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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Avonside Community Group Newsletter 8 May 2011

The Avonside Community Group newsletter, reproduced here in full, is produced by Leanne Curtis.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!

Things continue to bubble away in Avonside and Christchurch in general. Unfortunately getting any definitive answers is a frustrating task. CanCERN continues to meet regularly with EQC, Mayor Bob Parker, insurance companies, banks, community well being groups, etc and we have finally developed a website and blog which shares whatever information we can tie down (www.cancern.org.nz). CanCERN is currently looking at how it can best share the issues and solutions/answers which come as a result of these regular meetings so watch this space.

CCC MEETINGS: The Mayor has agreed to establish regular meetings with CanCERN which will also include some of the infrastructure team. These meetings will follow along the lines of what we had with Civil Defence National Controller so we will be able to speak about specific issues in specific ideas. This is a great opportunity for Avonside to raise issues and suggest solutions which will make living here a little easier. Of course this depends on our ability to discuss these issues as Avonside Community Group so I am in the process of planning another get together.

COMMUNITY EXPO: By now, you should have received the CCC 'Share an Idea' newspaper delivered. This gives some framework for thinking about the CBD rebuild. The Community Expo is on 14 & 15 May at CBS Arena from 10am to 5pm. You can also feed your ideas via a number of social media avenues. www.shareanidea.org.nz


LAND: We are expecting some announcements about the status of land by the end of May. I have asked a number of people in the know what they expect of these announcements and unfortunately there is not a lot of clarity I can offer. Some think the announcements are about processes and timelines; others believe we will have information about what areas will not be rebuilt. My advice, for what it is worth, is not to raise your expectations too high. Better to be 'pleasantly' surprised (if that is the appropriate term!)

FLOODING: Hopefully the stop-banks will offer the protection we need to get through winter. The fact that the Avon's capacity for carrying water has been reduced will no doubt be dealt with as part of the overall Avonside works. If you haven't taken a walk around the river lately, go for a stroll and check out the resident's flower competition. Even better, take a plant and add to it (although I have been advised that plant roots are not friendly for bank stability so maybe put it in a pot).

ROAD WORKS: (via Yani Johanson - Councillor) Description of current stage:
We will be repairing the existing manholes along the corner of Retreat Road and Avonside Drive. We will also be laying new pipes from the existing pump station to these manholes. The works will commence on 9 May 2011 and we expect the work to take 2 weeks to complete, subject to favourable weather and on-site conditions. We will be working Monday to Friday from 7 am to 6 pm and Saturday 7 am to 12 noon. On rare occasions we may have to work on a Sunday to complete essential work.

As part of this work, access along Avonside Drive and the corner of Retreat Road may be limited at times. Access to private property will not be affected during these works. During this period of construction we ask that you observe special cordons around construction areas for you and your family's safety.

Please contact us on the number shown below if you have any specific access requirements that we need to consider e.g. Nurse Maude, Meals on Wheels or other planned works on your property. This work may result in some dust, vibration, noise, and disruption to traffic flows.

If you have any questions or require assistance during this time, please contact the Earthquake Rebuild Team between the hours of 8.30 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday on (free phone) 0508 718 719 and we'll be happy to help you. Any emergency calls made outside of these hours will be diverted to a Site Engineer for the area of works. Thank you for your patience during this time.

EVENTS: In the car park of Holy Trinity Avonside (Lychgate Close - off Stanmore Rd) we are having a community fun day on the 6 June from 10am until 2pm.  The day will be a day for the whole family to enjoy!  It will have give-aways, as well as activities for children, and free bouncy castle and face painting. This is an opportunity for groups from our neighbourhood to fundraise or to raise awareness for their group.  If you are interested in having a table at this fun day (there are no costs) please contact Rosalyn Deane on 383-7980 or email on rosalynclinton@yahoo.co.uk 

WAIMAKARIRI REBUILD: As a result of many public meetings the Kaiapoi Earthquake Hub has published '137 key questions and answers about the repair, rebuild and land remediation process in Kaiapoi, The Pines Beach and Kairaki'. It is worth a read as a lot of the information can be related to what we may soon face here. This information can be found at www.newfoundations.org.nz

COMMUNITY FUNDING: CanCERN is working with Canterbury Earthquake Response Fund and community organisations to make small grant funding more easily accessible for community groups such as ours. We have received positive feedback regarding this idea and things seem to be progressing well. The purpose of this funding is to make it easier for communities to plan small and regular events which will bring residents together so we can continue to work for collective support in our area.

 If this funding concept is successful, it would be good to have a small group of people from Avonside who would be prepared to plan these regular get togethers. CanCERN is trying to make it as easy as possible by getting the community organisations (or fund-holders) to provide information about cheap contacts for coffee, food, bouncy castles, bands, etc. We understand that people are very tired at the moment and need as much support as possible to strengthen the community and keep the spirits of the residents up. If you are interested in being part of this group, please email me curbut@clear.net.nz. I will be contacting others who have already expressed an interest in the near future. I don't see these events as being hugely onerous on people's time or energy but a bigger group of organisers would make the job a little easier. Alternatively, if you have a good idea about how we could all meet (other than the car crash down Morris St) please email me.

EMERGENCY REPAIRS & HEATING: Hopefully you are all living in homes that are warm and safe. If you are not, make sure you have alerted EQC to the need for emergency repairs and/or replacement hearting (if you have lost your primary source of heating). Some claims are being processed very slowly so also contact Natalie Absalom at our local Fletchers Hub which is the Woolston Hub. It seems that the noisier people are, the faster their job gets done so if you have a real need, be noisy! To contact the Heating Scheme email heating@eqr.co.nz Natalie at Fletchers is nataliea@eqr.co.nz
 
EQC has a new page for claimant's news. It is a good source of updated information and be be found at http://canterbury.eqc.govt.nz/publications/2011/04/claimant-news-earthquake-commission-update-information
A final note - home owners have until 23 May to make a claim for the February quake. Please make sure you have made a claim with EQC, even if you think there is no further damage. It is important that EQC make an assessment regardless of what state your house was prior to February.

Keep safe, keep warm and keep connected. Let me know if there is anything I can help with.
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