What’s New in Lower High Street:
6 years and 1 month after the 22nd February 2011 quake and still neither the Government, Minister Nick Smith, or the Christchurch City Council have made any attempt to deal with building owners who refuse to repair/sell or sort out their buildings. One has to wonder why?
Is it that it would force some of the “well-heeled” building owners in the city to act. (ie the Anglican Church in the Square?) Or is it simpler than that? They are incompetent? The jury is out on this issue.
My argument is that CERA/CCDU/Otakaro/Regenerate were tasked with assisting recovery. It appears to have been a VERY selective assistance is all I can say. They have made no attempts to get High Street back up and running and we now have 2 – soon to be 3 building owners waiting for neighbours to act. (The only Street in the city still behind fencing after 6 years).
Hot off the Press: I believe LINZ (Land Information New Zealand) has agreed to the demolition of one of the “made safe” units at the other end of the row, (Laurie Rose building), due to the fact that it will hold up the opening of one of the Duncan’s units. I see that Minister Brownlee was in the street on Friday (10th March) having a meeting on this site, with building owners, Linz, Lawyers etc. Interesting, is it not, that the street was “cleaned up” on thursday prior to this meeting. The 2nd time in 6 years, a coincidence? Not! It is okay for the locals to put up with this mess for 6 years but the Minister can not put up with it for 15 minutes?
A pity that the Minister did not walk 100 yards to see another building owner in exactly the same situation. Very selective treatment is a norm in Christchurch I am afraid.
Governments should not be in charge of disasters, they do a poor job.
Re the Duncan’s Units:
- I am now wading through 124 pages of the Resource Consent document for the demolition of the backs of the 8 Duncan’s Units purchased by the Peebles Group. http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/90142156/progress-at-last-for-christchurchs-lower-high-st-as-developers-launch-heritage-rescue Hum.. I am not sure that I entirely agree with some of the statements in this document. There are a number of factual errors. Financial expediency rules here I think. My feeling is that the outcome is not the correct one, but it is unlikely that I will get a say in the matter. Add that to the fact that Resource Consents gave me the paper work “run around” last week when we demolished a badly damaged brick wall (that we are rebuilding I might add) and this week they are likely to consent demolition of the entire backs of 8 units with no qualms at all. One could say that “one is pissed off!” she says holding her nose. I know what I will say when you ring me again…..
- I note that some of the larger building owners have made a deputation to the CCC regarding the new “Inaccessible” city. (We did this weeks ago). I hope you get somewhere. The problem is that they will not listen and they refuse to accept that they have it wrong. (I might add that we are now totally unable to access our back service entrance off St Asaph Street, our paper suppliers can not park safely and the drivers refuse to come to our front entrance because they have to back out of the street). I notice that the Fire service at 1.30 pm today feels it is safer to drive in the middle of the road, straddling both lanes than to try to squeeze into one lane. http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/90413666/anger-at-an-accessible-city-central-christchurch-traffic-plan
- Our new toilet block is emerging from the mud. Literally. 3 days of rain have turned it into a nasty mess. The opening of the neighbours service trench along side has not helped.
- We have just sold off Our Heidelberg Cylinder, in preparation for our exiting the building. It is off to the big smoke in Auckland. It “crawled” its way out the door yesterday. Sad really: Another small Christchurch company closing down due to: a too slow recovery process, impossible parking and access conditions, lack of assistance from “the powers that be” regarding surrounding buildings, Inaccessible City centre, etc I could go on… We are collateral damage. What’s another couple of unemployed old printers going to do next??? Unemployment here we come. ye ha!!!!
The sun is shining, our mud hole is drying up and retirement beckons…. ye ha