2011 - Record Of A Catastrophe And Recovery!

Archived Gossip: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007



Café talk last week seemed more interesting than ever. Perhaps café-goers were relaxing into Christmas mode – one even driving all the way from New Brighton to Sydenham for his cuppa on Boxing Day. Perhaps it was the culmination of a year of stress or, perhaps people are coming to the boiling point – will YOU be turning up to the protest meeting in the foyer of the Christchurch City Council building on February 1 st? Anyway, apart from the Marryatt debacle, I can tell you what six of the major points of interest will be in quake-torn Christchurch in 2012.

  1. Insurance.
  2. Insurance
  3. Insurance
  4. Poor communication and the growth of PR speak.
  5. Christchurch City Council intimidation of rate-payers.
  6. Engineer and technical reports.

Forget rugby, forget quantum physics, forget Mayor Parker and his council, forget Gerry and the Wastemakers, insurance will be the talking point in 2012.

The Insurance and Savings Ombudsman in Wellington has a dedicated phone line for inquires and complaints from Quake City residents plus an downloadable information sheet on their website for those affected. YES, I wnat to know more about insurance matters.

Iain, who is in charge of earthquake matters, said that there have been over 400 inquires so far since the quakes began, but only 16 complaints. That will change in 2012. Some café-goers were talking about legal action and said they know of dozens of others in the same boat – they are just waiting for “deadlock”. Deadlock being the final hoop in the insurance circus. Another hoop is that the Insurance and Savings Ombudsman cannot rule on cases over $200,000 unless the insurance company agrees to it. Hoopla!!

If you are wondering what a photograph of a bee's arse is doing at the head of this posting, just bear in mind not only can it sting, but it can crap all over you!

Enjoy 2012 wherever you are!



25/12/2011 : santatoo

Happy Christmas and all that. Even a new round of earthquakes on December 23rd did not put too much a damper on things as this fellow in the central city shows. (Yes, Keith, it is a female on the right. She gave her name as Jane then took to her heels after being photographed with Santa!)

French visitors Piat and Marie headed for the hills before the quakes struck.paragliders

From the island of Reunion, the couple headed to the Alps for some paragliding.


Leaving poor Jo to mop up the water pouring from her quake-damaged hot water cylinder.


Or, dodging this rubble in Peterborough Street.


Or clearing up the liquifaction - yes, it is the former Lancaster Park (AMI Stadium) in the background!





wetpitch Hand watering only says the Christchurch City Council so out comes Harry, of Turf Technologies Ltd, to give the cricket pitches at Sydenham Park a drink.

What is this fellow doing? manone

And him? mantwo

How about this fellow? sydenhamstrawberries

Andy's garnering a bit of Christmas dosh wheeling baskets of strawberries up and down Colombo Street and using a bit of Irish blarney to sell them - he's from Dublin! The other two have to remain nameless for their own protection


19/12/2011: Noah ( Pete Majendie) and his Ark of Hope are snapped for posterity by The Press photographer Don Scott in Sydenham Square.

donandnoahMajendie and the Side Door Arts Trust have built the Ark as an interactive art installation - in otherwords you get to walk through the ark and experience all sorts of weird things.... but be quick, it closes this Thursday!


17/12/2011: Old fencers never give up, they just leave the country!


Had a phone call recently from a former fencer from last century (Pre 2000 to you younger blades.) offering his old gear to a good home – a local fencer or club. He took up fencing under coach David Eccleston in Napier in 1966 and stopped in the early 1970’s. He is an aid worker overseas and was back in New Zealand to tidy-up which included passing on his gear – sadly it’s too old and out of date but the thought counts, so thank-you David Wilkinson. Read about what this former fencer gets up to OVERSEAS.

Psst, over thirty and a fencer??oldfencers Christoph Büchel, 2011 (source)

How about trying the Masters Games in Dunedin in February 2012? They even have a visual foil competition! More info at: MASTERS FENCING The entry fee is $75 plus a $15 sport fee But there is a special for superannuitants!






Salvage operations started today at the former Sydenham Post Office before the Knock-It-Downs get to work on it's demolition.


12/12/2011: It’s billed as the Ark of Hope – an interactive art installation for all ages. arkone

Buggered if I know what that means, but boy Sam, left, and Pete where hard at it when I caught them on Saturday constructing the bare bones of the ark on top of a big box. Pete's got a model of what it will look like when finished.

It opens in Sydenham Square, near the old Post Office that’s about to get the attention of the Knock-it-Downs, at 7pm on Friday December 16 th so you’ll have to wait til then to see what it is all about.


Who knows, it might just slow the traffic on Brougham and Colombo Streets long enough to consider stopping to see how the old suburb of Sydenham is going ahead and set to become the new CBD!


9/12/2011: A connectics driver experienced a sinking feeling in Sydenham yesterday.


The team was working on a cleared site facing Colombo Street and parked their van on the former footpath, behind the safety fence, when it gave way embarassing the young driver (face hidden to protect the young)!

No, it has not stopped the rebuild in Sydenham which has become the new city centre!


8/12/2011: GOING, GOING...soon: bnzbuilding

Wow! Someone is listening! Us quake-city survivors have another weekend of central city walkabout: See posting of 5/12, below, on Disaster Tourism.

“”The walkway into Cathedral Square will remain in place for another weekend, instead of closing this Sunday as originally planned. The walkway follows the lowest-risk route along Colombo Street, beneath several buildings that are being prepared for demolition. Roger Sutton, the chief executive of"" (SAYRAH) ""says the work on the largest one - the BNZ building"" (above)  "" is progressing well. But as the actual demolition work hasn’t yet started the walkway beneath it can safely remain open longer than anticipated.””


7/12/2011: Amid Sydenham’s rubble the poppies grow, bright red signals of a city’s woes…poppyone

with apologies to Lt-Colonel John McCrae.


Inveterate café goer Maureen Fletcher, who died in a nearby Colombo Street café in February’s earthquake, would appreciate the symbolism of these poppies growing in Sydenham. She once ran a popular ashram in the North Island and had a strong belief in spiritualism.

Why are poppies so symbolic? Have a read! poppytwo



5/12/2011: A walk in the locked-down red zone on Sunday or, the financial future of central Christchurch.


Back in the early 1980’s Aussie folk group REDGUM had a hit called "A WALK IN THE LIGHT GREEN. It was a song about the horrors of the Vietnam War and it touched a raw nerve among a population that had been overwhelmed by the media coverage of the Asian war more than a decade earlier, but now consigned to history. If we are lucky some Kiwi musician will do the same for the Christchurch quakes - a world-wide hit - and the sooner the better for the financial future of the CBD was evident on Sunday afternoon, tourism – Earthquake Tourism!


With the central city out of action for the next five to ten years disaster tourism has the makings of a profitable business for Sayrah or the Christchurch City Council for on the weekend xxx (waiting for Sayrah’s figures for the weekend’s tramp! About Monday’s posting – I did e-mail Sayrah for an actual count of the number of people who used the Square walkway last weekend, but to no avail – they are usually super fast with their responses - though they did publish a media-speak press-release this morning: Does our Roger speak like this????) thousands sauntered the narrow, fenced in path to the Square and back.


Many were locals out to see the damage for themselves, but many were tourists on an adventure trip to the site of a disaster. We should take advantage of that very human trait – curiosity!



2/12/2011: Here’s a great way to promote our ravaged city world-wide – a last building standing hunt.


Install ten video cameras at various points in the locked down central Christchurch so viewers can watch from a distance and first to spot a live person without a hi-vis jacket and hard-hat wins a vial of liquifaction.

Think I’m kidding? Have a look at this "Hunt The Haggis" site and take note of how widely popular it is.

The options are endless; hunt Mayor Bob, hunt the Liquefaction, hunt the Red Sticker Breakers, etc, etc. In fact CCC and Sayrah could save vast amounts of your hard-earned dosh for they wouldn't need to pay for Private Eyes, busses to take folks through the central city, plastic cones and hi-vis jackets and hard-hats. Is our city worth watching? Read this fascinating story in the nation's top newspaper: "THE PRESS'.

For the three of you quick off the mark asking about the pix, above, it shows how quickly the weeds (and grafitti) are taking over vacant sites in Sydenham. In this case the corner site once inhabited by the wee printing company, Angus Donaldson, who have moved further up Colombo Street on the other side.



28/11/2011: Two old buildings in Sydenham are in the news this week.

The first, the former Sydenham Post Office is to come down while, the second, is to be restored!


Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward, GCMG (God Call Me God) laid the foundation stone of the PO in 1911. downone


It is constructed of double-brick with a stone facing as can be seen in this pix. sdowntoo

A dangerous mix?

More about God Call Me God.



It is good news for this old cottage in Harold Street, just off Buchan Street, as new owner Rod Stuart inspects his latest acquisition. sdownfour

The Sydenham businessman plans to restore the tiny cottage, built sometime between 1860 and 1870, and live in it.



26/11/2011: Where have all the voters gone?? votethree

If only Christchurch’s recovery from the great catastrophes could be managed like a General Election – people kept in the dark for ten hours on the Day then everything revealed for all to see.

Here a delighted Dean brandishes the sticky label that proves he has cast his votes.voteone

You are not allowed to take pictures inside a Polling place, just as you are not allowed to take pictures inside the fenced-off central city. But that is changing albeit slowly, too slowly.

Ask at a Polling Place how many people have turned out so far and you are told nothing, just like the quake-savaged citizens of Christchurch. As the Rev Coleman said at last weekend’s march to CERA (Sayrah), “Cantabrians throughout our region have been asking, pleading for open dialogue with the Government.”

However once the votes have been counted all is revealed and a veritable avalanche of information is unleashed upon the citizens unlike Civil Defence, Sayrah, and the CCC, but unlike our un-popular whipping boys, those running the general election get a chance to improve on their work every four years.

You know you are in Christchurch when your polling place is still awaiting repairs – St Mark’s in Opawa – no, they were not using the church as a polling place but the social hall next to it.



24/11/2011: What about rip-offs?

Try this one for size. On Saturday an Opawa resident had his car stolen from his driveway. An early 90’s Nissan, it was found by the Police abandoned near McLeans Island badly vandalised with most of its panels bashed or dented but what assaulted the owners most was the $450 removal bill from the towing company who took it to their yard. The towing company then proceeded to offer the couple $200 for the scrap value of the car! The towing company is about to be visited by the owners, wouldn’t it be interesting to be privy to that conversation – beat TeaGate hands down?

