What do Tore Haywood, Evan Swale and Paul Wilson have in common???

First correct answer wins a giant chocolate fish.

If you don't know come back soon and find out!



A couple of recent e-mails, via En guard above, have commented on the lack of fencing news and pictures. Sadly the only blade that flashes during the hols is that of the carving knife!!!

Now here's a few pix to entertain you ......

A cossack dance for you .....


A budding fencer - a left-hander???


A backyard conversion. Two Mormons join our tribe. What's the name of the Olympic and World champion who once fence here too?


And here are Negrini's best wishes to you .....




Our Former Railway Worker, now retired, is a fascinating fellow, if a bit grumpy at times. A fountain of effervescent stories when in a good mood, he is also a custodian of historic Kiwi Icons such as this ……

As one website says: “Klipper was founded in 1931 by the Klippel family until sold in 1976 to John Webster then in 1987 to Bendon and then to Ceramco in 1989 has been recognized as a leader in the apparel industry in both New Zealand and Australia over the years. The products are synonymous with quality, style and value and the name is well recognized by consumers in both countries.” 



A tie, a handkerchief and a packet of cigars! Missing is the alcoholic haze, but the newly established Bush Bars should take care of that.

Happy Christmas all ........


23/12/2013: BREATHLESS SPIN!

The media has been breathless in promoting some-one's idea of revitalising the central city Wasteland - by painting it!

Here's the Sydenham spin on Street Art - the roof of the former Work and Income building on Colombo Street! Any idea what "d i p c" means???


Graffiti, street art or call it what you will never take the place of real houses or businesses. Barry Hancox, whose former business, Smith's Bookshop, was in Manchester Street, says: "After a while I realised there was no point being loyal to the old CBD, because it wasn't coming back."

That begs the question, what IS coming back to the Wasteland???

Surely it will need to be more than a coat of paint.



An example of a new Bush Bar - one of three on Brougham Street.

Kiwis are quick to change when it involves their consumption of alcohol. Witness the nation-wide avoidance of the former six-o'clock closing law, the changing the drinking age and now the imposition of more restrictions on alcohol-fueled idiocy.


Even that student ramble of the pubs in the central city, quaffing a pint at each until you fell over, is gone, but that's because the Earthquakes flattened the pubs, now it has moved to Riccarton.

Any way, the new restrictions have seen the development of Bush Bars on many of Swamp City's main thoroughfares, where hardened booze-fueled idiots, can circumvent the new liquor laws. My question is, how do they power the beer fridge??? and, have you seen the example on Manchester Street??


21/12/2013: TWEET!

Both Prime and TV3 are now being more respectful of the tiny, long-established South Island town of Palmerston by giving the North Island upstart its full title - Palmerston North!!!

This should allay the fears of some that the New Zealand Media has become a Jaffa-controlled monopoly.


20/12/2013: With the former Central City Business District, now The Wasteland, dying even before the earthquakes the latest rants about prospective high rents and the lack of customers for the daring few businesses that have opened in the Wasteland, one wonders what planet some folks are on.

People in Swamp City are sick of four things; earthquakes, bureaucrats, rumpled roads and moaners.

The first three are sort of expected after a catastrophic event such as those that demolished much of Christchurch. Among the moaners you can forgive those suffering from EQC, Sayrah, CCC and insurance woes brought on by the Great Event – the rest of the MOANERS?? only have themselves to blame – just get on with life!!!

Here are a couple of wee sole businessmen who have set up in Sydenham/Waltham and who have moved on, so to speak  … Garry, the shop-keeper, lost his dairy in New Brighton owing to the quakes and, Jeff, the barber, from Riccarton, had his shop flattened cos it was unsafe. Both are surviving as are the long-established Drycleaner so come and deal with some positive survivors!!!

Pssst, wanna buy a new house in Rolleston??  The new housing developments round Swamp City are not all they are cracked up to be – one former Opawa home-owner who bought in Rolleston after his river-side home was badly damaged has moved back to the leafy suburb – no soul was his verdict, bit like a prison!



We all have funny habits and problems to iron out - here's a petrol powered one!

Yep, the wee rant about Prime and TV3 and their treatment of the tiny Mainland town of Palmerston has unveiled an underground following of media fuck-ups and incompetence, both written, verbal and video.

TV3 has now included an "N" in the naming of Palmerston North on their weather map. Presumably it stands for the word North?? Though why they do not use the usual abbreviation of 'Nth' heaven knows? Perhaps it makes the tag too long or they are just illiterate?

It wasn't just the geographical incompetence that makes folks sit up and watch, it is the hand waving by journalists and fronts-people on the telly that brings on the laughter.

Watch reporter so-and-so (name with-held for safety reasons) on TV1, I was informed, she makes the demented sign-language fellow at Nelson Mandela's funeral gathering look good. I did, it was hilarious with even the camera-man trying to crop his view to keep the waving hand out of shot. The question is dear reader was it deliberate or unconscious humour?? Either way it was hilarious!


18/12/2013: Horse hair in the plaster??

Yep, it was once a common use for the equine product up until the 1930’s giving a bit of strength to the LATH AND PLASTER used to finish walls and ceilings in many Kiwi homes.

This example of the horsey by-product comes from a house, built in the 1920’s, in the leafy suburb of Opawa, now being repaired three years after it was damaged in the Earthquakes.

They say the lath is kauri!?



17/12/2013: Interesting feedback to yesterday's post:

Cafe talk was scathing about the shoddy level of journalism/reporting by Kiwi media. Examples ranged from the hilarious efforts of radio folks to pronounce Quake City street-names and Mainland towns, such as Ensors Road and Oamaru, to the geographical incompetence of TV3 and the increasing lack of hard news stories in the print media - women's magazines - was one description of some well-known newspapers.


The gossip is that Sayrah, Skirt and others will be removing the thousands of road cones inhabiting the former city centre for the holidays. This is to allow holiday-makers and other disaster tourists free and unfettered access to the wasteland within the four avenues.

Some of them might even take a tour round the ravaged Oxford Terrace along the Avon River loop in the wasteland.


A Big Red, grumbles it's way along Oxford Terrace with a load of disaster gawpers.

Past views of rippled roads, drunken buildings and ...

Abandoned river-side houses.

Plus pissed-off home owners.



Visit the bog to wipe away their geographical incontinence?

Have you watched the TV3 or Prime weather forecasts recently? They have moved the tiny town of PALMERSTON from the South Island to the North Island.

Whether the blunder is deliberate or just incompetence or ignorance who knows, lets face it the standards of journalism have deteriorated since the rise of the “schools” of journalism at universities and others, but even allowing for the departure of that basic skill of checking your facts, the TV3 and Prime weather maps make it clear, Palmerston, which is just north of Dunedin, has been relocated as PALMERSTON, north of Wellington.

Those living in the wee Mainland town could feel aggrieved, after all they were the first town in New Zealand to take the name, hence the addition of North for the latecomer, to differentiate it from the original in Otago, but ever since the uppity new-comer has tried to steal the name. Now the Auckland-centric media have shat themselves.

Perhaps the local move to re-name the North Island town Manawatu City could solve TV3 and Prime’s crappy problem??

And thanks for the "media-focused" pix Lucy!




Better than a car?

Back on the road again. The couple camped in this tent for the last week are moving - back to living in their car - today.

It has been a dogs life for the pair the last nine weeks. First was the end of their tenancy then a fruitless search for a new home for themselves and their three dogs. No luck. Now they are going back to living in their car.

No housing shortage in Quake torn Christchurch??????????

The fact they even considered living in this munted Red Zoned garage shows how desperate they are.

If you have a house or garage to rent I have their phone number!!!! Yes, they have been approached by Housing Corp and the Christchurch City Council - their policy is NO DOGS!!!


15/12/2013: They say there are more road cones in Swamp City than humans.

A cheerful decorated road cone.

They say that there are many people making heaps of dosh moving them around the quake riven city.

They say that the cones are about to take over the un-elected and elected bureaucracy trying to re-build our quake damaged city.

They say that the cones are going to process building consents to speed up the hesitant rebuild.

They say that Jerry and his Waste-Makers plan to give everyone remaining in Quake City a decorated cone for Christmas to alleviate the housing shortage.





12/12/2013: GONE!

All gone.

Yep the tent has gone, read why in the nation's TOP NEWSPAPER.



Two more tents!!



All mod cons.

Their lease expired and they have spent nine-weeks looking for another rental, trouble is they have three dogs.




11/12/2013: GOING!

They've found a house in the Waltham area!




Gerry and his Wastemakers are at odds with many of Swamp City's earthquake survivors. Not content with bowling the "old dungas" in the former city centre, now a wasteland, he does not seem keen on a TEMPORARY MEMORIAL , at the above site of the former CTV building, where so many died.


In Sydenham they do it different - a tree in a tub marks the spot where inveterate cafe-goer Maureen Fletcher died in February's quake.


Here's Maureen after reading the nation's top newspaper at her favourite cafe in New Brighton in 2007.

If it can be done in Sydenham why cannot it be done in the Wasteland Mr Brownlee?

They will be remembered well after you and the rest of us, have gone.




Park views, includes playground and swimming pool (when the Christchurch City Council fix it) plus toilet amenities and basketball court.  Supermarket and shops nearby, schools too.

Quick, read the nation’s top newspaper to find out all about this gem - St Martins Park!. Yes, Scotty, it is a deliberate mistake. Can YOU work out why I called it that instead of Waltham Park?


8/12/2013: Mainland fencers took the honours in epee while North Island fencers scooped the foil at the NEW ZEALAND YOUTH GAMES in Hamilton yesterday.

The venue!

Held every four years in Hamilton, the New Zealand Youth Games consists of New Zealand's finest young athletes representing various sports whilst competing in an Olympic type environment in the spirit of the Olympic Games

The fencers!

EPEE: 1 Lucian Nightingale, Burnside High School. 2 Sheldon Ogilvie, Cashmere High School. 3= Jonathan Gerry, Sabre Club, and Gavin Thomas, Upper Hutt College. 5 Tainee Macnee, Upper Hutt College. 6 Ross Shepherd, Cashmere High School. 7 Ben Clarkson TS. 8 Nick Stevens Upper Hutt College.

FOIL: 1 Alice Boyd, Auckland Swords Club.  2 Nicola Buisman, Epsom Girls Grammar School. 3= Daniela Ravera, Samuel Marsden School for Girls and Natalie Dunn, North Harbour Fencing Club. 5 Darya Kharitonova, Auckland Swords Club. 6 Amy Wilson, Upper Hutt College. 7 Christine Chen, Epsom Girls Grammar School. 8 Samantha Fowler, Diocesan School for Girls. 9 Anriena Zen, Kristin School. 10 Jessica Gracie, Epsom Girls Grammar School. 11 Sally Zhang, Kristin School.

The action!


5/12/3013: On target. A fleche (flying arrow) attack that hit its target unlike an American movie that belittled the daring doings of Kiwi Diplomats.

Former Fencer Chris Beeby is Recognised as a Iranian Hostage Hero.

Yep, don’t take my word for it see TV3 Family Secret.

It took an American movie maker’s erroneous view of the 1979 Iranian Hostage affair, that involved former foilist and Kiwi diplomat Chris Beeby, who once fenced for Victoria University, to reveal the full story.


Fighting foes: Keith Mann, left, of Christchurch, and Richard Petersen, of Wellington, can attest to the fencing skills of the former diplomat Chris Beeby - they faced him in combats on the piste!





Americans use the month, day then year, when recording dates. We Kiwis and Poms use the day, month and year. Hence the terms “9/11” (month followed by day in Americanese - most would remember the year, 2001!) and “remember, remember the 5th of November” our style!

But now the Christchurch-based internet provider, Snap, is using the year, month then day – like this, 2013-12-3, on their accounts.

“This is just the way our system has been set up.” They say. “Our dates are this way throughout our whole system.”

A backwards move?

Pans instead of Snap??


Now for some more quackery, but this time for real. Families of ducks are taking advantage of earthquake repairs to the roads, sewers and drains around the picturesque Heathcote River.

Duck beach?

Unlike most of the denizens of Quake City they appreciate the part-finished works at the end of Claxton Place, off Riverlaw Terrace, for it provides a sunny, warm and dry beach.




Merivale tractors?

Seconds after snapping this pic in Sydenham I was chased up Buchan Street by a breathless man demanding to know what I was doing.

I was on my way to the Sydenham Bakery and thence to Ian’s outdoor café on Colombo Street for lunch and had caught sight of a grey Merivale Tractor bumbling up a wee side street to park. A quick squizz and the above image reminded me of one taken a year ot so earlier, in the fenced-off Red Zone, of carpetbaggers – see posting 3/4/2012.

Ian's place - he does like leggo.


The running man’s concern seemed a bit over-the-top, for it is the first time something like that has happened since I started taking pictures in our quake-riven city in February 2011 – is there something the owners of these grey merivale tractors want kept secret???


His concern that funny things have been happening in Sydenham didn’t wash with some locals I talked to, “Too many men in suits,” was one comment.

I didn’t see many wearing suits while dining al fresco, but there were a lot in dark trou and open-necked business shirts.

“Try and get a park in Sydenham Monday to Friday,” was another comment.

I leave you dear reader to come and see for yourselves how Sydenham has gone ahead since the quakes – just do it on the weekends when parking is easier so you won't get chased for eyeing up someone's park.

And, no, the scampering spy-catcher was not the elderly man in the pic loading his merivale tractor!




A bit bent and still recording the time the earth moved in Swamp City on February 22nd 2011 - the Victoria Street Clock tower!



The Auckland Sly tower! Would it have survived the Great Shakes?

28/11/2013: But this is a FENCING site some of you have been wailing. We want more fencing gos you plead, but sorry there is not too much going on fencing-wise worth recording, though do see the pix and full results from the NZ and Oceanic Fencing Champs held in Auckland last month and posted then.

However. this cartoon I do like ....

It encapsulates the spirit of our ancient art and modern sport. Sorry for not knowing whom to credit, they obviously were a sabreur (one who fences sabre), well done!

Don't all rush to take up sabre for the Sabre Club (see Links page for details) is on holiday til early next year as are most of the schools and clubs in Quake City.

Now here's a good fencing story!



27/11/2013: SANTA'S HERE!

The canny residents of Apiti ensure a happy Christmas by allowing Santa Claus and his reindeer free parking

while they are in the tiny Manawatu township!?



Trampers and climbers also love stopping at the hamlet too on their way to or from the Ruahine Ranges for, as one Palmerston North (sorry Manawatu City) regular noted, it 

“Still has a bog. It even has soap in the bog. Real soap too. Not that squishy squirty gungy stuff from a wall pump!”


So there!! And thanks to 'M' for the pix and story.


26/11/2013: The knock-it-downs are still voraciously feeding on the former city centre, now a wasteland.

However, our former Railway Worker, now retired, does volunteer work and has moved back inside the four avenues, much to his enjoyment. The lucky fellow has been finding cartons of beer on his early morning perambulations round the Heathcote River!


The Centennial Pool - not wanted any more.




The Town Hall.



An eyesore barr none?



The bridge over the River Avon at Colombo Street.



25/11/2013: They are back – the fences surrounding the former Christchurch Art Gallery.

The first time was after the February 2011 earthquakes when Civil Defence hid themselves at the, relatively, undamaged building, but had to erect fences round it to protect themselves from frustrated, suffering and bewildered citizens – see posting 23/3/2011.


This time the Christchurch City Council says “The wall is in preparation of the major repair work that is due to start on the Art Gallery next month. This includes facade repairs, base isolation and re-levelling."

Hurrumph - All fenced in!

"It is also a safety measure separating the public sidewalk from the construction site.”


Oh yes??

 Then why the wee kink around this parking meter?? Couldn’t users be in danger when operating it??

Perhaps the lure of dosh from the central city wasteland is too much for CCC to ignore?

And why have they set a wild-eyed Dragon to oversee the horrible machine?

Has the CCC become a Dragons' Lair?? Wot with Ruby, Jane, Cynthia, Mary, Lianne, Vicky and now this strange Dragon.



13/11/2013: "A KILLER ON OUR STREET' was one response while 'what a wally' was another to the Burn-Up posting.

The responses were from readers as far apart as the Failed Former Soviet Socialist Republics and a North Island school teacher. But seriously, the newly re-surfaced St Asaph Street is worth a burn-up but do be aware of the possible killer hole on the Colombo Street intersection - yes, it won't kill a tin clad motorist but it could a cyclist or motorcyclist falling in to it while turning right from St Asaph Street.

Hitting this "killer pothole" could be worse than hitting the nearby curb....


11/11/2013: A burn-up on your bike.

Smooth and newly painted - looking up St Asaph Street from the High Street corner.


You’ve gotta have a cycle up St Asaph Street. Last Wednesday night they resurfaced it and it is s m o o t h! Just like most roads in Christchurch used to be before the EARTHQUKES.


Watch out for this ....


Like all great things there is a tiny down-side – a cycle or motorcycle killer pot-hole just before Colombo Street intersection. Let us hope they fix it quick.

A burn up on my bike .... Have a listen!



8/11/2013: GOING, GOING GONE!

A few weeks ago - a bit left.

Read more about our beer brewery on the corner of Antgua and St Asaph Streets at the nation's top NEWSPAPER!

Yesterday - all gone!




A house in the East.


Another still waiting.


Even in the central city they still wait!

GOING HOME: TEN YEARS AFTER ... 1969 to be exact. Will it take that long for these homes??

Read what Gerry, the Leader of the Wastemakers, has to say about Christchurch residents going home in the nation's TOP NEWSPAPER!


2/11/2013: ONCE STUNG TWICE SHY?Are the bumbles loose at Christchurch Airport? (Pix by 'M')

Flown through Christchurch Airport recently on a local flight?

Been asked to strip at Security?


You are lucky for Christchurch Airport Security have been asking local travelers to undress – yes, undress, before boarding their local flights.

Labour Weekend Saturday, heading to Auckland and come to the security/x-ray desk, “empty your pockets please into this container, no not your money”, but you said empty my pockets?


