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“Burglary is rampant in Christchurch….” “Christmas For Crims”

November 21, 2011 1 comment

We here at E2NZ were shocked to hear that looting and burglaries are rampant in some parts of earthquake damaged Christchurch, with some people’s homes hit on multiple occasions.

Yet strangely this information is not making it into the mainstream media, despite repeated requests from journalists.

We are mindful of news reports from earlier in the year that “police staff in the city centre have clamped down on any reports of looting and wonder if this is still the case, this being an election year after all (read our blog Sharp Rise In Burglaries After Christchurch Quakes from 7 November 2010)

During the teapot tape debacle John Key made made an appallingly arrogant comment. He said that police had time on their hands to deal with his complaint because there’d been a drop in ‘recorded crime’. He refused to back down or apologise:

When asked yesterday whether it was an appropriate use of police resources to investigate his complaint over the teapot tape – National’s leader said police had time on their hands.

The comment has upset the Police Association, but Mr Key’s not backing away from it…

Mr Key says he’s confident police will investigate what’s most important.

This is what is more important to the people of  Christchurch Mr Key, get on to it.

Here’s a selection of posts from what the Trade Me forum , this is what the people of Christchurch are saying about their burglary and looting problems:

6 Nov

Our house has been burgalled at least 10 times in the last 3 weeks. We no longer live there as it is marked for demolition and haven’t lived there since Feb 23rd as it was Red Stickered…We have secured the house itself as it is constantly hit by Low Life Scum.Today I went around and now the Garage has been busted into…How low will these Low Life Thieves stoop..
The next thief to set a foot on our property will be shot or at the least harmed with a lifelong scar for their disgusting lack of any human morals..
Who else is having problems with these low Life arseholes?

Mine has been broken into 4 times. Each time steps up a little, with more damage everytime. Mine isn’t red stickered, just not habitable at the moment, so will be back living in it at some stage. Not good for the insurance though. I’m seriously thinking about borrowing a dog to protect the property.

umm we are in the same boat too, we are in shirley, house is inhabitable and will eventually be demolished, we have been done over six times by these low life scum…….our house is empty and they have not targeted the house but broke in to garage, tipped everything out, they even stole the lock and deadbolt of the garage door, we have had plants taken from the gardens, our big gas callifont was also stolen of the side of the house, they then came back in another visit, took the top trellis of our fence and our letterbox and also stole the big wrought iron gates as well, we also have a self contained flat,on the same property, they stole the shower curtain and the shower nozzle and also stole all our pebbles out the garden taking with them the big shadesales……low life scum, both sets of neighbours heard nothing at all, police have fingerprinted and all i say is how can people be so cruel, we have lost our home, we were orange and now green but in the blue part, we have had our payments from eqc, we are over the cap, told insurance company to hurry up and assess our property as theres going to be nothing left on it or of it when they come to assess

ours was empty and they stole the water cylinder and the double garage door – now that would have been a challenge!!

A friend saw a whole bunch of household items lined up on the footpath. Took a photo of the car & number plate and the thieves took off leaving all the stuff behind when she asked what they were doing. Broad daylight. Fricken unbelievable blatant cheek. Hope they get caught n busted big time. It’s Christmas out there for crims.

Now, This is the sort of story the TV companies should be doing a story on. Put some pressure on the police to step up their patrols.

So far we’ve had small things taken from outside our empty Dallington property and in the scheme of things missing plants, door mats and the heavy metal safety lid off the storm water isn’t that big a deal. However it is just a matter of time before someone breaks in and trashes the place. I am checking our house everyday and are concerned that I may walk in on thieves one day. I refuse to go by myself now and take my husband with me each time. Talk about kicking you when you’re down. People need to start reporting this to the police so they can step up area patrols.

7 Nov

Hi ***** and ******,
I am a reporter at The Star newspaper in Christchurch and would like to talk to you about your house. It sounds awful what you’ve been through and think the issue could use more coverage- might get some action! If you are interested in talking contact me on 364 7415 or email anna.turner@starcanterbury.co.nz.