Is your crack showing??? crack

You know you are in earthquake-ravaged Christchurch when the locals talk openly about their cracks. No, not their drug use and not that anatomical one either for the more anal among you!

Like many Christchurch residents these bees were looking for a new home! bees

When her children went out on Halloween Night they found this swarm of bees so next day Mum, a beekeeper, turns up to capture the swarm! MORE ABOUT BEES.



22/11/2011: Results from this year's national fencing champs in Wellington can be viewed here: Nats 2011.

Now here is a photo of a fencer on the way to the 2o12 London Olympics?pansabre

Sadly it's not a Kiwi but a fencer from another tiny fencing nation, PANAMA. Eileen Grench, right, won a bronze medal in the Women’s Individual Sabre at the recent 16th Pan American Games. She is now training and competing in Europe to make sure she qualifies.


19/11/2011: The march of the helpless against the actions of the useless!cranfour

If you needed to express in one sentence what happened at Christchurch’s Wider Earthquake Communities’ Action Network Cranmer Square march this afternoon it would be the march of the helpless against the actions of the useless. But the reality is far more complex than those eleven trite words, for the catastrophes that have struck the city in the last 13 months is far and away beyond the experience of any Kiwi. But read what Wecan! had to say….WECAN!

Reinforcements arrive....cranfive

Reverend Coleman harangues the crowd...crantwo

The coloured crosses he holds delineate the state of the land in Christchurch. Read about the new colour bar in Christchurch - THE PRESS.


While these protestors could be heralding a problem for insurance companies, Gerry Brownlee and Roger Sutton ...cranone

For many of those marching expressed dismay at the apparent emasculation of the one person they felt could have been their leader - Roger Sutton - lack of communication was the cry so read what Roger has to say ... Rog's words.



18/11/2011: A page of history... from the programme for 1983 Nationals held in Wellington. wgt83wf

Now have a read of Fencing Central's swish 21st Century example.



15/11/2011: Train hard, fight easy! Exhausted fencers...... eltoro

Sandy Patterson, left, Luke Robertson and Andrew Kell head back to Sol on the Metro after a training session at the Royal Spanish Fencing Federation's national fencing centre in Madrid.

Read Luke's views on fencing published in THE PRESS today and visit the Royal Spanish Fencing Federation HERE!


11/11/2011: What did Madonna, Winston Churchill and Boris Karloff have in common?? LISTEN HERE!


9/11/2011: Today is the last day to enter the New Zealand open fencing championships in Wellington unless you want to pay a whopping $50 late entry fee – that’s a one way trip tween ChCh and Wgt. ENTER HERE!

Generally accepted as the culmination of the fencing year, the event sees the best fencers from throughout the country vie to be the top blade in the three weapons used in modern fencing, foil, epee and sabre.


To whet your competitive appetite here is a pix from the past – a Kiwi epeeist fights his way into the second round of the foil event at the World Fencing Champs. Who? Where? And when? Chocky fish for the first correct answer.



7/11/2011: Death of a City. bustwo

Talking about our political leaders, it is interesting how quickly they have caught on to the quake-citizens increasing feelings of frustration and a desire for revenge over the handling of the last rites of the death of their city.

What would you do if you were barred from attending the funeral of one of your parents or children or other loved one?

What would you do if the bureaucrats said that you couldn’t attend the last rites of a loved one because you could be injured, but saw hundreds of other people gathering at the graveside on the other side of the fence?

What would you do about the disbelief and anger you experienced?

Would you not make a quiet promise that those officials blocking your attempt to say farewell (for whatever politically correct reasons), to the very personal memories of a great city, will be remembered and revenge exacted at some future time?

Of course you would!busone

Here the tributes to the memory of those who died in the collapse of the Canterbury Television Building adorn the fence that still stops mourners from approaching the cleared, and one would suspect, a safe site as anywhere in Christchurch, while a busload of gawpers drives past.

The bus ride to nowhere is an attempt, too little and too late many citizens suspect, to allow access to the fenced off central city. Kiwi apathy has its reward!?



6/11/2011: A great success says Arthur Gatland about the Auckland clinics run by three-times world foil champion, Segei Golubitsky. Or, to put it another way, it was a ripping event when one of the attendees ripped his fencing trou during training! Sadly nobody got a pix of the moment.


Read more about SERGEI or catch him in Australia in January.



4/11/2011: NEW GROWTH IN SYDENHAM! growth

Bit of a pun this – spotted on the roof of the Work and Income New Zealand building in Sydenham. The four storey building, one of the tallest in the area, has been closed since February’s earthquake.

Thanks to the Christchurch City Council photographer who turned-up to record the opening of the Coffee Zone pop-up café in Sydenham.

Have a great weekend!



3/11/2011: They are everywhere. conewun


Appearing mysteriously, generally overnight.

They are the beacons of our quake-shattered city.

They are the CONES!

conetreeThousands upon thousands of them, perhaps one or two for every citizen? At around $50 each they are not cheap, though one safety shop in Woolston has them on special for $38.

Could they be the new growth recovery industry talked about by our council, Sayrah or National and Labour leaders? Give them a hug today, the cones silly not the politicians, for making life easier for us in Catastrophe City!


2/11/2011: Another first for Sydenham!

Wednesday sees another first for the former borough that had as its motto, “Deeds, not words.””sidthree

But first, congratulations to the Merivale Tractor set for opening their high-end container mall in the former central business district. There is nothing like a bit of retail therapy and competition, but banning Trade Aid seems a bit narf, especially since the Hummingbird Café advertises it – try their tasty Oomph blend!!

Now back to Sydenham, the suburb that’s going ahead, that had one of the first container shops in the city five months before the Cashel Street container mall, (see posting in Archives 11/5/2011). And now Ian's cafe..ianscafe

Which is leading the way in the use of recycled building materials from quake damaged businesses to aid the recovery. In this case material from the Burger King store on Moorehouse Avenue, used by Ian to construct his pop-up café not far from Sydenham's first pop-up, the Triton Dairy on Colombo Street.

Here volunteers from GREENING THE RUBBLE prepare gabions for planting in Sydenham. sidtwo

While further down the road another small business gets ready to reopen. sidone

Sydenham is doing great things without the orchestrated propaganda of the suits in the former city centre – come and see! Have a coffee even – sadly it’s not Oomph.


1/11/2011: Hi Sergei. Welcome to New Zealand!

Former world foil champion Sergei Golubitsk, who is running a series of fencing clinics in Auckland, is not unknown to Kiwi fencers. Kiwis were on hand when he won his first, of three in a row, World Championships in Capetown in 1997. Here's some foil finals action from Capetown..actionfoilsa

Plus a general view of the Culemborg convention centre where the champs were held..wfc97



Psst, have you got one in your neighborhood?? 29/10/2011: SO NEAR YET SO FAR! soneartwo

It pays to read the advertising as many of Christchurch’s earthquake survivors found out when they turned up for the opening of the Cashel Street container mall this morning.

Dozens turned up at 10am expecting to inspect the shops and café and be on hand for the official noon opening, but were refused entry.sonearone

Confusion reigned. Told by security guards that they could not enter the area near the Bridge of Remembrance until after noon and told in the previous day’s The Press by the organization, Re:START, that the official opening started at noon, a ribbon cutting ceremony at 12.30pm and access to the shops afterwards, dozens of disgruntled citizens headed off to the reviving areas of Sydenham and Addington for shopping and coffee.

But there was some good news – George and Charlotte found out that they are from the tiny town of Bradford upon Avon near the English city of Bath! In the background, young shoppers are told they are not allowed in. sonearthree

Read more about BRADFORD UPON AVON.

Read how The Press saw the opening CITY MALL HAS REOPENED.





serg Now that the All Blacks are the world rugby champions it’s time to note the arrival of another World Champion on the Kiwi scene, Sergei Golubitsky. A former three-times World foil fencing champion and Olympic silver medallist. Goubitsky is in Auckland to run a series of training clinics for Kiwi fencers starting this Sunday. The four clinics are packed with fencers from all over the country – Auckland to Dunedin!

The clinics are the work of Air New Zealand long-haul pilot, Arthur Gatland. Gatland, the current New Zealand open men’s foil champion, takes his fencing gear with him on his travels and when in Los Angeles, he visits the South Coast Fencing Club, about 40 minutes' drive south-east from LA where he has a good friend Gerry Rafanelli. Rafanelli recently told Gatland that Golubitsky was running a clinic at the club and asked him if he was interested in participating. Gatland couldn't make it, but it started him thinking. wingsserg

While Golubitsky was at the South Coast Fencing Club, Gatland e-mailed Rafanelli and asked him to approach Sergei to see if he would be interested in coming to NZ and running a few training clinics in Auckland? Gatland couldn't offer much money, but hoped to compensate Golubitsky by guaranteeing him an interesting stay - with a few days at the beach, a selection of fun activities like a ride in a B777 flight simulator, windsurfing, wakeboarding, gliding, golf etc. Golubitsky replied saying he was definitely interested, as was his wife Carolin who was keen to accompany him to the bottom of the world.

So then it "simply" became a case of persuading Air New Zealand to support the project by providing a free air ticket for Sergei - which they kindly agreed to as a "one-off" present because of Gatland’s achievement in winning the open foil at last year’s National Fencing Championships in Dunedin plus his commitment to further the sport in NZ. The support from Air New Zealand and from the national body, Fencing New Zealand, plus the four fencing regions has ensured Gatland can keep the clinic prices down to an attainable level for budding Kiwi champions.

The clinics in Otahuhu and Gulf Harbour start this Sunday, 30 th October and run til Sunday November 6 th.


22/10/2011: Least we forget – Earthquake Survivor New Zealand!

Mayor Parker and Recovery Minister Brownlee are no doubt doing their best about helping people whose lives and homes were shattered by the Great Catastrophe, but I cannot but think that they and everyone involved with the recovery at Sayrah, Erni and the City Council, should spend a hour a week visiting people, workers, business owners, residents and prisoners by pushbike.

Not only would it be a great chance for publicity, but also a positive indication to those whose lives have been shattered and ravaged by the earthquakes and by insurance companies and the demolition burglars, that they have not been forgotten. It would give our leaders an idea of how narf some of the rebuild ideas for urban transport are.