“Now take off your jacket.” No, I don’t undress in front of strangers. “I can require you to do so”, No you cannot! But I am happy to undress in a private room with you.


Seconds later on the boarding side of the barrier I watched lots of other travelers undergoing the same humiliation.

Not one complained.

Three days later leaving from Auckland Airport, no-one was asked to strip.

Why is it only done at Christchurch Airport?

I have traveled much of the world over the since 1946 by liner, plane, train, car, bus and on foot, crossing many borders, but never been asked to strip.

And much of that travel is with a bag-full of swords. Have been patted down and gone through those weird see-all machines, but never asked to remove clothing.

Once traveling to Europe, via Asia, with a group of fencers we were surrounded by men in black when one of the fencers when asked what was in his roll-bag, answered – weapons!

Swords were once the accepted weapons of mass destruction, but even the security men laughed when they saw what was in the fencer’s bag!

Once, when returning from a competition in Brisbane, a pupil’s bag was stuck in a security locker, when he too mentioned the word weapons, instead of the luggage locker where the rest of the passengers had their bags put.

He had to pick up his bag from the Police.

Many local business folks; motelliers, hoteliers, restaurateurs and the Ladies on Manchester Street complain about the drop in visitor numbers to Christchurch – wonder why???????????

(Get the picture? Head down and arse up.)



Held at the Te Pai netball centre in Henderson, Auckland, over Labour Weekend. The venue was voted the best ever used for nationals - light, roomy and close to accommodation.


The fabulous fencing event even attracted a spectator!


And some dancing.


But mostly fencers. Here are some at roll call before the start of the mens' epee.


And here's one of em watching the epee action - and a former Mainlander too - Chris Nokes out of Hamilton.


The event saw fencers from New Zealand, New Caledonia and our mates from across the pond, Australia.



Womens Foil. 1 Ping Yuan, Wellington. 2 Monique Coleman, Auckland. 3= Alice boyd, Auckland, and Alice Wu, Timaru. 5 Daniela Ravera, Auckland. 6 Nicola Buisman, Auckland. 7 Vicky Fan, Auckland. 8 Stephanie Wyllie, Auckland. 9 Sasha Green, Auckland. 10 Simone Marshall. 11 Pippi Miller, Dunedin. 12 Natalie Dunn, Auckland. 13 Christine Chen, Auckland. 14 Jessica Gracie, Auckland. 15 Darya Kharitonova, Auckland.
Women’s Epee. 1 Jess Beer, Auckland. 2 Jennifer Jackson, Australia. 3= Sheryl Fan, Auckland and Annick Fenaughty, Wellington. 5 Wai Ling Chan, Christchurch. 6 Michelle Hawkins, Australia. 7 Anna Powell, Auckland. 8 Felicity Boyd, Christchurch. 9 Stephanie Wyllie, Auckland. 10 Moea Neuville, New Caledonia. 11 Ashleigh Syme, Australia. 12 Alex Hughes, Australia. 13 Jessica Gracie, Auckland. 14 Rosie Graham, Wellington.

Womens’ Sabre.
 1 Sally Bennett, Australia. 2 Katie Logan, Auckland. 3=Sasha Green and Stephanie Wyllie, both Auckland. 5 Shauni Phippen, Fielding. 6 Laura Jacks, Auckland.

Mens’ Foil. Matt Foster, Australia. 2 Matthew Donald, Australia. 3=Lucas Webber and Douglas Sholto, both Australia. 5 Edward Fitzgerald, Australia. 6 Jesse Morris, Australia. 7 Bruce Ng, Auckland. 8 Chris Bell, Auckland. 9 Tyler Reynolds, Australia. 10 Dylan Devenish, Australia. 11 Daniel Garelja, Auckland. 12 Patrick Daley, Australia. 13 Clovis Dyson, Auckland. 14 Simon Capon, Australia. 15 Felix Boyce, Wellington. 16 Hamish Chan, Auckland. 17 Jonathan Brill, Christchurch. 18 Oliver Agnew, Auckland. 19 Harry Forrester, Wellington. 20 William Bishop, Wellington. 21 Michael Aymes, Auckland. 22 Russell Johnson, Wellington. 23 Chris Anderson, Australia. 24 John Calcott, New Plymouth. 25 Roman Amor, Auckland. 26 Ben Lear, Auckland. 27 Rex Heffernan, Auckland. 28= Richard Souness, Dunedin, and Nathanael Walker-Hale, Wellington. 30 Daniel Keleghan, Christchurch. 31 James Harwood, Wellington. 32 Michael Claydon, Auckland. 33 Nick Henderson, Wellington. 34 Johann Ryu, Auckland. 35 Jonathan Carruth, Wellington. 36 Oliver Jacks, Auckland.

Men’s Epee. 1 Martin Brill, Christchurch. 2 Sheldon Ogilvie, Christchurch. 3= William Bishop, Wellington, and Emmerick Galli, New Caledonia. 5 Nicolas Touvet, New Caledonia. 6 Zac Casagrande, Australia. 7 Edward Fitzgerald, Australia. 8 Oliver Agnew, Auckland. 9 Andreas Sesun, Christchurch. 10 Kyle MacDonald, Auckland. 11 Jurgens van Zyl, Auckland. 12 Lucian Nightingale, Christchurch. 13 Quin Downs, Christchurch. 14 Matt Baker, Australia. 15 Xavier Watts, Wellington. 16 Felix Boyce, Wellington. 17 Graham Payne, Timaru. 18 Vladimir Raskovic, Auckland. 19 Matt Matt Foster, Australia. 20 Andrew Imms, Auckland. 21 Lucas Webber, Australia. 22 Jaco Fourie, Christchurch. 23 Brent Ammundesen, Auckland. 24 Quentin Touvet, New Caledonia. 25 Siwei Zhao, Auckland. 26 Michael Claydon, Auckland. 27 Jonothan Gerry, Christchurch. 28 Chris Nokes, Hamilton. 29 Kelly Durrant, Australia. 30= Johann Ryu, Auckland and Nathanael Walker-Hale, Wellington. 32James Harwood, Wellington. 33= Ian Cannan, Auckland, and David Jennings, Dunedin. 35 Hamish Bulmer, Auckland. 36 John Calcott, New Plymouth.

Mens’ Sabre. 1 Zac Cassagrande, Australia. 2 Lucas Webster, Australia, 3=Matt Foster, Australia, and Felix Boyce, Wellington. 5 Bryan Clark, Wellington. 6 John Calcott, New Plymouth.

The silverwarem daggers and swords up for grabs.


Sabre Teams Men
1 Australia Casagrande, Foster, Webber.
2 New Zealand Boyce, Calcott, Clark.

Epee Teams.Men
1 Australia, Baker, Casagrande, Fitzgerald, Foster.
2 New Caledonia, Galli, Touyet, Touyet.
3= New Zealand A, Bishop, Brill, Ogilvie.
3= New Zealand B, Agnew, MacDonald, Sesun.

Epee Teams Women.
1 New Zealand A, Beer, Chan, Fan, Jackson.
2 Australia, Hawkins, Hughes, Syme.
3 New Zealand B, Fenaughty, Powell, Wyllie.

Foil Teams Men.
1 Australia B, Devenish, Fitzgerald, Morris, Reynolds.
2 Australia A, Donald, Douglas, Webber.
3= New Zealand A, Bell, Dyson, Garelja.
3= Australia C, Anderson, Capon, Daley.
5 New Zealand B, Amyes, Boyce, Chan.
6 New Zealand C, Agnew, Bishop, Brill.

Foil action Aussie style.


Epee action Kiwi style - see the bend in the left-hander's weapon?


Last but not least, a New Caledonian fencer guards the padlocked refreshments fridge. Sadly, for the competiters, he did not a key have.



Give me an   F

Give me a     U

Give me a     C

Give me a     K

Give me an   E

Give me a     D

What does that spell??

A wasteland?

You can vocalise it as I don’t want Department X trying to close me down for foul and lewd language, but it describes the former central city now a wasteland and a developers’ nightmare.

Even the car-parking entrepreneurs struggle.

More importantly, the Nation’s Top Newspaper has recently published the statistical evidence of what this site and others have been saying for the last three years – the majority of Christchurch’s ratepayers are NOT interested in what is to happen or about to happen in the former central city wasteland - it is fucked!

Our Former Railway Worker, now retired, and his mates are adamant they are not going back to the central city. All our memories have gone they say. The pubs, the milkbars and the dance halls, all gone.

Having said that, as one who has studied, worked and lived in the central city for forty-odd years, it will return, just not as we knew it.

A door to the future?

Lets hope Camp Leader Lianne, Camp Mother Vicki and their Happy Campers will open the door to a new Swamp City for ALL? Happy Campers?

Now, anyone want a front door key to the old The Press building, now gone?



The Heathcote River from Opawa Road!


Zany road signs on Fifield Terrace..


21/10/2013: A railway line to nowhere?

Choo choo for now.

Our Former Railway Worker, now retired, remarked about the suggestion that commuter trains should be back on the rails, that New Zealand Rail got rid of them in 1970 or so because no-one was using them.

He thinks it is more than possible to run them between Burnham and Rangiora as they did in the old days he states. Back then there were two from Rangiora and Burnham in the morning, one either way at lunchtime and two back at night – but that was when we had a central city and central railway station he added, before the central city wasteland.

He still reckons with the ribbon development that has happened since the earthquakes killed the city centre and the congested main roads into the city they could run a continuous shuttle ‘tween Rangiora and Rolleston stopping at the “suburban stations”. Fair enough, but would anyone USE them?

Here’s wot the nation’s top newspaper had to say about commuter rail:The Press!

For hire!

Instead of all the talk and promises of, “looking or planning for commuter rail”, why can’t the Christchurch City Council, Environment Canterbury, or some jolly entrepreneur just hire these carriages and an engine and trial a commuter service?? Now parked in Waltham, they are available for hire and I am sure New Zealand Rail would welcome the extra revenue.


The end of the line for commuter rail??


20/10/2013: Damned if you do and Damned if you don’t.

Wonder how much impact the earthquakes that rocked Wellington recently had on EQC’s decision to stage the earthquake preparedness TV advertising programme they had produced to air??

Could it be that our Capital-based bureaucrats and media advisors have been shaken awake??

Have a read here: The Nation's top newspaper

If so, wonder how Civil Defence are fairing?? Have they got the spray-paint cans ready?? Have they learnt from the shambles of the Christchurch quakes? See the date above. Have they, I frigen hope so!


Talking of the dearth of commonsense and incompetence, why was this heap of rubble left on the edge of Waltham Road on Friday?

Could it be a way of extracting more dosh from the orange road cones and an expensive traffic management plan?


Lazy workers or contractors trying to squeeze out the job or too lazy to finish the job and remove the small pile of rubble they dug out and left when they resealed the trench across Waltham Road last week and left as a gross inconvenience for road users?


19/10/2013: How goes Germon's Wall asks a reader, obviously referring to the rants on this site in early August agin the rape of Hagley Park's cricket oval.

Here it was on Wednesday, calm, pristine and lovely. The question is, has Canterbury Cricket found the dosh to ravish it?


Another reader asked, what the hell was the Ziggurat?

Here it is after February's earthquakes, still squatting smack bang over the former Victoria Street gateway to the central city. Alas, chortle, all gone now. Question, will Victoria Street become the gateway to the central city once again?



18/10/2013: WOOF!

Remember them?


The Queen's corgis. They could be back! Here.

"The Corgis are planned, if all goes well, to return just before Christmas. It is likely they will return to their original position on High Street", says the Christchurch City Council.

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



17/10/2013: Prescient??

Who would have thought the this pix posted twenty months ago (2/2/2012) of a gathering of the Helpless Against the Hopeless outside the CCC offices would end up with Vicki, left, Lianne, working together at the Christchurch City Council?


Along with this pix - we all know what has happened to Bob! He didn't hang around until the people spoke.

Here's just some of the central city wasteland they will have to deal with!


15/10/2013: The baguettes and berets were put to the sword at Akaroa's annual French Fest on Saturday. A hardy troupe of fencers from Christchurch headed over the hill to show off the French martial art, sending the sound of clashing swords reverberating around the tiny harbour town, all in the name of promotion, En garde!

Take this! The President of Fencing Mid-South, Sarah, hands out brochures about our ancient art and modern sport.


The crowd admire some sword-play.


Brett, right, spruiks a sabre bout between Aidan, left and Keith while Jaco and Nursey work the spectators.


Chris, Mr Vice, waits his turn to display our martial art.


Epee action from Keith, left, and Brett. At 85, Keith was the oldest fencer there.


While Fleur, right, was the youngest.

Thanks to Keith, Sarah, Jaco, Aidan, Ghaisan, Chris (Mr Vice), Margaurite, Fleur  plus those friends and partners terrorized into attending and of course Brett, who organised it.



14/10/2013: Is there ANYTHING still standing in the former city centre asked an Italian reader?

Oh yes.

Here is Captain Cook in Victoria Square - the munted Christchurch Town Hall is on his left. Unlike the statue of another famous Pom, Robert Falcon Scott, the Capt. didn't get thrown face down in the mud by the quakes!

The bridge behind him was once a main route into the central city and its blocking-off many years ago with a Ziggurat/hotel on Kilmore Street helped kill the former city centre. Now it has been demolished, perhaps those in CCC, Sayrah, Seedo and Gerry and the Wastemakers might consider opening up the street again??

Who knows Lianne and her Lackeys might just inject a bit of commonsense into our Christchurch City Council. Don't hold your breath for the depressed, mentally deranged or just plain moaners have already started their death chants. Click on the above to read what the moaners are saying about the CCC elections in the nation's top newspaper.


12/10/2013: Yes Mike, it is true that the cost of a traffic management programme in Swamp City and its attendant orange road cones can cost more that $30,000!! In fact I know of two organisations who have canned development/improvement plans cos of the cost!!

But you won't read about it in the "media" as no-one wants to come forward and rant about it.

Now have a rant about this ....

Is there money to be made in Quake City??? Read what the nation's top newspaper says about sexually transmitted DISEASES. Wonder what de Valera or James Connelly would say??



11/10/2013: The hungry knock-em-downs are still hard at work in the earthquake ravaged former city centre of Swamp City three years on from the quakes.

Here they snap away at the remains of a former Hereford Street building.


A view of the central city desert - that's the former Christchurch Anglican Cathedral in the centre!


More knock-em-downs at work - these ones with a orange-jacketed human in tow for safety!


This one, the former Copthorne Hotel, didn't need the knock-em-dowms - it fell down by itself!

Read more about it in the Nation's top NEWSPAPER.


However, all is not lost.


The ship-like prow of this brand-new office block looms over High Street. Only two storeys say the builders!


Did you know that the cost of hiring and installing those pesky orange road cones can cost upwards of $30,000 a site?? It is true, the cost of the blighters has put off many developers and others.



10/10/2013: Are you voting in the local council elections? Not if you live in Swamp City, aka Christchurch!

As one local businessman said about politicians both local and national this morning ”…they are all a bunch of thieves.” While café talk this week is even more emphatic with a consensus that there is no democracy in Christchurch, the city is run by Gerry and the Wastemakers out of Wellington so why bother voting?

In fact the legacy of Bob and Tony will not be the hard hours put in after the earthquakes, but the seemingly mismanagement of the Christchurch City Council, from its Gardening in the Red Zone to requiring a consent for a plastic sheet tunnel house to have a fire-exit and wheelchair access. And don’t mention the marches and protest meetings of the common people that most reckon were ignored.

So why vote??

Because many years ago as a 21-year-old I underwent a rite of passage, in those days for all Kiwis, that was, gaining the right to vote and missing out in the ballot for compulsory military training and getting sent to a foreign war in Viet Nam. Plus I have met a few local politicians who might just do some good.

So vote!

You can cast em here: People can enroll to vote in the 2013 elections up until Friday 11 October but, along with people who did not enroll before 16 August or have not updated their details, will have to cast a special vote and must contact the Christchurch elections hotline on 0508 440 017 . Special voting facilities will be available at:



Then look for the fencing display at the town's annual French Festival!

The baguettes and berets will be put to the sword at Akaroa's French Fest this Saturday 12 October. A hardy troupe of fencers from Christchurch will be heading over the hill to show off the French martial art, sending the sound of clashing swords reverberating around the tiny harbour town. It's all in the name of promotion, so come along and show your support by watching the action. En garde!

More about French Fest:

28/9/2013: More bull?
Or have I been gored?
Perhaps I’ve missed something?
El buey?

When I saw Chapman’s Homer in Christchurch it was these two plus a grand piano in a room across the road..

Read more about the the bulls in the nation's top newspaper...

An article in yesterday’s “The Press” says there is only one bull. I did ring the Art Gallery to try and find out more, but even the lady answering the phone didn’t know, she remembered seeing the two too and was as confused as I. Help.

Has it come down to one, the last one standing?

Which one do YOU prefer?

If you feel like eating a bit of bull you could try this famous restaurant in Madrid: El Buey.

I recommend it, especially for a bit of humble pie so to speak. 


27/9/2013: HURRAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

It's open to two-way traffic again - read about in THE PRESS!

You can read about what happened to the Bridge Street bridge in the 'Archives' for Feb 2011 on!



But John, left, and Trev share the same passion for slimy wee beasties called whitebait.



John's first haul for the day from the Heathcote River nets around 250gms of the Kiwi delicacy.

The gos is that the 'bait are running better in the Avon River with some catches in the kilogramme range!!



In swampy Quake City cyclists are fair game for motorists as this sign shows. Turn right please and get squished!!


Yet just up the road is this one ….. talk about confusing?


The other problem with many of these signs, especially those erected on narrrow roads, is that they force the cyclist trying to keep left, to avoid the speeding motorists, into the centre of the road. Now, if they erected the signs partially on the footpath and partially on the road if would be safer for all – but that demands commonsense, a virtue that disappeared after the quakes.

Think I am joking? Have a look at the signs on the corner of Gasson Street and Moorhouse Avenue. Oh, and don’t mention the orange road cones.

This report in the Nation’s Top Newspaper THE PRESS! of cyclists’ deaths makes interesting reading since it points out the idiocy of cyclists and motorists, but the comments section make are even more interesting!

