Tag Archives: Christchurch

Delta #EpicFail and Metiria Turei : How Could This Be?

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Fri, 28 Jul 2017 at 11:44 p.m.

Readers, I can hear the rumblings already – is your correspondent so bereft of new information that he has to tailgate the exploding Turei benefit scandal to catch some attention ? Is this the equivalent of Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66, who started well but could only survive by making instrumental covers of Beatles’ hits? (I admit, Day Tripper is a particular favourite…)

Get in behind, readers. Have yourselves a draught of Bells, and let me untangle the web that starts with the inexplicable antics of Ms Turei.

Any sentient citizen must be, by now, aware that Ms Turei attempted to make political capital out of her long term benefit fraud last week to assist in marketing the Green Party’s new welfare policy. Sadly for Ms Turei, a thing called the internet means that her previous fictions about the circumstances around her early solo parent years are all easily discoverable, and the Whale Oil blog has done a telling summary of Ms Turei’s various mendacities. (Thanks Cameron).

Overwhelmingly, the Kiwiblog and other commentariat have excoriated Ms Turei’s inexplicable move, but again, Whale Oil offered the most penetrating analysis (and no, I am not a Whale Oil subscriber, or have ever been in contact with Cameron Slater…). Mr Slater made the interesting points, repeated by Barry Soper and others, that not only was Ms Turei guilty of benefit fraud, but also received a study grant as well. Ms Turei refused to name the father of her baby to WINZ, who has now been subsequently revealed as Paul Hartley, son of Ann Hartley, former Mayor of North Shore. Consequently, no child support has ever been received from Mr Hartley. Ms Turei confirmed that “Grandma” (Ms Hartley) provided support – very likely including financial support, which undoubtedly has not been declared.

One of the unfortunate unintended effects of the whole affair is that this will be red meat to many right wing types of a particular gender and particular demographic to start a predictable chorus of “Welfare Queens” abusing the system. Middle aged guys, this was old (and not true) even when Ronald Reagan used it to get elected in 1980. As noted in the comments below, the amount of white collar fraud that goes unprosecuted is about 30 times the estimated amount of benefit fraud, so to the white collar industries of accounting and law that seek to advise on the fine line between tax “minimisation” and tax “avoidance” : let those without sin cast the first stone.  

While all this is very interesting and will lead to the certain demise of Metiria Turei after the election, if not before as the Green’s poll numbers continue to stagnate or decline, the commentariat has missed the bigger issue which is “What Did The Law Society Know and What Did They Do About It ?”.

Ms Turei initially declined to say if the fraud was disclosed to the Law Society in her 1999 interview to determine if she was “a fit and proper person” to be admitted to the bar, but then decided immediately afterward that refusing to comment would put her on a par with Jonathan Coleman and Todd McLay, so confirmed on July 26 that she had been “upfront” to the Law Society, and there had been a “long conversation” about it.

What is fascinating about this, and an extreme concern for anyone who has had to rely on or transact with lawyers, is that the Law Society, the body tasked with determining who is a fit and proper person to become a lawyer – to uphold the law – then on Ms Turei’s version of events confirmed to Ms Turei that this dishonesty did not matter.  

Readers, I too spilt Bells all over the sofa when I read that the Law Society had known about this for nearly 20 years and been complicit in Ms Turei’s dishonesty. How could it be that the profession dedicated to upholding the law could decide that some didn’t apply to them ? Following on from this if the Law Society did not think it was relevant or significant that a prospective lawyer had engaged in several years’ worth of benefit fraud, then what is the situation regarding her first employer, Simpson Grierson (one of the largest law firms in the country). Either they were lied to about the fraud, or they also had a relaxed attitude towards employing law graduates indulging in benefit fraud.

As we have often remarked in the Delta Epic Fraud series, truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and the facts of the matter are that the Law Society have previously allowed struck-off lawyers with convictions resulting from dishonesty to be reinstated to the bar.

One such lawyer is one Chris Gilbert, upon whom the fortunes of the Christchurch City Council (and indirectly, the DCC), rest in terms of the liability for the Yaldhurst Noble subdivision debacle, in the latest litigation. In reinstating Mr Gilbert to the bar, the Law Society ignored the opposition of three lawyers and two branches of the Law Society, including the Otago branch, who said the gravity of the offending made him unsuitable for reinstatement. Mr Gilbert “misappropriated” $44,000 of client funds in 1987 and 1988. Compounding this, a few years later, Mr Gilbert appeared to think that the Society’s rules were all overrated anyway and proceeded to sign legal documents on the fiction that he was still in fact a lawyer ! Brandishing a wet bus ticket, the Law Society warned Mr Gilbert “there would be no third chances !”.

