Sunday, March 29, 2015

CERA, No Unauthorised Access, No Dumping, Post Quakes Disaster

Although we'd lived in Mackenzie Country, Lake Tekapo & Fairlie for over a year, we regularly returned to Christchurch for Leah to deal with professional matters & for us to visit our sons. I kept up with post quake Christchurch by following the news & visiting Christchurch suburbs when time allowed.

Saturday 28.02.15. While Leah lectured teachers in Ashburton, I drove to Christchurch to see our sons. Luke showed me various residential red zone, demolition sites near Avon River, where he'd done salvage jobs - Kate Sheppard Rest Home, New Brighton & various house demolition sites in Bexley.

CERA had left New Brighton & Bexley red zone a mess with overgrown demolition sites & trashed roads. Demolition disaster upon quake disaster. South Brighton Bridge was finally repaired by SCIRT, but Pages Rd Bridge was still patch repaired, like New Brighton roads.

CERA wasn't saying what the Crown would do with approx 8000 red zone, residential properties, mostly beside Avon River, CERA had acquired from citizens under quake duress.

Saturday 28.03.15. While Leah attended a function at Seabrook Mackenzie Centre, London St, celebrating the first 10 years of Jean Seabrook Memorial School there (Leah taught there the first 9 years) I took a closer look at the residential red zone along Avon River where I'd taken 1000s of pics during quake times. I drove the following red zone roads & environs, both sides of Avon River: Avonside Dr, Avon Loop where Jake had lived pre quakes; River Rd; Dallington Tce; Glenarm Tce, Locksley Ave, Kingsford St, Queensbury St, Avonside Dr...

Suffice to say most of the houses & commercial bldgs in the red zone had been demolished by CERA. A few houses still had to be demolished. They were boarded, fence cordoned & danger taped, some with asbestos warning tapes.

Tress & shrubs had been left alone by CERA, but most of the red zone was overgrown, Some areas had been mown & some areas fenced off to give a pseudo parkland effect, but most of the residential red zone along Avon River was unfenced. The following white & black sign was attached to red zone fencing:




Like Pages Rd Bridge, Swanns Rd Bridge was just patch repaired & neglected by CERA / SCIRT, although good citizens of Christchurch were expected by CERA / SCIRT to still use those bridges. What a disgrace more than 4 years post 22.02.11 quake! SCIRT had repaired abutments at Stanmore Rd Bridge & Avondale Rd Bridge. There were detours along Dallington Tce & Avonside Dr, as Gayhurst Rd Bridge was in the process of being repaired by SCIRT.

All red zone roads were in appalling disrepair - huge potholes, loose shingle & flooding in places where high tide, Avon River leaked under so-called stopbanks.

CERA had evolved new orange & black signs to stop people entering some red zone areas. The signs stood on some red zone roads with obstructing fencing across roads. The signs read:



For information
0800 ring CERA


At Horseshoe Lake, I ignored a couple of those signs on Kingsford St, as I wanted to see the red zone at the end of the road, where I'd snapped pics post 13.06.11 quake. On the way I passed 2 NZDF jeeps & a Unimog parked on a side road.

At the end of Kingsford St, I was confronted by two camouflage-uniformed soldiers toting automatic rifles. I signalled a turnabout sign & drove off. Gotta ask why CERA allowed war games in the red zone still? (A couple of years ago cops had played cops & robbers at Horseshoe Lake red zone too). And deputy mayor Buck was in denial that Christchurch didn't look like a war zone. Tramp the residential red zone Buck!

By New Brighton Rd / Locksley Ave junction, a blue & white CERA sign by a red zone fence read:

                        CROWN OWNED LAND
                           CLEARANCE IN THE
                      RESIDENTIAL RED ZONE

Where possible we will keep significant planting. We are
aiming to create a safe and attractive area that is easy
to maintain until decisions are made about future land use.


Sunday 29.03.15. When we picked up firewood at Luke's salvage yard, Dyers Rd, a broken-down car was parked under gum trees by Bromley oxidation ponds. A black Staffordshire terrier was locked in the car. A note on the car window read:


Luke told us the car had been there a couple of days & an Irishman slept in it. He was a construction worker & had fallen on hard times during Christchurch rebuild. So much for CERA's rebuild! He was an eloquent man. Leah gave him food.

Before we left for Fairlie, Luke showed us rimu flooring & wooden arched windows salvaged from Isaac Theatre Royal, Gloucester St, after the theatre's makeover.

Content Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Tourism body Christchurch looks like a war zone (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Construction site look reflects rebirth Vicky Buck (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Bexley suburb returns to nature (The Press / Stuff Co).

See Army exercises upsets Christchurch red zoners (The Press / Stuff Co).

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Mount Hay by Lake Tekapo

Mount Hay is a vast sheep station on the east side of Lake Tekapo, bounded by Boundary Stream & Richmond Station in the north, Mt Ardmore, 1989 m & Mt Edward 1916 m in the east, Sawdon Station & Lake Tekapo Regional Park in the south. In the middle of Mount Hay Station is Mt Hay itself, 1174 m & next to it Wee McGregor 1146 m, below soaring Two Thumbs Range.

