Showing posts from April 24, 2011

Respecting waterways and land.

On the 27th of April 2011 the Press carried an article featuring landscape architect Di Lucas (page A5). Entitled Rebuild must 'respect' waterways, it discussed how parts of the inner city had been built on top of tributaries to the Avon, creating hidden vulnerabilities. To quote from the article: "When transposed on the present-day central city, the waterways mirrored some of the areas of worst earthquake damage."

The article lists a few of the inner city streets where there had once been streams, and which have now experienced significant land and building damage. A map showing the inner city in the 1850s, and the tributary streams, accompanies the article. An on-line version without the map is here.

Focused as it was on the inner city, the article did not mention the situation in the suburbs. We are most likely to find the same situation, and consequences, occurring there. For those who want to look at this on a broader scale, while waiting f…

Why buildings respond differently to earthquakes

As mentioned in a recent post, the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) has have a selection of earthquake fact sheets (here).

Especially interesting is the one called Why buildings respond differently to earthquakes. It is a general introduction and applies to both commercial and domestic buildings. The chapter headings are:
Causes of Damage Types of Shaking Damage in Earthquakes How are Buildings made more Earthquake resistant? Evolution of Standards and Building Codes. Buildings Not Built to Current Building Code Learning from the Events in CanterburyIt can be foundhere.

Canterbury Job Matcher

The government has a website for matching people's skills with job vacancies. It is part of the government's own careers website, but specifically for job seekers in Canterbury.

The site has a hint of the "What colour is your parachute" book, written for those dead-ended in jobs, or unemployed, and trying to sort out what else they could try (if that doesn't ring any bells, don't worry).  The advantage of the web site is that it matches your characteristics with jobs currently available.

It is simplistic, and there aren't many jobs on some parts of it yet, but give it a go (more than once). If enough people try it out that will encourage those behind the scheme, and those employers contemplating listing vacancies. You can find ithere.

Earthquake damaged or lost library books, CDs etc.

The devil is always in the details of life. If you had books or other items on loan from the public library during the earthquake, and they are damaged or lost, you are responsible for replacing them. You will be billed at some stage for the cost of replacing them, so the library has released the following advice.
I have lost library items as a result of the earthquake. What should I do?In the short-term we will not be billing customers for lost items, however, if you are currently going through the process of making a claim you may want to include the cost of library items that are on loan to you but are lost or cannot be retrieved. Your claim should include the cost of a processing fee. For an estimate of the cost of the items and the processing fee, please contact us.You can contact them via the webhere, or by phone on 941 7923
If you have lost your library card, or are unable to access it, there is information on how to deal with thishere. .

Temporary accommodation - Jennian Homes

The folks at Jennian Homes sent me some images to put on the blog, along with the press release issued a week or so ago. The very useful thing about that is we have access to them all the time.

Structural features of the temporary houses are:
exterior cladding of Shadowclad Plyinterior walls lined with plywood as well, instead of gib, for greater strength lined and finished and ready to move intoinsulated living spaces with double glazing and heat pumpsfitted with smoke alarms and fire extinguishersThe colour illustration shows the front exterior.

The floor plans show both the three and four bedroom houses which are the same size. These houses will be 83 square metres in size, with the 3 bedroom house having a larger living room.

 The 2 bedroom house (not shown) will be smaller at 64 square metres and the same style as the 4 bedroom model, minus the bedrooms to the left. 

The Green Grocer

The Green Grocer, which was located in Linwood Village between Worcester and Gloucester streets on Stanmore Road, closed after the Boxing Day earthquake. Today they reopened in Richmond, at the top end of Stanmore Road, between Bin Inn and the butchers.

Community Forum - nominations for membership

The Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery has invited interested community groups to nominate people to be on the Community Forum. To quote the media release: Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee is calling for expressions of interest for membership of the community forum to be formed under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act.
 "We are looking for representatives of community-based organisations to put forward their nomination for consideration to be appointed to the community forum," Mr Brownlee said.

Under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act, the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery must invite at least 20 people who are suitably qualified to participate in the community forum.

"The intention is to involve a range of grass roots community, business, social, and cultural interests in the forum.

“It will in the main be made up of non-elected persons who take a representative role in their communities."

The purpose of the forum is …

Police: free programme to help keep property safe

The latest edition of Ten One Community Edition, the New Zealand Police online magazine, has an article about SNAP, a programme to help people keep their property safe. The following is an extract from the article:
Police are promoting the online Serial Number Action Partnership (SNAP) to help people keep their property safe.SNAP allows members of the public to record information about their property, including serial numbers and unique identifiers, in a free and secure online system at This makes their items more secure and, in the case of loss or burglary, more easily traceable.You can register you items at the SNAP websitehere. .


The NZ Herald has published a magazine called 12.51 - The story of the Christchurch earthquake. 

