Following the devastating earthquake in February, many Christchurch residents and businesses are now finding the delays in the evaluation process for their residences and buildings extremely frustrating. There appear to be significant inefficiencies in which are proving demoralising for the people with damaged premises. While one can grasp the enormity of the problem and difficulties involved for the authorities and their agencies, those whose lives are directly affected feel the consequences of how well progress is being made. The delays are degrading the optimism for residents to continue to commit to the rebuilding of the city and see a return to a thriving community with business to bolster the economy of the region.
Rex and Judy Ormandy of the iconic Vino Fino wine retailer at 188 Durham Street are among those disaffected by the lack of action and progress. Here’s what he reported in his latest email newsletter:
When we left the premises on February 22nd, we had no inkling that over 8 months later we would still not be able to operate fully out of our premises. The building came through the quakes remarkably unscathed structurally. Nothing too major we thought. A relatively simple job; removal of the badly damaged brick parapet was deemed asbeing an ‘urgent removal’ by the engineers back in March and the on-going risk of falling masonry would ensure a quick fix … so we thought. Months on, an ‘accident’ still waiting to happen. Some floor joists also need attention before we can reasonably have people in the rear part of the shop. The rest of the repairs are cosmetic. The cracks, floor repairs, repaint can wait.
So what is happening? O.K. It has taken the telco guys 5 weeks to remove and replace the cellphone transmitters on the top of the building, but when we got someone from the repair contractors looking at the building yesterday (for the 3rd time) and that same person having no recollection of having been to the building previously, we wonder … how urgent is urgent?
ECQ are also involved as there are apartments upstairs, but they appear to have no idea about how to deal with the situation. No surprises there. We’ve had engineers, insurance assessors, EQC assessors, several times each, looking at the building. This probably sounds familiar to many of you.
We find it very difficult to depend on the actions of others, especially when they seem to have no concern or understandingof our circumstances. We had desperately wanted to be able to re-open at the same time as the City Mall Re:Start. We are fully committed to inner-city retail and want to be a part of the future of the CBD. We value our role as a Fine Wine Store and know many of you miss being able to come and select out those special bottles. Although we have been incredibly well supported with internet orders, the internet doesn’t really cut it. On-line shopping isn’t really suited to the Fine Wine market for most of you.