Archive for September, 2010

Soap-Box Derby for the High Street

27 September 2010

Young People’s Activities in Kaiapoi During the Holidays

24 September 2010


Mon – Fri / 10am – 3pm @ Kaiapoi Rugby Clubrooms

Lunch provided

Smoke-free / alcohol-free


ACTIVITIES INCLUDE.. ZORB / bone carving / sk8boarding / table tennis / SingStar competitions / hangi /touch rugby tourny / beach volleyball battle / Wii and MORE…. come check it out!!!

Kaiapoi Recovery Assistance Centre Up and Running

21 September 2010

If you run into people from Kaiapoi, The Pines or Kairaki who obviously need assistance, please advise them to go to the Recovery Assistance Centre that has been set up in the Kaiapoi Community Centre in Sewell Street, between Williams and Davie Streets.

Food parcels can be obtained from Kaiapoi Community Services, opposite the Kaikanui Hotel in Williams Street.

Rangiora Town Centre Strategy Adopted

21 September 2010

The Council today adopted the Rangiora Town Centre Strategy.

Staff are to continue planning for its implementation.  Obviously, there will be room for more community input at budget time.

I will report later on what is in it.

More on the Woodend Bypass

20 September 2010

At tonight’s Woodend candidates meeting, the Mayor said that he supported a State Highway Bypass of Woodend.  For the record, this is the crucial motion that the Mayor voted against on 2 September 2008:

That the Council adopts the modified Short Eastern bypass alignment as generally indicated by the Transit NZ consultation process as its preferred option, subject to NZTA acknowledging that the existing designation on the current alignment will not be used for four laning of the state highway and subject to a route being adopted that, (i) avoids New Zealand Historic Places Trust registered buildings and sites, and (ii) minimises the destruction of existing houses.

If this motion had not passed, it would have meant that the Council would have been tacitly supporting the four-laning of the Main North Road through Woodend.

There have been no other resolutions on this subject since then.

The Woodend Bypass: My Position

20 September 2010

I strongly support a State Highway 1 bypass around the town.  I always have – and I voted for it when it last came up at the Council.  I regard the current route through the middle of the town as totally unacceptable.

Note that the Mayor and Cr Cole both voted against the bypass.

See also and

Town Centres: My Position

19 September 2010

There has been ongoing work on the Kaiapoi and Rangiora Town Centres for some time.

The Kaiapoi one seems to have stalled – it started well before the Rangiora process, yet the Rangiora report is to go to the Council this week.  There also seems to be a lack of  wider community awareness of what was going on in Kaiapoi – but now the earthquake has changed everything.

Obviously the first priority is to finalise the Kaiapoi plan so that reconstruction of the town centre can get under way as soon as possible.  While the damage has not been so great as to demand a complete redesign, the loss of the Museum, for example, does present opportunities.

The Rangiora concept plan will demand expenditure – as will Kaiapoi’s.  The earthquake may cause a reprioritisation, but it is important that work starts soon in both towns and that progress is seen to be being made.

The other challenge is Woodend.  Even if NZTA decides for a bypass soon, we still have at least 15 years in which we need to be developing a viable and attractive town centre for Woodend.

The Ashley Bridge: My Position

19 September 2010

Costings have not been fully done, but early indications are that a new bridge serving Ashley, Loburn and Sefton would cost $8m-$11m.  If we were to continue repairing the old bridge it would cost about $2m over 20 years, still have to close it for up to 20 days a year and then need to build a new one.

To me it is a no-brainer.  We all know that the bridge is too narrow and has other deficiencies. The only thing standing in the way of building a new one would be the failure of the NZ Transport Agency to fund its share.

The Declaration of Civil Defence Emergency

16 September 2010

This was declared in Waimakariri, Christchurch and Selwyn early on Saturday 4 September and has been renewed twice since then.  It is due to expire at midday today (Thursday).

It has to be signed by the mayor.

The declaration gives wide powers to the Council, operating through the Civil Defence Controllers.  The extraordinary powers have not been used very much, but an example is the curfew that has been imposed on Kaiapoi and Pines-Kairaki.

A Disaster Like This – How Does Waimakariri Civil Defence Respond?

