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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Earthquake Assistance Centre for Red Zone residents

CERA have set up a Residential Red Zone earthquake assistance centre on Breezes Road, at the Avondale Golf Club (in the car park). The contact details are:
Avondale Earthquake Assistance Centre (EAC)
Avondale Golf Club, 141 Breezes Road, Avondale
10.00 am to 6.30 pm Monday to Friday
0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372)
The purpose of the Centre is to
  • Provide information and assistance for red-zone homeowners with insurance deciding on Government offers to buy their properties.
  • Give updates on services such as roading, sewerage and water.
  • Help connect those with earthquake-related housing, legal and/or insurance issues to the relevant services.
  • Share material from official agencies and community organisations, including notices and contact details.
It is important to note that there are things the Centre is NOT set up to do:
It can’t provide a dispute resolution service between homeowners and insurance companies nor a forum for negotiating individual settlements. It can, however, provide information to help people decide on a purchase option, if any.
Community Law Canterbury will have a presence, and lawyers from this group will give free legal help including making suggestions about finding a lawyer for those who don’t have one of their own.

Other agencies that will be there, although not necessarily at all hours the Centre will be open so ring to check:
  • EQC
  • Some private insurers (ring first to check)
  • City Council
  • Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service (CETAS)
More information on the Centre is available from CERA's website here.
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Friday, August 19, 2011

AMI update for Kaiapoi and Pines Beach residents

AMI have issued an update for Kaiapoi and Pines Beach residents who were classified as Red Zone yesterday. In addition they want to hear from any customer in those areas who has not had an AMI assessment AND have not had an assessment scheduled.

The update is here.
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Big demolition rig on the way.

Courtesy of Demolition News I can tell you the big demolition high reach excavator, mentioned a few days ago (here), is being made ready to come to Christchurch. More photos and info here.
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Red Zone letters and legal advice

Those in the Red Zone who promptly returned to CERA the information requested from them, will be getting letters of offer from the government in a day or so. In total about 3,000 letters will be sent out in the first batch.

As these documents vary in content from the standard real estate sale and purchase agreements Gerry Brownlee has made the letters and associated documents available early to the Law Society. The Society has put these on their web site so it's members can become familiar with them.

In a media release he advises:
“Due to the nature of the offers, there are variations from the standard sale and purchase agreements,” says Mr Brownlee.
“Being familiar with the documentation will allow lawyers to give better advice and service, from receipt of the offers by homeowners.
“I urge all parties involved to carefully study the documentation, so that we can have a positive outcome for homeowners in the Red Zone.”
The documents on the Law Society web site are the formal legal documents being used for briefing of Canterbury lawyers.  The letters of offer will be in plain language and will include clear explanations of the offer and other information to assist affected homeowners.  Homeowners should focus on the letters of offer and then discuss the formal documentation with their lawyers.
The New Zealand Law Society's website with copies of the letters and documentation, along with other earthquake related forms, can be found here.  Gerry Brownlee's media release on the subject is here.

Seeking legal advice would be the safest option for everyone who receives an offer. At this stage there is no urgency, and it is possible that lawyers will make a lot of explanatory material available publicly over the next few weeks.
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Maps & Info on the new Kaiapoi & Pines Beach Red Zones

CERA has a web page where maps, an FAQ, and the Tonkin & Taylor presentation (overheads only) can be viewed or downloaded.

There are five maps covering the area. Each one clearly outlines the Red Zoned areas and allows for specific properties to be identified. The maps are:
  • Kaiapoi Ward zones overview
  • Kaiapoi north
  • Kaiapoi south-east
  • Kaiapoi west
  • Pines Beach
The FAQ, in PDF form, is similar to the material released to city Red Zoners following the June zoning announcements, but incorporates the new decisions made since then and much more information about specific issues. A good read for anyone in Red or Orange.

Tonkin & Taylor's presentation overheads make little sense without the words. For instance, in some areas the boundary between Red and Green is a road, while elsewhere it seems to be a fence line. An example of the latter occurs on the Kaiapoi North map (N.E. corner) between Shiels Place and Rowan Lane where the boundary line goes through the back of the houses. Some pretty convincing written arguments will be needed to demonstrate that there is nothing arbitrary or capricious about how such lines are drawn.

The CERA page is here.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Saving Red Zone heritage housing

The Red Zone Heritage Housing Association exists to encourage the relocation of older undamaged or repairable houses in the Residential Red Zones. On their blog they describe themselves as:
The RZHHA is a not-for-profit organization for homeowners in Christchurch. We are trying to save old (approximately 100 years) ‘repairable’ homes in the Residential Red Zone. Our plan is to move these houses and their owners to a new location where the homes can be repaired and rejuvenated. By negotiating with CERA as a group we believe that we can obtain the best possible outcome for both the houses and their owners.
If you have an older house, and might be interested in taking part in a project to buy land in Governor's Bay, check them out. There is also information on the costs of having a house relocated and ideas on how a Heritage Housing Scheme might look.

The blog is here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Liquefaction explained - CERA's Dr Jan Kupec

Jan Kupec, CERA's chief geotechnical engineer, combines three talents the latter two not often found in engineers: he knows his stuff, he has a sense of humour, and he is good at explaining what he knows. CERA have a video online in which Jan explains liquefaction in the Christchurch context.

The video shows the Avonside loop part of Avonside Drive and also Porritt Park. At about 3:50 into the video the issue of Retreat Road being split into Red and Orange is discussed. The now famous cream sponge cake explanation is also shown.

The video is here.
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Monday, August 15, 2011

Keeping up with CERA news

The media can't report everything, and it is often the case that something important will not be covered in sufficient detail, or at all. Sometimes just one aspect of the news is emphasised to the exclusion of the rest.

CERA are making a great effort to ensure we have as much information as we want.

CERA have a news web page (here), and put out a weekly e-mail news Update. You can subscribe to that update by signing up on the page here. You can find previous Update bulletins on that page also.
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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Big demolition toy news

For those who like big toys, the UK's biggest high reach demolition rig at 65 m is coming to Christchurch. It has been purchased by Nikau Contractors Ltd (here). A picture of the rig and more information is here.
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