Tag Archives: Christchurch

Christchurch housing : ‘If you build the right thing, buyers will still come’

Will they ? How many, how far ?
(if there’s nothing more than service sector jobs available)….

Hmm. In their early contributions to What if? Dunedin, Lee Vandervis and Christchurch Driver [CD] each had the measure of the post-quake new build housing market in Christchurch. Cycling boom and bust, with odd and unexplained connections and financing.

Link received.
Sat, 4 Mar 2017 at 12:31 p.m.

T H E ● P R E S S

Christchurch’s rental market is oversupplied and freshly-built terraced houses are sitting empty and unsold in the suburbs. How did the city with the real estate market decimated by the earthquakes get here?

According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), the average rent in Christchurch is falling for the first time since records started in 1993.

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 18:11, March 3 2017
Christchurch’s housing paradox – the downside of a building boom
By Michael Wright – The Press
Last month, Mike Blackburn bought a house. He and his wife looked at about 40 properties before settling on one. As they traipsed through the preceding 39, a pattern emerged. “Every second house we looked at was empty,” he said. “That’s just a telling figure. Where have all these people gone?” The significance of what he saw wasn’t lost: Christchurch, the city once desperately short of houses after thousands of them were wrecked by earthquakes, had a lot more accommodation than it used to.

Blackburn is a management consultant, specialising in construction clients. When small or medium-sized operators are struggling, they go to someone like him for advice on how to get through. As part of his work, he gets the raw consenting data from the Christchurch City Council each month – location, builder, value, type of consent (earthquake or business as usual), intended use – to build a picture of the marketplace. He saw a clear vision. “There was a major rush, mostly by the group home builders, to build a lot of houses really quickly,” he said. “What’s happened is now everyone who’s needed a house has pretty much got one and they’re still building them. They’re building them flat out . . . all these development companies are month after month submitting 20-30 consents each for essentially spec housing.” The numbers have tapered off of late. The council peaked in 2014 at more than 3200 consents issued – about 270 a month – before drifting back down to just over 2100 last year. 2017 is already tracking below that. As Blackburn sees it, though, the damage has already been done. “There will be a correction. The number of buildings and the total number of dwellings being built will fall off really rapidly. It’ll go below that business as usual level, because we’ve got a major oversupply at the moment. Potentially that effect could run on for the building sector in Canterbury for the next two, maybe three years.”

….Anecdotally, rental properties are in such abundance landlords are dropping prices and offering incentives to secure tenants. This week, Stuff reported on swathes of empty multi-unit houses languishing in suburban subdivisions. “[We] certainly won’t be building any more of those,” construction boss Mike Greer said at the time. Then there is the data. Compare Government valuer QV’s latest monthly average house values for each region against last February and Christchurch does not do well. QV measures the city in six disparate parts and they all appear in the bottom 11 spots for value increase [three of the other five are the Selwyn, Waimakariri and Ashburton districts]. Rises in the Christchurch zones range from 0.7 per cent [east] to 3.9 per cent [southwest], which barely registers against most of the rest of the country; basking in double-digit growth all the way up to an eye-watering 29.5 per cent jump in the Queenstown-Lakes district [average house value $1,039,434].

Market forces were …. promoting even more building. The Reserve Bank’s loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions on banks lending to home buyers exempted new builds. A home buyer generally needed a 20 per cent deposit, but a home builder could get finance with much less. Christchurch, in the middle of an insurance-driven building bonanza, didn’t need that kind of encouragement.

“People have gone, in my mind, somewhat berserk in building new, to try and fill that [housing] void,” Canterbury Registered Master Builders president Ivan Stanicich said. “Some of the bigger building companies in Christchurch grew exponentially, hired more and more people and that was only ever going to be for about a three-year sweep. Now we’re seeing the reverse of that where building companies are actively downsizing. That’s well known in our industry. Nobody wants to shout that from the rooftops, because it’s not a positive business outlook, but it’s quite understandable. If you don’t, any gains you’ve made through the building boom, they’re just going to be lost in your overheads.”

Property manager Tony Brazier saw the problem coming. In October 2014 he penned a column in The Press warning of the dangers of over-building. “The housing rebuild must be carefully monitored so we do not end up over-supplied,” he wrote. “This phenomenal house building pace should alert us to the fact that, whereas in the past it takes only a few builders struggling to sell their new-builds to signal an end to the cycle, this time could be different. It may take large contractors not being able to sell whole subdivisions before the message gets through.”