Hmmmmm makes me wonder as I had a weird experience the other week. Came into town for an appt. Left the kids at a friends. Came back from appt and went to swing into a neighbours drive so I could park on the road and there was a people mover down the drive. The guy comes up and starts asking questions if so and so lives there. I said no, not at all. Thought it was weird how he came to me out on the road like that too. Then he asked if the person who lives there knew the other person. I was like ummmm no! and so it went. Then he started saying he was a debt collector. Never gave his name, no ID and no clip board or paperwork or anything. And dressed too casually. And so it went. Then he said he was from Aucks and the people mover was a rental and him and two mates were going round the south island on bikes. It was so weird and then he wanted the name and phone number of the person living in the house. I was like ummm no! He saw a sticker on the window and asked if that is where the person worked. I was like why yes, yes it is, you ring them and ask to speak to the tenant. He seemed worried then and was like well I have to go and get the people mover back and I will let you get up the drive. I was like I am not going up the drive, I’m going over there (pointed casually several doors down) I just park up here coz down there is a shared drive and nowhere to park my car. So I walked off (annoyed I had nothing to write the rego down with and a bad memory) next door and sat there for like half an hour chatting and having a cuppa and telling my friend what happened.

Then when we went to leave, the kids and I went back to the car to load up and my friend came out too and we stood there talking for a bit. Next minute the same people mover came out of the shared driveway right next door to my friends drive, this time with his two mates in it, that were not in it before down that other drive!

Oh and then that evening I told the person that lived in the house where the guy came out of and they said that the night before after around 11.30pm, there was a people mover sitting in the drive with the lights on well nudged in for several minutes and it looked like a honda. I said funny that coz this vehicle was a honda too!

I had a couple of heavy items stolen from my garden. Moved to Aidenfield and in the first week had my car stolen from outside my home with all the house keys from the red zoned property in it. Guess we won’t be seeing those any time soon.

yeah – the police are a bunch of drongos as the best of times – they couldnt even manage to arrest the priks that broke in here – even though we gave them their full names and all…

BUT – we havent had any problems from azzholes nicking stuff (go murphy) since we put a camera on the front gate – one on the house roof and one on the garage + 3 dummy cameras along the driveway… (rural property) – so they seem to work pretty well as a deterrent….

A woman from work was doing overtime last Sunday, she stayed on to do a bit extra on top and went home and found she had been burgled. It was during the day as well. Neighbours said they didn’t see anything. You would think that someone would see someone one walking down a drive with a couple tvs.

There is a security company monitoring my old street (Ive relocated) because of people ripping off houses. Its incredible what some people will do. When I put my broken and contaminated contents (contaminated from sewage, liquefaction & mould) into the skips, I had people rumaging through them.

My nieces home in Woolston got burgled today.

There are a few well known gang? houses in that neck of the woods. The police are going around the scrap dealers yards , was on tv the other day. They did find some problems I believe. Owner was shown walking away tight lipped.

10 Nov

I went to check on our Dallington property today and it has been broken into again looks like they have been down the whole street

14 Nov

gee the newspaper must be full of court news about the police catching these guys,,not…send donuts

Ive just found out our rental in Waltham has been broken into. Are you aloud to claim on oven, dryer and hot water cyclinder (items that were taken) as we still have insurance on this property.

These burglaries, being so easy to do (comparatively speaking ) are setting so many people up for lives in crime. Once they start they will find it hard to stop, they have had an easy introduction. Whilst no one is to blame for earthquake break-ins, ie’ lack of security, I feel that the Police have got this wrong by placing such a low emphasis on catching burglars in general. They do much psychological damage and it is a springboard to bigger crimes.

20 Nov

A friends place got broken into Friday out in redwood- took heaps! They aren’t in a scabby area or anything or overly flash either.
SCUM!!

