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Creating quake-proof Buildings

Rapidly receding red zone

City Council clearing up consenting

The GUIDE to Canterbury’s Residential & Commercial Rebuild

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CanterburyRebuild Issue 29 January 2014 Publisher Metros Publishing Group Ltd Managing Director: Trevor Laplanche e: Sales Enquiries e: Editorial Enquiries e: 16 Leslie Hills Drive, Riccarton, P.O. Box 9362, Christchurch, NZ Ph: (03) 343 3669 Fax: (03) 343 3659

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Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and correctness of the information contained within this magazine, however Metros Publishing Group Ltd can accept no liability for the accuracy of all the information. The information and views expressed anywhere in this magazine are not necessarily the views or opinion of Metros Publishing Group Ltd, its editorial contributors, freelancers, associates or information providers.

For all


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City Council clearing up consenting systems pg9

Mitigating the mortgage minefield pg21

Creating a smart city pg39


Welcome There’s a ferocious determination evident in the rebuild of our famed city; a fierce tenacity which has ensured that when Mother Nature pushes us down we push her right back. It’s like the greater the devastation, the more ingenious our response. There was the famed Gap Fillers brightening up our empty spaces, a Dance-O-Mat for those who like to get down on the dance floor, cool libraries – literally – made from retro refrigerators, containers which have become creative canvases and mini golf courses developed in spaces left by flattened buildings. On a much larger scale, there was the Crowne Plaza’s pallet pavilion, the shipping container shops, and I for one am still processing the fact that we have re-built our famed cathedral from cardboard tubes. Yes we are an innovative and crafty bunch in our little corner of the South Pacific. We are strong and resilient, but most importantly we are adaptable. We have taken that which Mother Nature has carelessly tossed over her worldly shoulder and created a new and unique city and one that we can all be proud to call home. In the words of Darwin, it’s not the strongest or the smartest who survive but those who are most adaptable to change and whether it’s the seemingly daily installation of bright orange cones, blocked roads, buildings going up and buildings coming down, adaptable is certainly an apt description of the Cantabrian spirit. So in the essence of change I am excited to have come on board with Canterbury Rebuild Magazine. There are some really big shoes to fill as Karen Pasco heads off in search of new adventures, but she will continue writing for us, so we won’t be completely without her magic touch. There are some exciting changes coming your way but, until then, my lips are sealed. Guess you’ll have to keep tuning in. Editor Canterbury Rebuild Magazine Melinda Collins


Rapidly receding red zone

7 Resolving rebuild issues – Wynn Williams 8

Bringing energy efficiency to the classroom


City Council clearing up consenting systems

10 Construction: Significant sector with room for growth 13 The builder’s engine room – Jamie Tulloch 15 JD Homes has done it again – National HOY 2013 18 A day in the life – John Wright 20 Relaxing LVR rules 21 Mitigating the mortgage minefield 24 Cascading construction constraints – Peter Townsend 25 A product to prevent liquifaction 27 Land Use Recovery Plan developments – CERA 32&33 Self-made cities – the WikiHouse movement 39 Creating a smart city 40 Outlook of opportunities 41 Creating quake-proof buildings

Canterbury Rebuild January 2014 3


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Rapidly receding red zone The rebuild is ramping up with a newly coordinated approach between private insurers, the Earthquake Commission and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority which will ensure Crown owned properties in the residential red zoned flat land are cleared by the end of next year.


ERA chief executive Roger Sutton commended the willingness of the various insurers to work together. “Almost 40 percent of the Crown owned properties have already been cleared in the flat land, but this has been happening in a sporadic way as each individual property owner settled with the Crown and/or their insurer,” he says. “Through this new approach we have sequenced a geographic approach working together by either demolishing or relocating the houses, clearing the land, fencing it and then grassing it straight away. “Not all houses in the Residential Red Zone flat land will be demolished. Around 300 houses have already been relocated to other green zone properties, mostly throughout greater Christchurch. If people are interested in knowing more about relocating houses from the Residential Red Zone, they should check the options out with individual insurers, relocations companies, or call our info line.” The new approach sees the flat land red zone sectioned into 15 geographical areas and prioritised based on the least number of properties left to clear and where the work can be quickly completed. By the end of this year all Crown-owned properties in each area will be cleared, which started in late 2013 in New Brighton. Sutton says the key is ensuring the areas are immediately tidy and safe for residents who remain living in and around the red zoned areas. “We have been working with the Police and the Fire Service across the last two years to ensure that any issues

CERA chief executive Roger Sutton

“The key is ensuring the areas are immediately tidy and safe for residents who remain living in and around the red zoned areas” within the red zone area are dealt with. But we know that the longer the Crown owned houses remain standing, the more opportunity that provides, so we want to remove that risk as soon as possible,” Sutton says. “There is a misconception that these Crown owned properties are simply abandoned and therefore fair game, but these are owned by all of us as taxpayers. Any damage caused to these homes jeopardises the insurance reconciliation process, which means that in the end everyone pays the price.”


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Resolving rebuild issues

By Amanda Douglas hat rebuild, you say? Well, we have seen many new commercial buildings pop up, particularly on Victoria Street. Of course, Wynn Williams House, the building that our firm will move in to this year, is making great progress beside the Christchurch City Council on Hereford Street. However, there is still a lot of vacant land around the central city. Some of this is because insurance claims have taken time. We have worked with many commercial building owners to progress and resolve their insurance claims but some are still not settled. In other cases, the central city rules, geotech issues and funding are making it harder to jump through the hoops to build new commercial buildings. The rebuild litigation dealt with by our teams has ranged from


to be accommodating and pragmatic around the interpretation of existing use rights, there are still a number of technical matters that need to be worked through to obtain authority to rebuild. Existing use rights still remain a useful tool to deal with many rebuild and repair issues, where a building stood on the site before the earthquakes. While mentioning the Christchurch litigation from insurance claims on City Council, it has been through its houses through to the Christchurch building consent issues also, with a new Cathedral.On the domestic housing general manager now appointed to front, many homeowners have work alongside the crown manager. struggled to rebuild even a replica of Additional resourcing and processes their previous house, to get over are being added to address these changes to issues. We hope to city plan rules “We have worked very closely see that building since the consent issues are original house companies to bring their behind us, with procedures and documentation up increased numbers was built, as to date. This lessens the chance well as any of consents being challenges that these companies will be faced issued next year to with EQC and with personal grievances” enable the rebuild their insurers. to reach its full Existing use potential. rights are very handy for this – but this Many of those working in the rebuild process is not always straight forward sector - contractors, construction and we have dealt with many companies, professionals and other challenges with this over the year. Whilst industries working in, and affected by, the Christchurch City Council has tried the rebuild– have increased their

employee numbers. We have worked with a number of employers who have dramatically increased their numbers of employees. With that, comes the need to update employment agreements, and practices and procedures. We have worked very closely with a number of companies to bring their procedures and documentation up to date. This lessens the chance that these companies will be faced with personal grievances, which many of them simply do not have the time to deal with. Of course, in the midst of all of this, the market for undamaged or repaired houses has been booming. Our conveyancing team has been flat out dealing with the huge number of house sales and purchases. These have been more complicated with the insurance issues mentioned above, as well as the planning issues that sit alongside them. Those looking to purchase need stamina to navigate the increased detail required. Amanda Douglas is a Partner at Wynn Williams, specialising in Resource Management, and Employment Law. She has a lot of involvement in the rebuild sector, where she often combines her two areas of expertise.







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Bringing energy efficiency to the classroom Energy monitoring technology is to become an integral part of a new generation of New Zealand schools – where improved energy efficiency not only cuts the operating costs of each infrastructure, but is also incorporated as a subject into the school curriculum. This concept was extensively explored at a recent Christchurch conference – the annual Education Leaders Forum – structured around the theme of Building 21st Century Learning Communities. Delegates focused on identifying needs and solutions that would allow schools to adapt more easily to a digital learning environment – one featuring high speed broadband, mobile devices, more individual research, self-publishing and peer information sharing – as well as the kind of buildings that would support this. One of the conference’s sponsors – Schneider Electric – is an ardent supporter of the “schools-of-the-future” quest. The company’s general manager of commercial operations, Kevin Lynn says the initiative is particularly important for the city, where numerous schools face earthquake repair and rebuilding programmes. The company has

8 January 2014 Canterbury Rebuild

into the schools and to build on that component.” He points out that Schneider Electric already has a Digital Schools programme developed a team with diverse skills to – comprising technology that enables offer support to these schools. schools to participate in the digital age “I know we live in difficult times, but I more easily – and sees the new energy prefer to think of our city’s adversity as a efficiency initiative as a logical extension golden opportunity. The earthquake has of the programme. given schools the chance to invest in To sketch the possibilities available for a energy efficient designs and technology 21st century school, Kevin invited all the which allows them to reduce operating conference delegates to a presentation by costs and improve the learning Schneider Electric’s Richard Coulter. It environment. comprised an outline of Ultimately, that the technology schools In the digital age that change means more of the could use to enable can be extremely rapid. We budget can be them to use electricity need to make sure we embrace and heating more channelled into the opportunities fully.” education. efficiently.“Among the “More options is an energy importantly, New Zealand’s existing modelling programme that could be used school curriculum already features a as a teaching aid. “I can see it being a sustainability and energy efficiency dynamic part of the teaching experience, component – it’s called Environment and where students become competitive, Planet – and it makes perfect sense to striving to be the most energy-efficient incorporate the appropriate technology classroom. It could easily be used to

identify techniques the schools could adopt to cut energy costs.” Much of the technology, says Kevin, is geared to monitoring energy use and identifying opportunities for cutting costs. “It’s about using smart technology; simple, automated systems, for example, that will switch off heating and lighting when the building is empty.” The presentation to the delegates included a visit to Schneider Electric’s purpose built Vision Room, a facility containing an interactive display which demonstrates how the technology works. It allows them to handle and use a variety of solutions, to see how energy use can be controlled and the benefits it offers. “Christchurch’s rumbles have created earth-shaking challenges – but the opportunities are equally groundbreaking. “Schools and the teaching/learning experience have changed and will continue to change – in the digital age that change can be extremely rapid. We need to make sure we embrace the opportunities fully.”