Since our arrival at Lake Tekapo over a year ago, I'd mingled with tourists climbing Mt John 1031 m, rising above the opposite shore of Lake Tekapo & from its heights plotted my route up Mt Hay, from a distance. Leah worked with one of the owners of Mount Hay station who welcomed me to wander Mount Hay Station.

I did a couple of Mount Hay recce walks in December 2013, to a lateral moraine ridge above Edward Stream below Mt Edward & in Sawdon Station, up a steep hill 1026 m, also above Edward Stream.

Tues 10.02.15, 9 am. Although drought time, it was time to climb Mt Hay. After dropping Leah off at Lake Tekapo School, I parked my car at the bottom of Ebenezer Ln, off Lilybank Rd, in the Regional Park. I wandered through a pine forest to Mount Hay Station gate, then wandered between 2 dry, stony hills past a dry dam. I wandered round a hill on a farm track & continued along the farm track towards dry Mt Edward. There'd been little rain over the past couple of months so the land was dry.

As my average tramping speed is about 3 km / hour, I gave myself 6 hours to complete Mt Hay climb & return circuit, before fetching Leah at 3.30 pm after school. From my Lake Tekapo Topo 50 map, I guesstimated my return trek to be 20 km, about 12 miles.

Continuing towards Mt Edward, I passed through a farm gate & passed several dry tarns beneath willows. Sheep, ducks & Canada geese scratched for water in the dry tarns. When I'd passed that way in December, the tarns were full. Later on I saw filled water troughs for sheep.

At the second farm gate, I changed direction away from Mt Edward & headed cross-country towards Mt Hay. There were brown rabbits of course, bounding away from me every now & again. Despite ubiquitous Pindone poisoning signs, like the rest of Mackenzie Country, Mount Hay Station was riddled with rabbit warrens. I'd seen them on Cowans Hill at Lake Tekapo, at Sawdon Station & Balmoral Station when I'd climbed Mt John. Wherever I wandered in Mackenzie Country, like Alice, I had to beware of falling down the rabbit hole.

After passing sheep at the east end of Roys Lagoon, a glacial kettlehole, I wandered below a lateral moraine ridge on Mt Hay southern slope, up a small lateral moraine. It was stony, with occasional large rocks on top, bulldozed by ancient glaciers. By one of the bigger rocks I found an A shaped rock shelter, big enough for a couple of sheep to shelter from stormy weather. I wondered who'd placed the floor stones in the shelter. Ancient Maori?

I came across another farm road & followed the stony road through glacial, dry, hummock country to a stony saddle on the east side of Mt Hay. Beyond the saddle, the road disappeared in the distance to the east of Wee McGregor up a Mt Ardmore ridge. Further east-nor'east, I saw Mt Maude 1797 m, Tekapo Saddle 1387 m & Mt Dobson 2095 m, merging northwards into the Two Thumbs Range.

From Mt Hay saddle I climbed the stony west ridge, which undulated at first, then swept nor'westwards up to Mt Hay summit. I wouldn't have liked to be on that exposed ridge when the nor' wester blew from Mt Cook summit, across Mt Stevenson, Gammack Range & Hall Range in the west.

Magnificent, 360 degree views on top of Mt Hay: East & west peaks already mentioned. Further south west, Ben Ohau Range looming above Old Man Range, Mary Range & Benmore. Further nor'east, Round Hill ski field below Mt Richmond. Looking northwards & nor'westwards, more peaks - Two Thumbs & Mt Gerald above McCauley River. Nor' westwards - Mt Chevalier, Mt Sibbald, Mt Erebus above Godley River. Both rivers fed Lake Tekapo. At the head of Godley River I saw distant Mt Fletcher. At the edge of the Hall Range, Mt Mistake loured above Lake Tekapo.

Southwards I saw farm bldgs & shelter belts & beyond to the Regional Park & Sawdon Station. In front of Mt Hay, westwards across Lake Tekapo, I saw Motuariki Island & behind the western shore, Cass River delta feeding Lake Tekapo from western ranges.

Of course, every day at work Leah saw many of the peaks around Lake Tekapo. Some of her students came from stations around Lake Tekapo.

I'd summited Mt Hay in 3 hours. A couple of aerials fastened to poles were on top, one had a solar panel facing west. There was also a pyramid structure made from metal rods on top.

On the summit, amongst low-lying, sparse, Alpine vegetation, I saw scattered, green, vegetable sheep & scattered mats of tiny, yellow daisies, 2 species. There were also stunted matagouri & porcupine bushes on the summit. Brown skinks scuttled on the ground too.

From Mt Hay summit a tussock slope went down behind the stony ridge, Down the tussock slope, I followed a fence back to the ridge, where the fence crossed the ridge. I retraced my path down the ridge to the saddle again.

I walked the gravel road a bit & descended Mt Hay lower, south western slope through matagouri. On the flats I passed mobs of sheep in various paddocks. I wandered past a hill bounding the western end of Roys Lagoon. I greeted a bloke driving a truck, laying new shingle on farm roads. I crossed a hot, dry valley, eroded by overgrazing & rabbit warrens & crossed a hot, dry tarn back to my car. My return trek took me 3 hours.