Justa thought. What about setting up a community watch type of thing. I am very near a red zone and would be more than willing to walka round to check everything ok. Just a thought

The police won’t like that and will jump at the first chance to stop anyone doing so.

My sisters place got overhauled in Avonhead last week- took Ipads, Iphones, Lap tops, Tvs, Stereos, Ipod touches you name it….creapiest thing my sister said about it was they had ben through her underwear draw which made her feel far more violated then any of the other stuff.
seems they could have been targeted from a garage sale the week before….

21 Nov

Hi, my name is Keith Lynch and I’m a Press reporter. I’d be quite keen to speak to anyone on here whose house has been burgled multiple number of times. My email is keith.lynch@press.co.nz if you want to email me.

You may also be interested in our other blogs

Looting Continues In Christchurch

September 14, 2010

Ten days since the Christchurch earthquake and looting is still going on in the city. News reports are studiously avoiding the use of the L word (“police staff in the city centre have clamped down on any reports of looting...”) preferring instead to refer to the preying on earthquake victims as ‘burglary.’

A recent report in Stuff tells the heart rending story of two sisters who took a respite from the aftershocks and returned to their home to find wheelbarrow tracks across their ransacked home.

One of the sisters, Elizabeth Shipston, age 21 told Stuff:

“It was crazy. I got a bit upset and a bit teary,” she said. “I was just so amazed that, after such a bad earthquake and the shock, someone could do this.”

She said their house was not structurally damaged in the September 4 quake, but lost two chimneys. To add to her problems, boyfriend Roy Sutherland’s car was stolen from outside the house early yesterday.
“His car was sort of like the final straw. It’s horrible.”

Sounds like the chances of the police finding those responsible are zero to none

Mr Shipston, a former policeman, told his daughters to do their own investigations. After noticing the house smelled of smoke, they searched for cigarette butts, finding two and bagging them for police. None of the family smokes.

A neighbour had reported a black car containing two men and a woman parked outside.

However, it was the following statement that surprised us – there seems to be a lack of a sense of community spirit in some parts of  Christchurch

Miss Shipston said she did not expect her neighbours to know something was wrong. “Neighbours don’t really know each other until something like an earthquake happens.” Read the full report here

But even then one can’t expect them to keep an eye on one’s home.

This is yet another reminder that when a major disaster stikes New Zealand one has to be prepared to look after oneself for many weeks afterwards -  until something resembling the rule of law returns.

Our posts tagged looting

Raising The Profile Of The Eastern Suburbs

March 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Following on from yesterday’s post Christchurch Quake a Tale of Three Cities – More Help Needed in Eastern Suburbs we’d like to continue to raise awareness of the plight of the people of eastern Christchurch.

Orion power company said this morning that New Brighton residents will start getting electricity supplies back from tonight, nine days after the quake. According to a report in today’s Stuff

Around 16,000 of the 24,000 properties still without power in Christchurch are in the eastern suburbs of New Brighton and Dallington. Orion cautioned that just a few hundred houses at a time would get power reconnected.

Yesterday 3News reported that medical teams in the area are being overwhelmed by demand and they say that a shortage of portaloos is leading to an increase in gastroenteritis (there had been 20 cases) and other illnesses. More than 500 people have been treated at the Australian field hospital in Aranui since it opened 4 days ago.

The 3News report stated that bags of waste are sitting around waiting for disposal and toilets are only now starting to be located. View the video here

This is a collection of videos taken from YouTube showing the damage caused by the earthquake and its impact on the lives of the people who live and work in the area. Starting with a video of Aranui, in danger of becoming the New Orleans of New Zealand.

1 WEEK AFTER THE QUAKE ARANUI HAS NO POWER & NO WATER!! not a single porta loo in sight …c’mon Bob Parker

Earthquake damaged house-off Bealey Ave Christchurch.