City Council Clearing up consent systems It’s been six months since the shock move which saw Christchurch City Council stripped of its ability to issue building consents. However, Environment Minister Amy Adams confirms there is “no evidence of systemic failure” and has asked the council to work closely with the Ministry for the Environment to resolve some minor issues which have been identified. Adams asked the Ministry for the Environment to carry out the assessment following International Accreditation New Zealand’s decision to revoke the council’s certification to issue building consents. The review found a number of minor issues with the council’s consenting function, but these are within the council’s capacity to resolve. “As the Minister responsible for the Resource Management Act, I needed to be satisfied that the council’s resource management consenting and planning functions were being provided effectively and efficiently, and with capability sufficient for the council to deal with the pace of earthquake recovery,” Adams explains. She says the report revealed the

council’s consenting processing timeframes are good, with more than 98 percent of the 1,984 resource consents received during 2012/2013 processed within statutory timeframes. However, there are a number of areas where improvements need to be made. They are: Some areas of the consent process including section 92(1) requests for further information could be improved Delegation of who holds power to make decisions on resource applications could be clearer A better approval system for subdivision survey plans is required Internal service level agreements could be improved The Urban Design Panel could be put to better use and its role clarified;

The application process for certificates of compliance and existing use rights could be improved The report also recommends that attention is required to revise the council’s District Plan. “I note that the council had already

started the District Plan review at the time the report got underway. “The Government and the council will continue this work to ensure the district plan meets the needs of Christchurch, as the city continues to recover from the earthquakes.”


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The construction sector is one of the largest in the country, employing seven percent of the workforce and growing, a new government report says. According to the recently released Construction Sector Report, the fourth in a series of seven, the industry has grown by 10,000 firms since 2002, but still lacks the capacity to deal with the massive demand of the Christchurch rebuild and the Auckland housing boom Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says the construction sector now employs seven percent of the New Zealand workforce – about 170,000 people – and generates annual revenues of $30 billion. “The number of firms is 10,000 higher than 2002. This has been driven by construction services and residential building. With the Christchurch rebuild and Auckland city housing demand at al all-time high, the industry is experiencing unprecedented growth.” The report also identified challenges faced by the sector – low productivity, the aftermath of the leaky buildings and the vulnerability of the industry to boom and bust cycles. “Through the Business Growth Agenda, the Government has

Construction: significant sector with Room for growth

set out 58 specific initiatives that directly relate to increasing productivity in the sector, growing innovation and creating safer workplaces in an effort to reduce its cyclical nature.” Low productivity growth is partly the result of a skills shortage. The cyclical nature of the industry has discouraged firms from taking on permanent workers

and investing in their training. As a result, many employees lack basic numeracy and literacy skills. The report says skills and labour were lost during the economic downturn and the sector’s volatility had acted as a disincentive to firms investing in training. It also notes the Government initiatives have led to an increase of

8000 apprentices in the trades area. Productivity growth was lower than other parts of the economy. For every hour worked in construction, $34 of GDP was generated, compared to an average of $48 across all sectors. The Government is addressing these issues and has formed a number of strategic sector partnerships: the Building and Construction Productivity Partnership with industry groups, the Auckland Housing Accord with the Auckland City Council, and it continues to work with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority with support from many Government agencies. “Construction has a vital part to play in our communities and its activity can be felt throughout the economy. From infrastructure and telecommunications to city and community development, it has a direct impact on the quality of life of all New Zealanders,” Joyce says. “Importantly, demand from the construction sector drives a wide range of other activities in the economy. Most of us deal with this sector regularly, whether through repairs in our home, rewiring, re-painting or even building a new house. It is part of the fabric of society and that is why this sector is so important.”

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he READY Super Slab is an engineered raft slab which incorporates a grillage of beams within the slab thickness. The resulting slab is stiffer and stronger than a conventional 100mm slab. Due to its inherent strength a deepened perimeter foot can usually be omitted. READY Super Slab fully complies with the Department of Building and Housing report published in December 2010 in relation to the reconstruction offer for the Canterbury Earthquake, while also saving time and money and increasing energy efficiency and strength. The 2011 earthquake in Canterbury brought a greater understanding of the damage to houses from liquefaction, particularly the extent of ground damage that is likely to result in excessive settlement of the house. This has led to land on the flat being assigned into three technical categories based on the expected

future liquefaction performance: TC1: Future land damage from liquefaction is unlikely, and ground settlements are expected to be within normally accepted tolerances. TC2: Minor to moderate land damage from liquefaction is possible in future significant earthquakes Tc3: Moderate to significant land damage from liquefaction is possible in future significant earthquakes. Allied Concrete’s READY Super Slab systems are engineered to meet the criteria for TC1, TC2 and TC3 technical categories. The most recently designed system is the Allied READY Super Slab 300EQR which is an above ground engineered flooring solution specifically designed for land classified as TC3. READY Super Slab 300EQR comprises two slabs built separately on top of one another. The addition of an Allied

READY Floor base slab allows the READY Super Slab 300EQR to be re- leveled after a significant seismic event. Engineered for Allied Concrete, READY Super Slab 300EQR relates directly to the DBH document “interim guidance for repairing foundations in technical category three”. With Components easy to source READY

Super Slab 300EQR can be built by one of Allied Concrete’s READY Super Slab installers or by any licensed building practitioner. Allied Concrete can help you with all your foundation requirements. For more information please contact their Engineered Floors Manager Nick Gifford on 027 260 7806.

Canterbury Rebuild January 2014 11


Creating clients a slice of innovative paradise Seizing the day’ is a challenge we define and set for ourselves. For each and every one of us, making the most of our existence and grabbing an opportunity with both hands will yield a different outcome because every outcome is unique like us.

hen it comes to building homes, Carpe Diem Homes appreciates the uniqueness of each of its clients. And, like its title suggests, it is in the business of helping Canterbury families build personalised homes to reflect their style and needs. A combination of strategic, smarts, and style, the business engages a wealth of skills and creativity through its team of builders who are committed to helping clients make their concepts a


reality. Brought to life in 2008 by owner Steve McMillan, Carpe Diem homes is a specialist in the construction of commercial, industrial and residential buildings. It offers a selection of stylish, modular homes defined by flexibility, efficiency and a low carbon footprint. In recognition of the need to create a little slice of innovative paradise for clients, the team can custom-design these options and, better still, provides

a 10-year peace of mind guarantee with every home. Project management is undertaken with key professional principals and practises at the forefront of the team’s consciousness – effective logistical planning, transparency, risk analysis and management, integrity, and effective communication. Renovation is also a core part of its portfolio, from fencing and extensions, through to decking, retaining walls, garages and carports. Its capabilities as an earthquake restoration specialist have also been sanctioned and endorsed by major recovery organisations including EQC, Fletcher Construction and Hawkins Construction. If you would like to find out what Carpe Diem Homes can create for you on the new home front, a spec home is available for viewing at 36 Kahuraki Drive, Pegasus, by appointment only. It is on the market through Harcourts for $495,000. A show home at 33 Bayliss Drive, Sovereign Palms, Kaiapoi, will be officially opening on Sunday 26

January, but can be viewed by appointment only in the interim. For further information about Carpe Diem Homes, head to If you would like to chat to the team about your construction needs, phone 03 389 7874, or email

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he Smarter Small Home is built on a modular system (not to be confused with kitset or prefabricated – all homes are built on site in the traditional manner). Being modular means that we are able to maximize efficiencies and reduce waste by 80% of a standard build. Those savings are passed directly onto the home owner. The other great concept of this is that you can design your own home using the modular system. We have these modules available and are happy to show these to you, enabling us to truly understand what it is you are looking for in your new home. Everyone is different and we have a large number of innovative ideas to change or add to existing designs (as seen on our website:


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The Builder’s Engine Room The make or break of any building business In the last month I have met with many builders. Some are making more money than ever before. Others are making no more than good wages yet, because they run a business, they are working 30-40 hours on the tools and then another 10-20 hours behind the business. What are they doing and where are the extra 10-20 hours going?