What a great story, the boss of Sayrah (CERA) Roger Sutton, Mayor Bob, his city managers and councilors cycling out to a suburb to visit some lucky family each week, while the political parties could create huge voter interest by using the idea in a lead up to November's General Election. Voters would lap it up! bike

It's something that's never done before (well, they used cars and a helicopter last time they tried it. See earlier posting on March 4 th in the 2011 Archives) It could become a weekly TV programme with potential for huge sales overseas.

Earthquake Survivor, TVNZ take note, could be the replacement for all those cooking shows. Get in touch if you would like someone to visit you. I can put you on to about 30 deserving stories.



20/10/2011: Punctures and yesterday’s big wet.


Rough roads mean that punctures have sky-rocketed for Christchurch motorists – up 60% plus says Jazmin, of Tony’s Tire Services. The influx of punctures in the last few months has seen the branch on Lincoln Road put one of it’s staff on full-time puncture repairs – now this lady manfully struggling with her flat tyre in Opawa refused the help of local males at first, but relented after finding the wheel nuts too tight to undo. – Wonder if she went to Tony’s?

Lake Cameron – yesterday’s heavy rain and rumpy drainage formed this lake in Cameron Street, Sydenham. lakecameron

Allan, the gas man, changes into his gumboots in the foyer of The Warehouse in Barrington Mall before going out to work in yesterday’s downpour. gasman


16/10/2011: Another page of history.

National Fencing Champs 1983 wgt83two

Question: If 1983 was the 40th anniversary of our National Champs, in which year did they start?? Your answers to: Baz please....


15/10/2011: Wots this to do with fencing, you ask. Read it and make up your own mind. Epeeists might have a problem understanding it, but all you foilists and sabreurs will love it....a superb parry and reposte!




12/10/2011: The word's gone out - promote Nationals!!

Baz is running round Wellington in a lather, Vikki, excuse the spelling but she is from Canterbury originally, will be looking severe and as for Rob and President Ken - well you can provide your own words to describe what they are going through? Anyway, here is a programme from the past........ wgt83

You can get your entry form, or futher information, here: NATIONALS 2011 and watch this space for further revelations of 1983...


11/10/2011: Things have been tough for many minor sports in Catastrophe City fencing among them. Recent MidSouth comps have had to be cancelled owing to lack of entries especially recent open foil and epee events. But not sabre.

Thanks to MidSouth tournament co-ordinator Marguerite Abaffy, who approached Christchurch sabreurs and the Sabre Club to find out what day and time suited them. So last night ten sabreurs from the club turned out for the MidSouth Open Sabre shifting the club’s usual Monday night session to the Fencing Institute for the event.sabreursone

Alex Chan got his mitts on one of the new gold medals ordered by former MidSouth President Luke Robertson last year – sadly Luke only managed second to score a silver medal while Rob Blackburne won the bronze. Eight men and two women competed with apologies from others who could not make it. Among them was Keith Mann, a Life Member of the both Fencing MidSouth and Fencing New Zealand and who, at 80 years of age, is muttering about competing the Commonwealth Veterans Fencing Championships in Singapore next year. whywunWhy are these fencing parents avoiding looking at the photographer?? No rude comments please.

MidSouth open sabre Results: 1 Alex Chan, 2 Luke Robertson, 3 Rob Blackburne, 4 Aidan Taylor, 5 Susan Fourie, 6 James Litchwark. 7 Michael Chen, 8 Gwen Smart, 9 Jonathan Gerry, 10 Ross Shepherd.


9/10/2011: More medals for Kiwi fencers in Australia!

The final day of the Australian U20s in Melbourne saw New Zealand teams score a gold in the women’s epee ( Carla Campbell, Wai Ling Chan, both Christchurch, and Jazmin Hopper, Auckland) and a bronze in the men’s foil (Hamish Chan, Auckland, Julius Herzhof, Christchurch, Daniel Kahu and Haz Forrester both Wellington). To see the full results use the link to the Aussie U20's below.......

7/10/2011: fenzlogoagain Young Kiwi fencers win medals in Australia.

It is the most fun you can have with a sword without injuring someone and New Zealand fencers are having a great time at the Australian U20 championships in Melbourne. Felix Boyce, of Wellington, won bronze in the individual men’s epee event and the New Zealand team of Boyce, Oliver Agnew, Bevan Dobbs and Gideon van Zyl were second, winning silver medals.

Also in action were two top Kiwi referees Hamish Clarke, of Christchurch, and Nicola Shackleton, of Wellington, who controlled many of the finals.

The championships continue on Saturday and Sunday with men’s foil and women’s epee events.

See full results at: AUSSIE U20's



1) Which Christchurch fencer has eaten his way into the news?

2) Who is the Christchurch fencer who has recently. this week, acquired a noisy Triumph?

3) Name the two elderly Wellington fencers who have challenged each other to compete at next month's nationals?

4) What do a former World fencing champion and Air New Zealand long-haul pilot have in common?

(First correct e-mailed answers win a Morris Minor key-ring!!)


4/10/2011: We have been blaming the Christchurch City Council, Sayrah, the insurance companies and Gerry Brownlee for many of our current woes, but could it be that the Church of England was responsible for many of them?

The musings of the famous Kiwi poet, Denis Glover could suggest that.glovertwo

Here’s what he says:

“” But Christchurch – what is it? Oh indeed, Christchurch, is one of those ridiculous settlements by the New Zealand Company as propounded by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, followed through by the hopeful John Robert Godley, and now busy assessing itself still in terms of the first four ships. …… What did the gallant Englishmen do? Though proceeded by surveyors who should have known better – Thomas, Torlesse and company – with unerring instinct they picked on the most miasmal part of the Canterbury Plains, bog, fog, and mud, and decided that they would pitch the high banner of the Church of England.””


So there! Forget the alb, surplice, burqa, Christchurch City Council, Sayrah or the Insurance companies, have all our woes been caused by The Church of England and a bunch of religious settlers selecting the wrong spot to found our city??

Have a squiz at these:

1) You can read more of the poet’s musings on Bog City in his personal narrative, “Hot Water Sailor” or learn more about Denis, who lived in Christchurch, at: Denis Glover

2) The illustrations are by Russell Clark and you can read more about him at: Russell Clark

3) Plus read about the founding of Bog City at: Christchurch

Then make up your own mind.


2/10/2011: A Bob each way is not the same as a bent two-bob note!

But both magnate Bob and mayor Bob are wrong about the rebirth of Central Christchurch?? Why? Because all the low rent shops that made the central city so quirky and all the booze bars and cafes that gave it a life at night, are gone.

smallbeerHere many of those small businesses litter Manchester Street after February’s quake… The used bookshops, the off-the-hanger clothes shops, the music shops, the second-hand shops, cafes, photographic and artists studios even the oldest barber shop in town – all gone – and with rent now at $1000 a week for a used shipping container in the former Cashel Mall, which in many cases is nearly twice the rent that the tiny businesses were paying in the central city before the quakes (for example, a shop in New Regent Street raised many eyebrows before September’s earthquake when the owner asked for $700 per week rent) so you can be sure they will not be back for a long time, if ever. Yes, a few of the hardier types have managed to relocate, but many have not.

Rhys, a former Manchester Street bookshop owner is already planning his move to the North Island, while a large IT company that worked out of a high-rise building close to the Cathedral is opening a new office in Queenstown. Even a famous city photographer, nick-named Mcboom, is now ensconced in the Whitianga miles away from his munted New Brighton home. (There were nearly 200 photographers listed in Christchurch before the quakes.)

Will life return to the CBD? Emphatically yes, but not as Magnate Bob and Mayor Bob suggest – but you will need to wait twenty years to see it though.


1/10/2011: Poor TVNZ. Once the flagship of Kiwi telly now a laughing stock harassed by the Prime Minister over the timing of Coronation Street - now it's weather frontman this morning had the rain on the West Coast descending at 18mm -per-hour! Listen to what Joan'y says about A HARD RAIN'S GONNA FALL.

What is this thing nestling silently among the dandelions in Sydenham? thingie

The Thingies have also been mysteriously appearing in other Christchurch suburbs much to the interest of residents. Is to do with seismic research? Is it an earthquake warning device? An artesian well? A CCC device to subdue unruly residents? A covert Police surveillance device?

According to a super quick response from Sayrah, “”it is a Piezometer or groundwater stand pipe or, in simpler terms, a groundwater depth monitoring station. It consists of a surface cap (as shown in photo), and a slotted pipe to depth that has groundwater in it and it can be read by a geo-technical engineer.””

Have a look at one HERE! And read about Christchurch's groundwater HERE!

Psst, have you got one in your neighborhood?? vv



30/9/2011: She’s at it again!!nancytoo

Auckland fencer Nancy Liu wants a teensy bit of your money for a good cause – find out more HERE!


29/9/2011: The City Centre is dead and gone even property magnate Sir Bob Jones reckons that. Read his reasons at THE PRESS the nation’s top newspaper. sydone

Lets face it the CBD had been declining for years. First when the university moved to Ilam and then with the apparent unrestricted development of suburban shopping malls and parking restrictions. Bob’s rather dogmatic use of the word “cannot” is also a bit shy of the mark as central Christchurch will revive just not as magnate Bob, mayor Bob and our city bureaucrats expect. sydtwo

But the former borough of Sydenham aint dead as these pix show.


Life is surging back into the old established area as businesses move in to take advantage of Sydenham’s location and lack of severe quake damage.


Situated between the main road and rail links the area has a great future.

Caught in action, engineering consulting company Beca’s new staff barbeque is un packed in Sydenham. sydbeca

More than 100 of the company’s staff are now working from the BNZ building on the corner of Colombo and Lawson Street in Sydenham.

(See previous postings about Sydenham starting 2/3/2011 in Archives 2011 section.)



27/9/2011: Feed me. Life in quake-stricken Christchurch is still going on as this hungry baby magpie shows. feedme


22/9/2011: Tattered and discoloured they may be, but seven months on the New Zealand and French flags still fly over locked-down central Christchurch.frenchflag

They still flutter from drunken flag-poles over Torenhof, a Belgian beer café in the Canterbury Provincial Chamber complex, which was badly damaged in the February earthquake. The land and buildings were literally picked up shifted approximately 200 cm east and twisted. The question is, is the right-hand flag a black, white and red French flag or a discoloured and faded Black, yellow and red Belgian flag? Thanks Nigel! Read more about the popular central city café on Armagh Street by the River Avon on their Facebook site or


20/9/2011: Hurrah!!piles

Work has started on rebuilding the St Martin's New World Supermarket as this pic of a big drill shows. A popular shopping spot for Heathcote, Beckenham, Waltham, St Martin's and hill suburb shoppers, the rebuild cannot come quick enough.


