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26/05/11

22 June 2011

Update

Hi everyone

Seems ages since I last sent you an update.  Hopefully you will only have to check the website for updates.  I have attached the latest letterbox drop newsletter which will be coming your way if you live in Sumner.  So here is the latest info I have been able to gather.

FORUM: RE-VISIONING THE GARDEN CITY - Wednesday 25 May, 7:30-9:30pm. Canterbury Horticultural Society Hall. 57 Riccarton Avenue. This is a forum to give the gardening public of Christchurch food for thought as we make new plans for our Garden City.  Speakers will have 12 minutes each to tell us from which organisation or perspective they speak and then give us a succinct summary of what they deem important in re-planning our city.  Speakers will offer us history, experience, ideas. This is not a platform for politicising. It’s an opportunity for us, the city’s gardeners, to gather together and listen to interesting ideas to take home and ponder.  That way, we are better equipped to be involved in the planning of the city. This is a 2-hour meeting followed by supper.  Many thanks to the Canterbury Horticultural Society for making this possible. Parking available on site.  Speakers:

  • §         Dr John Clemens, Curator of Christchurch Botanic Garden “Christchurch and the Shape of Water: A Tale of Two Botanic Gardens"
  • §         Steve Bush, Trees for Canterbury  “Walking, Cycling, Native Plants and Me!”
  • §         Grant MacLeod, Christchurch City Council “Natural Play for All, Play Areas for Children"
  • §         Peggy Kelly, Packe Street Community Park “The Growing Need for Community Parks and Gardens in the City”
  • §         Neiel Drain, Former President Canterbury Horticultural Society  “Christchurch, Garden City of the World. Dream or Reality?”
  • §         Coralie Winn, Gap Filler “Filling Empty Spaces: Movable Scenes for an Earthquake City”
  • §         Di Lucas, landscape architect, Lucas Associates “Re-Gardening our City – Renewing the World Model”
  • §         Diana Madgin, Press Garden Writer and Garden Guide “How Christchurch Became The Garden City”

Red Stickered Homes – It was an encouraging meeting on Thursday 19th May.  As a result a Sumner CanCERN rep will be bringing the most pressing issues to a meeting with a member of CERA on Thursday.  The election process for the red stickered rep is underway.  A database is being compiled of all those who attended the 19th May meeting.  If you are interested in joining the red stickered group email your contact details to Red_stickered@sumnercommunity.org.nz

Stressed! – The Heart Foundation is offering free seminars on coping, staying positive, dealing with stress and heart health. All are welcome to come along and hear advice and information from four health experts.  See attached flyer

CanCERN Sumner Representatives – Terry O’Leary and Marnie Kent are stepping back from their roles as the CanCERN reps for Sumner.  There will be two new representatives nominated from Sumner, one from the Sumner Red Stickered group (to be advised) and one from the Sumner Business group (Max Capocaccia from MC Architecture Studio 41 Nayland St 326 5817).   Any queries, please email enquiry@sumnercommunity.org.nz or contact Marnie on 326 4144 and refer to CanCERN reps in your email.

Next Group Meetings – Remember it takes a community to make a community.  Your help in assisting at these meetings is a hugh help to achieving the Sumner spirit.  Check website for meeting information

Sumner Local Food Project Group – 1st Monday of the Month, 7 – 8pm @ FUSE, 25 Wakefield Ave. local_food@sumnercommunity.org.nz    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_160068330723990

Sumner Disaster Response Group – 1st Monday of the Month, 7:30 – 8:30pm @ FUSE, 25 Wakefield Ave. disaster_response@sumnercommunity.org.nz    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_129510100457370

Sumner Environment Group - 1st Monday of the Month, 8 – 9 @ FUSE, 25 Wakefield Ave. environment@sumnercommunity.org.nz    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_100328860056506

Sumner Creative Art Group – 2nd & 4th Monday of the Month, 7 – 9 @ FUSE, 25 Wakefield Ave creative_art@sumnercommunity.org.nz    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_129510100457370

Sumner Entertainment Group – email for updates and meeting dates entertainment@sumnercommunity.org.nz    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_208930335795944   

Sumner Greening the Rubble Group – email for meeting dates greening_rubble@sumnercommunity.org.nz   http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_208573175843494

Sumner Red Stickered Group - email for updates and meeting dates red_stickered@sumnercommunity.org.nz  

Sumner Urban Design Group - email for updates and meeting dates urban_design@sumnercommunity.org.nz   http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_159818857413717