Jamie Tulloch, Managing director of E3 Business Accounts Ltd and accountants4trades.

Accountants4trades is dedicated to providing accounting, tax and business advice to trades and related businesses involved in the Christchurch rebuild and has developed the world's first interactive Benchmark and KPI dashboards for builders and the trades. Contact Jamie on 379 2343 or Jamie welcomes queries and comments.

In a nutshell, the extra hours are gobbled up just running the business. And running is probably the right word here. The builder, and his partner, wife or office helper have a 100 tasks to do every day just to keep the work up to the boys out on the job. If you run a business – any type of business – you have a very good idea of what needs to happen behind the scenes to keep the business working. In the building industry, the ratio of offsite work to on-site work is very high. Many builders feel that for every hour on the job, there’s another hour required to manage that hour. Whatever the actual figure is, it sure takes its toll on profits and margins. This brings me to the point of this article. Why are some builders making good money while others are very busy make making far less? Read this next bit carefully because this is the make and break part of a builder’s business – and almost any other business for that matter. The money is made or lost in what I call “the engine room” of the business. If the engine room is not pumping out the horsepower and the torque, then no matter what you do elsewhere in the business, it’s not going to make much difference. So, what is the engine room? The engine room is where your Gross Profit is generated. If your Gross Profit is low, it is virtually impossible to recover it from anything else you do in the business. The Gross Profit is one of

the critical KPIs (Ker Performance Indicators) in your business. You just cannot afford to get it wrong. The Gross Profit is the invoiced value of your work minus the cost of labour and materials. Simple. As a simple example let’s say for every $100 you invoice, $40 is labour (either your own employees or contract labour) and $30 is materials. That leaves you with $30 Gross Profit or 30%. Your Direct Costs are your labour and material costs which consume $70 of every $100 you invoice. So your Gross Profit of $30 has to run everything else in your business, and provide you with your own income, pay your taxes, your ACC and every other expense you can possibly think of. As you can quickly see, if your Gross Profit is down, nothing else in the business will recover and rebuild your Gross Profit. The engine room suddenly becomes the most critical part of your whole business. If your engine room is under performing, What are the likely causes and what are the cures? Firstly – job costing. This is where it all starts. If your costing is wrong, or your price is driven down by unrealistic expectations by the client, insurance company or PMO, then you’re not going to make it. To undertake accurate job costing and quoting, you must invest in the best tools available. And you must know your absolute lowest price and margin and if you fall below this lowest price then there is little chance of recovery. It is better to walk away and maintain your margin than it is to accept a job knowing that your only chance of coming out ahead is to do it in less time and use fewer materials than quoted. What are your chances of achieving this? Probably near zilch. Know your absolute bottom line Gross Profit percentage and don’t budge. If you budge, you might as well be back working for wages.




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JD Homes has done it again Surviving the global recession, which caused irreparable damaged to commercial landscapes across the globe, seems an extraordinary feat in itself, but imagine the courage involved in setting up a business in that financial climate. t is, therefore, an achievement of monumental proportions, that JD Homes, owned and operated by the dynamic duo of Jesse DeWys and wife Marcella, not only survived the economic downturn, but has also flourished since inception. Jesse naturally demonstrates great humility when it comes to the success of his business, and he’s certainly a ‘take it in his stride’ kind of chap when it comes to both the fiscal and literal ups and downs of the industry. But there’s certainly nothing laissez fair about his attitude towards getting the job done. He laid the foundations for a boutique, bespoke building company very early on – investing a wealth of previous experience into JD Homes to ensure those foundations were not vulnerable to any challenges that came their way. Today he and Marcella head up an award-winning organisation – one that operates with a style radar at its heart – adopting and engaging the latest and


Jesse and Marcella have worked hard to cultivate a “family atmosphere” that has nothing to do with genetics. greatest in terms of aesthetics, products and technique. “We are a family business and that is something we are really proud of,” Jesse confirms. In the context of JD Homes, ‘family’ means family in the literal sense, but it has much broader

application too. The notion of blood being thicker than water is not the case for this business, as Jesse and Marcella have worked hard to cultivate a ‘family atmosphere” that has nothing to do with genetics. “All our staff members are incredibly important to us. We have number of our guys who have been with us five years, and they dedicate significant time and energy to the work they do. Because of the longevity of our staff, we have the benefit of continuity and consistency in our work.” Continued page 16-17




For FREE Consultation Phone Jesse 021 701 265 or visit for more information Canterbury Rebuild January 2014 15

CanterburyRebuild Continued from previous page

Category winner

ogether the team completes approximately eight or nine jobs a year – each project has unique characteristics and is the result of a real labour of love. Jesse’s love of his industry is palpable when you speak with him, and it’s clear this sentiment is shared by the entire team. “For us, strong ethics, flair, innovation, individuality and ingenuity, are all incredibly important qualities within our working environment. For us, as a team, it is wonderful to be working on homes of real distinction.


“If we didn’t concentrate so much on each and every project, maybe we could complete 25 projects in a year. But that’s not what it is about for us. We like to spend as much time with our client as need be to get their brief to a point that they can say, ‘Yes, that is exactly what we/I want – our dream home’. From there, it takes as long as it takes until they are 100 percent happy.” On average, builds take JD Homes nine months, and a recent project includes a $2 million build in Tai Tapu with an aged, English homestead

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theme. Challenging land conditions, and working with unique materials including seasoned Oxford Basalt Stone, keeps the team on its toes. “It can be hard at times to tell clients there is a waiting period as we have so many enquiries, but it is of the upmost importance to us to deliver excellence every time, and never rush a job for the sake of another job.” As a Hawkins contractor, the company is also involved in earthquake recovery work, although it is generally contracted as a result of a client’s direct request for its services.


HOTY 2013 Despite the increasingly competitive professional playing field, JD Homes not only holds its own, but is also a respected and readily pursued building company. “It is definitely more competitive now than when we entered the market, but we are certainly not intimidated by that – it drives us harder. “Our unique point of difference lies in the fact that we are not only a bespoke firm, but one that employs a very flat management structure. Our clients enjoy and appreciate the fact that they can deal with me right from the start. “I am extremely hands on every day in this business, as is Marcella, and I’ll always be the one to work with the client on their brief at the outset, and then hand them their keys at the end. It’s a great feeling.” The company’s skills and fastidious attention to detail has clearly paid dividends – its reputation is not only second to none, but it has scooped several awards in the Registered Master Builders House of the Year Awards throughout the years.

TESTIMONIAL “From the first time we meet Jesse from JD Homes, it all just seemed to fall into place. From the exciting design process to the finished product, he was on the same page as us. “Our ideas combined with his, and Jesse’s vision and experience has given us the award winning home we live in today. It is practical, modern, contemporary, energy efficient and just ‘us’. “We can’t wait to build again someday and would not hesitate to call upon Jesse at JD homes.” - Tony and Lisa Greenlow

If you would like to discover more about JD Homes and how it can work with you, go to, phone 021 701 265 or email

Canterbury Rebuild January 2014 17



Are you prepared?

A day in the life...

In August 2013, the New Zealand Government announced the most signicant reform of its workplace health and safety (WHS) system in 20 years. This follows on from the Pike River Royal Commission recommendations, and the release of statistics which show that New Zealand has a static and signicantly high serious injury, fatality and occupational disease rates, in comparison to other developed countries. The reform also follows on from the announcement by the NZ Government of their goal to reduce NZ workplace injury and death toll by 25% by 2020. The main changes to the New Zealand WHS system include: · The establishment of an Independent · ·


Taskforce on WHS. The development of Reform Package Introduction of new health and safety legislation in the form of the Health and Safety Bill, based on Australian Model H&S legislation A new stand-alone regulator, WorkSafe New Zealand, is to be established.

What does all this mean for your organisation? There are three key things that you will need to have in place: · Robust safe systems of work to manage the hazards associated with work activities · A clear understanding and effective control plans to manage organisational risks · Communication and consultation practices to ensure the entire workforce has input into the identication, assessment and control of hazards.

USSA Global can assist you in understanding your obligations and we will partner with you to implement effective fit-for-purpose systems which allow you to improve your safety performance while creating production efficiency and delivering cost reductions.