Readers, like you I regard law firms as a bunch of parasitic sharks, and yes there are plenty of law firms with lawyers you would cross the street to avoid. But Mr Gilbert is not one of those. Mr Gilbert….is the legal services manager at the Christchurch City Council and was offered a job by the CCC with full knowledge of his dishonesty. NZ Herald (2004)

Readers, two hands on the cup : The Christchurch City Council actually said that Mr Gilbert “was the best candidate for the job”. This was rather against the advice of the Waikato Law Society, where Mr Gilbert committed his first fraud: they said in an affidavit Mr Gilbert was not a “fit and proper person” to be a lawyer.

Now place the cup down – you won’t cope with this : The Law Society gave Mr Gilbert his “third chance” on the basis that he could only work for the CCC. In other words, he wasn’t allowed to act for private individuals who had the choice to take or leave his services and make complaints if warranted. Instead he could be responsible for issues involving huge amounts of ratepayer funds, because the Law Society appeared to think that position required a much lower standard of integrity.

Readers, why would the Christchurch City Council employ Mr Gilbert ? Readers, feel free to draw your own conclusions. The most incredible fact of this rather incredible tale is that Mr Gilbert was no short-term stopgap to tide the CCC over a tight staffing spot. Mr Gilbert has been the team leader of legal services at CCC for 13 years. He seems to be part of the institutional furniture, and appears to be indispensable.

Your correspondent is advised that in relation to the Noble Yaldhurst litigation, Mr Gilbert is not surprising the plaintiffs with bursts of even-handedness.  

This perhaps is one reason why the pace of the Christchurch rebuild is glacial – Minister Brownlee and the Government would be fully justified in having serious reservations about the competence of the Christchurch City Council, and not just in the building control division.

Readers, tonight’s conclusion is surprising – we as Dunedin ratepayers can look with relief at Mr Gilbert and know that within the DCC itself (although NOT Delta and Aurora) this would never occur under the present management.

[ends]  

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Welfare fraud targeted more than tax evasion
White collar criminals get a better deal than welfare fraudsters because the system is biased before they even get to the courts, a lawyer says. Research by Victoria University shows 10 times more welfare fraudsters were prosecuted than tax evaders even though tax evasion costs the economy 33 times more. The research shows tax evasion amounts to at least $1 billion a year compared with $30 million for welfare fraud, but the courts are much harsher in their treatment of welfare fraudsters. RNZ News (2016)

Disclaimer: The site owner is not responsible for the currency or accuracy of content of contributed comments; and the inclusion of the information provided does not imply endorsement by the site owner.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

 

26 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Commerce Commission, Construction, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Economics, Finance, Hot air, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, SFO, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty

Christchurch City Council : Highly Dubious Entity #YaldhurstSubdivision

Subject: Ongoing Property Dispute at Yaldhurst Subdivision

Christchurch City Council held a full council meeting on 27 July 2017.

Readers, the CCC meeting video of Agenda item 26, about Yaldhurst Subdivision, is recommended viewing/listening.

Legal advice to Council is given by Rob Goldsbury, CCC Head of Legal Services – an atrociously lacklustre, unjust and obstructive performance.

The Council stupidly steps itself into (again!) the Constructive Fraud Action being progressed at the Christchurch High Court by Residents/Caveators of the Yaldhurst Subdivision. Although, we see that Councillors supposedly have no idea they’re already in it up to their eyeballs through the actions of Council staff and issues of non-compliance. Interesting.

Christchurch City Council Published on Jul 26, 2017
Christchurch City Council VIDEO
27.07.17 – Item 26 – Yaldhurst Village Subdivision – Dedication of Road – Sir John McKenzie Avenue

The video continues at about 1:26 after a preliminary silence [muted blue screen] – keep watching. The quality of picture is poor throughout. The discomfort of those seen in the public gallery is most perceptible.

Meeting Agenda and Unconfirmed Minutes follow here below – minus Attachment A, Yaldhurst Village Lots 601,613 Plan.

The Council did not vote unanimously.

The Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board motion was lost.