Sumner Business Group – 1st Tuesday of the Month 5:30pm @ The Cornershop Bistro, 32 Nayland St. Email for information business@sumnercommunity.org.nz

Business owners – The Sumner Business Group are keen to start meeting.  The group is working on getting some guest speakers to offer local businesses some helpful tips and advice.  Keep an eye out on the events calendar.  Dates to be confirmed for future guest speakers:

  1. Deb Ross, a local marketing consultant whose particular interest and experience lies in consumer behavior as it pertains to retailing.  Deb is keen to help local businesses with the planning of the new and improved Sumner.  Topic includes:
  • §         The retail mix and product on offer must attract local residents on a regular basis to support local retailers,
  • §         Be unique and powerful enough to become a destination for people living in Christchurch and to open the wallets of tourists who visit the area.
  1. Caroline Blanchfield, the Business Development Manager of Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism. Caroline has assisted community groups of our nature in the past.

If you would like to join this group or be kept updated register your interest to business@sumnercommunity.org.nz

Needing to rebuild or repair your home after the Earthquake?. - Greg Young from Mt Pleasant offers the following advice: As a brief overview, all work has nominated “Project Management Organisations (PMO)”.  I’ll list the ones I know about, but there is probably more. 

Work estimated at under $100,000 +GST

Fletcher Construction     = EQC

Work estimated at over $100,000 +GST

Hawkins                 = NZI, State, IAG, Lantern

Stream Group       = Tower

MWH/Mainzeal     = Vero, AA

Beca                      = Medical Assurance

Arrow                     = AMI

The initial procedure is (please note that this is just a general overview and may differ from company to company):

1.  EQC complete a rapid assessment – this is just a quick evaluation to let them know what is damaged and what isn’t – it is non-conclusive

2.  EQC complete a thorough inspection so that they can establish a method to fix, and a cost associated

Your insurance company will also do their own inspections.  There is an overlap which is currently being legislated to allow insurance companies to tell EQC that the damage is over $100K – but this isn’t finalised yet.

1.   Insurance companies PMO will do an initial assessment of damage, and forward this on to the insurance company.

2.   Insurance company will accept liability of the damage based on the initial PMO inspection and hand it back to the PMO.

3.   PMO will assign a claim manager, and do an in depth assessment with cost adjusters and structural engineers to work out how to fix the buildings (if possible) and the cost to do so.

The only way we have been able to speed up this laborious process is to talk directly with the claim managers – if you don’t have one yet, put pressure on your insurance companies to accept liability and then put pressure on your PMO to assign a claim manager.  Some insurance companies are accepting independent engineer reports for building damage, and quantity surveyors for repair costs – it is worth asking.  The procedure with the PMO’s for work on behalf of EQC or your insurance company is similar, with the same dangers, so I’ll outline them both under the same heading. Once all of this has been you need to make a very important decision.  You have the option of letting the PMO manage the repairs, or you can opt out and manage it yourself (take a cash payout).  If your house is a complete demolition and rebuild, you can also build it on another site.  The main advantage of letting the PMO manage the repairs is that you’re not fixed to their estimate of costs – if other problems are found, then they will be fixed at no cost to yourselves.   If you opt out, then you only have the agreed amount estimated to work with – if this is based on a full demolition, then you do get the flexibility of using that money on a completely different design if you like.  There are a few points crucial points that you need to take care over.  If these points aren’t ensured to be correct, then you may end up losing money / having legal issues / being unable to sell.

  1. Make sure that any work the Fletchers Construction builders are doing is what your insurance company has authorised – if they are only authorised to demolish for safety reasons and then protect your building from weather damage – make sure that is all they do.
  2. Unless the repair work is just fixing something that was broken, then you’ll require a building consent - for example, if you’re changing your cladding from brick to timber.  Check the attached information from the Department of Building and Housing http://www.dbh.govt.nz/UserFiles/File/Publications/Building/Guidance-information/pdf/dbh-guide-for-building-work-consent-not-required.pdf
  3. If you can, nominate an architect/architectural designer to act on your behalf with your PMO.  This ensures that things progress for you, and when the PMO has finalised their proposal for you, you have a professional to check what they are telling you (you may have to pay for this time personally, but it is money well spent, and may be able to be reimbursed once the building contract is discussed).
  4. Ensure your architect/architectural designer has experience on the hills – it is a very specialised environment that we live in, and a lot can go wrong if done without appropriate knowledge.
  5. Ask your architect/architectural designer to recommend builders with experience on the hills – these builders will then need to be registered with the PMO so they can complete the work for you.
  6. Most of the buildings on the hills are by necessity architecturally designed, so professional fees should be covered by your insurance company – check your policies fine print.  This will cover fees for redesigning your current building to today’s standards, but also can cover design fees to design a different building that is the same size and specification level (as determined by your PMO).
  7. If you have a set of existing drawings, then that will help the accuracy of the estimate and specification level considerably – the council do have copies of a lot of our houses on their property files.