Caution. Mountains are unforgiving. Permission from station owners & hill walking fitness is essential. A cloudless day, I got sun burnt, as most of the natural terrain is treeless & desert like. I walked in closed shoes, shorts, shirt & hat. I backpacked water, food, longs, jersey, all weather parka, plastic mackintosh & space blanket. I cell phoned Leah from Mt Hay summit & took cell phone pics. On steep bits a walking stick would've been useful for support & fending off prickly bushes. During my 6 hour tramp I drank 1.5 litres Coca Cola (for sugar content & water) & a half litre water. I still felt dehydrated afterwards. As the station has stock paddocks, I crossed many fences & farm gates.

Copyright Mark JS Esslemont

Mount Michael, Allandale near Fairlie

We know South African expats who own a hilltop house on Mt Michael, close to Farm Barn Cafe, about 8 kms drive from Fairlie. Backing the house, a new stand of Oregon Pine, Psudotsuga menziesii was planted below a mature stand of  Pinus radiata, If a fire ever started in the pines, the house would go up in smoke. The hilltop house had panoramic views - Mt Fox in the west, Devils Peak & Blue Mountain in the east.

Mon 09.02.15. I parked my car by the hilltop house on Mt Michael, as I wanted to walk along the flat top of Mt Michael to 2 Telecom cellphone masts, about halfway along the top. At the back of the house I climbed through the Oregon pine plantation. Some of the topmost Oregon pine plantings were dried out by a wind funnel caused by the mature Pinus radiata trees. Grass was flattened on top too, giving a crop circle effect - swirled, flattened grass.

I climbed over a fence at the top & sidled along another fence by the pines, overlooking red deer in the steep paddock below, until I reached another fence to be climbed, by a paddock spotted with gorse. Thereafter the walk was straight forward, through paddocks, past 2 hilltop pines, to a wooden stock pen. near the Telecom gravel road.

Alpine views were magnificent with Fairlie centre stage, part surrounded by low Brothers Range east, higher Albury Range west & Mt Michael itself north east, about the same height as Brothers Range. In the distance below low cloud, I saw a helicopter whopping above the gravel road going up Middle Valley from Raincliffs. I was higher than the helicopter. In the north, Opuha dam was low due to low summer rains.

It was harvest time below with golden wheat fields & hay fields drying out, both sides of Mt Michael, some fields already harvested with hay bales dotting the landscape. Beyond low ranges, south eastwards were high Alpine peaks: Mt Nimrod on the way to Timaru, Mt Nessing closer to Faitlie. Albury Range obscuring Mackenzie Pass between Dalgety Range & unseen Rollesby Range.

At the other end of Albury Range, westwards I saw Burkes Pass winding towards Mnt Maude & distant Mt Edward. Most days, Leah bussed Burkes Pass to teach at Lake Tekapo School. Viewing northwards across Tekapo Saddle, I saw Mt Dobson, Mt Ardmore, then Mt Fox Range, snowless in sunny February. In the north was Butlers Saddle & High Claytons going east to Blue Mountain, Devils Peak & Mt Walker. We twisted past those last 3 mountains, on our drive down Mt Michael, whenever we drove to Geraldine.

Upon reaching the stock pens. I went up the gravel road to the Telcom masts & enjoyed the views both sides of Mt Michael. I didn't go further along Mt Michael top, as I didn't want to disturb sheep in one of the paddocks,

I quickly returned to my car at the hilltop house, as Pacific low clouds scudded up the valleys, both sides of Brothers Range - Middle Valley & the valley going down to Timaru. Half an hour later, by the time I got to my car it was raining. The first decent rain, after hot & dry December - January days.

Content copyright Mark JS Esslemont

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Raincliff Forest Tracks

Flanking Middle Valley Rd, Raincliff Forest is about 17 kms from Fairlie, in hilly farmland below Southern Alps.

At Raincliff Forest carpark, a Blakely Pacific Limited sign board stated:

Originally planted around 1890 this 84 hectare forest is a managed unit now owned and operated by Blakely Pacific Limited.

It is Blakely Pacific's intention that harvesting and replanting will continue to recognise and preserve the unique character of this forest.

The forest contains a wide variety of exotic trees and you are invited to wander the marked walkways throughout this area...

The sign board showed the following Raincliff Forest tracks:

Hoare Track 60 mins
Mackay Track 40 mins
Johnson Track 15 mins
Burnetts Track 10 mins
Burkes Track 10 mins

Below Middle Valley Rd, a dirt road, Leah & I wandered part of Hoare Track, near Raincliff Stream. We also wandered Burnetts Track & Burkes Track which joined Hoare Track. Although a hot summer's day, mature forest gave us shade. Bobbing fantails entertained us in the understory when they flew around us checking us out.

