Posts tagged Earthquake

CCC plan

Christchurch City Council’s Draft Development Plan


Yesterday the Christchurch City Council released its draft plan for the development of Christchurch post the recent earthquakes.

If you click on the link above you will get an online flip page style book, or if you prefer something you can download, here’s the pdf version of the CCC plan.

Let’s cut to the chase here:

This document ROCKS! (and not in a bad, earthquake way, excuse the unintended pun).  I strongly recommend any Christchurch resident reads it and gives feedback.

IMHO, it’s the right balance of vision (it gives us all something to think/look forward to) with some practical now stuff.

To balance off my praise for the CCC, I give a HUGE brick bat to Gerry Brownlee, who has been the ONLY poor performer out of ALL the agencies and people involved in the earthquake recovery:

  • CCC have done a good job (and a great job on this plan)
  • EQC an average job (too slow, but OK)
  • The Government have done a good job (with a very fair compensation package to red zoners who can’t rebuild).  Key, in particular, has come across as very reasonable and level headed.
  • CERA have done a good job – getting the right CE was probably half of that!

But Browlee has performed poorly.  Why?  Because less than one week prior to announce the compensation packages for homeowners that were not able to rebuild their homes, he arrogantly refused to give ANY idea of when info would come out on it.  Instead of saying I can not confirm an exact date, but we hope to have information out to those effected in a matter of weeks, not months. But no, he just said I know, but I am not telling you, it’s complex. (Note: I have paraphrased here, he didn’t say these exact words)  Can you say Arrogant Prick any louder, Gerry?

But it gets worse; Brownlee was reported as commenting on the CCC plan (link includes a video of Mayor Parker’s presentation)

However, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee called the plan “a pretty big wish list”.

Gee, thanks Gerry, that was constructive! (in case you missed it, that was me being sarcastic).

Contrast this with how Key responded:

Prime Minister John Key is a fan of light rail for earthquake-hit Christchurch but he’s less clear on who should pay for the city’s $2 billion rebuild plan.

To to a degree, both are right, coz they say the same message, but in totally different ways.  There’s a lot not costed in the plan.  The CCC says about half will be paid for by the Council (ie ratepayers) and half by a mix of Government and private investment. So yes, the issue of where the money comes from needs to be answered at some stage.  But notice how Key’s message is  Yes, but … and Gerry says No, unless … even though they have a similar message of who’s gonna pay?.  Gerry you could learn so much from your leader!

Anyway, back to the plan, it rocks, read it and give feedback.

Black and White Version: The CCC have the right mix of vision and practicality in their latest plan.  The challenge will be funding it, but now is the best time to try for things like this.

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random thoughts

Christchurch earthquake – 5 days on – the small stuff


I have been living without power or water in the Christchurch suburb of Sumner for 5 days now.  As I said in my earlier post on the quake, I am fine, but I have some thoughts to share from the experience thus far.

In no particular order:

  • Christchurch West and East are like two different cities: In the west quite normal (supermarkets and petrol stations all go, I even saw a cafe with people in it).  In the east not so (no power or water; basics is the name of the game here).
  • A dishwasher is a great place to dry dishes when you run out of bench space
  • Sumner is like a ghost town: I figure less than 20% of residents are left at the moment
  • This is gonna take AGES to fix – so much destruction
  • I think Ferry road was the worst hit road (not saying buildings, I mean the actual road surface)
  • Some people drive too fast, but most people drive WAY too slow when traveling around.  20km/h is annoying (and yes, they are rubber necking looking at damage and taking photos from their cars)
  • The sense of comradeship is amazing.  From people being polite to one-another to neighbours checking in to see everyone is OK, to mates offering showers, rooms, food to their friends (and strangers) on FaceBook.  Since I have power via a generator, I have thrown an extension cord over the fence for the neighbour – like me, they have a dog, so leaving isn’t that easy, and a fridge and freezer needs power! (Again like me, they have gas for cooking, and it’s summer, so heating isn’t an issue either).  I figure it is the least I can do.  They keep offering me water, and food and even bones for my dog.  I am well stocked already though.
  • Everyone copes with this in different ways; I remember seeing people crying outside the gym just after it happened – they were unhurt, but that was their way of coping I guess.  Some cope by escaping.   I think I cope by trying to do normal things – like walking the dog, or putting the rubbish out.  Oh I also seem to cope by shopping (mind you I have so much broken stuff, I need to shop!).  Yep, that’s me!
  • Lots of people in Christchurch are drinking their best wine.
  • It’s surprising the number of people who say I am out of here, and don’t plan to live in Christchurch again.
  • Every now and again I feel guilty when I am sitting down and not fixing something or doing something (a new feeling)
  • I want to go to the gym soon.
  • Having a shower is one of life’s simple pleasures.  When you haven’t had one for a day (or more), having one makes me feel human again
  • Seeing portaloos dropped of by the dozen around your suburb means (1) I’ll have somewhere to go and (2) it’s gonna be a while b4 sewerage is back on
  • I never realised how much water washing dishes takes (you notice it when you have bottled water from the supermarket as your only water!)