16 September 2010

Civil Defence is not an army ready to spring into action, although we do have small response teams – all of which have been active since the Earthquake.

The central body is the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) located in the Council Chamber.  An emergency power supply is available there.

The central people are the Controllers, rostered on one at a time (we ran this one mainly with  three of us) , and the Council’s Civil Defence Officers, Brennan Wiremu and Alicia Palmer.

There are five functional areas within the EOC, all Council staff pulled out of their normal jobs, although during this major emergency, they were bolstered by people sent from other councils (ranging from the Far North to Invercargill), volunteers, and other council staff.  An example of the latter were our swimming pool staff from Kaiapoi, who have been doing a great job.  The functional areas are:

  • Operations – which basically makes sure things happen.  The Police and Fire are part of this although the Police didn’t hang around, just keeping in contact.
  • Planning and Intelligence – keeping the records, keeping the big picture in front of the EOC.
  • Logistics – accessing material and supplies – everything from teaspoons to helicopters.
  • Welfare – looking after people, from food to accommodation to counselling to information services.
  • Communications – media releases, updating the website, preparing newsletters, etc.

Beyond that, there are all the links with the Government itself, with Government agencies (WINZ, Housing NZ, the Defence Force, EQC, etc.), other agencies like the Insurance Council and Enterprise North Canterbury – as well, of course, with the Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group and the national equivalent in Wellington within the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.

Within the Council a Recovery Committee was up and running very early – led by Simon Markham.

And then there are the guys out in the field – Council managers and staff dealing with roads, water, sewers, building safety, people’s welfare and so on.  The Fire Brigades from all over North Canterbury have been involved.  The Police have been brilliant.  Alongside them have be a host of volunteers from the University, Rotary, Community Max, the Amateur Radio Club, the Salvation Army, a large number of voluntary social agencies – an endless list.  They all go to show that we have a resilient and caring community.

The Earthquake – What I Have Been Doing

16 September 2010

For those who follow this blog, you will know that, until yesterday, nothing has happened on it since before the Earthquake.

Many hundreds of people, possibly thousands, have been involved in the response since 4 September.  Much of it has been hidden from the public view.  At the end of last week I took two staff members into Kaiapoi and Pines to have a look.  They had both been working extremely long hours in the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Rangiora but had not actually seen the area and the people they were working to help.

The EOC was in operation very quickly – well before 6.00am on the 4th.  We have four Civil Defence Controllers, and most of the controlling work has been carried by two staff members, Nick Harrison and Bruce Thompson, and a volunteer – me.  My role as a Controller has nothing to do with my role as a Councillor.

I have been on duty every day except one, and outside my time as a controller, I have door-knocked in Kaiapoi (starting on Sunday 5 September) and Pines Beach, delivered information leaflets, started to plan for the Recovery phase and reported to various groups about what is going on. I have also tried to keep contact with the Welfare Centres in Kaiapoi, Pines Beach and Tuahiwi.  In the first week, my days were about 15-18 hours each.  Every morning has started at 7.00am.

Other things, like this blog, have gone by the wayside!

Some of My Earthquake Photos

16 September 2010

The First Pier Fixed Under the Ashley Bridge

15 September 2010

With everything else, it is easy to forget that work continued on this!  For the record, the earthquake did not do any damage to the bridge.

This is just to fix the immediate problem. We still have to work toward a new bridge – and soon.

North Canterbury Business Awards

15 September 2010

It seems a long time ago now (the night before the Earthquake) – but congratulations to Karen and Karl Upston of Envirocomp for winning the supreme North Canterbury Business Award this year.

To find out more about them, go 

Congats too to all  the other winners.  They provide ample evidence that business innovation and enterprise are alive and kicking in North Canterbury – the kind of enterprise that will see Kaiapoi and Pines-Kairaki emerge from the silt.

“Affordable” Rates

1 September 2010

Are there any such thing? 

What you find affordable, I might not.  If someone thought rates were unaffordable three years ago, they won’t be finding them affordable now.

Perhaps we could ask those ratepayers in part of Mandeville whose rates have just gone up, in this year alone, by more than 11%.  And no, they are not getting a new water supply – or anything else new.

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