Monday, 5 September 2011

Christchurch one year on

It’s sadly all too appropriate really that we have to commemorate the anniversary of the first Christchurch earthquake last year accompanied by news that land around Christchurch on which Cantabrians might begin rebuilding is still being held up by council planners—not one of whom has had the brain power to realise that (especially) when land is in short supply, they should get their dirty paws off it.

Instead, their District Plans are still making it impossible to build.

Never mind all pseudo sympathy and hand wringing from Christchurch’s dictatoriat. Never mind the fine words.  If results had been as forthcoming as tea, sympathy and ill-founded “visions,” Cantabrians might already have been able to begin putting the disaster behind them. Instead, rather than helping Cantabrians to recover, the authorities have been doing everything they can to hinder them.

Let’s make it simple. Let’s start with a simple goal. Let’s look at one concrete goal they can work towards: Forget the grand plans and the top-down great visions: their first goal for recovery should be allowing the production of $50,000 serviced lots. As Hugh Pavletich has been saying ever since the quake:

The Christchurch earthquake recovery will be ALLOWED to start, when CERA / Central Government sorts out the lunatic land supply situation.
How much longer does this political / regulatory lunacy have to be tolerated? Isn’t in excess of 12 months of dithering enough?
There should have been $50,000 serviced lots available for displaced residents well before now.

He’s absolutely right. Christchurch’s recovery won’t even be able to begin until would-be home owners are able to build on serviced lots costing them no more than $50,000. It’s the only way their finances are going to work—which is to say, the only way the city is going to begin rebuilding: by the people of the city rebuilding.

This is only the bare minimum of first steps. That we are one year down the track and not even on that path at all is killing. I suspect the only way it will ever happen is for town planners to feel Roger Sutton’s boot up their arse, so that land owners can get on with producing the supply to meet the urgent demand unencumbered by ridiculous, anachronistic ideas of town planning that never suited the city when they were first written, and they sure as hell don’t suit it now that city has disappeared.

Get the hell out of their way.


  1. Damned depressing. And they're seeming serious about spending $400m on light rail. Jeebus.

  2. So are you suggesting public subsidies to install the "services" (sewage, water, power, phone, roads, footpaths, streetlights, stormwater) plus contouring, surveys etc that will be necessary to provide serviced lots?

    Given alternative land use options these days, what, in reality is the cost of getting a "serviced lot" to market.

  3. @David:

    1. No.

    2. Much less than it would be with the grey ones out of the way. This gives you some idea.

  4. Face it - NZ simply cannot afford $30Bn to "rebuild" a city in Christchurch or anywhere else. The madly foolish "rebuild" craze will simply suck scarce funds from elsewhere in the economy, and ensure the productive heart of NZ is unable to gain insurance

    So: start from the impossibility to rebuild - and the necessity of liquidating the losses immediately - and work on from there:
    * demolish the entire red zone
    * state to confiscate all real estate in the red zone
    * state to cancel EQC and any other insurance land reinsurance iability related to any earthquake events south of Hamilton or north of Warkworth.

    The Christchurch burgers will howl but they all vote Labour anyway.

  5. @Anonymous Coward 9:23pm: Yes, we know that you're actually the poster posting elsewhere as Sinner. And we know, as you keep demonstrating, that you're a disgusting misanthrope. And you know you've been asked not to post here.

    Now piss off.


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