I have said it before, but I will say it again.  Broken STUFF doesn’t matter.  People do.

Stay safe, tell those you care for that you do.

Stay safe, tell those you care for that you do.  Kia kaha Christchurch.

Black and White Version: Life isn’t returning to normal very quickly, but I am trying to speed it up a tad where I can.

PS: Big thanks to Glen T for proofreading this.  You are a star!

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New earthquake scale to replace richter in Christchurch


One of the side effects of the recent earthquakes in Christchurch (over 1,000 aftershocks, and at several dozen biggies) that all us Christchurch locals are becoming pseudo self appointed experts on earthquakes.

The problem is however that the more quakes we get, the more it’s apparent the Richter scale is just not cutting it.   The best example was the most recent biggie this morning, which resulted in more FaceBook posts than anything other than the main 7.1 on September 4, but yet only got a 5 on the Richter scale.  However as reported, there was quite some damage, and people got hurt, and it certainly had MAJOR shaking (walls moves 20-30cm) around Christchurch, and power went out.

Even the alternative scale that GeoNet offers (using the MMI scale) doesn’t really cut it for me, coz what I have noticed is, rather obviously, different people respond differently to the same quake, based on a whole range of factors (how far away they are from it, shallow quakes = more violent etc).  So for example, I know the big 7.1 quake didn’t do anything to my office, but a 4.1 knocked stuff of my desk and walls (coz it was so close), so it’s kinda messed up.

So, in an effort to help make the world a bit more black and white (the name of the game for this blog remember?) I have invented a new scale, and with it an all new table.


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New Earthquake office game in Christchurch


The Earthquake Office Game

Since there are now at least 4-5 decent earthquakes a day in Christchurch at the moment (and I have to say a few people are not coping to well with this) here’s the new office game we can all play.  It helps reduce stress and make each quake a mini game.  Yes, kids can play too.


When there is an earth quake, you must in 30 seconds estimate:

  • The magnitude on the richter scale (e.g. “that was a 4.2″)
  • The depth (e.g. “that was was 8km deep”)
  • The location (e.g “Ummmm .. 30km North West of Christchurch”)

Then .. check your answers on (normally updates with 10-15 minutes).  To be sure, accurately mark the time of the quake when it happens, in case there is a couple close to one another.

How to Score

Magnitude: Spot on = 5 points, take one point off for every 0.1 out (so 0.3 out means 5-3=2 points.  Anything 0.5 out or more gets zero)

Depth: Spot on = 5 points.  Take one point off for every km out (so out by 4km means 5-4 = 1 point.  Anything more than 5km out gets zero).

Location: Spot on = 5 points.  Take one point off for every 3 km out distance wise.  This one is slightly trickier since people will report things from different locations (eg “10km North West of Christchurch” or “30km North of Darfield’ might be the same place).  So to be fair best everyone agrees on a reference point (like Christchurch), since GeoNet will report relative to there if you click on the link next to “Details” of the quake’s location.  Remember “10km east” is actually 15 km away from “5km west”.   To keep it simple if its’ 10km NorthWest you could be strict and draw it on a map, or just agree between everyone in the office how you count these.

PS: -10 points if you false call an earthquake (e.g. a truck goes past).

Black and White Version: Office Earthquake – a game we can all play!

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Christchurch earthquake, insurance and milking sympathy


By now everyone knows about the recent Christchurch earthquakes. Well OK, not everyone.  For the Americans reading this: New Zealand (which is NOT part of Australia – think down a bit and a tad to the right) had a major earthquake (7.1) hit our 2nd biggest city.  No one died, but a fair bit of damage, especially to our older buildings in the CBD.

Anyway, I want to jump the gun on a media story, before it happens.  You see I am just waiting in dread for the oh woe is me story about how some person who didn’t have insurance has now lost everything.  Here’s how it will go:

  • Picture of mum and kid looking very unhappy with some broken stuff of some kind
  • Something about some special need for the kid, or a special toy or something
  • Details of how someone cried when they found it was broken
  • Some add on  about not being able to afford insurance

It MIGHT be worse, in that maybe the item wasn’t broken by the earthquake, but stolen by bad people after the earthquake.


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