By John Wright, Harcourts Ilam 2 If the level of enquiry during December and the first weeks of January are anything to go by this coming year is going to be a repeat of the last. December was again one of the busiest months for sales here at Harcourts Holmwood with an incredible number of auctions conducted during the weeks leading up to Christmas. We did however notice a ‘softening’ in prices, with several properties passing in. Whether this is a result of higher stock levels pre-Christmas or high vendor expectations remains to be seen. One thing with being away from the city for a week or two is that you get used to driving on nice flat roads with no traffic jams or detours due to road works. I have lost count of the number of my open homes that were disrupted because of road closures and road cones preventing cars from stopping. With in-ground services (water, sewer etc) likely to take some time to repair; disruptions around Christchurch will continue. I sympathise with those of you who have been affected financially and hope you can get through. All we can do is stay positive and believe in how good this city will be in a few short years. Presently I have several clients wanting to sell their houses, but are unable to because they are embroiled in disputes with their (same) insurer. I am hopeful we will see an end to the nonsense that had some of them taking

Well there I was patiently waiting for the summer holidays to arrive and so looking forward to long hot days, splashing in the surf, relaxing and having fun; when suddenly I find myself back in the office working on the first auction programme for the year. Holidays are over and the scallops, fish and crayfish are gone and it’s full on once again.

time out to join a protest outside their insurance company’s office in December because of the lack of response they were getting with the handling of their claims. A good idea from a client and engineer working on the city rebuild; she says move red-zone houses into the city centre where there are literally acres of bare land that is unlikely to be built on for years. Get hundreds of people back into the city to bolster the viability of the likes of New Regent Street and encourage other businesses to start up. Too simple? One aspect some real estate agents have yet to come to terms with is the compulsory training required to be completed each year. There are agents who didn’t complete theirs by December 31 and as soon as the REAA catches up with them they will be “gone by lunchtime” and won’t be back for five years. It is going to be very interesting to see what the record house sale price for 2014 will be, with several homes between $3 and 5 million coming to the market during December. We will be a little behind Auckland’s record price but who cares about that. That sort of money being paid for a house shows people have confidence in the future of Christchurch and that’s good. Phone: 351 3002, or visit

Phone us now 0800 272338 or email to ensure you are prepared! 18 January 2014 Canterbury Rebuild

Phone: 351 3002, or visit


Developing dynamic designs Vicus Design has a prosaic yet compelling belief: healthy societies depend on having healthy buildings in which to live, work, play and learn.


unique player in a highly competitive market, Vicus Design’s point of difference owes to the fact it is a company of designers with building experience, which immediately sets it apart from a landscape heavily populated by builders endeavouring to be designers. Working with discerning clients who want to create dynamic homes, the team has extensive experience across a range of unique environments that demand lateral thinking and creative discipline. Vicus Design has worked in confined spaces, large areas, hillsides, and challenging soil conditions. Active from Lower Hutt down to Queenstown, its designers have established robust and respected relationships with building companies throughout the country. Not solely or even partially driven by the prospect of industry accolades or acknowledgements in magazines, Vicus Design is motivated by the desire to transform spaces into homes that are the personification of quality,

sustainability and technical sophistication. The team working on a design and build project is responsible for selecting the appropriate builder only after it has evaluated and fundamentally understood the client’s brief. Design Director Glenn Murdoch says, “Because we are building homes that are technically unique, we research carefully to identify the right strategic partners for our projects. “We will provide them with a comprehensive brief and work closely from the outset to educate them on the methodologies they will utilise, and then proactively project manage the work until it is completed.” Strongly influenced by European trends and style, Vicus Design takes aesthetic design to a new level and the team selects materials and approaches that ensure every home is built to the highest standard. Its environmental awareness is demonstrated through its commitment to the internationally recognised ‘Passive House Standard’.

“We are about to build the South Island’s first Certified Passive House, and one of our previous homes will be entered in the 2014 Architecture Design New Zealand (ADNZ) House of the Year Awards in the $1 million + category. “While such awards are certainly not our focus, we are proud of our ability to

deliver houses that are in a league of their own in terms of their design and build.” For further information about Vicus Design Group go to, phone (03) 974 1960 or email

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Relaxing LRV rules In October last year the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) enacted controversial changes to Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) rules. The measures, aimed at curbing house prices, mean low-equity borrowers with deposits lower than 20 percent must comprise no more than 10 percent of new homes. The RBNZ has now relaxed the changes, removing the restriction against new residential builds. The New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA) chief executive John Walley describes the move as a sensible concession, reducing some of the political pressure

on the LVR policy and supporting expansion of the housing stock. “This is a sound response to the claim that the LVR policy was slowing new builds,” he says. “There could also be a case for regional exemptions as the real asset price pressure is in Auckland and Christchurch.” We need more than a simple reliance on interest rates, he says. “It is important we look beyond the immediate influence of the LVR policy

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on the housing market, and look to the consequences of increasing interest rates across the economy, particularly for added value exporters and import competing manufacturers. With only interest rates in the RBNZ’s tool box we might well have seen higher interest rates by now when others, such as Australia, are still looking at further loosening of their monetary policy. This contrast is a real worry for exporters. “This concession is the right one, but should not detract from the need for



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LVR policy and perhaps other prudential restrictions at some point.” Jennian Homes director Richard Carver is one of the many provincial builders who is welcoming the new amendment and he believes new builds should have been left out of the LVR changes from square one. “We strongly welcome the Reserve Bank’s swift action to exempt new house construction from the LVR regulations as this will increase the supply of new houses that are desperately needed,” Carver explains. Without today’s action, up to 30 percent of new building enquiry was being negatively impacted by the new restrictions. This equates to thousands of new houses on current consent forecasts. The actions from the Reserve Bank go a long way to reversing the inability for young New Zealanders to realise the great Kiwi dream of owning their own home. The Auckland housing shortage coupled with the Canterbury rebuild has given a false impression of blanket improvement in new housing consents across the country. “This has not been the case with many provincial regions still showing a lag in new consents. Removing the LVR restrictions goes a long way to making building new a very attractive proposition and should have a positive flow on effect for these areas,” Carver says.


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Mitigating the mortgage minefield While LVR rules have been relaxed and new construction is now exempt, there are still high numbers of people itching to get into their first homes. According to Westpac, about 30,000 Kiwis buy their first homes every year, a number which will likely drop against the new LVR restrictions enacted three months ago. So the bank is actively developing ways to help first home buyers, while acting within the new lending criteria.

specific target of buying a home and gives preferential treatment to HomeSavers when it comes to low equity lending. Welcome Home Loans Designed to get people into their first homes, Welcome Home Loans are not restricted by the LVR rules, a great option for those without a 20 percent deposit. While you can purchase a house with as low as a 10 percent deposit, Welcome Home Loans are subject to regional price caps: $485,000 in Auckland $425,000 in Wellington City and Queenstown Lakes $400,000 in Christchurch City and Selwyn district $350,000 in Thames/Coromandel, Waimakriri, Hamilton City, Western Bay of Plenty, Hutt city (Lower Hutt), Upper Hutt, Kapiti Coast, Tasman/Nelson, Tauranga City and Porirua $300,000 in all other regions in NZ.

Family Springboard If you’ve got a little or no deposit, your family could use their home to get you there sooner. Let’s say you’ve got $20,000 saved up towards your deposit and you’ve just found a great first home for $400,000. Your family want to help out but would prefer not to give you cash upfront. With the Springboard Family Home option, they need to agree to let you springboard off the equity in their home to help you get into yours. Westpac HomeSaver Scheme A recent launch designed for those who really do need to save their own deposit, the HomeSaver Scheme offers electronic coaching to people saving for their first home and a $1000 carrot to those who manage to reach at least $10,000. The HomeSaver scheme links savings to the



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Cascading construction constraints As we commence 2014 we irrefutably go into the biggest year of construction in the history of our city.

Peter Townsend Chief Executive, Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce


t has been really interesting and frustrating to see how long it has taken for the recovery to gain momentum.Three and a half years after 4 September 2010 we are just starting to see the rebuild impacting across our economy. It has become clear to me that we are now involved in a series of cascading constraints as we work our way through the rebuild. The rebuild is primarily driven by insurance. Of the $40 billion plus total damage in Christchurch over $30 billion can be contributed either directly or indirectly to

seriously damaged homes that will be, or insurance pay outs. Therefore, it is the have been, cash settled. That means that private sector and insurance that will inject there are 11,000 homeowners who now cash into our economy. hold the rebuild or repair of their house in Given the time lag between cash pay their own hands and from my perspective, outs and construction (which is caused by they all want to do it tomorrow! Given the surveying, geotechnical, and engineering aforementioned delays, that will mean a requirements; resource and building huge demand on resource consents, which consents; planning; and then pouring of is the second barrier in the cascade effect. concrete) it will take between four to six The third barrier will be months from the time finding sufficient building cash is paid until the We require 25,000 companies and project time construction managers to handle the people, above and commences. This enormity of the residential insurance pay out beyond business as and commercial rebuilds. delay has been a usual, to assist us to We have not yet reached major constraint in the rebuild our city. that constraint, but it will be reconstruction of there and it will be big. Christchurch, There are literally tens of thousands of however we are almost through that homes to be repaired and there are constraint now. thousands of commercial buildings to be The next constraint will be that of reconstructed. resource consents and building consents. Associated with that third cascading We know how overloaded our local constraint will be issues around the government is with the handling of constraints of human resource and material consents and we know that there has been supplies. The human resource issue is a fairly dysfunctional process to date. That already starting to be significant, we have process is being improved, by the day, but two percent unemployment below the the challenge ahead of us is enormous. A national average in Christchurch and are small sub-set of the damage in housing tracking down. It is increasingly easy to get stock indicates that there are about 11,000

work if you want it and we have a large number of people coming from outside of the city to work here. However, an associated and important constraint on our human resource is finding sufficient accommodation. We lost 10,000 houses in the 22 February 2011 earthquake and there are 24,000 that will have to be vacated while they are repaired. The policy analysts tell us we require 25,000 people, above and beyond business as usual, to assist us to rebuild our city. That is three small towns that we require in Christchurch in the relatively near future. We are starting to hear some grumbles in the market about the increasing cost of materials and the delays in obtaining supplies (and this is with the reconstruction of Christchurch just starting to crank up). So expect to hear a lot more about that. The cascading construction constraints of Canterbury are real. They require a recognition of the scale of the rebuild that we are about to go into and the need for companies to think strategically about their positioning one year and two years down the track to ensure they are well advanced in equipping themselves to cope with unprecedented demand and expediential growth. It is going to be a big year!