….How did it come to this? The first answer is earthquake insurance money finally caught up with, and overtook, the market. As Stanicich said – builders going berserk trying to fill the housing void. In the meantime, claims were settled and damaged stock repaired. An unforeseen element of this was the brisk trade in as-is, where-is houses – earthquake casualties that were uninsurable but livable. Landlords snapped them up and, in a stressed rental market, had no problem finding tenants. The by-product was Christchurch’s housing stock ended up not quite as depleted as first thought.
Read more + Charts

Recent Press articles:
Christchurch’s terraced homes struggling to sell as housing market levels
Christchurch landlords lower rents due to ‘oversupply’ of properties
Cash and rent-free offers fail to lure tenants as Christchurch housing….
City’s rental crisis ‘at breaking point’

****

█ Thoughts immediately turn to Dunedin City Council and DCHL’s commitment as of 1 August 2016 to the new Delta ‘joint venture’ (including the Noble types) at Yaldhurst. After all the legal stoush, will properties sell ?

yaldhurst14-2-17-4[Gurglars] Hoarding at Yaldhurst subdivision, 14 February 2017

yaldhurst-village-site-received-14-2-16-christchurch-driver[Christchurch Driver] Yaldhurst subdivision, 13 February 2016

yaldhurst-subdivision-21-jan-2016-christchurch-driver[Christchurch Driver] Yaldhurst subdivision, 21 January 2016

Yaldhurst Village location map [villagelife.co.nz][villagelife.co.nz]

Yaldhurst Village Mortgagee Tender [realestate.co.nz - Harcourts][realestate.co.nz] Yaldhurst Village Mortgagee Tender, 15 December 2015

****

BACK WHEN (2014), Mike Greer Homes NZ ramped up production to rehouse people in post-quake Christchurch, it was a genuine and concerted effort:

Where there was bare land a year ago, a factory now stands ready to reshape the residential construction industry.

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00, November 22 2014
House factory ready to roll
By Alan Wood – The Press
As Mike Greer and Bill Gee watch the emergence of their “high volume” residential panels factory, they have no concern they will contribute to an oversupply of new homes. The $14 million industrial factory development includes $5m plus of specialist German machinery to be used to rapidly construct the panels for residential homes. Greer, “a chippie by trade”, is optimistic about the Rolleston-based factory’s place in a Canterbury and Auckland building boom. “This is fantastic for the residential construction industry. No-one in New Zealand has ever seen anything like this,” he says of the joint venture company Concision, which he and Gee own. Asked about any slowdown in the Canterbury rebuild and residential market, Greer says he has hundreds of pre-sold homes he is yet to make a start on.
Is there any danger of an overbuild by builders in the region?
“Well wouldn’t that be good. Everyone is complaining about housing affordability. The only way to fix that is supply,” Greer responds. He says there are signs interest rates have stabilised and may even come down. From April 1, a Government subsidy on first home buyers of new homes in Canterbury will be introduced. A buyer could get up to $20,000 towards a $450,000 home. “So that’s really going to stimulate things at that end of the market,” Greer says. The Reserve Bank was also signalling that eventually . . . it will remove loan to value ratio restrictions that have made it more difficult for first home buyers to get loans.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
● 17.2.17 Gurglars visits the Delta/Noble JV subdivision at Yaldhurst
…. /
● 11.3.16 Delta peripheral #EpicFail : Stonewood Homes and ancient Delta….
● 10.3.16 Noble Subdivision next on the shopping list !!! You couldn’t….
6.3.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : Tea & Taxing Questions
6.3.16 Delta #EpicFail —Nobel Subdivision : A Neighbour responds
5.3.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision —Epic Fraud
4.3.16 Delta —Noble Subdivision #EpicStorm Heading OUR WAY
4.3.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : Councillors know NOTHING
2.3.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : A Dog, or a RAVING YAPPER?….
1.3.16 Delta #EpicFail… —The Little Finance Company that did (Delta).
29.2.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision : NBR interested in bidders
28.2.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble… If I were a rich man / Delta Director
27.2.16 Delta #EpicFail Noble Subdivision Consent : Strictly Optional
27.2.16 Delta #NUCLEAR EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : Incompetent…
25.2.16 Delta #EpicFail: Mayor Cull —Forced Sale Fundamentals 101
24.2.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : Cameron, Crombie & McKenzie
23.2.16 DCC: DCHL half year result to 31 December 2015
19.2.16 Delta: Update on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery
15.2.16 Delta / DCHL not broadcasting position on subdivision mortgagee tender
30.1.16 DCC Rates: LOCAL CONTEXT not Stats —Delta and Hippopotamuses
29.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision ● Some forensics
21.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision
21.1.16 DCC LTAP 2016/17 budget discussion #ultrahelpfulhints
19.1.15 Housing affordability in this country is “just hopeless” –Hugh Pavletich
10.1.16 Infrastructure ‘open to facile misinterpretation’…. or local ignore
15.12.15 Noble property subdivision aka Yaldhurst Village | Mortgagee Tender
21.9.15 DCC: Not shite (?) hitting the fan but DVL
20.7.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA #LGOIMA
● 1.4.15 Christchurch subdivisions: Heat gone?
24.3.15 Noble property subdivision —DELTA
23.3.15 Noble property subdivision: “Denials suggest that we have not learned.”
17.3.15 DCC —Delta, Jacks Point Luggate II…. Noble property subdivision

