How not to repair a Heritage Building in the Christchuch CBD 5 years on…

So, what is new in High Street 5 years on from 22nd February 2010?

4 years progress in High St for CERA/CCDU.

5 years progress in High St for CERA/CCDU.

Not much obviously!

  • There appears to be no progress on the sale of the Duncan’s Building.  I have seen no sign of a tender document.
  • I have spoken to a number of interested buyers but it seems that CERA et al are unable to lift this issue out of the too hard basket. I have also been “told” that CERA et al will not be selling any further properties until the new “Regenerate” entity takes over.  Another delaying tactic. CERA closes down in April sometime, I can not remember if it’s the end of April or early.  The problem for CERA of course is that they paid too much for the buildings.  ( These figures are readily available).  CERA acquisitions in Lower High Street:
    145-151 High St  Oct 13  $636,000       4 units
    153 High St         Aug 13  $430,000       1 unit
    155-157 High St  Aug 13  $760,000       2 units

    Total paid $ 1,826,000
    Estimate of value now after 5 years of neglect:  Land price less demolition.  My guess is half of this price.  There is one insurance settlement to be collected on one unit, but after 3 years that will have devalued by approx 30%.

    So, there are a number of issues here.
    CERA/CCDU probably does no want to show a loss on the sale of these buildings on their books.   (Bad look for the Government)   They also appear incapable of sucking it up and doing a deal with a developer, along the lines of “you do the work and once they are tenanted you will pay xyz….”.  ie Stagger the payments. This would be normal practice in the commercial world.  They basically appear to be incapable of Making a decision.  Governments should not be in the business of real estate.

    c’est la vie…..

  • I see in the Press today, in a very good summary of the rebuild  “Have the anchor projects anchored Christchurch’s central city?”  by GEORGINA STYLIANOU, that 2 more properties belonging to the Christchurch Heritage Trust are under contract.  That will be the Billen’s site in the lower block and the Excelsior Hotel site on the corner of High Street & Manchester Street.  Good news for the street. Link here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/christchurch-life/76090113/have-the-anchor-projects-anchored-christchurchs-central-city
    Billens site.

    Billens site on the left.

    January 2016.  Just the frontage is left.  It is to be demolished and rebuilt as a "look alike".

    Excelisor Hotel. January 2016. Just the frontage is left. It is to be demolished and rebuilt as a “look alike”.

  • Security is still an ongoing issue in the street.  The police arrested 2 young men breaking into a neighbouring unit last week.
    We, again, had to board up the frontage. (The land owner has been conspicuous by her absence for the last 5 years).  A name and shame list is needed in the city, either front up or get out.
  • The wee shake last week was an unpleasant reminder, that it’s not over till it’s over.  30 more years some cheerful soul told me a few days ago.  It has interrupted our works programme as we had to rake and plaster some gib, that had just been under-coated in preparation for final painting.  Next time we will batten the gib,  I see no point in endless plastering/repainting.  Seems to me that Gib is not the product to use in Christchurch, I am going to start investigating alternatives.
  • Work has restarted on the fit out off 2 of the Duncan’s Units at the other end of our row.  Great to see.
  • The work on the McKenzie and Willis site is racing ahead.  I think its due to be completed in September.
  • Both the Vodafone and Katmandu buildings are close to being finished, I have not seen a recent ETA on these.
  • Otherwise all is quiet and boring.  We can see no point at his stage in attempting to open our retail area.  That would be retail suicide.

ho humm,  5 years on not much has changed.  Talk about depressing.  Retirement is looming I feel it in my bones.  I think I will move out of the city.  Some where, where there are no quakes, floods, fires, plagues of locusts/rats, government agencies, CERA/CCDU/REGENERATE/CCC/SOUTHERN RESPONSE etc….  and so the list goes on.

How not to Repair a Heritage Building in the Christchurch CBD…..

Well now, that was a surprise!!

