Showing posts from April 10, 2011

Weather-proofing and Home heating

Two very up to date websites that may be of interest: Community Energy Action, and CERA.

Community Energy Action

Community Energy Action has a web page Keeping warm after the earthquake, with information and advice for houses damaged by the earthquakes. The information provided is useful and worth a look if your house is not weather tight, has lost heating, or is cold anyway. Their website is here.

Community Energy Action also take an interesting look at the "trojan horse" consequence of having a free heat pump installed. In their view the immediate and long term consequence of having a heat pump is high electricity charges if homes are not insulated at the same time. Read their comments and suggestions about insulationhere.


CERA's interim CEO has issued a media release: Winter health and wellbeing top priority.

The media release contains the standard references to services provided by Fletchers/EQR and the Clean Heat Hub. Also included is a recommendation t…

CERA on land remediation

In a wide-ranging news update today CERA's CEO adressed a number of issues. Towards the end of the release were three paragraphs on land remediation processes and timelines. The relevant paragraphs are:
We understand people want answers about their homes and land and we are working towards providing them with certainty as soon as we can.  Those answers will be based on the best engineering and scientific advice available.A great deal of work and expertise is going into building a comprehensive picture of the damage to both residential and commercial land and to identify the key issues for rebuilding.It hoped that by the end of May people can be given an initial indication about the state of the land and that options will be identified for the worst affected suburbs. At the same time we aim to indicate areas where there has been relatively little damage to land and where repairs and rebuilding can start.  We hope to also give some timelines then for when more detailed info…

Joe Davies - Community Organizer

The National Distribution Union (Paul is the NDU's Southern Regional Secretary) has employed a union organizer to act as a community organizer. The appointee is Joe Davies, and his role is to help people, anyone. This position has great potential as Joe comes from a background of providing and building strong advocacy support, a form of assistance not available from most other agencies.

We have been sent the following information, which will better explain how Joe can help individuals (you don't have to be a union member), streets, and communities.
After the February 22 earthquake, the National Distribution Union, like many other organizations, wanted to make a contribution to help the people of Christchurch. Instead of making a donation to one of the charity appeals, the Union decided to do something more practical. They decided to employ a Union organizer as a community organizer to help people with problems and enable the communities affected to have a voice in d…

Rally for Christchurch

Rally for Christchurch are organizing a meeting for Sunday 17th April, 1pm at Linwood Park.

You can find more about Rally for Christchurchhere.

The New City - Earthquake Safe - 1

Structural Issues

In his message to the people of Christchurch, as part of the first message from CERA (here), the mayor makes the following statement:

"There are so many challenges, but I am confident that by working together we will succeed with our ultimate goal of building the most earthquake safe city in the world. We have a huge opportunity ahead of us."Unfortunately there is unlikely to be any formal enquiry into the broad aspects of what happened and why, in the February earthquake, and what is needed for a next time. Without this type of analysis there is no way of having confidence that decisions made now will be sufficient. The current specifications for earthquake-prone buildings, or the construction of new buildings, have become outdated as a result of the February 22nd earthquake. The same is likely to be the case for infrastructure design (roading, water, sewage, power and communications). At present there is nothing to give guidance or direction on …

Holy Trinity friendship afternoons

Every wednesday from 2pm onwards Holy Trinty Avonside's St Francis Hall is open for a cuppa and chat. Their invitation is:
If you or someone you know would like to come you are very welcome. Hope to see you soon.


Delivered in the letter box last night, in the midst of a pile of junk mail, was a message in pamphlet form from CERM. Gerry Brownlee is CERM - Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister

Along with the front page message from CERM was a message from the mayor. His words make interesting reading, particularly the bit about "the most earthquake safe city in the world". I look forward to him being held to that.

Also in the pamphlet is CERA stuff we already know, EQC stuff and timelines we already know, and an interesting page on how information is being gathered for land remediation decisions.

If you have a notice up forbidding junk mail you may not have got the newsletter. A copy can be downloaded from here.

Voting in the 2011 election

Some of us have been, or will be, relocated because of issues with our homes (owned or rented). This has the potential to affect eligibility to vote in a particular electorate for the general election in November.

A guide to where you are eligible to vote has been published by the Registrar of Elections on the Elections NZ website. The guide is easy to read and the choices available are very sympathetic to your situation. You can find it here.

Temporary accommodation update

Housing New Zealand has provided the following information update:
Housing New Zealand is no longer running the temporary accommodation service for Canterbury people affected by the earthquakes.The 0800 HELP 00 number has been replaced by 0800 673 227.The Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service (CETAS) has been set-up and is available to help those people affected by the quakes who may be having difficulty accessing alternative accommodation.This service is being run by the Ministry of Social Development and Department of Housing and Building.Can you please update your files/alerts so you now direct any inquiries to 0800 673 227 or the visit the website

The era of the new city

Rebuilding Christchurch is not just the replacement of houses, shops and offices. While many in business will be unable to focus on anything outside of this, nor see any reason to do so, there are other equally important aspects to be considered. City and urban planning will look beyond these things to determine what should go where, how they will be connected, and what can be done with areas unsuitable for building on. Having achieved this, most will feel the job is done.

Getting this far will be only a half-job. There remains the issue of how it will operate - the regulations and bylaws that will govern the city. Those, whose interests had been well served by the way things were, will want a business as usual approach. However, not all that existed before the earthquakes was suitable. Prior to September there were a number of regulations, rules, processes, procedures and approaches that seemed inappropriate then, and appear more so now. Other factors not yet fully identified will a…

Electricity supply

Orion have now connected the whole of the east side to the electricity supply (see the news releasehere).

The generator at Retreat Park was turned off on Friday and the cables linking it to the power system removed (in case some one stole them). According to earlier news releases some generators will remain in place until there is certainty that the system can cope with the load.  However some suburbs, including ours, have limited capacity and electricity use should be kept to a minimum (although electric heaters can be used).

If you still have no hot water Orion advise:
Where customers are supplied from a generator, their hot water cylinders may not heat. We ask those customers to contact their electricity retailer, i.e. Meridian, Contact, Mercury, to arrange the appropriate metering change.We have arranged to do this. It requires an certified (or whatever it is) electrician and about 30 minutes of time. Costs can vary above and below the $100 mark. The downside is we had t…