you find solutions or offer suggestions for you to pursue”.  Really after 6 plus years?

“The Council is keen to help you bring your property back into use, as this will be of benefit to the city as a whole”.

Surely you jest? this is a joke?  it took them 6 1/2 years to realise that we needed help to sort out our neighbours???  That’s why my lawyer sent LINZ a letter weeks ago, after months of futile phone calls to the CCC.  We are going to request that our neighbours are demolished.  As per the end units of the Duncan’s Buildings.

Signed Head of Urban Design, Regeneration and Heritage


Now correct me if I am wrong but we have talked to the CCC on numerous occasions trying to sort out the problems created by our neighbours..   It was futile.    I have a Resource consent, a Building consent, a traffic management plan and lord only knows what other boxes of Council paper work I have in my lounge…. and we are 3-6 weeks from finishing our toilet block/bunker development.

I have attempted to get the street cleaned up, the leaking water well in the street attended to and the parking issues addressed so my clients can park.  I failed..  mea culpa

Incidentally all of my meetings with the CCC, Regenerate and whatever else they currently call themselves, have been a waste of time, with a couple of notable exceptions. (Thank you Dave H). They leave me angry and frustrated at their lack of understanding of the issues.

I suppose I should ring them and chuck my toys out of the cot, again.  I think I will wait until I can no longer see that red haze.  Cold rage is approaching fast.

Humm, me thinks that the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing and perhaps this is too little too late.

Bad PR!

Link to council article here:

I just sold our 2nd machine today after 50 years of trading, because I got tired of waiting.

Follow up!

ho hum the Press is having some fun:

Link Here:

This emotive wording is totally unhelpful.

In some cases  “Dirty 30” is totally justified.

In our case,  Totally unwarranted.  We have been badly let down by both the CCC and Linz on this issue.