I don’t think I have ever been as appalled as I am appalled right now. Christchurch is – it is hard to put this into words – Christchurch is a disaster zone. A monumental blunder. A series of giant mistakes one after another. An appalling bureaucratic mess. A system out of control. An unnecessary destruction of property. A triumph of bland and pointless over passion. A destruction of a culture, and a systematic cleansing of memory and background. An appalling waste of energy. The death of a city. I’m saddened, despondent, and really really amazed at how stupid and cretinous the authorities in Christchurch can be.
CERA has turned out to be a force for evil destruction, not a force for good.
There have been many moments that I have despaired about in the whole debacle over Canterbury and their earthquakes, especially involving the Cathedral, but this is nothing like the mess that is the Cranmer Courts. It has been on again, off again, for weeks now: recently it was saved, not it is being destroyed once more. It is a national shame, a scar on our reputation, and I am appalled.
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On the other hand, some good news is at last to hand. Not only has Christchurch City Council almost decided to almost certainly “save” the Christchurch Town Hall (we will know on 22 November), the news today announced that Miles Warren is to leave his house Ohinetai to the people of New Zealand. What an exceptionally generous thing to do. Thank you Sir Miles.