One small positive of the Brexit vote.”Bonfire of the EU laws…”

Here is one small reason for the UK to leave the EU. The ability to reject crazy laws.

Occasionally I (like many others) suffer from migraine episodes and even including also in the pre- and post- episode times, I find that CFL (compact flourescent lamps “energy efficient lightbulbs”) cause me added distress. They often also colour wrongly for filming video items.

I use CFLs at MOST locations throughout the house, for MOST of the time. But if I’m feeling migrainy, then I have old fashioned, non energy efficient lightbulbs available to change as required into the main lights I am using for that day (or that time of filming something indoors).

That said, many of the lamps I use are small portable desk-lamps fitted with 20 watt, 12 volt reduced voltage halogen lamps.

Curoiusly these are really common in NZ, having been sold often by Australian owned and based “Bunnings” hardware store amongst other places. Yet in Australia these are very rare and hard to fin. I finally found one after much looking, at Kmart, and the price was more than double the NZ price and spare bulbs to suit it were several times the normal NZ price, weird eh !

Note I have recently gotten some of the newest types of LED replacement household light bulbs, as they became offered as a good special, NZ $ 29 for 5 bulbs, at Bunnings in NZ about one month ago. Rated at “5 watt” they give a light similar to about a 11 watt CFL or a 60 watt old incandescent bulb. One advantage is they power up to full brightness straight away without taking a minute to reach max brightness.

Note that in the past, I have sometimes used mid to large size Tungsten incandescent, (old type), light bulbs,m in the 60 watt to 100 watt range, when I SPECIFICALLY WANTED the feature of their in-efficiency, that they put out HEAT.

Yes I have used them as warming heat-lamps when raising young chicks inside the house (back when I lived in the, almost outback, of Western Australia). Similarly they can also be used to keep other small animals warm, eg sick kittens or puppies etc.

Curoiusly while in WA (1990 to 2007) I noticed that apparently the SMALLER normal lightbulbs were being phased out. When I first moved into my place in WA I used many 25 watt Tungsten incandescent lamps and in some places even 15 watt bulbs strategically placed as needed.

Over time those bulbs became completely un=available and I ended up HAVING to use a minimum of 40 watt bulb everywhere I wanted a small bulb as there was simply no other option.

Even getting the 15 watt bulb intended for inside fridges turned out to be very difficult to source (and expensive). I went for a long time with a torch kept beside the fridge, until I could fine the correct replacement bulb.

Also as a bedside lamp, I have one of those “touch” lamps. They require an incandescent lightbulb of between about 25 to 60 watts to work properly, something about the resistance of the lightbulb filament and human touching the metal parts of the lamp.

They normally work so that at each successive touch it goes OFF, dim, medium, full, off. And while in the dim and medium settings they are only using a fraction of the full bulb rating anyway, so they ARE energy efficient but you DO need the old type, energy in-efficient bulbs to use in them !

I also have a visual display sorta “pretend Lava-lamp” which is rated to use a 60 watt incandescent tungsten bulb. As an experient I tried various other bulbs, but ONLY an old fashioned type 60 watt bulb makes it work correctly.

It needs the rising heat from the bulb to cause a sorta propellor shaped top piece to rotate as the hot air escapes.

Here’s a small exceprt from the NZHerald website story titled “Bonfire of the EU laws…”

QUOTE BEGINS. Incandescent lightbulbs
Something else that could now make a return is the incandescent lightbulb.

Incandescent bulbs have been phased out in stages in the UK since 2009 following European regulations.

The Government banned the import of 100-watt bulbs from 2009, followed by a ban on 60w bulbs in 2011 and a full ban on all ‘traditional’ bulbs in 2012.

The bulbs were branded environmentally-unfriendly because some 95 per cent of the energy that goes into them gets turned into heat rather than light.

Following the EU’s ban on incandescent light-bulbs, many people were reported to have suffered epileptic fits from the flickering, supposedly eco-friendly fluorescent bulbs. QUOTE ENDS.


