100 actions in 1,000 days

May 30th, 2013 at 12:45 pm by David Farrar

Tomorrow is 1,000 days since the first Canterbury earthquake. Gerry Brownlee has produced an interesting list of 100 things the Government has done in that time. Some are significant, and some of course less so.

Since 4 September 2010 we have:

1.         Passed two pieces of special legislation allowing the Crown to respond appropriately to the Canterbury

2.         Established a dedicated government department, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority

3.         Passed 24 Orders in Council to amend or suspend laws to affect timely recovery

4.         Hosted 250 public community meetings, speaking to at least 30,000 people

5.         Had the Ministry of Social Development begin an outbound calling campaign to evaluate the immediate needs of older and vulnerable members of the community and get help to them.  Contact was made with over 20,000 people this way in the days after the February earthquake

6.         Zoned 181,000 residential properties in greater according to degree of land damage

7.         Created a website identifying residents’ land zoning, landcheck.org.nz

8.         Received an incredible 5.11 million views over its first 24 hours of the landcheck.org.nz website operating

9.         Hosted two expos covering insurance advice, council information and a winter wellness programme

10.       Hosted a Rebuild and Recovery Expo attended by over 5000 people

11.       Held 43 residential red zone land decision meetings for thousands of residents

12.       Held 20 residential red zone offer workshops for hundreds of residents

13.       Held 10 other red zone-related meetings

14.       Held two orange zone meetings for people awaiting final zoning

15.       Held six residential green zone land decision meetings to inform residents what the zoning meant for them

16.       Held 43 residential green zone technical land category meetings

17.       Held 21 Port Hills white zone meetings explaining the basis for investigating final zoning

18.       Held 15 Accessible City Transport briefings for members of the public

19.       Held 15 special workshops with professional and technical experts on a range of issues related to geology, geotechnical investigations and information we believed the residents of greater Christchurch wanted to know

20.       Produced 320 different CERA publications

21.       Produced and distributed over 1 million CERA newsletters highlighting major recovery news and initiatives

22.       Produced and distributed 36,000 CERA information and assistance brochures to specifically inform residents of the Crown offers, Technical Category 3 information, earthquake support services and other information about recovery

23.       Translated our factsheets and brochures into seven different languages; Arabic, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Samoan, Simplified Chinese, Traditional  Chinese and Tongan

24.       Sent out 6160 CERA tweets

25.       Held two celebrity bike races to celebrate the re-opening of key city streets

26.       Zoned 7860 homes red, as being on land unsuitable for residential occupation, and to date have entered into sales and purchase agreements with 7082 property owners

27.       Carried out maintenance at 6021 residential red zone properties

28.       Overseen demolition or removal of 2153 houses in the residential red zone

29.       Completed vegetation scopes of 795 properties and identified 975 individual trees and plants that will stay in place

30.       Planted 12 tonnes of grass seed in the CBD and the residential red zone as part of our clearance and maintenance programme

31.       Removed and recycled 200,000 metres of fencing from red zone properties

32.       Spent $1.2 billion purchasing residential red zone properties and been so proud to see those people moving into warm homes on safer ground – most of them still in Christchurch.  That’s right, they didn’t leave!

33.       Completed 30 individual cordon reductions

34.       Reduced the CBD cordon by 352 hectares

35.       Demolished 1470 commercial buildings across the CBD and suburbs

36.       Assisted 196,000 public visitors into the Cathedral Square area via bus tours and walking tours

37.       Registered 7309 cases with Earthquake Support Co-ordinators

38.       Answered 13,000 calls to the 0800 Earthquake Support phone number

39.       Undertaken 15,188 appointments through the Avondale and Kaiapoi earthquake assistance hubs

40.       Built a temporary stadium in 100 days – a stadium which this weekend will receive its 300,000th paid customer

41.       Hosted 20,000 local kids and parents at a free stadium open day with a range of fun events and refreshments

42.       Ordered 301 emergency demolitions through Civil Defence

43.       Established the Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service (CETAS)

44.       Assisted with 3392 CETAS requests for accommodation

45.       Built three temporary accommodation villages with a fourth under construction, which will bring the number of dwellings available for temporary stays while houses are being repaired to 123

