What the accrued effect of all this change is you end up with a vague sense of exile in your own city. A city well served with the new wave of colonisers “here to help with the rebuild”. Intellectual hustlers so bereft of nous they fail to see the irony inherent in their generous offer.
Great piece Greg with some finely nuanced observations like this one. While my family and I haven't had to deal with EQC and related agencies as you, Hebe and family have, the post quake stress has certainly had an effect on us and for a while I was in exile here (out of work for a long period) and then 'exiled' beyond the city, in Auckland (which treated me well it must be said).
'Helping with the rebuild' I see as code for 'helping with the CBD rebuild'. The unwritten emphasis of the rebuild is more on restoring business (business as usual) and far less on restoring a more holistic, city-wide quality of life.
This week they put the uber-coloniser John Godley back on his plinth in Cathedral Square, where he can glare at the acrimonious pigeon roost formerly known as Christ Church Cathedral.
Described by the even more odious Walter D'Arcy Cresswell in his mostly deservedly forgotten From Lyttelton Harbour as the "founder foundering in his pot of tar".
As I suppose one of the colonists and intellectual hustlers, we have common ground on the fear of a timid, conformist future.
Was going to quote the local leader who recently said “Christchurch is essentially a large rural service town” and pooh poohed any effort to be something more, but oddly, The Press have taken the article down.
but oddly, The Press have taken the article down.
There's been a bit of that. A couple of ill-judged puff-pieces presumably intended to support Roger Sutton in his hour of need suddenly vanished once the stink had wafted to the editorial levels.
Greg (under Hebe's flag) is keen to say you were not at all in mind in this category and welcomes you and yourn to the hood.
...they put the uber-coloniser John Godley back on his plinth in Cathedral Square, where he can glare at the acrimonious pigeon roost formerly known as Christ Church Cathedral.
Yes, if only his Godleyness were next to cleanliness...
the fact that the Anglican management have done virtually nothing about sorting their rubble speaks volumes...
they could sell the stone if they ain't gonna use it again
Greg is backed up by this report
other reports from the affront that is Chchch:
__The Press_ supplies some post-apocalyptic reminders with their 'then and now' photosliders - a before the earthquake slider would have been nice too....
the proof that locking the central city down for all those years was counterproductive is growing daily;
with very few offices even rebuilt in the CBD there is already an office glut!
The Council is getting realistic about things:
Almost half a billion dollars of earthquake repairs scheduled for this year have been delayed.
The Christchurch City Council is blaming project delays and insurance uncertainty for pushing $450 million worth of work to the next fiscal year.
and that nice Mr Key chappie, after insisting that we build a covered stadium for him has now decided to let the council take the flak for yay or naysaying it:
Key said yesterday it was up to the council when the stadium was built "based on the resources they've got available".
"I think they're reflecting on the consultation process they're going though at the moment in terms of their capacity to fund their anchor projects.
"They're probably, at one level, trying to be realistic about how much pressure they could put on rates in terms of increasing those, if they sell some assets how many they've ultimately got to sell, and what their priorities are.
"We'll continue to talk to them about it but that final decision is ultimately a decision for the Christchurch City Council."
Someone should hit up Don McGlashan about a fundraising single of "There Is No Disruption In New Brighton"
The lyrics just write themselves!
There is no disruption in New Brighton
There are no cracks in our floors...
I'm frozen. There's a letter from EQC sitting on my table and I don't want to open it. It arrived this morning, and I know what's in it because EQC rang me a couple of days ago to say they were sending, I think, a 'package'. It would explain how they work out how much excees I have to pay for my repairs.
I froze when they rang, realising I would have to find the pile of e-mail printouts, and notes of phone conversations. Just thinking about those times is making me feel shaky. I never received anything back then mentioning an excess - I read about it in the paper some time ago.It will be a minimum of $200, and is based on the cost of the repairs.
Just writing this has unfrozen me enough to open the letter from EQC, and it's not the 'package' after all. It's an acknowledgement of a request I made for information about the cost of my repairs - it is an OIA.
The thing about all this is that my house wasn't badly damaged, the repairs have been done, after my doctor wrote to say that indeed my mental state was unsteady. (similar houses round me had been repaired) All in all I was, and am, extremely lucky. So if *I* froze just having to think about EQC, talk to them, have them back in my life, then how are those feeling whose claims are still being 'processed'?
Thanks for your story Greg.
No worries. It's a legitimate complaint and I feel a certain amount of imposter wotsit.
And there's more. John McCrone dissects the latest chapter of the land and repair issues facing thousands of us. http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/66483145/Land-settlements-put-EQC-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place
So much information to absorb and to make decisions on for the land aspect alone; then will be the house hoo-hah. We're fortunate not to have to stress about it: house is liveable though well dented. Having two teenage sons, I'm thinking of it as a student flat with comfortable furniture and a garden to love.
Unexpected quake benefits include Christchurch becoming op-shoppers' paradise as people clear out before the builders arrive. A few weeks ago I swapped a few kilos of peaches from our tree for a large, heavy-duty glasshouse that needed to be taken away. Just what I have wanted for years :-)
Great writing, Greg. It's the grit that gets into the everyday which starts to wear and nag like sand in an engine. Don't want to go into our own experience with EQR/EQC - but it's evident that easy stuff, with clear lines of profit (plaster and paint jobs) are easy to get done. But they have little effect on peace of mind or quality of life. Faced with a hard job - everyone runs a mile.
We've got a long way to go. So it's especially disturbing to feel we're not on the right road.
PS - Stephen Judd would be an asset to anywhere on the planet. But there are plenty of folks - well-meaning and not - here making big $ 'helping out'. Many stories, rumours and slander in the air. Hope some of the dirtier dirt (if indeed it's not all just idle scuttlebutt) makes it out into the sunlight.
Irene Gardiner collects a handful of Chchch Earthquake related film works for The Herald – including Blair Parkes' excellent Chimney Book