Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Christchurch: Is "quite good" good enough?

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  • Sacha, in reply to Richard Aston,

    ChCh does have its tight "old" money parochial networks... Was this this new city focused design influenced by any of that?

    It does help to think about whose interests are served by the relative private/public spending, risk, and returns.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Richard Aston,

    the ChCh rebuild is being funded by all New Zealand , and we have all taken a hit on insurance premiums because of the earthquake damage.
    ... the rebuild does affect us all.

    Honestly, I'm kind of sick of non-Cantabrians complaining about their insurance premiums. We've all been paying premiums in case disaster struck. Just be glad it struck us and not you, this time.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    It's not Canterbury's fault insurance premiums are going up - it's the insurance company's fault for not correctly gauging the risk in the first place

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2179 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    (then again maybe they're just gouging rather than gauging ....)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2179 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    (then again maybe they’re just gouging rather than gauging ….)

    You can be sure they're making a good profit in spite of everything.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Lilith __,

    Honestly, I’m kind of sick of non-Cantabrians complaining about their insurance premiums

    Fair enough but I was just pointing out the ChCh quake has affected us all, insurance and govt spending are just a couple of lines.
    And yes those living in the post quake mess are deeply affected and I feel for them but its a New Zealand problem and it will be solved by all of us.
    Islander's point about where the city is placed is sure, out there, but if I understood her its a concern about the next natural calamity.
    Will the new ChCh be robust enough to survive another earthquake or maybe a big flood. I am not sure NZ can take another hit like this.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 503 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Richard Aston,

    Will the new ChCh be robust enough to survive another earthquake or maybe a big flood. I am not sure NZ can take another hit like this.

    It will be more robust than any other NZ city. The weak structures are gone. Christchurch as it is now is stronger than, say, Dunedin or Wellington.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Richard Aston,

    I am not sure NZ can take another hit like this

    Well, when the big one hits Wellington, we're stuffed.

    Christchurch had relatively limited infrastructure. WLG has lots, and while it's all allegedly backed up, those backups usually don't work when trouble actually happens. The people who can fix that will be dead, preoccupied or otherwise unable to get to work. We'll start with a payment system and comms collapse and once that's sorted, will be faced with the realisation of a $50bln hole in the economy that can't be filled.

    Expect mass migration akin to the Irish "potato famine".

    (However, Ireland is still populated, so in that sense, NZ can take that or any 'hit' short of a full-on extinction event such as a Taupo eruption).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Thats true about Wellington but I'd like to think their buildings are earthquake proof just because they get so many reminders that they on on the fault line but ...
    Auckland will be a doosie though when Rangitoto fires up , bang there goes the Sky Tower and the casino will be buried under a mile of ash.
    Hard to volcano proof buildings .

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 503 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Shake! some action...

    It will be more robust than any other NZ city. The weak structures are gone.

    True enough! (though one could call the Council a 'weak structure', especially if it kowtows to all Key's demands that we put loss leading facilities ahead of fixing roads and easing the citizens' load )
    And hell, even without disasters worldwide civilisation's infrastructure is getting stretched - India lost half its grid yesterday, again...
    The US seems to spend more on war than looking after its people and basic infrastructure - these chickens all have to come home to roost one day...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5070 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    I grew up in Wellington, and the thing that has always, uh, amused me, shall we say, about the Big One is counting the number of roads and railways that lead out of the city. There aren't many. Then looking at how many of those roads and railways are almost certain to be blocked by landslides when the Big One hits. And look at the airport - how useable is the runway likely to be? Especially if the Big One is accompanied by a tsunami (quite likely)?

    Isn't Rangitoto the only one of Auckland's volcanos to have erupted twice? My impression was that the next eruption will form a new cone or caldera.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2157 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    My impression was that the next eruption will form a new cone or caldera.

