Podcast – Canterbury’s residential red zone

Speak Up Kōrerotia logoChristchurch City Libraries blog hosts a series of regular podcasts from New Zealand’s only specialist human rights radio show Speak up – Kōrerotia. This show is created by Sally Carlton.

The latest episode deals with issues surrounding land in Canterbury that since the 2010/2011 earthquakes has been zoned red and no longer suitable for residential use.

  • Part I: Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford talks us through the impacts of the red zoning on people still residing in these areas, including in terms of mental health. With reference to the Staying in the Red Zones Report.
  • Part II: What has happened with the red zoned land since 2011 in Waimakariri District and Christchurch city? What are the differences between the various red zoned areas? What lessons can the Waimakariri experience provide for Christchurch?
  • Part III: Public consultation processes – what suggestions have already been proposed? Are people disengaged and how can they be re-engaged? What is the importance of the land for today and future generations? What do you hope to see happen with the land?

This show includes discussion with Simon Markham (Waimakariri District Council), Rob Kerr (Regenerate Christchurch) and Evan Smith (Avon-Ōtākaro Network).

Transcript of the audio file

Mentioned in this podcast

Find out more in our collection

Cover of Waimakariri residential Red Zone Recovery plan Cover of Greening the Red Zone Cover of Staying in the red zones Cover of Christchurch Central Recovery Plan  Cover of Recovery Strategy for Greater Christchurch Cover of Monitoring Human Rights in the Canterbury earthquake recovery Cover of Natural Environment Recovery Programme for Greater Christchurch

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Cafe Reflections and Responders: Deb Donnell looks at Christchurch

Search the catalogue for Cafe reflectionsWriter and publisher Deb Donnell has done great work post-quakes – opening our eyes to Christchurch past and present. She has been an important part of the popular Facebook page CHCH EQ Photos. Her book Cafe Reflections on Christchurch City, 1975-2012: A Tribute to the Christchurch Central Business District Community highlights 20 cafes, from Madras Cafe books to Black Betty. In its pages she stops in at Christchurch landmarks like the Globe, Java, Honey Pot, and Dumplings.

Deb has been working on her Cafe reflections for some time:

Cafe reflections started in 2004 as a journey to get to know myself, to make sense of that particular time in my life, and to pay homage to the city I’ve lived in since 1969. (p.57)

This is not merely a book of cafe reviews, it also tells the vivid and painful story of what it was like to be in town on 22 February 2011. It is a tale of before, and after. She has writings from the time between the 4 September 2010 and 22 February 2011 quakes – sometimes they read quite eerily. On 19 January 2011 she said:

I walk down Cashel Mall to work every day, but I no longer feel safe. There is something that doesn’t feel right along here either …

Deb counterpoints pre- and post-quake situations. The book is full of personal memories, images, and anecdotes. Its great strengths is her knowledge of the central city and its people, businesses, and buildings. She shares what some of the cafe staff are doing now.

Search the catalogue for RespondersDeb’s next book was written with NZ-RT member Peter Seager: Responders: The New Zealand Volunteer Response Teams, Christchurch Earthquake Deployments. This book gives you a chance to look behind the scenes. It features more than 280 photos, and stories, from the New Zealand volunteer response teams – post 4 September 2010 as well after 22 February 2011.

Responders explains such things as how commercial and residential buildings were searched, how the engineers carried out their work,  rubble clearance, and business recovery and salvage.

The strength of this book is in the images combined with the words of the people who were doing the most difficult of jobs. It is a hard book to read – but only because the subject is hard. It doesn’t deal in nostalgia or sentimentality – and is honest and straightforward in its text, photographs, and captions. A Bealey Avenue two storey home has collapsed into one – a wall is inscribed “Clear: Smell is seafood. Confirmed 4 Mar” – “The source of the smell was found to be coming from a bag of mussels in a defrosted freezer …”(p.149)

Elsewhere:

A clock lies in the rubble, and the resident’s vinyl collection is scattered among the bricks. (p. 99)

Stonehurst Hotel is described as looking “as if someone dropped a dolls house from a great height …” (p.126).  The Hotel Grand Chancellor “discussions were fascinating and we learned a lot. They were so casual talking about how to bring a 22 storey building down on its own footprint”. (p.129)

Responders and Cafe reflections are two very interesting books with a unique perspective on the earthquakes and Christchurch.

Red, Green, Orange or White

coverA common Christchurch greeting now is  “What zone are you?”
This has come about as a result of the earthquakes in Christchurch and the subsequent government efforts to restore order and a future for our battered citizens. There will be many people buying land, building, making plans, and sometimes leaving us for somewhere less shaky.

Along with your new and fabulous plans,whatever they may be, it could be time to have a think about what you would like the new face of Christchurch to look like. The Christchurch City Council has made provision for you to make your comments on the Central City Plan.

Whichever situation you find yourself in,  the staff at our libraries are always happy to assist you find the resources you need.

Robyn Drabble, New Brighton

Red, Red Whine

Perhaps I will!

We’ve been Red  Zoned and despite all the confusion, misery and dislocation that this implies for thousands of us, I personally am just blown away by the superior adaptability of the English language, which has moved these words from a noun phrase to a verb phrase in half the time it takes to spit out the word “liquefaction“.

Turns out that moving from one suburb to the next is almost as fraught as the move from country to country, and I should know. Gone all our dreams for our home, gone our plans for the future, gone our little bit of paradise. Instead we join the legions of pale, sad people driving slowly down your street in search of a replacement dream.

But in the interests of taking it one day at a time, we do know one thing: we will have to rid ourselves of piles of  useless **** (insert here rude word of your choice that rhymes with “trap”) that we have hoarded over many  years.

So, where else do you turn in situations like this other than to our fantastic libraries for help? I think I know what I need right now, but I lack the energy to track it down. So I’m turning to you to suggest some reads for me. What could I be reading that might satisfy at least some of the following requirements:

  • Help me clear the clutter;
  • Make me feel that this purging is a spiritually rewarding path to take that will result in a new improved me;
  • Transport me to a world of pioneers who relocated and lived to tell the tale;
  •  Make me laugh!

I’ve loved all the recent blogs on getting back your mojo, but have to warn you that I am about as far from bouncing back as I could possibly be and that on a good day a gentle seep is about all that I can manage.

The truth is, this could have been the world’s shortest blog yet – just three little words:

Red zoned – help!