  •  Now 855 days since designated “South frame, Innovation Precinct”  ( ie They can take the building any time between now and 2022)  They will as of the end of the month drop the designation on our building!!!! I have not seen this in writing yet!

CCDU has lifted the designation on our building.   As of the end of the month we no longer have a compulsory acquisition order over our property.  Unfortunately many others at the meeting I attended were not so lucky.  Any one who is in the path of their “aspirational” lane ways path is still blighted with the designations and their properties/parts of properties,  likely to be purchased over the next 9 months. The beleaguered Innovation Precinct will be the first to get this treatment.  (It is the easiest one for them to start on as the land has been clear felled anyway!)  “Shortly you will receive in the post, a copy of the South Frame addendum. Read the  South Frame addendum PDF 1.66MB, 28 pages

So how did this come about???

I had been invited a few days earlier to another of the CCDU meetings for the South Frame. “Christchurch Central Development Unit invites you to attend a presentation on the vision for the South Frame, incorporating an update on the new planning rules”.

As usual with these meetings I reluctantly agreed to go. They have a history of being dead useless.  The staff are usually totally unprepared/unable/unwilling to give single syllable answers to questions.  ie yes/no.

I am afraid this meeting was no different.  I am afraid I have to accept that the CCDU are totally out of their depth and incoherent.

They have finally come up with a “Concept plan” of the South frame.  Oh my, were the building owners angry, the feelings of ire in the room was palatable.  There was a feeling of derision at a badly thought out plan.  It has taken the building owners a long time to get annoyed and I think this meeting may be a turning point. It was a pleasure to watch. The building owners have lacked a focus and have allowed themselves to be bullied and pushed around.  It is time they joined forces.

As is usual with the CCDU, there were few details given, no questions asked were given a “straight answer”.  The staff appeared uncomfortable and evasive.

The meeting was interesting:

  • There was bad feeling about the sales that CCDU have already made of land that has already been “purchased”.  In my conversations with the building owners later, the same comments were repeated over and over.  “They have not got a clue”, they “have no business experience”, they “think that we will hang around that long waiting for them”,  it is “unaffordable”,  “the city is stuffed”, very “aspirational and totally impractical”, you get the picture.
  • A comment was made that CCDU should have been assisting building owners to facilitate repair/rebuild.
  • Complaints that CCDU was taking land off private land owners but not the Hospital Board for its laneways project.
  • Comments regarding the price of retail/office space at $500 per square metre being unaffordable.
  • The plans shown to us were not consistent and way too small to discern detail.
  • Miniscule, poorly defined and next to useless plans.

    Miniscule, poorly defined and next to useless plans.

  • they were trying to avoid paying compensation.
  • existing user rights continue for those of us who have remained in place.
  • Office size provisions increased to 500 sq metres.
  • Deferral of the development regulation in force in the Innovation Precinct to be removed.
  • I was almost left with the feeling that the building owners were baiting the CCDU.

Building owners were told that they were going to have a 10m wide “greenway” lane way pushed through their properties. The new lane ways plans literally cuts buildings in half! ie half a building on each side of the laneway! They have “sliced and diced” the south frame like a piece of cake. thus down grading its value.  (And we are not supposed to build a block wall around the sides of the laneway… as it must be pretty and green!)

The amazing part of this is that the south frame is the only frame in the city that is actually working as it is. And making some money for the city. Most of the big car sales franchises in the city are in this area. And they want to stuff it!   There has to be a better way of dealing with this issue than the plan they have come up with.

I was hoping that they might finally be able to give me an answer regarding the fate of the back of our building.  But hello….  this is a draft concept plan only.  They have not even started on the plan yet!  They do not know which bits of land they are going to acquire.  They can not tell us what is happening.  My god, 4 years we have waited…… and they still can not get their act together.  The building owners tried to get a time frame out of them.  The best we got was that the plans might be ready in late 2015   and it might take 3-5 years to implement.  And they are in charge of recovery in the city?  Does the National Government really not know what is happening here?  Have they not looked at the figures coming out of the city regarding trade and retail.  Oh yes I forgot we are doing well…..  that’s why there are for lease signs all over the city, building owners can not find tenants and the whole city looks like Stalingrad.

