Where There's a Will

Follow one man's bid to rebuild his home in shattered Christchurch.

Excellent result on the Pallet Pavilion

08:46am 07 Jun 2013


pallet pavilion

Gap Filler has raised the $80,000 it needs to keep the Pallet Pavilion going for another year. It's an excellent result, but the organisation needs more subscriptions because the costs of running a PledgeMe.co.nz campaign and other expenses mean Gap Filler really needs $90,000.

At 8am Friday, the group needed about another $9000 by 6pm Saturday night.

Public subscriptions are an old tradition in Christchurch. The pier at New Brighton, Mona Vale and even a little-known garden called Ashgrove Reserve, near Cracroft, were all paid for in part by public subscriptions.

There are other examples all over the province.

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A wretched record on quake insurance assistance

10:43am 29 Apr 2013


cosgrove claytonMayor Bob Parker and Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee continue to bicker over whether Cantabrians need an insurance advisory service or an insurance advocacy service - as if the difference matters about 30 months after calls for assistance with insurance companies were first aired.

Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove, pictured, questioned Brownlee about the insurance assistance in Parliament on October 26, 2010.

''Will he [Brownlee] support my recommendation to set up an advocacy support service to provide earthquake-affected residents with help in dealing with their private insurers...?'' 

Brownlee answered: ''I think it is very important that we do not begin by setting out a conflict situation between private insurers and claimants'', as if claimants were creating conflicts.

He continued: ''We first need to let the private insurers go and see what is required on their part, whether it is rebuild or repair.

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Walking Manchester St recalls extraordinary Chch

10:19am 15 Apr 2013


Authorities re-opened Manchester St in central Christchurch last week and this morning it was like revisiting an extraordinary sequence in Christchurch history.

manchester st

On one side, there were high piles of concrete rubble and twisted building iron. Over there, the massive Majestic Church building still advertises sermons from February 2011, when an R theme was underway: Repair: Feb 13; Rebuild: Feb 20; Restore: Feb 27. A little further north, Boogie Nights was planning a ''Back to Skool'' party on Feb 24.

Day-glo orange spray paint advises that the Money Club building at 146 Manchester was cleared by urban search and rescue on 6/3 at 1600 hrs. Another building boasts a good old-fashioned yellow sticker, even if it's dated 2012.

The Kensington Building at 179-185 Manchester, which last housed Comics Compulsion and a Turkish kebab restaurant among enterprises, is a fine commercial building of the sort that once dominated this great street. It's not on Cera's Demolition List so maybe it'll be saved.

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Getting rich off the quakes

12:17pm 09 Apr 2013



I'm not getting rich from the Christchurch earthquakes and rebuild, but some people are clearly overloading their bank accounts and I wonder what's wrong with me.

The rebuild will bring something like $30 billion into the province over coming decades and you'd think it would take average intelligence and little luck for a miniscule percentage to flutter into a wallet.

On current form, I'll trouser nothing more than my salary.

You'd expect demolition companies, architects, building company owners and of course lawyers to get filthy rich out of the Canterbury situation, but almost every week I hear another tale about people finding golden bounties slipped under their door by the money fairy.

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Cr Beck leaves Mayor Parker bleeding

09:25am 25 Mar 2013


peter beckPeter Beck announced today he won't seek re-election to Christchurch City Council. 

This hardly surprises, given the ''toxic'' disputes that have riven council since the quakes and Beck's essential gentleness.

Although Beck ''found the political infighting hard'', he's got sharper elbows than he admits.

First, he rose to be dean of Christ Church Cathedral, a significant position in the Anglican church in Christchurch.

And he stood up to his boss, Bishop Victoria Matthews, for as long as he could.

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