46.       Had over 350 households stay in our temporary villages

47.       Granted 2163 temporary accommodation allowances, equating to an average $333,614 being paid each week

48.       Issued 97 CERA press releases

49.       Issued 127 Ministerial press releases

50.       Live-streamed seven press conferences

51.       Responded to over 4500 individual media enquires

52.       Conducted a Wellbeing Survey in conjunction with local councils, the Canterbury District Health Board, and Ngai Tahu which 2381 residents completed

53.       Published the Wellbeing Survey’s results and put in place initiatives to address areas identified as needing greater effort

54.       Co-ordinated 70 ‘Summer of Fun’ events over summers of 2011 and 2012 for kids and families hit by the quakes, many of them in Christchurch’s eastern suburbs

55.       Received 682 Facebook likes for the ‘Summer of Fun’ events, and 2874 likes on the main CERA page

56.       Hosted over 30,000 local kids and parents at those ‘Summer of Fun’ events

57.       Hosted 200 emergency services personnel and their families at a Christmas lunch

58.       Posted 158 educational and informational videos on the CERA website, ranging from five minutes to two hours in duration, resulting in 230,237 individual viewings

59.       Had 521 of those videos shared by viewers through their own social media channels

60.       Got agreements in place to purchase $228 million worth of central city land so we can build the anchor projects identified in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan

61.       Got contracts or agreements in principle now achieved for 43.4 per cent of the total land area required for the anchor projects

62.       Reached final settlement on 31 CBD properties required for the city’s rebuild

63.       Signed contracts for the purchase of a further 33 properties

64.       And reached agreement in principle with the owners of another 48 properties

65.       Spent $231.6 million on CBD land purchases required for rebuilding the city

66.       Begun construction on the first phase of the Avon River Precinct

67.       Got seven onsite Development Plans approved for the CBD’s Retail Precinct

68.       Completed a draft concept design of the East Frame – one of the priority anchor projects in the CBD

69.       Released an Expression of Interest document for potential tenants of the city’s Innovation Precinct

70.       Sent 1100 big yellow Amazing Place resource packs to Canterbury school children so they could compete in designing what we think will be the coolest kids’ playground anywhere in the world

71.       Had 6000 Canterbury children take part in the Amazing Place Playground Competition – and we thank every single one of them

72.       Announced that the playground will be named in honour of the amazing children’s author Margaret Mahy ONZ

73.       Completed over 96,000 EQC repairs in total, including emergency repairs

74.       Installed 18,740 heating systems

75.       Received a total of 467,135 EQC claims, 116,660 of which have been settled and closed

76.       Paid out $5.3 billion in EQC claims

77.       Established the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT), an alliance of CERA, Christchurch City Council, NZ Transport Agency, as well as City Care, Downer, Fletcher, Fulton Hogan and McConnell Dowell, to fix Christchurch’s destroyed underground water and wastewater infrastructure, and the battered roads

78.       Completed 257 SCIRT projects worth $122 million dollars

79.       Laid 23 km of fresh water pipe – that’s 33 per cent of the fresh water damage repaired

80.       Laid 161 km of wastewater pipe – 24 per cent of the damage

81.       Laid 10 km of storm water pipe – 40 per cent of required repairs

82.       Laid 211,083 square metres of road pavement – that’s only 16 per cent of the work to be done

83.       Had 8978 face-to-face interactions with locals about SCIRT work

84.       Distributed 1382 SCIRT work notices to 353,637 residents

85.       Got another 129 SCIRT projects worth $467 million dollars underway

86.       Issued 33,000 CERA passes to individuals

87.       Issued 1500 of those CERA passes for access to the residential red zone

88.       Issued over 200,000 renewals of CERA passes

89.       Held 18 elected members’ meetings for 120 councillors, community board members, CDHB members, Ngai Tahu representatives and Environment Canterbury commissioners

90.       Received 1958 letters to the Minister and 1377 letters to CERA’s chief executive

91.       Responded to 22 oral and 197 written Parliamentary questions about earthquake recovery

92.       Received 593 requests under the Official Information Act

93.       Funded dozens of key exporters to rapidly visit their key clients overseas so they knew their businesses were open, and how much their custom would help the recovery.  This resulted in a continued flow of business, and in some cases resulted in new business

94.       Directly supported 8000 businesses and 63,500 individuals (employees and sole traders)

95.       Paid $214 million in wage subsidies following the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes, which bought businesses time to adjust to the events and avoided massive redundancies which would have caused great harm to Christchurch’s economy

96.       Established the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust, which has raised over $100 million in pledged and received funds and has funded more than 100 projects so far