Some mature, exotic trees we noted in Raincliff Forest:

* Redwood, Sequoiadendron giganteum
* Norway spruce, Picea abies
* Ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa
* Monterey cypress, Cupressus macrocarpa. Our old walking sticks are homemade Macrocarpa, so we were looking out for fresh windfalls. Prunings we found had lain around a while & were brittle, useless for good walking sticks.
* Oak, Quercus
* Ash, Fraxinus excelsior
* European larch, Larix decidua
* Radial pine, Pinus radiata
* Birch, Pendula
* Gum, Eucalyptus
* Oregon pine, Pseudotsuga menziesii
* Alder & Crack Willow along Raincliff Stream

Kiwis moan about wilding pines in Mackenzie Country. I thought pines were attractive & useful for windbreaks, inhaling carbon & stopping soil erosion. I hated all the Crack Willows polluting NZ river banks & lake shores. Why didn't Kiwis get rid of polluting Willows & replace them with native river trees?

An exotic / native mix of understorey plants in Raincliff Forest:


* Sycamore, Acer pseudplatanus. One of the exotics I loath as it's a prolific seeder.
* Holly, Ilex
* Gorse, Ulex europaeus, some pest sprayed
* Ivy, Hedera
* Blackberry, Rubus fruticosus


* Pittosporum eugenoides
* Pittosporum tenuifolium
* Fern species
* Broom, Carmichaelia
* Bush lawyer, Rubus cissoides
* Broadleaf, Griselinia littoralis
* Cabbage tree, Cordyline australis
* Whiteywood, Melicytus ramiflorus
* Wineberry. Aristotelia serrata
* Five finger, Pseudopanax arboreus
* Pepper tree, Horopito, Pseudowintera colorata

Tracks were well maintained, shared-use tracks with MTBs. As it was a hot, nor'wester day we had Raincliff Forest to ourselves.

Four days later we returned to wander Raincliff Forest tracks above Middle Valley Rd. We wandered the other bit of Hoare Track & Mackay Track, which formed a slender figure 8 walk. It took us about 2.5 hours, much longer than the recommended times on the carpark board. Presumably those times were for MTBs. Sometimes an MTB track parallelled the walking track, avoiding many wooden stairs up steep slopes. Besides tall forest trees, there were magnificent views of distant Fox Peak & Devils Peak, seen from the western extremity of Hoare Track.

Content Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Christchurch CBD Update, 4 Years Post Sept 2010 Quake. CERA Boss Sutton's Demise & CCDU Boss Isaac's Demise

Sat 11.10.14. It was 4 years since the Sept 2010 quake & we'd survived all the subsequent quakes & reconstruction disruptions during 2010-2013. In 2014 we'd moved to Lake Tekapo then Fairlie in the high country about 200 kms from Christchurch. We'd returned regularly to Christchurch to relocate our possessions, visit our adult sons, still working & flatting in Christchurch & for Leah's teaching meetings at Seabrook Mackenzie Centre, London St.

As Leah had another meeting in Christchurch, I dropped her off at Black Betty Cafe, Manchester St. Black Betty Cafe was so successful at New Brighton, it had moved to the CBD, opposite the tech. I had the afternoon to kill before I rejoined Leah at Seabrook Mackenzie Centre, so I wandered Christchurch's quake trashed & demolished CBD. Since I'd last wandered Christchurch CBD, mid Dec 2013, there was slow progress by CERA's CCDU, private rebuilds & Council activities, amidst dusty demolition sites, Wilsons carparks & few businesses trying their phoenix rise.

Notes I made while wandering Christchurch CBD:

St Asaph St: Still tatty - backs of part demolished / abandoned, High St bldgs were an eyesore.

Manchester St / St Asaph St / Tuam St cnrs, both sides of Manchester St, were still demolition site messes. There were many ragged demolition sites by Poplar St, High St, Tuam St, Lichfield St, Madras St. An indictment of CCDU's so-called, green E Frame. There were still part demolished & abandoned bldgs on High St, near Alice in Videoland.

Opposite EPIC, Odeon Theatre roof was gone from Manchester St road side. The unclaimed roof had lain there, an eyesore, for a couple of years. Half demolished Odeon Theatre was still an eyesore, theatre seats & part demolished auditorium were still exposed to the elements.

Tuam St: The old Council bldg, full of asbestos, was demolished in 2014. It made way for the new bus exchange. The post quake, temporary bus exchange had worked for a couple of years further along Tuam St.

Manchester St, E Frame, blocks between Lichfield St & Worcester St, several bldgs were demolished & sites were grassed for the E Frame. Bldgs like Majestic Theatre; quake trashed bldg by Bedford Row; abandoned Shooters & neighbouring bldgs; all gone. That area of quake trashed Manchester St was neatened up, at last.

Cnr Manchester St / Worcester St: Quake ruined Trinity Church / Octagon Restaurant was an abandoned eyesore. Kitsch photo art of quake trashed Trinity Church, covered N & S ruined facades.

Cathedral Square: Christchurch Cathedral was a ruined eyesore for 4 years. Nothing going on, the Cathedral was still surrounded by boards & fencing. Arctic promo boards in front of the W facade showed various Arctic scenes & research by various countries. The Maori plant whare still stood by the fence-closed entrance to the Cathedral W facade. Asian tourists happy-snapped Cathedral ruins.