19/9/2011: University pf Canterbury Fencing Club members celebrate being back on Campus on Sunday!zorrowwww

The nation’s oldest swords club was driven off-campus by the February Earthquake which damaged the land beneath the Students Association Building, denying the 83-year-old club the use of the Ballroom and access to their equipment. But thanks to the help of Waltham Primary School, the club managed to get up and running after rescuing most of its gear. Now it is back on campus using a gym at the University of Canterbury's College of Education campus. It meets each Sunday from 2 - 4pm - all students welcomed.


UCFC President Titch directs an epee duel between Rob and James on a sunny Sunday in Quake City.


14/9/2011: It squats at the end of Victoria Street like a ziggurat blocking the access of those traveling from Merivale, Papanui and further north to the central city. zigone

It was, I believe, one of three major reasons for the death of the city centre - the others were the moving of the university to Ilam and the impact of the Parking Nazis. Now badly damaged by the earthquakes, it may be demolished and road access to the central city restored. Read about a Ziggurat and the condemned Crowne Plaza Hotel.

You can see some of the external damage below: zigtwo

With the accent on World Cup Rugby and that team that our bro Robbie coaches those pesky Aussie's have also collared another bit of Kiwi history thanks to TradeMe, this Morris J van! The van and its owner Ian were regularly seen driving round Kiaipoi and Christchurch, but not any more - the van's new home is across the pond in Sydney! jmogtoo



9/9/2011: Council dognappers save the Queen's corgis from looters?

Remember these???woofone

Sharp-eyed café-goer Richard spotted that they were missing from a picture published in THE PRESS on Wednesday. Café consensus was that they had been looted, but a quick phone call to Maria Adamski, Parks Heritage Contracts Manager, at the Christchurch City Council, put the looted theory to rest – the Corgis are safe and sound in a council shed! They will be released as soon as practicable.

The Pembroke Corgi sculptures were a permanent display on High Street in front of Alice’s Vidioland. The life-sized dogs are made of bronze and cost the City $24,000 to help celebrate the Queen’s 50 th Jubilee. There are no others like them anywhere in the world.

The Corgi in the front is carrying his collar in his mouth and the Corgi at the rear is sniffing an ice-cream cone. wooftwo

The sculptor is David Marshal, a Christchurch vet.


4/9/2011: Foil results from today's South Island Fencing Championships at the Fencing Institute are:

MEN’S FOIL: 1 Hamish Clarke, Christchurch; 2 Chris Bell, Christchurch; 3= Michael Aymes and Gideon van Zyl, both Auckland; 5 William Bishop, Wellington; 6 Maxime Roland, Auckland; 7 Haz Forrester, Wellington; 8 Clovis Dyson, Auckland; 9 Daniel Kahu, Wellington; 10 Daniel Garelja, Auckland; 11 Jonathan Krebs, Auckland; 12 Felix Boyce, Wellington; 13 Julius Herzhoff, Christchurch; 14 Ben Wilkins, Christchurch; 15 Michael Claydon, Auckland; 16 Ruben Beer, Christchurch; 17 Graham Payne, Timaru; 18 Jurgens van Zyl; 19 Benjamin Krebs, Auckland; 20 Lucien Nightingale, Christchurch; 21 Min Hong, Christchurch.

WOMEN’S FOIL: 1 Kate Brill, Christchurch; 2 Rachel Rowlands, Dunedin; 3= Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch and Jazmin Hopper, Auckland; 5 Stephanie Wyllie, Christchurch; 6 Carla Campbell, Christchurch; 7 Grace Christie, Hamilton; 8 Anna Garcia, Christchurch; 9 Kate Boyer, Christchurch; 10 Rebecca Polacheck, Christchurch.


3/9/2011: An interested spectator watches the action...doggie

Results of the epee events at this weekend’s South Island Fencing Championships are: MEN’S EPEE: 1 Daniel Kahu, Wellington; 2 Brett Davis, Christchurch; 3= Mark Rance and Andreas Sesun, both Christchurch; 5 William Bishop, Wellington; 6 Xavier Watts, Wellington; 7 Alex Chan, Christchurch; 8 Felix Boyce, Wellington; 9 Gideon van Zyl, Auckland; 10 Julius Herzhoff. Christchurch; 11 Jurgens van Zyl, Auckland; 12 Lucien Nightingale, Christchurch; 13 Oliver Agnew, Auckland; 14 Martin Brill, Christchurch, 15 Rob Blackburne, Christchurch; 16 Graham Payne, Timaru; 17 Alex Nicole, Christchurch; 18 Issac Officer, Christchurch; 19 Quin Downs, Christchurch; 20 Jonathan Anderson, Christchurch.

Women's epee action: epeeactionsi

WOMEN’S EPEE: 1 Wei ling Chan, Christchurch; 2 Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch; 3= Carla Campbell, Christchurch and Jazmin Hopper, Auckland; 5 Grace Christie, Auckland; 6 Anna Garcia, Christchurch; 7 Rebecca Polacheck, Christchurch; 8 Susie Messent, Christchurch. restingsi

The Champs, at the Fencing Institute in Christchurch, continue tomorrow with foil and sabre events. National epee champ Graham Payne welcomes visitors to the South Island Champs. Graham, formerly from Auckland, now lives in Timaru. wotapayne

Mtc - more to come!


1/9/2011: Shag Rock, foreground, is well and truly shagged as this pix taken from across the estuary shows.


Take note of the empty freight containers protecting the only road to Sumner from falling cliffs. Read about the Christchurch landmark


30/8/2011: APOLIGIES, the host of this site has had a problem with a hard drive failing. Normal service will resume as soon a possible. Keep your e-mails coming and keep visiting!

Don't forget the South Island Champs this weekend and that the United Fencing Club holds its first meeting tonight since the Earthquake, oh, and those sabreurs looking for a bit of competition, if there is no sabre comp at South Islands on Sunday, can turn up at the University of Canterbury Fencing Club's Sunday session, entry fee - a packet of gingernuts which Titch will refund if you don't turn up!


25/8/2011: ANSWER THIS.....


What is the link between a long-haul pilot and a former world fencing Champion?? Hint: There are three weapons used in modern fencing; foil, epee and sabre.

First correct answer wins the last Morris Minor key ring so be quick…


23/8/2011: More positive fencing news! A former Christchurch fencer starts a fencing club on Guam!


Yep, former Linwood High School and United Fencing Club fencer Karita, seen here with former four-times national epee champion Rangi de Abaffy at a recent University of Canterbury Fencing Club session, is now married and living with husband and two children on the Pacific island. With hubby and a friend the trio enlisted help from the International Fencing Federation and USA Fencing, who provided equipment and other assistance, and are in the throes of selecting a venue. Related to the formidable fencing Kell family, Andrew, Peter and Patrick, Karita was a top foilist in her day.

More on Guam

In other fencing news it appears that two former foilists now living in Wellington (names withheld to protect the innocent), have challenged each other to compete in this year’s nationals being held in the Capital. Mtc (More To Come).


19/8/2011: RATTLE YOUR DAGS!


Oxford Terrace lies in ruins as this abandoned street sign shows. oxterrace

Once a centre of Kiwi Booze Culture the strip, from Armagh Street to Cashel Street, was alive with bars, clubs, restaurants and cafes, but not any more and over-indulgence has moved to the suburbs or laid out in private homes.

Thank goodness the Draft City Plan is just that, suggestions and ideas but not the real thing otherwise we all might as well pack up and move to Dunedin. Why? Because people do not seem to realise that the City Centre was dead long before the Earthquakes flattened it – see posting of 30/5/2011 in the Archives which charts forty-years of CBD decline – and the only way to revive it is to BRING people back into it.

Young people!

For that you need cheap accommodation, lots of free or cheap parking, entertainment and employment and it needs to be done quick before they all leave for other places.

The IT hub sounds good as does growing the Polytech, even the idea of a parking area for Freedom Campers. As for Light Rail and removing Lincoln University to the city centre – forget it. Too slow and too costly.

But the most positive thing about the draft plan is that it is the result of thousands of people’s energy and drive, which bodes well for the future.

Long Live Oxford Terrace….

You can read the draft plan here:


16/8/2011: Fencing news this week is positive. United Fencing Club re-opens on Tuesday August 30 th in the hall at Shirley Intermediate School, entrance from North Parade, just past Shirley Boys High, time - 7pm to 9pm.

This is great news for those living in the worst hit areas of Christchurch as the club draws much of its membership from those Eastern suburbs of the Garden City badly hit by the earthquakes. Contact Rob Sheard on 980 1914.

And now some contrasting pix from the snow dump.

Clearing snow on Colombo Street. clearone

A long and winding path in Sydenham. cleartwo

And City Care’s Ruben with his front-end loader in a side street near Colombo Street. clearthree



12/8/2011: Are these leaning?


Visitors from Canberra have a squiz at the leaning towers in Armagh Street. The question is, are these high-rises in the Red Zoned Central Business District leaning because of the earthquakes or parallax error? What’s your view?

Read about parallax error: PARALLAX ERROR.


10/8/2011: Bridge Over Smelly Waters!bridgeoverwater

A footbridge over the polluted Avon River, Avonside Drive, Christchurch. The Cristchurch City Council is slaving away to repair the munted sewerage system that dumps yuckkies into the river and plan to have things cleaned up by Summer.

Also, some in the quake- ravaged city are asking that this rumpled bridge be kept, as is, as a memorial showing how powerfull the earthquake was. Now listen to what Simon and Garfunkel have to say about BRIDGES!



8/9/2011: Prepared to risk it?? evidence

Here is an indicator that the good people of quake-ravaged Christchurch make their own decisions about what others (officials) think is extremely dangerous – footprints in the snow on a twisted footbridge over the Heathcote River in Opawa says it all - don't mollycoddle us or, more likely, we are too lazy to take the long way home!


6/8/2011: A flash new bog in Avonside:bogtry

A visitor to the shattered Red Zoned Avonside Drive area tries one of the new toilets provided for residents still without sewerage and water services.