With the second motion, in short, the Council resolved that Lots 601 (residential) and 613 (commercial) on LT 448725 will be dedicated under Section 349 of the Local Government Act 1974 as a road, in order for the road to vest.

The resolution goes against the Residents’ private property rights.

See the previous post to refresh on the Residents’ situation.

Note, by the votes for, the dishonesty and incompetence present.

Note, by the votes against, the integrity of those supporting the Community Board and members of their community: the private property owners (the Residents), in their protracted, brave and courageous fight against an unjust malevolent council staff working in cahoots with unscrupulous developers.

Vicki Buck is a class act.
Rob Goldsbury, an utterly shameful man.

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Christchurch City Council
Agenda

Notice of Meeting:
An ordinary meeting of the Christchurch City Council will be held on:

Date: Thursday 27 July 2017
Time: 10.05am
Venue: Council Chambers, Civic Offices,
53 Hereford Street, Christchurch

….

[agenda item]
Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board

26. Yaldhurst Village Subdivision – Dedication of Road – Sir John McKenzie Avenue ………. [page] 529

[the report]
Council
27 July 2017

Report from Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board  – 13 June 2017
 
26. Yaldhurst Village Subdivision – Dedication of Road – Sir John McKenzie Avenue

Reference: 17/733313
Contact: Richard Holland richard.holland@ccc.govt.nz 941 8690
 
Note that this report was left to lie on the table at the Council meeting on 6 July 2017.
 
1. Staff Recommendations
 
That the Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board recommend to the Council:

1. That Lots 601 (residential) and 613 (commercial) on LT 448725 will be dedicated under Section 349 of the Local Government Act 1974 as a road, in order for the road to vest.

2. Note that a Deed of Indemnity will be executed by Infinity Yaldhurst Limited which will indemnify and keep indemnified the Council from all actions, proceedings and claims made by any land owner in relation to the Council accepting the dedication of Lots 601 and 613 on LT 448725, as road.

3. Also note that the Council shall not be required to issue a Section 224(c) Certificate under the Resource Management Act 1991 in respect to Lots 601 and 613 on LT 448725 until all the safety audit requirements as specified by the Council, and included in the Variations of the subdivision consent, have been physically built to the Council’s satisfaction.

4. That the General Manager City Services be delegated authority to negotiate and enter into on behalf of the Council, such documentation required to implement the dedication.
 
2. Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board Recommendation to Council
 
Part A

That the Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board recommend to the Council:

1. Option 2 of the staff report, namely, That the Council not agree to a dedication process and inform Infinity Yaldhurst Limited to pursue the matter through the Courts in accordance with the Property Law Act.
 
2. That the Council agree to meet with the adjoining property owners to discuss options on a way forward regarding the Yaldhurst Village Subdivision.
 
Vicki Buck and Anne Galloway requested that their votes against the above decision, be recorded.
 
Attachments
There are no attachments for this report.
Continue reading

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Filed under Baloney, Business, DCHL, Delta, District Plan, Events, Finance, Housing, Infrastructure, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, SFO, Site, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty

Delta | Infinity | CCC staff collude to defeat Yaldhurst residents (again)

Yaldhurst Subdivision (former Noble Subdivision)

S T A T E ● O F ● P L A Y

Christchurch City Council is failing to ensure compliance with the subdivision consent and is then assisting the developer Noble/Delta – Infinity/Delta, to screw the Yaldhurst residents.

[click to enlarge]

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About five of the affected Yaldhurst residents gave deputations to the full meeting of the Christchurch City Council on Thursday, 6 July 2017.

Prior to the meeting, the Infinity Joint Venture of which Delta is a majority partner (with its $13m gift investment from Dunedin City Council) had convinced CCC staff to sway Christchurch City councillors to vote for the dedication of private roads as opposed to vesting ownership in the Council. This in the attempt to first defeat land covenants the affected residents have over the property registered in 2003 to protect their inclusion in any subdivision. However, Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) cannot accept roads vesting in ownership with the Council when there are any encumbrances on the land – such as the residents’ covenants.

For the residents, Colin Stokes, at the council meeting, distributed to councillors a review of what CCC staff have done over the years.

Of course, as the facts flow they continue to entwine around Delta.

The residents are fighting to protect and enforce their rights in the subdivision consent; and to halt Delta and their Southern associates’ onslaught against them.

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Received from Colin Stokes (Yaldhurst resident and caveator)
Wed, 12 Jul 2017 at 9:16 a.m.

