Showing posts from May 22, 2011


Crimestoppers is a New Zealand crime fighting organisation introduced from Britain as a result of the theft of Victoria Cross medals from the Waiouru Army Museum (there is a potted history at the end).

The concept is simple: if you think there is something suspicious it should be reported. If it is serious, and needs police help, dial 111. Where it is not urgent it would ideally still be reported directly to police. However there can be circumstances where the thought of others knowing you had contacted police can cause anxiety or fear. This is where Crimestoppers come in.

A topical issue in Christchurch is looting, and the disappearance of items from the Red Zone and homes in the suburbs. They have to go somewhere, to someone. Perhaps that someone has money or assets that seem out of character, or is offering you something at a bargain price. If this causes you disquiet contact the police, or use Crimestoppers.

Contacting Crimestoppers is easy and safe. All communications …

Clean Heat Project to end on July 1st

Set up 8 years ago, this project was designed to help homeowners with old and polluting fires to change to non-polluting heat sources. It ends on the 1st of July.

Those whose chimney or fireplace was damaged by earthquakes are eligible for new heat sources via the Fletchers/EQR Winter heating Programme. Anyone else with a non-complying fire has missed out, as the Project is no longer accepting appointments. 

If you had an appointment made before the 22nd of February, and subsequently cancelled because of the February earthquake, Environment Canterbury will contact you. It might be worth calling the Project, instead of waiting for them to call you, to make sure you won't be overlooked. The numbers are: 03 353 9276 or 0800 32 92 76 (0800 EC WARM)

The media release is here, and the Project details here. The latter page also has information on ECCA, another efficient and clean heat programme.

New bus information for AGHS students

The Ministry of Education has consolidated bus transport and modified routes for Avonside Girls' High School pupils attending Burnside High School.

Full details are available on the Ministry's website here. Changes have also been made to transport arrangements for pupils from Shirley Boys' High School (here) and Marian College (here). Information on changes to other school bus routes can be found here.

The CCC - Reaction and Resistance

After the September earthquake Christchurch police produced an intelligence report. Using past disaster experiences from other countries, they tried to anticipate how problems related to social cohesion and alienation would unfold in Christchurch (the police report is here). The most obvious ones seemed to be frustration and anger leading to legal disputes or protest action of the physical and confrontational kind. There have been hints of protest action to come, however bubbling away below the surface are two forms of protest not related to law enforcement.

The first is at the individual level where a ratepayer in the east has decided to stop paying rates. There may be more than one, and as an idea it has merit. The council is providing nothing to the east, and because the council is taking away what little there is here (Super Shed, QEII pool, maybe all of the QEII facilities), the payment of rates doesn't seem appropriate. It might be an idea that will grow in popul…

Central City Plan - information update

CCC have updated the Central City Plan FAQs, giving more information on the processes available to us to have input into the plan, and giving a deadline date of 20 June for public input. The FAQs can be found here.

There is still time to register for the public workshops to be held between the 28th of May (this Saturday) and the 15th of June. The nearest workshop will be at Wainoni on Saturday the 11th of June. Find out more about these workshops here, and go here to register.

Lumley Insurance

As part of the insurance survey we are doing, it turns out there are a few Lumley Insurance clients among us. That is a company overlooked until now.

Lumley have a websitehere, and a web page devoted to the February 22nd Christchurch earthquakehere.  As with other insurers it has a complaints procedure which is outlined here.

Specific policy related information is not available so it may depend on who you got your insurance through. Click on the name of the organisation providing your policy to go to the relevant page.
Police Welfare FundSBS BankSouthsure InsuranceWestpac
Unlike the large insurance companies, Lumley don't seem to have a FAQ-style claims guide (or at least not on-line). If you want to get an idea of some of the issues that can arise from earthquake claims, I would recommend reading either the AMI (here) or State (here) claims guides. Neither of them are going to have any influence with Lumley, however they might help you to frame any questions you want to …

Important information for people returning to Christchurch

CERA have updated a document called Important Information for People Returning to Christchurch. It is a four page brochure with information likely to be useful for anyone returning after a few weeks or months away.

It is a PDF file and you can read ithere.

Avonside Community Group - May 23 newsletter

There is another newsletter written by Leanne Curtis of the Avonside Community Group (reproduced with permission). As it is covers a great deal of information, only the first few items are shown here. The whole newsletter can be downloaded fromhere.
Hi people

Well the much discussed Rapture seems not to have occurred so that's a bonus for Cantabrians. Personally, I'd like to throttle the person in The Press who thought Cantabrians needed this news story. We never discussed it with our kids but it's amazing what conversations take place in the school yard. As a result, the kids have been stressed and so have the adults. When did we get so susceptible to believing this kind of rot?Land

There's still no word on land remediation and as the end of May draws near I can only hope Gerry Brownlee comes through with some decent information. CanCERN, like many MPs and Councillors, has been pushing very hard for extra support on the ground for the residents who will be most affecte…

State Insurance policy increases

State Insurance announced today on their web site that premiums for home insurance will be increasing by approximately 15%. The explanation given by State's CEO Jacki Johnson is:
Our reinsurance costs are increasing
Insurers take out their own cover against major events – called reinsurance. This ensures we have the funds available to cover the high cost of a major catastrophe. Over the last 18 months a series of global events, including the Christchurch earthquakes, has meant reinsurers incurred massive costs and have been forced to increase the premiums companies like State pay them.Our financial strength helps ensure we’re here when you need us
Fortunately you are insured with State, which is part of the Insurance Australia Group (IAG). This gives us access to a large pool of capital and reinsurance funds, reflected in our strong Standard and Poor’s credit rating of AA-and ‘Very Strong’ claim paying status. It is crucial we maintain this solid foundation so you have r…

Avonside Girls High School and QEII Park - the land

In the lead up to the release of geotechnical reports on the eastern suburbs there has been speculation on what might happen to particular significant assets.

Two such assets are QEII Park and Avonside Girls High School (AGHS). Each has been subject to speculation about whether the services they provide will remain at their current locations or be moved. One example is a newspaper article about relocating field sports from QEII park elsewhere (e.g. Addington) because of the magnitude of the damage done to the facilities and grounds. The water sports activities have already gone elsewhere.

At AGHS there has been major damage to buildings and the land under and about the school. If there is a setback from the river then the land available to the school will diminish. The time required to remediate the land and rebuild the school, associated with a smaller parcel of land and a significantly changed catchment population, may mean the school will be relocated.

If either, or both…

Change to building standards for house foundations

New Building Code documents came into force on Thursday (19th), increasing the requirements for house structures and foundations. All new houses must comply with the new standards which are designed to make houses safer, and more likely to survive significant earthquakes. It is estimated that the additional cost for a new house will be the region of $2,000 to $9,000.

A rather technical information sheet covering the new requirements has been released by the Department of Building and Housing (DBH) and can be found here.

An outline of the changes is available on the DBH website (see link above) and is reproduced below. For those living in areas subject to liquefaction the bits about foundations on 'good ground', or not on 'good ground', are important. I have underlined these.

What is not clear is whether these requirements apply to houses where the foundations/slab have been damaged. Will the fully repaired house meet the old or new requirements? The cost of i…