Tag Archives: Earthquake recovery

New plans submitted for red-zone water facility

Christchurch Red Zone Lake



Jack Fletcher at Stuff.co.nz reports:

The group behind a proposal to build a new lake in Christchurch’s residential red zone has released an indicative design of the flat water facility aimed to transform the city’s east.
The East Lake Trust, chaired by David Goodman, released the plans on Monday. He said trustees were “thrilled with the new design”, which reinstates an original bend in the Avon River around the back of Porritt Park.

Goodman said the trustees feel they are “now on the home straight” towards the lake becoming a reality. Bringing back the original bend had the added advantage of allowing the lake to join up to the Kerrs Reach rowing sheds, while remaining separate from the Avon River.

Aquifer-sourced water would make the lake swimmable, meaning it could be used for triathlons alongside canoeing, waka ama, dragon boating and rowing.

Goodman previously said the lake would be an place where people could swim, walk and picnic. It was also planned to be part of the City to the Sea walk and cycle way running from central Christchurch to New Brighton.

The Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Gerry Brownlee had previously said he wanted to make the city’s red zone the “sporting capital of New Zealand”.

He said building a water course could attract global attention and solve the area’s flooding problems.

Once again I find myself putting pen to paper on the positive plans that continue to roll out for eastern Christchurch. A lake of this calibre would again be a real asset for the bordering suburbs and help put these locations back on the map. I take my hat off to the visionaries of the city, their initiatives and forward thinking is inspiring in itself. I think most of us will agree, that while we miss the “old” there is no doubt that the new is going to be far superior. Largely with affordable real estate, a new city and many new facilities emerging, Christchurch unquestionably has a positive future and certainly will be a great place to live for many years to come.

Back to business as usual following Sunday’s seismic surprise

Untitled designSunday’s magnitude 5.7 earthquake may have come as a surprise to many of us, however it serves as a timely reminder that occasional jolts are part of the ‘new normal’ we’ve all tried to get accustomed to following the events of 2010 and 2011. After significant shakes like the one on Sunday, it’s important we remember to continue to look out for each other, especially those who are alone, infirm or need extra support.

As far as property damage and claims go, The Press reports:

Insurance claims after the quake on Sunday are close to 500, said earthquake minister Gerry Brownlee after a briefing by the Earthquake Commission.

There have been 496 claims in total as at Monday afternoon for damage caused by the 5.7 magnitude earthquake that rocked Christchurch.

If you’re currently in the process of buying or selling a property (i.e. have a contract in place), our advice is to check the property in the first instance. If you have any concerns, it would pay to have to have a more thorough inspection carried out by a suitably qualified professional. You have three months to lodge a claim with EQC, and it will be imperative to have a claim lodged if there is any damage prior to settlement, so that such claims can be assigned to the new owner. Broadly speaking, it appears the majority of Christchurch properties (save a handful in a few localised spots) weren’t significantly affected by Sunday’s event.

Results from this week’s auctions suggest buyers were largely unperturbed with 13 properties from 17 selling under the hammer at Harcourts Gold, 7 from 11 at Harcourts Grenadier and 12 from 17 at Harcourts Holmwood. Even uninsured properties sold well with competitive bidding this Thursday.

As far as insurance goes, we’re yet to hear of any reports of tightened criteria or stand-down periods as a result of the recent seismic activity, which is encouraging. See also: ‘Christchurch earthquake: Insurers not expecting big claims’

All in all it’s simply a case of back to business as usual. As we approach the 5th anniversary of the February earthquake let’s get on with doing out bit to making Christchurch the first class city it’s set to become!

Big year ahead for Christchurch rebuild


Insurers are on track to settle the vast majority of Canterbury earthquake claims by the end of this year, the Insurance Council says.

Figures released by the council show that nearly $16.7 billion had been paid out by December 2015.

That figure included 139,858 domestic claims, to a total of $7.8 billion – less than half the total.

Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton said the figure reflected a 21 percent rise in the settlement rate last year, compared to 2014.

“That’s just absolutely massive in New Zealand history – as we know its been the biggest event this country has ever known in terms of damage.”

He said 5400 major repairs and rebuilds were settled last year.

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‘As is, where is’ December 2015 update

AS ISWHERE ISTeam Griff chalk up their 155th ‘as is’ sale

This Thursday with four auctions to be called Team Griff will reach yet another milestone, surpassing their 155th ‘as is, where is’ sale. Who knows with the demand for our services ever increasing there may well be another 100 plus to come! Continue reading

Reinsuring your damaged home: 5 essential steps

Reinsuring Your Damaged HomeIn recent months, we’ve noticed an increased number of buyers who are looking to purchase damaged ‘as is’ properties to repair, renovate and on-sell. While it’s encouraging to know that these properties aren’t just going to be patched up and rented out, it’s important to know the essential steps in going about it. Continue reading

Canterbury construction at record levels

Construction ChristchurchLiz McDonald at The Press reports:

Construction in Canterbury is at record levels with the peak yet to come.

Nearly $4 billion worth of construction work was done in the region last year – a record high and 38 per cent more than in 2013.
The Statistics New Zealand figures include more than $2.5b worth of home building, up from $1.6b the previous year.

Anthony Leighs, head of Christchurch’s Leighs Construction and chairman of the New Zealand Master Builders Federation, said the industry was “very, very busy” and would remain so until at least 2016.

“We haven’t peaked yet. I think that will happen towards the end of this year and into the next year, when some really significant projects will be ramping up.”

The last three months of 2014 were the busiest on record for construction in Canterbury. The region is the second-busiest for building work in New Zealand, behind Auckland.