Latest fascist propaganda / misinformation by The Press: Published aerial pics of E side of the Cathedral rather than the serial quake ruined W facade, tried bamboozling the public, especially outsiders, there was little quake damage to Christchurch Cathedral. If that was true, why board up & fence the Cathedral, stopping public access?

Cathedral Sq: Camelot Hotel, still closed; Novotel open; Cathedral Junction open; trams running; Heritage Hotel open; Millennium Hotel still closed.

Govt Life bldg in Cathedral Sq was being demolished, filled with asbestos pollution. Never mind passersby. Abandoned Gloucester St bldgs by abandoned Arcades bldg & Govt Life were also being demolished. Abandoned Gloucester St, Central Library, half demolished, was making way for CCDU's anchor, Convention Centre. Gloucester St Bridge was still closed for repairs.

Colombo St / Hereford St cnrs. BNZ asbestos ruin was still closed, part demolished, by closed Millennium Hotel next door. Opposite cnr, on ANZ demolition site, an office block rebuild was progressing.

There was a big, boarded rebuild site by Colombo St / The Crossing on Cashel Mall. Pagoda Restaurant bldg on The Crossing was still abandoned. Opposite, Ballantynes was humming. To make way for a rebuild, some Restart Cashel Mall container shops, opposite Ballantynes, had been moved closer to Remembrance Arch by Oxford Tce.

Abandoned Mad Cow bldg, Oxford Tce, was demolished to make way for the relocated container shops. Remembrance Arch was boarded for quake repairs. Remembrance Arch lions were gone for repairs. Saturday Flea market stalls & takeaway food carts lined Cashel Mall. Pre quakes, the stalls & carts used to be at the Arts Centre, Worcester Blvd.

Oxford Tce: The Terrace rebuild was stalled with steel skeleton incomplete, unpainted steel joint panels on painted girders were already rusting!

Cnr Gloucester St / Durham St Nth: Provincial Council bldg was still closed for quake repairs. Opposite, Amuri Courts demolition site, a crane was still on site while the office block rebuild progressed. Opposite, Cambridge Tce cnr, 5 storey office rebuild was almost complete, with wavy glass walls & green glass panels.

Worcester Blvd: Art Gallery was closed & fenced for quake repairs. Arts Center was still closed & fenced for quake repairs.

Rolleston Ave. Canterbury Museum was humming. There was a new display of old Arctic, portable plyboard huts & another display of modern Arctic modular constructions, some portable, as Arctic ice / snow moves. I watched a movie of Sir Edmund Hillary's 1950s expedition to the South Pole, his Sno Cats falling into crevasses en route. It renewed my interest in the Arctic Sno Cat & tractor on display in the museum.

The Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre was complete.

Cnr Durham St Nth / Chester St West: Abandoned NZ Radio bldg & Spicers bldg had been demolished, an office rebuild was progressing on site.

Cnr Durham St Nth / Kilmore St: On Crowne Plaza Hotel demolition site, Pallet Pavilion was gone. The relocatable wooden Arches were still standing. Gap Filler wooden office was still on site. A small digger landscaped the site with new soil by replanted grass.

Kilmore St: Quake trashed Town Hall was still boarded, nothing going on there. The road was repaired with new tarseal in front of Forte Health glassy rebuild.

Peterborough St: Road repairs were progressing by Manchester St intersection. CERA's regrassing, diagonally opposite St Lukes demolition site, was overgrown, like 9 months ago when I'd last wandered by. The shabby vegetation insulted families of those who'd died in nearby Pyne Gould bldg collapse, during the 22.02.11 quake.

Barbadoes St Cemetery by Avon River: I viewed many grave stones toppled by quakes. In the CBD all along slumped Avon River banks, the banks were restored with black material laid on river mud & pinned with steel pins. In places riverbank repairs narrowed the river to constrict & speed up water flow.

Fitzgerald Ave, by the post quake rebuilt, northbound bridge, overlooking Oxford Tce: While I contemplated red zone demolition sites, across Avon River, where my eldest son Jake had once flatted in the Avon Loop, who should pull up in his van but my youngest son Luke. What a coincidence.

18.11.14. After TV 1 news & The Press reports, what a precious poodle CERA boss, Roger Sutton turned out to be. One of his female minions complained that Sutton got fresh with female staff, hugged female staff, calling them "honey" & "sweetie" & told sexist jokes, so Sutton announced his resignation at a press conference, even admitting mea culpa, but whining about his exhaustion.

In my teaching career in SA I'd met crude bosses like Sutton, who went through divorces, socially & emotionally retarded, making snide remarks about women & sexist jokes & leering at other men's wives, expecting other men to support their filthy minds.

Over 41 months or so since the 13.06.11 quake, Sutton had overseen formation of NZ govt red zones & NZ qovt green zones in quake trashed areas - demolitions of 1000s of houses in residential red zones & demolitions of 100s of houses & commercial bldgs in Christchurch CBD red zone.