It brings together newspaper articles written by Herald journalists following the February 22nd earthquake, and accompanies them with photographs from various sources. There is also a DVD with interviews and footage from the aftermath. Some of what you read and see will be familiar from the Christchurch Star when, for a short time, it returned to being the daily newspaper of choice. The cost is $10, with the net proceeds going to the Red Cross Christchurch Earthquake Appeal. Copies are available from Countdown, Foodtown and Woolworths supermarkets.

We bought a copy at the supermarket yesterday and found it compelling reading. The articles provide a diary and explanation of the times when there was no news, or too much information to take in. To have everything in one place makes understanding easier. The one disappointment was finding Gary McCormick's poem on the inside back cover. Cha…

EQC - FAQ Update

EQC have made extensive changes to its FAQ, adding new areas of information, and supplemented or deleted existing material. There is too much change to be able to note it all here, however many of the highlights are listed below.

Some of the answers are useful, most of the others are disappointingly inadequate. It is still worth a look, especially the information about private insurance assessments "over the cap" (your insurance company doing the assessment instead of EQC), towards the end.

The FAQ is here.

EQC Coverage
Does EQC cover commercial property and loss of stock etc?Who covers medical expenses like broken glasses or false teeth damaged by earthquakes?What is not covered by EQC?What do I do if I don’t have insurance?What happens if my property was or is damaged by an aftershock?I have no insurance and my chimney is not safe. Can I get an EQC assessor to look at the damage at no cost? Claims Process
What is the payment process for claims?What do I do if I have o…

Project Plant - protecting garden plants

This week local National MPs are launching a project to help residents keep plants alive while their houses are rebuilt, or while residents relocate. Nicky Wagner has issued a media release on her website and the main content of the release is:
Pre-registered plants from damaged properties can either be delivered or moved by the team of volunteers to the community plant nursery in Marshlands over the weekend of 14 and 15 May 2011.  The nursery will accept plants such as roses, rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas, hardy natives and small fruit trees. 

Approximate individual plot size is 2m x 10m with a 10 plant maximum per plot.  Maximum recommended plant height is 2.5 metres.   Land is peat and will be hoed and covered with weed matting.  Irrigation is planned for the spring.

Once the planting is complete owners will be responsible for looking after their own plot at the nursery (which will be open on two pre-arranged half days per month), however, support will be available…

Liquifaction explained, Christchurch style

The Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) has the best explanation (words and diagram) I have come across of liquifaction in Christchurch.
They have a selection of earthquake fact sheets (here), including one on liquifaction. It is in PDF format and can be downloadedhere.

New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Inc

Gail recently came across the website of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Inc. The NZSEE website has a section devoted to the February earthquake, with engineering articles on aspects of how land performed during the earthquake and what happened to buildings. The articles are technical, but some of the writing is digestible. There are links to images of the city and some suburbs shortly after the February 22nd earthquake.

The website is here. Other pages of possible interest:
liquifaction maphere, PDF file with selected earthquake imageshere (click on the map to get the PDF file). image gallery hereengineering field reports herepreliminary report (3 days after the earthquake) on the Pyne Gould and Grand Chancellor buildings here.There is also a message board where you can follow the online conversations (here). Not much is happening but it may pick up as the engineers get more information.

300 posts

This is the 300th post on the blog, and much has happened to and around us in those five and a bit months. What seemed important has receded into the background now that the unimaginable has arrived

For a few there has been tragedy beyond anyone's ability to understand or describe. Despite this, we have all experienced an event we will survive. How we survive, and progress to something new, depends much upon factors outside our control but most significantly on how we see the world around us. The key is whether you see the cup as half empty, half full, or running over.

It may not be possible for all to remain where we now live, and somewhere else may be a good, or daunting, prospect.  Stay or go, want to or not, these decisions will mostly be non-negotiable. What is within our power is how we see things.

Look at the photographs below (click on the link). They were taken on River Road a few days ago, within a few hundred metres of each other, in a time span of minutes. …

Earth flood barriers along Avonside Drive

Flood protection work has been extended further up Avonside Drive. An earth barrier now runs from just below Retreat Road, at the Dallington Bridge end, around the loop stopping just short of the western end of Morris Street.

At the eastern (downstream) end of Robson Ave the barrier is about 1m above the level of the road.

The first two photographs show the area as it was a few days ago. The trees are being pruned to avoid damage from the earthmoving equipment.

Tree trimming about 150m upstream from Robson Ave.

Tree trimming at Robson Ave (looking upstream)
These are the barriers as at the 23rd of April.

Upstream from Robson Ave., Banks Ave top right.

Upstream from Robson Ave. (taken a little below the first image).

Downstream from Robson Ave.

Downstream from Robson Ave, Morris Street, middle right.
For the photo buffs who noticed the difference: the top two images were taken with a 20+ year old compact film camera, the rest with a compact digital.