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Saturday, 13 August 2011

Stone columns to protect Fitzgerald Avenue by the river

Fitzgerald Avenue, just north of the bridge over the Avon, is being strengthened and protected by the use of 600mm wide stone columns inserted into the northbound lane. The Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild website has a brief description of what is being done here.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Red Cross - Alternative Sewage System Grant


The Red Cross yesterday announced a grant for households that have been without a flushing toilet for 90 days or more. Applications for the grant close on the 9th of September. 

The Red Cross website now shows what appears to be the same grant with a slightly different name and a closing date of the 3rd of October (see here) this part added 12/09/2011.

The information below is from the Red Cross website (here)
$500 per household who have, for at least 90 days, had to find alternatives to using their flushing toilets at home.
The closing date is 9th September 2011.
The significant earthquakes and aftershocks during 2011 rendered parts of the city’s sewerage system unusable for a variety of reasons such as breakages and clogging with sand and silt. Households were asked not to flush their home toilets and used alternatives in a variety of ways including digging long drops in their gardens, using portaloos and using chemical toilets.
This grant recognises the efforts made by households to resume and rebuild their lives while managing the ongoing lack of this service in their homes over a significant period of time including the winter months.
Before you apply online, please ensure you have electronic copies of the following documentation.
Proof of your residential address dated after 1 June 2011.
  • a utilities bill OR
  • a bank statement OR
  • a rates bill
Details of the bank account into which you would like this grant to be paid if this application is approved, that shows the account name and bank account number:
  • a printed bank deposit slip OR
  • a recent bank statement
The application form can be downloaded from the website here.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Red Cross - Displaced Children Grant

This new grant (announced today) is of $250 per child to assist school children who moved from both their home and their school in the period immediately after the 22 February 2011 earthquake. Grant applications close on the 9th of September.

Information about it can be found here. Full details are listed below.
Displaced School Children Grant
$250 per child who have moved from their home and school in the period immediately following the 22 February 2011 earthquake.
The closing date is 9th September 2011.
The change of home and school must have taken place by 1 April 2011, and the child must still be in the new home and school as at 1 August 2011.
The aim of the grant is to assist families where children were moved in some haste after 22 February with providing items such as new school uniforms, replacing items that were left behind, or other costs associated with the need to move quickly and settle in a new place. The primary caregiver of children, who have moved without their family, are eligible to apply for the grant, if they are registered at the new school. It is applicant's responsibility to provide proof that the insulation of their residence has been significantly compromised and damaged.
In order for us to process this grant, you MUST provide proof of your current residential address as at 1 August 2011, please provide ONE of the following:
  • a telephone account OR
  • a copy of an electricity bill OR
  • a bank statement OR
  • a rates bill
A letter from your child/children's new school which confirms the following details;
  • the child's name as enrolled at school and also detailed on this application form
  • date of enrolment at new school
  • you are the primary caregiver for the child/children
  • current address of primary caregiver and child/children

Talking about the draft Central City Plan

Anyone interested in talking with council staff about the contents of the Plan can do so, as the CCC will be having a 2 week road show to bring the Plan to the people. From the council website (here):
For two weeks from Tuesday 23 August to Saturday 3 September, a Central City Plan Roadshow will be heading out to our local communities, stopping at various venues throughout Christchurch. This will make it easy for everyone to learn about what’s in the draft Central City Plan, get an opportunity to discuss any areas of interest with our planners and most importantly make a submission.
Details are:
    Tuesday 23 August    Woolston Working Men’s Club
    43 Hargood St, Woolston
    11am to 7pm
    Wednesday 24 August    Cashmere Club
    50 Colombo St, Somerfield
    11am to 7pm
    Thursday 25 August    North Beach Community Centre
    93 Marine Parade, New Brighton
    11am to 7pm
    Friday 26 August    St Albans-Shirley Club
    269 Hills Rd, Shirley
    Noon to 7pm
    Monday 29 August    La Vida Conference & Community Centre
    34A Hansons Lane, Upper Riccarton
    11am to 7pm
    Tuesday 30 August    Burnside Bowling Club
    330 Avonhead Rd, Avonhead
    11am to 7pm
    Wednesday 31 August    Akaroa Sports Complex
    28 Rue Jolie, Akaroa
    1pm to 6pm
    Saturday 3 September    Lyttelton Recreation Centre – Trinity Hall
    25 Winchester St, Lyttelton
    10am to 4pm

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Central City Plan - FAQ

The CCC's Central City Plan FAQ was updated today. The headings for the additional information are:
  1. When will the draft Central City Plan be available for consultation? (16th of August)
  2. Where can I get a copy of the draft Plan? (On-line from the 16th and a summary of the draft Plan will be delivered to all households in Christchurch during the weekend 20 and 21 August).
  3. Can I talk to anyone about the draft Plan?
  4. I can’t attend the roadshow when it’s in my neighbourhood, are there any other options to see this material?
  5. How can I make a written comment?
  6. Has Council involved Ngai Tahu, ECan and CERA in the process as under the Act?
  7. Why are my ideas not in the Plan?
  8. When does this period of written comments close?
  9. What happens once this period for written comments closes?
  10. Why is the Council simply not relocating the Central City to another area of Christchurch?
  11. How does the work being done align with other Council strategies and plans?
The FAQ can be found here.