This lot has got to go.

The irony of this meeting is that The Christchurch City Council was not invited to attend, until their hand was forced.   And they say that CCDU is working together with the CCC????  For heavens sake hand control over to the CCC, they will do a better job, in half the time and it will be at least get the city up and running again.  This nonsense has to stop.

They need to make some DECISIONS!!!!

Ho Hummn,  I suppose its progress, of a sort????

PS  Ohh! We are popular are we not.-   I see that the plans for the Mckenzie and Willis site have been released.  http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/64045452/50m-complex-at-McKenzie-and-Willis-site

This is great news.  Rumour has it that the Billens site will also begin the process of being tided up in the new year and the site sold……

Gerry’s “Old Dungas”…. and Still snagged at Building consents….

I have spent the last few days, (between trying to deal with Insurance issues) reading the first critique of the Disaster in Christchurch.  And I refer to the man-made disaster, not the 14000+ earthquakes.

“Once in a Lifetime: City-building after Disaster in Christchurch” Edited by Barnaby Bennett, James Dann, Emma Johnson and Ryan Reynolds
Foreword by Helen Clark,  Freerange Press, August 2014.. 55 essays, 39 visual essays

“This important book offers the first substantial critique of the Government’s recovery plan for Christchurch, presents alternative approaches to city-building and archives a vital and extraordinary time. “Once in a Lifetime” brings together a range of national and international perspectives on city-building and post-disaster urban recovery.” (Freerange Press)   http://www.projectfreerange.com/product/once-in-a-lifetime/

Collectively it is the best summary of the situation that I have seen.  It does not cover CERA/CCDU in glory.  It clearly points out the flaws in the top down management technique that has been trialled here.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/blogs/where-theres-a-will/10500626/Most-important-earthquake-book-so-far

  • It refers: to the precincts as an “out dated model”, the public as “disillusioned”, the commercial rebuild as occurring “outside the fringes of the CBD” and the proliferation of bars and cafes as the only activities occurring in the CBD.
  • There is a comparison by Dr Suzanne Vallance of Lincoln University, between the disproportionate effect on socio-economically disadvantaged people.  (ie the East siders). As well as a discussion on the reliance on “Token consultation as information” and a discussion on the blue Print, “which rarely work out as intended.”
  • I also noted the comment by Jane smith , a CHCH resident, referring to the culture of secrecy, when referring to the control of access to the city, when referring to the cordon.  “For the latter half of the lock down period much of the land in the CBD was vacant, and access could have been effectively managed through site fences”.  This is an issue that was patently obvious to those of us with passes to the inner city we were bemused by the insistence on the lengthy lock down.
  • A comment by  Dr Jessica Halliday, an Architectural Historian, refers to the “over simplification” of the view that heritage buildings were killers.  This view was promulgated by Minister Brownlee, with his “old dungas” comments.

(Interestingly, I note that this original comment has now been attributed in the CHCH Press, 30 August 2014, in an article by Vicki Anderson, to Helen Trappitt. “a structural Engineer and a share holder at Lewis Bradford Consulting Engineers.”  Mrs Trappitt comments that  “That may have come up from a conversation he had with some of our engineers.”   

Hummn….. perhaps she should have gone back and clarified their comments, and made Mr Brownlee understand a wee bit better what you were referring too???

Onwards!

  • Shamubeel Eaqub comments that  “Government-mandated clusters rarely – if ever-work”.  He also comments on “the length of time it has taken to get things going”.   I found this theme reoccurring repeatedly throughout the book.

The only area I felt the book did not cover, was the actions taken against the building owners in the CBD area, the effects of the lock down on their businesses, the problems they had getting their stock and access to their wares, the difficulties of relocation,   or the way some building owners were coerced into demolishing buildings rather than repair and the lack of assistance to repair.  Both from central government and the Insurance Industry.