Tomorrow - how goes the bait???


23/9/2013: Fencing stalwart departs.

Most of you newcomers to fencing will not know of her. Most of you will have not met her and most of you will not even know her name, but Anna-Liisa Myllarinen had a big impact on Canterbury Fencing yet she was not a fencer.

Always known as Lisa, she fed and watered thousands of fencers for around forty-years as one of those behind the scenes workers, and her cheese toasty’s are a staple diet at many competitions to this day. For many of you that do remember her it will also be for her wine-making skills producing tasty beverages that enlightened many an after-match function and United Fencing Club meetings.

Though she was not a fencer Lisa was a friend, workmate and house mate of the Matriarch of New Zealand fencing, Olga Jeykll and it was through that friendship that the out-spoken Finn (Lisa was born in 1926 in Joutseno, Finland) who immigrated to New Zealand in 1955, came to be involved in our ancient art and modern sport.

Her funeral is at 1pm tomorrow, Tuesday 24th September, at 'Dignity with Sincerity', 78 Brisbane Street.



It was wet, it was cold and it was early Sunday morning when all were asleep, except this fellow, one of those workers repairing  the approach to the road bridge over the Heathcote River in Christchurch which joins Brougham Street to Opawa Road or vice versa if you were born on Opawa Road like one reader.


The abutment being repaired – the steel thingies in the pix of three postings ago, will allow traffic over the bridge while it is lifted.



A cracking good time was had by all in the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes as this concrete beam shows.


22/9/2013: Morning all.

It is a rather damp Sunday in Swamp City so spirits might just need a lift as might this wee quake-damaged church in Opawa by the Heathcote River.

A stairway to heaven??

Make your own way to heaven with Led Zep!

And remember there were only five wee earthquakes yesterday!!


21/9/2013: STOP PRESS.

Is the popular Christchurch cut-price vege retailer The Funky Pumkin about to change its name to the Funky Parrot?

Former Coaster and owner of the FP (leave you to vocalise em) Jimmy.

You can visit one of Jimmy's two stores; New Brighton or on Colombo Street just opposite the Sydenham Park, but the Parrot stays at the Colombo Street store.



20/9/2013: Back in 1970 American musicians Simon and Garfunkel had a hit song with their “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

The bridges over the Heathcote River - first the railway bridge built about 1863 of timber and re-inforced with iron strapping and, behind it, the much later road bridge with the big bow in the middle which happened when the abutments on either side moved with the earthquakes of three year's ago.

In Christchurch the people are having numerous hits of their own with their “bridges over troubled water. ”.

The Bridge at Ferrymead, the Bridge at Bridge Street and this one over the Heathcote River in Opawa – Troubled Bridges Over Water! See the earlier posts on this site.

The steel thingies built by the Lyttelton Engineering company that will help take the "bow" of the "bridge"

Tonight these steel thingies will be laid and dozens of little bottle jacks will lift the bridge by 200mm at either end, hopefully taking out the bow.

Do remember to detour along Opawa Road and do stop for a coffee at the Opawa Cafe in the wee shopping centre there. If you grab some fishnchips from the chippie there, ask for vinegar, but make sure you stand well back!!


Listen to the song ...



The last heavy truck to Lyttleton last night??



Clarity in communications from bureaucratic bodies left over from the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 has been one of the major problems suffered by residents in Swamp City.

One wonders if the city might have fared better if some of those bodies had been deconstructed like the majority of heritage buildings in the city?

A road over the bridge to nowhere - see earlier postings on the Heathcote bridge.

Anyway, here's the 'Major Closure Brougham St, Opawa/Heathcote bridge" story as published in an advert in a local newspaper, The Star. ..

"+ First of eight weekend closures." it harumps.

+ The main highway bridge (1) on Brougham St through to Lyttelton will be closed from 6pm Friday, 13 September, to 6am Monday 15 September, and the following four weekends to mid October." It twitters, that's five closures right?

But nowhere in the rest of the advert does it mention more/less closures of the bridge. Wonder what happened to the other three closures???

A bridge worker does a jig on the closed road last night - two of the three were Irish!



13/9/2013: It is Friday the 13th!

Here are some pix for you to admire/consider..........

The Bridge Street bridge and New Brighton - still one lane.


A former gang house on Waltham Road is demolished - gossip is that the Housing Corp plans are afoot for the site and nearby areas.


Thugby aficionados in Palmerston North tease George the tuatara by covering up his nearest and dearest with plastic buckets.


Another building comes down in Sydenham - a demolition kata?


On the edge in Sumner - too edgy for some.


The nation's oldest fencer? And a left-hander to boot, she has been en-guard in Fielding since 1923.

Which die the youngest - left-handers or right-handers, have a read of this .....



11/9/3013: It was a bit windy last night as these pix show and you can read all about it in the nation’s top newspaper THE PRESS!

A blasted tree was no impediment to this jogger perambulations along the Heathcote River this morning


Ripped apart ...


And flung into the river!


No, this is Nick Heffernen, not Thomas Bach.

And to add a little more excitement to the lives of Christchurch fencers, a former German fencer, Thomas Bach, has taken over the reins of the International Olympic Committee Read more here ...




9/9/2013: I was all agog after the nation’s TOP NEWSPAPER burst into words about moving the containers protecting the sea-side suburbs of Sumner and Redcliffs the other day. Alas the spin was more than the reality.

They are still there.




Still protecting Sumner residents from falling buildings, cliffs and ....


Boulders ...


Coming visiting through the back door!


But the resident's have been keeping them warm through the winter though.





The RSA need to stick a bayonet up someone's arse!?

Apart from the on-going looting (the Police and Courts prefer to call it burglary) graffiti/tagging is the thing that can piss-off the residents of Swamp City the most and it costs $millions to remove.

It is a form of visual rubbish dumping was one comment. Another reckoned that the Courts are too lenient to those captured in the act – one business caught four of them, none children but in their late teens and early-twenties, and the Court awarded reparations of less than $8 a month in total for all four!!! No doubt this is why some property owners in go-ahead central city Sydenham have been meting-out their own form of justice – clean-it-up or suffer!

However not all damaged surfaces can be cleaned or repaired as this war memorial at New Brighton demonstrates.

They tried to clean it.

It was badly graffitied/tagged last year (see posting of 6/12/2012)., but the ink and paint has been absorbed by the sandstone blocks which make up the memorial making it expensive to clean or repair.


Yet graffiti is on the decrease. Our Former Railway Worker, now retired, is involved in its removal as is Bob, below, who has been busy eradicating the offensive eyesores for over two years, and reckons it is on the wane and it is the dim and dark alleyways that are hit the worst.  Wonder if that is due to the lack of lighting and cctv cameras?

Bob the tagging/graffiti remover at work.

If you see one you dob-in a tagger/graffiti vandal here:  For graffiti/tagging removal contact the council action line:
Phone: (03) 941 8999 or 0800 VANDAL or Banks Peninsula: 0800 800 169


2/9/2013: It seems that someone, somewhere, is missing regular posting's of what is happening in Swamp City. So here is a quick round-up ...



The earthquake repair road works are still struggling on and are proving to be a hazard for many local businesses, with some facing a 50% drop in turnover owing to limited access and reduced parking. Happily, one of my favourites, the Opawa Cafe, is surviving!



A back view of a new building on Colombo Street in Sydenham. The top floor is already let and the ground floor is in the throes of fitting out. Another plus for the go-ahead central-city suburb.



This week's quizzzzz: These wooden stair in New Regent Street are famous for what?? A giant chocolate fish to the first correct answer. No, it is nothing to do with the WIZARD OF CHRISTCHURCH Who visited the tiny street over the weekend.




North Islanders made off with the majority of the gold medals up for grabs and more than half of the 15 available minor places in the weekend’s South Island Fencing Championships in Christchurch, a reversal of last year’s event which was held in Dunedin. Christchurch’s Wai Ling Chan did manage to retain her epee title, but Jaco Fourie gave up his sabre title and Christchurch’s Hamish Clarke did not defend his foil title.

1 Bryan Clark, Wellington. 2 Jaco Fourie, Christchurch. 3= Jonathan Gerry and Ross Shepherd, both Christchurch.

1 Wai Ling Chan, Christchurch. 2 Kate Brill, Christchurch. 3= Alison Prince, Queenstown and Stephanie Wyllie, Auckland. 5 Laura Bythell, Christchurch. 6 Felicity Boyd, Christchurch.

1 Chris Bell, Auckland. 2 Oliver Agnew, Auckland. 3= Jason Sim, Dunedin, and Harry Forrester, Wellington. 5 Jonathan Brill. Christchurch.6 Louis Jennings, Dunedin. 7 Daniel Garelja, Auckland. 8 Connor Foley-Walker, Dunedin. 9 Isaac Rusholme-Cobb, Wellington. 10 Bryan Clark, Wellington. 11 Gareth Foley, Dunedin, 12 Angus Foley-Walker, Dunedin.

1 Kyle MacDonald, Auckland. 2 Martin Brill, Christchurch. 3= Andreas Sesun, Christchurch, and Isaac Rusholme-Cobb, Wellington. 5 Mark Rance, Christchurch. 6 Bryan Clark, Wellington. 7 Isaac Officer, Christchurch. 8 Graham Payne, Timaru. 9 Xavier Watts, Wellington. 10 Oliver Agnew, Auckland. 11 Jaco Fourie, Christchurch. 12 Jonathan Brill, Christchurch. 13 David Jennings, Dunedin. 14 Brett Ammundsen, Auckland. 15 Ross Shepherd, Christchurch. 16 Jonathan Gerry, Christchurch.

1 Alice Wu, Timaru. 2 Fiona McDonald, Dunedin. 3= Vicky Fan and Stephanie Wyllie, both Auckland. 5 Pippi Miller, Dunedin. 6 Simone Marshall, Dunedin. 7 Gen Potter, Christchurch. 8 Catherine Marshall, Christchurch. 9 Elizabeth Wilson, Christchurch.

Here's a dance routine by Andreas and Graham from the mens epee.


Leasa was one of the unsung helpers. Without them; the refs, the score-keepers, the fixers our sport would suffer - thanks all!


Volunteer helpers Luke and Dave adjust and repair a metal piste.


And five minutes later, here's Dave warming-up one of his pupils before the womens foil event.



1/9/2013: MORNING ALL.

Here are a few more pix from yesterday's South Island Fencing Championships in Christchurch.

A bit of women's epee ..... can you work out who??

Men's foil .....

And some lollies for grumpy individuals ...

Full results will be published as soon as I get them. In the meantime enjoy some aerial antics .... From the final of the men's foil....

MORE TO COME THIS AFTERNOON...... so come back after lunch.



Was drawn, literally, in the sabre event that kicked-off this year's South Island Fencing Championships in Christchurch this morning.

Christchurch sabreur Jaco Fourie gets a sticking plaster applied to his un-armed hand during the final of this morning's sabre event at the South Island Fencing Championships.


The medals!


Fourie struggled on to come second to Baz Clark, of Wellington, with Jono Gerry and Ross Shepherd, both Christchurch, third and fourth.


Christchurch sabreur Ross Shepherd plugs in for the fight for second and third places at the South Island Fencing Championships.

The championships continue this afternoon at the Fencing Institute with the mens' foil and womens' epee events and the mens' epee and womens' foil on Sunday.



21.8/2013: The question is dear fencer, is this the only LEGAL epee weight in the land?

It was made by Christchurch sabreur and engineer Garth Shillito many, many years ago, when he lived and fenced in Christchurch. Garth, who now lives and fences in Auckland, had it officially certified by the Weights and Measures department of our Government and stamped as such – you can just see the tiny Crown stamped on it.

Under the Weights and Measures Act 1987 your weighing or measuring equipment must:

Fencers can be penalised for having tips that register/operate with less than the official weight! As they can for having switches secreted on their handles or grips!!! Yes, such cheating has been known to happen.

At a major competition you will see top fencers checking the tip before they leave the piste/fencing strip after a bout/fight, just to make sure they don’t get carded at the start of the next bout for not having “legal” working equipment. Not only does the tip have to lift 500 or 750grams but it must be properly attached to the sword blade and the travel (that is the distance the epee tip must travel before it registers) must be correct. One of New Zealand’s  top women epeeists missed out on a gold medal at a national competition in Europe for having a grub screw (A tiny screw, one of two that holds the spring-loaded tip in the barrel of the epee.) missing. She was penalised one-hit and lost the final bout 14-15!! All because of a missing screw worth a couple of dollars.

The test gear needed by a top fencer – weight, a test box to quickly check the circuit/wires, a multi-meter can also be used, and a feeler gauge to measure travel. Many top international fencing teams have a dedicated armourer who looks after all the gear and does any necessary repairs or adjustments.

Here in New Zealand the fencers have to do it for themselves using their own tools, the weapons are then checked by officials before each fight, but are the weights they use legal?

Do come and compete in or watch the action at the South Island Fencing Championships:

Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September 2013

Venue:  The Fencing Institute, Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch                      

8.00 - 8.15am    Sabre Registration
8.30am               Sabre starts (separate Women’s event if 6 or more entries)

11.15–11.30am Men’s Foil Registration
12pm                 Men’s Foil starts

2.30 - 2.45pm    Women’s Epee Registration
3.30pm              Women’s Epee starts (start time may be brought forward depending    on Men’s Foil entries)

8.30 - 8.45am   Men’s Epee Registration
9.00am               Men’s Epee starts

12.30 -12.45pm Women’s Foil Registration
1pm                   Women’s Foil starts




19/8/2013: NEW BRIGHTON!

Thanks for the pleasant comments about this site Katherine and yes, the rebuild has stalled and earthquake damaged buildings are still being demolished - that quaint term deconstructed has all but disappeared from everyday use.

Yes, New Brighton is changing. A friend who lives in Oram Avenue has just had his house repaired and repainted, very nicely thank you EQC. On the war memorial the graffiti has etched into the sandstone and will be there as long as the monument remains, but demolitions of quake-damaged buildings are still going on .....

A knock-it-down at work in the New Brighton mall, that's the side wall of the Funky Pumpkin or the right.

Access to the seaside suburb is still limited by rumpled roads and only one bridge across the Avon River. Many residents have rented out their homes and moved elsewhere in New Zealand. Many doing so to take advantage of the unseeingly high rents extant in Swamp City which allows them to pay the mortgage and live comfortably in towns with cheaper rents.


Looking across Seaview Road.

There is a great second-hand bookshop in the covered mall on the top right between the knock-it-down and the wall with the heart on it!!!




Trev inspects his empty net this morning.

The Heathcote River that flows through Swamp City is recognized as one of the premier waterways for catching whitebait. Alas dedicated baiter Trev had still not caught any of the wee thingies on the second day of the season.

More than 30 folks are lining the banks with their nets with one determined baiter flying back from the Netherlands to catch the season.



15/8/2013: RIGHT SAID TREV!

Today is the start of the whitebaiting season and despite rants by health experts and others over pollution in Swamp City’s waterways, long-time bait hunter Trev and a friend were among the dozens lining the banks of creeks and streams in Christchurch with their whitebait nets.

Trev, right, and a mate wait patiently on the bank of the Heathcote River this morning.

Sadly, Trev had caught nothing when the pix taken, but yesterday when doing a reconnaissance of the Heathcote River, he saw a huge shoal heading up-river.

Trev reckons the streams and rivers of Swamp City are much cleaner since the earthquakes with more water in them. Oh, he also reckons catches of 150Kg are not uncommon on the Heathcote and that a 1kg whitebait pattie is delicious.

Overseas readers can find out about whitebait here!




Slaves have been working on this quake damaged two-storey Opawa house for weeks. The beautiful old house, built in 1920, has been a pleasing eye-catcher for those rambling round the Heathcote River.

According to local gossip the house, next to a school, has been inspected and tested numerous times, but work suddenly stopped last week, it was fenced-off and now access is only with the appropriate safety gear.

What nasties have been discovered? Botulism?  Insurance problems? Lead? Dead bodies of cats? Asbestos? Or, as some believe, it is the final resting place of Elvis Presley.

 Some locals would like to know!

Here's wot Elvis says ....


13/8/2013: The Queen Of Rubble!

She has been standing there on the corner since 1903.

Read about her ....

No longer Queen of a far-flung empire, but mistress of a vast wasteland that was once the centre of one of her cities.

The munted Town Hall above, which is the dark blob behind the trees on her right in the top pix.


Munted and deserted.


And broken.


However, not far away at the old Arts Centre, the former university site now being repaired, in a ball of rusty iron reinforcing rods a sign says it all!

So there!

Some of the benefits of standing on a corner!




Read the rant and you could be forgiven for thinking that Dr Who, the well-known Time Lord, has been at work.

Nowhere in the story does it mention the go-ahead suburb of Sydenham, which is where the re-build is taking place - poor reporting, poor sub-editing or that Christchurch Old Boys/Girls 'M' syndrome at work??

Remember this wee dairy on Colombo Street between Wordsworth and Brougham Streets that was quick to recover after the quakes??? Well the new building will is just behind it.

Do come and see all the great things going on in Sydenham - the new centre of Christchurch!


5/8/2013: Wow! Has Sayrah (CERA) sunk the Hagley Oval project and demolished Germon’s wall?

Quick, get to your mailbox to grab the latest copy of Sayrah’s “Greater Christchurch Recovery Update”. Its centre-fold map shows the Christchurch Central Anchor Projects and Precincts and unequivocally demonstrates why the oval should not be developed in Hagley Park. See all that lovely green, above, infected by that red rash plonked far from nowhere on the left.

Hard to access.
Lack of parking.
Close to hospital.
Too far from bus exchange.
Too far from the proposed drink/drug precinct.

Quick, go see for yourself why it should move, perhaps to the proposed covered playing field on the right? Then there would be no interruptions for rain like the latest match ‘tween Australia and England!

No, then how about here:



PQ (pre quake). 2009.


AQ (after quake). Last Friday to be exact.


And a couple of unusual views in the Wasteland - the former central city.


I've never seen this view, from Gloucester Street, of the former Christchurch Anglican Cathedral before.