Contact your local architects and architectural designers that live in our neighbourhood that have experience designing in this specialised environment.

Can you help – FUSE have kindly opened their doors for the Sumner Community Group to use their venue for meetings.  They are a not for profit organisation providing youth with a safe place to get together.  The Sumner Creative Art Group will be using the venue for art classes.  However, the lighting in the venue is not too good.  Hamish is looking at purchasing some new lighting, but needs an electrician to help him install the light fittings and check some power points. If you are a qualified electrician and would like to support the community for a good cause by volunteering your time, please contact Hamish Flynn on 021 842 299.

Update from John Ombler, Acting Chief Executive, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority: 20 May 2011 - Three months on from February 22, we’re continuing to make good progress pulling together very complex and technical information to make decisions on the worst affected suburbs. While I understand people want to know now about their homes and communities, we have to ensure the information and decisions made are robust.  Work at the moment is focused on merging technical information about land damage with property damage information from EQC and insurance companies. More than a dozen public and private groups are helping to build a single scientific picture with data collected since February’s earthquake. This data’s being compiled on a suburb-by-suburb basis, with the greatest urgency placed on the worst affected suburbs close to the Avon River.   Costs and benefits of remediating land must be weighed up alongside this data, meaning it simply may not be feasible to return some areas to pre-earthquake standards. The staff here at CERA, along with our Minister, remain committed to providing certainty as soon as we can. It’s been a top priority since day one.   This week the Government released Budget 2011. It includes significant funding across a range of areas to assist the recovery work in Canterbury that is being led and coordinated by CERA.  To the end of last month, the Government had already spent about $1.2 billion on earthquake costs.  In the budget, it committed a further $5.5 billion over six years to its new Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Fund.  The Minister Gerry Brownlee has explained the Government created the new fund to ensure transparency of the money spent in the rebuilding.  The Recovery Fund will cover:

  • The Government's share of repairing essential local infrastructure - mainly water and roading infrastructure
  • Repairing state owned assets such as state highways, schools and hospitals
  • Welfare support through job loss cover and wage subsidies, as well as costs relating to the immediate response to the emergency
  • The Government’s financial support package for AMI Insurance.

The Recovery Fund also includes about $3.2 billion yet to be allocated. This will be used for any additional costs as well as for policy decisions yet to be made, such as temporary housing and any remediation of earthquake damaged land. You can read more about the budget announcements on our website.  On May 14th and 15th, CERA was privileged to take part in the highly successful Christchurch City Council Community Expo – “Share An Idea”. The expo, which attracted more than 10,000 people, highlighted the community's eagerness to take part in the recovery of their region and helping shape its future.  The CERA stand was staffed throughout both days by a roster of 30 of our team who were able to provide information about CERA's role in the recovery and talk to people about their thoughts and ideas. We also gathered hundreds of names and email addresses from people keen to receive information from CERA. Our team is looking forward to more opportunities to engage with the community in the coming months.  We’ve also been really fortunate to have the former mayor of San Francisco Art Agnos visit the city and share his experiences of rebuilding and recovering from an earthquake.  Art was mayor during the 1989 earthquake and has received widespread acclaim for his part in leading the city’s recovery. He’s given us some clear messages about the scale and complexity of the job that faces us, but also an enormous amount of encouragement.  Art says it is an extraordinary and opportunity moment in the city’s history and told us to reach for greatness in what we’re trying to achieve.  I think they’re really inspiring words, and what happened in the rebuild in San Francisco is a testament to that sort of wisdom.  Several Canterbury Members of Parliament visited the Red Zone on Monday to get greater understanding of the scale of demolition work still to be done. Led by CERA demolition manager Warwick Isaacs, the MPs were escorted along some of the worst affected streets in the central city and Warwick explained the process involved in working through demolition issues with owners and insurers.

Send this email onto other people who might be interested.  Don’t forget to have a look at the new website www.sumnercommunity.org.nz