It needs another chapter on this issue.  But I would say that!
Some of these issues were touched on by a number of contributors.  Might have to keep that issue for book number 2!.

This is well worth a read, and I am only half way at this stage.

So Hows progress in High Street?

I am still completely frustrated by our building consent amendment issues. I am still trapped between an overworked Engineer and Building Consents.

I am well aware that I am not the only one in the city totally frustrated by the process. Link here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/10440904/Consents-nightmare-holding-up-rebuild

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Consents process is holding up progress in the central city.  CERA/CCDU, for all their might, seem unable and unwilling to address the issues.  They were very quick to demolish the buildings but since than have completely walked away from any issues the remaining building owners have.  Giving the new crown manager $2000 a day has not helped the situation one bit.  (Only cost the city a mere $10 million)

There is an intrinsic problem with the consents process.  I do not even pretend to understand all the issues, but it seems to me that the building consent departments are being hampered by government legislation. They require a mysterious process that requires that they tick certain boxes. The irony is that than the Consulting Engineer signs a Producer Statement taking full responsibility for the buildings, (than Consents charge you heaps and send you a bill.)  Why the duplication of procedures if the Engineers are taking full responsibility anyway???   I do not get it. There is no attempt being made to deal with these issues.

Other than that there has been no progress, the street looks like a bomb site, the Mckenzie and Willis and Billens buildings are still standing in their derelict glory.

On the subject of CERA/CCDU.  Anyone notice the complete silence???  They are desperate to keep their heads down prior to the elections. I would like to see a Christchurch revolution.  Marching in the street French style. The treatment of the city’s population by the Insurance companies, EQC, building companies etc has been appalling.  It is now nearly 4 years on and we are still living in “war like conditions” in cold broken houses, with broken roads and services.  Do you know that to go and buy a new pair of jeans I have to drive to the other side of the city?  There are no shops, services or amenities.  (Heaven help you if you need to find a public toilet!)  The only activity that is happening in the central city is alcohol fueled mayhem.

On the subject of my new house. “Southern No Response”  It’s still a hole in the ground after 7 months. They started to dig the site out and put in a small retaining wall, pre-foundations, they have stuffed up and now ripped part of it out. Now in the process of re-doing the wall.  Hummn?   This does not inspire confidence.  I am not enjoying living in my cold flat at all!

ho humm, off to send another email to the Insurance company!

 

Building Consent troubles in Christchurch….. still…..

So what is new in the life of the beleaguered High Street building owners?

Our Building consents amendment is still stalled.   The CCC have a bad habit of asking “not quite relevant questions” that mean you have to go back to your overworked Engineer and that stalls the process. We all know that the Engineers in the city are hopelessly overloaded, the last thing he needs is not “relevant” questions. They still have not cleaned up their act.  And the $10 million that they have spent on a “Crown Manager” has not helped US one little bit.  The irony is that all I want to do is “gib a sodding ceiling with fyre line.”  I am now considering replacing this ceiling with “like for like” ie what we removed will be replaced..  So instead of being fire safe, I will replace it with the original material….  Rimu tongue and groove. That’s fire safe eh?  NOT!  That would mean I can by-pass the issues I am having with the fire safety aspects of the amendment. Stupidity knows no bounds really.  (I was talking to another building owner the other day and he called it the ” City council consent disease”, a disease whereby they are so busying keeping their paper work neat and tidy and covering their asses, that they have forgotten why they are there.)

On the subject of paper work, and trust me here, I spend hours every day on the stuff, all earthquake generated: Although we produced the paper work for CERA in January (the long-awaited Detailed Engineering Evaluation)  it took 5 months for CERA to make safe the surrounding buildings so that we could open our front door “safely.”  It took less than 8 hours to re-mortar the neighbours parapet and less than 8 hours to fill a skip with the loose rubbish that was on the adjacent building.  (note that this was not a danger to anyone, but did not look pretty!)