    That appears to be the closest thing to a consensus, yes. A new one will appear, possibly as a (super)caldera under part of the established urban form, and then the country will really have something to worry about. The Southern Cross Cable lands here, the primary broadcasting studios for both TV networks are here, there are specialist surgical facilities that aren't replicated elsewhere, the primary international air gateway is here...
    Oh, and we've got a third of the population. Good luck coping with us evacuating.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3910 posts Report Reply

  • Katita, in reply to Tim Croft,

    A planned city ... Canberra. Enough said (for anyone who has ever tried living there).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Lilith __,

    Islander, can you explain what you mean? I thought you were talking about right-wing politics, but are you talking about geography?

    From what I understand.
    A floodplain on geologically unstable terrain is not a suitable place to build a City. I think Nature made that point quite plain.
    No amount of mitigating earthworks will beat a solid foundation. Maori understood this and only used the area as a seasonal encampment, we, on the other hand, decided to build high-rise structures. Not smart.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4931 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Sacha,

    Attachment

    If you look at the way the city is, it’s clearly still got the memory of the old tram system in it.Same with Auckland’s inner suburbs.

    Some say the City of Auckland was designed by the Flying Spaghetti Monster or maybe even Cthulhu.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4931 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Kon Tiki Tours...

    Some say the City of Auckland was designed by the Flying Spaghetti Monster or maybe even Cthulhu.

    I believe your city's founding fathers may have come originally from the plains of Nazca in Peru... where their mysterious tram system doodles still perplex modern man...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5070 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    the bigger threat to auckland is from the volcanic plateau than the cones around the city itself - gas and volcanic dust being the immediate killers as opposed to the hollywood notion of lava flows and nazis living at the centre of the earth - upside is volcanos tend to give months of warning before they go crazy

    infrastructure breakdowns are a bigger threat to Auckland than anything natural

    /sidetrack back to CHCH

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 349 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    A floodplain on geologically unstable terrain is not a suitable place to build a City. I think Nature made that point quite plain.
    No amount of mitigating earthworks will beat a solid foundation. Maori understood this and only used the area as a seasonal encampment, we, on the other hand, decided to build high-rise structures. Not smart.

    Christchurch was basically a raupo swamp with some higher parts, and the drier and more stable gravels going out west and to the northwest. Drained, this squidgy land makes for good gardening; my river suburb has lush deep river loam and wonderful trees. But it bounces and/or liquefies when shaken. The land under central city is much the same, with weaker spots where old streams flowed. It can be rebuilt upon, but unless buildings' underpinnings take account of this weakness, the city will fall again and again.

    Aside from buildings, the land will always be vulnerable to a big shake. The streets could well rack and roll again and be flooded with mud, sinking hundreds of millions of dollars worth of strategically-planned rail tracks. Nothing can stop that: 20 seconds and it's gone.

    I reckon that if we are going to stay here we must sit lightly on the land in every way. I don't see the plan acknowledging that we cannot use our land in the same way ever again.

    Islander suggests we go; I think it's inevitable we stay but that we shape-shift to suit what what we now know.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Richard Aston,

    Fair enough but I was just pointing out the ChCh quake has affected us all, insurance and govt spending are just a couple of lines.

    Yeah, thanks for that. We know.

    Thats true about Wellington but I’d like to think their buildings are earthquake proof just because they get so many reminders that they on on the fault line but …
    Auckland will be a doosie though when Rangitoto fires up , bang there goes the Sky Tower and the casino will be buried under a mile of ash.
    Hard to volcano proof buildings .

    Wellington buildings are not earthquake proof. When that fault-line moves it’s gonna be wrecked. Auckland is built on an active volcanic field and as far as I’ve heard no-one’s suggesting moving either Wellington or Auckland. Dunedin is full of un-reinforced masonry buildings that will come down when they have a decent shake, which will happen eventually.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    A floodplain on geologically unstable terrain is not a suitable place to build a City. I think Nature made that point quite plain.
    No amount of mitigating earthworks will beat a solid foundation. Maori understood this and only used the area as a seasonal encampment, we, on the other hand, decided to build high-rise structures. Not smart.

    As I’ve already said, we’re a bit short of “safe” places for cities.