If you want an idea of what the recovery of earthquake-stricken Christchurch is going to be like.

If you think that the present fumblings of the Christchurch City Council, Sayrah, the Earthquake Commission, business interests or Czar Brownlee will improve.

If you have any desire to assist in the recovery effort.

If you just want an idea of what YOUR FUTURE is in Christchurch then read these two books; “The People’s War “and “The Myth Of The Blitz”. BUY THEM HERE!

Written byANGUS CALDER they give a factual account of a stricken nation recovering from a catastrophic event – the Second World War and the Blitz. Just change the locations and dates and you could think you are reading about Christchurch!

Lets hope they are widely read and the mistakes they highlight are not repeated here and that the positive things are. Meanwhile, the Knock-It-Downs are still at work. bridgeofrem


3/8/2011: Meet Edna, the award winning movie promoting fencing: EDNA THE DRAGON.

What's your verdict?



30/7/2011: wai

Respected Wellington and university fencer Waimaria Erueti, seen on the right at a training camp at Linwood High School in Christchurch with her friend Karita Avia, was buried in Wellington this morning. Read her obituary: Waimaria Erueti

29/7/2011: NOW FOR SOME EARTHQUAKE NEWS: A damaged New Brighton house awaits it's fate....nbdamage

And a story about a professional engineer, one who worked on many buildings and infrastructure in our city: Now retired, he was asked by Civil Defence if he could help out with building inspections. Yes, he said, well turn up at the Art Gallery/Civil Defence Headquarters and we will get you started. He turns up but is not allowed to enter. Sorry says the security guard you don’t have a pass. But I have been asked to come and help. No pass no entry! Could you phone Mr So and So to tell him I am here? Sorry, can’t do that. So off goes our engineer, after 20 minutes of fruitless talking, back home where he then phones his Civil Defence contact who then has a pass driven to the engineer’s home so he can start helping our city recover.

If you want to see what he had to deal with in the central city have a look at Ross Becker’s pictures: Have a look at these!


26/7/3011: He is not a fencer but Brian Strong, right, attended the NZ Secondary Schools and U20s day after chilly day to take thousands of pictures of the fast and furious action on piste. You can repay his dedication by buying one of his pix of YOU in action!photog11

Have a look here: fantastic fotos You can do it all on line and hang that great shot of YOU in action on YOUR wall.

Fencing rubble. rubbleleft


25/7/2011: Christchurch liquefaction is spreading throughout New Zealand thanks to the organisers of the National U20’s Fencing Championships being held in the earthquake-ravaged city. certificates

Small sealed vials of the grey stuff along with a certificate with a background of the damaged city were presented to competitors as a memento of the first national fencing competition in the city since the September earthquake and are proving a hit with out-of-town fencers. The two-day champs finished on Sunday with the foil events.

One of the willing workers that made the event a success: mrs

Results: Mens Foil. 1 Hamish Chan. 2 Daniel Kahu. 3= Maxime Rolland and Jurgens van Zyl. 5 Clovis Dyson. 6 Harry Forrester. 7 Julius Herzhoff. 8 Daniel Garelja 9 Felix Boyce. 10 Finn Butler. 11 Michael Claydon. 12 Gideon van Zyl. 13 Jon Krebs. 14 Oliver Agnew. 15 Ben Wilkins. 16 Simon Fisher 17 Foley-Walker . 18 Lucian Nightingale. 19 Alex Thomas. 20 Ben Krebs. 21 Joon Hong. 22 Min Hong. 23 Sheldon Ogilvie. 24 Jonathan Brill. 25 Jack Ledbrook.

Womens Foil. 1 Wai Ling Chan. 2 Grace Christie. 3= Stephanie Alexander and Stephanie Wyllie. 5 Jazmin Hopper. 6 Olive Butler. 7 Melissa Burgess. 8 Sasha Green. 9 Alice Boyd. 10 Rachel Mercer. 11 Kate Boyer.

The aftermath: snow11

23/7/2011: They should have named it the Fencing Fridge instead of the Fencing Institute, but the 2011 National U20 Fencing Championship got off to a warm start in Christchurch today with the mens epee event, continued with the womens epee and then finished off with a bit of swashbuckling sabre. It continues on Sunday with the foil events. And, though it was cold outside it was hot action inside at the venue in Addington with fencers from Auckland taking the lion’s share of the honours – two of the three gold medals.

Results: Mens Epee. 1. Jurgens van Zyl, Gulf Harbour Fencing Club, 2, Alex Chan, Sabre Club (Christchurch). 3=, Oliver Agnew, New Zealand Academy of Fencing and Daniel Kahu, Upper Hutt College. 6, Felix Boyce, Wellington Swords Club, 6, Julius Herzhoff, 7, Sheldon Ogilvie and 8, Ben Wilkins (all the Fenicng Institute). 9, Bevan Dobbs, Auckland Swords Club. 10, Isaac Officer, Christchurch. 11, Gideon van Zyl, Gulf Harbour. 12, Alexander Kuch, Gulf Harbour. 12, Lucian Nightingale, Fencing Institute. 14, Alex Thomas, Upper Hutt College. 15, Min Hong, Fencing Institute. 16, Simon Fisher, Upper Hutt College.

Womens Epee. 1, Wai Ling Chan, Fencing Institute. 2 Stephanie Alexander, Upper Hutt College. 3= Carla Campbell, University of Canterbury Fencing Club and Hannah Ramsay, Sabre Club. 5, Jazmin Hopper, Gulf Harbour Fencing Club, 6, Lydia Whittington, TAO. Melissa Burgess, Upper Hutt College. 9, Katie Boyer, Fencing Institute. 10, Sasha Green, New Zealand Academy of Fencing.

Womens Sabre. Katie Logan, New Zealand Academy of Fencing. 2, Hannah Ramsay, The Sabre Club. 3=, Carla Campbell, University of Canterbury Fencing Club and Sasha Green, New Zealand Academy of Fencing. 5, Gwen Smart, The Sabre Club. 6, Rachel Mercer, Upper Hutt College.


22/7/2011: Out of town fencers experienced a thrilling 5.1 strength aftershock this morning,

Pre fight check: hunting

but the threat of earthquakes in the Garden City has only slightly reduced, by two or three in the three weapons, the number of competitors turning out for this year’s New Zealand Secondary School Championships in Christchurch, most noticeably so in the boy’s sabre event where no championship was held due to a lack of entries. However, the four that did turn-up took part in a mixed round with the girls before separating into their two groups. With Katie Logan, of Auckland, wining the girls event with last year’s champion, Hannah Ramsay, of Christchurch, third. In the Boys, it was last year’s champion Alex Chan, of Christchurch Boys High School, proving to be the top sabreur, but no award was made.

The sabre dance: sabredance2

Results: Girls Sabre. 1, Katie Logan, Epsom Girls Grammar School. 2, Stephanie Alexander, Upper Hutt College. 3=. Melissa Burgess, Upper Hutt College and Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch Girls High School. 5, Gwen Smart, Cashmere High School. 6, Susan Fourie, Middleton Grange. 7, Rachel Mercer, Upper Hutt College.

Focussed parent: fucussed

Tomorrow sees the start of the New Zealand U20 Championships at the Fencing Institute in Addington, with epee kicking off the 2011 champs followed by sabre, and the foil events on the Sunday.


21/7/2011: Results from yesterday's foil events and today's epee events at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships being held in Christchurch. The national event ends tomorrow with the sabre events.

Boys Foil. 1, Julius Herzhoff, Christ’s College; 2, Felix Boyce, Wellington College, 3=, Michael Claydon, Kristan School and Daniel Garelja, Auckland. 5, Lucian Nightingale, Burnside High School. 6, Harry Forrester, Onslow College. 7, Jurgen van Zyl, Wentworth College. 8, Alex Thomas, Upper Hutt College. 9, Jared Howlett, Dunedin. 10, James Tomlin, Green Bay High. 11, David Solin, Otago Boys High School. 12, Simon Fisher, Upper Hutt College. 13, Min Hong, Middleton Grange. 14, Daniel Keleghan, Christ’s College. 15, Joon Hong, Middleton Grange. 16, Sheldon Ogilvie, Cashmere High School. 17, Jonothan Brill, Christchurch Boys High School. 18, Foley-Walker, Dunedin, 19, Walker-Halen, Raphael House. 20 Gareth Smith, Onslow College. 21, Anthony Goh, Christ’s College. 22, Jack Ledbrook, Wentworth College.

Girls Foil. 1, Wai Ling Chan, Burnside High School. 2, Stephanie Alexander, Upper Hutt College. 3=, Grace Christie, Te Kura and Stephanie Wyllie, Wentworth College. 5, Olive Butler, Otago Girls High School. 6, Melissa Burgess, Upper Hutt College. 7, Kate Boyer, St Andrew’s College. 8, Rachel Mercer, Upper Hutt College. 9, Catherine Marshall, Rangi Ruru. 10, Alyssa Ong, Christchurch Girls High School.

Boys Epee. 1, Alex Chan, Christchurch Boys High School. 2, Felix Boyce, Wellington Colllege. 3=, Alex Thomas, Upper Hutt College and Jurgens van Zyl , Wentworth College. 5, Julius Herzhoff, Christ’s College. 6, Joon Hong, Middleton Grange. 7, Lucian Nightingale, Burnside High School. 8, Sheldon Ogilvie, Cashmere High School. 9, Min Hong, Middleton Grange. 10, Alex Nicolle, Christchurch Boys High School. 11, Simon Fisher, Upper Hutt College.

Girls Epee. 1, Wai Ling Chan, Burnside High School. 2, Grace Christie, Te Kura. 3=, Stephanie Alexander, Upper Hutt College and Stephanie Wyllie, Wentworth College. 5, Kate Boyer, St Andrew’s Colllege, 6, Melissa Burgess, Upper Hutt College. 7, Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch Girls High School. 8, Dindi Chan, Burnside High School. 9, Rachel Mercer, Upper Hutt Collelge. 10, Lydia Whittington, Samuel Marsden.Collegiate School.

Father and son: dadsec

And a fencer: secfencer


20/7/2011: Some pix from the New Zealand Secondary School Championships underway in Christchurch.

Action: secnats11

What are they looking at? wotdeydoing

Danger - photographer at work:donatwork

Results will be published here as soon as they are received from the organisers so keep looking. Also, have a look at what the Nation's top newspaper has to say about the champs: THE PRESS!