Brexit, Britain votes to extract itself from the EU

I write this from the point of view of a New Zealander, who has some English relatives and friends. I’ve never been anywhere further North than Australia, but hope to visit the British Isles and mainland Eurpoe, sometime. It is about 24 hours since the news broke that the “Brexit” vote has been counted and the result is “Leave” the European Union.

First let me say of the current British PM (David Cameron), I think the guy’s an idiot, and I’ll tell you why.

In England, previously, the very recent past, just a few months ago, there was a competition to name a new Royal maritime research vessel. The competition was in the form of a public poll (something similar although less formal than the recent “Brexit” voting poll). I’m unsure of the exact system, but it probably came down to a few college friends having fun on social media, Facebook, Twitter etc But somewhere someone said “hey let’s see if we can get the stupidest name we can think of, to win the poll !” You guessed it. Turns out that “Boaty McBoatface” won. This has left the maritime research authority in an unenviable situation that it is, almost if not actually and completely, legally required, to name Britain’s new flagship of maritime research, “Boaty McBoatface”.

So with this knowledge clear in the front of his mind, having only just recently occurred, why oh why oh why would David Cameron (or to use his apparent title The Honorouable David Cameron Dik HeD, why would he even have instituted a poll if he wasn’t absolutely sure to win it ?

Stuff I’ve previously read said the poll was to quieten some rumbling voices of dissent from within his own political party. Hmm, well how’s that workin’ out for ya Davey boy ?

It seems the REMAIN (in Europe) vote won out conclusively in London, Oxford and Scotland. But pretty much everywhere else in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, voted “LEAVE, Let’s bloody go mate, on yer bike as fast as !”.

I have heard it said that one major contributing reason towards many people voting for “LEAVE” was because of difficulties the UK is currently facing regarding a shortage of housing and especially a shortage of affordable housing. Especially when people see immigrants coming into an area, the immigration is then, rightly or wrongly, blamed for those housing problems.

(Here is a short quote that I have cribbed off someone’s Facebook). “… I voted out. Why? Simply because politicians had tried to force a remain vote by imposing an intolerable dilemma on the British people. In, and keep the decline we have forced on you, or leave, and we will ensure even more pain and hardship. Think about it. That was really the message of the remain camp. Worse still, the message was originating from persons who live in penthouse accommodation and shop at Harrods. …” (Quote ends).

Certainly in both Australia and New Zealand, this is an issue at the moment. Both countries have high (relative to our population) immigration. However the vast majority of immigrants settle in the one area (each) that is already full to bursting point, and with people sleeping in cars and tents on open land because there’s simply not enough houses.

Yes that’s right, about 60% of immigrants to Australia, never go any further than the greater Sydney area, and in NZ, it’s the Auckland area.

Obviously immigrants like to settle in the major metropolitan areas because they are the most “cosmopolitan” places. Because of previous migration, that’s where the most “ethnic” food stores will be. The Lebanese and Chinese food shops, the Indian take=away and the Asian grocery store. And hey it’s understandable that if a Vietnamese person needed to visit a doctor or dentist, they’d be more comfortable going to a Vietnamese speaking one.

You’ve got to ask, why the idiots in the Australian and New Zealand governments, instead of actively bringing in all of the fully supported migrants to areas which are already over-populated, don’t they pick some of the half-empty country towns dotted around the land ?

It’s true that support services for new migrants, like social support services and some English classes for new arrivals etc are already located in Sydney and Auckland, but those sorts of things could be opened up elsewhere with very little effort.

From a zero start, a critical mass of new immigrants would very quickly be built up, so very soon they could have access to ethnic based shopping options and healthcare providers in their own languages.

One wonders if the same is needed in Britain ? Do new migrants need to be more equally shared around the place ? And for that matter are there issues regarding housing supply and affordability that need to be addressed ?

