Archive | October, 2010

Building Biodiversity: Building New Zealand

7 Oct

Al Morrison, Director-General, Department of Conservation, speaking at Lincoln University, 7 October 2010.

Here’s a question. What connects Elvis Presley, Roy Rogers, Billie Graham, Sir Howard Morrison and probably you?

They all added to their popularity – well, perhaps not you – with a rendition of the popular hymn, How Great Thou Art. Elvis even won a Grammy Award for it in 1967.

My guess is you remember the first verse about the awesome wonder of the stars and the rolling thunder. Do you remember the second?

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Four weeks after the big Canterbury eart…

6 Oct

Four weeks after the big Canterbury earthquake, the people of Sumner got together to celebrate the efforts of their volunteer fire brigade and raise funds.

A selection of photos from the fair on Saturday 2 October.

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A big hand for Avonside

6 Oct


The silt-shovelling team taking a lunchbreak on Avonside Drive a couple of weekends ago.

A huge team of volunteers, initially university students, combed Christchurch after the 4 Sept earthquake, helping out where they could.

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Self-help Community Pool

4 Oct

The strength of a local community can often be gauged by the strength of its community facilities.  More so when those facilities are provided directly through residents’ efforts.

The Sumner Community Pool is one of the few community pools in Christchurch that has managed to survive the pool-closure mania of the last two decades.  I know from my own experience as a school trustee at Shirley Intermediate School that it is a hard fight to maintain and fund pools in the face of bureaucratic resistance.

The Sumner Community Pool committee has been outstandingly effective in maintaining and developing their pool.  The pool is a hugely popular focus of community activity during the summer months.

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Kitty Fenton – Sumner Historical Society

3 Oct

The Sumner Historical Society is legendary in the Sumner-Redcliffs area.  Its annual meeting is always well attended, with local notables always attending or tabling their apologies.

Based at the Sumner Museum, on the corner of Wakefield and Nayland St, the Society has done sterling work in preserving the history of the Sumner community.  Right now we are hoping the their building will get the all-clear following the 4 September earthquake.

Here is a quick look around the museum and a chat with long-serving Society Treasurer, the delightful Kitty Fenton.


Earthquake thank you in Richmond

3 Oct

A resident of Avalon St in the Christchurch suburb of Richmond was so overwhelmed with neighbourhood support after the quake that he mounted this sign on his fence.


One whole side of Jonathan’s house was covered with tarpaulins.  It looked like most of the brick wall had collapsed in the earthquake.  Fortunately into an empty section.

I wrote earlier about Flesher Ave a few blocks away.  They got hit very hard.  But most of the rest of Richmond seemed to fare okay.  Sadly, many streets have isolated examples of damage greater than the loss of a chimney.  Jonathan is one example.  Over in Forth St a delightful brick house was also badly shaken up.  Much of the outer layer of bricks are on the ground, a large crack runs through the wall and a window frame is wildly askew.

It will be a shame if we lose more of the quaint remains of old Richmond.  The suburb has been intensively developed with small units.  I delivered twice as many fliers to letterboxes in this area than I would to a similar-sized area elsewhere.