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Maudlin regret as earthquake risks come down

  • September 22nd, 2010

Thank goodness the sad people at the Historic Places Trust were not able to interfere in the planned demolition of three of Wellington's thousands of earthquake risk buildings. And spare a thought for the people who will be killed by those trustees and their dopey supporters in the next earthquake,  by impeding the replacement of such buildings.


The  three Willis Street ones to come down are no doubt dangerous. They were cramped, and a waste of some of the most valuable space in the country.


There is no reason to think that people liked to be in or near them. The shops in them had become sad reminders of a poorer age, and their owners could not make enough out of them to justify the space they occupied.


Chews Lane across the road is an example of how much more pleasant and usable new buildings can be in that area.


This is no loss of heritage. It is an affirmation of it. The heritage I value in my country is the heritage of faith in the future, of willingness to welcome and try the new, the confidence that Napier property owners showed (without the palsied Council hand to steer them which Christchurch owners now suffer) as they demolished the failed buildings after their quake and rebuilt entirely in the then latest mode, which we so much appreciate now.


There was nothing to commend those Willis St buildings except that they had been there a long time. I want to live in the kind of country my forebears came to , that expected to improve its circumstances at each cycle of replacement, instead of what we now have, a country of maudlin nostalgia, dominated by politicians who feel obliged to pander to the matriarchal precautionary principle (better to do nothing than run a risk that the unknown could be dangerous).


The sadness in this case is that elected officers are facing election by constituencies of nannies, so some will have to pretend (or in the case of the drips among them actually feel) some kind of ‘grief’ at their inability to interfere further with the overdue decisions of the owners of those buildings to make better use of land served so expensively by our transport network.



The Christchurch heritage brigade are in full cry.
Every brick is sacred and must be glued back into original position with steel driven through it, to 60 meteres below the ground .  This is so that future generations can also love these cold vile old good for nothing buildings.  The heritage brigade say that all people ever associated with ACT should pat for this work, as atonement for their wickedness, and God would wish it this way.

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