Governments cannot be blamed for the weather (well not directly) but they are responsible for things like immigration. New entrants can be granted visas which require them to live somewhere for a particular period of time (say 10 years) by then they will (hopefully) have become settled in their new community, and hopefully they won’t want to all rush to London/Sydney/Auckland the very day their 10 year visa condition expires.

To all those wallies in government, I say to them “hey budds, why are you so single-minded about doing nothing about housing affordability and supply and just leaving it all up to the “free market” (which clearly isn’t working) ?”

We have many many restrictions of the otherwise “free market” in many areas. Whether talking about UK, Australia or New Zealand, the government specifically DOES NOT ALLOW the “FREE MARKET” to apply with respect to things like the supply of COCAINE, or MACHINE GUNS, or PLUTONIUM dust.

Now maybe you should argue we should just leave all those things up to the FREE MARKET as well, and not be bothered about what terrible downstream social consequences might well arise (with all the cocaine, machine guns, and radioactive dust floating around the city streets).

Or maybe it’s time for the governments, at least in those countries that are having major problems in their biggest cities, to find some fixes.

I personally believe that taking the PROFIT-EERS out of the equation will help considerable.

Just to take a simple example, water (definitely essential to life). In places like Australia and NZ we have a two-tier system. We have “for profit” water as sold in plastic bottles and carry-containers at supermarkets and we have “not-for-profit” water as made available through our city council, or local water authority.

The difference in price is somewhere in the region of a thousand to one, or 1000:1. Often even more. Indeed in many areas, the bottled water actually wouldn’t be allowed to be piped to the city’s inhabitants as it is HIGHER in contaminants.

To take an example I know from Christchurch city in NZ. The cheapest house and land package in the cheapest suburb would be about NZ $ 250,000 in Aranui, for an old 3 bedroom house on land (and possibly no lockup garage).

(In NZ, the minimum wage of $15.25 per hour is $31,720 annual gross. So using the traditionally accepted bank formula of house price being 4 times annual gross, that would make an affordable house total price of $126,880. Therefore housing, (at the bottom range of the market) is a multiple of almost 8-times income. ie Christchurch’s cheapest houses are costing about double what they should in relation to wages. Minimum wage isn’t going up by anything anytime soon, and never goes up by much anyway, so somehow we need house prices to fall to half what they currently are.)

I am *NOT* suggesting that similar houses (to what’s currently available in ‘Aranui’) could be made on a “not for profit” basis of one one-thousandth of the current NZ $ 250,000 price, ie, DON’T expect to buy a house and land package for just NZ $250 !

But it makes me wonder, if we took the profiteers out of the equation, how much would a house and land sell for ?

(In 1974, NZ took the profiteers out of the motor vehicle personal injury compensation system. Annual car registration in NZ is now NZ $ 130 annually. Australia has a similar-to-the-USA profit based system and car registrations (including MVIT “green slip”) are somewhere around Aust $800 a year. ) So taking the profiteers out of the equation, might well reduce house prices to a quarter or a fifth of their current level.

How much would people happily pay for a house to have security of tenure over their home, if they knew that when they sold it again, whether in 3 months or 65 years, it would have to be on-sold for the same price they brought it for ? ie, no personal profit would be made.

Currently in Auckland NZ we have the stupid situation that houses get fully refurbished, at a cost of many tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, just prior to demolition (as the house buyers just wanted the land onto which to build a new house).

Not counting the cost to the planet in the huge waste of resources (the labour resource of a fully refurbished house is entirely wasted during its demolition, and only a limited amount of the materials used are salvaged and re-used).

In Auckland and Christchurch, and possibly London too, can we please get the PROFITEERS and “investors” OUT of the housing “market” Let’s leave the housing “market” for people that want a house just to live in, for them and their families.

Far too many people are currently paying 70% or more, of their nett income in “rent” whether it’s to a private landlord or  in mortgage repayments on huge loans to buy even basic housing. That gives them very little else to spend on food, electricity and home heating, car costs and public bus/train transport or education classes and courses etc.