Thanks for your ongoing support Elizabeth

Chris Hutching’s piece (The Press 10.7.17) is weak and void of facts that present our case.

● We have Land Covenants registered over all the land in 2003 to protect our inclusion in any subdivision – our specific Access Lot road has to be formed and vested to Christchurch City Council standards with CCC as a term of extinguishment of the covenants.
● The encumbrance on the land prevent vesting of roads as LINZ won’t allow roads to vest with the council with them on.
● Infinity/Delta behind closed doors with CCC staff came up with a scheme to dedicate the roads under old rules (not compliant with the RMA and the subdivision consent) so as to circumvent our covenant protection.
● The real story is that CCC is breaking rules and NOT requiring compliance with the subdivision consent so as to cheat the residents of their protection and their interests protected by that protection so as CCC and the developer can cut them out of the subdivision.
● CCC and the developer Noble/Delta – Infinity/Delta have taken conditions out of the consent, varied the consent, and permitted non-complying undersized infrastructure that makes our part of the subdivision impossible – specifically stormwater pipes and basins required on the lower lying developers’ land which is where the consent (and physical topography and site layout) requires our stormwater to go.
● CCC failing to enforce the conditions of the consent as the law requires means our Access Lot road cannot be formed, meaning we can not subdivide.
● Delta with the misuse of mortgagee powers passed the property to itself, or at least part of the property ($13.4m of an $18.35m “sale” = 73% of which $12.5m was left in the property in passing it to Infinity in the orchestrated “sale”).

[ends]

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Prepared Summary and Review with subdivision plans as tabled at Christchurch City Council’s meeting (6 July), to assist understanding:

███ D 2017 07 04 Summary and Review of Circumvention of Covenants for Councillors Yaldhurst (16 pages)

1 Plan RMA92009135

2 Plan RMA92009135 hlite

The coloured plan shows the residents’ Access Lot between green lines going from Yaldhurst Rd and then dog-legging east to west. What is inside the yellow border is what is within the Subdivision Consent (note there is an internal yellow small 2 sites that are NOT in the consent – and 3 other of the residents’ lots in common ownership on the NS leg are not included in the consent).

It is this east west leg of the Access Lot that requires widened roading to enable the Lots each side to be subdivided pursuant to:-
– 2002 Agreements for sale and purchase (and 2008 further agreement)
– 2003 Registered Land Covenant Protection [see Summary and Review, page 1 para 2 for terms of extinguishment]
– 2009 Subdivision Consent (Condition 5 and stormwater Conditions for it 9.) [see Summary and Review, page 5 para 12]

The problem is
– the Security Sharing Joint Venture (Noble/Delta/Gold Band) SSJV designed and constructed their part of the subdivision such that it made the East West Access Lot owners (residents) parts of the subdivision impossible AND that the Council permitted this.

– Undersized stormwater infrastructure was corruptly installed without consent to NOT include the residents’ subdivisions (all the while falsely assuring residents it did).

– The stormwater is required to be on land the residents transferred to the developer in return for this stormwater and other provisions. It is required to be there for numerous reasons including physical and legal reasons;
* Residents transferred the land in return for this provision
* 2003 Land Covenants protect this land for that provision (required for the Access Lot Road to be formed and vested)
* 2009 The Subdivision Consent requires it to be on the developers’ land (Condition 9.5 which “disappeared”) [see Summary and Review, page 5 para 12 and page 10 email 16 Feb 2010]
* Residents that are part of that subdivision consent have the legal rights to the stormwater (s134 RMA) – the Council is refusing to enforce the conditions of the consent; and permitted the developer to NOT comply with the conditions.
* Land topography and layout physically requires it to go there. The land slopes High NWest to SEast Low

– Delta went ahead and constructed the infrastructure without legal consent – [see Summary and Review, page 10 email 22 Aug 2012]
* This is akin to a builder building a house without consent.
* Council failed to issue an abatement notice for works being complete without consent, and to non-complying standards.

For all the Council staff failings, and the consent holders and JV partners’ failings and corruption of making the residents parts of the subdivision impossible:-
– Delta/Infinity and Council staff are recommending to the Elected Council to vote to circumvent the residents’ Land Covenants so:-
* the residents roading and subdivisions will no longer be protected and will be impossible;
* the JV Infinity/Delta will make more profit by not having to comply with the conditions of the consent that requires the residents’ roading and inclusion (as above)
* Council staff “mistakes” and wrongdoing of permitting non-complying works and not enforcing the conditions of the consent (as required by law) will be covered up.