19/7/2011: Have You have heard of the Four Musketeers? Thought So. Here's their Story:

In spite of more than 7400 earthqukes since September that have interrupted their preparation, four young Christchurch fencers will attempt to defend their titles at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Fencing Championships that start in the city on Wednesday.

Of the six gold medals up for grabs four are held by Christchurch fencers. Alex Chan, of Christchurch Boys High School, holds the boys sabre, Wai-Ling Chan, of Burnside High School, the girls foil, Julius Herzhoff, of Christ’s College, boys foil and Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch Girls High School, girls sabre.

The competition, at the Fencing Institute, Jack Hinton Drive, in Addington on begins with the foil event, then the epee on Thursday and sabre on Friday.

Watch this space!!!!

For further information contact me direct 03 3666396 or, phone the organiser, Carla Campbell 027 367 5724.


18/7/2011: Earthquake Ravaged Christchurch To Be Put To The Sword!

Now we have your attention, we can tell you that dozens of young fencers from throughout the country will converge on Christchurch this week to compete in the New Zealand Secondary School Championships and the Under 20 Championships.

At stake will be medals in the three weapons of modern fencing, sabre, epee and foil but also a chance at selection for the 2012 Commonwealth Fencing Championships in Jersey.

The competition starts at the Fencing Institute, Jack Hinton Drive, in Addington, on Wednesday with foil, then the epee on Thursday and sabre on Friday and the U20s on Saturday and Sunday.

Spectators are welcome and it won’t cost you a cent. For TV and photographers, the action will be fast and furious with lots of chances for those ‘dramatic” shots, just the thing for that unusual lead on a quiet news day with fencers from as far apart as Auckland and Dunedin clashing on the pistes.

This is the first major fencing competition held in Christchurch since the September Quake - unless you count the Univerity's One hit Ecclestone comp - so interest among local fencers is high.


17/7/2011: Café talk this week covered two topics; praise for the Police and Army, and the lack of Common Sense. A group of engineers were talking about their experiences in the Red Zone after February’s Earthquake. All spoke positively of working in the central city and the knowledge that if something happened the Army and Police were on hand to help.

Another commented about the eerie silence and the fact that for the first time he could hear the Avon River chuckling away in the central city – no background traffic noise! All were concerned about the central city rebuild, wondering how those surviving high-rise building would fit into a redesigned central city – it could look like the few remaining teeth in an old man’s mouth quipped one - unsightly gaps and nothing in-between.


If professional engineers are worried about the remaining tall buildings making for an ugly landscape shouldn’t the rest of us be worried too? All the neat little drawings and designs produced by our urban planners don’t seem to cover that problem, with nothing but nice homogenous skylines. Go look at flattened Sydenham. A few uncomfortable tall building surrounded by nothing but vacant land a few low rises



14/7/2011: Uni Fencer bails-up Prime Minister: pmhs

University of Canterbury Fencing Club eppeist Peter Campbell interviewed the Prime Minister John Key this morning. Key, on campus to lecture sociology students, willingly faced Campbell, a student at the School of Journalism, who just happened to be on hand along with a camera and microphone as part of his course work.


13/7/2011: More good news in Christchurch, The poor fellow who got ticketed for no warrant of fitness after contacting the police to have a dumped vehicle removed from in front of his house, June 25 th posting, has had the ticket quashed as it was only days out of warrant and the February Earthquake had hindered his ability to renew it. Common Sense at Last!! Hurrah. But the dumped vehicle still rests in front of his house, oh?

The Knock It Downs at work in Colombo Street: colostreet



11/7/2011: Going! smonetoo

Gone! gonestmartins

The barren St Martin's New World Supermarket site, but the good news is that it is to be rebuilt.

The other good news is that local resident Shirley Lennon's 1500 signature petition requesting the retention of Post Shop and Kiwi Bank facilities at the site has been sent to the NZ Post Group and local Member of Parliament Ruth Dyson. Plus after weeks of e-mails and phone calls, that Mr Roach, the Chief Operating Officer of the NZ Post Group, has assured Mrs Lennon the group will look favourably on re-opening a Post Shop and Kiwi Bank in St Martin's.


7/7/2011: This smoke stack at the Christchurch Hospital's boiler house has been given the green light after fears it might have fallen over because of recently discovered damage. stack


5/7/2011: FENCING NEWS:

thelong Brett and Suzanne were among those competing between the earthquakes in Christchurch on Saturday. Six epeeists turned out for the MidSouth event and only two aftershocks were recorded and, unlike the wee tremor experienced recently in Auckland, life went on as usual. So North Islanders, there is no reason not to come and take part in the New Zealand Secondary Schools and Junior (under 20) championships starting on the 20 th July! And that’s the long and short of it! Get your entries in, you are also welcome to do a bit of pre-comp training at the University of Canterbury Fencing Club (Sunday arvos) and the Sabre Club (Monday evenings).


4/7/2011: Someone has said that picking on the Christchurch City Council is no way to move along the recovery of Catastrophe City, insinuating that this site has been picking on the CCC. Not true, this site simply records, in words and pictures, what is happening and if that means recording a lack of commonsense and rise of bureaucratic idiocy so be it. If I were Mayor Parker or Czar Sutton I would be hiring me to promote the GOOD things that are happening, of which many are recorded on this site, but don’t hold your breath. Gardening in the Red Zone, surrounding the Art Gallery with a protective fence to keep citizens at bay, spending weeks on the dead in the central city to the detriment of the living in Eastern Suburbs, restricting reasonable access to the central city, are just a few examples highlighting the fact that the catastrophe is beyond the skills and experience of all of us! That includes YOU! Read what our Press says about CCC: WE ARE WATCHING!

Would Graham the Builder do a better job than Parker, Marryatt and our Councillors? greatbeard

I guess it boils down to do YOU trust the Christchurch City Council??

With the exit of many of the under-therties – the people we will need to revive our city – this live session by The Frost comes to mind, a shambolic opening and lyrical ending: THE FROST.

If you think that the CCC is bad, have a look here: it should also put to rest the idiocy of trams or light rail for our city: EDINBURGH TRAMS TOO


1/7/2011: Café gossip this week was mostly about insurance companies and Earthquake Commission and how people are still waiting for payouts from the September earthquake let alone those events that have followed. However, one thing got them chattering and that was the return of the Parking Nazis and how dare they, the Christchurch City Council, sool them onto the Police for parking their police cars in the what remains of the central city. Most did not give a rats-arse about the Red Zone and the flattened city-centre and individuals parking there, but were incensed by the diktat to ticket Police cars. Most felt that those out to help in Catastrophe City should not be hunted and penalised for doing so. Around 120 extra Police and extra vehicles from out of town are assisting the local Police so why penalise them? It is almost as silly as gardening in the Red Zone.

The question dear reader, is would the Parking Nazis try and ticket one of the Army’s armoured vehicles? How would they know if the machine-gun in the turret is loaded or not – buuurppp!!

28/6/2011: GOING, going

GONE! gone

These Opawa shops have gone!

Also gone are 2011 diaries. Business peopls and others who lost their diaries in the earthquakes, or have their belongings still in the red-sticker zone, are having problems replacing them. A quick ring round many Christchurch stationery retailers found none for sale. Even stationery giant Croxley, who market the popular Collin’s range, did not have had any. Most are sold in the early part of the year said their Auckland headquarters. There are some 2011/12 examples available though.


27/6/2011: LOOTING, RENT RACKING AND NOW THIS! All the grubby bits you don’t hear about on TV or read in the newspapers you can discover here.

Are the rats gathering to gnaw at the carcass of Catastrophe City or is it a bit of cheeky advertising by a North Island company looking to employ quake struck Christchurch workers – you be the judge – have a read of: How Does Hamilton Sound to YOU?


25/6/2011: HAVE ANOTHER LAUGH: The story posted on the 15 th about the case of Kiwi Blind Justice has obviously raised a laugh or two, but it also caused one reader to doubt the facts and that the Police could be so short-sighted, so to speak. Here’s the evidence, the dumped car: dumpedcar

And its expired registration sticker: carwof

(My friend did not want his ticket for no warrent of fitness photographed cos he is so embarrassed!)


24/6/2011: Avonside Red Zone resident Nick Abbafy ponders his fate outside his badly damaged home.nickone

The pensioner had let the insurance lapse on his free-hold riverside retirement home, both it and the land it sits on were badly damaged in February's quake.

Read what Nick said to officials at a community meeting today, in THE PRESS the nation's top newspaper.


23/6/2011: MORE GOOD NEWS FOR CHRISTCHURCH AND FENCING: with the popular Grange Motel and Guest House opening for business.

grangereopensDes Ramsay owner of the historic central city business and dad of Australian and New Zealand fencing champions Sam and Hannah, waits to welcome you. Contact him: THE GRANGE

22/6/2011: One sign of a city getting back on its feet, so to speak, is this shot of a local leaving her favourite café on Worcester Street. afterthered

The damaged Under The Red Verandah café was featured on this site on February 26 th only days after the February Earthquake now it is back up and running close to where it formerly stood. They have changed the name to reflect their rebirth – After The Red Verandah – you can see the vacant site near the stop sign in the pic where the original building stood!


21/6/2011: LOOTING! Not a good look for Catastrophe City, but it appears to be endemic...Talk among business owners is that about 20 small businesses were looted over the weekend.


This popular central city bed and breakfast business was one of them. It appears the thieves moved the high safety fence to back up their car and trailer to remove furniture and appliances.

If you wonder why the lights go out now and then in Catastrophe City, this is what a power cable fault looks like. powerfault

This one was on the corner of Linwood Avenue and Woodham Road and is the result of the cable being stretched and damaged during the quakes.



16/6/2011: FEELING A BIT DOWN??

Then get away from Quake City with the help of Canned Heat - have a listen for the lads from the sixties will certainly cheer will make you happy GOING UP THE COUNTRY!

You can read a bit more about CANNED HEAT.


15/6/2011: HAVE A LAUGH: A friend living off the Avonside end of Linwood Avenue had a car dumped on the road in front of his house some weeks after the February quake so he phoned the Police. “Leave it with us,” he was told, “We are a bit busy at the moment but we will get on to it.’