So what does it mean?  Actually nothing.  The street is a “pedestrian free” area.  The fencing is so intrusive that pulling it back will make little difference to us at this stage. It hugs our front door line and does not inspire confidence. The street requires considerably more intervention than this. A fact the CCDU/CERA “the powers that be” seem unable to grasp.

Still it means that in the middle of the night when I get home I do not have to hunt for my glasses and a torch to open the locked gate. That is an advantage.

Due to the lack of security in the street at night, we have started to park our vehicles in the building.  I was mightily annoyed last saturday night when some creeps decided to smash the windscreen of my car- and it was inside the cordon!   really safe eh…..  Unfortunately the police did not catch the offenders, although they came quickly for which I am grateful.  Pity! The lighting and security down here is hopeless.  My “private security guard” (employed by the poly technic) was not in the area at the time….  He keeps an eye out for me as well, nice man!  Which is helpful and I am grateful for the extra pair of eyes.

I have attached a pix of the new fencing arrangement.  Still it is progress of a sort.

 

Out of the cordon.

Out of the cordon.

On another note:

The City “Doughnut” argument has been a hop topic lately.  Much to the amusement of the building owners, who are getting no pleasure out of saying.  “We told you so”.  They would not listen and are still not listening.  Link here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/10195251/Architect-warns-of-doughnut-city-risk

Mr Brownlee has been frantically trying to deny that the city is a doughnut, but it is undeniable  and is so obvious now that even the rest of the city has cottoned on, finally!

The government is now so frantic to prove us wrong that we are starting to get the pre-election hand outs!  This one has amused me no end.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/10242273/Government-office-cluster-for-city

Those of us with long memories will remember Mr Brownlee telling us that 2500 civil servants would come to the central city.  This number has shrunk in the wash some what and become 1100 and falling. Link here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/10239867/1100-civil-servants-to-move-into-CBD  

The sad bit about it is that we are now seeing some projects being announced now.  3.5 years too late.  (But just before the elections.)  It is obvious to everyone in Christchurch that development here has been deliberately stalled to allow National to “pull the rabbits out of the hat” prior to the elections.

We have: $30 million going to a park  ( Very useful huh!) http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/10184473/Mahy-park-price-tag-an-insult

We have the Avon River project: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/10227583/Avon-River-plans-altered-to-avoid-flooding  (for a mere $100 million)

We have the Memorial area for a mere $10 million.  We certainly need a memorial to those that died that day, but $10 million?  : http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/city-centre/10259799/Avon-site-for-quake-memorial

Do you notice a theme developing here?

The political parties are finally playing politics with the CHCH situation.  Unfortunately it is way too late. And we had hoped for better treatment.

I had a walk around the city centre the other night.  Firstly a little old lady in the city centre sounds like a bad idea you would think?  It was so empty only the drunks and homeless have not abandoned it! It was depressing.  Building after building is still boarded up, there are empty sites everywhere as well as rubble and decay.  I had trouble finding any thing open to get a feed or a drink.  Sad but true. Pathetic really.

There was a very good comment made a few days ago by Mark Waller of EBOS.   I have been amazed at the slowness of the “so-called” business leaders in commenting on the situation here.  I guess that some of them are so busy making money out of the rebuild that they have forgotten to look at the bigger picture. Which is, in a pine nut shell:  if there are very few business’s in the city that are surviving and thriving and the people do not have jobs to go to,  there is no money flowing through the economy, therefore the tax take will be down. Do not be fooled by the figures, the only reason New Zealand has a “rock star economy” is that it is Re-Insurance money pouring into Christchurch.  At the end of the day this flow of money will cease.  National does not appear to have made any structural changes to the economy in the last 6 years.  They have relied on the earthquakes to provide the momentum.  As well as resting on the returns from the agricultural sector. They would be happy to have an earthquake every 3 years. The link here for Mark Waller’s comments: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/10246165/Slow-Christchurch-rebuild-a-tragedy