Looters steal from Christchurch suburb’s hardest hit (Aranui)

“Ok John whatever!…..we just need a couple of toilets” (John Key was brought up in Aranui)

Freeville School. North New Brighton, Brookhaven and Mount Pleasant

Liquefaction as it happens, Monterey Place, Queenspark.

Richmond – Drleavingsoon delivering water bins to “a fair bit of a hard hit area” (Aranui)

DrLeavingsoon set up a tea station in Waltham Street, just like they did during the London blitz

TJ’s  Kazbah, New Brigton

Baker Street, New Brighton

Rockinghorse Road, South New Brighton

New Brighton “looked like a war zone”

Read also:

Christchurch’s eastern suburbs ‘neglected’ – Brownlee:  “As the Christchurch earthquake death toll hits 161, earthquake recovery minister Gerry Brownlee has admitted the city’s eastern suburbs have been neglected…” Today’s NZ Herald

23 Sept 2010 Three weeks after quake and Avonsiders abandoned to third world conditions: “Today’s Stuff.co.nz is carrying a NZPA article highlighting the plight of a group of Avonside residents who say that, three weeks after the Christchurch 7.1 quake, they feel abandoned by their local council who have left them without basic services. Some say they are living in third world conditions…”

Darfield Quake Report Released – Cheapest Options To Be Taken, updated

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Darfield quake report released today

The much waited for report into the 4 Sept Canterbury Quake has been released and not all remediation and protection work will be provided for by the Earthquake Commission’s insurance cover.

Of the 16,630 properties that were inspected, 6855 suffered land damage.

According to a report in The Press newspaper :

The report identifies three areas where the damage was worst:

* Riverside areas, particularly the inside and on some outside of bends. Areas include Avondale, Avonside, Burwood, Dallington, Kaiapoi, and parts of Fendalton, Halswell and St Martins.

* River delta areas. Areas include Bexley, Brooklands, Kairaki, Pines Beach, and Spencerville.

* Inland loose alluvial deposit areas. Areas include parts of the suburbs of Belfast, Casebrook, Fendalton, Halswell, Hoon Hay, Parklands and St Albans.

Options to remediate the worst-effected land in Canterbury following the earthquake will likely focus on the cheapest and least disruptive methods, the first geotech report shows.

Prepared by engineering firm Tonkin and Taylor, the report was couriered to the 1200 worst effected homeowners yesterday…

…The report says Tonkin and Taylor has been instructed by central and local government to work on rebuilding with no ground treatment and treating the perimeter of the worst affected areas..read the full article Here

A Press conference is being held to discuss the report.

But where is the report?

The report may be found on the EQC’s website. The Earthquake Commission has said in a letter to residents that

..Tonkin & Taylor have presented some proposals for land repair and protection which go beyond the scope of Earthquake Commission insurance cover. The Government is committed to providing funding for this additional work to give greater protection to your property should a similar earthquake happen in the future…

But as we know, “committed to providing funding” is very different from “Will meet the full costs,” it will be interesting to see how much actually gets paid out for this “additional” work.

A copy of Stage 1 of the Darfield Earthquake Geotechnical Land Damage & Reinstatement Report may be found HERE.

Problems Between the EQC and Insurance Companies

Contributors to Trademe’s forum are already talking about alleged squabbles that have broken out between insurers and the EQC:

“According to the guy I spoke to, both parties are behaving as badly as each other. It just confirms how they are failing to work together. Remember the public meetings where Chris Ryan said there was no shortage of funds due to being internationally insured and nobody would be disadvantaged and the EQC and Insurers would work together.

This is about to get even uglier than it already is.”

One poster has advised residents to organise themselves before it’s too late:

“Those people with land issues really need to organise themselves together and get some legal representation ASAP. You are all too vulnerable independently, and it is too much to expect that EQC and insurance are going to be working together in your best interests. Just my 2 cents worth.”