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A product to prevent liquefaction Rebuilding Christchurch through innovation was a key theme in the recently held event celebrating the best of our nation’s engineering work of 2013. But there was one winner which stood out to us down here in our little southern spot. Canterbury Rebuild Magazine looks at one of the winners of New Zealand’s Engineering Excellence (NZEE) Awards and how it can support the rebuild of our city. Innovation out of liquefaction The new TTT MultiPole received the Building and Construction Award. Developed by TTT Products Limited and mlb Consulting Engineers, the TTT MultiPole is a timber pole with the central core removed. With little or no effect on strength, the removal of the core results in a pole that can be installed rapidly and economically, with minimal impact to surrounding property. The TTT MultiPole can be installed via water jetting (using the space created by the removal of the central core for the water jetting unit), vibration, or pile driving. By installing TTT MultiPoles close together, ground improvement is achieved which prevents liquefaction – a particularly invaluable benefit to Canterbury. TTT Products co-director John Reelick talks about TTT MultiPoles and what they mean for the Christchurch market. Can you explain the product in layman terms? “The TTT MultiPole is a timber pole with a hole in it. The hole creates many options for use such as being able to join poles in below ground situations using special TTT MultiPole connectors. This means TTT MultiPoles can be installed to deep depths even in confined situations, such as underneath an existing house. “In above-ground situations TTT MultiPoles can be

Presentation of NZ Engineering Excellence Award to TTT Products Ltd and mlb Consulting Engineers. Third from left John Reelick, Codirector TTT Products, Michael Newcombe and Mark Batchelar, mlb Consulting Engineers.

post-tensioned using steel bars inserted through the core space. This results in increased seismic resistance. We’re currently involved in a building five storys tall using TTT MultiPoles, and Mark Batchelar of mlb Consulting Engineers has designed a multi-story building up to 10 storys tall using TTT MultiPoles! There is incredible potential for using TTT MultiPoles where poles have not been able to go before. “These poles improve installation time, and are more economical at the end of the day.”

How was the idea developed? “We were building a number of structures, but we wanted to build them faster and more economically. Mark Batchelar suggested that we ‘stick a hole in the pole so we can post-tension the building and build it faster’. That’s what we did. “That was 5-6 years ago. It’s taken that long to design and build equipment that can drill a hole lengthwise in a pole accurately and economically. Nobody does this anywhere else in the world (as far as we are aware). We can put a hole in a pole up to 22 metres long.” How much of a difference do you think this product will make for people? “In Christchurch you will see huge volumes of this product being installed, mainly because we are exceptionally economical compared to existing systems, and can get the job done in minimal time with very little impact to neighbours. The availability of TTT MultiPoles has created opportunities in the construction industry that never existed before. They are also entirely New Zealand made and manufactured from logs sourced from sustainably managed forests. The TTT MultiPole is an added-value product, made from a natural pine log with minimal processing, with the end result being an innovative engineered wood product. We see both the local and export opportunities for TTT MultiPoles being huge!”

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Accessible living at BeachGrove will soon be available just a short walk from the heart of Kaiapoi’s town centre – a neighbourhood that thrives thanks to its strong community spirit, dynamic personality and unique recreational offering. It has been a challenging time for many Cantabrians following the earthquakes, as competition has increased in the real estate market and property prices have followed suit. The innovative team at BeachGrove subdivision recognised the need to introduce affordable housing into the residential mix in response to these conditions, and has worked strategically to create and deliver attainable and high quality living opportunities. Whether it’s the first step on the housing ladder for some, or buyers who are looking for an opportunity to relocate to the pristine landscape of North Canterbury, BeachGrove can meet a diverse range of needs. A fully constructed neighbourhood comprising seven stages features dynamic villas and townhouses in an established setting. Stage One is made

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up of 83 homes, additional building sites, a neighbourhood dairy, cafe, parklands, walkways and green spaces. There is a preschool planned for Stage Two, and with the North Kaiapoi Primary School on its doorstep and a supermarket close by, this urban environment has strong utilitarian qualities, which benefit the locals and broader Kaiapoi community. Housing options range in size and

price from 2-4 bedrooms with 1-2.5 bathrooms, in a pricing bracket of $339,000 to $509,000. Better still, the scope of available options doesn’t discriminate. What’s on offer has a broad range of owners in mind – from a new family looking for living options in close proximity to a school and welcoming community, to a professional couple wanting to be able to retreat to a place

of peace and tranquillity after a busy day at the office. Thanks to its affordability and connectivity to a wide range of local services and utilities, BeachGrove is also a haven for retirees. To capitalise on an already strong living environment in Kaiapoi, BeachGrove has been master-planned to accommodate all the requirements of contemporary home-life. With efficient layouts to maximise space, a diversity of rooflines and cladding types, optimal exposure to sunshine hours and reserve views where possible, BeachGrove represents the ideal living opportunity. There has never been a better time to discover the historic river town of Kaiapoi, as it is enjoying a colourful renaissance with a number of new retail facilities and the revitalisation of its town centre and amenities. On the recreational scene, boating, walking, cycling, fishing, shopping and dining options are boundless. If you are looking for a place to call home that is defined by affordability, great looks and accessibility, BeachGrove Kaiapoi is what you’re looking for. Stage One is selling now and will be on stream from March 2014. For further information contact Harcourts Kaiapoi or visit today.

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Land Use Recovery Plan developments More than 7,000 dwellings will need to be demolished or re-located in the residential red zone and as many as 9,000 other houses may need demolition. Population dispersal and changes to business locations have impacted on economic activity, transport patterns, proximity to employment, entertainment and recreation. The current Regional Policy Statement and Christchurch district plans do not address the current demands and are relatively prescriptive regarding where development can occur and under what rules. Existing Resource Management Act planning processes could take years to amend these current plans. New planning rules were needed quickly. In November 2012 the Minister used his powers under the CER Act to direct Environment Canterbury to lead

Christchurch City Council, Selwyn District and Waimakariri District Councils, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, NZTA and CERA to develop a Land Use Recovery Plan. Speaking at the launch on 6 December 2013, Minister Gerry Brownlee said that the Land Use Recovery Plan provides certainty

Stretching from Lincoln, Prebbleton and Rolleston in the south, to Kaiapoi and Rangiora in the north, as many as 40,000 residential sections could be developed by 2028 within the greenfield priority areas under these revised rules. “The aim is to use amended intensification rules to deliver 8,000 to 10,000 new dwellings in Christchurch City within the next five years,” Brownlee says. “Getting more sections and houses to market sooner is the only thing that will ease Christchurch’s accommodation pressures. “Putting this recovery plan in place

“The aim is to use amended intensification rules to deliver 8,000 to 10,000 new dwellings in Christchurch City within the next five years,” - Minister Gerry Brownlee across the community, informing land owners, infrastructure providers and others by outlining new areas that can be developed for new housing and businesses.

intensification. “It allows for some Christchurch residents to look at the option of subdividing the land they already own, provided their section is big enough, and this too will bring housing opportunities that would not otherwise have been possible”. Brownlee says direction from the public has been clear as post-quake recovery has progressed. “There is a keen desire to see well-designed, people-focused and sustainable developments along with affordable housing and reduced urban sprawl. “This plan allows for that by giving a very clear direction about where and how new development can occur, in a manner that best assists our region’s recovery.” For more information about the LURP visit Copies of the LURP are also available in council service centres and public libraries across greater Christchurch.

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A company with A rock solid support work ethic centrally located clean fill and aggregate site in Christchurch – CCL has a distinct advantage in being able to supply their own and other construction companies’ needs for the supply of gravel, sand and crushed concrete. CCL recently moved its offices to the Springs Road Quarry which has allowed for the expansion of the company. There is now a contract with NZTA to fill-in the quarry over a four year period to then be redeveloped as an extension to the Southern Motorway. CCL is currently receiving around 10,000 cubic metres of concrete, gravel and silt every month from site and sub-division excavations to contribute to the filling of the quarry.

