Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A long way yet

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  • Robert Fox,

    Weather wise you choose a great weekend for you visit Russell, there's nothing like warm sunshine to raise the spirits. I think you've nailed the general ambiance of the Christchurch above. Things seem to finally be happening here and while most in the city are pleased that a future is beginning to pan out there is still general unease about the Hobson's choice presented in the city plan. We all want the facilities and services that a normal functioning modern city requires but the trade off for getting them is proving increasing problematic.

    Since Nov 2006 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    As I’ve probably said in other threads, CERA seems to have given no thought to allowing short-to-medium-term solutions in the CBD: pop-up premises that are “temporary” but which could work for several years while bigger projects are worked out and built. “Temporary” destinations will keep the CBD alive; turning it into one big building site will kill it dead.

    Chch people have adapted to never knowing where businesses and facilities will be from one quake to the next. We go to what’s open, wherever it is. And all sorts of creative and wonderful projects are flowering in vacant spaces. CERA should be encouraging this organic and community-driven process and making themselves a part of it. We’re paying their goddamn wages.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    On a brighter note, Drexel's, who lost their original Hereford St location to the earthquakes, have now set up shop in Wellington.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Robert Fox,

    Nice summary. And yes- the best weekend weather since April! Grey skies, floods, and cold haven't helped.

    We all want the facilities and services that a normal functioning modern city requires

    Yeah. But does that include a 2000 capacity international convention centre at its heart, and a 35,000 capacity stadium?
    The case for both has simply not been made. And since they will cost us close to half a billion dollars we don't have, it'd be polite to try to sell us on the idea :) Some people I talk to are fine with it- others hopping mad.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I don't know how many people saw my pics of the Parekowhai bulls a couple of weeks back, but I think you can see in these pictures how delighted folks have been to have some awesome things in the CBD.

    We don't need perfect new buildings just now. We're used to bad roads and detours and piles of rubble. What we need is things that are worth going to the city to see and do. We've been so starved of reasons to go out. We need more events and shows and happenings. And we need time to thrash out the detail of the new CBD. We're all so tired and fun-deprived.

    If the community doesn't come together in the CBD then it's pointless having one.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Alice Ronald, in reply to Lilith __,

    You're right - so many Monday mornings are filled with finding out what colleagues did on the weekend so that you have an idea of something to do during the week or next weekend. What's open, exactly where such-and-such is going on, how far in advance do you need to book for restaurant X.

    Rob, I think there is an argument for places like the convention centre & stadium. Those sorts of large facilities are expected in a major city. They're not needed right this very minute, but 5-10 years down the track, when everything's coming together, it will be a boon to have them. Yes, it absolutely sucks that we're going to lose some facilities to make way for them - my workplace was supposed to relocate to an office space, which we've since discovered is right where the new pool/leisure centre is going. So no point in moving, if we're going to be kicked out in a couple of months. Would have been nice to get into a building with working toilets (OK, officially our toilets still work, it's just that the wall may fall on us).

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Mike O'Connell, in reply to Lilith __,

    Great to be reminded of those bulls Lilith, they were, they are, fantastic. Also the Monopoly site (the mini-digger and pink houses!) in Manchester St on the site of the former Cycle Trading Company. We need more of these to liven up the spaces laid bare.
    And venues, so the visiting bands that hit Auckland and Wellington also make it to Chch too. Paul Kean (of the Bats) was one of several musicians, etc asked for their views of what Chch needs in last Friday's Go, the Friday arts/entertainment supplement to the Press. Paul profiled his vision of a 500+ (or was it 1500) venue. It looked cool, a diamond shaped plan view. There might be a link to it somewhere on line.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 385 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Alice Ronald,

    our toilets still work, it’s just that the wall may fall on us

    Toilets of Damocles! Oh dear.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    I stayed on Pages Road for most of the way back, rather than going back through Avonside to take pictures as I'd planned... But mostly, it didn't feel right.

    It doesn't feel right; as a life-long observer, recorder, and picture-taker, I cannot take pictures of these sadnesses. It seems bad manners to document the death of other people's dreams. Thanks Russell for not taking pictures.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie, in reply to Hebe,

    Exactly thank you Russell and Hebe. I can't even finish a proper sentence on distaster tourism

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Tim Michie,

    distaster tourism

    Quite. I find myself getting irate at the foreign tourist types who drop for a day or two of gawping before going off for an extreme MacAdventure in Queenstown or wherever.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Hebe,

    It seems bad manners to document the death of other people’s dreams.

    I understand both the impulse to record and the impulse not to. I'm not sure red-zoned folk and their circumstances are better served by their being invisible. How can people in other places understand what's going on if they can't see it?

    Would we remember the Dustbowl Drought without Dorothea Lange?

    Documentation does serve a purpose.

    But context matters too. Perhaps the best possible thing would be to give some red-zoned people the gear and the forum to explain and record their own circumstances.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    does that include a 2000 capacity international convention centre at its heart, and a 35,000 capacity stadium?