    The faults around Chch that have recently moved are long-return events, the Greendale fault near Darfield that caused the Sept 4, 2010, quake had not ruptured in at least sixteen thousand years. The alpine fault and the faults running through Wellington and Hawkes Bay are MUCH more active.

    Edit: Also, I don't buy the idea that Maori had experienced major earthquakes in Chch, or that that was why they were only living here on an itinerant basis. They may have found it damp here, or prone to flooding, or there may be other reasons. AFAIK they had a permanent settlement at Kaiapoi and various parts of the Peninsula. Perhaps the plains offered poor strategic resources? Too hard to defend?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Lilith __,

    Wellington buildings are not earthquake proof. When that fault-line moves it’s gonna be wrecked

    Wellington's CBD terrifies me. Should the Big One hit at lunchtime or rushhour on a weekday, an awful lot of people are going to be shredded by all the glass falling off all those buildings. And look at all those buildings sitting on sediment - Kilbirnie, the flat middle part of Miramar, the Hutt Valley, downtown Porirua.... Wellington's going to give Christchurch a run for its money in the liquefaction stakes.

    But name a better harbour at the bottom of the North Island. It may be a pretty silly place seismologically to put the capital, but there's always going to be something there.

    In any case, it doesn't matter where in NZ you are, if you're there you accept certain geological risks. We can prepare for those risks like, for example, as Islander suggested, not building cities on swamps, but those risks are still there. Or I suppose you could all bugger off to Australia and I could stay in north China. But neither north China nor Australia has anywhere near adequate water supplies (despite Beijing and neighbouring regions being on the second straight day of constant rain and bearable temperatures. 25 degrees! So cold (for July here)), Australia has lots of animals that like to kill people, and north China's winters are brutal.

    So, I dunno, I guess we just drop the technological hubris and adapt ourselves to our environment instead of trying to force our environment to adapt to our petty and petulant demands. 无为 and all that.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2157 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Lilith __,

    The faults around Chch that have recently moved are long-return events, the Greendale fault near Darfield that caused the Sept 4, 2010, quake had not ruptured in at least sixteen thousand years. The alpine fault and the faults running through Wellington and Hawkes Bay are MUCH more active.

    That is true. The seismic chain reaction set off by the Greendale, which is believed to be in turn from the earthquakes on the Porters fault in 1994, is currently angled toward the east and north. The faults you see on the maps are not the only ones; more are buried beneath our alluvial plains, and we will inevitably see more popping. It is to be hoped that no more are not under the city, though they may be. This seismic sequence is estimated to have around 30 years to run -- a nanosecond in geological terms. Then the Alpine: the duration of shaking in Christchurch will be much longer -- measured in minutes not seconds -- and though much farther away will still be felt strongly. That could involve more liquefaction of land in the city than the shakes over the last two years.

    It's not as simple as saying the big one one has come and gone and it won't happen for another 15,000 years. Another one could have big effects, and it could happen tomorrow.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    An Auckland volcanic eruption is basically everyone in the region GTFO, with, hopefully, a few weeks' notice. From Auckland Uni's geology department:

    Shock waves from an eruption will break windows and flatten buildings, fiery fountains of lava will set structures and trees ablaze, and base surges - a ground-hugging, deadly mixture of steam and solid particles - will envelop everything within a 5km radius. All that on Day One.

    The council's hazards page also predicts related earthquakes and tsunami. There's an 8% chance of an eruption taking place in anyone's (80 year) lifespan. Which sounds way too fucking likely for comfort.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I guess we just drop the technological hubris and adapt ourselves to our environment instead of trying to force our environment to adapt to our petty and petulant demands.

    Yes, yes, yes.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Hebe,

    It’s not as simple as saying the big one one has come and gone and it won’t happen for another 15,000 years. Another one could have big effects, and it could happen tomorrow.

    I never said that. Just that our recent quakes are somewhat freakish when seen in a long perspective.

    And yes, we could have another big one tomorrow. But so could lots of other places in NZ, and they have more things that can fall down. :-)

    The new Chch is going to be much more strongly engineered and much more resilient.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

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