A fruit and vege store that I occasionally shopped at was, a fortnight ago, deemed 'unsafe' and will be demolished. The list of buildings and homes destined to be destroyed continues to grow and the future of east Christchurch remains clouded in uncertainty and anxiety. While the media focus its attention on the central city, the Eastside's plight remains serious.

We're living in limboland out here in the eastern suburbs of Christchurch

Many folk feel they have, yet again , been abandoned by both the Government and the Christchurch City Council while they focus their energies and concerns on the central city. They are being put under pressure by local business interests who went access to the central business district and are unfamiliar with not getting their own way all the time.

But out here in the Eastside , other then demolition work and temporary patch-up work (my street has been dug up this week), not a lot has changed. Many of the portaloos might of disappeared but people are still struggling with damaged houses, insurance concerns , the Earthquake Commission, devastated roads, the lack of public utilities. The list of issues goes on.

And buildings are still being condemned. Buildings that previously were deemed safe have, on closer inspection, proven to be nothing of the sort.

A fortnight ago I was in a fruit and vegetable store that was last week deemed unsafe and will be demolished - along with a pub and a video store. A nearby bakery and a pizza shop were abandoned shortly after the February quake.

Just down the road there is a large area of empty land where once stood the local supermarket.

Meanwhile the local unemployment figures have skyrocketed to over twenty percent of the workforce. And that doesn't include the many people who have simply 'disappeared'.

This is proving to be a 'winter of anger' rather than a 'winter of discontent'.

Such is the level of anger that we may well see street protests over the coming weeks.

Many people don't know if their neighbourhood has a future or it will simply be abandoned.

Reports on the state of the land were due to be released by the end of May but now the Earthquake Recovery Minister, Gerry Brownlee, is refusing to offer any dates whatsoever. He has called for 'patience' but people ran out of patience many weeks ago.

Barry Tutt, chairman of Bexley Residents Association before the February quake, has told The Press the Government needed to front up with answers.

'Winter is setting in and people's patience has expired,' he said.

'We are getting to the point where there will be protests in the street.'

And Mayor Sideshow Bob has seemingly forgotten - again - where the Eastside is. He remains, like many of his councillors, ensconced elsewhere.

When not lobbying to get his mate Tony Marryatt back into his CEO job, Sideshow has been going out to dinner with Mrs Sideshow Bob.

To celebrate her birthday a few days ago, Bob took Jo Nicholls-Parker on a 'coffee date to Vic's Café' and then to dinner at one of the few city restaurants that remain open.

How the other half live, eh?


  1. Is that the block of shops on Edgeware Road? I heard it had been suddenly red stickered out of the blue. When I was back in Christchurch for a few years I lived just up from them. I think I recognise the bloke in the photo.

  2. That's the block. There seems to be a concerning number of cases where buildings were iniially described as 'safe' but then have been red stickered. In the case of the Edgeware shops, its taken the authorities three months to decide that the buildings were unsafe and needed to be demolished. Not good enough.


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