Proprietors angry over search damage

KEITH LYNCH
Last updated 05:00 17/03/2011

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Christchurch Earthquake 2011

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Angry Christchurch business owners yesterday faced more destruction and loss in the central city.

About 30 owners were allowed to enter zone 7 – from Barbadoes St to Madras St – for three hours yesterday.

Guy Griffith-Jones, owner of coffee roaster and supplier C4, wanted to know who would pay for the doors smashed at his rented Tuam St property.

With the doors open, dust had damaged the equipment, he said.

"They [officials] don't talk to you. They smashed it open. All the dust has caused more damage than the quake," Griffith-Jones said.

Bernard Smith, owner of Vivace Coffee, had been trying to help the C4 Coffee business get back on its feet.

However, Smith said the Vivace Espresso Bar in Hereford St had been torn down without his knowledge.

Cash remained in the till from the day of the quake.

"We had no contact from anyone. I had applied to get stuff out, like everyone else, and then I found it was demolished at the weekend.

"There's a lot of stuff in there I'd have liked to get out.

"Once the quake struck, everyone just got out. You don't think you'll never get back in."

He said no-one contacted him regarding the demolition.

Griffith-Jones also said he was not told C4 Coffee's old 165 Lichfield St site would be torn down.

"We were going to demo it anyway, but I'd rather be told. I'd like to have a courtesy phone call to say `we're doing this'." The building was badly damaged after the September quake.

Roland Logan, owner of the building on Madras St that housed NG cafe, was upset over missing jewellery at his yellow-stickered building.

The building was home to a boutique clothing shop, cafe and gallery.

"We're missing a couple of pieces of jewellery that seem to have gone missing after the time the authorities broke in to search for people that weren't here," he said.

"It's just a couple of rings. We knew exactly where the rings were because someone was looking for them when we abandoned the building."

Logan also asked why rescue workers had to smash all his property's doors.

"We actually put a note on the outside of the building when we got everyone out of the building to say this building is clear," he said.

"So I'm not sure quite why they have to break in, especially break both doors, when all the internal doors were open, plus break glass doors upstairs to look inside rooms."

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