I notice that there is the odd comment coming through from experts about the rebuild in the city:  Unfortunately these comments are rarely published and more often than not, not followed through and analysed, mostly they are  “poo pooed” by the “powers that be”  Link here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/10259042/Professor-warns-of-a-shabby-future

On a more humourous note I see Johnny Moore has been discussing the reasons for the difference in development  between High Street and Victoria Street.  I see that he took a beating over his comments. He was spot on!  One issue that he did not really cover was that High Street has been deliberately held back, as the whole central city was, by the red Zone fencing.  We were locked out of the city for so long that most of the building owners walked away.  Excellent opinion piece.  Link here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/columnists/johnny-moore/10225115/Victoria-St-up-High-St-struggling

His comments were bang on!  “CCDU has released a document seeking feedback on the South Frame. As I read through it I was horrified by how many extra stupid rules they intend to saddle poor property owners with.”

I have just spent a number of what i consider “wasted” days writing a submission on the draft plans.  (Wasted because consultation is not what CCDU wants or listens to, the exception being if you are a large developer or large building owner.)  The submission maps we were given to work from were so small and conflicting that it was impossible to read or discern the detail, there was no roading plan, no way of working out who owns all the new lane ways, and heaps of rules about who is allowed to rent the buildings and a myriad of other silly concepts. (I will not bore you with a copy of my submission.) ha ha!
Everyone I have spoken to about these plans made the same comment as Johnny Moore: “How’s this for a case of marketing folk writing planning rules? In the policy dealing with the Innovation Precinct it is written into the rules that this precinct will enable innovative offices, commercial services and businesses to locate in the area “supported by a range of complementary activities, which will create an area where people and ideas can collide””.

yeah right and this means what?

Johnny took a pasting for his opinion piece.  He followed it up with this one: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/columnists/johnny-moore/10250529/Its-not-that-I-don-t-care-about-High-Street  One word of advice Johnny, do not apologise, you were 100% correct in your assessment!  I think he and I should Re-start up the “Lower High Street” revitalization group!  I have been giving this a lot of thought and I think it is time for our own lobby group.  Watch out Johnny I am about to spring this idea on you.

When I get a minute I will work out how many days we have to go before we hear if these buildings are going to be confiscated by the CCDU  I think it is another 8 years…… I have to get the calculator out.

ho humm.  Slow progress, but it is at least progress!

 

Innovation Precinct update… “why are we waiting?…

Innovation precinct Plan Due:  September,  October,  November, December 2013, January, February, March, April, May?? Nope it’s today the 3rd June 2014 at 4.33pm

The rumours about Vodafone in the innovation precinct have been bubbling away for months and all the while CERA/CCDU/MBIE has been delaying the release of the “Innovation Precinct plans” until they could “find, bribe, con, secure” – take your pick, an anchor tenant. Looks like Vodafone is to be the “anchor tenant” they have so desperately wanted. Why they needed an anchor tenant is a bit of a moot point, but it was the only way they could stick with the “Innovation Precinct” moniker.

Is it not ironical that CERA/CCDU/MBIE have the power to hold up all the other building owners in this precinct for over 3.5 years while they mess around trying to prove that they know what they are doing. While they have been stalling they have been playing with people’s livelihoods.  It looks like an orchestrated manipulation of the market designed to force the building owners into selling out (as we pay rates and expenses etc on useless un-tenantable buildings.)  It seems to me that this was not the way to get progress in this zone.  They have deliberately slowed progress.  Is this really the function of central government? I think not.

And then they wonder why the land owners are refusing to rebuild and co-operate!  Amazing stupidity really.  They are still playing some mysterious game.  It is called selling the land off to the rich landowners in the city and forcing the small ones out. The same game they have played across the city for 3 plus years.

