If you don't have a house you don't want consultation and a grass roots movement, you want a house

The Government’s new Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) has been labelled bureaucratic, militaristic and the opposite of the community-led approach Christchurch needs.

Some some Prius driving hippy wowser wants hugs to be dispensed rather houses. Perhaps this is why not a single house has been built yet.

Let this dopey sheila go and live in a house with cracks in the walls, floors that arent level, shit in a bucket and boil her own water.

San Francisco consultant Laurie Johnson, a veteran of rebuildings from Chile to China, and Massey University professor Bruce Glavovic, the Earthquake Commission (EQC) chairman in natural hazards planning.

Johnson said international experience showed that governments often had a top-down, fast-track approach to rebuilding and recovery when it should be a grassroots process, the community being actively involved in the creation of the plan.

“Planning needs time,” she said.

“It takes time to comprehend the information and build trust.”

Johnson said a rush to make decisions created losers because the lack of consultation meant only the voices of the organised and powerful were heard.

The last thing we need is a talk fest. We need houses, roads, water, jobs etc. Not delay, distraction and bureaucrats. The only disappointment is in giving Gerry more powers than a Roman dictator he isn’t using them to get shit done. Perhaps that is why one of his staff prefers working for a tobacco company than working for Gerry finding him open pie shops.


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  • peterwn

    There was once a Kiwi who was just the thing for national disasters – the late Sir James Fletcher the founder of what is now Fletcher Construction. In the 1930’s a brand new building for the new Social Security Department burned down. He offered to get a new building up in 6 weeks, and he did! It remained standing in Waterloo Quay near the Caketin until the 1970’s ( think). He played a significant part as a Government adviser on building etc during WW2 and in the post war era his companies (eg Beasley Homes) supplied many of the non State Houses (and probably State Houses too) in Wainuiomata and other places.

    One thing to be learned from the Christchurch earthquakes would be to have a plan and the legislative framework to get temporary housing (and schoolroom) construction under way immediately. A key part of this would be identifying mnufacturing and supply chains in NZ and Australia so that kitsets can be got into the affected area as soon as possible (the traditional ‘Railway Houses’ were manufactured as kitsets to minimise local erction effort).

    From comments made by the Canterbury Health Board the ‘crunch time’ for Christchurch will be the coming winter and the political ramifications of this will be significant.

  • Mr Blobby

    Quick somebody pull out the rebuilding contingency plan for when the inevitable natural Disaster strikes.

    Aaaaaa what plan?

  • Mr Blobby

    Step 1. Pull down all the uneconomic smelly old buildings that have outlived there usefulness.
    Step 2. Replace and upgrade your utilities.
    Step 3. Rebuild better than before.

  • mediatart

    Well under Caesar Brownlee we have neither. Instead all the bureacratic red tape about preferred tenders and so on lasts 2 months,
    Japan has houses ready to move in NOW. As we know for all Japanese the national interest comes first.
    For this job , I would say exclude Fletchers, they only build high end homes anyway and get all the small guys who could build around the country and then ship modules to Christchurch to be installed by local labour. Makes better sense than moving the workers south where there is no accomodation – duh.

    Gerry could sorted this out in one week with all the builders/ officials in Wellington and in one office floor.
    with national holding so many provincial seats they could have a local shortlist in 3hours and give them plane tickets the next day to meet Ceasar himself, where he could make clear the penalties for not cooperating would be very severe- ” I can do anything”

  • mediatart

    Oh I forgot , they could use the railways to ship the modules from around the country.
    Some can tell that I allready know what Im talking about

  • gazzaw

    From Day 1 Christchurch should have been put on a war footing. The destruction is the equivalent of any large WW2 bombing raid if not in terms of deaths then certainly in terms of massive damage to buildings, homes & infrastructure. No one can fault the search & rescue operations and the massive efforts by emergency services & voluntary organisations.

    What is happening now was as inevitable as shit sticking to a blanket with vested local interests arguing the academic toss about the future design of the city and other parish pump issues. A commissioner with full executive powers should have been appointed to get the city ready in terms of temporary prefab housing and an infrastructure capable of handling winter conditions. So we have three or four hundred removable homes under construction – a drop in the bucket! How is transport going to cope in the ice and snow on the flooded & rutted roads? Will the populace be expected to struggle down the road to a portaloo in a snowstorm? Brownlee’s team should be on to this everyday but very practical stuff. Where is his team?

