Christchurch quake's effect on hearts and businesses
Tue, 04 Sep 2012 10:05a.m.
By Kloe Palmer
It's two years today since Canterbury was rocked by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake, the jolt came completely out of the blue when most people were sleeping at 4.35am on a Saturday morning.
Luckily no one was killed, but the quake triggered the over 10,000 aftershocks that have struck the region since.
Two years on, while some have moved on there's others who are still battling with the destruction caused on this day two years ago.
Pam and Arthur Taylor have lived in their Pines Beach cottage for 20 years. Like most at their beach settlement , their property was red-zoned, severely damaged by the September earthquake and they have no choice but to leave the area that they love so much.
After a long wait, including two cold winters, their insurance company has paid out on their broken home.
“We didn't plan to be here, we thought we'd be gone by this stage, but we just keep saying to ourselves that it must be going to be good if it's taking this long,” says Mrs Taylor.
The Taylors have bought a section at a nearby subdivision Sovereign Palms and hope to be in by March next year.
Eighty properties in Pine Beach were zoned red, nearly half the community has moved on. Some are staying by choice, but the rest are waiting for their payouts.
“It's actually quite depressing because most people are battling in some way or another, it's like a bit of a ghost town because they demolished another half a dozen houses last week so it's not a good moral down here,” says John Cooke of the Pines Beach Residents Association.
In Christchurch random pockets of the CBD were damaged by the force of the earthquake.
Westende Jewellers was one business affected, and became the poster building on the nightly news following the quake. It's taken almost two years to relocate the business in the suburb of Sydenham.
Like many other displaced businesses it's unlikely Westende Jewellers will return to the rebuilt CBD.
The wave of thousands of earthquakes over the last 24 months has taken its toll not only on the heart of Christchuch, but also the hearts of those who lost their homes and communities in the natural disaster.
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4/09/2012 7:19:30 p.m.
The residents have been left in limbo, however, we do have a flash new container mall that no one can afford to shop in. With the average price of shoes $300 and shirts at $150. And local businesses were kicked out of the mall favoring shops from Auckland and Wellington. It is heartwarming to see commercial greed wins out over people.
4/09/2012 6:10:55 p.m.
Agree with Robo - we paid out over $1000 per mth on our business policy - waited 2 years for any pay out - which as our building was not yet decided if would be demolished ended up a tiny pay out that only paid for the removal of our equipment which we were forced to move after building owner forced it upon us, we were left unable to relocate due to high lease costs accross chc - left chc in the end.
4/09/2012 4:33:20 p.m.
Kathie Henderson wrote:
It's the arrogance of the silence that aggravates us more than anything. I am thousands of miles away from my damaged home, yet I hear the same nothingness as my tenants and neighbours. I occasionally email hoping that someone might just have the politeness to reply that yes, they are still swamped with work and are working on it....but no. I receive nothing. thanks to your informative livestream interview with Mr Anderson, I've learned more about the problem. So 20 percent of the houses have been repaired. While not a huge amount after two years, it's comforting to know they are ploughing on. It would be nice for them to keep us personally informed of the progress when we ask,
even in a form letter/email.
4/09/2012 2:13:20 p.m.
This is to say at least "disgraceful". The insurance companies are annoucing profits - large profits and seem to be running at their own pace at expence of humans, children, woman, men, old and young. These companies happily take your premiums each and every year selling the assurance that when something goes wrong they will be there to pick-up the pieces and get peoples lives back to normal as soon as possible WELL 2 years isn't soon and they seem to be able to make it nie-on impossible for legitimate claimates. Insuarnce companies should be named and shamed and those companies should be avoided due to their irresponsible antics of dragging this out purely for the sake of profits - w#nk$rs
4/09/2012 10:25:00 a.m.
The Innovation building is not yet opened. The site of the old Westende Jewelers has been redeveloped, however, and the new building opened in July.
When you say 'some' are still struggling - that's misleading. Many thousands remain in limbo, in broken homes, with EQC and the insurance companies leaving them very much in the dark. As little as 1 in 5 of the 100,000+ homes damaged in the quake have been fixed, and an even lesser proportion of those most badly affected have been repaired. Some still cope with raw sewage bubbling up from under their homes... two years on!
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