Imagine how much better life on Earth would be for all of us, if rent or mortgage repayments only typically amounted to say 10% of your weekly income.

Think how much good could be done as people donated just a small portion of all their “spare” money to various charities (whether it’s guide dogs for the blind or conservation groups trying to re-plant native trees or whatever). What about saving something extra towards a rainy day, or ones’ retirement ? If it was just 10% of weekly earnings needed to  cover rent or mortgage payments, folks on even modest wages could afford to “gamble” something on the share market. The extra finance available for new start-ups would push investments in new technologies. Many would fail, but some would succeed.

When I first heard about the “BREXIT” vote coming up, I was initially a supporter of LEAVE. I looked forward to Britain re-establishing closer links with former colonies like Australia and New Zealand.

NZ exports used to go 70% to the UK and 3 % to Asia, but since the early 1970’s that ratio has switched. Asia’s population has exploded and the people there want feeding, plus some manufactured goods we sell into those markets and many people from Asian countries come to NZ for holidays.

However I have come to the opinion that the right move was for Britain to stay within the European Union.

It seems though, that with the outcome of the BREXIT vote, an orderly withdrawal will commence.

The process is expected to take 2 or more years and the exact details simply aren’t known.

Some options are a sort of “Norway” situation which would place Britain outside the EU and unable to vote on EU policies, but still bound to adhere to many of them. Whatever the details eventually become, there will be many politicians and senior civil servants laughing it up big-time at the taxpayers’ expense, as they attend an even greater number of talk-fests over the next few years…

“Boaty McBoatface” it makes you think, don’t hold a poll unless you’re sure you’ll be happy with the outcome.

I fear that 48% of Britons are going to bed unhappy tonight and that a great many more (98% ?) will be unhappy when the repercussions of leaving the European Union, come back to bite them in the arxe.

I’m left wondering if “immigration” has taken the blame for the UK government’s failure to provide, allow and facilitate, healthy, safe, comfortable and affordable housing for people. All in the name of “free market” economic theory.

Community Crofting, a new form of lease with security of tenure, opportunity lost

It is my understanding, that in USA, a perfectly livable house on several acres (which I might call a “hobby farm, or a livestyle block, but which some people may call a homestead etc “room for a pony” as Hyacinth Bucket would say on the tv show comedy) I understand that within a short drive to a USA large town or reasonable city would cost about $50,000. In NZ you’d be looking at about $1 million.

Probably even more than that in Aussie and UK. Of course if people live in the USA they risk being shot dead by poolice, no questions asked, if found committing offences like “being black in a public place”. If you’re just being disresepctful to a poolice officer, you may get to survive being tasered multiple times and pepper-sprayed from a giant flyspray size can (none of those little wee lipstick sized pepper-sprays for US “law enforcement”.

It sickens me to my stomach that the NZ govt bulldozed 12,000 houses (in Chch’s ‘red zone”) just as fast as it could get the bulldozers around there, instead of saving say 4,000 of the completely un-damaged, and least damaged houses, and making them available at a ‘peppercorn rent’ for cheap housing under a special  new “community crofting” leasehold arrangement (that could have been devised). A new form of lifetime lease with security of tenure, but without the ability to make a profit from the house. These houses could have been released onto the market, some perhaps incorporating the surrounding empty sections where houses had been demolished, so as to give half-acre and acre lot sizes.

Currently in New Zealand, residential tenants can by evicted with  just 42 days notice. Especially during times of housing availability and affordability crisis, and with many thousands of people on government housing waiting lists, this does not give tenants long enough to secure alternative accommodation.

A golden opportunity was shit out the arxehole and flushed down the toilet, just to prop up and increase Christchurch’s house values. The flow-on effects from Christchurch having a large pool of affordable  rental housing and stable long term communities (that long term, security of tenure that “community crofting” leases  would give), would also have helped reign in Auckland’s rampaging house price inflation (and Christchurch’s not-quite-as-rampaging house price inflation).