A former bank building on the corner Colombo and Armagh Streets.

Read more about it HERE!!




El buey takes a bow.


Be aware the Christchurch City Council has earmarked around $1,000,000 for Germon's Wall - See Geof Longley’s story in the nation’s top newspaper.

Remember there are about 160,000 rateable properties in Christchurch!

And they plan to use the defunct Lancaster Park/AMI Stadium for non-test matches.


Where are the expected vast numbers of spectators going to go? If you count the number of bodies scattered around the pix of the proposed Germon Wall at the head of the previous posting, there are about 700 or so. Spectator numbers are expected to be between 7,000 and 20,000 for each of the three fixtures – where are they going to go????? Perhaps the old Lancaster Park site might be the best option??? Room for parking too.

Pull up to my bumper baby ... Listen to how Grace Baby sings it ....




2/8/2013: GERMON’S WALL ........................................

The promoters of the rape of Hagley Park and hosting of the Cricket World Cup in Christchurch either don’t know how to work a calculator, are being disingenuous or, at worst, bullshitting.

Among their off-the-wall arguments on why THEY should be able to rape the park is the fact that other sports use the park. They do, but they don’t hold giant international events that will leave permanent damage – a 2.5-metre wall round a chunk of the park.

Sitting under the tree behind the sight screen in the top right of the top pix.

Germon’s Wall! You’ve heard of HADRIAN'S WALL ? You have? Well, which one? The Poms have done a great job of promotion/spin pushing the one running across a narrow bit of the United Kingdom, but there is another and in Milan. Both have scarred the landscape so to speak but both are now revered as sites of antiquity, will Germon’s wall do the same?  

Will this calm and pristine vista last much longer?

Now let’s talk about Germon’s Bill. Anyone any idea of how much the rape and hosting will cost?

We all know how much it is supposed to bring to Christchurch $45,000,000! It is said that the walled ground will hold 7000, that’s 21,000 spectators plus officials in total for the three fixtures listed here: who are expected to generate the $45,000,000, that’s $2142 each for visitor and local spectator, but my figures could be wrong?

The Christchurch City Council reckons there are 160,000 rateable properties in the city. That $45M could mean a $281 handout for every ratepayer in Christchurch. Do you really believe that as a ratepayer you’ll get that? So who will cover any shortfall? Will Germon’s Wall become as revered as Hadrian’s walls or a blight on Swamp City?

The trees will remain but there will be the 2.5 metre Germon's wall in front of them.

You can see what is planned for Hagley Park here:

Any further information can be gained by contacting them direct at
81 Buchanans Rd, Hornby, Christchurch 8042. 
Postal address, PO Box 789, Christchurch 8140.
Phone: 0064 3 366 3003
Fax: 0064 3 365 3073

Why was this fellow inspecting the abandoned former Lancater Park/AMI stadium the other day?


By the way, 2.5 metres is 8 feet two inches in Imperial measurement - higher than the CCC will allow you to build YOUR fence around YOUR house without a resource consent - we all know about them!!!!



A woman on foot in the Red Zone.

It was very quiet. You could hear the gravel scrunch under the bike’s tyres and the ducks talking to each other on the River Avon. Two kayakers splashed past heading upriver while a WOF with dog ambled in the same direction along the top of the flood protection bank under the trees.

People once lived here.

Now there is only the quiet.


Even the power poles are sad that the people have gone.



It shows former national sabre champions Alex Chan and Luke Robertson in action, but not with swords. Luke marries Shona this Saturday in Fiji and congratulations to both, especially Shona!!!



Results from he inaugural President’s Cup fencing competition held in Dunedin July 20th and 21st, 2013.

1 Brill, Katherine, Christchurch. 2 McDonald Fiona, Dunedin. 3= Olive Butler, Dunedin and Dewsnap, Charlotte, Wellington. 5 Green, Bridie, Dunedin. 6 Cheng, Dunedin. 7 Miller, Pippi, Dunedin. 8 Garey, Beth. Dunedin. 9 Jones, Elisa, Dunedin.

1 Boyce, Felix, Wellington. 2 Monnier, Samuel, Christchurch. 3= Dewsnap, Charlotte, Wellington and Fourie, Jaco, Christchurch.  

1 Brill, Martin, Christchurch. 2 Rance, Mark, Christchurch. 3= Boyce, Felix and Watts, Xavier, both Wellington. 5 Sesun, Andreas, Christchurch. 6 Payne, Graham, Timaru.  7 Officer, Isaac, Christchurch. 8 Hilder, Reuben, Dunedin. 9 Fourie, Jaco  Christchurch. 10 Downs, Quin, Christchurch. 11 Bunn, Kieran, Dunedin. 12 Jennings, David, Dunedin.13 Monnier, Samuel, Christchurch.14 Seal, Johnathan     Queenstown. 15 Butler, Finn, Dunedin. DNF Claydon, Michael, Auckland.

1 Brill, Katherine, Christchurch. 2 Dewsnap, Charlotte , Wellington. 3= Bythell, Laura, and Boyd, Felicity, both Christchurch. 5 de Abaffy, Marguerite, Christchurch. 6 Seal, Fiona, Queenstown.

1 Bell, Chris, Auckland. 2 Boyce, Felix, Wellington. 3= Garelja, Daniel, Wellington, and Souness, Richard, Christchurch. 5 Claydon, Michael, Auckland. 6 Amyes, Michael, Auckland.  7 Sim, Jason, Dunedin. 8 Brill, Jonathan, Christchurch.  9 Jennings, Louis, Dunedin. 10 Foley-Walker, Connor, Dunedin. 11 Solin, David, Dunedin. 12 Howlett, Jared, Dunedin. 13 Clar, Sebastian, Dunedin. 14 Campbell, Daniel, Dunedin.


And while we are on fencing matters, don't forget Mid South's Secondary Schools’ Championships (Individual and School team events in all three weapons) are being held on Friday 2nd, Saturday 3rd  and Sunday 4th August 2013. Venue: The Fencing Institute, jack Hinton Drive, Addington In front of new AMI Rugby Stadium.


26/7/2013: BUFF!

A big ugly fat fellow - also known as knock-em-downs in the central city wastelands.


This fellow has been grumbling away out in the suburbs helping to repair the Ferrymead Bridge and will be for quite some time.


The Ferrynmead Bridge slalom course - Sumner, Redcliffs residents and those living on the surrounding hillsides have to navigate this long term road block.




One of the reasons people live in Christchurch.


And now for some fencing action from last weekend's innaugural President's Cup in Dunedin - sorry no results yet.

Thanks for the pix Molly!


Jaco Fourie, left, and Rueben Hilder. Yes, that is President Ken Claridge just over Jaco's right shoulder.


Andreas Sesun, left.

Have a read here of what the ODIOUS DAILY TWADDLE had to say about fencing - no, this is not a demeaning title for the fabulous and beloved Otago Daily Times, but the nick-name given to the Dunedin morning newspaper by Evening Star journalists many years ago. Alas the former afternoon newspaper is now defunct.



Asked a reader from Madrid. Mostly all gone including the place where you once worked, here's a pix taken recently.

Armagh Street looking across the River Avon with with New Regent Street on the left.



And did you really work here?


19/7/2013: Pssst, wannna see Christchurch fencing coach James Tabak get a hiding at last Saturday’s fight against obesity in Auckland??????

He's on the top left.


Make a donation here: $5 please!


Then have a squizz here: Oooff, that hurt!




Question, will the Labour Party and other minnows be able to deal with this Coaster's riposte from his successful sabre parry of quinte?


Former fencer now list MP for West Coast-Tasman was one of the thousands who turned up for yesterday's clubs and societies membership drive at the University of Canterbury.


Students walked round with buckets on their heads .......



Let off loud bangs in the name of science ......



And promoted their club or society - here's President Aidan and Secretary Brett promoting the country's oldest operating swords club, the University of Canterbury Fencing Club!




Wanna play? Toys and other junk dumped near a Waltham school and kiddy centre.

It has been a tough winter in our quake-riven city. Earthquake Commission and Christchurch City Council shenanigans, insurance rip-offs not to mention the roadworks have all taken their toll, but the icing on the cake, so to speak or should that be the swamp, is the indiscriminate and illegal dumping of rubbish.

Over the last couple of years the odd rant and pix of dumped tvs, furniture, mattresses and unwanted clothing have appeared on this site, but lately it seems to have got worse.


Now, just to show that there is always a rainbow about to brighten up your day. This one appeared over St Martins this morning.

If you see folks illegally dumping you can contact: DOB A DUMPER!



12/7/3013: A RIGHT CHARLIE.................................

Pix supplied by "M".

Wonder if those who have made a right charlie of this statue of New Zealand Rugby founder Charles Monro were expressing their exasperation over the antics of Canterbury rugby officials and supporters bawling for a half-a-billion dollar covered playing field in quake-torn Swamp City or, were trying to keep him warm in chilly Manawatu City? No doubt you have heard of the Russian girl punk band Pussy Riot? The instigators of this colourful extravagance call themselves Wooly Riot. Sounds a bit sheepish to me, rather like the reasons of those promoting the immediate construction of a half-a-billion dollar covered playing field in Christchurch.


A WOMAN BOG BAN????????????????????????????

Pic supplied by "M".

Was the Labour Party’s failed “man ban” a riposte to this toilet block signage in Rotorua? Remember Tiki was a man so this “artwork” could mean men only, but Rotorua residents know that it is women to the right and men to the left – all squatting in harmony, unlike those running the Labour Party. Imagine if only women were allowed? The men would have to go squat in the trees and could severely injure themselves.




Got talking to a retired former council road mender the other day while taking shots of potholes. He was scathing about how the present crop were being repaired – quick and nasty, he said with no preparation. Waddaya mean? The back of a shovel or those flash compacting machines are to blame he said, they don’t do the job and the fill’s movement due to weather and temperature changes will weaken and break the asphalt seal on top and let the water in. He wandered back into his house and came out with a long stick with a weighty bronze something or other on the bottom and started to pound the innards of a nearby pothole which reduced a couple of centimetres. Now you put the fill in and tamp that down too – hard – then the asphalt and tamp that down too. So there!

Compare this pic to the one posted 23/6/2013.

The former road worker also wondered if there was any quality control of the substantial roadworks underway in Swamp City. He thinks not. As does the Former Railway worker, now retired, and a couple of his mates who travel Swamp City roads in all weathers.

Here’s what happens if there is no quality control: MORE RATE RISES ON THE WAY FOR SWAMP CITY!!



9/7/2013: Christchurch fencer and coach James Tabak could be in for a good thumping this weekend.

James Tabak, f rom piste to ring.

A former U20 national champion in foil, epee and sabre and coach at the Christchurch Fencing Academy, James will take to the boxing ring at Monty Betham’s Steps for Life contest on Saturday July 13th at The Trusts Stadium in Auckland.

The event will raise awareness and money to fight obesity. Read more about James’ thumping HERE!!

In fact why not reduce YOUR weight by donating your pocketful of change to drive the anti-obesity message home to our youth!





In the aftermath of the Great Catastrophe there have been thousands of rants and comments by Swamp City residents about a lack of leadership for some years now. Fingers have been pointed at dozens of individuals and organisations, some recorded on this site, but no coherent description of what leadership is has emerged.

I remember an uncle who fought in the Second World War describing it as, “follow me.”  Another definition "Organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal,” seems to be an accepted definition. Our former Railway Worker, now retired, suggested that one too, but again that doesn’t tie things down. Perhaps the term responsibility is the term that most people would accept?

Do you remember who took responsibility for the CTV disaster? For keeping the power on and constructing a new power line to the East? For the deconstruction of our central city? For directing traffic when the power was cut by the quakes?

I have worked under more than a dozen editors and printers and the majority epitomised that term responsibility and got the job done – the paper printed and on the streets. (An Editor is responsible for the content of the newspaper and the Printer is responsible for producing it and getting it out on time.) Both had ultimate authority and were not afraid to use it, hence the term deadline! Look at how the nation’s top newspaper hit the streets so fast after the February quake. Leadership?

As a poor struggling student I came across another couple of examples. One was Prof Crowther, of the psych department at the Uninversity of Canterbury, who always lectured to first year students and those about to graduate, those in-between he left to his lecturers. When asked about this he answered that he liked to set the first-year students thinking for themselves and then checked to see that they had. Leadership?

Another was a Christchurch Mayor elect. He turned up early one morning with Rubbish Collection Foreman Dutchy in his Morris Minor ute and spent the morning watching, listening and even helping empty the rubbish bins. He went on to do the same in other council departments. Neville Pickering was his name. When asked why, I need to know what everyone working for the CCC does, was the reply. Leadership?

Now CCC manager Tony Marryat is on leave and Mayor Bob Parker is trying to project a new image. Leadership? Scuttling for cover? Time to fold em? Or what?

You decide. fold them????????

30/6/2013: GOING.

The boring hard work is done. Thanks lads!


It is up to this mob now.

I was late. The parade was over. Sadly there was no band with martial music to lead the New Zealand Defence Forces through central Christchurch in a farewell. Trying to get info from the Army and CCC was a problem, the Army media contact didn't know anything, kept saying it was CCC and wanted questions e-mailed while CCC?

But Bob, the Leader of the Hopeless, was there as was the Prime Minister John Key and Gerry and his Wastemakers. The recovery and rebuilding of the shattered Swamp City is all up to them now so wish em well!!


29/6/2013: Marching into oblivion or history?

New Zealand Defence Force soldiers leave the Red Zone in central Christchurch on Friday afternoon.

The question is dear reader, will we remember them??

Would you work twelve hours on and twelve hours off in all weathers for 858 days – thousands of them, and not just Kiwis, did. Would you be able to deal with hundreds of stressed and desperate people – they did.

Sergeant Craig of the First Battalion Scots Guards from Livingstone, near Edinburgh also served.


Yes Civil Defence, the Police and medical folks did a great job too, but they had a smidgen of training and planning for the Great Catastrophe.

The soldiers I met over the last three years (you can see and read about them in the Archives section from February 2011) were all helpful and polite, but firm.

Should they receive a medal or a badge to record their involvement? More to the point, will they?

Who could forget D Company? The ducks fed and nurtured by soldiers manning the Manchester Street check-point on the bridge over the Avon River.





The sight of an Army convoy driving up an empty Brougham Street after February’s earthquake is one of those unforgettable moments in the aftermath of the Great Catastrophe. As was the sight of armoured vehicles on the streets of a New Zealand city as were  Army Engineers operating a desalination plant out at New Brighton and playing football with the local kids on the ravaged streets of Aranui and Bexley, as was the sight of soldiers from other countries manning the cordon and its entry points round the shattered central city. All positive and heart-warming, but the 3pm withdrawal from the Wasteland of the central city this afternoon was a let down.

The fences are down!

It was a fxxking disaster and a sad farewell to people who did so much for the ravaged city and its citizens.

A few disaster sight-seers wandered about. The Big Red tour bus drove past with three gawpers on board. A solitary television camera-man took filler shots. The Press photographer Iain McGregor waited impatiently for something to record of the great moment – nothing.

See his coverage here!

The Army post on the corner of Colombo and Gloucester Streets goes. The sad remains of the Christchurch Anglican cathedral are in the background.

Clumps of Sayrah (Cera) bureaucrats stood around while soldiers took down much of the wire fencing in the Square and the soldier in command tried to find out what was to happen.


Let us hope that the final farewell parade at 3pm (?) on Sunday will be a bit better.

Be there!

Read wot The Press had to say ...




25/6/2013: Some left-over pix from the last week or so..


The clean-up of the criminal rubble dump in Sydenham is well under way.



You can see how high the Heathcote River got in the recent floods.


Cathedral Square. The partially demolished BNZ building is on the right and the remains of the Anglican cathedral at left.




Y ep, get a can of bright spray paint and paint a circle round your favourite pot hole and wait to see how long it takes to get patched. If last winter is anything to go by it could take weeks or even months but then our poor rumpled roads are still suffering the after-effects of the Great Catastrophe and the bloody winter weather!


Here's my favourite.


There are also a couple of goodies on Kahu Road, and Selwyn Street at the intersection of Harman and Disraeli Streets. Wonder which get patched first????



22/6/2013: Would you jump for joy if you had a money machine in YOUR front window??


Michael Petrie, a Wellington hairdresser, is jumping for joy.

The automated teller machine took residence in his well-known Courtney Place salon a couple of months back during redevelopment of the site on the corner of Courtney Place and Cambridge Terrace. The popular Courtney Barbers has been a Capital City destination for more than 25-years.


Wouldn't you feel a bit pissed-off with a bird sitting on your head?


A shitehawk, seagull to you non deep-water sailors, adorns a statue in Rotorua.


Today's question with a giant chocolate fish for the first correct answer, is, who does the statue commemorate and why?????




Was the plea from an overseas reader, here they are grubbing about in the Wasteland earlier this weeK!

Splashing about in Central Christchurch.


And here is some of the roughage they have been feeding on ....


You can see the knock-it-down's claws in the background of the metal re-inforcing on the right.


Do they really gobble iron reinforcing?? Hungry buggers!


And for something truely weird ......

A padlocked ashtray at Palmerston North Airport!! Another shot in the back for the reputation of the tiny North Island city that's trying to get out from under the reputation of the real Palmerston by calling itself Manawatu City.

Did you know it costs more to take a taxi from Christhcurch Airport to the central city than it does to fly from Wellington the Swamp City?? $64 for the taxi and $39 the flight!




20/6/2013: A sight in Swamp City not seen in over a hundred years?

The front door of the former Christchurch Anglican Cathedral looking up Worcester Street and across the Square. Taken from the former Scott memorial by Oxford Terrace.


There are many remarkable sights in the Wasteland, the one above is just one of them, here is another stirring sight, one that epitomises the spirit of those left in Swamp City, dour, unyielding and determined. A bit tattered, a touch faded, but still flying after three years of death, destruction and despondency.

Oh, and 12,000, yes twelve-thousand, earthquakes! But don't tell anyone outside Christchurch for they may think we are moaning or bleating.


