Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: The shakes

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  • Just thinking,

    De Press today has historic property owners, with plaques on their wall complaining about not being able to just demolish our history. They picked it up the property at a reduced rate because of its status and now want to realise a central city land value. Grumble grumble.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Dear SOAC Members and Supporters

    17 September 2010

    Your Executive Committee are very concerned at the announcement of Ian Athfield to head a group of architects, etc to prepare some plans for Christchurch's future, within 2 months. Our concerns fall into three parts.

    First, the process of his appointment was simply a Bob Parker decision, with no City Council meeting/discussion/consultation at all, yet there was absolutely no hurry for any such decision to be made. SOAC believe such fundamentally important appointments, if they are to be made, are made openly and transparently, with all Councillors at the very least having a "say". And we would also argue community consultation is also very important. The Institute of Architects should know this and should themselves have insisted on a Council and community debate, not a rushed decision behind closed doors.

    Second, SOAC believes that the concept of an expert group from the relevant disciplines needed to plan the development of a damaged city has wide international support and is often used. However, SOAC believes what is also essential is that that group and its total composition has itself wide support from the community it is about to serve. Mr Athfield's suddenly announced appointment does not have wide community support, in our view, and in fact is attracting some serious objection.

    Third, Ian Athfield has a record in Christchurch on heritage issues that makes him, in your SOAC Executive's view, unacceptable. He was the architect for the appalling 2006 suggestions of alterations to our Museum [including a Maori Whare on the top and major modern alterations to the front]. These proposals were thrown out by the Environment Court, thank heavens, after a small group of individuals committed to heritage values challenged the Museum Board and the City Council. [Sound familiar??] Then, last year, Mr Athfield's firm provided a senior member for the CCC design panel which enthusiastically supported the Music School proposal. [Ian is of course, and coincidentally, a close friend Sir Miles Warren!!]

    Although it has been stated that issues surrounding the future of heritage buildings would not be part of the team's brief, sensitivity to heritage is vital when considering redevelopment in our city.

    Watch this space!!

    Kind regards,

    Ann Hercus,

    SOAC Chair, on behalf of your SOAC Executive

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Felix Marwick,

    @ Just Thinking

    re the councillor - I think I'll leave that to people to work out. I wasn't really supposed to hear it. However Chch people who know their councillors well should be able to make an educated guess.

    The CD centre I was referring to was the city art gallery. To be honest it did hold up remarkably well - though the great big bronze hanging thingy in the lobby did put the shits right up people when it started to sway a bit during aftershocks. Can't say I noticed any falling plaster when I was there either. I do know that was definitely an issue at the cathedral though.

    (and I never even thought about what a quake might do to all the glass there until well after I left)

    Finally, I can't say as I'm surprised about all the hoopla over the heritage building issue either. One of Christchuerch's greatest strengths is the number of historic buildings it has managed to retain over the years. However one of the city's greatest weaknesses has always been the bitter debate that inevitably blows up everytime heritage issues come up.

    The great pity here is I can't see how there will be enough money to save and restore all the damaged buildings. I believe the Government will stump up to 10 million dollars to match what is raised locally. However 20 million won't be enough. Fixing the old St John Church at Horarata alone has an estimated cost of $5 million.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Starts with B & is always voted in with the greatest number of votes in the area?

    Actually is very responsive to the local community needs, which is why she gets voted in again and again.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The great pity here is I can't see how there will be enough money to save and restore all the damaged buildings. I believe the Government will stump up to 10 million dollars to match what is raised locally. However 20 million won't be enough. Fixing the old St John Church at Horarata alone has an estimated cost of $5 million.

    Presumably a significant amount of repair will be covered by earthquake commission and insurance. I would have thought additional money would be required to do anything additional to buildings, ie. earthquake strengthening.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6241 posts Report Reply

  • ms poinsettia,

    For those interested, the UC library is not quite as bad as may appear in the pictures. I am reliably told the pictures of collapsed shelves are of the only collapsed shelves in the library. Of course, a great number of books are on the floor but the majority of the shelving is still standing.

    Since Sep 2010 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Rumour Central to Rumour Control over,

    Is it true the Athfield designed UC Commerce buildings fire escape failed (east side) in the Earth Quake?

    The Mayoress actually kept the Structual Engineers from meeting the Mayor for days?

    Bob Parker owns the PR firm that arranged for Athfield to come south?

    These are from a reliable source but pretty incredible, I would love these confirmed.

    Rumour Central waiting out.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • JLM,

    Ms p, as a pioneer librarian in that establishment, that's good news. It's even possible that I may have catalogued some of those books on the floor. Scary thought.