Here’s yet another article on the housing un-affodability crisis in Auckland (and to a lesser extent, all of NZ) from the Auckland Herald Newspaper’s NZHerald website.

Balcony collapse (yes, another one) injures 18 in Dunedin

BALCONY COLLAPSE… many sent to hospital. Yes it’s happened again, there’s been a balcony collapse, and 18 people taken to hospital, 2 injured seriously. Now fortunately the balcony was only about 3 metres high, however some of the injured were on the ground underneath it, and were crushed from above.

Previous balcony collapses have happened in Auckland but this was in Dunedin, a known “student” town. A development of several shared accommodations surrounded a common courtyard and a local music band gave an impromptu concert.

Obviously many people turned up with many crowding onto the upstairs balconies of the surrounding 2-storey homes. There’s an article on Chch’s Press newspaper’s “Stuff” website, and I am shocked. I am shpcked at the piss-poor design of bulding apparently come up with by qualified highly paid architects and approved by the local Dunedin Shitty Council authority.

Why do we even have building codes ? I am “NOT” a qualified builder, and if I was building a balcony in an area which say ‘did not’ have building codes, even *I* would have built it stronger than this, or at the very very least, had a warning sign “balcony maximum capacity 6 persons or 500kg” etc

My thought’s go back to a dance-floor at the Christchurch University that collapsed when it had the weight and “impact load” of a whole heap of students dancing on it… derrrrr ! Has no-one ever heard of making things “fit for purpose” ?

If you’re going to build balconies on shared student accomodation in Denedin, expect them to be used by crowds of boisterous young students ! Here’s a link to the article and one photo about the middle of the article shows the original attachment of the balcony, it’s obvious it has no supporting pillars underneath and no diagonal bracings either above or below.

I have always worried about the balcony on the upstairs flat at this address which is a similar design. Sure it’s fine for the weight of 6 people sitting and a clothes airer of washing, but could it take the weight of 20 young students dancing ?

Ben and Olivia buried on land, new book claims.

Scott Watson is GUILTY after all ! The story relates to 1998 (back when I was living in Australia, so I have only heard snippets etc since moving back to NZ). But a young couple disappeared during New Year’s Eve night, of 1998. Their bodies have never been found.

A man, Scott Watson was accused of their murder and subsequently found guilty at trial and sentenced to jail, minimum non-parole period 17 years (expires this year).

The disappearance happened in the area of “Marlborough Sounds”, a large rural coastal area of many deep fiords and bays at the top of the South Island. Scott Watson owned a small sailing yacht. Much was made about testimony from witnesses as to whether the boat a young couple were seen on board was a single masted yacht or a double masted ketch.

In a new book  (“Elementary”) released today , based on 7,000 pages of police evidence which became available, is according to the author Ian Wishart, proof that Scott Watson did indeed commit the murders.

Note that the author previously wrote a book some years ago, claiming police had prosecuted the wrong man and that Scott was innocent. The author tells how aspects like “group think” and “contamination” of witnesses’ memories occurs over time, especially as people take in what is presented in the media.

In one example he points out that one guy gives an elaborate and detailed description of the fittings to the back of a yacht in a later statement , while in his original police statement he says that at 4am it was so dark he could barely make out the shape of a boat at all, and never actually saw it from the rear at all.

The Auckland Herald newspaper has a link to ZB Radio which has a video of the interview conducted with author Ian Wishart…

Undamaged houses demolished, to drive up house prices

I am one of a new generation of Kiwis that just can’t see any useful future for me in Christchurch or New Zealand.

The system is rigged against me in every way, where I get paid minimum wage and get hammered with maximum tax and student loan repayments, and the government is bending over backwards to prop up house prices as they continue to spiral upwards, to continue to buy the votes of the 61% of people that already own housing and just screw the 39% of people, especially singles, childless and low income earners who do not.