And it’s certainly noticeable! Almost everyday, I’m seeing new houses being built, new buildings in the central city, roads repaired and infrastructure being laid. While momentarily disruptive, there’s solace in the fact that soon our surrounds will be much improved.

Statistics New Zealand said Canterbury’s construction spend had been rising steadily since the earthquakes, and was almost two-and-a-half times what it was before the start of the quakes in 2010. The rate of increase now appeared to be flattening, it said.

A total of 7300 new homes and 5200 alterations got consent. Ninety eight per cent of house building approved was private.

Major Canterbury building projects under way include $650m of work at Burwood and Christchurch hospitals, the central Christchurch bus interchange and emergency services and justice precinct, and school and university builds. Yet to start are the convention centre, performing arts precinct, metro sports facility and central library, and a new school for the north-east suburbs.

Nationally, more than $15 billion worth of building work was carried out in 2014, up almost a quarter from 2013. Together, Auckland and Canterbury accounted for $9.7b of this.

With all that our city has been through over the past few years, it’s definitely exciting to see that things are on the up.

The TC3 home solution

Over the weekend I made a point of checking out ‘The Cantabrian’ – a concept home with foundations specifically engineered to perform during seismic activity. Definitely appealing and well worth checking out! It’s on display at 81 Cranford Street, 12 noon – 2.00pm Monday through to Saturday.

Via Rebuild Christchurch:

In the same vein, last week I had the honour of selling my first post-quake rebuild in North New Brighton – may it be the first of many more!

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Rebuilding Christchurch’s future

RebuildPersonally for me, living amongst it in a city in the rebuild is quite invigorating. In the weekend after returning from a bike ride in Bottle Lake Forest (right on our doorstep) and taking a quick ride around our local neighbourhood I counted nine properties being rebuilt within 300 metres of our own home.

This for me says it all, there is life after an earthquake! With so many new homes being built this simply reinforces that people’s confidence is returning and I think it is the most positive message any community can have following such a devastating event.

It would be fair to say now, that this is a city-wide trend as we move from the more basic EQC/EQR repairs into the more substantial remediation program and new builds. The city is abuzz of tradies and contractors working tirelessly to see our neighbourhoods restored to normality. Prior to daybreak a week or two ago there were 6 concrete mixers lined up in our street to pour the new floor slab for one of my neighbour’s houses – apparently there were another two after that as well. And just last week after returning home from attending the national Harcourts conference (where I am pleased to report that both Harcourts Gold and several of the Gold team collected national awards) the framework of the house on the corner seemed to appear almost overnight.

Living, working and daily witnessing the positivity of the city moving forward into a restorative mode is something that I am really enjoying being a part of – growth is good!

So I say good on you Canterbury, we can fix it and the future is bright for us all.

Enjoy the week and keep warm – I’ll certainly be wrapping up well for my bike ride these coming mornings.

Parklands rebuild ramps up

Parklands RebuildDriving to work this morning (a mere 3km with no traffic – bliss apart from the pot holes), I counted five new rebuilds at a quick count. The extent of this rebuild locally is really beginning to gain momentum. The sense of community “in the fix” and being rejuvenated is both exciting and confidence-building. Three years on, the fact that there is life after such a massive event – and what’s more, a life after for Parklands – is such a positive message in itself. To actually witness the reality of it happening is a huge morale booster for us all.

After all, we live here because of the lifestyle it provides – there’s not too many places in town where you have the beach, a forest and multiple golf courses virtually on your back doorstep!

Witnessing the transition from the demolition and investigative phases into the repair/rebuilding phase is great in itself and personally I’d rather see concrete mixers and Place Makers trucks in the neighbourhood rather than excavators and geotechnical drilling rigs – new plus growth is good!

On a real estate note, the market has also moved to the next gear with the New Year market tracking positively, open homes well attended and local sale prices on the rise. With the city spring-boarding forward following a strong 2013 after the best part of 13 per cent capital growth. The list to sell period remains relatively short at 35 days.

Clearly life is going on in our buzzy community and I don’t know about you but I’m loving the can-do and “we can fix it” attitude that is reverberating throughout our streets and neighbourhoods. Bring it on!

Bright economic outlook for Canterbury


With an annual growth-rate of 6.2%, the outlook is looking bright for Canterbury as the rebuild progresses.

The ASB Cantometer, an indicator designed to capture the pick-up in Canterbury activity as the earthquake rebuild progresses, remained steady at 1 (zero indicates the level of activity prior to the earthquakes) for the fourth consecutive month in November. Encouragingly, recent data showed a strong rebound in building consents after a flat patch. Other data have been more mixed. Here are some snippets from ASB’s report:

Over recent months we have focused a lot on building consent issuance, which appeared to have plateaued. We were concerned whether the cause was merely a temporary blip or emerging bottlenecks. Encouragingly, the data for September showed a strong rebound in consent issuance. In fact Stats NZ reported that the 599 new dwellings consented in the month was the highest recorded monthly total for the region.

For now, it remains too early to judge the impact of the RBNZ’s new ‘speed limits’ on high-LVR mortgage lending. The RBNZ will closely monitor any impacts on construction. In a sign that some of the pressure within the Canterbury housing market may be easing, there has been a lift in fresh home listings over the last couple of months.

The outlook for Canterbury remains very bright. Data suggested that growth in construction may have leveled off around the middle of the year, but more recent evidence suggests that activity may be starting to accelerate once again. There are also tentative signs that supply constraints in the housing market may be starting to ease.

I’m quietly optimistic about what 2014 has in store for Christchurch. While it mightn’t be entirely smooth sailing, the sheer amount of money and resources being poured into the garden city will ensure it remains to be a major economic powerhouse for some time to come.