    Forget about all the prosaic crap and get on to the real issues of housing the people. Winter is here in case you haven’t noticed.

    • swampy

      After the September earthquake we got the toothless EQ recovery commission and nothing much happened. National are slow learners, they have now cottoned onto the fact they needed to do much better. And the political ramifications in election year are as such that the whole process now has to be hands on for a Cabinet Minister.

      There are more political ramifications going back to Nick Smith going ape and dismissing the regional council, National was pretty slow to pick up on that as well, sloppy political management.

      I hope Brownlee and Co get their A into G a lot faster, it’s been pretty slow so far, too slow. The good stuff is the new substation in Brighton is going up very fast. From the hole in the ground to having the walls up in 2 weeks and record breaking speed of getting the overhead lines built. Getting stopbanks built in the low lying parts of the riverside suburbs and getting big pumps on the riverbanks pumping poo. 31,000 chemical toilets distributed, it’s not as bad as you think, there is actually a lot going on behind the scenes.

  • reid

    In a panel discussion, Dalziel said the Government had gone out on a limb in setting up Cera as a government department, when Australia and other countries had created corporate-style Crown agencies after disasters.

    She’s got a point about that. I hope CERA is like a corporate agency, cause a whole lot of policy analysts aren’t what ChCh needs right now.

    That’s her only point though.

    These people are mental. Do they seriously imagine that CERA will trample all over the people of ChCh, making decisions without due process and consultation? Just because they can, doesn’t mean they will. Sometimes they may have to, in order to expedite the decision. Can’t have rebuilding held up cause a native tree can’t be cut down, can we. That’s what its designed for, and more. It had to be wide-ranging, so as to avoid going back to Parliament when a situation arose which hadn’t been covered.

    I thought Dalziel and the other Liarbore politicians who live in that city actually cared about the people of ChCh. What the fuck do they think they’re doing, whipping up fear and anguish about stuff that won’t ever happen? Oh, that’s right. They’re Liarbore. Silly me.

    • swampy

      Guess she wants to campaign for the mayoralty in 2 years time, starting early.

  • paulus12

    Did I not read that a Tauranga house building company operating from Carters pre fab building company in Christchurch have started building pre-constructed houses 2 to 4 bedrooms, and will shortly complete up to 10 a week and place on sites either on existing condemned houses (in gardens) and other designated sites, (ie park areas). Others will have to gear up additionally, but it is on its way.

    Carters and others have a number of pre construction yards around the country, perhaps they can be brought on line too. It is a simple house – about $80,000 each, but with all necessities required.

    • reid

      Is this a good idea though? To end up with thousands of lookalike “earthquake” homes?

      If Kiwis go that way, then what Kiwis do based on what we have done in the past with stuff like this is to do it as cheaply as we possibly can. And that means super-basic homogenous with nothing clever or stylish about them at all in anyway.

      Look at the housing in towns that have been built for a major construction project like Turangi and Clyde. Look at their architecture and layout. Nothing exciting, nothing stylish, just boxes.

      Cheap boxes.

      That can’t be allowed to happen, apart from for those ChCh people who already lived in cheap boxes anyway. For them its OK cause this is about replacement not about enrichment.

      • mediatart

        reid they are meant to be ’emergency ‘ houses only. The option is a tent, so looks dont come into it.

        • reid

          I didn’t know that mediatart, thanks for the clarification.

      • swampy

        WHy not. They are temporary. In a couple of years they will be sold on the open market to private buyers to move all round the country. These are not permanent settlements. They are temporary camps until more permanent housing can be found for the people in Bexley and other places where their houses are smashed.

  • swampy

    It’s ironic Dalziel going on with the community led approach when she attacked the council at select committee. The obvious mechanism for a community led approach is the existing council structures. It’s looking very much Dalziel is politically exploiting the process, using it to undermine the mayor and council we have now, with the next council elections in mind. There’s speculation here she is having a tilt at the mayoralty next time.