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Showing posts from September 9, 2012

Press newspaper’s expose of CTV builder’s fraudulent qualifications

For those of you living outside of Christchurch you may have missed the Press newspaper’s lead story this morning. Headed A life of lies it documents how William Anthony Fisher, construction manager for the company that built the CTV building, was a fraud. He was actually Gerald Shirtcliff, who had stolen the identity of another man and his engineering qualifications.The online version is here..

Earthquake Royal Commission – transcript of the Roles and Responsibilities hearing held on 11 September 2012

The Royal Commission has published the transcript of the first day of the Roles and Responsibilities hearing held on the 11th of September. The transcript can be downloaded fromhere.The first submitter to be heard was John Scarry, a structural engineer who, for some years, has been critical  of the quality of structural engineering and building construction in New Zealand. The following is from the beginning of his submission (page 7): New Zealand can only claim to lead the world in seismic engineering in the same way that an army could claim to be undefeated because it has never fought a war. As soon as a major modern New Zealand city was hit  with  a  decent  seismic event,  a very short  one,  devastation  was caused. Of  something  like  200  buildings over five  storeys  tall in the 15 CBD, at least  100  will  definitely  be  demolished  and  many  of  the  rest may still be. To claim that except for the CTV building all modern post-1982  buildings  performed  their  life  safe…

Government offer for uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zones

From the CERA website.Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced the basis of Government offers to owners of vacant and commercial/industrial land within the flat land residential red zone, as well as residential properties that are uninsured.Today’s announcement affects four categories of land and ownership within the residential red zone: 65 parcels of vacant land 50 properties that were occupied at the time of last February’s quake but which are uninsured 22 insured commercial/industrial buildings 6 insured houses on leasehold landFor those with uninsured residential properties on Red Zone land the offer is:The owners of 50 properties in the flat land residential red zone which do not comply with the Crown’s insurance requirements will also receive offers. “In these instances the Government’s considerations were similar to those for owners of vacant land, and therefore the same offer of 50 per cent of the rateable value of their land will be made,” Mr Brow…

Insurance issues for older houses.

The Otago Daily Times reports that insurers in Dunedin are declining to insure houses built before 1935. It may be that this is the case in Christchurch too? From the beginning of the ODT article:As many as one in 20 Dunedin house sales are falling through at the last hurdle because insurance companies are declining to insure houses built before 1935. And for many real estate agents, vendors and purchasers in Dunedin, the situation is beginning to cause headaches. Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) finance and regulations manager Terry Jordan said reinsurers of New Zealand insurance companies were focusing more intensely on risk in New Zealand as a consequence of the Christchurch earthquakes. That was making many insurers more risk averse - particularly when it came to insuring pre-1935 houses. "They are looking at whether they have been rewired or replumbed. The wiring in pre-1935 houses was rubber-coated - it deteriorates and breaks down, exposing the wires, which can caus…

Capturing the Legacy of the Red Zone Communities

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The following is from a message put out by CanCERN:Capture the Legacy of the Red Zone CommunitiesWhat made these communities precious and what memories should we save? You can help us to create a legacy for the people of Canterbury that celebrates the places where we have lived and played. Send us your words, thoughts, memories, stories, and pictures as CanCERN is commissioning Bryan L’Estrange and his team to create an artwork from your ideas. This is an easy job - use this link, which is an online form for people who want to write their words or phrases OR if you’d rather draw or add photo memories, email them to us at info@cancern.org.nzIdeas will be collated by area and presented to Bryan’s team who will generate possibilities for you to vote on. The favourite idea will be turned into container art and gifted to the people of Canterbury. So spread the word, help generate ideas and let’s make a bit of history___________________________________ We need to raise about $2700 fo…

NZ Constitutional Advisory Panel

With the regional council election deferred until 2016 democracy isn’t exactly functioning in Canterbury.  Chris Trotter has written about it in the Press here.  I’m yet to  establish  Commodore Bainimarama’s view on the matter.Despite this, there is an exercise in enhancing our democracy underway. Written in the standard gobbledegook associated with such agencies, the Ministry of Justice has launched a website about “New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements”.  The website is here. An information booklet can be downloaded from here.The exercise will involve a five step process. We are currently at Stage 1.Stage 1 Preparing the resources and building relationships that will form the foundation of the process Stage 2 Building public understanding of New Zealand's current constitutional arrangements Stage 3 Engaging with a broad and diverse range of communities Stage 4  Working with a cross section of New Zealanders to consider the views reported to the Panel Stage 5 Reporting t…