Ex-mayor's son: council is rotten

MICHAEL WRIGHT
Last updated 08:15 03/03/2012

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A Christchurch bar owner has labelled the Christchurch City Council a "rotten and corrupt" organisation while trying to get consent for a new inner-city bar.

Johnny Moore is the son of former Christchurch mayor Garry Moore.

Johnny Moore, who owned the Goodbye Blue Monday bar in Poplar Lane, has applied to the council for building consent at a new site on the corner of Bealey Ave and Victoria St, opposite Knox Church.

Goodbye Blue Monday was badly damaged in the February 2011 earthquake and has been demolished.

The new bar, Smash Palace, consists of an old bus surrounded by scaffolding, and has been the subject of a protracted building consent application.

Moore declined to comment on the process to The Press, but voiced his frustration via his blog last month:

"I have met with the council three times this week. Each time I've been told that all they need is this or that piece of information and I will have my consent. Each time I have provided the information asked only to have another hurdle placed in my way. Somebody is either stupid, gutless or malicious.

"My building consent officer has now gone on holiday, handing my case over to some poor guy who now has to deal with a customer that's angry like a snake. . . . That is unprofessional.

"Now I am re-sending all the information to a new officer, asking the same questions that I was told had been resolved."

Christchurch was looking at "a dead central city for the next 50 years" unless council processes changed, he said.

Council consents policy manager Steve McCarthy said Moore applied for a temporary accommodation authorisation in November and then a building consent in December.

The consent was for the bus, two temporary buildings for a kitchen and toilets and a scaffold structure around the outside, which was designed to be seven metres high but later changed to five metres.

"Technically, [the scaffolding] was the most difficult part of the application . . . as the fence structure was high, freestanding and not secured to the ground other than by way of weights at the base," McCarthy said.

"The council has only received engineering certification from Johnny Moore's engineer [on Friday] . . . The council has asked its engineers to review the engineer's certification and expects to be in a position to finally issue the consent [on Friday] or on Monday."

The safety of the scaffolding was paramount, McCarthy said, and council would not consider a consent until it had all the required information.

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"We are trying to be as flexible as possible where temporary buildings are being established. However, it is difficult when ideas on site evolve and do not follow the consent documents."

The bus was placed on site late last month, and Moore used the move to poke fun at its pending status as a building:

"Since it's a building and not a bus, we decided it was fine for Greg to drive it down with no licence. Instead, we carried our building consent application in case the police pulled us over."

- The Press

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