● 14.5.14 (via DCC website) Larsen Report February 2012
A recent governance review of the Dunedin City Council companies was conducted by Warren Larsen.

● 20.3.14 Delta: Report from Office of the Auditor-General
Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point

█ For more, enter the term *delta* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

2 Comments

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Christchurch Cathedral : Marcus Brandt and the People’s Steeple Project

christchurch-cathedral-steeple-by-country-farm-garden-photos-cfgphoto-com-render1-1

While Bishop Victoria and the Anglican church property trust (CPT) continue to sit on their hands perhaps awaiting devine intervention, who knew, it turns out that a group of stalwart people in New Zealand – with an incredible level of international assistance – are busy planning a very special Cathedral project.

From: Mark Belton
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2017 11:11 PM
To: [Elizabeth Kerr + RCC Mailing List]
Subject: Introducing The People’s Steeple

Dear Cathedral Restoration supporters

Below is a link to a video clip of the People’s Steeple proposal being demonstrated by its creator Marcus Brandt. Marcus has been in CHCH this last week promoting the People’s Steeple Project.

The People’s Steeple is a mind blowing proposal…audacious, visionary, inspiring. Lifting telescoping timber sections of the spire 60 metres into the sky…powered by about 500 trained people working 16 capstan winches placed around Cathedral Square, watched by up to 50,000 people in the Square.

The US based Timber Framers Guild (TFG), a professional organisation of engineers and timber framers has offered to be the lead contractor to build, assemble, and erect the People’s Steeple. The lead NZ engineers would be renowned CHCH timber engineer – Prof Andy Buchanan whose report on the project is attached.

Skilled TFG members from the US and around the world would gift their time, working in the Square preparing and assembling the timbers, and then helping lead the steeple’s erection. Up to 300 TFG members along with locals could be involved working in the Square over a period of about 6 months.

The TFG have successfully undertaken 75 community building projects over the last 25 years in the US and around the world. They are super keen to offer their services to CHCH. The TFG emphasise their projects are about ‘building communities’.

Marcus says would take only 2-3 hrs to lift and secure the telescoping sections. Flooring and bells would be assembled the same day and in the evening the bells would ring out…proclaiming to the world – ‘Christchurch is back’….and a Hangi feast would be opened…for a crowd of 50,000! International media would broadcast the event around the world…the whole enterprise being about engaging our community in the most positive way…and it would ignite fund raising for the restoration of the cathedral. It is envisaged the construction of the People’s Steeple would lead restoration of the cathedral and the Square.

It is noted huge pro bono contributions from the Guild’s members are being offered, and Blakely Pacific NZ Ltd, a US based forestry company has offered to provide the timbers at no cost from giant 125-year-old Port Orford Cedar from its Pioneer Forest in South Canterbury.

The Restore Christchurch Cathedral Group is strongly supportive of the People’s Steeple.

We hope this inspiring project will help engage and enthuse Christchurch people with recovery of the cathedral, and help get the cathedral restoration programme underway.