CCL Construction Contracting undertakes a variety of civil construction works ranging from roading to commercial and residential site works.


he company has been in operation for only around two years, but in that time has earned itself an enviable reputation for integrity, consistency and excellent service. “We pride ourselves on our professionalism and attention to detail,” CCL co-owner and managing director Hamish Wright explains. “We focus on delivering the very best we can and on upholding the highest presentation standards in every element of our work – the staff involved in a project, the equipment used and, most critically, the end result.” This focus on excellence is reflected in the company’s consistent workflow of repeat business and in the growth figures being experienced each month. Add in a rock solid work ethic and it is little wonder that CCL is able to achieve high productivity levels in its specialty fields. Ground remediation is a primary focus. CCL has been carrying out land remediation under lifted houses on TC3 land. The company’s own civil engineer provides the knowledge and expertise necessary to oversees the work process and liaise with the client, design team and geotechnical engineering teams. This facilitates the most efficient and economical outcome possible, which is CCL’s main priority. CCL is also involved with earthwork projects for

CCL has a distinct advantage in being able to supply their own and other construction companies’ needs for the supply of gravel, sand and crushed concrete.

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foundations on both TC2 and TC3 land. A staggering 20-30 of these are being handled each month. Significant experience has been gained too in large bulk excavations and backfill for commercial buildings. Of note are the Countrywide developments along Victoria Street. Roading is another area of specialisation for CCL. Road upgrades, remediation and new route construction projects have been carried out recently for major companies throughout Canterbury, including SCIRT, City Care and Fletcher Construction. With its own quarry on Springs Road – the most

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Creating homes with heart Alawin Homes is a blend of some of the strongest commercial qualities – longevity, efficiency and ingenuity.


s one of Canterbury’s most successful, family owned building companies, the continuity of its offering owes to the same owners for the past 40 years - Kev and Bev Mason. Its beginnings may have been humble – a team of three working from a home environment, but today the business benefits from a staff of 12 who work symbiotically to drive a competitive offering. Working in the environment of the intensive earthquake recovery, Alawin Homes appreciates the unique sensitivities and challenges involved with the repair and rebuild effort. The strategic partnership it has forged with Fletcher Construction, as one of its preferred suppliers, and its co-operative relationship with like-minded sub-contractors has catapulted the business even further along the road of success. As a medium-sized firm it has the benefit of being large enough to cater for complex jobs that demand a strong force of skills and knowledge, while also being small enough to offer and maintain a personalised customer service. With experience in both home builds and alteration work, the business has also worked in a range of unique conditions, and can now offer land and house packages.

Alawin Homes’ builders, assessors and several administration staff are either Licensed Building Practitioners, Certified Builders, or Registered Master Builders, as well as being Fletcher approved. The direct result of the company’s logical structure, competitive qualities and commitment to always giving the best of itself is the excellent reputation that precedes it, as well as its successful win in the 2012 CPIT run Certified Master Builders Apprenticeship of the Year Awards. Alawin Homes has recently employed an extensively qualified general manager Chris McNeill who brings with him a history of managing building companies to a high level of operational success. He is committed to utilising this skill and knowledge to foster harmonious relationship with clients. “For us it is about ensuring the build or renovation process is dynamic, but not stressful for the client,” McNeill says. “We have the right team of staff and the focus to make this happen.” For further information about Alawin Homes go to

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An edgy new Edgeware

Edgeware Village is set to get a makeover and locals have the opportunity to have a say in the area’s stylish new shape as the Christchurch City Council has adopted a plan to its recovery. art of the council’s Suburban Centres Programme, which provides co-ordinated support for the recovery and rebuild of commercial centres which were badly damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes, the Master


Plan is a framework and action plan to guide the recovery and future development of Edgeware Village. “The adoption of the Edgeware Village Master Plan represents a significant milestone for the local

streetscape and movement improvements in the Village and these will be implemented in 2015-2016 once the detailed design is complete,” she says. Shirley/Papanui Community Board Chairman Mike Davidson says the development of the Edgeware Village Master Plan has provided an opportunity for local residents, businesses and community groups This development has provided an to help shape the future of Edgeware opportunity for local residents, Village. businesses and community groups to “In particular help shape the future of Edgeware Village. people have expressed a desire to reinforce Edgeware’s village feel through introducing seating and quality landscaping and the development of courtyard spaces and laneways and other improvements to the street.” He says the board is pleased to see the Master Plan adopted so that implementation of actions can happen. “The Board has requested that further investigation is undertaken relating to the provision of on-street car parking in community, property and business the village and how the planned major owners and other stakeholders who cycleway might impact on the final have helped shape this plan,” the design.” Council’s Urban Design and In adopting the plan, the council Regeneration Unit manager Carolyn agreed with the community board’s Ingles explains. recommendation that further “Now that the Master Plan has been consultation be undertaken with those adopted, work can begin on affected during development of detailed implementing the Council-led actions. designs to address these concerns. Funding has been secured for

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NZ Contractors Federation Contractor of the Year Awards Canterbury/West Coast Region

Kenny Corrigan Chairman of the NZCF Ctbry/W.Coast Region Welcoming Speech

Woody Blakely Vise Presented of the NZCF Exexutive council.

Fulton Hogan Team Winner of the Supreme award "2013 Contractor of the Year"

Tobia Pulley, Blaze Hirama, James Fong, Worthington Contracting

Reg Mathews, Gary McCormick Health & Safety Awarded to Fulton Hogan.

Eddie Rogers, Russell Worthington, James Worthington & Josh Worthington Most Progressive Company Award

Justine Wheelans, Mirrietta Horncastle, Leigh Cox C & A Cox Ltd

Jordan Buchanan, Emily Peacock, Tanya Guerin, Ryan Mahalm Stellar Recruitment


Theres nothing quite like topping off a year of hard work with an award. Congratulations to the winners on the night which included both local and National companies: Worthington Contracting, Blakely Construction, Calcon, Fulton Hogan, Downer NZ, C&A Cox, Stellar Recruitment

James Craw, Sue Craw, Tim Craw & Philip Craw JCL Asphalt

Ian France, Fiona Malloch Infratrain Training Advisor and Regional Mgr

Worthington was presented with the Most Progressive Company Award and Subcontractor of the Year, not to mention their SITESORTED system was awarded Innovation of the Year at the event.

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Self made Wikipedia is user-driven, with readers creating the content for everyone to peruse free of charge. Well WikiHouse is Wikipedia for the construction industry and it has the potential to slash both the time and cost of building.

digitally printed from a standard sheet material like t took less than two hours for a group of 12 to plywood, with the main structure assembled in about assemble Wellington’s first WikiHouse prototype, little more than an hour to dismantle it and it fit in the a day without the need for conventional construction back of a van for transporting for its Christchurch skills. debut. Rather than a team of highly skilled According to London based WikiHouse co-designer construction professionals, the job was completed by Alastair Parvin, this is construction’s future. “We are volunteers with no building experience, armed with moving into a future where the factory can be rubber mallets. WikiHouse is a everywhere – and increasingly construction system enabling the design team can be “A kind of Wikipedia for anyone to design, download, everyone.” adapt and ‘print’ houses on a The WikiHouse prototype ‘stuff’, WikiHouse is one of a milling machine, then assemble has the potential to growing spread of open them by hand. Still in planning significantly lower the cost to hardware experiments which enter the housing market. It is stages, the idea is that house suggest a very different builders will be able to easy to build, and even easier purchase a total build service, to modify or add to. Being economy for design.” take designs to their own pre-designed, the WikiHouse contractor to build or go total would require significantly less DIY. labour for a build and houses will be financially The aim is to make it possible for anyone to design, competitive with traditional builds. But as with all share, download, adapt and ‘print’ houses which are fledgling ideas, funding is stalling progress and the low cost, high performance and suitable to local project is looking for funding to accelerate needs. Using a CNC machine, the house parts can be development to get the project to market.


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cities “If design’s great project in the 20th century was the democratisation of consumption – Henry Ford, Coca Cola, Ikea, it might be that design’s project in the 21st century is the democratisation of production.”