Vandalism and other problems in Dallington - 16 November 2010

Two months after the quake, and away from the tourism areas, the residents of places like Dallington are still suffering. Not just from the effects of the quake but also from mindless acts of vandalism. Read more here

No Compensation For ‘Worthless’ Quake Homes – Updated

October 12, 2010 1 comment

Today’s newspaper The Press is carrying an article that says that the owners of some earthquake damaged houses in the Christchurch area will receive no compensation for the drop in value of their homes.

The situation is leaving some people with mortgages that are greater than the value of their homes.

To add insult to injury many of them are finding it impossible to get insurance cover for damaged homes that were built on remediated land – effectively making their properties worthless.

Key told the paper

“”…The Government’s responsibility via EQC is to restore people’s positions to the situation they were in prior to the earthquake. Inevitably, if there are changes in property values that’s not something the Government, by and large, can be held accountable for…”  Read the full report here

We think this is manifestly unjust.

Firstly the owners bought/built their homes in good faith on land that had been released as suitable for building. If the land was unsuitable for purpose the developers and council should between them bear the cost of the homes’ devaluation.

Secondly, if that fails the Earthquake Commission should compensate for the whole cost of the property, so that, if they chose to, homeowners can walk away from the mess and build new in a location that is more suitable.

Action for Christchurch East Facebook Group

Residents have formed together in various groups to put pressure on the authorities to engage in more consultation prior to the release of a long awaited geotechnics report, due sometime this week.

The report has the potential to negatively affect house values and rebuilding aspirations in affected neighbourhoods. Many people want to stay and rebuild their homes if the land can be repaired.

They are also in the extremely difficult position that most of them are still waiting to be assessed, well over a month after the quake (whilst heritage properties in the CBD took priority) Those people “DO NOT qualify for financial assistance from either the mayoral fund, red cross, winz, or the massively publicised “earthquake fund“. Of the latter, only a small fraction of it has actually been allocated.

Only 10% of the $14 million raised has been handed out so far. The number of applications was only 30 to 40 %. Is it any wonder? people are still waiting to be assessed. Money is still pouring into the fund.

Time Bomb

House building on remediated land, or ground that is subject to liquefaction, is gearing up to be New Zealand’s next ‘ leaky homes’ time bomb unless the government gets a grip on this issue now and protects and reassures property owners.

See also blog - Liquefaction in Christchurch, 9 September 2010

Readers of this blog left the following comments about that post:

Eve Newton

“I also have a copy of this map, it was given to me by the previous owner owner of our house nearly five years ago along with a map of where the old Waimak used to flow and yes branches of it flowed through Christchurch and Kaiapoi. I believe, looking at the map that the river still flows underground through it’s old route and is popping up as springs feeding the likes of the Avon, the groynes etc. It’s interesting to note that this route has a close resemblance the the map you have shown. My father was a bulldozer operator back in the 50′s 60′s and he remembers bulldozing Kingsford Street in Christchurch. This street is a disaster. He said he couldn’t believe they built there because when they dug to put the drains in it was like runny sand and they spend a lot of time draining it before bring in truck loads of shingle. Someone told me that someone in the council at the time advised against building there at the time, but they went ahead anyway.

C Pasfield
“I am from Kingsford Street and I totally agree with your “runny sand” comment. We’ve just had our drain pipes repaired. The contractors dug 6-7 feet down to replace the broken pipes but said they could not compact the ground very well afterward as it was mostly sloppy sand! 80% of our property was affected by liquefaction!”

P Ray
“Decisions going against common sense are usually greased by sheets of money…”

Location of Kingsford Street, Christchurch

An account of the quake by a resident in Kingsford Street was published on Stuff.  She tells of dozens of geysers spewing out water as the earthquake liquefied the ground:

Kate

“As soon as we woke, there was no doubt that this was a massive earthquake. Every time we moved to the north, our house tilted forwards, and wouldn’t recover as we moved back to the south. We assumed that we were falling off our piles (we later discovered that the whole house was sinking into the earth due to the liquefaction).

