Wednesday, 1 February 2012

How about we kill the planners instead? [update]

It looks like planners helped to kill people in Christchurch. From the ongoing Christchurch inquiry:

The building at 605- 613 Colombo St, … was green stickered following the September earthquake. The Boxing Day aftershock caused much more significant damage to the building, and it was red-placarded. [On February 22 it killed four pedestrians and crushed eight passengers on a bus.]
    Consultation between the owner and its engineers resulted in a decision to demolish the building but, because the building had a heritage classification, the city council required that the demolition application be a notified consent application. This process would have taken some months.
    There was no protective fencing in front of the building at the time of the February earthquake.
    Ann Brower, a lecturer specialising in regulations [who was pinned under rubble on the bus], said: "There's some irony in the fact that it was a failure in regulations that nearly killed me and which did kill those closest to me [on the bus].''
    …[T]he collapse of the facade of the building at 603 Colombo St killed Joan Weild, 76, and Graham Weild, 77, and Israeli backpackers Ofer Levy, 22, and Gabi Moshe Ingel, 22, who were walking in the street nearby.
    The heritage classified building was severely damaged following the September earthquake and was yellow-stickered. Following Boxing Day, it was red-stickered. Make safe works were to be completed before January 31 2011.
    But no make-safe works were completed on the building and instead a decision was made to demolish it. As this building was also heritage classified, the process involved a notified consent, which was to take months…

An entirely avoidable tragedy.

[Hat tip Julian D.]

UPDATE:  That was then: Here’s Councillor Frau OberGruppenFuhrer Sue Wells speaking out on CTV after the first quake  to tell building owners, sorry to ORDER building owners, that they may not even THINK about demolishing their dangerous buildings, not without the express, explicit, paid-for permission of one her grey ones.  The bitch.

And now? … “‘An engineer lashed out at city council processes for being “too time consuming” at the Royal Commission of Inquiry today, after paperwork delayed the demolition of a red-stickered building which later collapsed in the February quake – killing four people…’

Feel free to email Sue and tell her or any other councillor what you think: .


  1. And nobody is personally responsible. No person can be sued.

  2. I am looking hard, but I cannot find anything in your post or the news article that points the finger of blame at planners.

    It seems to me that it is more about lack of co-ordination, poor work by engineers and the Bob and Tony Show that should carry the can.

    One more case of property before people.

  3. Odd, I had to post as anon as when using my wordpress creds the catchpa was rejected five times, but as anon accepted at once.

  4. Hal Incandenza1 Feb 2012, 21:25:00

    "One more case of property before people."

    One thing libbos never ever do, other than all the time.

  5. Idiot Hal fails to get the point that people are their own property...that they are inseparably from that fact.

    Mix contexts much Hal?

  6. Our family had a property in the Christchurch CBD that was subject to a heritage order. The comments by Sue Wells post the September quake were well understood by all of us. If we demolished our property without their consent there would be serious repercussions. The threat was very real.

    We closed our building for safety reasons and placed some supports to protect the street as best we could. Fortunately when the February quake struck no-one was standing on the street in front of the building as the whole fascade collapsed.

    It appears that some people were not so lucky as heritage buildings collapsed and killed them that, without the arrogance rules of planners, would have been demolished before February.

    The video is damning and she is a party to the death of innocent Cantabrians.

  7. That bitch Sue Wells looked very horny. Perhaps, this explains her dictatorial tone about other people's properties.

  8. Anon,
    It was nothing to do with a lack of co-ordination and as explicitly stated in PC's post (and experienced by our family) it was the planners who stalled demolitions.

    For more, see today's Christchurch Press

    "Owners wanted to demolish heritage buildings whose facades collapsed, killing 12 people, a month before the February earthquake but faced a long consent process because of public interest in the buildings, an inquiry has heard."


  9. What about her comments at 2:00 to 2:10 re Fletcher Building's donations.
    Out of the generousity of their heart or are they expecting a payback?


  10. Here's a bit more information. It wasn't the planners. It was the council's failure to use the powers parliament gave it, and the incomprehensible failure to even put up a fence.


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