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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Roading and Street Improvements

The CCC has an Infrastrucure FAQ that addresses a number of issues. It doesn't contain a great deal of specific information but is a starting point. One question that provides an important possibility for the future regards roading design (think peak traffic, road use, and parking).

Q. Can local communities have a say in how the area and roading will look like or will it have to be exactly as it was before? Can we take the opportunity to improve the area and will there be consultation around that?
A. Yes the negotiations with contractors are underway so work can be started. There will be some consultation with residents prior to streets being repaired.

The FAQ is available  here:

Unfortunately the document is undated and doesn't have a review date so its ongoing relevance can't be assessed.
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Real Estate - buying and selling

Harcourts real estate held a property seminar in early November to address post-earthquake concerns of potential buyers and sellers.  Some of the presentations were recorded and viewed on the harcourt's page here.
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Help and Support - Canterbury Webhealth - Part 2

Also on the Canterbury Webhealth website is a list of trauma, stress and psychological resources. Included is a link to a document on helping children cope with a stressful event. The link is here - scroll to about halfway down the page.
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Help and Support - Canterbury Webhealth - Part 1

Canterbury Webhealth is a web site to "... assist you to find health and social services in an easy and timely manner. Webhealth is a not-for-profit organisation, with a strong focus on mental health, physical health and wellbeing." It is sponsored by the Canterbury District Health Board. It has a earthquake page dedicated to providing "Useful Information".

Some parts of the page are lists of links to other useful pages as well as original material. The following is an extract from that page:

Free Counselling - Christchurch

The Ministry of Social Development have contracted the following agencies to provide free trauma support counselling in the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquake.
Victim Support 0800 842 846
24/7. Telephone contact. People may need to leave their details and a volunteer will ring them back.
Samaritans 0800 726 666
24/7. National telephone listening and support service staffed by volunteers.
Lifeline 0800 543 354
24/7. Trained telephone counsellors.
Relationship Services Whakawhanaungatanga (03) 366 8804
Trained counsellors. Available by phone until 8pm.
Face to face counselling is available at the ChCh office (Level 5 CTV Building, 249 Madras Street) on both a walk in and appointment basis - 8am to 8pm.
Salvation Army (03) 377 0799
Available until 8pm to make appointments for face to face counselling sessions.
Ministry of Education (03) 378 7300
8am to 5pm weekdays. Counsellors available to parents and schools to discuss the trauma reactions of children.
St Johns Caring Caller Service - volunteers who can make daily phone calls to people at home to provide support. Email referrals to: jacci.tatnell@stjohn.org.nz
WorkPlace Support  http://www.workplacesupport.co.nz/ Support is available for not- for -profit community based social service organisations requiring support for employees who are impacted by the ongoing effects of the Canterbury Earthquake. This support is being provided through "Workplace Support" sponsored by MSD. Or email Trauma Counsellors are also available at the new recovery assistance centres.

The extract above states that it was last updated: 21/10/2010. No doubt some of this will change over time so it would be best to check the website if you want to contact an agency. The web site is here. 
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Government Support Services

The Ministry of Social Development has a webpage devoted to support services available to individuals and families affected by the earthquake and subsequent events. To go there click here.

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Police - Earthquake Experiences

The New Zealand Police Online produce a monthly e-mail newsletter called Ten-One Community Edition.

The October edition has some police perspectives on the earthquake. You can see it here.

Anyone can subscribe to the newsletter and details are on the web page.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rates Relief

The CCC today released information on the type and amounts of rate relief available to property owners.

The highlights for residential property owners are:
Residential properties:
 Remit 40% of rates for residential properties on land requiring remediation by the EQC from 1 September 2010 until rebuilding has been completed or six months after land remediation has been completed if building has not begun – whichever is earlier;
 Remit 40% of rates for residential properties requiring demolition and rebuild by insurance companies, for the period during which the house cannot be occupied;
 Remit 40% of rates for three months to those properties that remain unable to connect to the reticulated wastewater network at 31 October 2010.
These terms also apply to churches and non-rateable properties.
Discounts have been set at a level that reflects what it would normally have cost to provide services through the Council’s reticulated wastewater network if it had not been damaged by the earthquake.

The full press release is available here:

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

EQC payouts

I understand one or two people have been sent cheques by EQC as settlement of their claims. The big issue is that they involve sums over $10,000 and under $100,000.

From the publicity material released it would have seemed, until now at least, that claimants with damage in this region were to be referred to Fletchers for them to arrange the repairs. Have the "rules" changed? Anyone have any news on this?