(oh what a golden opportunity was just bulldozed away… of the 12,000 houses in the Govts self designated “Red Zone” that were just demolished and sent to landfill (just a handful of houses were relocated and transported away, and very few had materials salvaged from them, save for some copper from hotwater systems)… the Govt could have made the 4,000 or more of the undamaged and least damaged houses available to first-home buyers and disadvantaged second-chance home buyers on a special new invention of a long term “Crofters’ lease” )

We know that elsewhere when something is seen as having potential as “AN INVESTMENT” then the price of that item becomes doubled, five-pled, or even multiplied 10-fold, when compared to similar “non investment” items.

If we had a new class of housing that we could buy, but NOT make a profit on (thereby taking all the profiteers out of the system) We just don’t know what the exact price would settle at (I’d suggest it may be one fifth of current prices), but the Govt could create a class of housing from which a profit simply cannot be made. But the houses and land would still be available for people to “buy/lease” and have long term security of tenure over, leading to stable long term communities and all the social benefits that we know come from such.

If people could buy a home for one fifth the current price, then that gives them far more money to invest in all those things the govt WANTS them to spend money on, things like retirement savings accounts (in NZ called Kiwisaver and in Australia called Superannuation) and company shares of new start-ups. More money to invest in education, eco organic Walnut orchard plantings, or re-afforestation of degraded land for future plantation based sustainable forestry. solar panels for their roof, money to donate to charities, at home and overseas, to help give the disadvantaged a hand up.

Currently people often spend $20,000 “doing up” a kitchen, because they want to get an extra $30,000 more when they sell the house. If they knew that the selling price of the house would be the same price they bought into it at (with the Govt statutory “Crofters’ Lease” authority taking ALL of the profit) then folks would just spend on their hosue what it genuinely needed to improve it’s function and comfort as they lived there. So the kitchen would get $3,000 spent on it to make it nicer, plus some ceiling insulation could be installed to make the house more pleasant to live in and have lower energy bills for 10 months of the year. But as it was their “own” home they could fit upgraded door locks or nail up a bookshelf without pleading for a landlord’s permission first.

(The current system means huge environmental costs to the planet, as some homes get huge amounts of money and resources expended on them to “do them up” yet often fundamental flaws are un-addressed. In Auckland, many old houses get fully refurbished just prior to sale and demolition, simply to “get a better price”, even though the buyer just wants the land for a new build .)

“Profits” from house sales would help fund the “Crofters’ Lease” statutory authority (after an initial seed funding from the govt, for the first generation of house purchases)

Of course that first generation of house purchases could have been simply gifted to the Crofters’ Lease authority from the lesser damaged, indeed many undamaged RED ZONE houses. But it was Govt policy to bulldoze 7,000 houses as soon as possible, so as to place Christchurch and NZ house prices under increasing upward pressure.

The Govt had a stated policy of ‘not wanting Christchurch house prices to fall, after the earthquakes’.

Politicians in Wellington and councillors at Christchurch City Council, laugh all the way to the bank on their fat salaries and supplementary allowances and freebies, even though these people have a lack of forward vision, and have failed their voters and citizens.  The existing homeowners, 61% of the population laugh all the way to the bank on tax free profits, and everyone else is considered a worthless runt, a serf, a peasant, a land-begger, tenant scum. 39% of the population is thrown on the scrap-heap.

The opportunity we had for Christchurch city and New Zealand to pioneer a new form of home ownership that gives stable societies and neighbourhoods at minimal cost has just been pissed away under the bulldozers.

Christchurch… not enough houses, but a glut of office-space (albeit without any parking)

An article on the Christchurch Press newspaper/Stuff website, by Marta Steeman on 24 January 2015 said this…

“…Anyone who’s driven along Durham Street North, which flows into Cambridge Terrace, recently can’t help but be struck by the boom in commercial construction along the strip on the western edge of the Avon River.

