First cones, now road barriers
The saga of Christchurch's Odeon Theatre roof has raised the question of whether the city needs all its road barriers.
The Press revealed two weeks ago that a 40-metre barrier around the former Odeon Theatre roof structure in Manchester St was costing ratepayers $184 a week. The roof, described as an eyesore and inconvenience, blocked the footpath and the barrier was needed to protect pedestrians.
The barrier, in place for at least a year, has already cost ratepayers more than $10,000.
Nothing appeared to be happening to the roof until yesterday when Altitude Roofing 2014 Ltd, owned by Nicholas Collett, began dismantling it.
Collett said he had been asked to do the job by Ian Hyndman, a director of Odeon Property Holdings, which owns the roof. He was doing the job for free because the site gave his fledgling firm good advertising and he knew Hyndman because he had bought a car off him.
Odeon Property Holdings shares are owned through other companies by Christchurch bankrupt David Ian Henderson, a longtime associate of Hyndman.
Collett said the council was aware of the arrangement to dismantle the roof.
However, a council spokeswoman said it was still trying to find out who owned the roof and was not aware of Collett starting the job. The council was unable to say what was done to review road barriers and ensure owners were making buildings safe.
Another major barrier in Manchester St surrounds the former Trinity Church.
Anna Crighton, Christchurch Heritage Trust chairwoman, said "make safe" work had been completed and the trust was waiting for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority to approve it.
Barriers could then be removed, she said.