Building blocks of business In late 2011, Danny Squires and business partner Marin Luff co-founded New Zealand’s WikiHouse Lab as an offshoot of the global WikiHouse project launched in the UK by Alastair Parvin and Nick Ierodiaconou. Their plan revolved around the idea that these customisable houses will be great in earthquakeprone places like Christchurch — where even now some people are still living in garages, cars, or broken homes — since they are made of sturdy

components that slot together. The buildings are designed to rock in an earthquake, with any damage absorbed in replaceable components that you can swap in and out. Much like Wikipedia’s free, user-generated content, WikiHouse is an open hardware project, where experts design houses or parts of them and share them online. With designs submitted under a creative commons licence, everyone can use them. The world’s fastest growing cities are not formally developed, but rather ‘self-made’ cities and embracing this, Parvin explains, is the key to many of our problems. “If we’re serious about tackling problems like urbanisation, climate change and inequality, we need to develop solutions not just to construction, but also off-grid sustainable infrastructure and to put them into a democratic commons. A kind of Wikipedia for ‘stuff’, WikiHouse is one of a growing spread of open hardware experiments which suggest a very different economy for design. “If design’s great project in the 20th century was the democratisation of consumption – Henry Ford, Coca Cola, Ikea, it might be that design’s project in the 21st century is the democratisation of production.” WikiHouse is a small experiment continuously under development, with a number of teams involved globally, including the Christchurch based team working on solutions to post-earthquake housing. The project is constantly on the lookout for collaborators, funders or simply people who want to use a make a WikiHouse for themselves. If you’re interested in finding out more, being involved or funding the project, visit or email

Canterbury Rebuild January 2014 33


One stop shop for global recruitment There has been a significant influx of international migrants to the Canterbury region since the second half of 2012. In the first half of 2013, four thousand people moved to the region, an average of 25 people per day. Many of these new residents are from overseas. Estimates suggest an additional 36,000 workers will be required for the rebuild. From the city’s perspective, immigration assistance makes sense. So too does it make sense from a business perspective. For companies who want to get a slice of the $30 billion rebuild, more workers are a must. But few business owners have time to get their heads around the legalities, visas, documentation, timeframes... and then there’s the time consuming recruitment process itself. A literal one stop shop for immigration, Business Immigration (NZ) Ltd has been assisting families and individuals through the migration process, bringing New Zealand valuable workers for more than 20 years. “We get about 100 queries a week from potential employees,” managing director Lyn Sparks explains. “From there we have a stringent

Business Immigration works with a wide range of businesses, from the smallest to the largest and can assist with staffing from an equally diverse range of industries from farming and the trades, through to engineering and IT. One of its strongest points of difference is simply the cost, or lack thereof. While many employment companies charge the employer thousands, for services which don’t include licensing, accommodation or tax services, Business Immigration charges a simple fee of $690 including GST for the full range of services. It’s a comprehensive offering; consultants deal with the employment and recruitment needs of employers, then the two licensed immigration

screening process. We generally take eight percent of the people who approach us.” Applicants must meet a high standard of English, pass a medical and have at least 10 years of verifiable work experience, including internationally. Business Immigration couldn’t make the process any easier. The company screens the potential staff, organises visas, arranges tax registration and can secure accommodation. “All that we leave the employer is interviewing potential employees over Skype,” Sparks says.

Front Row: Nikki Jones, Ashlee Warman, Naresh Reddy, Grahame Allport, Emily Rawsthorn Back Row: Tony Thurston, Nela Maerean, Rex Gibson, Keith Garlick, Lyn Sparks, Frank Karati

advisors, Lyn Sparks and daughter Nikki Jones, cover everything related to immigration, for both new and existing employees. The pair understand the ins and outs of the legal aspect of immigration and through travelling with staff to the Philippines and other destinations every two months, they are extremely knowledgeable about the cultural differences and how you can get the most out of your new employees. “Before the earthquake Canterbury construction had an employment capacity of 40 percent. With huge investments being made into staffing, equipment and projects, the playing field is as different as it could possibly be. Now we’re at more than 100 percent capacity,” Sparks says. “There is a phenomenal amount of work out there and there is a huge shortage of workers to get that work completed.” For more information on how your business can benefit from increased workers, contact Business Immigration, 440 Papanui Rd, phone (03) 352 6702 or visit

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Levelling the lopsided Pile foundations distribute a structure’s weight evenly across the soil underneath, ensuring the building remains strong and level. Despite their importance to our comfort and safety, we think little of these vital load bearing parts, that is, until things get a little lopsided. oors and windows jamming, bouncy and uneven floors and cracks in the walls are just some of the symptoms of a house which needs repiling, a delicate process involving the re-levelling of floors. According to Southern Repiling owner Dwayne Hubac, a large number of Canterbury homes slid clean off their piles in the earthquakes because the houses weren’t attached to them. “Even though the earthquake has hurt of lot of people, everyone is now a lot more educated and this will lead to us rebuilding safer houses for the future,” he says. Prior to establishing Southern Repiling in Dunedin in 2009, Hubac was working for a house-levelling company in Christchurch. Following the earthquake, the company widened its perimeters to Canterbury to fulfil an important role in the city’s rebuild. A certified builder, complemented by a team of qualified carpenters, Hubac’s services have been in increasingly high demand. Many competitors just focus on piles. Southern Repiling covers the full range of foundation repairs.


allow easy access to the defective piles, Southern Repiling is able to successfully achieve level floors. “Our hydraulic equipment is the latest from the USA and we use the right amount of equipment for each job, ensuring the house is fully supported at all times,” Hubac explains. A large number of homes slid “We set our new piles in a clean off their piles in the solid footing and at the earthquakes because the houses correct depth, ensuring they weren’t attached to them. are attached to your house correctly.” A recent client had a home which had sunk very deep into the ground. Southern Repiling was able to lift the house out from corner to corner and keep it nice and level, saving the clients significantly with the delicate and precise handling of the project. Specialising in repiling, underpinning A family run business, Southern and pile replacements, Southern Repiling provides high quality work and Repiling also carries out house lifting. works closely with structural engineers “We can lift and re-level anything from to ensure the work is completed to the concrete floor slab homes, standard highest standard. pile structures, ring beams – basically For more information on how Southern all type A and type B structures – we Repiling can get your property’s piles have the power to lift almost anything.” level, phone (03) 455 5701 or email With top of the range machinery to

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Ashburton’s appeal for access A second bridge over the Ashburton River has been on the District Council’s drawing board for several years. Designed to improve traffic flows through the district, It is a change thought to be in the interests of both locals and visitors alike. It was when the council released its preferred route options that discontent developed. The first route option – down Chalmers Avenue and Grove Street – was quickly aborted against considerable community backlash. Two alternatives were soon established – both using Chalmers Avenue – one proposing to create a new road east of Grove Street, one proposing to create a new road even further east of Grove Street. Significant time and resource has since gone into public consultation, research and submissions. On July 4, 2013 Council approved “Option A” as the road alignment to proceed to land designation for the second urban bridge across the Ashburton River. The proposed designation will

for submission period, but has more than doubled the allotted timeframe for submissions. “All agreed that this is a significant project for council and the community and providing additional time for submissions was appropriate in this case,” she says. A hearing is expected to be held later this year and, once the designation is in place, the bridge route will be protected and the land within that route can be acquired by the council. The bridge is unlikely to be built for at least 15 years. Residents are still unhappy with the decision as it stands and the Bridge Action Group Inc. has been established which has raised concerns over: Extra traffic down side streets The safety of children and the elderly Additional noise

connect the southern end of Chalmers Avenue with a new bridge across the Ashburton River and onto a new two lane road through low density land east of Tinwald to connect with Grahams Road at the south end of Tinwald. Submissions have again been called for. Initially to be received in early December, the Ashburton District

Council has extended the time for residents to make submissions on the application to designate land for the Ashburton second urban bridge and associated roads. Council Environmental Services manager Jane Donaldson says the council, as the planning authority, was only required to give 20 working days

Higher rates to pay for the second

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COMMERCIAL Expanding commercial premises We’re a resilient bunch in our little corner of the South Pacific; more than 90 percent of the businesses that were running in Christchurch city prior to the earthquakes are still running, many new ones have since popped up. But with access to significantly fewer premises, the leasing market is a tight one. Light is visible at the end of the tunnel, with new developments springing up city-wide. Work on a multi million dollar light industrial multi-use business park in Christchurch is underway, with the first diggers breaking ground. The Harvard Hub is a desirable plot of flat and sunny land at Wigram, just off the city’s Southern motorway. The extensive project is under construction by the Christchurch branch of award-winning South Island company Amalgamated Builders (ABL) and project managed by experienced property investment company TPI Ltd. The initial Stage One consists of three larger units – one has already sold with strong interest shown from other potential buyers. Of the 22 units on offer, office spaces range from as little as 55sqm to 330sqm while warehouse sizes go from 60sqm to 514sqm. Sitting right alongside Christchurch’s biggest residential subdivision Wigram Skies, which itself will include a full-size shopping centre and around 1800 homes, individual unit buildings at Harvard Hub cater for a range of

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businesses from service and distribution storage to trades, professional offices, light manufacturers and a café. TPI director Lindsay Topp, an experienced Arrowtown-based property developer, says he was thrilled to get the project underway with ABL. “They’re good southern guys with a great knowledge base built up over decades in the industry and I’ve had good experiences with them building a number of projects on time and to budget,” he says. “They make it really easy from my point of view because they just take control and do the job, and it’s all about transparency, honesty and team performance.” Topp says the level of interest in the units, designed by Merivale-based DD Architects Ltd, was very high. “The fact we’ve been able to get through the consent process to get this underway is very appealing right now to businesses looking to establish themselves in this fast-growing area,” he says. Gavin Ryan of commercial property sales and leasing specialists M B Cook Commercial Ltd says there is currently a serious lack of this sort of product in the marketplace. “While there’s plenty of talk out there about

Computer generated image of part of the new Harvard Hub development at Wigram, Christchurch