Sutton had overseen SCIRT infrastructure road repairs, far from complete & a constant irritant to road users, due to numerous detours & sloppily repaired roads.

Sutton had also overseen NZ govt blueprint for Christchurch CBD, but all that the CBD had was dusty demolition sites, abandoned bldgs, a few struggling businesses & some rebuilds or revamps done by Council or the private sector - some repaired hotels, New Regent St restored businesses, repaired Cathedral Junction, Restart Cashel Mall container shops on demolition sites.

No NZ govt blueprint anchor projects were built, so far. As for the so-called green Frames, many bldgs were demolished in the E Frame to make way for parkland & as an afterthought, new housing. The S Frame was filled with perfectly OK, quake surviving businesses, like car dealerships, which were screwed around by Sutton's CERA until January 2015, when Sutton left. CERA then decided not to purchase most of those viable S Frame businesses & backtracked on it's S Frame, wanting just a few green lanes, whatever that meant. Suttons' legacy would be a study of fascist govt, disaster management cockups.

Sutton's CERA had planted lots of grass in demolished red zones & in the East Frame in the demolished CBD. The trouble with expensive planted & mown grass was that mown grass didn't allow natural plant succession in the red zones, encouraging local fauna back to the red zones.

So far, all the rebuild CERA had done was fiddle with blueprinted CBD Avon River banks, by revamping CBD river bank paths & gardens. So Sutton's legacy was many govt demolitions, no govt rebuilds.

To quote Sutton's indifference when CERA made risible govt offers to red zoned, bare ground, landowners: "Here's the offer. Have a nice day." I doubt many red zoners would weep for Sutton's self destruct.

The Sutton fiasco was expedient for NZ fascist govt, as CERA was formed post 22.02.11 quake & would only last till April 2016. A 02.09.14, CERA media release stated: CERA will become a Department Agency within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet... So all CERA's puffery over its 2011-2016  tenure would be offloaded to the PM's Dept & Cabinet. Good riddance!

Fri 19.12.14. While Leah had a Xmas function at London St, I wandered the gritty CBD again & found rebuild work going on at Poplar Ln, where Jake had flatted pre quakes. Odeon Theatre was still part demolished, a post quake eyesore. TV news had featured a Johnny-Come-Lately touting his forthcoming book of quake trashed bldgs & had shown him sneaking into fence-cordoned Odeon Theatre demolition site, to take pics. I'd taken many pics of post quake Odeon Theatre. The latest news flavour of the month was photographers sneaking into quake trashed bldgs, like ruined Christchurch Cathedral & taking pics. That was an indictment of CERA's slow demolitions & slow quake recovery.

Besides graffiti on quake ruined walls, so-called art was also found on quake trashed walls or walls of revamped bldgs, like a bowing ballerina painted on the back wall of revamped Isaac Theatre Royal. The latest art was colourful, fibre glass giraffes all over the CBD,

Majestic Theatre demolition site on Manchester St was a Council carpark.

Cnr Manchester St & High St: Workmen were revamping the tram line.

I wandered down High St during lunch hour & found Brick Farm, a gritty gastro-pub, full of boozy men, no women, amongst quake ruins. Stranges Ln, between Lichfield St & High St, had 3 busy, new gastro-pubs in a new bldg & a pre-quakes, brick bldg across the lane. Stranges Ln spooked me, as I didn't trust the old brick bldg.

Cashel St / High St crossing: Three diggers were parked on top of a massive concrete rubble pile, ready for a rebuild.

Christchurch Cathedral ruin was just as disreputable as it was months ago. The Wizard was back jabbering to tourists before the ruin, an apprentice Wizard in tow. A man dressed in white leggings, white shirt, black waistcoat & tricorn hat, presumably a new Town Crier, chatted to a hobo. Men played giant chess nearby. The Council Library & Government Life bldg were demolished at last, making way for NZ govt's Convention Centre.

Victoria Sq: Victoria Square apartments were almost demolished, also making way for the new Convention Centre. Repaired Colombo St Bridge looked good beside ruined Christchurch Town Hall.

CERA media release, 10.02.15 - Warwick Isaacs to take on new challenge. Had to laugh at CERA rats leaving the sinking ship, CCDU boss Isaacs leaving CERA soon after Sutton's demise. Like Sutton, all that Isaacs left was a demolished, red zone CBD, mostly empty demolition sites, abandoned bldgs & a few rebuilds done by the private sector.  Blueprint anchor projects begun - None. Just tinkering with Avon River banks.

CERA media release. 29.01.15 -  Residential chapter release paves way for vibrant central city living. Funnier still, Isaacs left shortly after CERA altered the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan & City Plan (District Plan under Resource Management Act 1991) enabling quicker rebuild of shoddy housing in the CBD, particularly CCDU's E Frame.

Isaacs: A Liveable City creates a new Central City Residential Zone [Isaacs never outgrew fascist military jargon, throwback from his 2011 civil defence megalomania] which gives those building homes more flexibility in their design & allows a range of housing types for those who are keen to look at living in a vibrant central city.