Warm regards

Mark Belton
Co-Chair, Restore Christchurch Cathedral

Mark Belton
Managing Director
Permanent Forests NZ Limited
PO Box 34, Lyttelton 8841, New Zealand

See attached reports by Marcus Brandt, Andy Buchanan, and the TFG.
TFG People’s Steeple Project approach notes-10-2-16
Steeple 16-8-12
M Belton report on Timber Framers Guild conf and People’s Steeple 23-9-16
Engineering the People’s Steeple v9

The People’s Steeple | Whare Films Published on Feb 23, 2017

christchurch-cathedral-tonyhphotography-co-nz-bw-render1-1

The People’s Steeple
Rebuilding the Bell Tower at Christchurch Cathedral

Marcus Brandt: An Introduction

For the last thirty years or so, I’ve been restoring historic stone and timber buildings, mostly in Southeastern Pennsylvania. I’m a working master carpenter and stone mason. Most of the historic buildings I am called to work on are 150 to 300 years old. Solid and well crafted, these old buildings tend to age well, but neglect and damage can take a toll. Much of my effort is spent in repairing and strengthening the timber frames of barns, bridges, houses, gristmills and churches. I’ve had several commissions to build new structures in the old style. I have organized and led many barn raisings, in which hundreds of volunteers gather to raise a barn’s frame in a day. A good crew will have the sides and roof on too.
Straightening, plumbing and repairing damaged stone walls is often called for. It is not uncommon to straighten a wall 10 meters high that is out of plumb by 400 or 500 mm. Having studied and worked with several Scots masons, I’m a strong believer in lime based mortars and good masonry practice. The interface between stone and timber is of particular interest to me.
Since 1989, I’ve been a professional member of the Timber Framers Guild (TFG) and a member of the Traditional Timberframe Research and Advisory Group (TTRAG). That part of the Guild focuses on understanding the past practice of the craft with a view that the past might help inform future practice. I have advised many historical and preservation societies and sat on many review boards.
As a result of my participation in Guild efforts and projects, I was invited to go to both Scotland and China to investigate “lost” technologies for the Public Broadcast Service series NOVA. We built working siege weapons in Scotland and in China we built a bridge design that hadn’t been built since the Mongol invasion.
I teach Traditional building skills at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. I’m particularly interested in ways that the pre-industrial past practice can inform building in the greener, sustainable post-industrial world of the future.
I serve as a sailor, boson and ship’s carpenter aboard the tall ship Gazela (www.Gazela.org). That experience has taught me much about rigging and raising heavy loads in confined spaces. It’s taught me about erecting tall, secure, flexible, stable structures that get tossed about and shaken mercilessly. A sea captain in her own right, my wife serves as First Mate aboard Gazela. She out-ranks me, and helps keep me humble.
Since 22 February, I have been working as much as possible to develop a method to rebuild the Bell tower at Christchurch. With the help of friends and students, and the forbearance of my wife, I developed a plan that is beautiful, solid, strong, flexible, earthquake resistant, buildable, durable, and familiar. But more than anything, I want to use the rebuilding of the steeple as a vehicle for rebuilding and strengthening the community. And, once built, serve as an outward witness to the inward love we have for each other as fellow humans.
I look forward to doing this project with the able help of my best friends in the world…many of whom I haven’t yet met.

█ More information about the People’s Steeple Project and participants at http://thepeoplessteeple.org/

christchurch-cathedral-detail-mygola-com-tweaked

Related Posts and Comments:
23.12.15 Christ Church Cathedral: practical news from govt mediator…
14.7.12 Rival newspaper on historic heritage #cathedral
2.3.12 Christ Church, Cathedral Square

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

christchurch-cathedral-detail-with-chalice-sisson-photography-photoshelter-com

christchurch-cathedral-mudbirdceramics-blogspot-co-nz

christchurch-cathedral-5-aug-2003-by-cindy-staticflickr-com-tweaked

*Images: Christchurch Cathedral – (from top) colour render by whatifdunedin [photo source: Country Farm Garden Photos at cfgphoto.com]; black white render by whatifdunedin [photo source: Tony H Photography at tonyhphotography.co.nz]; colour photo of steeple detail [mygola.com]; cathedral with chalice by Sisson Photography [via photoshelter.com]; black white photo by Mudbird Ceramics [mudbirdceramics.blogspot.co.nz]; colour photo by Cindy taken on 5 Aug 2003 [via staticflickr.com]

3 Comments

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Gurglars visits the Delta/Noble JV subdivision at Yaldhurst

Received from Gurglars
14/02/2017 9:07 p.m.

yaldhurst14-2-17-1George Noble Rd, Yaldhurst

yaldhurst14-2-17-2Who wants to live near power lines? They run right through the subdivision.

yaldhurst14-2-17-3No one is working at Yaldy, this glass has been on the road for a long time.

yaldhurst14-2-17-5A digger strategically placed to suggest action – reality, inaction.

yaldhurst14-2-17-4The crowning glory – unbelievable, no ads for Yaldhurst sales but an ad on the property for a subdivision near Pegasus!

whatifdunedin replies:
Nearby subdivisions sold well with power lines and pylons…
Weird mentality at CHC.