97.       Helped bring business back to the CBD by launching the Re:START container mall project, with a $3.36 million interest-free loan from the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust to help fund it

98.       Completed the Government share offer of Mighty River Power, which raised $1.7 billion for the Future Investment Fund, which will help fund important rebuild activities including more than $900 million in new capital funding for Christchurch including the Christchurch and Burwood hospitals redevelopment, funding for the justice and emergency services precinct, and tertiary education institutions

99.       Announced a $600 million plus redevelopment of the Christchurch and Burwood Hospitals, with the Government contributing $426 million towards it

100.    Announced the Government is investing $1 billion in restoring and renewing the education sector in greater Christchurch, including building or rebuilding 16 schools

Gerry also announced today that the Government has purchased almost two thirds of the land it needs for the CBD priority projects rebuild. The last two times I’ve been to Christchurch all the activity has been demolitions. Hopefully next time I’m down there, there will be some buildings going up!

32 Responses to “100 actions in 1,000 days”

  1. Redbaiter (11,656 comments) says:

    !01- Given a massive economic boost to all meat pie and sausage roll manufacturers in Christchurch.

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  2. willtruth (245 comments) says:

    Is there another example in the western world of a major national city still having its CBD closed 2 years after an earthquake? I can’t think of one, but it is a genuine question. If ChCh is unique in this respect, then why? Why did San Francisco et al get back on their feet so much more quickly? Are we useless in NZ, or is this earthquake globally unique?

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  3. Lance (3,830 comments) says:

    Fukushima’s well and truly still fucked

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  4. RF (2,338 comments) says:

    Good work Gerry !!!!

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  5. willtruth (245 comments) says:

    but Fukushima’s CBD is open though isn’t it? Not still closed like the ChCH CBD?

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  6. m@tt (804 comments) says:

    To be fair Lance, Fukushima and Canterbury are worlds apart in scale. San Francisco is a much better comparison.
    The massive delays in Christchurch are almost entirely a result of private insurance companies dragging the chain and the government refusing to play real hardball with them. Not that they really have much to bring to that game.

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  7. RF (2,338 comments) says:

    willtruth 12.55pm

    Maybe its because Christchurch had a series of severe quakes over 18 months that put back the recovery time.

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  8. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    The Feb CHCH earthquake was unique and I don’t think other cities were so affected in their CBDs.

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  9. willtruth (245 comments) says:

    So according to RF the ChCh situation is globally unique as a seismological event in the western world. That’s pretty interesting if it’s true. Does anyone know if the expert evidence backs this up? Accordingly to M@tt it doesn’t, and the problem is that the ChCH situation is globally unique in terms of the uselessness of the NZ response. I have no idea who is right, but I’d like to know.

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  10. noskire (863 comments) says:

    @willtruth Fukushima’s well and truly still fucked

    Christchurch didn’t get hit by a tsunami.

    m@tt To be fair Lance, Fukushima and Canterbury are worlds apart in scale. San Francisco is a much better comparison.
    The massive delays in Christchurch are almost entirely a result of private insurance companies dragging the chain and the government refusing to play real hardball with them. Not that they really have much to bring to that game.

    Correct, and many of the buildings that have been torn down in the Christchurch CBD suffered limited damage and could have been repaired.

    @willtruth, the Christchurch earthquakes are probably unique in the amount of aftershock activity and the extent of liquefaction.

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  11. burt (11,491 comments) says:

    Just not good enough… A Labour government would have given free money to all every day till the nasty earth shaky monster stopped bothering them.

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  12. KiwiGreg (3,589 comments) says:

    “Gerry also announced today that the Government has purchased almost two thirds of the land it needs for the CBD priority projects rebuild.”

    Oh cool, the government buying more land. That’s certainly how I want my taxes spent. fucking communists.

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  13. adze (2,133 comments) says:

    burt they might say they would, but if they were in government they wouldn’t – unless they had the Greens twisting their arm.

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  14. dime (13,021 comments) says:

    Labour/ greens would have done better.

    Step 1 – a tax levy on the rich to pay for the rebuild
    Step 2 – meet with local iwi, come up with a sensible amount of money that would make the taniwha happy enough to stop moving the earth.
    Step 3 – free meals in schools
    Step 4 – free public transport
    Step 5 – free phone & internet
    Step 6 – purchasing all red zone houses at above market rates
    Step 7 – capital gain tax to help pay for the rebuild
    and so on …

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  15. willtruth (245 comments) says:

    I wasn’t asking whether Labour would have done better.

