Showing posts from June 12, 2011

Blindingly Obvious 3

It is unfortunate that Gerry Brownlee and John Key feel the need to withhold vital information: the areas to be removed and the criteria by which "go or stay" decisions are being made. Despite that, we all know there will be people who will have to go, and that has to include a number of households in this area. For those of us who have to go, finding a new location involves dealing with issues and problems as raised in the first part of this blog series (here). There are other issues too.

Geographical location is more important than just the practicalities of social cohesion and mobility. Relocate someone onto the plains more than about 20km from Cathedral Square and they no longer live in Christchurch. Their identity, and identification with the city, has changed. Whatever time, effort, and money they have invested into the city will be a loss. What identity will we have? For some this is very important. Does the package deal with this? What support will be given to the ne…

Blindingly obvious - revisited

The last blog looked at the two sides of the land issue: who goes, and where to. The decision on who goes has clearly been made, because the government is looking at a package for those affected, and such a package couldn't be calculated and negotiated without knowing specifics.

To the extent that information is available, it seems the package concept does not skimp on the financial side. As earlier promised, the government intends to restore everyone to the equity situation they were in on the 3rd of September. How this is calculated will be interesting: the QV value current at the time, the rateable value, or the market value, all of which could be different.

There is no legal obligation on the government to restore anyone to that equity situation, and in many cases the end result will be better than could otherwise have been expected. This is especially so, for instance, for those who live on small pockets of reasonable ground and would be left behind. They in parti…

Blindingly obvious, and the not so obvious about the land

Gerry Brownlee has said it is blindingly obvious which areas need to be abandoned. Despite that no one has been prepared to name areas and streets. Some say the insurance companies are the cause of the delay, others that Treasury is still playing with numbers. Neither of these can have any effect over the status of the land, or the people who live on it. What is patently unclear is why there are delays, and what exactly is being discussed.

Gerry Brownlee talks about getting the best deal for homeowners, which is most meritorious, if his idea of a good deal coincides with yours and mine. If it does, we will all be happy, our gratitude will increase and he will continue to grow in our esteem.

So what is a good deal? From my perspective it is one that provides each household with a safe and appropriate location. There are constraints, most noticeably the urgency required to move a few thousand households out of the way of water or rockfall hazards. Scarcity of land is a significant cons…

Dallington bridge and Swanns bridge

Dallington bridge is closed again. Swanns bridge has a weight restriction of 3500 kg.

New Zealand and the Safety Paradox

The website, based in the UK, has an opinion piece about demolitions in Christchurch. It looks at the tension between working as quickly as possible to deconstruct or demolish unsafe structures, and protecting workers from hazards on the job - especially aftershocks.

Pressure to save old buildings, or get buildings down quickly, will increase the hazard risk. As the article mentions, those working on the timeball station had a narrow escape. Deconstruction of old stone and brick buildings has proven too risky; it would be better to say goodbye and just bring them down. Big modern buildings should be brought down in however long it takes to do it safely. Artificial deadlines, such as getting ready for Show Week, arise only from the desire of some to make money. The safety of workers is more important than that.

The article New Zealand and the Safety Paradox is here.

Earthquake Ideas from Avonside Drive

David Hayward, a resident of Avonside Drive, is an engineer, science writer, and one of the science correspondents for Radio New Zealand (Nine to Noon). David has done three pieces relevant to our world: suitable house foundations for properties adjacent to the Avon (That CERA rumour), cycle infrastructure in the city (Copenhagenizing Christchurch), and composting toilets post-earthquake.

The first two articles are available as web pages on the website here (The CERA rumour - house foundations) andhere (cycle infrastructure).

The composting toilet item can be heard as a podcast from Radio New Zealand here.

Photographs - Holy Trinity - morning of the 14th.

Holy Trinity has suffered further as a result of yesterday's two earthquakes.

Photographs - Silverdale Place and Keller Street - morning of the 14th.

These morning photographs show the remanants of the smoke haze from last night's open fires. Click on a photograph to enlarge it.

Photographs - Retreat Road - evening of the 13th and morning of the 14th.

Some of the morning photographs show the remanants of the smoke haze from last night's open fires. Click on a photograph to enlarge it.

Streets and Dallington Bridge

Dallington bridge is open for light traffic.  (NOTE: this has now changed - added 15 June)

Retreat Road is still flooded and there is silt in Avonside Drive, Highbury Place, Lionel Street, and Silverdale Place. All are accessible but look for sinkholes as there are some under the silt.

The burst water main has been shut off, somewhere upstream of here. Best to turn water off at the road in case there has been damage to water pipes.

Dallington Dairy is open (those guys must be close to indestructable).

Brief update

As of 11.00pm last night our area is accessible from all areas except via the Dallington Bridge.

There has been liquifaction in Caddesden lane, Patten Street end of Cowlishaw (quite a bit with a few peoperties a mess, also the water main is broken again with water pouring into the street and flooding bits of it) and a little bit of Patten Street. Retreat Road is a mess with water right across it for some distance. Power and phone are on but it looks like water will be a problem for a while.

From the road there has been no major damage to houses (maybe a bit more sinking and/or tilting) but everyone has stuff thrown over the floors and lots of broken glass and china along with some furniture and appliances.

It is now light so off to have a look.

Disaster Planning and Mental Health

That disasters cause mental health problems is obvious to most people, and understood and accepted by many. In every large scale disaster there will be those who are pushed beyond their ability to understand or cope with the events around them. Disaster planning acknowledges this, and includes some provision for providing support to those traumatised by the event. Some sufferers, however, are apparently overlooked.

A team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics have published an article saying more attention should be devoted to helping those already identified as having mental disorders. Somehow, it seems, the ethical and practical issues of preparing to support people with existing mental or intellectual disabilities are not catered for, in either the planning or execution of disaster relief. There is no reference to Christchurch, however it does provide useful background for the time when we revisit the new city's state of preparedness.


Monday night

Don't forget Monday night's meeting, starting 7.00pm sharp. I will post a summary on the blog either late Monday night or Tuesday morning.