The buildings jostling for space and attention sit just outside the CBD, a much smaller area than it used to be after being redefined by the Government’s blueprint for the rebuild of the city. And that’s important because the area is free of the Government prescriptions imposed on the blueprint development, developers say…” (Quote ends)

(A link to the full article appears at the bottom of this article, but here is just one of the comments that was posted below it)

ChrisW1970 7 days ago (as of 31/01/15)

I for one am glad that the private sector have been able to get some traction on rebuild projects. If you look at government and CCDU precincts, progress is minimal, compared to across the river west of Durham St. By exerting such a high level of control, CCDU and government/local authority have only served to add unnecessary delays and costs to anchor projects – frankly I think the best thing to do now would be to disband the bureaucratic stinking colostomy bag that is the government run CCDU, and open up ALL the anchor projects to private tender – that way you might actually see some anchor projects completed this decade, and for less money than will be if CCDU and government are allowed to continue to operate in the bumbling and useless manner they have been… of course the CCDU website claims things are going swimmingly on their projects…nonsense! The lack of visible construction works tells a different and more truthful story… (Quote ends)

When I first heard about the much vaunted CCDU Blueprint, in mid 2012, I immediately had major misgivings.

As I saw it, it was a government land-grab, for upto 60% of the CBD area, and as the land was to be seized under special CERA laws, property owners had even less rights than if it was taken under longstanding PUBLIC WORKS act rules.

I thought “Yeah mate, Wellington’s just gonna steal the land, then sell parcels of it off, probably back to its mates, at whatever price it chooses.”

And it seems as if I was 100% correct, going by the following article by Georgina Stylianou from the Stuff website on 31/01/15.

“… The Press understands Fletcher Building, which will wind up its work with the Earthquake Commission this year, is the front-runner among the shortlisted firms being considered by the Government to develop the east frame…

…Last year, CCDU planning general manager Don Miskell said residential land was cheaper than commercial land so the Crown may not recoup the money it had spent buying land in the east frame… (quote ends)

Commenting on the other article, about the Government’s mate, Fletchers, being the front-runner for getting handed over a bunch of, previously other people’s properties, for less than, even the bargain basement price that CCDU gave as “compensation” for stealing people’s freehold land off them.

The prices the government pays for land are secret, however some landowners have said that “negotiations” started with them being offered 10% of the land’s original RV (Ratings Valuation) and eventually the government would creep upto a figure of about 90% of RV. (If you don’t accept the 90% offer, then under the CERA/CCDU blueprint law, the government simply takes your land and gives you nothing).

The problem comes when the old owner seeks to buy new land, similarly zoned, close in to the city, and finds they have only a half to a third of the price of replacement land (it’s not rocket science… remove 60% of the supply of any product and the price will go through the roof, doubling or tripling, what would you expect !).

Some owners or organisations have been right royally screwed over by the government land seizures. The Deaf Society should have been laughing all the way to the bank, as insurance paid for a full rebuild, no expense spared, of the CBD headquarters, but with the government seizing their land, they are only entitled to a far lesser “indemnity value” payout. So these people have effectively been dis-enfranchised from, and lost the benefit of, having a “full replacement, regardless of cost” insurance property.

And don’t even get me started on the debacle over the historic MAJESTIC HOUSE building. This multi-storey building on Manchester Street was repairable for about $15 million (a full re-build would have cost an estimated $60 million), however the owners “Majestic Church” had to take whatever CCDU was prepared to offer in “compensation” for the land, and a lesser indemnity value insurance payout on the building. Since shortly after the February 2011 earthquake, they have been meeting in a refurbished car-sales showroom on Moorhouse Avenue, but the site has almost no parking and they are forced by council rules to pay for parking some distance away. Insurance has been covering some costs, but the church, wanting to settle into a permanent and more appropriate environment, purchased land elsewhere in the Western CBD (part of the 40% remaining that the government didn’t steal) and was intending to re-build its church there, however Christchurch City Council have denied it the necessary planning permission on the basis that “it’s a residential area” (and obviously churches cannot be in residential areas, can they ?).

Here below is the link to the article about the East Frame and Fletchers likely involvement.

Here is a link to the full article on the STUFF website about the expected glut of high-priced office space …