– Delta and DCC was the facilitator of transferring the property from the Delta/Gold Band/Noble Joint Venture to the Delta/Infinity Joint Venture.
– Delta (illegally) owned 67.5% of the 1st mortgage and controlled Gold Band through their Security Sharing JV.
– Delta’s assurances it had nothing to do with the mortgagee sale is a lie.
– Delta refused to allow Gold Band to accept offers to redeem the 1st mortgage (illegal under s102 & s103 Property Law Act).
– DCC refused to allow redemption of the 1st mortgage.
– DCC (and Delta) refused to accept assignment of the 1st mortgage when Colin Stokes and another (as parties with interests in the land entitled to redeem) offered it to them
* had they done, Delta could have registered about an additional $16m in agreements to mortgage they were sitting on
* all that was required in return was “our little road” which is a LEGAL REQUIREMENT of the subdivision consent in any event.

[ends]

As reported by The Press, the eight-year dispute involving the stalled Yaldhurst subdivision has now gone to mediation between the property owners and the developers.
The dispute has been aired in several High Court cases between the private landowners and the developers, which are continuing.

Related Post and Comments:
11.7.17 Delta has deep fingers into 8-year subdivision dispute at Yaldhurst

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *aurora*, *grady*, *luggate*, *jacks point*, *dchl*, *auditor-general*, *noble*, *yaldhurst* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

17 Comments

Filed under Business, Construction, Corruption, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Stadiums, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty, What stadium

Delta has deep fingers into 8-year subdivision dispute at Yaldhurst

Blind Justice (detail) by Beeler – Columbus Dispatch 2016 [caglecartoons.com]

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### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 17:37, July 10 2017
Delta and Infinity’s Yaldhurst subdivision dispute at mediation
By Chris Hutching – The Press
An eight-year dispute involving developers and a group of property owners in a stalled Christchurch subdivision has gone to mediation. Late last year Dunedin City Council agreed to authorise its Delta Utilities company to refinance a $13.4 million outstanding debt to go ahead and complete the Yaldhurst development along with Wanaka-based developer, Infinity. To allow the development to proceed, Christchurch City Council staff recently recommended the unusual step of “dedicating” the access road rather than “vest” it with the council. But a representative of the private property owners, Colin Stokes, told city councillors that his group’s rights to compensation for land for the road had not been addressed. […] The dispute has been aired in several High Court cases between the private landowners and the developers, which are continuing. Most people who originally signed up to buy properties at the subdivision have pulled out and meanwhile Christchurch’s residential property market has cooled significantly.
Read more

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Related Posts and Comments:
15.6.17 Site Notice : post(s) removal [we heard from Steve Thompson’s solicitors]
4.3.17 Christchurch housing : ‘If you build the right thing, buyers will still come’
17.2.17 Gurglars visits the Delta/Noble JV subdivision at Yaldhurst
2.2.17 Hilary Calvert complaint to Auditor-General #DCHL
30.12.16 Hilary Calvert on Deloitte report for Aurora/Delta
12.12.16 Deloitte report released #Delta #Aurora
7.12.16 Audit and Review, Deloitte
26.9.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #14 : The Election and The End Game revisited
22.9.16 DCC : Delta deal 1 Aug 2016 Council meeting (non-public) #LGOIMA
9.9.16 Calvert on DCC, ‘We could have a much more democratic and transparent operation of council’
2.9.16 Delta Yaldhurst : Local Opinion + Update from Caveators via NBR
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
3.8.16 LGOIMA requests to DCC from Colin Stokes #Delta #Noble #Yaldhurst
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
29.7.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #9 : The Long & Winding Road…. Leads Back to Delta’s Door
21.7.16 Delta EpicFail #8 : Cr Calvert goes AWOL, 23 Questions for Mr McKenzie —Saddlebags !!
19.2.16 Delta: Update on Yaldhurst subdivision debt recovery
17.7.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #7 : The Long & Winding Back Road
15.7.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #6 : What do you mean, Property Law Act ?
12.7.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #5 – Delta and the ghostly hand of Tom Kain
8.7.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #4 : Tales from the Courtroom….
30.6.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #3 : Security Sharing and not Caring….. who’s got that Constricting Feeling ?
27.6.16 Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #2 : WWTKD – What Would Tom Kain Do ?
5.6.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision —Epic Fraud
13.3.16 Delta #EpicFail —Noble Subdivision : [rephrased] Conflict of Interest
11.3.16 Delta peripheral #EpicFail : Stonewood Homes and ancient Delta history
6.3.16 Delta #EpicFail —Nobel Subdivision : A Neighbour responds
29.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision ● Some forensics
21.1.16 Delta #EpicFail —Yaldhurst Subdivision