The New Zealand flag flies above the former provincial government buildings on Cambridge Terrace.


Sam has won a giant cfish for answering yesterday's quiz correctly - Andreas Sesun and Paul Hentschel were the two fencers.


19/6/2013: Thanks for your nice comments on the pix from the North Island Fencing Champs. For you history buffs the event marked the 50th anniversary of Nelson fencer David Eccleston winning his first North Island champs!

And now for something most Kiwis have known a long time - Wellington is bloody windy! So windy in fact that they have to chain-up their outdoor street signs .....

Visual evidence.



Some mid-air action in the men's epee.




Rex Heffernen, the oldest competitor at the champs at age 74! Oh, he's from Auckland.


Fast hands, fast feet and a fast brain. Hand speed is important in fencing as this pix of the women's epee final shows. Find out who is who by reading the results on the link below. One is from Auckland the other from Christchurch.


A close bout in the men's epee - a giant chocolate fish for the first person to email me the names of the fencers!


Sabre action - it was a dark hall.


Someone has to lay them and then pick 'em up afterwards. The pistes all 18x2-metres of awkwardness - the unseen and un-thanked volunteers - Thanks folks, hope you enjoyed your Minites, I know I did.

To finish off, an older fencer! In action.





Held on Queen's Birthday weekend at Wellington Girls High School in the nation's Captital, the annual competition is one of the largest in the fencing calendar - 92 entries, getting up to the record of 103 when it was organised by Pam French in Palmerston North some years back - you can check who won what HERE!

Weapons control. Disregard the large bags of Minties and other lollies on the table - they were there to reward the volunteers helping organise and run the tournament. All competitors have their equipment checked and marked before they get on the piste or fencing strip. Each competitor's gear is put into the large cardboard box then taken to the weapons control for testing.


The creme de la creme? There is a saying abroad in fencing that goes something like this; Those that can, fence sabre, those that cannot, fence epee and the riff-raff, fence foil. The spectators above enjoy some sabre action.


And here is some foil action just in case of accusations of bias - remember that Fencing New Zealand's high performance master plan is for epee and foil only at this stage! No sabre! Very strange.




More sabre and epee pix tomorrow.............




Dueling in front of the Students' Association building at the former University site, now the Arts Centre, in the late 1960's before the university moved to Ilam.

The University of Canterbury Fencing Club has been made homeless for the third time by the damned earthquakes.

First the Ballroom, where the club met each Saturday, at the University Students' Association building at Ilam which got closed after the September 2010 fellow then, with negotiations underway to move to Avonside Girls High School, came the February 2011 monster, but thank goodness the tiny Waltham Primary School took pity on the Club and let them use their hall until ucfc moved back to the Dovedale campus.

Now ''Recent investigations of two buildings on the Dovedale Campus have identified that, due to roof bracing issues, these buildings do not meet current building code requirements. They are not considered to be an immediate danger but the University is adopting the same precautionary approach it has taken since the first Canterbury earthquake.''

Vice President Chris is begging for an alternative home on campus, so watch this space.

More Knavery at Sydenham's House of Cards! But including a Politician alongside the Insurance Companies is a bit mean especially with ratepayers now sharpening their knives for Tony.




14/6/2013: A HOUSE OF CARDS??

Ah, bliss, back in Swamp City after a couple of weeks away and into consenting contention and the continuing snafu of recovery from the Great Catastrophe – Gerry and his Wastemakers facing off with Bob and the Hopeless.

I see Bob’s mob is advertising in the nation’s top newspaper for Civil Defence volunteers. Let’s hope the first bit of kit they get is a can of spray paint so they can record that a building has been searched and cleared and not get locked-into the merry-go-round that happened after February 2011 – building after building broken into and doors smashed up to a dozen times by search teams.

As far as consents go you can read the earlier postings on this site and a quick ring-around shows that not much has changed. Developers sticking to single-storey buildings and Sydenham businesses are still waiting for consents to rebuild. On a more positive note is the rebuilding and repairs that are going on and as a glazier said at coffee this morning, there is a lot more to come, eventually.

To show the unbiased nature of this blog; here Shane stands up for Mayor Bob saying that the house of cards, erected on the rubble of the former Sydenham church you can see across Brougham Street, and showing Bob as a Joker is a bit unfair and that no matter who was Mayor they would have been picked on as a scapegoat for the Great Catastrophe was way too much for folks to contend with.

Knavery. Did the construction of this house of cards have a consent? Will the artist be hounded like The Press cartoonist Al Nisbet for highlighting the truth?

The house of cards on the corner of Colombo and Brougham Streets, in the go-ahead suburb of Sydenham, is another work by former flower-grower artist Pete Majendie. You might remember an earlier work of his, the Ark of Hope, across the road in Sydenham.

28/5/2013: The leaves are falling and gathering in great windrows on the streets. Winter is coming. It is the third since the Great Catastrophe and many of the citizens of Swamp City living in damaged homes will feel the cold and damp.

LINWOOD AVENUE. Looking towards the Avon River and Woodham Road.

It is hard to know what is worse, the coming winter or the imbroglio over insurance and EQC payments and promises.


Three winters on and still waiting to be repaired or ... ?

Some novel solutions have come to the fore. One owner of a damaged home, but still liveable, has rented it out and moved to the North Island. Another, in one of the more plush areas of town that begins with M, tried to sell their slightly damaged house, but found it impossible to get anything near what they thought it was worth so they have rented it out at $650 a week and relocated to their holiday home in Central Otago.

A family located in one of the leafy suburbs nestled under the Port Hills, are off to Europe for the winter while their abode is repaired. While another family have put tarred patches on the outside of their broken and leaky home and lined it with wadded balls of the nation’s top newspaper and plastic bags behind curtained walls as insulation to keep warm.


The solutions are sad but fascinating and show that the spirit and humour of Swamp City residents still lives on witness this Quake sports certificate and vials of liquefaction, above, given to the competitors at a national fencing event in the city not long after the February 2011 Catastrophe!




From across the River Avon.


Sunday sightseers on the Manchester Street bridge over the Avon.

Read about and see what the grubby knock-it-downs removed to give this unusual view of a Wasteland Delight! THE PRESS!

Could this tiny street in the heart of the Wasteland become the new city centre and a base for disaster tourism. Who needs a roofed playing field or convention centre? We have New Regent Street!

You don't read The Press!!! I don't believe that, but for those overseas readers here is a pix of inveterate cafe-goer Ary taken in 2009, well before the Great Catastrophe, outside Fred's Pronto Cafe in New Regent Street.

Ah, the old days! You can see what the grubby knock-it-downs were feasting upon in the background.



26/5/2013: Growing veges in public spaces in Swamp City is a great idea, but it is not new. Read about it in the nation’s top NEWSPAPER!

Rhubarb in Manawatu City, aka Palmerston NORTH.


Parsley in Rotorua.


Tomatoes and herbs in Palmy.


Wanganui is another place that grows veges in public spaces. Do you know of others??


23/5/2013: WALTHAM!.

Coming down ...

Going up.

And somewhere in-between.

Now read about what's happening in the leafy Swamp City suburb in THE NATION'S TOP NEWSPAPER!




New Brighton.

Instead the suffering citizens of Swamp City will get a CONVENTION CENTRE and an ENCLOSED PLAYING FIELD. In fact reading our nation's top newspaper (click on the above) the last few weeks would lead you to believe that Swamp City is to be rebuilt for the tourists and to hell with the citizens.

New Brighton Bridge.

Did YOU watch Campbell Live last night?? Everybody in the local cafe was talking about it - bet Gerry and his Wastemakers are happy the EQCtruths blogger has been bought off?? Oh, you didn't know? Have a squizz HERE!

New Brighton.


New Brighton Bridge.

Why can't the tourists come visit the Eastern Marches? I took a couple of friends from Nelson for a tour recently and they were appalled. Yes, they had watched Swamp City's suffering via television and yes they had come and inspected the Wasteland (the former central city) in person last year, but they had no inkling of what many of the local ratepayers and citizens were enduring out in the suburbs.

Roll on election time!


20/5/2013: Oh, someone that sounded like a former lawyer and National Party supporter, took offence to the suggestion on Friday that thousands of University of Canterbury graduates could be cheats.


He did get Prime Minister Muldoon's nickname correct though - PIGGY!

Read about PIGGY MULDOON here.


Still no response from former Labour Party supporters though.





In the late 1960’s a young Firebrand stood on a table in the downstairs cafeteria in the Canterbury University Students’ Association building in central Christchurch, now part of the Arts Centre, and ranted on about the coming tide of “rice burners” his term for Asians, about to flood the country.

In that same cafeteria, which was eventually turned into a vegetarian restaurant, Dux de Lux, by Gillian when the university moved to Ilam and in the Upstairs Common Room, students freely acquired marked essays from students of the previous year and from which they could copy/incorporate ideas/chunks into their own essays. No money changed hands. Could that be called cheating? If so how many University of Canterbury cheats are out there?

Read Chris Trotter's cheating article in Tuesday's The Press.

Muldoon – the monetary maniac, and that was before the Rogernomics’ “advances” mentioned in Chris’ wee rant and with which that same Firebrand was involved with.

A Student Army 60's style!

Have a good weekend! And, sorry, the cfish for the first correct answer has already been gobbled.



Sydenham residents and businesses have been moaning about the dust, smell and disgusting eye-sore generated by this criminal rubbish heap in the go-ahead central city area for years, but surely Mackers is not taking a tongue-in-cheek jab at our bureaucrats who let it happen??

Compare this pix with the one posted 12/12/2012 and then read the rant dated 21/12/2012 and make up YOUR mind!

A McSmelly instead of a McSpicy???



A Big Red bus with a handful of passeners crawled past, a couple of mums pushing baby carriages and the odd stunned individual walked through a tiny part of the Square. Up High Street it was much the same, quiet, ephemeral, almost funeral like except the mouldering body was three years old and and mostly gone.

Sayrah had opened more of the long-dead central city to mourners and gawpers in an effort to prepare citizens for a complete opening in June or July, three-and-a-half years after it was badly damaged in the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes and the frenzy of demolition, or deconstruction in bureaucratese, which followed.

Now many of the former 50,000 residents and workers can return, but as this blog has shown over the last couple of years, most of them have moved on leaving the former central city for dead.

Read what the nation's top newspaper and some of its grumpy readers say about the event.

All that remains is the wasteland populated by steel mesh fences and grumbling trucks and knock-it-downs .....

Grubbing around the Square. The grubby remains of the former Christchurch Anglican cathedral is left centre and the remains of The Bank of New Zealand building is on the right.


All that remains of a famous building on Manchester Street, near High Street, - a giant chocolate fish for the first person to name it.


A couple of views of a sad New Regent Street.


Oh, they want to bring the trams back as soon as possible.


Too close for comfort??


Remember this??


A new slant on greening the rubble. Coralie will appreciate it.


More to come!




Our Elderly Former Railway Worker, now retired, is a fount of stories and a sharp observer of the human condition. For the last 15-years he has also been perambulating round the Heathcote River each morning, unless it is wet, and comes up with some pertinent observations. One is the dearth of males out walking. There is a surge just after each New Year, he says, dozens of plump and pot-gutted males obviously make a New Year resolution to lose weight and get fit, but four or five weeks later they have disappeared.


Another of his observations is this closed footbridge over the Heathcote River, between Riverlaw Terrace and Fifield Terrace near Ford Road, that has been closed since the Great Catastrophe yet still used by locals – see pic and rant for 8/9/2011 and the snowy footprints above.


It appears undamaged he observes. You be the judge.

Perhaps a sign, "you use this footbridge at your own peril", absolving the Christchurch City Council of any responsibility along with electronic gates at either end would be a cheap fix, but don't hold your breath as personal responsibility has been neutered by bureaucracy in Swamp City since the Great Catastrophe.




SABRE 1 Daniel KAHU, 2 Nicholas MERCER, 3= Bryan CLARK and Jerome LEVENEUR, 5 John CALCOTT, 6 Peter KIM, 7 Graham CONLON, 8 Xavier WATTS, 9 George STRATI, 10 Jaco FOURIE, 11 Gavin Thomas and 12 Kevin ASKEW.

EPEE 1 Andreas SESUN, 2 Bryan CLARK, 3= Felix BOYCE and Alex THOMAS, 5 Daniel KAHU, 6 Xavier WATTS, 7 Jaco FOURIE, 8 Charlotte DEWSNAP, 9 Gavin THOMAS, 10 Annick FENAUGHTY, 11 John CALLCOTT, 12 Grace CHRISTIE, 13 Nick COMER, 14 Katherine LITTLE, 15 Felicity BOYD, 16 Rosie GRAHAM, 17 Amy WILSON.


FOIL 1 Daniel KAHU, 2 Harry FORRESTER, 3= Felix BOYCE and Charlotte DEWSNAP, 5 George STRATI, 6 Alexander VANBRUT, 7 James HARWOOD, 8 Alex THOMAS, 9 Grace CHRISTIE, 10 John Calcott, 11 Isaac RUSHHOLME-COBB, 12 Nick COMER, 13 Daniela RAVERA, 14 Russell JOHNSON, 15 Bryan CLARK, 16 Nathanael WALKER-HALE, 17 Gavin THOMAS, 18 Luca YOUNG, 19 Johnathan CARRUTH, 20 Jason LOCKWOOD, 21 Amy WILSON, 22 Hazel LOCKWOOD, 23 Elizabeth LITTLE, 24 Gareth SMITH, 25 Katherine LITTLE.

To make up for the contretemps over results for the recent NZ U17 Sabre Championships, here's a pix of the eight finalists!



12/5/2013: And now for something completely different.


Look what they did to my sandwich Mum!


Only in Swamp City does your sami come locked in a cardboard box with a wee window so you can see the contents. Don't even ask about opening the beastly thing, for once you have attacked it with the supplied knife you find it .....


Wrapped in cling foil!

This new concept of cafe food control is no doubt because of the increasingly bureaucratic developments in our suffering city where commonsense went out the door in February 2011.

The cafe will remain nameless cos I want to go back as they do a mean cafe con leche.


8/5/2013: Today is VE Day!

No, not victory earthquake day, but Victory Europe day celebrating the end of a long war in Europe known as the Second World War.

Compare this shot to that of 1/9/2011 in the Archives.

The trouble with the Great Catastrophe of February 2011 it not only squished up all the swishy bits of Swamp City but the rocky and hilly bits as well, as this pic taken the other day, shows – are we caught between rocks and a swamp?

For overseas readers, the pix shows some of the cliff and hill damage near the estuary suburb of Sumner and was taken from the spit on Southshore where, strangely, the houses built on sandhills facing the sea are OK, but the ones facing the estuary are mostly Red Zoned and due for demolition, but you might not know that as all the propaganda has been about the Wasteland - the former city centre.

More about the Avon/Heathcote estuary.


7/5/3013: Christchurch - Swamp to City.

Read this book and the squabbling over the rebuilding of the Christchurch Anglican cathedral and the former city centre and the people involved seem a bit stupid and petty.

Note the map, dated 1856, inside the back cover. Most of the present day Red Zone and other areas badly hit by liquefaction could be clearly worked out 155 years ago. The question is dear reader, is hind-sight always 20-20 vision? And who allowed folks to build there?? Could we have avoided the attack of the orange cones, like the one holding up the book Swamp to City?


After reading Swamp to City the writings of the Great Poet Dennis Glover, who wrote about the Anglican God Botherers: “..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.”” have even more impact. (See posting for 4/10/2011 for more about the Great Poet and Swamp City.)

In fact with the decline in God Botherer numbers why rebuild the thing at all? Yes, it may have become an easily recognisable symbol of Christchurch, but a magnificent Town Hall for our Christchurch City Council bureaucrats could become the new symbol of the swampy city, a memorial to those that died and of more use to present-day citizens and ratepayers too.

But wait, rugby players might want to use it or, cricketers might want to put a fence round it, or unwashed central city denizens might want it for a swimming pool, a hotel, a landing site for helicopters bringing in rich tourists, a bicycle centre???

Thanks goodness the rebuild of the Wasteland, the former city centre, is decades away, if that, and all the propaganda spread by those with an axe to grind, so to speak, irrelevant and totally meaningless to around a third of the citizens in Swamp City – all they want is their homes fixed and a bit of certainty for the future.

But wait, is that not ten or 20 years away too??

You can read or down-load a copy of ‘Christchurch – Swamp to City, A Short History Of  The Christchurch Drainage Board 1875 – 1989, by John Wilson, here: SWAMP CITY!

Read it. You will be impressed. Thanks for the loan Grant


6/5/2013: One thing about the University of Canterbury Fencing Club’s annual Eccleston One Hit epee competition is its predictability – Andreas Sesun will win it. And he did it again this year, but the cup was given to someone else!

Don't worry about the pensive fellow standing in the corner, that's Brett, CUFC's Secretary!


Our youngest fencer - Alex - sadly she did not compete but did have a play with mum and dad's gear. The bare foot is that of her dad, four-times national epee champion Rangi de Abaffy.



Now some epee action....



Anna cops the One Hit cup from Ekky while Andreas sobs in the background.



Dave, Aileen and Keith in Van Damm's cafe after the action.


More to come ... so do come back soon.





Swamp city residents are used to seeing giant knock-it-downs, huge trucks and all sorts of mechanical diggers, cutters and thingies, but there is still room for the old shovel as this pix shows. The hard-working fellow, Jeff, was busy on Opawa Road helping repair the earthquake damaged sewerage system – good on ya mate!


3/5/2013: What started as a university prank has now become a part of the national fencing calendar.

The Eccleston One Hit Epee competition, which started at the University of Canterbury Fencing Club some years ago as a fun event for club members, is on this Saturday. All fencers, even foilists and sabreurs, welcome!

When: Registration at 10.30am Saturday 4th May 2013.

Where: Teachers Collage Campus, Education Gymnasium 10, Christchurch.

It is the nearest thing in modern fencing to the now banned duel where the winner was the first to kill or incapacitate their opponent or later, to draw blood, hence the term “first blood.”