That hoarding (not that old… months only) originally featured marketing for the commercial area at the Yaldhurst subdivision. Recently pasted over with Infinity’s other project.

[“Ravenswood, half an hour north of Christchurch, is being offered for sale by developer Infinity Investment Group, which says the project is too big for it.” See last note at (28.3.15) Stuff: Gloomy outlook for solar housing in Christchurch; and (9.8.16) Stuff: Work to begin on Ravenswood development after sale abandoned.]

****

Received from Gurglars
2017/02/15 at 6:51 am

News Flash
The word on the street is that a well-heeled solid respectable group offered $12,000,000 actual cash, money, moolah, for Yaldhurst.
The idiotii accepted a notional nonexistent $13million from a $1000 capitalised company who have subsequently made no moves towards repair, consents, or even inspected their new purchase.
If they have inspected it, one would have thought they would clean glass from the road (been there so long it’s almost fused and embedded). Maybe they would have mowed the grass? Or perhaps they would have found the keys to the lone token digger. Having commenced these $5 dollar cleanups they may have been able to put a sign up advertising the properties.
And why is activity important to a Dunedin ratepayer or councillor?
Because honey, we do not get any money until they sell profitable sections.
That’s why the $12,000,000 cash was the only offer that the idiotii should have accepted and folks that’s why you do NOT elect Greens, flakes and dreamers, because it’s your money they have, and will enjoy wasting.

whatifdunedin replies:
Your point is well made, Gurglars. But. It’s much more complicated than that. Seller was the buyer. And we have Graham Crombie (accountant!) as middle man, we wonder who he is really working for, Gordon Stewart? Justin Prain? Murray Frost? Previously/still, Stuart McLauchlan? Who.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Wastewater testing for drug use

90s-cartoon-drug-addicts-3-utopiasilver-com[utopiasilver.com]

### NZ Herald Online 12:38 PM Monday Dec 19, 2016
Police to start testing wastewater in NZ for drug use
Police are about to start testing wastewater in Auckland and Christchurch, to get a better idea of drug use in the community. Similar testing in Perth has found 31.6kg of meth was consumed in the city area each week, that’s 1.6 tonnes a year. Now police want to do the same here.
The testing, which will look for methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, alpha PVP, MDMA and Creatinine, will take place in Christchurch and Auckland’s Rosedale treatment plants. Police say the results, which cannot be traced to individuals, will improve their understating of drug use in the population.
Assistant Commissioner Bill Searle … said the results will also inform treatment and enforcement strategies, allow comparison with international data, measure the effectiveness of education and enforcement and provide intelligence data … The testing will be undertaken by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research for one week each month for a year.
Read more

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NBC News: Shocking mugshots reveal toll of drug abuse
Updated 2/25/2011 6:29:15 PM ET
In-your-face photos aim to scare teens straight by striking their vanity.
The pairs of mug shots, which graphically display the damage drugs can do to the face, were collected by the sheriff’s office in Multnomah County, Ore. Faces that were normal — even attractive — in initial photos, shot when addicts were first arrested, metamorphose over years, and sometimes just months, into gaunt, pitted, even toothless wrecks. Link

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‘Everyone experiments at college or school and I want From Drugs to Mugs to show kids that everyone in those pictures started on cannabis, they didn’t just dive head first into heroin.’ –Deputy Bret King, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon.

Daily Mail (Australia): The horror of Meth: Before-and-after pictures reveal shocking transformation in faces of users hooked on deadly drug
Published: 02:12 +11:00, 7 Dec 2012 | Updated: 06:53 +11:00, 7 Dec 2012
A new anti-drug advertisement shows the devastating physical transformation addicts experience after years of meth use. The photos, that show a shocking Dorian Gray-like deterioration, were compiled from mug shots of drug users that were arrested repeatedly over the years. The continued drug use caused horrific damage to the drug users’ skin with sores and scarring – that can be caused by uncontrollable scratching during a hallucination when the addict imagines bugs are crawling under their skin. Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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DCHL —Which ‘Infinity’ were Councillors sold on #funnybusiness

ODT 13.10.16 (page 12)

odt-13-10-16-letter-to-editor-garbutt-p12

The published reply has no direct bearing on Russell Garbutt’s enquiry.

