Taiwan in pictures


Wally Santana / AP

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No, no no! No taxpayer funds to rebuild the privately owned Christchurch cathedral

The bludgers are out in force this Christmas, this time advocating for government money to fix up a shitty cathedral of no architectural merit.

An advocate for the restoration of the Christchurch cathedral says he will personally put $1 million toward the project.

An independent report has found the quake-damaged cathedral could be restored at a cost of $105 million.

Former cabinet minister and Great Christchurch Buildings Trust co-chair Philip Burdon said the money will come from a mix of insurance payouts with the residual $60m from private fund-raising.

He himself had committed $1 million and he’s confident others will contribute, he said.

Mr Burdon said the trust would also accept any government funding.

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Face of the day

Today’s face of the day is a doctor from New Zealand who bravely ignored her own serious injury caused by the Nepal earthquake in order to help save the lives of others. Previously she had worked in the A&E during the Christchurch earthquake.

Her name is Dr Rachel Tullet.


Dr Rachel Tullet helped keep 25 injured people alive until they could be evacuated. PHOTO-NZ Herald

Survivors of the avalanche at Everest Base Camp have described how a New Zealand-based doctor helped save the lives of 25 critically injured people, despite being wounded herself. She later stitched up her own leg without anaesthetic.

When the avalanche triggered by the 7.9-magnitude Nepalese earthquake struck, Dr Rachel Tullet, 34, an emergency and wilderness medical specialist living in Christchurch, was swept on to a rock and buried under ice crystals for several minutes.

She said: “I realised I’d injured my leg, but I was just amazed that I’d survived it. And in the scale of what happened to other people, it just didn’t even register.”

She immediately sprang into action and led an operation that helped keep 25 seriously injured people – 19 Nepalese and 6 foreign climbers – alive until they were evacuated by helicopter nearly 24 hours later. Two later died in Kathmandu.

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Gee, this is timely

Gee, this is timely as we countdown to the 5th anniversary and 1000s of examples on how useless the Christchurch City Council is.

Wonder if the announcement is coinciding with when big pay rises for pretty inept councillors are announced.

The rebuild is winding down so perfect timing…typical of a council coming too late to the party and a few dollars short.

City councillors have unanimously approved plans to set up a one-stop shop for investors and developers keen to be part of the rebuild.

Development Christchurch will be set up under Christchurch City Holdings Ltd (CCHL), the council’s commercial arm, and provide advice to the council on unsolicited development proposals and look after some of the major capital projects the council has on its books. It will also help progress the council’s suburban master plans.   Read more »

Ground opening up during an earthquake

Earthquake Taliban: when emotion gets in the way of good policy

One of the troubles with the Christchurch earthquake is the emotion and political overreaction it caused regarding strengthening of old buildings and churches that no one uses. Spending eye watering amounts might makes sense in Wellington but it’s nuts that engineers want to spend billions on filling Auckland buildings with steel and kicking out parishioners.

The NBR reports:

Wellington risk consultancy Tailrisk Economics is warning against the country’s estimated $10 billion earthquake-strengthening policy, saying it could have “detrimental effects” on the economy and communities.

The consultant’s just released report Earthquake strengthening policy formulation in New Zealand 2003-2013: A study in failure claims there are serious flaws in the way earthquake-prone buildings are designated.

The report’s author, Ian Harrison, says New Zealand’s attempt at an earthquake-strengthening policy will cost more than $10 billion but produce benefits of less than $100 million.

“No other country applies across the board national earthquake strengthening standards because it is economically illogical to do so,” the report’s author Ian Harrison says.  Read more »

Earthquake live on TV; Christchurch residents won’t believe the panic

Photo Of The Day

Getty Photo

Getty Photo

Japan 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Jan Grarup

Jan Grarup

Fabienne Cherisma Read more »

Map of the Day

Credit:  John M Nelson

Credit: John M Nelson


Earthquakes Since 1898