Thursday, 17 March 2011

Perhaps you have to be Prince William? [update 3]

Today in Christchurch a magazine pinup from England will be given a guided tour around Christchurch’s destroyed Central Business District—yet the people who own, lease and work in the buildings that make up that district are still being stopped from going anywhere near it, and their buildings and livelihoods are still being destroyed without even the courtesy of a phone call.

No wonder they’re fuming.

Antony Gough, Central City Business Association chairman and owner of 12 buildings in the CBD has organised many “raids” on his own buildings and businesses to rescue computers and servers, dismantling them to take the equipment out in people’s pockets.

_Quote “It is shameful that we have to go to these sorts of extremes to get life back into these businesses," he said.

And yesterday he had to learn through the media that his Hereford St building housing the Vivace Espresso Bar and Fortuna Books was destroyed without even letting in the business owners to remove books or expensive imported coffee machines--destroyed because it was the same colour as its badly damaged neighbouring building.

_Quote"They were different buildings but, unfortunately, I painted them the same colour, and it was a cream day that day. Every building that was cream in Hereford St was demolished…
    "It is anarchy from the top down," he said. "They have taken lethal blows to the business community, and we are rising to fight back.”

Gough is not alone.

_QuoteMary Fraser, who owns Care Consultants in the Link Centre in Hereford St, said she was "absolutely devastated" by the lack of information from the officials. "We are not being told anything," she said. "I am worried sick.
    Kurt Langer, who owns a photography studio in the City Mall, said he felt "robbed and ruined" by authorities denying him access to his building.   It holds more than $800,000 worth of property, including his wedding albums.   He said he had begged at the earthquake headquarters for access every day since the February 22 quake.
    "I feel like Christchurch is in a police state and I believe we are living under a communist rule.  I know it sounds extreme, but they are demolishing businesses without giving information. They are ruining lives, and in a democracy this should not be allowed," he said.

City Centre Business Association manager Paul Lonsdale said he has had “email after email from owners asking when they will get access to their buildings and when more information will come through, but there is no co-ordinated information coming through.” No effort at all being made by officials to get crucial information to business owners. And no effort at all to understand a point made by Kurt Langer:

People choose risk all the time—choosing themselves to play rugby, climb mountains, take gliders up to 5,000 feet above the ground.
But they're not allowed to choose their own risk (with the guidance of their own professionals) to enter their own buildings and remove their own property--even when their livelihood depends on it.

The grey ones wouldn’t begin to understand that. Instead they are still preening themselves in their own new-found importance, and today will be ferrying around a man whose face could launch a thousand magazines, but do nothing at all for the recovery of Christchurch business owners.

The business of Christchurch was business. Not any more. The business of Christchurch, if you listen to “the authorities,” is killing the very businesses that need to recover if Christchurch ever will.

There is not even a hint of Christchurch’s grey ones understanding that.

UPDATE 1Today is a day for protest in Christchurch. Photographer Kurt Langer, mentioned above, will be marching to the Art Gallery and Civil Defence Headquarters at lunchtime today and he wants your support.  Get along there and help him help other Christchurch business owners. Says Kurt:

Tell as many people as possible to come and join us at 12:30pm 4:30pm outside the Bridge of Remembrance. They can park anywhere around the Bridge of Remembrance. (But they have to drive along Montreal street from at least Tuam street coming from the hospital to get there.)From there we plan to walk to the art gallery at 1 pm 5pm, the headquarters of the new regime.
Come join us!

UPDATE 2: Contact protest organiser Kurt Langer on either 021 407 506 or .

UPDATE 3: Eric Crampton has a whole slew of similar disgusting stories, including a restaurant owner, prohibited from recovering items from his restaurant “for his own good” finds out the soldiers guarding the cordon had been inside to grab a few chairs to sit on. The restaurant was then demolished without his being notified after assurances it wouldn't be… [hat tip Tribeless]


  1. When is that fat-fuck Brownlee going to allow business owners to get access to their own properties to retrieve whatever they can?

  2. Why the silence from most about this abuse of property rights? This is a scandal!

    In a civilised society, property and individual rights are never violated. And yet in Christchurch, property owners no longer have those rights. Antony Gough and Mr Langer who you refer to above are correct - the government authorities have total dictatorship status. It really is a police state.

    The evidence is now clear. We can no longer claim to live in a civilised country. What a disgrace!


  3. As was to be expected, no surprise there at all. The grey ones will always and forever act in precisely that manner. They can't even help it, they think "business" means logo's, procedures and operating manuals plus an annual cost budget. They don't have the first clue about the other side of the ledger, about attracting and retaining clients, about delivery of services to a level that people WANT to pay instead of being forced to.
    This whole country is f**d is this cannot be turned around very, very rapidly.


  4. While not wanting to criticize the civil defense emergency response, which was excellent.
    I don't see why they need to remain as the arbitrary body presiding over building demolitions, especially before building owners get a chance to get on site.

  5. Appalling! Appalling!

    If you can't get to Chch txt Kurt a message of support.

  6. Eric Crampton has a great round of this also:

  7. It is absolutely disgusting, but of course the state worshipping sheeple on the left wouldn't dare question the authority of bureaurats central or local in doing what they think is best - after all, property rights mean fucking nothing in New Zealand.

    Come on Christchurch, you SHOULD be protesting. What if it was YOUR business? What if it was YOUR home? Are you all such spineless gits in the people's republic of Christchurch that you succumbed to the mindlessness of your local property rights abuser Jim Anderton?

  8. I heard that this sort of outrageous nonsense was happening, but it was so unbelievable. To read of the indignities suffered by business owners is unreal. How long since the quake? And they persecute poor Ken Ring for adding stress to the lives of quake victims.
    It just shows what happens when no-body's are given boots, a fluoro jacket & a stick. It always goes to their heads.This is probably the first time they have had any importance & by God they're gonna use it.
    The whole thing sounds tragically sad

  9. Just another sad example of how NZers simply don't know where money comes from. It's the Govt right? Don't they make everything happen? I think I'll sit back and be taken care of.

    An earthquake should shake everyone into the reality of the food chain. Everyone, evidently, except NZers.

    Food chain means business - not government.

    Keep sucking that teat babies.



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