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *aurora*, *grady*, *luggate*, *jacks point*, *dchl*, *auditor-general*, *noble*, *yaldhurst* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

4 Comments

Filed under Business, Central Otago, Construction, DCC, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Geography, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Queenstown Lakes, Resource management, SFO, Town planning, Travesty, Urban design, What stadium

RNZ: Government crashes plans for a more pedestrian/cycle-friendly Christchurch

At Twitter:

Christchurch City Council proposes turning Victoria St into a cul-de-sac………

### radionz.co.nz Sun, 16 Apr 2017 1:37 p.m.
RNZ News: Politics / Canterbury
Govt threatens to pull funding for Chch downtown plan
The government is threatening to cancel its funding for a plan to make central Christchurch more pedestrian and cycle friendly if changes are not made. The Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Gerry Brownlee, said the government was paying 60 percent of the funding for the Accessible City plan, but last week he was granted authorisation by Cabinet to suspend its funding. Mr Brownlee said the plan, which has been partially implemented, risked creating a dysfunctional central city. “Its absurd. I’m hearing all the time from people who are going to have lunch or coffee in the central city and simply can’t park their car. Or end up parking such a long way away from it that they decide they may as well just drive to one of the suburban malls.”
Read more

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Video link received Sun, 9 Apr 2017 at 9:53 p.m.

From the folks who brought you the self-driving car!

Google Nederland Published on Mar 31, 2016
Introducing the self-driving bicycle in the Netherlands
This spring, Google is introducing the self-driving bicycle in Amsterdam, the world’s premier cycling city. The Dutch cycle more than any other nation in the world, almost 900 kilometres per year per person, amounting to over 15 billion km annually. The self-driving bicycle enables safe navigation through the city for Amsterdam residents, and furthers Google’s ambition to improve urban mobility with technology. Google Netherlands takes enormous pride in the fact that a Dutch team worked on this innovation that will have great impact in their home country.

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Link received from Hilary Calvert
Thu, 6 Apr 2017 at 7:53 p.m.

Message: Cycle lane cyclist truck turning left. Very dangerous.

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 07:03, Apr 7 2017
Former Hamilton teacher killed in collision with truck at Hamilton roundabout
By Phillipa Yalden – Waikato Times
Mike Leach taught Fairfield College students for 34 years. Some of the things he was involved in at Fairfield were outdoor education and building drama sets. He was a geography and social sciences teacher, and also a Dean. On Wednesday, as he cycled through the rain down Te Rapa Straight, the father of two’s life was cut short in a collision. The 67-year-old was killed when his bike and a B-train truck and trailer collided at the Te Rapa Road and Sunshine Avenue intersection at lunchtime on Wednesday. […] Quite a few people witnessed the crash on Wednesday, Waikato road police Senior Sergeant Gill Meadows said. “There are a number of people who were quite traumatised by the incident and we have referred them to Victim Support. There is quite a bit of work to be done on that particular incident.” Initial inquiries showed that the Halls refrigeration B-train truck was heading north along Te Rapa Straight when it went to turn left at the roundabout into Sunshine Avenue. “He was in the lane to turn left, and the cyclist was going straight ahead, and was on the left side of the truck. But we are still doing inquiries in regards to that.” There is a cyclist lane that runs along the straight, feeding into the roundabout. The crash occurred metres from shops and cafes at 11.30am. 
Read more 

Hamilton roundabout crash site [Christel Yardley/Fairfax NZ via stuff.co.nz]

Related Posts and Comments:
22.2.17 SH1 Cycleways : the real story
26.1.17 SH1 Cycleway : Carnage for Dunedin road users and city parking
21.1.17 Mayor ignores serious plight of DCC’s FAILED Otago power network in favour of urban cycleways and CBD
5.8.16 Informed : Flurry of cycleway chills at Dunedin
21.7.16 Not a bicycle accident, not a burst water main —sugar!
21.7.16 Cycleway planning at #DUD

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

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

1 Comment

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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.

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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]

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