We have a goal of seeing more than 20 000 people living in the central city in attractive neighbourhoods with diverse communities. [Slums]. The residential chapter includes more information on development initiatives such as residential development in he East Frame, an area that will be home to approximately 2 000 people and which will begin construction toward the end of the year.

The boost to residential activity will encourage further commercial growth and investment as people move into the central city.

The latter platitude was obvious from day one, but it took CERA nearly 4 years post Feb 22 quake to admit it. CERA's original blueprint was to use the E & S Frame as desolate land bank cum parkland, to improve land values for the favoured few red zone sections within the Frame. Meanwhile quake damaged & CERA-cordon-strangled, CBD businesses relocated elsewhere, while CERA dithered.

Isaacs quit to become CEO of Stonewood Homes. Conflict of interest anyone?

28.02.15. On one of my Christchurch trips, I drove Luke along New Brighton Rd, past red zone, Locksley Ave turnoff, with views across Kerrs Reach & red zone both sides of Avon River, to New Brighton. Luke wanted to show me salvage sites he'd worked at, like red zone, housing demolitions at Kate Sheppard Retirement Village & red zone, housing demolitions at New Brighton & Bexley.

We returned to town via Pages Rd, past red zone Bexley, Wairoa St, Waitaki St & Bexley Rd. Most of the houses in residential red zone we passed were demolished. The residential red zone looked scruffy with overgrown vegetation. Pages Rd Bridge was still in a parlous state of disrepair. A new Burger King was built on a demolition site, cnr Aldwins Rd / Linwood Ave. Luke said, "Burger King went up pretty quickly, competition with McDonald's & KFC across the road."

Most roads I drove that day, like Bealey Ave, Fitzgerald Ave, St Asaph St... were still in a parlous state of disrepair. So much for SCIRT repairs. Inferior bitumen was repeatedly laid, patch upon patch by contractors. Asphalt trucks roamed Christchurch, but tarseal repeatedly cracked & needed repairs, again & again. No one was inspecting road repairs properly.

One trick pony, mayor Dalziel recently opined that it would take another 30 years before Christchurch roads would be up to pre quake standards. Never mind massive rates increases by her Council. With that disrespect to Christchurch citizens & whinnying about all the expensive repairs & rebuilds needed by post quake Christchurch, I doubted Dalziel would last long.

Content Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Victim upset by Suttons conduct (The Press / Stuff Co)

See Resignation of CERA Chief Executive (NZ State Services Commission)

See Land for anchor projects reduced (The Press / Stuff Co)

See Warwick Isaacs to take on new challenge (CERA media release 10 February 2015)

See Christchurch faces 30 more years of rough roads (The Press / Stuff Co)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Christchurch Quakes: Post Quakes, Academic Research Permissions

Since my many blog posts on the 2010-2013 Christchurch quakes, I've received many requests from all over the world & New Zealand for use of my quake pics in various publications, or for various research reasons. A lot of varsity students, under grad & post grad, want to use my pics for various theses. I allow permission to use a pic or 2, if the permission request is courteous & precise, asking for one or two specific photo permissions. If several photo permissions are asked for, or a whole blog post is asked for, the student or requestor is obviously trying to scam my intellectual property.

Most annoying are those who use my blog pics & don't bother to ask. They think because I've published on Blogger that my intellectual property is theirs to steal.

For example, some email correspondence I've had over the last couple of weeks - the reader will soon see why the first request from a Canterbury University, geography researcher is irritating & declined by me & the second request from an Austrian archeology researcher is perfect & why I gave permission to use my intellectual property.

I left punctuation, grammar & spelling errors as is & used only initals for privacy reasons.

PERMISSION REQUEST 1. Thurs, 18 Sept 2014 email, from student GA, University of Canterbury:

Hey there Mark my name is GA, I am a 3rd year student at University of Canterbury, and I am currently participating in the 300 level Geography 309 Research methods in Geography Our research group consisting of myself, JD, NF & WAH, has been assigned to working with the Peterborough village community [in Christchurch quake trashed CBD] with DL as our community representative [a landscape architect] to develop an interactive mapping tool to archive past, present and future images and memories under the supervision of Professor EP.
We are hoping to have permission to utilize images from your website and the possibliities of linking your website to the mapping site software. [GA conflates website & blog post].
Could you please advise us as to any legal requirements relating to copyright regulations... [So much for Prof EP's supervision].

My Tues, 23 Sept 2014 email reply:

Beware. You're dealing with emotive Copyright property & potential theft of intellectual property. I spent many hours taking, editing & uploading quake pics at considerable personal & financial costs & now many people want them. Lots of my blogging time is spent tracking down Copyright theft of my pics through Google searches & giving permission for use of my Copyright pics, for those who ask. Browse my Woza Mark & Woza Wanderer blog comments, you'll see what I mean.

I don't mind my specific quake images being used for varsity research purposes with my Woza Wanderer citing. I've already given several varsity students permissions to do so, amongst other permissions. As it stands via Blogger, anyone in the world can ask for my permission to use my blog pics. Why does Canterbury University want to control my blog pics?