Three weeks later he returns home to find his own car, which he occasionally parks on the street, with a $200 ticket for no warrant of fitness stuck under its windscreen wiper – the wof had just expired and he got a new one the next day - But the rub of his story is that the dumped car, which was parked immediately behind his ticketed car had no wof or rego stickers and no tickets on it! – talk about a case of blind justice??

medalmantoo Here is another pix of the Mystery Man after he was given the HighVis Glove Award – gave him my highvis cycling gloves to help motorists see his hand signals!


14/6/2011: Oh dear, more earthquakes have hit Catastrophe City and a s usual I went cycling round taking pictures and rubbernecking, trouble is I cannot be bothered posting more pix of dead houses and damaged streets. If you want that sort of coverage have a look at The Press photographer Don Scott's dramatic aerial pix at: The Press.

medalmanAll I want to post is this shot of a solitary individual in the middle of Colombo Street controlling the chaotic traffic fighting to get home after yesterday's 6.3 quake. I don't know who he is, he wouldn't tell me his name, but his action in taking control deserve a national medal or at least recognition by our Christchurch City Council or Police. Remember the motto of the now defunct Sydenham Borough Council, "Deeds, not words." Anyone recognise him? Let me know please. This one man helped thousands.


12/6/2011: We've had our home damaged too! ourome

A former swamp, Lake Victoria in Hagley Park, developed a leak after the February Earthquake and like many residents of Catastrophy City the waterfowl are making do with what is left. Read more about this central CHRISTCHURCH PARK


broughamcrashNearly 7000 earthquakes couldn’t do it. Rumpled roadways and potholes couldn’t either, but some stupid driver did – closing part of Brougham Street to traffic recently to allow Police and others to remove the light standard he/she managed to flatten in broad daylight.

GOT ONE! The holiday road death toll might be down but the idiocy on Christchurch roads is still rampant, but I got one today. The merivale tractor was following closely behind me as I drove up Brougham Street – too close as I could see the female driver very clearly – and when I swerved to avoid a big ripple in the inside lane we were both driving in the look of consternation and fear as her tractor tried to get airborne and head for the other side of the road was worth the stress. Both Pages and Dyers roads have some great potholes and rumpled sections to catch out bumper lickers – try bagging an idiot today!

Now listen to Grace and her bumper...



10/6/2011: While the residents of St Martins and surrounding suburbs fight to retain their Kiwi Bank and Post Shop, another local initiative is the Opawa/St Martins Farmers Market.smsix

Started after the February earthquake the market on Fifield Terrace, near the Rudolph Steiner School, has grown to more than 20 stalls.smeight

Open every Sunday morning between 9 –12 it attracts lots of locals and many from further afield as New Brighton and Hornby.



E-mails are circulating alleging all sorts of impropriety and shenanigans in the recovery of Christchurch, but if you want a story of criminality and corruption don’t look at ChCh, read on.

An acquaintance returned a few days ago from a holiday in Italy and commented that he hoped Christchurch’s rebuild would not degenerated into questionable and criminal activities as had happened in L’Aquila, in central Italy.


His visit to the ravaged city two years after the 2009 quake found a silent, vacant city controlled by the military. Buildings were propped up and the famous central fountain had had millions of Euros spent on it, but little else seems to have been done.

Read about L’Aquila in the good old days: L'Aquila

Now read about the recovery shenanigans: Recovery

Will it happen in Christchurch?? What do you think??


8/6/2011: ARISE ST MARTIN'S. smthree

We know there are many surprising deeds being done in our stricken city as citizens struggle back from the abyss, but all our leaders can trumpet is an entertainment hub in Hagley Park and touch of wide screen TV for the shattered suburbs.smone

In St Martins, for example, local people are already thinking ahead by undertaking a petition to make sure a Kiwi Bank and Post Shop return to their wee local shopping precinct. smseven

After February’s quake the Super Value supermarket and 12 shops and banks were destroyed (see earlier postings and pics from the 25 th and 28 th February in the 2011 Archives).

The only business operating is this local law firm: smfive

Plus a few backyard enterprises.smtwo


With their shopping centre closed locals have to traipse all the way to Barrington Mall, about six or seven kilometres away, for their banking and post shop thingies and while they appreciated the help, many former St Martin’s post box holders including business people find it a tad frustrating to be able to access their boxes only during normal working hours and not after-hours and weekends as previous.

They have also been told that the shift is permanent and Kiwi Bank and Post Shop will not be returning when the supermarket is rebuilt.

That has fired up the locals and a petition was circulated last week in 25 locations asking that the New Zealand Post, Post Boxes and Kiwi Bank be re-instated in the rebuilt St Martins shopping centre. Shirley, the driving force behind the petition, has been surprised by the huge response and hopes NZ Post and Kiwi Bank will be too. People don’t just come form St Martins she says, but from the suburbs of Heathcote, Opawa, Hillsborough, Cashmere, Beckenham, Huntsbury, Waltham and Sydenham among others. Will people power prevail????



7/6/2011: When only hours after uploading the previous posting a City Care van drives up to my place I thought Mayor Bob and his workers had come for some revenge over that posting.citycare

Expecting to eat humble pie and thank them for responding so quickly to revive the rumpled berm, I tottered outside, but no it wan't the berm they had come to fix but the sewer line. Talk about embarrassment, they had a laugh at my predicament and then got on in the rain with sussing out the sewer damage. A salutary lesson perhaps, if you throw crap at others expect it back!


7/6/2011: Plants before people! If you need an example of the lack of leadership in the Christchurch City Council the recent story about council workers gardening in the Red Zone in The Press, says it all.

The 7000 plus earthquakes since September are just too much for normal people and organizations. No offence to those manning Civil Defence, CCC. Sayrah (Cera), her boyfriend Erni and the dozens of other organizations involved in the recovery of the quake stricken city but they are not up to it. What is it? Clear simple leadership and clear simple communication with the people of Christchurch at all times. No weasel words, no obfuscation, no lies and certainly no hiding the truth.

bermNow if City Care is looking for something to garden then this berm outside my place needs reseeding. Formerly grass, the berm became the site of a silt mountain when neighbours dumped their deposits, so to speak, there. A kindly sewer digger flattened it out and I had planned to reseed it, but if City Care is desperate for jobs ……?



Christchurch fencers are leaving the ravaged city not because of the more than 7000 earthquakes since September, but the lure of medals.


Ten fencers are packing their swords this weekend and heading to Wellington to compete at the North Island Championships among them are seven medallists form last year’s nationals: Men’s sabre champion Luke Robertson and bronze medallist Alex Chan. Foilists Hamish Clarke (silver) and Julius Herzhoff (bronze). Epeeists Brett Davis (silver) and Andreas Sesun (bronze) and Carla Campbell, bronze in the women’s epee.


More than 70 competitors will turn up at Victoria University’s recreation centre this weekend for the second most important competition in fencing after the nationals. Robertson is the current NI sabre champion and both Sesun and Chan are previous winners in their respective weapons of epee and sabre.


Follow the results at: North Island Champs


30/5/2011: LETS GET IT RIGHT FOR HER SAKE! ourbairn

Most of the people of Christchurch couldn’t give a rats-arse about the re-building of the central city and those bureaucrats, business-types, developers and others that think the general populace do are only fooling themselves and trying to hold on to a dream that has been dying for forty-odd years.

First came the move of the University of Canterbury to llam.(There are 22,000 people at the Ilam campus today.).

Next came the stopping of Victoria Street and the constriction of central city movement. (This cut a direct cross-city route and reduced the need for people to go to the city centre at all!)

Then came the dumbing down (redevelopment) of the Square and the removal of public transport from it which, accompanied by the rise of the Parking Nazis interested only in revenue extraction and the unrestricted development of large shopping malls, were further blows that reduced the need and desire of citizens to access the city centre.

Now the officious, though legal, restriction of access to the Square, except for a few privileged animals has eradicated any desire of normal citizens to even think about the central city.

That’s a pity for from the devastation comes the chance to do it again and this time get it right and get a city centre that people want and will use but pissing-off the very people that will have to use the rebuilt central city is not a good idea – they could turn away from it all!

First of all woo all the ratepayers by giving them the chance to see the extent of the devastation. If not given clear leadership in this they should exert their desire with affirmative action – if a group of irate businesspeople can cause Civil Defence to surround its-self with a wire fence, like inmates in a concentration camp, imagine what a horde of pissed-off ratepayers could achieve? A broken cordon? Mayor Bob should take leadership in this with Sayrah (Cera) still without its Czar.

Next would come geo-technical report on the land and what is possible and what is not and naturally the emphasis would be on the stricken suburbs, but a realistic and common plan for the central city could give an immense fillip to people living in those devastated suburbs and convince them that Christchurch will survive so they should stay.

Could this be the face of a new city - bikes only, including service vehicles? firebike

For more about what the people want read: LET THE PEOPLE IN! in the nation’s top newspaper.

And to read more about ideas on building, transport and energy efficiencies have a look at this: THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE.

Plus remember the motto of the former Borough of Sydenham, Deeds – not words!


26/5/2011: The fury of residents unable to access the city centre might be getting through to officials going by this latest release from Erni (?): "A section of Zone 6 will open on Friday 27 May from 12.00 noon******** The area is being opened so that residents living in homes with green placards are able to move through the area without carrying identification. The completion of debris clearance from the Pyne Gould Building, and from demolition sites north of the Red Zone in Colombo Street, means that large volumes of heavy traffic have also reduced********** People moving through the newly opened area should remain aware that demolitions are ongoing and some heavy vehicles will continue to be present********** A cordon map is online at MAP OF CENTRAL CITY CORDON ends:"


25/5/2011: It's nice to be proved right. The rant on May the 18th and earlier postings about the death of Public Transport seems to be correct according to a story in the nation's top newspaper today. THE PRESS buspark

Here the Big Reds and other interlopers wait for passengers near the Public Hospital by Hagley Park. Big Reds was what Christchurch residents used to call their all red buses, but with the dumbing down and contracting out of the bus service to private companies other coloured buses now roam our streets and that personal feeling about public transport has been lost.

Compare this pix with the one at the bottom of this page taken a month ago: cghsnowR.I.P. the old Christchurch Girl's High School. All gone, though I did see some elderly women collecting the odd momento.




23/5/2011: Six thousand plus earthquakes since September 4 th (6720 to be exact or more than thirty per day if you average them out) and one could say the citizens of Catastrophe City, those remaining that is, are suffering quake shock, a condition similar to that suffered by front-line soldiers in the Great War and akin to the trauma that soldiers and civilians suffered in the Second World War. In café chatter last week there was no talk of that and, more strangely, no talk about the elevation of Roger Sutton to the position of Recovery Czar. For a graphic illustration of the quakes visit: EARTHQUAKES GALORE!

