We remember

February 22, 2017

Six years ago at 12:51 Christchurch and the Canterbury hinterland were struck by an earthquake.

It’s easy for those of us who don’t live there to underestimate the on-going impact of it.

Friends are still arguing with their insurance company, the centre of the city is only very slowly coming back to life and the physical, emotional, and financial impacts are still being felt.

Today we remember Christchurch, Canterbury, the 185 people who died, their family and friends, the people who helped, and those who are still helping.

Kia Kaha.

Canterbury can

May 26, 2013

Quote of the day:

 Like this if you agree.

We have friends in Christchurch who keep us in touch with what’s happening and we toured the red zone a couple of months ago.

But no-one who isn’t living there can really understand what it’s like living there and dealing with the aftermath of the big earthquakes and the ongoing after shocks.

Those who are doing it are showing compassion, practicality and resilience that none of us know we possess until we’re put to the test.

They’re showing us Canterbury can and is recovering.

Two years on

September 4, 2012

It’s the second anniversary of Canterbury’s first big earthquake.

Update – the graphic was “borrowed” from a  friend on Facebook.

Should RMA consider management of natural hazards?

July 5, 2012

An independent report, commissioned after the Canterbury earthquakes,  recommends changes to the Resource management Act to take account of natural hazards and urban infrastructure development.

The risk of liquefaction wasn’t taken into account in granting consent for subdivisions because the RMA doesn’t require natural hazards to be considered.

Its priorities are preserving natural character, landscape, flora and fauna, public access, cultural values and heritage.

The report proposes changes to that, about which Environment Minister Amy Adams says:

The report proposes that changes be made to the principles in sections 6 and 7 of the RMA to bring managing natural hazards and urban and infrastructure into the list of things that should be considered when Councils grant resource consents.

It also says that none of these matters should be more important than another, and proposes changes to the structure of the RMA to make this clearer.

Most lay people hadn’t heard of liquefaction and wouldn’t have been particularly concerned about it before the earthquakes. But now we’ve seen its impacts it is not hard to make a case for including the risk of natural hazards in the RMA.

“A key consideration for the Government in thinking about any changes to the resource management system is to achieve enduring outcomes while reducing the time, costs and uncertainties involved in the process.”

The RMA isn’t working as well as it should and could. All these factors must be considered in improvements to it.

Interim quake report requires higher standards

October 12, 2011

The Royal Commission on the Canterbury earthquakes has released its interim report.

Commission chair Justice Mark Cooper said:

The timing has, of necessity, meant that the Royal Commission has not been able to produce a lengthy list of recommendations. However, this Report does make some recommendations which reflect our view that urgent action is required in respect of some aspects of current building design practice, both in Christchurch and elsewhere, to make some buildings’ elements (particularly stairs and floors in multi-storey buildings) more resilient.

 The Royal Commission is also of the view that immediate action is necessary to strengthen parts of unreinforced masonry buildings that could fail, causing injury or loss of life, in earthquakes that are less severe than the Canterbury earthquakes were. We have made recommendations accordingly.

Its recommendations include  soil analysis and appropriate foundation design, changes to some structural design standards and construction practices, and use of new building technologies.

Other issues which will be addressed in the final report including lessons to be learned from the failures of the CTV and PGC buildings where the majority of victims of February’s quake died.

Some recommendations are directed only at Christchurch but others will apply to the rest of the country as well.

Earthquake strengthening requirements have often been regarded as overly onerous but the February earthquake demonstrated the importance of high standards for design and building.



Surely next year will be better

September 4, 2011

Who would have thought that today, on the first anniversary of the Canterbury earthquake, life in Christchurch would be no better, and for many worse, than it was a year ago?

A friend had gas hot water until the February quake and he hasn’t had a hot shower in his own home since then.

Many people are in far more difficult circumstances than that. Even those whose homes and businesses aren’t badly affected are feeling the emotional strain from the on-going shakes.

One problem is the bottle neck of stalled property sales because insurance companies won’t provide cover for them. Another is the difference in the price of land in much of the red zone and other parts of the city where people might be able to build new homes.

People are living in limbo waiting for decisions and progress and are understandably running out of patience.

In a rare move, Cabinet will meet in Christchurch on Monday. They will be able to see for themselves the extent of the problems and get a better idea of what is needed to help with the recovery.

They can’t stop the shakes but hopefully they will be able to do something to ensure that the next year will be a better one for the city and its people.

It’s Aftersocks Day

September 2, 2011

Rural Women NZ have declared today Aftersocks Day.

“Our aftersocks™ have been a huge success since their launch in July, with tens of thousands of dollars raised for the Christchurch Mayoral Fund,” says RWNZ National President, Liz Evans.

On 2 September Rural Women New Zealand is urging all its aftersocks™ customers to pull on a pair and to send in photos of where they get to in their socks.

Rural Women New Zealand members around the country will be hitting the streets selling aftersocks™, making sure everyone around the country has a pair to wear.

Sunday is the first anniversary of the Canterbury earthquake and the earth is still moving.

A 4.9 magnitude shake woke up Christchurch this morning, following  4.0 and 4.8 shakes yesterday.

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