Your linking / archiving suggestions sounds like Canterbury University wants to control use of & own my Copyright pics & Content. Over 3 quake years, I blogged scores more quake posts, more than just the snow job post. You're vague about varsity linking & archiving. I'd want to know in future specifically who'd want to use my Copyright pics, especially for their own financial gain. After all those thousands of images & content are mine & my family's copyright intellectual property. Archiving it under control of Canterbury University, it becomes Canterbury University intllectual property & no longer mine & my family's property.

You need to tell me what benefits / financial gains I get to have my Content, Copyright pics & intellectual property linked to by Canterbury University & archived by Canterbury University...

PS. I suggest you read Google's copyright info on Blogger. Read my blog post via Dr Karen Putasi's NZQA & theft of my copyright pic for NZQA year 13 biology exam purposes, a couple of years ago. The internet Copyright scene in NZ & NZ govt control / lack of control of it is nasty. Kim Dotcom's Mega Upload & Mega stories pertain. As for legal requirements, read NZ Copyright Act for the Copyright info you require. Christchurch Central Library had copies of the Act when I last looked.

Student GA's Tues, 23 Sept 2014 email reply:

Hi Mark sorry if my email was taken in the wrong context, the university of Canterbury is not to blame.
Our research group think you image collection of the CBD and blogg are amazing and can understand that you have concerns. we were willing to annotate all images with you name etc, and the link would have followed the Images intending on directing additional viewers to your blogg.
We are sorry for the misunderstanding.
Take care and nice work...

My Wed, 24 Sept email reply:

Again you are vague. Context is a weasel word for deception.

Let me be clear. I have NOT given you or any other UC student named by you or UC geography faculty permission to store, use or manipulate my copyright Woza Wanderer blog material, including pics & content, in any way. If you or others you mention have already done so, please delete, as it is my intellectual property, created at my cost & my legacy to my family.

I suggest you consult intellectual property lawyers. I'm astounded that prof EP you mention has not already supervised so...

My Sat, 27 Sept 2014 email to prof EP, University of Canterbury:

With reference to my email exchange with your student GA, my email address list was hacked within 2 days. That makes GA a possible suspect. Everyone in my email address list was emailed by [cultural] [The spam email to my email address list was about 4 EU countries, Poland, Turkey, Czechoslovakia & Bulgaria trying to improve students' English & studies via cultural activities].

Given GA's tone of entitlement to my intellectual property, I suggest you supervise GA regarding others' intellectual property & goodwill pertaining to UC....

No response from prof EP.

PERMISSION REQUEST 2. Thurs, 7 Oct 2014 email from Dr AK, Carnuntum archeologist, Austria:

Quite recently I happened to find your blog containing data on and pictures of the earth quake at Christchurch.

I am in the process of editing the acts of a scientific congress having taken place at Carnuntum / Austria in 2013 with the topic "The Carnuntum Erath Quake in Context", dealing with aspects of an earth quake which more or less obliterated the Roman town of Carnuntum around AD 360. In one of the articles submitted, its author, MK, who originally developed the theory that a quake once hit this place, needs a picture of a toppled wall which has without doubt been destroyed by a quake, as a parallel to prove that walls can indeed look like this after such an event (archeologists normally have no objection against the interpretation that an earth quake hit a site, but geologists tend to doubt any evidence not supported by seismograms, which are quite hard to come by for antiquity, but this is a lengthy discussion with which I don't want to bother you).

You have published online, in your blog, the picture attached, showing a perfect sample of a toppled wall at Christchurch, quite similar to what they do indeed often look alike in our excavations and this image would fit perfectly well as an illustration for Dr. MK's argument. I therefore request, with all courtesy, your permit to use the image in question, downloaded from your blog, in print in the above mentioned volume. This is a scientific, non-profit publication and therefore I hope to receive your permit cost free. You will of course be mentioned as author of the picture, therefore I kindly request that you tell me the name you want to be shown...

Dr. AK

Grabung Carnuntum
Archaologischer Park Carnuntum...

I gave Dr AK permission to use my Christchurch quake, toppled wall pic in his Austrian publication. It wasn't my first such permission, nor I expect my last.

Content Copyright Mark JS Esslemont

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Jack Lovelock Track, Fairlie

Named after 1936 Berlin Olympian, Jack Lovelock Track is a flat, 8 km, circular walk along Fairlie outskirt roads.

Starting along School Rd towards Albury Range, pass Fairlie Primary School, then wander out of town amongst sheep paddocks till tarseal becomes dirt road.

A couple of kms out of Fairlie, turn right along Jack Lovelock Track, pass sheep paddocks & farm land, cross 3 fords, then briefly join Te Puke Rd, which joins Nixons Rd back to town.

Westwards are great views of Albury Range, then nor' eastwards - Mt Maud, Mt Edward, Two Thumbs Range, Fox Peak, then eastwards to Ashwick Flats & Devils Peak.

Part rural paddocks, part town, Nixons Rd has newer houses including a homestay & a variety of farm animals - horses, sheep, kuni pigs, alpacas.

Content Copyright Mark JS Esslemont