Unlike this footbridge over the River Avon buggeredbridge

this Morris Minor and its owner, captured recently at my local Opawa garage, are still operating! moremoggie


18/5/2011: The Great Catastrophe has handed down some immutable laws. Well, not really laws or rules, more like Q.E.D. Want to know what quod erat demonstrandum means? Click on it.

One: You come first. The first Immutable Law is that people will look after themselves first during a catastrophe. One national fencing champion who was on the third floor of the new The Press building watched the old Press building shake apart then he and his workmates took to their heels once the shaking stopped. Early the next morning he sits bolt upright in bed from a deep sleep thinking, “Shit, what happened to the painters and decorators who where in the new Press building too?” (They survived!)

Two: Three-hundred-thousand plus people who experienced the September and February Earthquakes will not enter or use a multistoried building, they will also keep clear of verandas and other overhead constructions. So why are architects, city planners and others persisting in including them in their vision of a rebuilt Central Business District? Suggestion, make them all live and work in any multistoried buildings they design.

Three: Public Transport is dead. Any idea of trying to save it should be consigned to the dump along with other rubble. Forget buses. Forget light rail. Buy a car (preferably four-wheel drive and diesel) or a bicycle, as the cunning Japanese are doing, for when the Catastrophe struck it was public transport that stopped working and did not get going for weeks and weeks – the bike or car is KING, especially when the next shake comes. In fact Environment Canterbury could afford to supply all the regular users of buses, about 75,000 people per year, with a free bike and wet-weather gear and still have cash left over from the urban transport levy.

If you are looking for transport have a squizz at this classic collectable: Jmog

Owner Ian has it listed on Trade Me: Morris Van but make sure you have plenty of cash as he is asking over $30,000!!





There is an under-current of fear among people still living in the Eastern Suburbs, especially among those near the Avon River, and that is abandonment. Residents spoken to fear that the Christchurch City Council bureaucrats and perhaps others have taken a secret decision to abandon them and their homes. A possible indicator of this is the story this morning in the Nation’s Top Newspaper, THE PRESS, about the shift of the EcoShed from Aranui/Bexley in the east, to Blenheim Road in the west. The story highlighted the fact that elected city council representatives did not know about the shift.

Lets hope it is a CCC bureaucratic information SNAFU and not part of a secret plan. Only Robert Gerrie the manager of EcoCentral would appear to know. Perhaps QEII Park will be moved to the central business district?

Now, more than ever, ratepayers need to be informed well in advance of ANY changes in their suburbs.

Talking of fear brings to mind Asterix the Gaul who had a fear of the sky falling on his head. Have a look at this pix:sleeperawake

The owner, who lives in the Eastern Suburbs, was not in bed at the time the ceiling fell and though it does not look like much rest assured that after a couple of Kgs of plaster fell on your head you would be hearing much more than Bach’s Sleepers Wake! How about the Incredible String Band’s SLEEPER AWAKE!?



15/5/2011: This is a fencing website that, somehow, became a record of the catastrophe which hit Christchurch on February 22. Like all other sports in the stricken city, fencing took some major hits as far as clubs and venues were concerned, but now there is a sense of recovery. United Fencing Club has found a replacement venue after its current home at Avonside Girl's High School was abandoned, fencing is restarting in schools, there were ten schools with fencing programmes last year, and there was the Eccleston Epee.

On Sunday afternoon the relocated University of Canterbury Fencing Club held its annual Eccleston One-Hit epee competition with a record 20 entries!

Below, are some who turned up.competitorstoo

Plus some spectators: oddsnsods

Also some former champions emerged from the twilight: grumblingoldmen

Thats right, Rangi de Abaffy and Brendon Lindsay.

Also on hand were two of our tallest epeeists, Brett and Brad: tallest

Then came the problem of how to keep the score when one of the competitors dropped out leaving President Titch to make an executive decision: scoring

And the winners! See for yourselves : scoremore

Last year's joint winner, Anna, managing fifth equal this year with Brett the winner and Margeurite de Abaffy and Alex Chan equal second I think - you try and make sense out of it! Anyway everybody had a good time, the sun shone and the cakes were eaten - thanks to the bakers!



11/5/2011: Café talk lately has still been about the central city even though those talking have been hard-hit by the earthquakes individually they seem to be taking a long-term view on repairs to their broken homes. It is insurance companies they talk about and the fact that the companies want to save money on payouts on many central city buildings by throwing, “steel rods and concrete at them” instead of demolishing them and rebuilding. It seems many café-goers will be wary of working in or visiting “repaired” CBD high-rise buildings. Perhaps Sayrah (CERA) and Jerry Brownlee will have to talk to insurance companies and tell them to get a move on?

Here’s a heartening story:

Floods, fires and earthquakes cannot close this Sydenham business. grocertwo

Sydenham dairy owner Dayel has been on this site for 42-years suffering floods, fires and quakes. But his wee shop was demolished after February’s violent event, unbowed he, and daughter Ila have returned! It’s bit quiet he said, “I wish my old customers would return.”grocerone

As the motto for the old Sydenham Borough says:boroughlogo

So help the old fellow out, go buy a pie and soft drink or a banana!


9/5/2011: More about builders:

One I met tells the story of having to do the same repair work on the same house three times! Once after the September quake, then again after the Boxing Day Quake and now the February one. He reckons that we should do as they do in quake-prone Japan, wait a suitable length of time after the damaging quake before beginning repairs so as to allow for after-shocks – he suggested around 12-months. This seems reasonable given it is only six months since the September Quake and there have been two major shocks since – Boxing Day, February 22 causing much damage – plus a slew of not so damaging aftershocks.

Talking of builders and building what stood here?wotwas

And here a sewer pipe gets repaired. sewerfix


4/5/2011: They call it market forces. They call it a free market. Rent your home out in quake-torn Christchurch to those that cannot leave owing to work or other commitments, at an inflated price, then go stay with friends or rent somewhere cheaper like Dunedin or the West Coast and bank the excess.

Surviving second-hand dealers have sold out of furniture some were also appalled at the amount of paper-work needed to deal with salvaged goods recovered by one of the re-build-it companies even though they are registered with the Police. Here slate is recovered from the roof of the former Christchurch Girls High School.cghstoo

Rawhiti Domain, is this to be the site of New Zealand’s first concentration camp? Great news for New Brighton businesses but is it appropriate? Surely it makes more sense to built temporary accommodation in the vacant swathes of the central city, near the Polytech for example, than way out by the beach?rawhiti

Heard the story about the Mairehau home-owner who returned from work earlier this week to find his formerly green-sticked house flattened by the Knock it Downs and his neighbour’s red-stickered house still standing?


2/5/2011: Time for fencing: The International Fencing Federation has some great action pix on its website. Trouble is there are no captions with them, no who, what, when and where plus they are not adjusted for web viewing. Here I have tweaked a few and added captions, you can add your own too: FIE.

ohno Bugger, I forgot my mask again!

buggerwun I think my attack missed but her counter-attack didn't.

hownot How not to execute a fleche!

howtoo How to execute a fleche!

foolme You can't fool me - its bent.

helio See, If I whirl my sabre round and round I can hover!


1/5/2011: MAY DAY. Hurrah, the end of the imposition of a civil emergency and the return of commonsense (we hope). John Hamilton, the National Controller of Civil Defence talks about his reign in the pages of the nation's top newspaper, The Press: The leading Knock it Downer repents?

The former Christchurch Girls High School is still standing - just.cghsone

Tradesmen are kings in ravaged Christchurch. Revenge of the nerds, or to put it a nice way, revenge of the skilled manual workers! If you are a lawyer and need your house repaired, re-plumbed or your sewer fixed after Christchurch’s run of earthquakes, look out, as some tradespeople who have used lawyerly services in the past are thinking of getting their own back. Many lawyers charge out in six-minute modules and now the tradesmen plan to do the same. They reckon they can squeeze out more money that way. Many lawyers include a $300 administration fee for handling letters or other correspondence, now the tradesmen are thinking of doing the same. Imagine the income from handling all the letters and forms needed to get a building or resource consent!

Talking of tradesmen, February’s quake was heart-breaking for Hamish the Builder. Along with workmates and his boss Hamish, no that’s his boss’s name too, they had partially built two double storey flats in the central city. Now they have turned into knock it down men to demolish their handiwork munted by the ferocious quake and will then start building all over again. Hamish leans against a steel beam ripped and twisted by demonic energy of February’s quake.hamishwun


30/4/2011: Oops, it seems I have upset some with yesterday’s posting. “It was unfair,” two of you have said, “for those you have named cannot put their side of the story and you maligned them.” They can, read above. Any reader can and some do.

If you think the point of view is unfair, answer this question: Did any of the leaders of CCC, Erni, Sayrah or Civil Defence let any of the 50,000 plus Christchurch citizens, sitting in the cold and dark, know what was happening on Wednesday night?? No! End of story, lets get on and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Perhaps Sayrah needs a TV and Radio station based in ChCh (with a back-up generator of course!) so she can let her boyfriend Erni tell us poor shits sitting in the cold and dark what is happening.

Words are words, talk is talk, action is action, performance is reality Here are some performing people: Wellington policemen, Stu and Curt, hours into a two-week stint looking after our ravaged city.wgtpolice

While Terry does maintenance on phone lines in the central city.conwun

If you want to know about Erni, here's a message he sent last night: ERNI - Earthquake Recovery News and Information

Hello Vik Manuge

Living in the Red Zone

A reminder that people should not be living in the Red Zone.Because of demolitions, which will be ongoing for a long time, the Red Zone is now potentially more dangerous than it was at the time of the earthquake.
Demolition companies are not prepared for people living in the Red Zone - They may demolish a building near you and not know you are there. Civil Defence recommends that people living in the Red Zone seek alternative

This message is delivered to you from Readynet on behalf of Christchurch
City Council.

If you no longer wish to receive ERNI messages please reply with your name
and the Zone, site or group you registered for.

(Isn't Erni cute! )


29/4/2011: LEADERSHIP IS LACKING IN OUR RAVAGED CITY, fifty-thousand or more Christchurch residents sat in the dark and cold on Wednesday night when the power was cut to some of the city