● INFINITY YALDHURST LIMITED (5886102)
Incorporation Date: 09 Feb 2016
Address for service:
Jackson Valentine Limited, Level 3, 258 Stuart Street, Dunedin 9016
http://www.companies.govt.nz/co/5886102

● INFINITY INVESTMENT GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED (1004601)
Incorporation Date: 06 Dec 1999
Address for service:
Jackson Valentine Limited, Level 3, 258 Stuart Street, Dunedin 9016
http://www.companies.govt.nz/co/1004601

● INFINITY FINANCE AND MORTGAGE LIMITED (5920307)
Incorporation Date: 17 Mar 2016
Address for service:
Infinity Finance and Mortgage Limited, 12a Fovant Street, Russley, Christchurch 8042
http://www.companies.govt.nz/co/5920307

Related Post and Comments:
22.9.16 DCC : Delta deal 1 Aug 2016 Council meeting (non-public) #LGOIMA

█ For more, enter the term *delta*, *dchl*, *infinity*, *noble* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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‘Visual pole-ution’ @Christchurch —says sexy muppet

traffic-lights-at-high-and-tuam-streets-chc-facebook-comTraffic lights going in at High and Tuam Sts [facebook.com]

1NEWS Video

RNZ Checkpoint with John Campbell
Thu, 13 Oct 2016
18 traffic lights fitted out at CHCH intersection Link
A single intersection in the Christchurch CBD has been fitted with 18 traffic lights – bafflying passersby.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (duration 1′ 29″)

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“Christchurch wants to compete on an international scale well, we haven’t re-built the cathedral but this corner is all sorted.” –Sam Crofskey, C1 Espresso cafe owner

### NZ Herald Online 8:31 AM Thu, 13 Oct 2016
Traffic light madness in central Christchurch
Source: NZ Herald
Eighteen traffic light poles have been set up in one of Christchurch’s quietest intersections, and at least one local says it causes noise to his eyes. The intersection of High and Tuam Streets was traffic-light free before the earthquakes. But for the past 18 months, council contractors have been slowly and steadily erecting traffic light poles in the tightly condensed area.
C1 Espresso cafe owner Sam Crofskey’s business has been on the corner for the past 20 years and is yet to see one crash. The council shouldn’t be surprised that it would get hassled for creating such an eyesore, he said.
“They’ve been doing this one block for 18 months. And we all take the piss about how long this takes, but 18 months? The money that is getting poured into this kind of stuff, oh, I would do a better job [on council].” … “I guess they’re trying to build it for the future. Eighteen sets of traffic lights, and they all do different things: there’s one for people crossing, bicycles, vehicles and trams, so there’s no doubt that someone has thought it out but it might have been a bit early to jump the gun.”
Christchurch City Council could not provide the cost of the traffic poles, nor explain why 18 traffic signals were needed to control the intersection when contacted by Fairfax yesterday.
Read more

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“It’s such a [visually] noisy thing to look at . . . it’s peak traffic management.” –Crofskey

### The Press Online (via Stuff) Last updated 14:13, 13 Oct 2016
‘Overkill’ central Christchurch intersection has 18 lights [+ Video]
By Jack Fletcher and Michael Hayward
A central Christchurch intersection will soon be controlled by 18 traffic light poles, with one local business owner reminded of the busy streets of Tokyo. The lights, at the corner of High and Tuam streets, will guide pedestrian, cycle, vehicle and tram traffic. They were yet to be installed, but locals and urban design experts have criticised the traffic management plans.
Other central city intersections visited on Wednesday have about nine lights.
Read more 

Oldman 5 hours ago:
How the hell will we know where to look?

Fredup 5 hours ago:
Well, it wasn’t City Care. All their bosses are away on holiday in their council $50,000 utes with the boat or caravan behind it.

CHL 5 hours ago:
Must have been designed by the same traffic engineers who built traffic islands and installed calming measures in a quiet residential street in South Dunedin so that fire trucks could not acccess the street and a perfectly good street was turned into a one way street and had a compulsory stop at one end. People with brains but absolutely no common sense.

