Logburners hot topic in cold

21:12, Jun 17 2012
CONE OF SILENCE: This picture landed in Mike Yardley's inbox this week.

Last week's snowstorm and power cuts have stoked the fire on the city's logburner debate. Environment Canterbury sought to cauterise the blowback, with an olive-branch offering on ultra low-emission logburners.

ECan Commissioner David Bedford is to be applauded for embracing the wonders of technology.

But this overture brings no immediate relief to the thousands of homeowners who had a compliant woodburner pre-quake and now have to rebuild their home.

Until the rule change takes effect, they're left out in the cold. These homeowners deserve a free pass, and they deserve it now.

I'm bemused that Earthquake Recovery Minister is reportedly unsure what is preventing them from installing a woodburner in their rebuilt home. The sticking point is straightforward. The clean air regulations have prohibited any woodburners from being installed in newly built Christchurch homes since 2002.

However, denying these quake- ravaged homeowners from replacing their woodburner is perverse and callous.


Fast-tracked legislation, or an Order in Council, should surely be able to blow torch this unforeseen anomaly.

On the broader front, ECan's Kim Drummond admitted on my radio show that the removal of 10,000 solid-fuel burners in recent years has not delivered the desired results.

We've already amassed eight high pollution nights this year, and the prospect of complying with the maximum exceedance of three nights by 2016 looks like a pipe-dream. Furthermore, CDHB member Wendy Gilchrist has revealed that, in the past decade, there has been no reduction in respiratory-related hospital admissions and deaths in Christchurch. Is home heating really the big bad PM10-belching wolf it was made out to be?

New icon

You can never be quite sure what's going to land in your inbox. While battling a bout of man flu this week, I was instantly uplifted by the mysterious delivery of a mischievous image, purporting to be the leaked new design for Christ Church Cathedral.

Happy to play along with the tongue-in-cheek caper, I posted the image online. Within minutes it was transformed from being a Facebook frisson into a fully fledged viral sensation.

Henry Sunderland, of cone- adorning fame, chimed in with a passionate plea for giant plastic flowers to crown the cone.

Arty types opined that the design was a triumph in "functional artwork". One wag described the design as a stirring example of "post-modernist cubism from the School of Maersk".

But it was the restoration crusaders who cuttingly dubbed the replacement Cathedral design the "Cone of Silence".

This running gag continues to titillate Facebook users and the creative wizard behind this lark deserves public recognition. Christchurch-born Jason Lilley is the young graphic designer who crafted this image and gave many Cantabrians a hearty chuckle to help withstand a brutal week.

The Press