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Geotech visits

Most houses in Cowlishaw Street will have had a visit from a geotech team either yesterday or today. Anyone know if other streets have had a visit?

In our case they looked inside the house first then looked at the exterior and the small fissure in the lawn. No measurements were taken.

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Geotech work

There is more activity around the river with geotech drilling equipment located near Bowie Place, Morris Street (eastern end) and the Avonside Drive side of the Medway Street footbridge.

For those of you who like gadgets there is a little photo-display widget at the top right of the page. Clicking on the current photo will take you Picasa Web Albums where all the blog photos are stored. Most of the images on Picasa Web Albums are geotagged.

 Bowie Place



Bowie Place













Morris Street








Medbury St. footbridge




Health and Safety - Coping with Stress

The NZ Ministry of Health has a range of information sheets that: 
... will help you, your family and community to:
  • understand common emotional reactions to the earthquake
  • learn positive ways of coping
  • identify when to get extra help that will enable you to cope better.
There are also factsheets for emergency response workers, health staff and volunteers.
 The information can be read on-line or printed out. The website is here:

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Grants and Assistance - Red Cross

The New Zealand Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake Commission have a fund and is making grants to those affected by the earthquake.  The following extract is from the website http://www.canterburyearthquake.govt.nz/

Grants are now available from the New Zealand Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake Commission. For application forms and eligibility criteria go to www.redcross.org.nz
Grants are available to people who:
  • Are no longer able to live in their own homes
  • Are still living in their homes even though their homes are considered uninhabitable because of loss of water or sewerage services
  • Have suffered significant financial, health or welfare hardship.
If you want to know more about these grants call 0800 754 726. You can also ask staff at any of the Recovery Assistance Centres to help you to complete the application forms for these grants.
Those recovery centres are at:
  • Kaiapoi Community Centre, 24 Sewell Street
  • Department of Labour, 144 Kilmore Street
  • Linwood Community Link, 154 Aldwins Road
  • Heartland Services, Hornby, 25 Shands Road
  • Work and Income, New Brighton, 26 Beresford Street

EQC - what if I have additional damage?

A couple of days ago we found extra damage and contacted EQC about it.

The gist of the EQC claim management company's response was that as the assessors had visited us (19th of October) anything reported subsequently would require a new claim. This is their communication:
Thanks for your email. If this is new additional damage that has occurred after 19th October, you will have to lodge a new claim with the EQC. 
However, if this is damage that has worsened since 4th September, this will be added to your claim. As to my understanding, the damage was from 14th November, if this is correct you will have to lodge another claim with us stating clearly that this was from 14th November.
On the basis of this a new claim was duly lodged today.

Checking back on the EQC website this evening the policy is actually different. Located on this Canterbury EQC page it is clearly stated:

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What do I do if I have or find additional damage since lodging a claim?

Any additional damage will be added to your existing claim. If an assessor has yet to visit please wait until then and tell him or her. If an assessor has visited then please call or email us quoting your claim number and tell us about the additional damage. If the additional damage has affected weatherproofing and/or habitability then please email and put "weather/Hab" in the subject line and also provide your claim number and contact details.

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I have kept a copy of their webpage and will let you know how we get on but, in the meantime, be careful.

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Geotech - Perry Drilling

The geotech drilling rig referred to in the previous entry belongs to Perry Drilling Limited of Tauranga. Their website doesn't seem to give much useful information however, in case you are curious, click here: 

One thing I did find out is that the device below is called a CPTR (cone penetation testing rig) which they say is:
ideal for analysis of soil profiles (thickness, density, and strength of various soil deposits), indicating the soil type from the relationships of the measured parameters, estimating shear strengths of cohesive soils, providing SPT N60 equivalent values, determination of settlement values and bearing capacities of spread foundations on granular soils, pile capacity in cohesionless soils, compaction control of soils, location of cavities and soil rock interfaces, enabling optimum location of boreholes and selective sampling programs. Configured for Vertex Soil Sampling, ability to install Standpipes, or Monitoring Wells, and Seismic Cone Penetration testing using Tri-Axle Accelerometers.

Geotech work

Geotech activity is getting closer. The equipment in the photographs below was unloaded and setup around 7.30 this morning at the river end of Retreat road. The were finished and gone by 9.10, leaving just a little peg in the group.





Rebuilding - no starts until February

An article in yeterday's Press by Alan Wood quoted building industry people as saying rebuilding cannot start until february 2011 at the earliest.
Building companies say the rebuild of earthquake-shattered suburbs in Christchurch cannot start soon enough but it is unlikely work on new homes will start before February.
Builders – particularly those in the new-build part of the sector – have been idle or have left for greener fields such as Australia.