    Rob, my understanding is that the convention centre is an attempt to reverse the catastrophic decline in South Island tourism since the earthquakes. I can see the thinking behind that but I don't see why Christchurch ratepayers should pay for it: that is where the government should pony up, even if only for an interest-fre loan while it's paid for. As for the stadium: why are we going to buy a park that only one sport will use; it can hardly be called a civic facility.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Lilith __,

    Yes, we need good photographs taken with good intent and respect. But for me I don't need to do it; others have more to offer. I like the idea of giving the residents the means (if they haven't already got them) -- maybe they don't have the emotional strength so pros could help out?

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Beautifully written post, and the comments. I just dont know and didnt want to guess the feelings of those there, and how being there was, as time has dragged on and the NACT govt reps stuck to their talking points.
    I guess Im starting to understand now.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Fox, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Some people I talk to are fine with it- others hopping mad

    And it looks like those who are hopping mad are going to be ignored as nay sayers while the grinding wheels of "progress" roll on. My main fear is that resentment towards these big ticket projects will endure, especially if costs escalate like they have for the Dunedin stadium, and more so if the home repairs programme continues at a snails pace. Just for the record I'm relatively ambivalent about much of which has been planned, exited about some things, less so about others, and on a personal level, I'm more concerned about getting my TC3 home repaired as soon as possible. In the final analysis though, what use is a repaired home in a broken city. Fixing up both shouldn't be mutually exclusive.

    Since Nov 2006 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • Alice Ronald, in reply to Hebe,

    Is there any indication that it would be a single-purpose facility? The previous stadium was used for several sports, plus concerts & other events. I'd be more likely to go to rugby games in a covered stadium that was closer to pubs etc for the aftermatch - I hated the idea of having to rug up & sit in the wind, then finding my way into the central city with an armful of scarf/hat/gloves/extra jerseys that had to be stowed somewhere.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to andin,

    reps stuck to their talking points

    That is infuriating. We are talked at, not with. Most of us have realised the new CBD has no place for the little people like we ratepayers. It will be all Louis Vuitton franchises, McDonalds, and shiny multinational bullshit. On the plus side, our "villages" will be left alone, places in which to live and create, and most of the life in Christchurch will go on. The sterile "world-class" CBD will be horrid.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Hebe,

    A case can be made for both stadium and convention centre. It's just that nobody has bothered. It's all guesswork and 'conventional wisdom.'
    Different arguments for each... but both, we are told, will generate jobs for locals and spin-offs for city businesses that make them worthwhile.
    Personally, I'm dubious a convention centre this size will be occupied at a rate that would make it worthwhile- not just now, but in 20 years. And I don't want it in the centre of the city. Full, it's likely to generate sheepskin and plastic tiki shops that will continue to make the centre a place locals avoid. Empty, it'll be a void, into which we throw money. Are there alternative uses? What about a town hall? Sharing facilities with a performance centre?
    Do we need a big rugby stadium? The IRB will say so- no tests if you don't build it, etc. But it'll be used (maybe) 10% of the year. No alternative uses are proposed. Many of the games (8-12?) will be the Crusaders- popular, but before the quake attendance was sharply down. Many will be ITM cup games- lucky to get 5,000 (again, pre-quake). It's a lot of money to tie up for a few (1? 2?) games of test rugby a year.
    The area around stadia is generally unsuitable for housing, so that's another issue.
    I'd like to see both built smaller, and in different locations. I'd like to see the 'cultural precinct' in the square, and multi-purpose (including a decent live music venue) so it's as busy as possible. It should draw people into the city centre.
    I'd like to propose that the investors so keen to buy our port, power company and airport invest in the stadium and convention centre instead. What- too risky, no return, too expensive? Yet we are supposed to sell assets to pay for them?
    If we continue to merrily and unthinkingly socialise the costs, and privatise the profits- we'll get more and more of this.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Alice Ronald,

    If it's like the old stadium, the rugby union will have the stranglehold on the bookings while the council pays for the stadium to operate -- and it's very expensive. On a per days-used-each-year basis, the stadium cost is exorbitant.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Hebe,

    the new CBD has no place for the little people like we ratepayers. It will be all Louis Vuitton franchises, McDonalds, and shiny multinational bullshit.

    ...who will all go broke and close down their stores unless locals shop there. Why would we go to town for the same old crap we can get in the suburbs? The CBD needs to be a destination, and it will only be that if the unique local businesses and niche shops get supported into the new city.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    I’d like to propose that the investors so keen to buy our port, power company and airport invest in the stadium and convention centre instead. What- too risky, no return, too expensive? Yet we are supposed to sell assets to pay for them?

    Word.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    I like some of the CBD plan, and I do not see the need for monoliths either. The thinking should be smarter not bigger, as you say. I like the green frame concept, but am very uncertain about the effect of its execution. I hope my fears for the city are unfounded, but on the up side the frame may compress those sort of developments into a small area, leaving the remaining area inside the four avenues ripe for colonisation by the small businesses and creatives.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Hebe,

    leaving the remaining area inside the four avenues ripe for colonisation by the small businesses and creatives.

    Hope so!

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Fox, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    I hope so to, but small start ups often rely on cheap end of life cycle rental space. Unfortunately the the Feb 22 quake dealt to most of those type of buildings.

    Since Nov 2006 • 114 posts Report Reply

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