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Showing posts from June 26, 2011

NZ Red Cross - two new winter assistance grants

The NZ Red Cross announced two new winter grants yesterday.

The first is for those with school age children (5 to 18 years) and the second for people with pre-existing medical conditions. The grants are designed to help those eligible to get back on their feet financially. The grants are in the form of electricity heating subsidies.

More information, eligibility criteria, and application forms are available from these web pages:
Winter Assistance Grant for school aged children -hereWinter Assistance Grant for pre-existing medical conditions -hereA Winter Assistance for Under 5s Grant is already in existence and information is here, and a list of the whole range of NZ Red Cross grants is available here.
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NZ Red Cross - The first 100 days

The NZ Red Cross have released a report outlining its response in the first 100 days following February 22nd. Yesterday's media release (here as a Word document) includes the following:
First 100 days provides insight into what New Zealand Red Cross did during the initial response, in the aftermath and its future recovery plans to support those affected."Red Cross response teams swung into action and were on the ground within hours, and now almost five months later we are still very active in Christchurch because our support is a long-term commitment," Mr Ware said."Our response to Christchurch has been the largest since we became a national society 80 years ago, it could be a once in hundred year event and it has been defining for us all. The First 100 days report is the story of that response."First 100 days outlines Red Cross' immediate actions, the opening of the Appeal, the appointing of the Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Commission, how funding from donatio…

Mayor Bob Parker and insurance - worse than no help at all?

In his personal statement to the city yesterday (here), in the context of Christchurch being without insurance cover from the 1st of July, the mayor ends with the following:
"I've been out and about at community meetings organised by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority this week and insurance cover has been one of the most frequently raised issues. Homeowners are concerned that even though their homes are in the red zones, if insurance companies deem that their house can be repaired then the reimbursement they are being offered is the cost of those repairs. Individual property owners will be taking this up with their insurers, just as we as a Council are also try to get the best possible insurance outcome for our ratepayers."What a fine thing, council and citizens fighting against problems with insurers. Not quite the same though.

The council, a large team with professional support, are seeking to arrange insurance for the future. So far there have bee…

Answers to critical questions about buildings in Christchurch

The Royal Society of New Zealand have published an information paper on earthquake engineering in Christchurch entitled: THE CANTERBURY EARTHQUAKES: Answers to critical questions about buildings.

Here are the introductory comments from the Royal Society's website:
This information paper reports on earthquake damage to buildings in Christchurch from the 4 September earthquake, and its associated aftershocks, and what this means for building design in the future. The paper brings together the science and engineering expertise of several organisations – the Royal Society of New Zealand, the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand, the Structural Engineering Society New Zealand, the New Zealand Geotechnical Society and the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering.It provides answers to critical questions such as ‘What is an earthquake prone building?’, ‘Why did buildings collapse in these earthquakes?’, and ‘Given that a building has been through one earthqua…

Mayor Bob Parker and the availability of sections - not much help?

When the land package was announced, the mayor was quick to pronounce there was sufficient land available within the city for those who wanted to rebuild. If you missed that, here is an excerpt from a report in the Christchurch Star:
“Following the Government’s announcement yesterday on land damage in Christchurch, there has been much comment about whether we have enough property to satisfy people looking to move from the red zone to other parts of the city. And the answer is yes,” Mr Parker says.He later qualifies the statement by saying these sections are a mixture of what is presently available and those that will become available. The article ishere.
Nowhere was there evidence that he understood the feasibility, or otherwise, of his statement. The average value of sections in the Avon Red Zone is tens of thousands of dollars below the cost of new sections. Added to that is the hidden indirect cost for many families of having to buy smaller sections in sterile underdevel…

Avon River Park

There is a facebook page called Avon River Park calling for support from those interested in the recreational possibilities for the land soon to be abandoned (thanks for the tip Fiona). The facebook page ishere.

Not wishing to rain on someone else's parade, it is unlikely the abandoned areas will become recreational land. The government has clearly said it is keeping ownership with a view to the land being remediated and redeveloped some time in the future. The payout package for the land is a large cost to the government, and they will not want to pass up an opportunity to get their money back. The nature of the redevelopment is unknown, but rumour has it that interest has already been shown from overseas.

Of course some other political party may feel driven to promise to protect the land from foreign ownership, and maybe even keep some or all of it as reserve land to compensate for that taken for new subdivisions. Maybe the new subdivisions could be levied for reserve purposes t…

EQC updates on CERA, the Red and the Orange Zones

EQC have produced a FAQ explaining what is happening to those in the Red and Orange Zones available here. There is also a brief FAQ on land remediationhere.
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EQC and the iPad

Yesterday we had our full EQC assessment. According to the EQC website Red Zone assessments are the highest priority, followed by us Orangers, which explains the increase in activity in the area.

Peter (from near Newcastle in NSW) and Neil (from Auckland) arrived spot on time. Both were very good at their respective jobs. It felt more like having a couple of amiable blokes from down the road helping out than anything else. The process took around three hours and it was a very positive experience. In the end we may not fully agree with the scope of works arising from the assessment, but have no qualms about the way it was done, or the competence of the two who did the work.

This was our second assessment and there was one very notable operational difference: the iPad. Each of them had an iPad and, as the assessment progressed, they were filling out forms and making notes on their iPads. The machines, in turn, were sending the information back to home base.

What a brilliant …