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Saturday, 3 December 2011

Orange Zone meeting - Friday night

CERA hosted an Avonside Orange Zone meeting in the Wainoni Scout Hall last night. For those who weren't able to attend here is a very brief report:
  • there were no new announcements
  • a major reason for the delay in rezoning our area is the complexity and variability of the underlying geology. Our part of Avonside has been the most complex of all the areas affected by the earthquake. 
  • the geotechnical work has been completed and the zoning decision process now rests with those who look at the aspects of cost and timeliness. After that it goes to Cabinet.
  • CERA are open to improving communications and are willing to have more meetings.
  • CERA will try to give advance notice of major announcements.
Timing of the rezoning announcement is crucial. The period around Christmas and New Year is not a good time for people to receive critically important news (especially if on holiday). Whichever way the decision goes there will be some who will suffer and, with support and information services closing down, there may be no one to call for help or advice. This point was made to one of the CERA reps and to MP Nicky Wagner. While neither can influence Cabinet's timing of the release, they may be able to bring it to the attention of others who can (which Nicky has undertaken to do).

Friday, 2 December 2011

Earthquake Royal Commission - management of earthquake risk by CRC and CCC

The Royal Commission commissioned a report to look into how well both the Canterbury Regional Council and the Christchurch City Council managed earthquake risk through their respective planning processes.

From the Royal Commission's website:
The technical report Management of Earthquake Risk by Canterbury Regional Council and Christchurch City Council - Obligations and Responses under RMA was commissioned by the Commission. The purpose of the report is to investigate the manner in which issues of earthquake risk have been dealt with in the relevant planning documents of the Canterbury Regional Council (“Environment Canterbury”) and the Christchurch City Council (“the City Council”). This includes an analysis of the councils’ obligations under the Resource Management Act 1991 (“the RMA”), and the various steps that the councils have taken in carrying out those obligations.
The report is here.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Basilica Update

Recently put on the web is the November edition of the Cathedral Update. It contains a brief description  of the structural damage, photographs from inside the building, and a list of heritage items recovered so far.

It can be found here.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Roger Sutton - assurances of community consultation over Residential Red Zone demolitions

Roger Sutton's update for the 30th of November 2011 includes the following regarding Residential Red Zone house demolitions:
Demolitions of houses in the residential red zone are not due to start until next year. We are working with insurers, Councils, support services and community groups to ensure that this work is coordinated and that there is minimum disruption to adjacent home owners.  We will continue to work with the home owners and communities as this work begins and will keep the public updated on progress.
In my mind this creates the expectation that our community will be consulted before demolitions start in February, and also during and afterwards. So far there has been no contact.

Whichever way our Orange Zone goes, and for those who are already Red or Green, there will be issues of importance to us not only around the demolition processes themselves, but also the short and medium term effects on health, well being, and the environment.

The full update is here.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Visit to the CERA hub at Avondale

The first thing you need to do before visiting is ring up to make an appointment. We shot over last week as soon as an EQC issue arose only to find no one from EQC could see us - they were all busy. An appointment was sorted and I made a visit to the Avondale hub this morning as part of the saga of trying to sort out the EQC issues.

It was an interesting experience. The space provided is not big and there are a lot of staff and desks in a small space. Having dutifully arrived at least 5 minutes early there was time to fill in a form with claim numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and other statistical information.

At the appointed time one of the EQC people came up, introduced himself to me, and we went and sat at his desk. If you are a private person you may want to ring ahead to arrange something different, as the cramped conditions mean there there is a certain intimacy and mingling of conversations.

One by one we went through the issues and, for the first time, it felt like progress was being made. Only one issue was sorted, a repairs refund that had become stuck in an EQC backwater, but the others raised were explained satisfactorily. What made the difference was Paul, the real person at the desk.

Some things are not going to go anywhere fast, however he was able to explain why they hadn't happened, how the issues were inter-linked, and how external factors were affecting progress. We didn't talk about the hard things such as our perception that the EQC scope of works was grossly inadequate, but then it wasn't something he could fix so why waste his and my breath on it? At the end of the appointment it felt like time well spent - some of what I wanted remained unknown, but there was a satisfactory and sincere explanation.

Congratulations to those who pushed for a CERA hub and to CERA for making it work. There is nothing like dealing face to face with a human being for making progress. I recommend it, and we may try it out with our insurance company in a couple of weeks.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Earthquake Royal Commission - Pyne Gould Corporation (PGC) building

The Earthquake Royal Commission today started a public hearing to consider all issues relevant to the failure of the Pyne Gould Corporation (PGC) building.

Information, technical and historical reports presented today are available on-line in the Commission's document library here. Also available are statements and briefs of evidence from people caught up in the collapse of the building, and those otherwise involved.

Information about the Commission's PGC hearing programme is available here.