Addington saleyards ripe for picking
If ever there is a site that exemplifies the buttock-clench of civic embarrassment, the Addington Saleyards wins hands down.
Every time I drive past this Deans Ave abomination, I have a Tourette's-like impulse to discharge a few expletives.
It's been well over a decade since the absentee Taiwanese owner, Ching-Ying Chiu, snapped up the site for $5.4 million dollars.
Zoning battles raged with the council before the-then mayor Garry Moore grandly gushed in 2007 that he'd brokered a deal allowing the construction of luxury high-rise apartments.
Five years on, with the financial crisis and the earthquakes, the state of stagnation remains.
The city council has confirmed to me it hasn't received any consent applications to develop the site. The council's enforcement manager, Gary Lennan , tells me that a fire hazard notice has been issued. It hasn't been complied with, so the council is seeking a quote for the removal of the jungle of tumbleweed and the costs will be recovered from Mr Chiu. Good luck with that!
How can this wretched farce be resolved? Where are you, Mr Chiu? Cera's Roger Sutton was challenged to compulsorily acquire the site last year. He won't. The notoriously non- communicative owner won't even bowl that visual atrocity of a wall - our little Berlin, that sneers at Hagley Park. If Chiu can't or won't develop this prime piece of real estate, our public authorities should have the courage to pounce.
We need some regular "wins" on the road to recovery. Last year's "early win" was the opening of the new AMI Stadium. The saleyards site is ripe for the picking as 2013's big win.
So, one of our city's finest cops has been hauled before court to plead guilty to assault. Sergeant Craig Prior's decision to grab a man by the "scruff of the neck", wasn't professional, but entirely understandable.
If some low-life taunted me about perving through and photographing my cellphone's contents, after I'd accidentally left it behind, I'd feel like punching his lights out.
Yes, Prior should be censured for failing to uphold "best practice" - to use a nauseating term. But to charge this cop, suspend him from duty and waste court time on such a trifling matter is extreme and absurd.
A good knight
The nation farewelled our broadcasting lion yesterday. I first met Paul Holmes when, at 20, I became Newstalk ZB's overnight host. He was an exceptionally generous coach and guiding force. On a local note, I'll never forget Holmes' abiding compassion, as we co-hosted the radio coverage on the morning of September 4, 2010, trying to make sense of the horror that had just monstered Canterbury. Rest easy, Sir Paul.