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RNZ Published on Aug 21, 2016
Christchurch Dilemmas – City Centre – Portland Families
Episode 3 of Christchurch Dilemmas looks at the city centre. This video looks at the Pearl District of Portland – a previously run-down industrial area of the inner city, which has been transformed by putting families first. See all the videos and have your say at http://chchdilemmas.co.nz.

Christchurch Dilemmas is a new series coming soon from Frank Film, the creators of When a City Falls. Funded by NZ On Air and created with assistance from Radio New Zealand, the six-part series examines the major decisions facing Christchurch 5 years on from the earthquakes that devastated the city.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #14 : The Election and The End Game revisited

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sun, 25 Sep 2016 at 11:15 p.m.

Firstly, Ratepayers have a debt (yes another one, readers, but put the cudgels away, it doesn’t involve money illegally advanced by Delta) to Vaughan Elder, Cr Hilary Calvert and our What if? site for prising the official information about the August 1 2016 Council Meeting from the DCC. After an extended delay, some records were produced, but “technical difficulties” meant a full audio transcript was not available. How surprising. This is the Council equivalent of “The dog ate my homework, sir”, with the same level of credibility. But of course Mayor Cull will be able to say that he really wanted the transcript because, of course, he is FOR openness and transparency in Council, for the next fortnight anyway —because in response to the latest poll or subtle expression of displeasure from the ODT publishers, Mayor Cull is now a “transparency magnet”, you see.

While it would have been useful to see if any Councillors expressed even the most cursory concern about the deal, before voting to give away $13.2M to a shell company on the most favourable terms in commercial history, the key point is that Cr Lee Vandervis is the only candidate standing who sounded the alarm. He abstained from even voting on the proposal because the information put before Councillors was so pathetically incomplete that to even vote on it was giving the “proposal” more credibility than it deserved.

Departing from Matters Noble for a moment, your correspondent had from afar noticed a very clear divide on ‘the sound’ between sitting and new council candidates. To a man (and one woman) the sitting Councillors all sing the same song : everything is fine, everything is under control at the hands of your capable (sitting) Councillors and if these “whingers” would stop the “negativity” then everything would move from fine to fantastic on the DCC rate-o-meter. With the notable exception of the sniping between Mr Whiley and Mr Hawkins, there is clearly a little gentlemen’s agreement amongst incumbents not to say hard but truthful things about each other so that normal sycophant operation can resume after the election.

However, the other 32 council candidates are also singing a song that is mostly in unison, and that is that the present Council have failed the city in ways too numerous to count. Their description of the overall Council performance ranges from the mediocre to the abysmal.

With six new positions, in a normal election a candidate could probably spout vague but reassuring platitudes and have a good chance of joining the club. But this is not a normal election and the vast majority of new candidates aren’t being shy about what needs to change. A change is coming.

lee-vandervis-billboard-detail-1The point of all this : Your correspondent says that this is no time for the safety first status quo and if the best candidates only include one (Cr Vandervis) or even two then that is just fine. Vote accordingly. Mr Vandervis as Mayor can always run night classes over the first month in how to chair a subcommittee.

Your correspondent has for some time flayed the vast majority of Councillors in many posts for being slack jawed bystanders on the whole disgusting Delta Noble mess. Those Councillors who acquiesced and made like Silent Bob – which is all of them, except Cr Vandervis, do not merit re-election on a number of levels. Most odiferous of all is Cr Doug Hall, who is very well versed in subdivisions, and would never in fifty lifetimes commit his own money to a deal like this, but who refused to say anything. Sayonara, Doug Silent Bob Hall !!

However, some information from a little bird….
has come to light regarding the non-public section of the fateful August 1 Council meeting. This, along with other information made public at What if?, now means we have an accurate idea of why this turnip of a Delta deal was fertilised into life. (Sorry Vaughan, bested you again, but keep up the good work !).

It was a case of turnip councillors also being fertilised with you know what, but it was also a case of DCHL and DCC bureaucratic fascism, which is even more alarming.