Panoramic view of the new Harvard Hub business park at Wigram, Christchurch, as work begins

future developments, to my knowledge this is the only company which has actually started a ‘spec’ build of this nature ahead of the market,” he says. The first three units are expected to be completed by June 2014. Work on Stage Two for the remaining 19 units is

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Creating a smart city A world leading project to transform Christchurch into a smart city of the future and create opportunities for New Zealand’s high tech sector is to receive government funding.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee


he ‘Sensing City’ initiative aims to be the catalyst for the creation of new information-based services and solutions to improve how cities are managed. It also aims to kick start a new data-focused export industry, encourage inward investment, attract talent to the region and position Christchurch at the global forefront of future cities.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce recently announced that Callaghan Innovation – the Government’s new High Tech HQ - is providing $250,000 in seed funding as well as technical expertise to help deliver one of the Sensing City initiative’s first projects, which will use sensor technology to

investigate the health impacts of air pollution. “This is an ambitious, multi-faceted project that will help position Christchurch as a city of the future, grow the region’s ICT sector, and foster entrepreneurialism and the development of weightless exports via the creation of new IP,” Joyce says. “It also fits perfectly with Callaghan Innovation’s role to accelerate commercialisation of innovation by firms in New Zealand.” The nuts and bolts of the Sensing City initiative is that a network of digital sensors will be integrated into the physical infrastructure of the Christchurch CBD as it is rebuilt, generating data sets with multiple uses and benefits. Brownlee says the announcement follows more than a year of discussion with innovation expert Roger Dennis, who recognised very early on, the opportunity rebuilding Christchurch presented the country. “What we have in the Christchurch rebuild is a myriad of opportunities to use digital sensor technology to learn lessons about how modern cities work, and eventually create a longitudinal database of information from which technology companies can deliver

future solutions for other cities across the globe,” Brownlee explains. “The project leverages the opportunity the rebuild has provided to install sensors in the infrastructure throughout the CBD. Other pilot projects will use sensor technology to collect real time traffic data which developers will then be able to aggregate into an app, and a community-based project to test water quality throughout the city,” Mr Brownlee says. In addition to funding, Callaghan Innovation will provide expertise in the areas of sensors, networks and medical devices to deliver one of Sensing City’s first pilot projects, a health innovation and air quality demonstration project involving installing sensors in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) inhalers and pollution sensors across the city. Sensing City will provide an online platform for public access to anonymised data sets to demonstrate the value of collecting data to the benefit of all society. “Publicly releasing the data will allow for wider publishing of the real time data, and allow for further investigation, deeper research and development of insights into respiratory conditions and air quality in Christchurch,” Joyce says.

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Outlook of opportunities

Located in the central city, Tradestaff is at the heart of the Christchurch rebuild.

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sed to inform the Ministry’s medium-long term policy advice relating to immigration policy settings, and priority setting for tertiary education and industry training, the report is broken down by industry and occupation. It has a particular focus on labour supply constraints arising from an ageing population and highlights the importance of future productivity gains to maintain economic growth.

The key points are: • Total employment is expected to increase by 180,300 (1.6 percent per year) over the 2011-16 period, and by about 174,500 (1.4 percent per year) over the subsequent five years to 2021. • Strong employment growth is expected in the primary sector, primary processing, certain manufacturing industries such as machinery and equipment, metal products and in construction-related activities. Service industries, including the health, cultural and personal services sectors, will also experience modest to strong employment growth. The growth will be strongest for highly-skilled occupations, including managers and professionals. • Opportunities for lower-skilled workers are expected to account for more than one-third of employment growth over the 2011-16 period. This will be sustained over the 2016-21 period as the construction sector activity related to the Canterbury rebuild is expected to continue beyond 2016. The food processing, retailing, accommodation and personal service industries are expected to create most of the remaining opportunities. • The medium-long term employment growth beyond the recovery from the recent economic downturn is expected to be a mix of export-led growth and growth driven by domestic household spending along with the Canterbury rebuild. This has associated impacts for labour market outcomes across various industries.

Tales of trade training There is no doubting the significant opportunities evident in the rebuild of our city. Whether it’s job openings, or even retraining. Christchurch painter and decorator Tessa Gregory says enrolling in the He Toki ki te Rika (Maori trades training) programme at CPIT was one of the best decisions she has ever made. She graduated in December along with around 150 other graduates of the programme from various trades such as carpentry, welding and plasterboard. Before she heard about He toki, Tessa was working full time but looking for a new direction. Now she is completing an apprenticeship and planning to travel and work overseas. He Toki is an iwi-led collaboration between Ngai Tahu o Runanga, CPIT and Hawkins Construction that is changing lives as well as contributing more skilled workers to the rebuild of Christchurch.“I was determined to make something of my life because I didn’t finish school and I didn’t finish CPIT’s Diploma in Maori, so my next goal was to get a trade and complete it and even if I can’t do anything else in life I can fall back on my trade,” she says. “I was nervous because I hadn’t seen many women around in the trade industry and I thought this could be different. It could be really different. But I was excited. I like being different and doing something different.” After the 14 week programme and a further six weeks of work experience Tessa was offered an apprenticeship with Frame Consulting. “I was so happy. I had finally achieved something. I’m getting paid to learn.” In two and half to three years, Gregory will be both qualified and experienced in painting and decorating for homes, commercial spaces and Earthquake Commission repair work.



Creating quake-proof buildings contribute to the emergency of a new, more resilient downtown Christchurch he long-term social and economic costs of earthquakes are highly dependent on how the built environment responds to the event. modern building codes demand that critical infrastructure, such as hospitals, power stations and key lifeline bridges must be available post-earthquake to ensure optimal response and minimal disruption. Equally, the ability of businesses to return to regular operation is vital for a functioning economy.Low-damage structures are an emerging area of research and development that offer an effective solution to this challenging problem, University of Canterbury (UC) mechanical engineer Dr Geoff Rodgers says.“Low-damage structural concepts have, at their heart, a range of novel energy dissipation devices. These devices are used to dissipate energy and mitigate response to shaking in place of traditional design approaches that rely on structural yielding and damage to dissipate energy, but at the


The new $40 million Kilmore St Medical Centre - one of the first new, major structures to rise in downtown Christchurch following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. cost of downtime, repair or demolition. “At UC we have developed high force to volume energy dissipation devices, 96 of which have been developed and used in the new $40 million Kilmore St Medical Centre - one of the first new, major structures to rise in downtown Christchurch following the 2010 and

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2011 earthquakes. The Kilmore St facility is an innovative, low-damage seismic-resistant design. “The Kilmore Centre uses a posttensioned rocking steel system to allow controlled motion in an earthquake. It incorporates 96 high force-to-volume devices as a frontline energy dissipation

and damage avoidance system. “The devices plastically extrude to absorb energy and reduce response – much like making Play-Doh spaghetti or squeezing toothpaste out of a tube – and dissipate large amounts of energy to reduce motion in a damage-free manner. “These devices have been extensively tested at UC with funding from the Natural Hazards Research Platform. It will be immensely gratifying to now see these devices complete their journey from bench to building in their first use in protecting communities.’’ The device project is the result of an eight-year collaboration led by Dr Rodgers, Professor Geoff Chase and Associate Professor Greg MacRae at UC, as well as postgraduate students. The devices will enable the creation of more resilient cities and communities that are far more resistant to the physical and economic damage that results from large earthquakes, and are contributing to the emergence of a new, more resilient downtown Christchurch.

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Hot demand for protecting surfaces during the rebuild nter – Ultimate Solutions. It’s a we have identified the need for our strategic problem solver not only by services and entered the market with a name, but also by nature. Operating in unique offering from our competitors. the midst of a post-disaster landscape Not only can we respond to surface with building numbers rocketing protection challenges with appropriate through the roof, this is a business that solutions, we are able to deliver these is a proactive strategist. Ultimate as highly cost-effective alternatives.” Solutions does your thinking for you, The aim of the Ultimate Solutions’ meaning that those niggling game is to give builders and afterthoughts of ‘Oh, I should have homeowners ease during rebuilds, thought of that’ no longer exist. repairs and renovations. With a range of As the supplier surface protection and installer of products for The aim is to give builders surface protection carpets, tiles, vinyl, and homeowners ease products, the timber, bench-tops, business has during rebuilds, repairs and concrete, positioned itself renovations with a range of glass/windows, strongly and visibly porcelains and surface protection products. stainless steel, the in both the commercial and business has you residential sectors. Its strategic and your vulnerable surfaces covered. partnerships formed with builders and “We are proud of all our products broader earthquake recovery including the ‘Rolls Royce of hard contractors are true testament to its surface protection’ – recycled rubber, robust, reliable and innovative product. because we not only supply and install Co-owner Debbie Savin says, “We them at extremely reasonable prices, are a niche business in the sense that we also install them and can work to


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Canterbury Rebuild Magazine January 2014 Issue 29  
Canterbury Rebuild Magazine January 2014 Issue 29  

The GUIDE to Canterbury's Residential & Commercial Rebuild.