    I was asking whether overseas juridictions have done better than us, and whether that is the reason why ChCh is a unique case in the recent history of western civilisation in still not having opened the CBD after 2 years.

    The most common view here seems to be that it is unfair to blame the NZ response, and that this really is some kind of historically unprecedented geological event. If that’s true then that’s pretty a pretty amazing fact. I’m surprised it is not widely known.

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  16. dime (13,021 comments) says:

    willtruth – i wasnt giving a fuck what you were asking 🙂

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  17. willtruth (245 comments) says:

    dime. Sorry, I thought you were responding to me. It seemed like you thought I was criticising the National response and that I was implying that Labour would have done better. Hence your hypothesis that Labour would have had a worse response.

    But apparently you weren’t responding to me. So your comment was a complete non sequiter? You didn’t think anyone was criticising National, but you just thought you’d say – in case we were wondering – that Labour would have been useless in this situation. Why do you feel the need to defend National so much even when nobody on the thread is even criticising them?

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  18. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    All paid for by the tax payer. Who pays most of the tax in this country? Yes the so called rich pricks.
    Did I hear a thank you? No, just the opposition and the cheer leaders for the left, the media, saying we haven’t done enough and we should be made to pay more. No wonder so many people leave this ungrateful country for overseas, they are so sick of the moaning and snivelling.

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  19. dime (13,021 comments) says:

    willtruth – i read DPF’s post. Figured it would bring in all sorts of responses from the left so i wrote a comment.

    its what i do.

    if im responding to someone i usually quote (first response anyway)

    in summary, go fuck yourself 🙂

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  20. Fost (92 comments) says:


    There seems to be an interesting definition of the CBD being ‘closed’ – I was down there just before Christmas last year and wandered around, admittedly lots of empty lots and buildings still coming down, but there all the same – offices looked open, business in place and working, shops open – I bought lunch with my son and ate it there in a very nice cafe. So by my definition the CBD is open – if not completely recovered.

    I also think there is a unique element to the CHC situation – people on this thread talk about Fukushima and San Francisco, as similar, but they were both areas that although recently also have had a significant earthquake, they are on known earthquake ‘hot spots’ – in the CHCH CBD it looks like there were greater number of buildings that did not survived the series of earthquakes CHCH suffered intact – as this is the first set of quakes that CHCH is known to have had in documented human history many buildings were not up to it – thus more extensive damage, and in many the damage effect is uncertain – a wall is cracked – is the building now up to strength or not – caution means let’s not put people in them, particularly if the after-quake shakes are of the magnitude CHCH is getting.

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  21. David Farrar (1,771 comments) says:

    The Greens did propose a tax for the rebuild. They were insistent on it. Not sure if Labour backed it or not – as with most things they probably had two stances on it.

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  22. dave_c_ (861 comments) says:

    I didnt see one item which said something like “We will ensure (or endeavour) that every homeowner who is affected and waiting for remedial work, will be told exactly when they are likely to have their issues sorted”, and no stats indicating the percent complete after 2 years !

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  23. gravedodger (1,704 comments) says:

    San Francisco and Fukushima did not have a bureaucratic levy fund manager with a small clerical staff that suddenly had to morph into an insurance company with the added problem that EQC had no assessment / claim management systems or staff of thousands.

    EQC spent inordinant sums of money just forming what each insurance company already had in place, and an ability to bring in resources from other offices in areas outside Canterbury to manage the claims

    Someone will write a book on the graft, greed and incompetence of EQC and how it mismanaged the process.

    We have only one claim dated October 2010 and are still waiting to have our claims settled both structure and contents.

    Lumley OTOH are pressing us to complete but accept we would rather complete the internal work, EQC’s part, before replacing the colorcrete paths and terraces that come under Lumley.

    EQC and the rort that is Fletcher Constructions involvement is a clusterfuck and that is being generous.
    Monkeys being awarded contracts that then have to be redone by tradesmen.
    Bribes being offered and accepted.
    Health and safety OTT “training and compliance seminars” taking valuable time from tradesmen.
    Queue jumping and work placement based on noise and influence rather than fairness or order.
    EQC assessments being conducted by a Builder, sic, and a retired policemen to assess false claims and fraud along with the damage.
    Non complaining claiments quietly waiting in appalling conditions while holiday homes and non residences were reinstated.

