May 30, 2011

What the Minister told the Councillors about land retreat Sue Wells – The New Canterbury Tales

On that scale issue, I have now heard repeated comments that Art Agnos who was mayor of San Francisco during their terrible quake was astonished at the enormity of ours. Theirs was confined to a relatively small area. Ours is huge.

That will make us the centre of attention for study for seismic activity for a long time. It’s now thought that we are looking at a longer term seismic series. (The latest guess is apparently that we have a 23% chance within the next year of a shake between 6 and 7 on the Richter scale, and dropping to 10% over the next 2 years. There is a chance of over 90% that we will have another shake between 5 and 6 in the next twelve months, dropping to over 70% in that two year horizon. Nobody was able to answer questions  about Mercalli scale or g-force or depth so you can take those figures for what they’re worth. What we are seemingly certain of is that you shouldn’t put your blu-tac away just yet.)

It’s likely too that we will be a monitored as a case study of how a community rebuilds after an event which is so big and so transformational. With every week that passes, it is clearer than before that we are not talking about picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off, being the same and doing the same things. Our community and our city is undergoing a metamorphosis which is physical, human, psychological. None of us individually or as a collective will ever be the same again.

If you’re into statistics grab hold of these.

We have to completely replace about 300km of our sewer network. We have to repair 600km of roading network and replace more besides. Add into that our water and stormwater damage and with the Crown’s help we will be spending $500million per annum for five years. That is ten times what the CCC normally spends on capital expenditure. It is enormous.

An excellent article from a local councillor, Sue Wells, discussing some of the issues facing Christchurch residents.
Click on the link to read the whole thing. This is just an extract. The figures and predictions don't reassure me....

It is -2C here today... winter is here. What has been bearable is definitely going to be harder for many eastern residents. Having to use a public portaloo down the street, repeated power cuts and no fires/chimneys are big issues, and a particular concern for the elderly and young families still living in the eastern side.

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May 28, 2011

Cathedral damage worse than feared |


The news just gets worse every day. The headlines are all about the extensive demolition of 900 buildings, the 15 years it will take to restore the Arts Centre, the millions of tonnes of rubble and how and what to rebuild, so finding that it might take a long time to get the Cathedral restored fits the pattern and is no real surprise. Sad though. The bit that worries me most is that the security camera from the tower was triggered by movement and showed no evidence of people up there for three minutes prior to the quake..... so apparently no one was killed. Now it says there is new security footage showing people on the balcony in the three minutes prior to the quake... did this mean they were out of the range of the movement cameras. Are there still people in there?

The inquest was held recently for those seen and known to be lost in the CTV building, but for which no human remains have been recovered despite extensive filtering and recovery. The unresolved loss for those families is unimaginable. The Pike River mine families are still fighting for their loved ones to be recovered... it is part of human grief to want to lay people to rest.

Our television showed a moving documentary this week on the first five days after the quake, from the view of police recruited from further down south to help. You can see the full programme here:

While all other media were kept outside the red zone when the earthquake hit Christchurch on February 22, 2011, one camera had the extraordinary opportunity to document from inside the cordoned off area. TV ONE’s local documentary, 5 Days In The Red Zone follows the Rural Drink Drive Team from Alexandra, who were called into Christchurch after the earthquake.

They occupy a broken world that once belonged to the thousands who worked and lived in the central city. These rural officers hoped they would be saving lives and rescuing people, but what they discover is an eerie place full of strangeness, sadness, bizarre moments and the challenge of dealing with the dead, not the living.

When I watched it, I was struck by how, after the first day of suburban guard duty, they became more involved in the central city damage, eventually being involved in the tragic recovery of a young mother and her new baby, who were known to have been in the area but had not been seen since the quake. Sadly, the search dog became interested in the rubble and they went digging. The effect it had on the digger driver and the police involved will always haunt me. Yesterday, I left work and sat at the traffic lights by the cordon in Manchester St, looking up at the moving poppy statue by the old Ruben Blades building. I realised for the first time that it is exactly where this sad pair were found together and I cried for them; Five week old Taneysha and her 18-year-old mother Kelsey Sinitta Moore

What awaits us in the cathedral?

On a positive note, there was a lot of news about another mother and baby in the earthquake. All the news said the baby was taken to hospital and the mother died at the scene..... apparently she was only unconscious and medics were able to get her to hospital later in the day to be reunited later with her baby.... a small positive note in the gloom.

To quote one of the policemen from the documentary - "we are returning to paradise - and they have to stay here....".

Well yes, we do. And it is not always easy but it is not all bad. The people make a city every bit as much as the buildings, and we are off for a Trivial Pursuit evening and a decent bottle of plonk tonight.... and it has been a long time since I did that - and I am really looking forward to some fun and laughter!!!

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May 25, 2011

NZ Vet Calendar | Halfway Day


This year the wonderful students at Massey University Vet School are doing their annual Halfway Day calendar. As well as helping them raise funds to celebrate their reaching midway through vet school, they donate some of the proceeds to charity.

This year the Canterbury SPCA is their charity and they will donate 10% of the proceeds to them.

They said that after Massey University sent a vet response team down to Christchurch is was only logical to continue to support the recovering city.
If you buy more calendars, and they earn more money than they need they will donate the rest of their profits to the Pet Emergency Earthquake Fund.

Massy is full of great traditions so I am spreading the word.

You can preview more from the calendar on their web page ...

2011 is celebrating World Veterinary Day as it has been 250 years since the veterinary profession started. We are all getting together at our annual vet conference in Hamilton next month (sadly it was meant to be here in Christchurch... mutter grump damned earthquakes!!!)

