A tale of two tragedies

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Napier Christchurch earthquakes

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I was looking recently at the Te Ara website, a New Zealand on-line encyclopedia. Quite a fascinating thing to check out.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Including this;

“In November 1932, Hastings celebrated its reconstruction, and in January 1933, almost two years after the earthquake, during the New Napier Carnival, Napier was declared officially ‘reborn’.”

The Napier earthquake was in 1931.

They rebuilt without modern 21st century technology such as the internet, satellite communications, or modern construction techniques and machinery.

They rebuilt without billions from insurance or EQC funds;

Few insurance policies covered earthquakes, and many insurers refused to pay for fire damage that resulted from the quake. In 1931 Parliament had passed the Hawke’s Bay Earthquake Act, which provided loans for local companies and individuals to rebuild their premises. Because of the economic depression, however, the funds granted were far from adequate, and repayment terms were harsh. Much of the money for recovery came from charity, which poured in during the weeks after the quake…

They re-built Napier in two years. TWO YEARS.

Fast-forward to 2014, three years after the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake and bugger all has happened (except Brownlee was used to demolish a few of the bigger ruined buildings, instead of a wrecking ball).

So much for the much-vaunted efficiencies of a market-driven economy.

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References

Te Ara Encyclopedia:  Historic earthquakes – Page 8 – Rebuilding Napier

Previous related blogposts

Can we do it? Bloody oath we can!

Bennett & Borrows – where are the jobs?!?!


 

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Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Yeah well that’s Gerry for you – makes Stan Rodger look like a freaking workaholic. Not as honest as Stan either – again, not a high bar.

  2. Christchurch wont be rebuilt for years – if at all. Why?

    1. It seems the people of Chch want to rebuild the city just as it was before and theyre not going to give up until they have run out of all options. (ie: they are a bit crazy because it aint going to be rebuilt as it was)
    2. The building code is going to hold things up for at least 3 and more likely 5 – years. Todays risk averse society is its own worst enemy.
    3. The government has done nothing much to help and quite a lot to screw things up.
    4. The only thing the government has done right is to knock down a few silly old buildings that everyone thinks should be saved.
    5. The CHCH people cant let go of the cathedral square. Its an old swamp and they are just plain bloody crazy if they rebuild anything there.
    6. No one has made the case that most people were killed in modern buildings and in fact very few died or got injured inside the old buildings. Yes the old buildings all cracked up – but they didnt fall down. besides the two modern buildings that fell down – most injuries were as a result of veranda’s etc.
    7. Nothing much will happen there until the attitude changes to one of “Hey – weve got an opportunity to build a nice modern new city so lets grab the opportunity by the throat and lets go with it. While they have such silly things as school masters wanting to challenge the government then one has to wonder if there is any leadership there at all.
    8. And the rest of NZ is starting to get a bit tired of the endless wailing that comes from the city council and the other authorities and groups.

    • “It seems the people of Chch want to rebuild the city just as it was before and theyre not going to give up until they have run out of all options. (ie: they are a bit crazy because it aint going to be rebuilt as it was)”

      It seems as though you have no idea of what has happened in the rebuild and what the people of Chch asked for. This is what Chch asked forthis is the plan Gerry changed it to.
      These are completely different.

      “Todays risk averse society is its own worst enemy.”

      You’re right about that, but that comes from governance, not the people.

      “The only thing the government has done right is to knock down a few silly old buildings that everyone thinks should be saved.”

      Wrong. Those wanting to save old buildings are a small but vocal minority – pandered to by the media and politicians. Most people in Chch are happy to see broken buildings come down, it’s the functional buildings coming down for Gerry’s brownprint that most people are against.

      “The CHCH people cant let go of the cathedral square. Its an old swamp and they are just plain bloody crazy if they rebuild anything there”

      Wrong. See the first plan (1st link above) drawn up by the ideas of the people – Chch residents wanted to green the square.

      “No one has made the case that most people were killed in modern buildings and in fact very few died or got injured inside the old buildings”

      That’s a half truth. Most people died in one building – which you could say was modern. The most dangerous buildings were the older ones.

      “Nothing much will happen there until the attitude changes to one of “Hey – weve got an opportunity to build a nice modern new city so lets grab the opportunity by the throat and lets go with it. While they have such silly things as school masters wanting to challenge the government then one has to wonder if there is any leadership there at all”

      What a strange thing to say. The closures of schools has been one of the most damaging outcomes of the EQ. The people of Chch have been saying all along that this is (was) an opportunity to rebuild a modern and functional city.

      “And the rest of NZ is starting to get a bit tired of the endless wailing that comes from the city council and the other authorities and groups”

      Chch finally has a council who seems to be closer to the people’s voice. The reason for voting Parker back in post-quake has to do with post-disaster disorientation. You obviously have no understanding of post-disaster stress, disorientation and dislocation.
      Chch’s problem has not so much been the earthquake itself, but the response to the earthquake. You might be sick of earthquake talk, but the people of Chch are sick of being politically silenced, marginalised and oppressed.
      Even worse is idiotic assumptions from people who know jack-shit

  3. Opinion:

    They need to stop rebuilding on a swamp, and the earthquake liquefaction.

    There’s lots of stable land around Canterbury – build a new city there.

    Seems a waste of time and money doing it the way it’s being done (or not done).

    They should spend the $9m a day on a new city with a new name.

    Trouble is, that right after the earthquakes while everyone was still in shock, they started to make decisions. Now we have the result of these decisions being made while in a state of shock.

    Sad. But time to realise CHCH cannot be rebuilt where it was. New ground needed.

  4. Two years to rebuild Napier and this government hasn’t even started on Christchurch?? OMG, what on earth have they been doing???

Comments are closed.