Brownlee under fire from Labour - Press headline

Why is the $1,000 a day fee such an issue? The job to be done has immense constitutional significance in a time when emergency-based legislation is place, and cannot be entrusted to just anyone. The people being paid this amount are all accomplished in numerous ways, the right mix of people needed for the job, and worth the money. How they perform will be open to public scrutiny, so we can ensure value for money.

Perhaps Gerry Brownlee didn't go by the book in getting the fee agreed. Many who were in the public service during times of Labour governments can tell stories of devious, dubious and highly suspect conduct by Labour. Look at the rorting that has been going on with travel perks. What about Helen Clark hurtling through Canterbury at lethal speed just to get to a rugby match? There are many other examples.

Those of us in the eastern suburbs are daily aware of just how extraordinarily good our local electorate MPs are - all of them Labour. Yet, for reasons that seem increasingly petty, the $1,000 a day issue is being pushed to the exclusion of more important things. It is petty politics of a wasteful kind. If Labour has this amount of spare energy, how about putting it into a policy for Canterbury's recovery? How would you ease the pressure on section prices? What about a mechanism for dealing with EQC and insurance company disputes? Are the new houses being built suitable for earthquake country? How would you deal with an increasingly incapable Christchurch City Council?

We don't yet know how you intend to do things, so why not give away the petty politics and talk about how you see our future?

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Images of landslides and rockfalls

Perhaps of more interest to those outside Christchurch who can't do drive-pasts, is the American Geophysical Union (AGU) blog (here) which has a section dedicated to landslides including rockfalls (here).

Featured there this month is a series of entries with images of rock falls and slips from the hill suburbs with a small amount of comentary. It starts here. There are also a few images from the city centre.

Earthquake Royal Commission - first technical report

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Building Failure Caused by the Canterbury and Christchurch Earthquakes has released the first of its technical reports. The Commission has a website here, and all the Commission's technical reports will be made available here.

The first technical report, System of Building Controls is from the Department of Building and Housing. It is a background paper which "outlines the general system of building controls prior to 1991 but not how the system was applied locally by Christchurch City Council. The report also covers the current building regulatory system."

The report can be found here. Information on the content of the report is listed below.

Avon river memorial - the Memorial Reserve Covenant Campaign

A group has been formed to promote the creation of a Memorial Reserve Covenant which will protect the Residential Red Zone along and adjacent to the Avon from future commercial development.

Information about the campaign, and a public meeting planned for the afternoon of Sunday the 14th of August, is here.

Monday, 8 August 2011

MP Lianne Dalziel - Earthquake Information Update: No 19

Lianne's latest Earthquake Information Update is available from the Labour website here. Topics covered are:

Government Offer for Residential Red Zone
  • a correction on calculating the value of improvements
  • update on the land purchase options
Timeframes for Assessing Orange Zones 

Reassessing Green/Red Zones
  • the importance of taking legal advice
  • the government's contribution towards legal fees
  • repairs already undertaken
  • deposit on Acceptance of Offer
  • fast track settlements in special cases
  • Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service
Winter Heating Programme

Rates Remission

Infrastructure Rebuild

Sunday, 7 August 2011

EQC and depreciation on contents claims

The following experience is from yesterday's Avonside Community Group newsletter.
I live in Retreat Road and wanted to share my experience with EQC today over our February contents claim as a warning for others.
We were sent the contents settlement detail with a value for each of the items and a total claim value (less than $20,000), however a depreciation value had been taken off all of the items one year old or greater; including our TV, stereo, chainsaw, plates, glasses etc. The reason give for this was that our contents insurance policy was market value only and therefore there was a depreciation factor that applied. For example, a mantlepiece clock that we had valued at $100 and 10 years old was depreciated by $50 leaving a payout value of $50, and our stereo which we'd valued at $300 and aged at 10 years was depreciated down to a payout value of $0.
I thought that this depreciation thing was strange as it hadn't been taken off when our contents claim from September was settled so I called the EQC to ask about it. They explained that they had taken the depreciation off in line with what our insurance policy was and therefore what our insurance company would do. I quickly checked our contents insurance policy and it clearly said that we had replacement insurance and I explained this to EQC. However, they said although we had replacement insurance the value of our contents would still be depreciated to market value. They were adamant about this and wouldn't budge even when I read the policy details out to them over the phone and said that we hadn't had depreciation taken off the September claim. I got off the phone pretty disillusioned having had about 60% wiped off the value of our claim and wondering why we had insurance in the first place.
I thought about it for a bit and called State insurance to check with them about the interpretation of our policy and explain what had happened with EQC. They were great. They got straight onto it and called EQC with me on the other line at the same time, making it very clear to EQC that no State wouldn't take depreciation off contents with a replacement policy (except for things like clothes that wear and also computers). EQC subsequently said they will correct their error.
So a long story but I just wanted to share it so you can let others know. I don't want anyone else to get caught out in the same way by EQC.