In the Eccleston Epee Every fencer competes against every other fencer to one touch/hit. A win scores 2 points, a double-hit, where fencers hit each other within 1/25th of a second, scores 1 point and a loss scores 0 points. The person with the highest total score wins the tournament

Dave at a Fenz coaching weekend in Wellington in the 1990's.

Eccleston a former high school teacher, who won the national epee championship way back in 1972 and who introduced hundreds of Kiwis to the sport as a coach and volunteer official, is now retired and living in Nelson. The event, which carries his name, is in recognition of all that hard work done by Dave and the dozens of other voluntary officials to advance our ancient art and modern sport.

Dave is attending this year’s event.


2/5/2013: While some folks bleat about the cost of the rebuild and dither about what is going where and how, others just get on with it as these pix taken on Waltham Road show.

Pix posted 29th of last month.


Pix taken last week.

The three-bedroomed units, all sold, are due for completion at the end of May!

Wonder how long til the Wasteland (the former city centre) is rebuilt??? Ten to twenty years would be a guess. Read about the latest building in the Wasteland that's set to come down in THE PRESS.


1/5/2013: Can homeopathy improve the condition of this damaged Fitzgerald Avenue building?


Read about the efficaciousness, or not, of HOMEOPATHY!


0/4/2013: Scots wha hae .....

Oh dear, another tongue-in-cheek moment. The posting on 26th saying that a fencing club in Queenstown is the nation’s most southerly has incensed Robbie and others living and fencing in Dunedin.

We are the most southerly fencing centre they cry. They are right, in fact the most southerly point, according to our geographic expert, is in the Caitlins, not down by Bluff or Invercargill as one would surmse. As our claymore wielding brothers-in-armes put it; Otago University Swords Club, Salle Angelo and Claymore Swords Club  are all well south of Queenstown, and if you want to be pedantic, Claymore is about one kilometre south of University with Salle Angelo in between!”

So there!

Now here is a question for our Southern brothers; did fencing ever take place in the Dunedin town hall, just behind the statue of Robbie Burns shown above?

Now for some good news, the results of that missing sabre event from the National u15/u17 Fencing Championships held in Christchurch over the weekend have finally been posted on the Fencing New Zealand website.

Wonder if the FIE's international development programme includes sabre??




Oh dear, my tongue-in-cheek rant about the lack of results for the U15 sabre event seems to have upset someone? Previously the results have been e-mailed to me in the early hours by the hardworking organisers, but not today, even though I did ask for them. However they magically appeared on the Fenz website, this morning and the MidSouth site too. Even more strangely, there are still no U15 sabre results posted?

Anyway if you want to see the full results go to those websites, but here are a couple of shots of spectators who visited the New Zealand U15 and U17 Fencing Championships ….

And to show no hard feelings about those other weapons, here’s a pix of epee action from the final of the boys U17 epee event.

The winner, Lucian, is on the right but you will have to go to the Fencing New Zealand site to find out whom the other fellow is!





28/4/2013; More results from the New Zealand U15 and U17 Fencing Championships being held in Christchurch.

U17 Girls Epee;
1 Wai Ling Chan, Christchurch; 2 Annick Fenaughty, Wellington;
3= Samantha Mythen and Laura Blythell, both Christchurch; 5 Shani Ehlers; 6 Katherine Little, Wellington, 7 Rosie Graham. Wellington; 8 Brittany Wyatt, Christchurch; 9 Ennie Petersen, Wellington; 10 Ashleigh Goh, Christchurch; 11 Elizabeth Wilson, Christchurch; Amy Wilson, Wellington.

U17 Boys Foil. 1 Clovis Dyson, Auckland; 2 Daniel Keleghan, Christchurch; 3= Lucian Nightingale, Christchurch and James Tweedle, Wellington; 5 James Hanwood, Wellington; 6 Matthew Dall’asen, Sydney; 7 Caleb Buchanan, Wellington; 8 Gavin Thomas, Wellington; 9 Jonathan Carruth, Wellington; 10 Zachary Shima, Wellington; 11 Reuben Hilder, Dunedin; 12 Russell Johnson, Wellington; 13 Eddie Jacobs, Wellington; 14 Oliver Jarvis, Dunedin; 15 Anthony Goh, Christchurch; 16 Nicholas Henderson, Wellington;  17 Luca Young, Wellington; 18 Louis Jennings, Dunedin; 19 William Fulton, Christchurch.

No results have been provided for the sabre event but I do know it was won by a Feilding lad with a Christchurch lad second. Lets hope this oversight is just an accident and not part of an overall plan by tournament organisers to do away with the noble weapon of SABRE!!

The champs end today with the girls foil, boys epee and sabre events.



Photographic evidence that the sabre did take place at the New Zealand U15 Fencing Championships yesterday!


27/4/2013: Results from Friday's events at the New Zealand U15 and U17 Fencing Championships, being held in Christchurch, April 26th, 27th and 29th.

Girls Foil. 1 Sara-Louise Williams, Auckland; 2 Valeria Benjamin, Auckland; 3= Samantha Fowler and Emily Thomson, both Auckland: 5 Brittany Wyatt, Christchurch:; 6 Jess Gracie, Auckland; 7 Katherine Little, Wellington; 8 Elizabeth Little, Wellington.

Boys Foil. 1 James Tweedle, Wellington; 2 Matthew Dall’asen, Sydney; 3= Russell Johnson and Zachary Shima, both Wellington; 5 Issac Rushholme Cobb, Wellington; 6 Alastair Keleghan, Christchurch; 7 James Harwood, Wellington; 8 Louis Jennings, Dunedin; 9 Jonathan Carruth, Wellington; 10 Nicholas Henderson, Wellington; 11 Gavin Thomas, Wellington; 12 Luca Young, Wellington; 13 Eddie Jacobs, Wellington; 14 Jeffrey Chen, Christchurch; 15 Liam James, Christchurch; 16 Mikhail Lopez, Christchurch; 17 Riley Symon, Dunedin; 18 Tristan Forrester, Christchurch; 19 Max Turner, Christchurch; 20 Ross Shepherd, Christchurch.

Mixed Epee. 1 Sheldon Ogilvie, Christchurch; Gavin Thomas, Wellington; 3= Max Nicholls, Christchurch and Matthew Dall’asen, Sydney; 5 Ashleigh Goh, Christchurch; 6 Ross Shepherd, Christchurch, 7 Katherine Little Wellington, 8 Brittany Wyatt, Christchurch.



26/4/2013: A Sword between his teeth .....

An Aussie cleaned up Kiwi fencers on his way to the final of the boys foil event at the New Zealand U15 fencing champs in Christchurch Matthew Dall’asen, of Sydney, and Kiwi James Tweedle made this afternoon’s final. In the girl’s foil event Aucklanders Sara-Louise Walker and Valeria Benjamin faced-off in their final.

Tomorrow sees the U15 sabre event and U17 boy’s foil and girl’s epee.

Fencers and officials leave the gym at Cashmere High School after the fire-alarm went off late afternoon.

Have a look at t he nation's most southerly fencing club; Queenstown Fencing.




The Secretary of the local fencing organisation had an e-mail from a Chinese fencing manufacturer recently. It was headed, "barbed wire''. Naturally Kiwi fencers are hardened to the number-eight and wire fencing jokes they are the butt of in New Zealand, these are not so bad in Australia and are, generally, non-existant in the rest of the world. The Secretary sent a nice reply declining to purchase the barbed wire. Now on to the real news:

This week and next week Christchurch will reverberate to the clash of steel when the New Zealand U15 and U17 Fencing Championships and the Eccleston One Hit Epee competitions
come to town.

Around sixty young fencers from Auckland to Dunedin will be attacking each other this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in a bid to become a New Zealand champion in the three weapons used in modern fencing; sabre, epee and foil, in bouts of five and 15 hits, while in the Eccleston epee event it will be the sudden death of one hit – just like in a real duel!

Venue for the Fencing New Zealand (Fenz) U15 and U17 champs is the Cashmere High School Gym, entry from 61 Barrington Road, Cashmere, Christchurch.

The following weekend the Eccleston One Hit Epee competition is hosted by the University of Canterbury Fencing Club in celebration of former national epee champion and coach, David Eccleston, of Nelson, at the Ilam Teachers Collage Campus, Education Gymnasium 10, Christchurch, at 10.30am on Saturday 4th May.

Non fencers are welcome to come and see this ancient art and modern sport in action.



Sad but true though in this case it appears the cyclist had a cardiac or medical problem this morning and was not killed by the bullying four-wheelers.

Cycling in Christchurch seems set to increase in popularity with the talk about new and safer cycleways planned for the re-built city, but sadly there is no talk about four-wheel development. There has been no talk about electric cars or buses, no plans for re-charging them in the central city and nothing about any cost savings they could bring.

Read some facts, figures and ideas here:

Strange? One could almost agree with some of the more off-the-wall statements by folks that the rebuild has been hi-jacked by businessmen with deep pockets and aided and abetted by our elected and un-elected bureaucrats and politicians. Everything seems focused on the Wasteland (the former city centre) and the more undamaged parts of the city, anyone seen Bob, Gerry, Key or Marryat in the Eastern Marches with the little people lately?

As for the problems in the Earthquake Commission, here's more, , a Government Department trumpeting 427,356 home assessments completed – in Christchurch????? Cummon EQC that’s more than one-and-a-bit homes for the 348,400 folks living in Quakesville! Gerry and John are very quiet – another case of amnesia perhaps….

More about EQC fuck-ups here: and EQC’s spin here: 

Wonder if their propaganda trips abroad are a way of avoiding the responsibility, bullshit and crap of dealing with the aftermath of the Great Catastrophe? Roll on election time.

Pommy novelist Arnold Bennett coined a saying known by most good reporters and journalists: “Journalists say a thing that they know isn't true, in the hope that if they keep on saying it long enough it will be true”. Have our politicians taken this to heart?

Wot's propoganda?





An Opawa giant mushroom is displayed by Henk who found it during his daily ramble round the leafy suburb.

Henk ate the thing, check here to find if he survived?


New Brighton artists, Pete and Friend, take a tide break.

Check here to find why they were taking a tide break ...



19/4/2013: A CLEAN SIGN ?

New Brighton.


Now you see it!

Now you don't!

A sign of the times? Our elderly former Railway Worker, now retired, was heart-broken when he drove past the former railway station the other day. Some of his fascinating ramblings have been recalled on this site, but he was strangely quiet after his drive-past.

This confirms in-depth research that older citizens will never revisit the former Central Business District, City Centre, Rebuild Zone or the Wasteland in numbers - the monuments to their lives are all gone!!




Woodham Road.


The Pump House.

Now read all about road signs made from recycled BODY PARTS! Warning - graphic content may upset some sensitive types.

Talking about sensitive types, have you heard the story about the earthquake looter in north New Brighton who got caught and chained to a fence and had piss and shit tossed over him by his captors until the Police arrived some hours later - They made him take off his clothes and remove as much of the filth he could before taking him away.




The who, what, where and when of effective communication!

Answer to yesterday's conundrum - the right-hand side of the driveway is in the Green Zone while the lefthand side is in the Red Zone - did you spot the difference??

More to come. Tomorrow, signs made from body parts!



16/4/2013: AN OLD FAVOURITE!

Woodham Road.


Sorry no giant chocolate fish for anyone - only two answered and both were wrong. Both houses are in the RED ZONE!


Now here's another conundrum for you to solve, which side of this driveway is RED ZONED and which side is NOT??




Woodham Road.




Here's a question for readers, which house is in Christchurch's infamous Red Zone? A giant chocolate fish for the first correct answer.



14/4/2013: A SIGN OF THE TIMES!

Woodham Road.

One of the interesting things about running a blog is the instant feedback it can generate. Headmasters, english teachers  and former journalist workmates pointing out mistakes of grammar or fact, readers asking for more information about a pix or story, but even more exciting are the responses suggesting a future story or rant. Thanks to all, especially those who noted that the Archives for 2013 is giving out a 404 error – on to it asap.

Our Elderly Railway Worker, now retired, thinks recent rants contain too many swearwords and risqué ramblings, so no doubt he will be averting his beadies from this pix!?

More to come.            Tomorrow, screwed again!



13/4/2013: ANOTHER SIGN!

High Street.

For overseas readers, "Don't bowl me!" means don't knock me down. Thousands of buildings in Christchurch, many of great historical interest, have been bowled/demolished (or deconstructed in the tortuous language that has developed post-quakes) since the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes, completely changing the face of the city.

The building on High Street once housed COTTER'S a long-established family business well-known for selling vacuum cleaners and other electrical appliances.

More to come. Tomorrow the signs become more political.



12/4/2013: SIGN LANGUAGE.

A gallery of Christchurch signs.

Avonside Drive.

Two years after the Great Catastrophe of February 2011 Christchurch has become a veritable gallery of signs. Most of us living here have become accustomed to them, but talking with a Scottish visitor recently the plethora of unusual signs have become a tourist magnet.

Where else would you a sign like the one above??

More to come.




Manchester Street, basking in the sun today - the quiet before the storm?

Once the favourite haunt of prostitutes this central city street which is still closed between Worcester and Tuam Streets, will officially open for traffic on Monday 15th.

The question is dear reader, will the girls return?



9/4/2013: Who has been pissing in these pots?

Poor Prime Minister Key, Gerry and his wastemakers, national politicians and bureaucrats all badly pissed on by the latest contempts over the Great Earthquake Commission Contremps (pronounced Greek) – see below. It makes them all look stupid. In fact it makes us ALL look stupid for allowing it to happen and putting up with it.

There is something badly wrong and weird about a Government organisation that has to take legal action against it’s own fuck-ups. For example; the razor wire approach when added to the Parata education imbroglio, the un-secret secret service puddle and the missing memories, highlights a lack of leadership in the National Government worse than that we, in Christchurch, have experienced under the Christchurch City Council and Civil Defence after the Great Catastrophe. Let’s hope that John Key and his minions have some utensils for bailing out the boat, quickly, before they sink and take ALL of us with em.

Read more in the nation’s top newspaper: THE PRESS.

Then read what the anonymous blogger says: “”I am EQC Truths and I prefer to remain anonymous.  The reason EQC has lodged this frivolous action is to silence me for having had the temerity to question the endemic incompetence, nepotism, and deliberate delays made by the EQC commissars.  EQC is trying to force me to out myself publicly, which would compromise my sources at EQC that provide me with vital information about the machinations of the organisation.  This information is in the public interest, as a visit to the will confirm. “”

Now the question is dear reader, who pissed in the containers in the picture??


7/4/2013: The odd rant on this site has covered some of the interesting things that happen in a certain tiny North Island city.

Unlike Christchurch they fence in their portaloos, dress their statues in warm clothing and grow rhubarb in the centre of the city. Not that the quake city is devoid of bizarre happenings – gardening in the Red Zone immediately after February’s shake, fencing off civil defence and earthquake commission offices and demanding that 100-year-old houses and plastic film tunnel houses have fire escapes and wheelchair access are just some of the less bizarre, EQC’s razor-wire fences being one more off-the-planet actions.

However Palmerston North may outclass even that with this mobile grass. We know there has been a drought but this Green Machine is gotta be the most interesting response to it so far.

Read more about the Green Machine HERE!

Wonder what would happen if it came to ChCh? Would it get a red or green sticker? Need City Care to keep it tidy or have a safety fence round it when parked?


6/4/2013: It’s only an exercise! Do not panic!

Do not rush to escape over this still damaged New Brighton bridge on Sunday. You may be stopped by CCC, Sayrah, Ceedu, even EQC and Gerry and the Wastemakers, but not the Police.

Read more about the great escape at the nation’s top newspaper: THE PRESS.


4/4/2013: April Fools???

These Christchurch residents want what?

Good news for the EQC (Earthquake Commission) and Gerry and the Waste-makers, the blog eqctruths may take a rest or even shut up for good!

Read more at:


For those missing their regular knock-it-down fix here are a couple of shots of a, former, Addington parking building.

One of the buggers lifts it's great claw in satisfaction.


While it's mates take an Easter break.


30/3/2013: Hanging about at the old university, now the Arts Centre.

Now, what went on in that little room under the roof on the right in the 1960's and 70's?? All correct replies will receive a cfish! Also what is the first name carved on the back of the roof beam over the doorway?


Smoko at the Arts Centre in central Christchurch. No bloody earthquake's gonna interfere with that Kiwi tradition. Underneath the scaffolding is the Great Hall where many great events were hosted, from the New Prague Quartet to unouth Kiwi poets and even a major fencing competition!




29/3/2013: Wow, the University of Canterbury Fencing Club has hit on a winner with its Gratuitious Photo Competition - three responses so far, one from a flower grower, one from a policeman and one from a surgeon. They say Christchurch is still suffering from earthquake stress, but the sense of quirky humour is still alive and kicking.

Now some sad news. the Jungle Patrol Cafe at New Brighton closed yesterday. The popular suburban meeting place on Oram Avenue will re-open in a month or so as a, wait for it, junk shop!

Cafe owner Dave with some of his local customers.


Remember the Gerry and the Wastmaker's housing shortage that's not!! Well, this is the gateway to ....

The rebuild!

Eight three-bedroomed units on this site on Waltham Road near the nice Waltham Park and pool are already sold!! Yep, and they have not even started building them. The stable ground in the Waltham and Sydenham areas is attracting developer interest - who needs the city centre with large cake tins and other buildings for out-of-towners, all the ratepayers want are affordable housing and nearby ammenities!



25/3/2013: Uni fencing club highlights the Christchurch re-build!

UC Fencing’s Gratuitous Photo Competition!

Forget planking, owling, teapotting, balling and all those other lamestream crazes – they’re sooo six months ago. Some of the lamer cool kids are into a new fad: fencing.

Standing in a fencing pose demands the agility of a lead pipe and the reactions of a desert cactus. It’s an activity the whole family can enjoy!

So fencers, grab a camera and get snapping! It’s alright if you don’t have the gear, just stand en garde in a random spot and send us the evidence.

Email entries to or post them on our Facebook page by 30th of June 2013. You will be judged on comedic value and creativity.

There will be prizes of some sort for the best entries. Maybe.