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 237 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    the rogering continues...

    Rumour Central to Rumour Control over

    Bob has been outed on "unintentional misleading"
    ...the poor blighter hasn't been getting much sleep,
    this saving the city singlehandedly is, well, trying...

    as Councillor Chrissie Williams says:

    "It bewilders me. There are other examples where Bob comes out with these very simple statements and he repeats them so much they become urban myth. They become fact, and that worries me.

    "It is almost like he is saying it to take the responsibility away from council."

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7480 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Almost like?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    Herald:

    Statistics NZ added to the chorus of voices saying the earthquake isn't a boon for the nation. In a section on the impact of the quake, the department said "looking at GDP in isolation fives a false impression that this disaster will be good for the economy."

    No kidding.

    The GDP data doesn't take into account the $2 billion to $4 billion worth of damage to capital assets, or that building work and consents will need to be replaced, businesses are closed and people are unable to go to work, the department said.

    That seems damn telling (or tellingly damning), on a matter as important as a major disaster, Statistics Dept agree GDP isn't a good measure. So who's left backing it as our chief gauge of success?

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 609 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Bloody aftershocks, woke me again & now I find out another hour of sleep was nicked by daylight savings.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Bloody aftershocks, woke me again & now I find out another hour of sleep was nicked by daylight savings.

    And Telecom's Digital Time hasn't even updated for it yet either. It's still showing the non-DS time on my phone.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5312 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    That was a very nasty rash of aftershocks, going by the Twittoseismograph.

    And @Kalena's newfound ability to locate them by street address* adds another level of precision freakout to the whole thing, I imagine??

    * by feeding the geonet coordinates into Google Maps: genius.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1471 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Of course, a great number of books are on the floor but the majority of the shelving is still standing.

    The issue is really: that shelving is now known to be vulnerable in a major quake. So simply putting the books back isn't an option. And most-if not all- of the same sort of shelving- even if it didn't come down- will probably need to be replaced.

    UC Commerce buildings fire escape failed (east side) in the Earth Quake?

    I think 'failed' isn't exactly right: but the whole building was off-limits for 3 or 4 days after the quake, because of some structural problem with the east stairways.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2054 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    "off-limits for 3 or 4 days after the quake, because of some structural problem with the east stairways."

    That sounds like failure to me.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Canterbury tales wag the British Bulldog...
    The planet having run a shake-test on that "most English of colonial cities", Christchurch, will find the "Mother Country" no easy pickings...
    ...as a training exercise on September 10 has
    readied them for the aftermath of a
    magnitude 8 earthquake...

    Officers from Hampshire, Hertfordshire and Merseyside took part in the bizarre exercise this week to plan for a tremor measuring 8 on the Richter scale. Mock disaster scenes included burning cars and collapsed buildings and more than 600 actors and amputees were employed to pose as injured victims.

    The biggest quake ever to hit the UK – at Dogger Bank in 1931 – measured just 6.1 and caused only one fatality, a woman in Hull who had a heart attack.

    Be Prepared - Baden Powell will rest easy in his grave... just so long as none of those offshore oil rigs need to be BP repaired.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7480 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    a training exercise on September 10 has readied them for the aftermath of a magnitude 8 earthquake...

    Predictably spun out on the ChemtrailsNorthNZ blog (Google it, I shan't link) as further evidence of the HAARP earthquake conspiracy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1607 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Predictably spun out on the ChemtrailsNorthNZ blog (Google it, I shan't link) as further evidence of the HAARP earthquake conspiracy.

    Could possibly be the maddest thing ever on the internet. Which is saying something. I'm also willing to put down $100 here and now that says the next issue of Jon Eisen's Uncensored has a big spread on what "really" caused the Canterbury quake ...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Could possibly be the maddest thing ever on the internet. Which is saying something.

    Hey, I'm all for supporting local efforts and that, but nothing will ever top Time Cube.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1607 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Hey, I'm all for supporting local efforts and that, but nothing will ever top Time Cube.

    Wow! That Time Cube site does have it all...
    in spades (as it were) - home on de ranged...

    ...and on checking the Chem Trails one I see them running an urban legend type story (about mysterious canisters in Jet Planes) that has been around a long time - now, as then, I am always suspicious of "aviation engineers" who can't spell hangar properly...

    ...still it keeps em off the streets, right?

    I read some of the Uncensored mag once, I couldn't believe that they couldn't even be bothered taking out all the extraneous web site specific stuff - just cut, paste and print - money for old rope then...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7480 posts Report Reply

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