And no, although I took part in many great traditions while at Massey, this one was not one of them... possibly because when I was there 75% of my class were male, and now 75% are female???

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May 22, 2011

After The Rapture Pet Care

Some people try anything to get a business off the ground.
It appears we are all still here; maybe they still expanded their pet care empire along the way!

We have been enjoying a warm and sunny weekend in Auckland with Phoebe's family... a treat for Scott's birthday this week, celebrated in style with caramel cheescake - yum!

We ventured into Tornadoland, Albany Mall; the first time either of us have visited a mall in three months and it had to be that one, but the signs of repair were certainly familiar. We are still both reacting to trembles and noises - looking over to check on the other one when the building shook because of some non earthquake related issue!.

Returning home really late tonight - hopefully reunited with Poppy as the kids are picking her up from her kennels before it closes. My looking forward to seeing her is probably the reason why I can understand wome people really being worried about leaving their pets behind...

I knew I wouldn't be leaving -
I had read the flow chart... go and see it for yourselves

May 21, 2011

TEDxEQChCh » Into the Red Zone

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Christchurch is slowly trying to pick herself up and plan for the future. It is going to be an amazingly slow process... and we are all doing our best to adapt to the myriad of little changes it means to the way we live, work and make plans...Today, there is a special conference being held in Christchurch to bring international speakers together to share ideas on the rebuild.

It will be broadcast live on the web all day -

They took the speakers around the Red Zone yesterday - which is important for them to assess the magnitude of the damage. Here are the latest pictures.
Tomorrow, it is the three month anniversary of the Feb 22 quake.
Time has stood still for the inner city - unbelievably, this is what it still looks like NOW - basically identical to those taken shortly after it - just less rubble in the streets. You can watch the slideshow from the site. It makes me realise just how much is hanging in limbo while insurance companies and land assessments and CERA decide where to next. The Eastern Suburbs are faring no better, as anxious people wait to hear the fate of their suburbs, houses and equity.

Tomorrow for the three month anniversary there is an international Telethon being held - "Rise Up Christchurch" . As well as our television channel here, it will be streamed on the internet to the world -

The international support means a lot to us all here in New Zealand, who in turn tries to help others overseas. I struggle to comprehend the impact the Mississippi and the tornadoes are having on America; and the recovery after the tsunami in Japan. The scale of these disasters means the whole world needs to be there to support each country. None of us can manage alone anymore - the international expertise, equipment and money provided makes a huge difference to ensure more people surviving and eventually recovering some normality to their lives.
Thank you all.

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May 14, 2011

R I P Bailey Buttons

Sad day.
After much thought, delaying and procrastinating, we had Bailey put to sleep today.  Her desperately erratic and unsociable toilet behaviour and her food allergies were making it impossible to keep her going, despite her affectionate and loving nature.

I once wrote about her here;

She is buried by our front door, under the cat statue... so we will think of her often.

I mentioned to someone recently who had lost their own cat "they leave footprints on your heart".

I will miss her little cuddles and head butts, and her chats.

I Want...

May 12, 2011

2011 April 27 - Into the Christchurch Red Zone. - Ross Becker - Picasa Web Albums

There are some recent central city photos of Christchurch in this collection taken recently... this helps those of us here work out what is going, or gone.
Grief being broken down into chunks as we absorb the changes.
There is an expo this weekend to help the people plan the new Christchurch.... will be interesting to see all the ideas, even if they may be just wishes!

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May 9, 2011

Christchurch earthquake Red Zone streets using Terralink's StreetCam | Colombo Street (facing South)

View Christchurch's Earthquake damaged Red Zone captured by Terralink's StreetCam on 7 and 8 of April 2011.

Street cam

Using this site you can navigate within the restricted areas of Christchurch to locate and view areas of interest. You can view the five photos (three front and both sides) captured using the Streetcam van for most streets within the Red Zone.


Forward_eg Use the arrows to advance forward and back.

Play Click the play button to automatically drive forward.

Select a road or other point using the menu items "Roads and Streets" or "Places of Interest".

Locate and click within the map to jump to any location. Area's driven by the StreetCam van are shown on the map in light blue. Your current location and orientation are indicated on the map by the red arrow St-cam-90.

Clicking on an image will display a larger higher resolution image.


The above help can be accessed from the menu link.

For most of us living here, large sections of the city are still cordoned off and we can't tell what is here, gone, repairable or permanently red-stickered for demolition. My parents were venturing out of their western area for the first time today and have avoided tackling the inner parts at all. To be honest, it is hard to drive it anyway - if it is open, the disorientation of lost landmarks, blocked roads, potholes and blockages make it hard enough, without the utter distraction of looking at the ruins in horror... taking a while to get used to it!
Hopefully, this will help us all adjust to the reality of the state of the inner city - technology opens up our inner city.... click on the link and have a drive through the streets and see it for yourselves, without leaving your chair.

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May 3, 2011

One man dead, many injured after tornado strikes Auckland | News Video

Extraordinary footage of tornado form our main television news, shot by a man arriving at Westfield Mall, Albany.

This tornado started at Albany - very close to Mark's workplace. It has badly damaged Westfield Mall where we eat lunch with the kids when we visit them in Auckland. It then crossed over the harbour towards the central city.
If the video doesn't play - click on the link below the movie or paste the other link into your browser.
Nothing compared to the many hundreds of them America is dealing with - but certainly something out of the ordinary for Auckland. We have had 4 in the last 100 years, although two were in the last two years.... hmmm

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