Apparently, a senior representative at the meeting (can’t name names) lectured the Councillors for about 30 minutes that this Infinity deal was The Way, The Truth and will give Life to the half of the $25M DCC debt that the DCC had not written off. To extend the biblical analogy further, however, it would not be three days before the debt was resurrected, but EIGHT YEARS. (Good work on that in Friday’s ODT, Vaughan !!). This is rather a long time to go without financial oxygen, otherwise known as payment of interest, but at Delta (now enabled by the DCC) the unthinkable (the illegal construction of entire subdivisions, being had up for constructive fraud) is now commonplace.

What if? is led to understand that Councillors were lectured like school children, and questions were Not Tolerated by the Irascible Headmaster. They were to vote on the One True Option, and That Would Be That, and if they did not vote for the One True Option, the buyer of the Noble Subdivision would be lost.

Readers may recall that your correspondent did predict that this is precisely what would happen, a certain corporate person would pronounce that There Is No Alternative, regardless of the truth, and much of the statements by the Irascible Headmaster (not to be confused with The Fat Controller) are not true.

A malodorous other person also enabled this fertilisation, as a parting gift to fellow “managers” – and I use the term loosely.

For major decisions, DCC staff are meant to prepare a range of options so Council can debate which is best. Either they weren’t bothered or came under instruction to prepare one option only by minders at DCHL. The Council should remember it is DCHL’s superior, and (theoretically….) DCC’s senior executives should be monitoring the Council holding company and subsidiaries. Old habits (like saying yes) are troublesome things that become reflex actions.

Humour aside, what happened on August 1 and immediately following is simply anti-democratic and makes Councillors redundant rubber stamps for DCC staff. The amazing thing is that only two of the 15 elected complained about this obvious and basic sidelining of Councillors.

But even at that point Ratepayers could have possibly accepted a lack of proper process had a good option been presented. But the “Delta Deal” isn’t a good option. This is the most commercially one-sided deal seen in decades, and the level of excuses made by Crs Thomson and Cull, Delta CEO Cameron, and most of all Mr Crombie, should give Ratepayers pause. They protesteth too much. The cover has been in full swing. “This is the best we can do”, “there are no guarantees”, “it will take years…. but builders are lining up to buy the sections”.

the-fat-controller-thomas-the-tank-engine-2aIf The Fat Controller fitted one of his own conservative clients into this deal – a $13.2M second mortgage on a subdivision mired in legal action and half built illegally, at an interest rate of 7 per cent, he would doubtless be censured and taken to task by his professional body.

Something appears to be rotten in the State of Dunedin. Why is there indecent DCHL directorial haste to get this deal done ? Will Infinity Yaldhurst spend vast sums on marketing the sections via the ODT ? Will certain ex DCC operationals retire to Wanaka, coincidentally on an Infinity Subdivision ? Will Mr Crombie and Mr Frost become directors or shareholders of some Infinity venture, or their firms be remunerated in some generous way at Noble ?
Stay tuned, same bat time, same bat channel !…..

There is a way to stop this rot, to stop the sale to Infinity and bring the entire subdivision back under the control of the DCC. Council was not able to vote on the actual terms and conditions of the disgraceful $13.2M second mortgage at the August 1 meeting. This will be done by the new Council after the election. The solution is obvious. Don’t give the money to Infinity and the whole deal will fall over, then the DCC can appoint its own development manager and sell down the sections that are ready now, and start selling the commercial land, which is the real cash cow of the deal. Without a doubt Council would recover all of the $25M debt, and get interest on it as well. This amount would pay a great proportion of the South Dunedin flood control work……

This is too hard for your turnip DCHL directors, and involves a serious loss of face, but who cares about them ? With the right development manager the DCC can do it in house. There is one man in Dunedin who is available at the end of the year and has the necessary integrity and expertise to do it, and his name is Geoff Plunket, soon to be former CEO of Port Otago and Chalmers Property.

[ends]

Related Posts and Comments:
22.9.16 DCC : Delta deal 1 Aug 2016 Council meeting (non-public) #LGOIMA
18.9.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #13 : Councillors! How low can you Zhao ?
26.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —EpicFraud #12 : The Buyer Confirmed
24.8.16 Delta peripheral #EpicFail : Stonewood Homes —Boult under investigation
8.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #11 : The Buyer
1.8.16 Delta #EpicFail —The End Game according to CD
31.7.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #10 : The Beginning of the End : Grady Cameron and his Steam Shovel

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *infinity*, *noble* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered ion the public interest.

*Images: Lee Vandervis billboard detail by whatifdunedin | The Fat Controller from Thomas the Tank Engine

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