It appears that a developer has finally managed to get Vodafone’s signature on paper. I have not seen cast iron confirmation of this.  I bet there was a sweetener! I believe that the owner of the land has sold to a “middle man” who has on sold to Vodafone.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/10095283/Vodafone-tipped-as-innovation-anchor-tenant

Look at the great glass structure that we are going to get.  Thank my lucky stars that we are not opposite this monstrosity! Link here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/10103341/Giant-screens-on-Vodafone-building

Now you tell me why we had to wait 3.5 years for CERA to release the Innovation Precinct plans?  Waiting for one anchor tenant and holding up all progress until it was signed sealed and delivered makes no sense to me at all.  The silence has been deafening.

So presumably, this deal should be confirmed today. Link here:  http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/10111599/Rebuild-at-a-turning-point[  

Based on this we should get the Innovation Precinct details released this week. Make a bet on Thursday/Friday.  CERA/CCDU always releases information late in the week. It stops protests.

Now while you peeps in other parts of the country may think that this is all a Christchurch problem, I need to point out that you need to remember, that this is a NATIONAL government orchestrating all this.  The actions that they have taken here will be used as a blueprint for any other disaster that will occur in any of our main cities. This scenario is easily transferred to Wellington or Dunedin, both of which have a large number of buildings that are unreinforced masonry ie brick and are on small land parcels.  It is not just the buildings that the government wants down it is the amalgamation of small land parcels.  This is not good for small land owners. It is also about a re distribution of wealth.

My guess is that many building owners in Christchurch will never vote for national again.

Christchurch is a NATIONAL DISGRACE

Just remember:

Southern NO response – owned by the government

EQC  owned by the government

CERA owned by the government

CCDU owned by the government

MBIE owned by the government

All organisations tasked to help us, but who have failed us miserably.

The sun is shining, it is freezing. And we are still above ground!

8.30pm update: 

Well wonders do never cease. Vodafone is confirmed as an anchor tenant and within hours (4.33pm) of this confirmation the long awaited Spatial Document for the “Innovation Precinct” has been released. Along with an accompanying email. My guess about the release of this document was out by 2 days! My bad!

A quick peruse of the document shows lots of pretty pictures and “spatial” concepts.  At first glance it is short on detail. I still can not work out what sort of access we get to our building from the proposed rear lane way.   Until this detail is clarified I can not proceed with repairs in this part of the building.

ho humm, think of all those high paid CERA/CCDU/MBIE planners spending years on preparing this document….. on high wages!

Good afternoon
 
The purpose of this email is to provide you, as an owner of a property within that part of the South Frame bordered by Montreal, Tuam, Manchester and St Asaph Streets, with an update on progress within the Innovation Precinct.
 
Today Minister’s Brownlee and Joyce released the Spatial Framework for the Innovation Precinct, the following link will take you to the document  http://bit.ly/T8mcsL.  In addition to the release of the Spatial Framework, the government announced its support for the development of an innovation hub within the precinct.  Start-ups are significant idea generators within innovation precincts but often can’t afford the high rental cost of new builds.  The innovation hub offers the opportunity for lower rentals.  Support such as this, in a knowledge rich environment among other innovators will  help start-ups flourish and ultimately see the innovative ecosystem grow.
 
Also announced today was the news that the Innovation Precinct is going to be home for the Government’s new Information Communications Technology (ICT) Graduate School programme, a programme that will also be rolled out to other main centres in the country.  This programme will deliver industry – focused education and research and will connect tertiary education providers and graduates with key ICT firms.
 
In addition to the Government’s commitment to the Precinct, Vodafone also announced their new South Island headquarters, along with the international incubator hub ‘Xone’, will be based in the Innovation Precinct.   The ‘Xone’ incubator hub is one of only six in the world and will be a first for New Zealand.  The ‘Xone’ incubator offers advice, support and assistance to technology start-ups with a focus on mobile platforms, consumer electronics, smart charging etc.
 
Regards
 
Christchurch Central Development Unit
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA)
Private Bag 4999, Christchurch 8140