Showing posts from October 23, 2011

Orange Zones decisions - Release of Cabinet papers on the October 28th announcement

Cabinet Papers and Minutes concerning the October 28 Orange zones decisions are available from the CERA site here.  On the same website are Cabinet Papers and Minutes relating to the Kaiapoi Orange zones.

An interesting issue arises in reading the relevant Cabinet Paper (the second of the two in red below). The Minister talks about being able to rezone Orange properties to Green because "... many of the remaining areas can be repaired on an individual basis." Cabinet Paper, Section 15. What is not discussed is the timeliness criteria. How long will it take? What period of time fits within the initial criteria? Two sections from this part of the Paper have been withheld, along with details of work in some Orange zone areas (Sections 29 and 30).

As to the near future, Section 31 of the Paper reads:
Of the remaining Orange Zones not discussed above (NOTE: this is a reference to the two deleted paragraphs), I expect to receive final zoning advice in time for an announc…

The remaining Orange zones

The Minister's media release ishere. Amongst other things it says: "A letter from CERA will also be posted to all orange zone area homeowners with further information on Monday."

The Orange zones have shrunk significantly, or disappered, except for our area. Within those that remain are 1,666 houses. The suburbs with Orange zones are: Kaiapoi, Brooklands, Central City, Avonside, Dallington, Wainoni, Burwood, Parklands, South New Brighton, Southshore, Woolston.  CERA has maps showing these areas. Click on the area to go to the map.
Kaiapoi and BrooklandsCentral City, Avonside, Dallington, WainoniBurwood, ParklandsSouth New Brighton, SouthshoreWoolstonAn overall map is availablehere. CERA's Orange zones information ishere.

The green zones

Most of us are Red or Orange, however there is a small portion of Green. Being Green is complicated by the varying risks of liquefaction requiring three Green Zone or TC (Technical Category) classifications. Anyone in our area who goes from Orange to Green will be in TC3.

Wherever you live on the flat (i.e. not the hill suburbs) you can find your TC by clicking on one of these categories:
Northern Christchurch (Kaiapoi, Pines and Kairaki Beach, Brooklands, Spencerville, Belfast, Styx, Redwood, Casebrook, Northcote, Parklands, Queenspark, Waimairi beach)Southern Christchurch (Opawa, St Martins, Beckenham, Somerfield, Sydenham, Spreydon, Hoon Hay, Hillmorton, Halswell, Hornby, Prebbleton, Lincoln, Tai Tapu)Central Christchurch (all the inner suburbs not covered by the two previous maps)The following is extracted from the Department of Building and Housing brochure on the subject. The technical categories only apply to houses that require their foundations to be repaired or reb…

Earthquake Royal Commission - addendum report on the performance of earthquake strengthened URM buildings

The Earthquake Royal Commission has received another report on unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings, following up on the initial report by Professors Ingham and Taylor.

From the Royal Commission's website:
This report comments on the performance of earthquake strengthened unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings located in the Christchurch CBD, during the 22 February 2011 earthquake. The report also provides details on the performance of various earthquake strengthening techniques used in these buildings. The report should be read in conjunction with the authors' earlier report and the peer review reports of Mr Turner and Mr Lizundia.The initial report, The Performance of Unreinforced Masonry Buildings in the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquake Swarm, is here.

The follow-up report, The Performance of Earthquake Strengthened URM Buildings in the Christchurch CBD in the 22 February 2011 Earthquake: Addendum Report by Professor Jason M. Ingham and Professor Micheal C. Griffith,…

Aaron Gilmore - please stop trying to help

On his blog yesterday MP Aaron Gilmore took the opportunity to explain in a somewhat disastrous fashion why land zoning reports had not been released, and why they would not be released. His blog is here .

Aaron starts in a confusing way, but does his best to explain some of the problems facing the government:
... engineers continue to work out what is the right information and what are the options for Government. Areas like Brooklands and South Shore are in low lying sand spits and are natural hazard risks at the best of times from flooding. It is therefore important to get the right information for people.This may well be true, but why complicate matters with irrelevancies? The height above sea level of these areas at the best of times has no bearing on the stability of the land under seismic conditions.  
Some information is useful in general and there is an amazing insight into how carefully the zoning is being done: The suggestion that the government is withholding any geo…

Building on land prone to natural hazard or disaster: risks and liability

The website NZLawyer online has an interesting land related article this month: Building on land prone to natural hazard or disaster: risks and liability.

The topic headings are:
Addressing the risks at the outset of a building projectHow is land identified as having a natural hazard?Addressing a hazard during the construction processLiability where land/property damaged by a known natural hazardThe article is here.

Ecological effects of sewage and silt in Christchurch's streams and rivers

Environment Canterbury has carried out a number of surveys and studies into the effects on streams and waterways of wastewater inflows and silt deposits, and have released reports on their findings.

ECan's media release on the effects of untreated sewage being discharged into the lower parts of the Avon and Heathcote rivers and the estuary is here. According to ECan's map (here), the lower Avon is the part of the river downstream from the Fitzgerald Avenue bridge.

Also available are the following reports:
Ecological effects of the Christchurch February earthquake on our city rivers Ecological effects of the Christchurch February earthquake on our city estuaryEffects of wastewater overflows on oxygen and ammonia in the Avon and Heathcote riversChristchurch February Earthquake: Effect on aquatic invertebratesChristchurch February Earthquake: Effect on freshwater fish of the upper Avon RiverChristchurch February Earthquake: Effect on invertebrates of the lower riversEffec…

New solvency requirements for insurance companies

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) has issued new solvency requirements for non-life insurance companies. The purpose of the change is:
to protect the government and taxpayers from having to financially support an insurance company as has happened with AMIto protect policy holders by requiring insurance companies to have adequate reserves and reinsurance cover The requirement is that insurance companies must be able to demonstrate they have sufficient reserves and reinsurance to cover the costs of a 1-in-a-1000 year event.

A copy of the policy, which is quite detailed in parts, is available from the RBNZ here and the policy position paper here.

The views of the New Zealand insurance industry are reported by here.

Reinsurers still interested in New Zealand - at a price

It appears that as a result of rising insurance premiums reinsurance continues to be available, and new reinsurers are entering the New Zealand market.

According to the insurance website (selective quotes):
Money has triumphed over fear in the New Zealand reinsurance market. Higher reinsurance rates are attracting reinsurers who have not normally operated in the market, offsetting fears that capacity is shrinking... reinsurers from Bermuda and Europe as well as Lloyd’s have entered the New Zealand market as a result of higher rates.But with reinsurance rates for New Zealand increasing up to 500% at the July renewals, Mr De Souza says Aon has been able to find takers for all the business it wants to place.... while the largest insurers – such as the Australian companies which dominate the New Zealand insurance market – will continue to get reinsurance cover (“they are just going to have to pay more”), smaller companies might find the cost of operating in…

Battle at the Basilica - now on-line

If you missed the documentary Battle at the Basilica, the battle to save the Catholic Cathedral, you can see it courtesy of TVNZ's On Demand service here.

Information about the documentary ishere.