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Friday, November 25, 2011

More new geotech factual reports

EQC have released four more T&T geotechnical factual reports for some parts of the city. These reports cover:
  • Avondale
  • Opawa
  • Papanui
  • Spreydon
These, and the previously released reports, can be found here. 

To repeat what was said earlier: much of the material is impenetrable to the normal mind but may have some useful background and summary information in the main part. The appendices have the bulk of the technical stuff. Appendix A defines the area under investigation, shows where the testing took place and what sort of testing it was. The other appendices vary in content and intelligibility.

The full list of releases is now:

  • Aranui
  • Avondale
  • Hillsborough
  • Hoon Hay
  • North New Brighton
  • Opawa
  • Papanui
  • Somerfield
  • Spreydon
  • Sydenham
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Cathedral Square walking tours

CERA are opening up a walkway to allow limited numbers of people to go through Cathedral Square and see what has been happening.

The walkway is open on weekends only, between 9.00am and 8.00pm, until the 11th of December. Groups of no more than 300 per hour will be allowed onto the walkway and for a maximum of 50 mins at a time. Tours will start every hour, on the hour. Very stringent safety conditions will be in place, however hi-vis clothing and helmets are not required. Solid footwear is essential.

Information about the walkway is on the CERA page here. At the bottom of the page is a 10 minute video showing what will be seen by those taking the tour.
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Central City Plan - update

The CCC yesterday provided an update on progress with the Central City Plan. It is currently being amended for presentation to council on the 15th of December.

The status of the plan, the draft plan itself, and the technical appendices that will accompany it can be found here. The appendices that can be downloaded are:

Appendix A  Public Consultation Summary
Appendix A  TELL US WHAT YOU THINK FORMAL PUBLIC CONSULTATION
Appendix B  Central City Plan consultation phase key stakeholder briefings summary
Appendix B  Central City Plan Stakeholder meetings Summary May - July 2011 UPDATE
Appendix C  Remembering Christchurch Presentation
Appendix E  Population Forecasts and Demographics
Appendix F  Demand Analysis
Appendix G  Study of Trends for New 4 to 8 Level Buildings in Christchurch CB
Appendix G  CCC-Feasibility.gslm-61 22.Oct 11
Appendix H  Character Descriptions of Areas
Appendix I  Retail Peer Review
Appendix J  Tourism Strategy Peer Review
Appendix K  CCP Community wellbeing framework
Appendix L  Central_City_Plan_Integrated Wellbeing and Sustainability Assessment
Appendix N  Transport Choice Traffic Analysis
Appendix O  Transport Choice Public Transport
Appendix P  Parking Analysis
Appendix R  Colour Coded Status of Group 12 Listed buildings 2011-11-15
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ansvar Insurance pulling out of New Zealand

The following is from the Ansvar website. More detail is available from their website here.
As a result of the Canterbury earthquakes, Ansvar Insurance Limited (Ansvar New Zealand) is regretfully ceasing to provide insurance cover in New Zealand and will undertake a managed withdrawal from the market.
We have begun notifying our New Zealand customers about what this means for them. We are committed to supporting our policyholders to the fullest extent possible through this process. We are seeking to implement arrangements with other insurance companies to provide replacement interim or permanent cover for most of our customers.
In addition, we remain focused on continuing to provide a quality claims service until all claims are settled.
Andrew Moon, Chief Executive Officer
Why has Ansvar made this decision?
This is a result of the prohibitive cost of reinsurance following the devastating series of earthquakes in Canterbury in 2010 and 2011.
I am an Ansvar policy holder, what does this mean for me?
You will receive detailed information by post about what this means for you shortly. However, we are arranging replacement interim or permanent cover for most of our customers.
I have a current claim with Ansvar, how will I be affected?
If you have a claim with Ansvar it will not be affected by this decision. We will continue to manage claims until they are settled.
Can I still make new claims?
Yes. (see the website)
Can I still pay my premium online?
Yes. (see the website)
Contact us: 0800 123 344
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Home Building Guide

For those who are amongst the many thousands of rebuilds in Christchurch, getting to grips with the building process is likely to be an enormous issue.

While nearly all these houses will be rebuilt courtesy of our insurance companies, it is important to have a head full of ideas when meeting with claims managers and project managers. If you don't know, you can't ask, so some background reading is essential.

The website www.buildingguide.co.nz covers a great deal of this information in an easy to read format. Better still they have put out a 82 page A4 size magazine that covers all the building phases from conception through to completion with a great deal of effort put into discussing design and materials plus the legal processes and requirements. Even the advertising is worth careful study as the ideas and products spark off all sorts of thoughts!

The booklet is called BUILDING GUIDE: your step-by-step guide to better home building. Shirley Library had a few copies today, and I would assume most libraries will have them. If not, you can request a copy (they are free) by going to the Building Guide website here and filling in your details.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Land information - the CERA database

CERA have a database that is to be central to all Red Zone legal transactions. Referred to as the CERA settlements database (part of Project Orbit) it is available to lawyers acting for Red Zone residents. The CERA web page Information for lawyers mentions it here.

However it seems the database may hold much more than just information about property transactions. The Department of Building and Housing (see reference below) describe it as having a use in Green Zone areas:
Insurers, their Project Management Organisations (PMO’s), Building Consent Authorities, designers and builders will have access to the Canterbury Recovery Orbit website, as necessary. This will enable access to Technical Category and existing geotechnical information specific to the site, provide a means to enter geotechnical data collected and facilitate building consent applications. 
It seems likely the databases mentioned by CERA and the Department of Building and Housing are facets of the same thing.

As CERA is gathering and storing geotech and other information at the individual property level, it should be available to residents as well as those on the other side of negotiations. Useful also to those wishing to challenge zonings, or at least to better understand them.

The DBH quote is from: P5, Sec. 3.1. Preview of the update to: Guidance on house repairs and reconstruction following the Canterbury Earthquakes, on the Department's website here: http://www.dbh.govt.nz/earthquake--reconstruction-guidance-preview
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Monday, November 21, 2011

Vero CEO on disaster insurance in New Zealand

Australian insurance website insuranceNEWS.com.au reports on an address by NZ Vero CEO Gary Dransfield given to the Trans Tasman Business Circle in Auckland last week. The full report is here.

Amongst the issues raised by Dransfield was the need for EQC to continue in an expanded role with greater capital behind it. One expansion would be to provide some level of insurance support for commercial properties. Another would be as a buyer of reinsurance for local underwriters (the Pharmac of the insurance industry?).
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