Entries must be an accurate depiction of reality (that is, no Photoshopping). Judges’ decisions may not be final, but even if not, they will not be altered by tantrums. UC Fencing Club reserves the right to use entries for purposes including, but not limited to T-shirts, flyers, our website, our Facebook page, calendars, bumper
stickers and beach towels.

25/3/2013: The troubled bridge across the Heathcote River attracted a bit of interest, especially the bit about the masonic arms carved into the roof of the Lytellton railway tunnel which generated many e-mails, including a telling-off by the Former Railway Worker, now retired, but as yet no photographic evidence.

Now, would this constitute photographic evidence?? Local residents reckon the bridge is bowed?? It happened when both banks of the Heathcote River moved towards each other during our Great Catastrophe. You decide.


Another local resident tells of stopping a fire engine from the Timaru Fire Service from getting squished under this low bridge. The engine and its crew had turned up after the Great Catastrophe to help out (thanks lads!) and were on their way to the Ferrymead Fire Station using their GPS thingie to find the quickest route, trouble is it, apparently, doesn't take into account the height of vehicles and the clearance under bridges!

The low clearance catches out hundreds of locals, especially buses and cars towing tall trailers.


21/3/2013: A sticking point with New Zealand Post – non-sticky stamps!

British motoring journalist Jeremy Clarkson bought a little relief to the much maligned citizens of Palmerston North recently ... read his nice comments.

In an effort, over the last couple of years, to succour certain denizens of the tiny North Island city packets of emergency rations, namely chocolate fish and recently, the odd bottle of water (to fight the drought), have been posted to them.

New Zealand Post does a bloody good job delivering the wee packets despite untidy writing, incomplete address (No post code) and no return address. However, now and then, a package seems to go missing engendering the odd grumpy response from the beleaguered recipients.

I put this down to poor writing, wrong address or just bad luck, but recently I noticed the woman at the local Post Shop here in Christchurch sticking a piece of sellotape over the stamp. When quizzed about why she was doing it she replied that the stamps don’t always stick to the plastic bubble-wrap envelope!

Does the lost letter department of New Zealand Post have a collection of cfish? 


18/3/2013: What about the Great New Zealand train robbery, asked a reader?

Well, our Elderly Railway Worker, now retired, has returned from his annual jaunt from Quake City and has said there were two robberies that he knew about. One in Canterbury at Rolleston Station and the other in Wellington at one of the suburban stations both allegedly committed by railway workers. Both, allegedly, concerned station takings which in those days consisted of cash from ticket sales.

He was a bit thin on the detail, but more talkative about the sexual shenanigans going on at the now demolished Christchurch Railway Station.

The building was designed in the 1930’s along with those in Auckland and Wellington, but for some reason was never built, unlike those in Auckland and Wellington and which is why the building looked aged and shop-worn when it was built in 1956.

Anyway it had a large basement including a huge bicycle area as most railway workers used cycles to get to and from work when the building was first designed (Take note those involved in the re-build). The former Elderly Railway Worker is very descriptive of the shenanigans that went on in the subterranean locker and ablutions areas – knee tremblers was one of the more  printable terms he used.

Sounds like they must have been having wee earthquakes even back then?

So what have these two bridges to do with our Elderly Railway Worker, now retired? Look closely and you will see that the bridge over the Heathcote River being repaired is the modern road bridge, not the railway bridge in front of it.

They built them to last in the 1860's - Railways in Christchurch.

Anyway, to cut to the chase, our Elderly Railway Worker, now retired, reckons that in the ceiling of the Lyttelton railway tunnel, which was being built around the time when this bridge was , is carved the Masonic square and compass. It seems that William Moorhouse, one of the supporters of the rail tunnel between Lyttelton and Christchurch, was a MASON!



17/3/2013: GOTCHA!

Auckland photographer and film-maker Stuart Page is no stranger to Christchurch, he studied photography at university here and turns-up regularly from time to time. It was his pic of the looting sign I used in the blurb about the second anniversary of the February 22nd 2011 earthquake and he was so chuffed about it he has sent some further images of the Great Catastrophe.


Up the creek without a paddle – never so true a statement as seen here: A pedestrian runs for safety in St Asaph Street during the large after-shock on June 23rd 2011, but pity the poor bugger at the top of the extension lift with nowhere to go!


Like mine, in January this year, his eye was also attracted by this elderly Austin Seven on the corner of Manchester and Tuam Streets.

You can read more about Stu HERE!

The pic at the beginning of this rant was taken by Henri Shustak, the son of one of Stu's lecturers at Uni. Stu's movie about photography lecturer Larance Shustak won "Best New Zealand Feature Documentary” award.

Oh, and Stu will be back in Christchurch in early April to do a music video about a local resident who was arrested and jailed for entering his Red Zoned home and Larance, affectionately known at Bobajaan, was also a keen fencer!!



13/3/2013: Christchurch is bedevilled by thieves, looters, thugs and other socially deformed persons as this damaged mobile roadside sign on Brougham Street shows.

The Police and citizens do their best, but it appears that when the socially deformed are caught and handed over to our Justice System they are allowed to go and re-offend. Quite what the solution is has taxed academics, lawyers, and many others for years. An ad hoc survey of young thugs locked up in the late 1950’s early 1960’s at a youth detention centre in the North Island showed most re-offended with-in 12-months of release. Nothing seems to have changed, read this story in the nation's top newspaper.

Just to put the boot in, so to speak, the mobile sign with its broken window, had it’s  boot-lid removed a few weeks earlier. Now the wee collision repair company is scratching their heads about future advertising – any thug-proofing ideas??

Do you know of someone selling a stolen BMW boot-lid?




Under 15 and Under 17 2013 National Championships

Christchurch 26 - 28 April 2013

Cashmere High School Gym, entry is from 61 Barrington Street, Cashmere, Christchurch

Provisional Timetable:  (all events are Individual)

Weapons check Thursday evening (and daily before each event starts for out of town fencers)

The timetable is provisional and start/finish times will be firmed up once the organisers have some indication of entries, especially in epee and sabre events.

The Tournament Organiser is Kate Brill.
Email: Kate.
Phone: 03 351 6485 or Mob:   022 048 5037
Post: 12 Harrods Court, Ilam, Christchurch 8053  

Entry forms and further information will be published on the Mid South website; Here.




What about some fencing news was a recent plea.

Well I would if I knew any, but with the fencing season in New Zealand just getting underway there is little news to post. As far as fencing gossip and information goes there are a reducing number of sources. Out of the ten websites scrolled though on a regular basis only five are operative or have been updated in the last six months – not good for our ancient are and modern sport.

This sabre double attack is courtesy of the international fencing federation, FIE, which celebrates it's 100th birthday this year.

All the clubs in Christchurch are underway. There are six senior clubs in Christchurch which welcome beginners or experts alike SO THERE IS NO EXCUSE NOT TO COME AND TRY IT.

University of Canterbury Fencing Club. Location: Education Gymnasium 10. Saturday 10.30am to 12.30pm. Contact: Brett Davis at 03 967 0069.

United Fencing Club. Shirley Intermediate School Gymnasium. Training Times: Tuesday 7.00 pm to 9.00pm Contact: Rob Sheard Ph: 03 980 1914 

The Sabre Club. Waltham Primary School hall corner of Hastings and Vienna Streets. Training Times: Thursdays, (except the second Thursday of each month when the hall is taken over by rock hounds), starting at 7pm. Contact: Vik Manuge, or phone: 03 366 6396 

The Fencing Institute, 91 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington Training Times: Various. Contact: Kate Brill Ph: 021 615 095 

Mt Pleasant Swords Club . Mt Pleasant Scout Hall, Old School Reserve, 172 Major Hornbrook Road. Training Times: Mondays, 7 till 8.30pm Contact: Roger Horton: Ph:03 981 3159.

Christchurch Fencing Academy . Location: Kendal School, 53 Kendal Avenue, Burnside. Training Times: Monday Nights 7pm to 9pm. March – November. Contact: Jan Tabak Ph: 03 980 6935, cell: 021 163 0429 or Mary Anne-Baxter - 352 9257


10/3/2013: PM

Someone's accused me of milking a lame joke about the new seal ( see below) - nah, drink this!!!!!



Someone in City Care has a sense of humour - are they calling the grass, right, growing on this riverside street new seal?


City Care workers have also been striping yuccky weed from the bed of the Heathcote River, as no doubt you have read in the earlier postings on this site, and deserve flowers not a wreath.


This wreath was one of those tossed into the river to mark the second anniversary of the February 22nd 2011 earthquake, but didn't make it all the way to the Avon/Heathcote estuary and the sea. It has been trapped in a stretch of the river not yet cleared.


Here's what is facing the City Car workers.

Read about the most scenic river in Christchurch: THE HEATHCOTE RIVER.




In bustling Sydenham you have to fight for a car park or take a risk, like these idiots, and park on a bus stop.

Perhaps some drivers are taking the former borough’s motto to heart?? (The number-plate has been vandalised to protect the stupid.)


4/3/2013: We wus fust! We was first!

And here is the photographic evidence to prove it - A security guard and high fences protect the former Christchurch Art Gallery turned civil defence bunker from the depredations of ordinary citizens - NOTE the lack of razor wire, that's an EQC addition.

First it was Civil Defence, now it is the Earthquake Commission, what it is it they have in common? Their way of dealing with the fucked-up and pissed-off citizens of Christchurch who are trying to deal with the organisations and their apparent incompetence and lack of commonsense.

So what was both organisations’ first response? Bunker down. Build high fences and in the case of EQC, topped with razor wire, to keep out the residents they are trying to help. Read about it in the nation's top newspaper.

Let’s face it, it was and is a monumental job, but somehow Gerry and the Wastemakers and John Key are damned if they do and damned if they don’t in trying to CATCH THE WIND!

HERE IS THE EQC's views.

And here is an EQC INSIDERS VIEW

So you can make up your own minds as to who’ll Catch The Wind.

And HERE is how the department of Civil Defence and Emergency Management reckoned it performed after February 2011 – they don’t seem to say anything about September 2010.

Bet Bob and Roger are happy to have a bit of respite!?!



3/3/2013: Would you build a 2.2-metre high fence round this idyllic scene???

That's what the Canterbury Cricket folks want to do: HAGLEY OVAL! It's called an embankment.


And for those wanting their weekly knock-it-down fix.

Here's one at work on Hazeldean Road the other day. But don't worry, Walker Industries are still alive and kicking in Hornby!


1/3/2013: A dogs Life?

All the rants by elected and unelected bureaucrats about the Great Rebuild and how it is generating jobs or, will generate jobs, seems at odds with what is actually happening.

For example, it is said of the thirty or so folks who completed a post-graduate Project Managers course at the cesspit, the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology for those of you not from Christchurch, only about ten have jobs, the rest, well you figure it out – employers want EXPERIENCED slaves – not ones with a bit of paper that they then have to train. And THAT is from the mouth of one of those who graduated and is doing general labouring.

This is highlighted by another young attendee at the cesspit who completed a plumbing course and has scoured the city looking to be taken on as an apprentice. The lad has even gone to the extremes of offering to work for free just to gain that experience so he can collar a slot as an apprentice. Work, what work?

For example, the nation’s top newspaper is outsourcing its classified advertising to Auckland – more jobs gone.

Talking to a couple of employers confirms that there is not enough work for those who want to, but one, who employs general labourers, says that a good percentage of those applying for jobs are illiterate, innumerate and have a poor work and time-keeping ethos. SLAVERY?

I know of a job applicant who some years ago applied for 125 positions before getting a job and it is much the same today with most of those advertising for slaves not even bothering to reply to e-mailed applications.

Perhaps it is time for another SLAVES' REVOLT??

Cpit. Says: “We’re one of the South Island’s largest tertiary institutes attracting more than 24,000 innovative and exciting learners from our own shores and across the globe.”

Another example of market forces at work??


24/2/2013: A WALK IN THE PARK!

Friday's Quake memorial gathering in Latimer Square was hilarious, it brought a touch of unexpected humour to many who turned up. There were heathen incantations, flowers, god bothering recitals, more flowers, strange speeches from our elected and un-elected bureaucrats, even more flowers and, just as the band broke into the National Anthem - God Defend New Zealand, a huge truck and trailer arrives (see below) seeking access to the rebuild area, AKA the Red Zone and formerly the city centre.


We're here! People gathered to remember the Great Catastrophe.


Read what the nation's top newspaper says about the REMEMBER THE EARTHQUAKE gathering!


An Earthquake Survivor. Born in 1922, an Austin Seven tootles past the memorial gathering.




22/2/2013: Happy birthday all!

It was an embarrassing birthday for some:


As the bigwigs begin haranguing the crowd of hundreds gathered in Latimer Square this afternoon to mark the second anniversary of the deadly 2011 earthquake, an oversized truck tries to gain entry to the rebuild area and is stopped by Sayrah officials.

God Botherers, heathens and others.



A sign of the times......

Two years on and the aftermath of February 22nd 2011’s earthquakes still reverberates around Christchurch as these wee signs in Sydenham, not far from where Maureen Fletcher died, showed yesterday…. down but not out!!


However six things still stand out from that horrendous day and its aftermath.

1. The ineptness of the Civil Defence response after February’s earthquake – they had not appeared to have learnt anything from the September 2010 event.Here security guards and fences keep Civil Defence folks and the people they were trying to help apart! Not the best show in town!


2. The horrendous damage done throughout the city. The time the earth moved and time stood still. Nine minutes to one on February 22nd, 2011.

And people died - many of them here!

Or survived - rescuers at work on Manchester Street just after the first quake.

And suffer - the dreaded liquifaction!


3. The looting. Self explanatory, but it DID happen we just don't talk about it.


4. The uselessness of protests and marches by the helpless against the hopeless – residents’ concerns over the actions and lack of commonsense from the bureaucrats of the Christchurch City Council, Civil Defence, insurance companies, EQC, Sayrah and Seedoo.One of the first.

And one of many more to come.


5. The spirit shown by the city's residents.Tough, resilient can survive anywhere!

6. The unpublicised and un-thanked work by the military, from New Zealand and overseas, in manning road blocks and entry points.All the way from the UK. Thanks Bro!

Raid the Archives folders, for 2011 and 2012, at the bottom of this page if you want to see and read more about what happened. Happy birthday.


18/2/2013: And now for some fencing news...


It’s like other sports – only with swords.


University of Canterbury Fencing Club

Saturday mornings 10:30-12:30

Education Campus Gym

Find us on Facebook!


15/2/2013: With the second anniversary of February 2011's Great Catastrophe next Friday it is appropriate to show some hope for the future of Christchurch.

Hope? Still hindered by bureaucracy and a lack of commonsence?


Some-one lived here. Once. The now defunct Christchurch Swords Club once met in The Young Womens' Christian Association building that stood on the right!


Much of the central city is still a wasteland, but there are signs life:


The re-built Latimer Lodge is nearly finished. Latimer Square, which faces the new lodge, was a hub of emergency action immediately after February's violent shaking.

The ridiculous world famous Cardboard Cathedral which is not cardboard but timber and steel. Many quake city residents are embarrassed by the thing.


A big hole next to the Christchurch City Council's offices. I wonder how history will remember the actions of CCC and Civil Defense after September 2010 and February's quakes?


A resident (top right) has returned to this locked down central city hotel.



13/2/2013: And now some fencing news.

Get the latest world fencing news here: FIE magazine in ENGLISH!


12/2/2013: Piles of money in Sydenham.

You can be sure what they are building on this site is not going to fall down in a hurry!

BQ, before the quakes, piles were one of those unmentionable conditions experienced by some, not all, Christchurch residents.

AQ, after the quakes, piles have come into the open and are constantly talked about by most of those left living in the city.

Piles, not the anally associated ones that humans can sit upon, but the others that buildings are supposed to sit upon, have become big business.

It costs around $500 to remove one sort and about $700 a metre to insert the other. Loverly dosh which-ever end you’re working on!

Wonder how much it cost to insert these piles? The local gossip in Sydenham suggests more than $300,000! Woof, you can buy a whole house in Sydenham for that.

Worth a l00k! Sayrah has posted some interesting time-lapse pix of central city demolitions.



10/2/2013: The coffee is flowing in Sydenham. 

Welcome to Sydenham!

The world drinks more than 1.6 BILLION cups of coffee a DAY, it is the second most traded commodity after oil and the cafes in Christchurch dishing it up proved a boon after the earthquakes. Many had closed because of damage, some even killing or injuring their customers when the buildings they inhabited fell down. Some shifted premises, while others expanded, but it was those that managed to stay open and the plethora of coffee vans, pop-ups and even tents that appeared in the aftermath that helped Christchurch’s quake traumatised residents to recover. Many became meeting places for small businesses desperate to keep going and ride out the shocks.

What coffee could do for you! Click and read amazing stories from the New Scientist magazine - you can also buy it weekly in supermarkets.

Cafes also provided a sense of normality to their communities – you can read some of their stories in the Archives for 2011 and 2012. Including Dave's Jungle Patrol in New Brighton dishing out free cups of the brown stuff to shocked locals the day after the February earthquake – no power, no water, but coffee! Magnificent!

On the up - Impulse Imports.

And still open for business.

In Sydenham, between Moor house Avenue and Brougham Street and Waltham Road and Montreal Street, there are around a dozen or more cafes and take-away's where once there were six or so, the latest recently opened on Waltham Road and there is even one next door to a crematorium! While a new one is being built on Colombo Street near Moorehouse Avenue and an Indian Restaurant will open in the former Jaycar shop also on Colombo Street.

The history of cafes and coffee houses. Thanks to Wikipedia.


Locals arrive for a Sunday morning coffee in Sydenham.

Want a coffee or cake in Sydenham? My favourite is Ian’s Lego Palace (I’ve forgotton what it’s called), an enjoyable outdoor place for a coffee and cigar! Then there is Underground Coffee Company in the revised mall. The Honey Pot serves a good feed and the Sydenham Bakery makes a bloody good venison pie. All are on Colombo Street.

These are just some of the café’s and eateries in Sydenham. Come look and try for yourself!