When the shaking, rumbling and rattling ended, we were horrified to hear a loud gushing and gurgling of water – as if a river had been diverted through our property. We rushed to turn off the hot-water cylinder, thinking it had sprung a leak, but the sound didn’t go away.

When we peered out the window (the power and street lights were off) we saw dozens of geysers spewing out fountains of water.

We hauled on clothes (not easy when you’re shaking like a leaf), grabbed the trusty dynamo torch from beside the bed, and tried to get outside to check on our neighbours. The front and back doors were jammed shut, but we managed to escape through the conservatory. We waded our way along the neighbour’s driveway, which was ankle deep in mud and water.

We enjoyed a nice cup of tea, boiled on a gas stove, with the neighbours while we waited for sunrise.

The workmen have been absolute legends – working their butts off while their own homes and families needed attention. We are incredibly grateful!

Now we are waiting to hear whether our homes can be saved, or whether our land will be declared unfit to be built upon.”

Liquefaction In Christchurch

September 9, 2010 6 comments

ECAN document

We’ve found a very useful Environment Canterbury document “Solid Facts on Liquefaction in Christchurch

It details areas of Christchurch that have high, moderate and low liquefaction potential, explains what liquefaction is, how it is caused and the effects it has.

We think it may have been written before the 4 September Quake because it seems to concentrate mostly on the rupture of the Alpine Fault, but it has a publication date of 7 September 2010.

The Alpine Fault is only one of around 100 sources of earthquakes for Canterbury, some of which are capable of producing liquefaction in Christchurch. The Alpine fault has the potential to produce a magnitude 8 earthquake

New Zealand is on the boundary of two of the earth’s plates, the Australian Plate to the west and the Pacific Plate to the east.

These plates are moving against each other and, because of this, New Zealand is a highly-active earthquake zone.

The earthquake hazard is even more extreme for Canterbury because of the Alpine Fault. It is the “on-land” boundary of the Australian and Pacific Plates, and is New Zealand’s largest active fault, running under the Southern Alps for over 500km.

The Alpine Fault can produce magnitude 8 earthquakes and does so about every 300 to 350 years. The last earthquake on the Alpine Fault was in 1717.

Ground shaking intensities in Christchurch during an Alpine Fault earthquake will be high enough to cause liquefaction. The Alpine Fault is not the only source of earthquakes for Canterbury, with about one hundred other sources having been identified. Some of these are also capable of producing strong ground shaking and liquefaction in Christchurch”

More here

An account of the quake by a resident in Kingsford Street was published on Stuff.  She tells of dozens of geysers spewing out water as the earthquake liquified the ground:

Kate

“As soon as we woke, there was no doubt that this was a massive earthquake. Every time we moved to the north, our house tilted forwards, and wouldn’t recover as we moved back to the south. We assumed that we were falling off our piles (we later discovered that the whole house was sinking into the earth due to the liquefaction).

When the shaking, rumbling and rattling ended, we were horrified to hear a loud gushing and gurgling of water – as if a river had been diverted through our property. We rushed to turn off the hot-water cylinder, thinking it had sprung a leak, but the sound didn’t go away.

When we peered out the window (the power and street lights were off) we saw dozens of geysers spewing out fountains of water.

We hauled on clothes (not easy when you’re shaking like a leaf), grabbed the trusty dynamo torch from beside the bed, and tried to get outside to check on our neighbours. The front and back doors were jammed shut, but we managed to escape through the conservatory. We waded our way along the neighbour’s driveway, which was ankle deep in mud and water.

We enjoyed a nice cup of tea, boiled on a gas stove, with the neighbours while we waited for sunrise.

The workmen have been absolute legends – working their butts off while their own homes and families needed attention. We are incredibly grateful!

Now we are waiting to hear whether our homes can be saved, or whether our land will be declared unfit to be built upon.”

 

 

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