    Big Gerry had an opportunity to gain valuable knowledge from the now outed blogger about systemic problems but chose to throw him under a bus because his message was embarrassing, commercially and politically.

    I wonder if anyone will ever calculate the total cost of Hi Viz jerkins involved in the rebuild.

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  24. hj (8,596 comments) says:

    Will be interesting when all the smoke clears to see what lessons we can learn: where to build, where not to build; insurance issues; how to produce a mass mobilisation response without people falling over each other…?

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  25. burt (11,491 comments) says:


    Who has insurance now ? The lessons from this are don’t bother with insurance as the gummit will pay anyway….

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  26. scrubone (3,791 comments) says:

    The massive delays in Christchurch are almost entirely a result of private insurance companies dragging the chain and the government refusing to play real hardball with them.

    What BS.

    The holdup has been the fact that the ground has kept shaking for so long, and the task is so massive. Everyone’s affected by that – including the council who are the author of a lot of holdups themselves.

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  27. dc (176 comments) says:

    Let’s see, what’s missing, oh yes:
    101. Bailed out a major insurance company (AMI), assumed all its liabilities (final cost still unknown), and flogged the rest off to IAG at a bargain price. Clearly that is less important than:

    24. Sent out 6160 CERA tweets

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  28. hj (8,596 comments) says:

    One thing that struck me (being on good ground) is the number of people getting makeovers for (eg) cracks in a moldy old concrete driveway. Another is the fact that house A has secured it’s header tank, house B hasn’t done anything like that so house B gets a sizeable payout from EQC.

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  29. hj (8,596 comments) says:

    gravedodger (1,181) Says:

    yes anecdotally that all sounds correct. E.g a painter told me he was working on a holiday home at Church Bay while his own badly affected home wasn’t being attended to.

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  30. Floyd60 (117 comments) says:

    101. Eaten 9000 hot dogs.

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  31. Twinkletoes (89 comments) says:

    Living in limbo is not a nice place to be. The EQC scoped my semidetached town house in Merivale several months after the first quake and assessed my house as “moderate ” damage – around $50-$100,000. I rang them to see where I was on the list last year and they told me my file was at HQ waiting to be assessed, told me that it would probably be a year or so. After ringing again at the end of last year they said that I had been “apportioned” and was in “triage”! This week I rang to see how things were going and was told that I had been “recategorised” as a multi dwelling because they had found that they had been having trouble over shared fire walls. The fact that my next door neighbour that I am attached to sold his house for over $500k last week without this “firewall” palaver left them cold. My house took the hit and liquefaction, my semi detached neighbour had no damage. Luck of the draw.

    Fortunately it has been bought be a very nice young man, who , like some of my other friends, has furnished it and rents it back to the EQC for $250.00 per night. They then use it to put families in whilst their houses are being refurbished. Some people in Christchurch are coining it in but it is not the homeowners whose houses have been lost or damged. The only comfort I take from that is that at least some houseowners are having their places attended to, even if not me.

    When I asked if I could be moved from this multi dwelling category I was informed that that would be up to the settlement team. When I asked how to contact this settlement entity I was told that they are not allowed to give out their details. So I am stonewalled and livid! A total non person in the eyes of the EQC.

    My queries are because, at seventy, I am not getting any younger, and my sister has offered me a home with them in UK where I am originally from. The damage in my house is liveable, but I am frustrated that I have to sit around and wait and it seems to me that Fletchers, being the solo provider, are drawing things out to ensureat least ten years more guaranteed work.

    My builder neighbour tells me that a lot of contracting firms will not now work for Fletchers because of how they have been treated by them, late payments, quarrels about Fletchers penny pinching and refusal to do the job properly, when it can be skimped by glossing over damage with great saving of money.

    It really would be nice if they would deign to tell us where we sit in the eventual redo – but it is soul destroying that the EQC treat us as people who do not matter and who do not need to know.

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  32. freethinker (776 comments) says:

    Whatever Gerry & Co have achieved that the affected residents consider valuable the real issue is what has not been achieved that could & should have. The apportionment farce is perceived as either gross incompetence or self interest in keeping his snout in the trough so here is a solution – were EQC & Insurers or insured differ substantially on the cost of repair or feasibility of repair allow the insureds to choose who they wish to handle the claim and then both EQC and Insurer provide cross indemnities that when the final result & cost are established each party pays the other whatever is due.

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