7/2/2013: Christchurch artist Pete Majendie has just the thing for church congregations displaced in the earthquake ravaged city – cardboard chapels!

Pete and Robyn at work on a God Box.

With Christchurch’s two cathedrals and many churches flattened or damaged and closed by the thousands of earthquakes since September 2010 he has come up with a safe and secure alternative, irreverently called God Boxes.

The tiny art works, designed for people to take a few minutes of contemplation, are hand cut and painted from sheets of corrugated cardboard with no steel or concrete reinforcing unlike the present Cardboard Cathedral now under construction.
The former flower-grower and his helpers came to prominence in the city with art works like the Ark of Hope and the internationally recognised exhibit of 185 individual WHITE CHAIRS, one for each of those who died in the earthquakes.

A spire for Christchurch.

Working out of a crammed room in the Opawa Baptist Church he hopes to have dozens of the wee God Boxes, some already established on private sections, dotted throughout the city in the next few weeks with one heading for Sydenham in the next few days.

The God Boxes even have artistic "stained glass" windows!


3/2/2013: The vibrant ramblings of developers eyeing up the flat and featureless former central business district is disturbing.

To the wasteland - central Christchurch?

The scintillating, vigorous and energetic words appearing in the media THE NATION'S TOP NEWSPAPER! are at odds with what the central city was before the quakes – a collection space for businesses too poor to shift elsewhere, an area for drunken and drugged youth and a shop window for prostitutes.
Maybe it had once been a space for quiet and peaceful social interaction and contemplation, but that was a long time ago. Muggings, fights, robberies and other forms of aggression were common in the city centre.

The Media Club once lived here by the Square.

It was a slow but steady decline. First came the moving of the University to Ilam in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This removed a huge number of people from the immediate and surrounding suburbs and transplanted them to the other side of town. The central city struggled on but the removal of so much income/dosh hurt many small businesses. It also marginalised Uni students, but that’s another story.

What once stood here? A giant chocolate fish for the first correct answer.?

Then came the growth of suburban malls and the city centre was kicked again – just look at what happened to New Brighton when they opened up weekend shopping to all - It fell apart! I mean why would you go shopping in the central city to be chased by Parking Nazis? Easier at the malls and cheaper too.
The redesign of the Square and the closing of Victoria Street throttled the city centre even more, until before the Earthquakes the only reason to go into the central city was to work or drug there. Small businesses and cafes in New Regent Street and adjacent areas for example were suffering well before the quakes flattened or shut them down.
And now the re-opening of a closed hotel and a few shops in New Regent Street will create a “vibrant new hub”?

Here by the Re-Start Mall? Or elsewhere?

Who’s on drugs now?

So what’s the solution?  Not the biscuit tin with a roof or the river park our un-elected and elected bureaucrats seem to prefer.  One could bring a crowd out for a night or two now and them and the other the odd ambler, but nothing in the region of the 50,000 that were supposed to inhabit the CBD daily before the quakes. Perhaps high-density housing where the residents can walk or commute to nearby suburbs that have turned into business hubs? Heaps of no pay car parking and a low-cost (A tin box in the re-start mall is around $700 per week plus!) hub for sole traders and small businesses like bookshops, hairdressers, a produce market, and some corner dairies could bring a steady stream of people, but not 50,000 of them. We may have to wait 20-years before that happens again, if ever.

Feel like a quick puff?? Yes, that's the former Lancaster Park in the background. No, I am not suggesting the Christchurch City Council and Rugby officials have been puffing, but some have been definitely on the sauce!

30/1/2013: We know they do things differently in Palmerston North.

They dress their statues to keep em warm. Sexually tease old men and other protected species such as tuatara and then there is the weather. Note, I have said nothing about the wet and windy weather as this pix says it ALL! which means certain individuals in Palmerston North will not have cause to castigate me.

A deluge of cyclists in Palmy.

There was a cycle race through the Manawatu town last Sunday and they obviously had trouble getting enough signs to close-off the streets to deal with the flood of cyclists.

Read about the race in the town’s local rag: MANAWATU STANDARD!

For those disbelievers about the “flooding” sign, water use “surged” over the weekend – truly, read about it: HERE!


29/1/2013: Oops, got the measurements wrong in yesterday's post, its feet not metres. Used an old tape-measure, so old it is in pieds!!!

To take your mind off such an embarrassing moment, here is a new shot of Lancaster Park taken from the top of the Colombo Street and Moorhouse Avenue overbridge yesterday. As you can see it is still named AMI Stadium.

You can see the mountains of rubble in the foreground from the demolished Railway Station. Our former railway worker will not drive past it as it brings back too many memories! A question, have you heard about the Great Canterbury Train Robbery?? Must admit I hadn't until an e-mail from a reader and it was confirmed by our elderly former railway worker. More about it soon. Oh, and what is the correct spelling of MOOREHOUSE Avenue? With an "E" or without????????????????????


28/1/2013: What happened to the keep left rule??

Keep left?

A woman shouted and screamed at me the other day.
I was cycling on a shared footpath in the central city, on the left as usual, and moved to the right to avoid the woman who was walking towards me on the right (my left) and playing with a hand-held device. Intent on the device she did not respond until I was passing her on the right when she suddenly woke up with a fright! The noise followed me to the Armagh Street gate! LEFT HAND RULE!

This begs the question, do we still drive, ride or walk to the left? Go try it for yourself. Go walking in a mall or on a shopping street and you will find that very few people favour the left. Try the Restart Mall! Even on the road a number of accidents are caused by visitors to New Zealand driving on the right (our left) so is it time to change from favouring the left to the right?

As for cycling on the road, the close-calls, rumpled roads and crazy signs make it dangerous, very dangerous, unless you keep your wits about you and your reactions sharp.

Why do they put the signs warning of road works on the cycleway rather than the footpath? This forces the cyclist out into the, generally busy, traffic flow. Why do marked cycle lanes end suddenly amidst a horde of traffic?

Try cycling through some roundabouts. One on Ensors and Opawa Roads has an entry width of about 24 metres wide but and exit width of about 16 metres. This means a cyclist, with right of way and first into the roundabout, going straight ahead can be passed by a car on their right as there is room for both, but come to the exit and it reduces to a reduced width of 16 metres, including gutters, forcing the cyclist and the overtaking car together – guess who comes off worse??

Wanna mix it with these guys?

As for cycling on the footpath – I’d rather face an annoyed pedestrian on the pavement than a Killer Kar. If anything needs to come from the re-building of Christchurch it is the development of a pedestrian and cycle friendly city, but don’t hold your breath!
Let’s face it, public transport failed after February’s 2011’s violent shakes. The Big Reds were just too BIG to negotiate the rumpled roads. Cars and other infernally driven thingies had trouble too negotiating the rumpled roads, plus there was the panic over fuel supplies to keep them going!

Kings of the road?

King of the Road, so to speak, was the pedestrian or cyclist!! But will those involved in redesigning our city take any notice? Don’t hold your breath.

They are going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a garden and billions on a cake-tin with a roof and fuck the pedestrians, cyclists and the ratepayers who will have to cough up the billions!

Watch out!!!!!


27/1/2013: The things you see in quake riven Christchurch. No good oil here?

A hanging truck in St Martins.

It was drilling for solid ground. With much of Christchurch built on a swamp, finding solid ground for building foundations is vital. It can vary in depth from three to 50 or more metres down.

Read more about drilling in Christchurch's suburbs HERE!




25/1/2013: Your invitation to come fencing in Christchurch!

Starts February 21st!

All welcome. Special deal for financial members of other clubs with their own gear - just ask.




23/1/2013: A history lesson!

Our former railway worker, turned historian, tells of the demolition of the first Christchurch railway station in 1959. They were knocking down the upstairs changing and locker room, the two storied building on the left in the photo HERE!  belonging to the guards, remember guards-vans? A what van?
(A caboose for you North Americans) and had started dismantling a large timber clad wall. Behind it were thousands of beer bottles, some whole, many broken. It appeared to have been the custom over many years for the guards to dispose of their empties by dropping them through a gap in the top of the wall – voila, a floor to ceiling glass wall!! Question is, were they emptied before or after their shifts?? Wonder if anyone was caught drunk in charge of a guards-van or a steam train for that matter! Not that he knows of says our former railway worker.

The picture, above, shows a piece of railway history prized by our knowledgeable former railway worker – a chunk of wood turned into a lamp and engraved: “Silver Pine Railway Sleeper from the Mt Somers line, M Luxton."

Read more about Mt Somers.



22/1/2013:Market Forces.

A view of Colombo Street in Sydenham after February 2011 - Market Forces?

Psst wanna rent a room in Christchurch? Be prepared to pay anything from $80 to share a room with one other, to over $300 for an up-market room with a balcony.

Market Forces?

Canny investors are buying up lightly damaged four and five bed roomed houses in some of the older, leafier suburbs, giving them a quick tidy-up and renting out rooms for over $200 a week. They call it Market Forces!

There is even talk of relocating undamaged or lightly damaged houses from the Red Zoned eastern suburbs with damaged ground, to existing industrial areas for short-term (ten years) accommodation for imported slaves – ooops, workers. Addington, Wooston, Sydenham, Hornby and Hillsborough are suggested sites, with some sites taking forty or more homes! They call it Market Forces!

Lightly damaged Market Forces?

One Pururi Street home-owner, heaved out of his house for many months so repairs could be done, turned up one Sunday to get something from his undamaged garage, found three workers encamped there. None spoke coherent English! They had been doing plastering and painting they intimated and were only resting – on three single mattresses with sheets and blankets!?? Who can blame them? Earning $540, or less, a week on the minimum wage – if that is what they are being paid, less $95 in tax, leaves them $445. Say $120 a week for an unfurnished room - $80 if you are willing to share a single room – less another $100 or so for skoff doesn’t leave much to send home to the relatives or for other entertainments. They call it Market Forces!

Now read what Sayrah minister Gerry Brownlee really said about MARKET FORCES!

When are the work-camps and prefabs coming?? HOMELESS? Try living here.



21/1/2013: A grumpy visitor over the weekend complained there have been no pix of the Wasteland (the former Central Business District) posted in the last month or so.

Here's your fix, on Manchester Street:

In quake-riven Christchurch you don't unlock security gates - just go through the windows!

Knock-it-downs at work near Manchester Street and ???? You can work it out by looking at the photo closely or at a map of Christchurch.

Now for something completely different and up-lifting - the erection of the Cardboard Cathedral is well underway:

But buildings are still coming down in New Brighton.

Do you remember what once stood here?




15/1/2013: Stop! Go? Why is nobody listening?

Ask ten former residents, or people formerly working there, that is within Fitzgerald, Moorhouse, Bealey and Deans avenues or immediately close by, what they think about the future of the central city and its re-build prospects and eight will say forget it, move on, and two will say maybe it might rebuild and I might come back, but don’t hold your breath.

This hard-nosed reality of former workers, small businessmen and residents is at odds with the glorious rants of elected or un-elected bureaucrats, land owners, property developers, out-of-town politicians, financial seeing-eye dogs, wishful idealists and others out to make a quick buck.

For example, our well-off chatty former railway worker who lives in a nice leafy suburb refuses to return to the central city. Another, one of the first engineers to graduate from Canterbury University’s Ilam campus fifty years ago, just shook his head and scrambled aboard his flight back to Australia.

For example:
Who wants a Thugby Union ground with a lid on when they cannot fill the present one, captured from their league counterparts, and we are still paying for their last one, Lancaster Park, which they have abandoned?
Who wants a convention centre in the central city just to feed hotels?
Who wants the University to return to town? Let alone a special tramway to freight students back into the Central Business District?
Who wants a park/green space in the central city while the present one, Hagley Park, is being ravaged by cricketers hell-bent on spending someone-else’s loot.

What is needed?
Cheap and cheerful accommodation for small businesses.
Cheap and comfortable housing for old and new residents.
Cheap and safe paths, cycleways and parking for locals.
Low-rise buildings to live or do business in.
A Town Hall

Make the Square into a city-wide public transport hub, the way it once was?

Why is nobody listening?

For some Christchurch residents it is a riveting comedy, fascinating to watch and they believe the city will get what it deserves - bring on the next folly or buffoon!!

(The pix show the Square in the central city the way it looked in the early 1970's when it was the city's transport hub - no airport or railway station though.)


13/1/2013: Sydenham residents fight a bush fire with buckets of water.

Most likely started by a carelessly disposed of cigarette butt, the burning bush in Hastings Street, Sydenham, briefly covered the area in smoke.

Here come the cavalry - a fire-engine tootles up Hastings Street from Waltham Road.



And now for some more fencing news ...


Masters Games 2013 - Wanganui

An invitation to all Kiwi fencers

The River City Fencing Club (RCFC) would like to extend an invitation to all fencers aged 30+ to participate in the first Masters Games fencing event held in Wanganui on the 9th and 10th February 2013. 

So please, if you have any questions, feel free to write an email to:



12/1/2013: Pro Patria – for one’s country.

Not in New Brighton.

If there is a symbol of decay and despondency to visitors to the seaside suburb it is this ravaged memorial.

Fuck you, nobody cares is what it demonstrates and they want to redevelop the area? Away with you, read what Martin VB says in today’s Weekend section of the nation’s top newspaper: BIRCHING APPEAL.

YOU can report the little fuckwits you see tagging here: Christchurch City Council or Crime Stoppers or The RSA. - if you can offer them help in removing the tagging.



10/1/2013: And now for some fencing news.

Christchurch foilist Chis Bell, who graduates with a law degree in April, is moving to Auckland. Another Christchurch fencer, Wai-ling Chan was awarded the Principal’s Prize for sport at Burnside High School while another fencer, Lucien Nightingale, was also in the running for the prize. Hamilton fencer Grace Christie won an AMP award. She is coached by two former Christchurch fencers Chris Nokes and Al McBride. Another Christchurch fencer, Julius Herzhoff, is off to Bonn, Germany, for training while fencers at the University of Canterbury Fencing Club and the Sabre Club have been training over the summer with tree-planting among their varied activities, but more on that later!

The Federation International d’Escrime (FIE), the international body controlling our sport, is celebrating its centenary this year. More at: FIE.

Here, Fencing New Zealand President, Ken Claridge, pays homage to the FIE and our great sport, plus one of the timely gifts to Fenz from the FIE - a shiny new metal piste used at our national champs in Christchurch in October.

Fenz is also holding its AGM at 7.00pm on Sunday 3 February 2013, at 266 Adelaide Road, Wellington, and via Skype at each of the Regional Presidents' addresses. So, if you want to say something, get your Notices of Motion or Matters to be considered with the Secretary General not later than 5.00pm Friday 18 January 2013. (P O Box 28-056, Wellington, or



9/1/2013: They do things differently in Palmerston North.Cafes provide vegetables for their customers.


While bogs are fenced-off to challenge those desperate enough to want to use them.

The use of security fencing reminds one of what went on in Quake City when the Civil Defence people had to hide behind security guards and fences round their Art Gallery Bunker to avoid the imprecations and pleas of local residents and business people.




7/1/2013: 2013 could be an interesting year for this 161-year-old cottage in Harold Street, Sydenham.


Not only has it survived 160 winters, numerous owners, the depredations of the Christchurch City Council, the change from a cosy inner-city residential suburb it was once part of to an empty, soulless industrial area and, possibly, more than 100,000 earthquakes (that’s two a day for the last 161 years). Now it has to weather the seemingly bureaucratic indifference of Sayrah. That’s a bit harsh you say? Nah, just re-read the first paragraph – “… may have experienced structural change …”

QUESTION: When's an earthquake not an earthquake? ANSWER: When its a Canterbury one.

We all know that Gerry and his Waste Makers want to get rid of the Old Dungas in the city and have done for many of them, though a few still remain like this classic cottage, but to pick on this sweet old granny, AGAIN, is surely beyond the pale. IT IS ELDER ABUSE!

Read the earlier postings about the Old Girl in the Fencing Master Archives for 2011 and 2012 (28/11/2011 and then this year on 14/4/2012, again on 21/5/2012 and the 25/5/2012). From them you will see that even our much maligned Christchurch City Council did its best to keep the Old Girl alive!

Of course the old dear has changed over the years; a few wrinkles, the odd pustule and a bit thin on top, but surely that doesn’t need to generate the bureaucratic nonsense that seems to have enveloped most areas of human existence in post-quake Christchurch. Will all Old Dungas have to have a $10.000 to $15,000 inspection? This does not bode well for the remaining home owning residents of Christchurch, regardless of the age of their homes.

For example, I bet no one asked the 91-year-old Londoner I met at the Countdown supermarket on Colombo Street recently for a “satisfactory assessment”, nor threaten to restrict her movements if she did not get one. I mean the old girl had survived the bombing of London and years slaving away as a Land Girl during the Second World War AND our present swarm of earthquakes! She must have experienced some structural change? In fact she was hanging on to an elegant wheeled thingie which increased her mobility, but that was her decision to do so not some soul-less bureaucrat. In other words she was responsible for HER actions and HER life. If she stumbled crossing Colombo Street to the supermarket and got squished by a truck or car, SHE was prepared to risk that deadly fate for the sake of HER independence.

They say with age comes wisdom.

It was the poorly designed (by present day earthquake standards) and maintained multi-storey buildings that killed people, not the lightly-built single-storey houses like the Old Girl in Harold Street – she is still connected to the power and sewer and has just got high-speed broadband! Good to go another 160 years one would have thought.

This the Japanese well know about lightly-built houses. Just as they know about the after-shocks and don’t begin repairing or rebuilding earthquake damage until a year after the Big One – why throw away money?? Insurance companies know this too.

Now what does the Chief Executive of Sayrah know? (Notice I’ve used capitals as he is the Chief Executive!). Is he really the Chief? Or is he, as many Christchurch residents and the Labour Party and other politicals believe, a figurehead surrounded by National Party sycophants and Wellington bureaucrats? Naturally you will be the judge.

Cummon Roger, a bit of Leadership please and let the Old Girl live.


Oh, and the letter was signed by Baden Ewart, the General Manager Operations (in caps). Wonder if this makes him more important than Roger?