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Emergency housing

Written By: - Date published: 1:05 pm, April 22nd, 2011 - 46 comments
Categories: disaster, housing, International, national - Tags: ,

Here’s a photo of the emergency housing that families in Japan were moving in to about a month after their quake:

Here’s a computer generated graphic of housing that families in Christchurch might get to move in to at some point in the future (currently two months after their quake and counting):

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Brownlee, you’re doing a heck of a job.

46 comments on “Emergency housing ”

  1. Jim Nald 1

    Spotted the difference !
    Post-quake emergency houses:
    – Japan’s folks already have
    – Gerry’s folks in Christchurch dreaming they’re nice to have.

  2. infused 2

    Well the first thing is, you don’t have huge displacement like in Japan. Secondly, they have the economy to support it. Yeah, it should be faster, but you’re comparing two separate things here.

    • Jim Nald 2.1

      Oh yar totally, the first thing is, with a smaller displacement like in Christchurch, Gerry can’t even get his shit together. Secondly, let’s blame our economy as cover not to help Christchurch folks. Yeah, NZ should be faster, but you’re comparing Japan’s competence with Gerry’s incompetence.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Secondly, they have the economy to support it.

      Lets be clear here.
      Japan has a massive level of Government debt, way beyond what we do. The death, damage and nuclear disaster they have suffered is also magnitudes above anything seen in Christchurch.
      But they also have a massive level of in-house engineering and industrial capability, which we have lost over the last 20 years.
      So yeah their economy can support it, particularly the capabilities in their *real productive economy*

      • Jim Nald 2.2.1

        Japan’s folks can see, demonstrated to them, their Government alongside them and helping them back to being real productive.
        Gerry’s Christchurch folks are being economic refugees seeking to be productive in other NZ centres or overseas, .. or shivering amongst rubbles.

    • MrSmith 2.3

      Lets not forget that this is just a massif insurance clam, if things aren’t getting done it’s because the insurer is dragging there feet, as we all know is common practice , so this needs to be laid at King Gerrys feet, he should be screaming at them.

      Gerry can be found at the nearist McDonalds, at least him and the big Shipley will keep there turnover up , shit they might even create a new job for one of our uni graduates

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Wow the Japanese emergency housing have high quality TV aerials built in. Sweeeet.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      I was noticing the differences:

      1.) Japanese emergency houses are utilitarian and put where ever there’s flat land with minimal preparation
      2.) NZs emergency houses look like something you’d be happy to live in even if it wasn’t an emergency complete with landscaped gardens and finished driveways.

      Japan has got in and built people a place to live while we seem to be concerned with building places that people can live in comfort. Completely the wrong priorities.
      At a guess I’d say that Japan’s emergency housing would be warmer than standard NZ homes as well – that looks like the siding used for refrigeration trucks.

      • Jasper 3.1.1

        It’s fibreglass as seen here.
        While we get plywood with a minimal amount of insulation, with the first units ready by July.
        Thanks National. I’m loving it!

        • Ed

          Fibreglass insulation, but plywood walls and floors.

          • Colonial Viper

            They said that they are going to try to make 10 per week, eventually.
            Given that hundreds of families need these homes ASAP, they should all receive accommodations by…Boxing Day?

      • Swampy 3.1.2

        Artists impression. I bet you it is no more finished on the ground than a camping ground.

        I don’t think any of your other claims are reasonable given it is just two pictures being compared.

        • Draco T Bastard

          And the reason why they have an artists impression is because it’s a stock two bedroom house rather than one purpose designed to cover short term housing which would be quicker to build.

          All the bedrooms flow off the main central lounge and the houses are just 83sq m, much smaller than the average sized kiwi house now around at least 150sq m but that usually includes double garages.

          They’re friggen huge as well. 83sq m is almost as big as the 3 bedroom house I’m presently living in.

  4. millsy 4

    You know, if we have the capability of throwing up emergency housing like what the government is doing, then there really should be no excuses for people living in garages or on the street.

    Plain and simple really.

    • Swampy 4.1

      People live on the street for all sorts of different reasons. Mostly antisocial behaviour and causing problems for landlords and neighbours is the reason why they can not live in a house. A whole different scenario.

  5. todd 5

    It will interesting to see how much spin National puts on this over the next few months.

  6. Plan B for displaced Christchurch citizens:

    Smuggle yourself into Japan. Find some rubble. Arrange yourself underneath it, and wait to be discovered. Then go “Owwww… I’d like one of those awesome houses, please.”

  7. HC 7

    Wow! Great stuff. Once these ‘temporary” houses will have been built (at some time in the future) they will most likely become semi-permanent and eventually permanent homes for the less fortunate.
    I can already see the slums of the future rising from the ashes.
    And that at $ 85 grand a piece??? Maybe we can bring in some filipino costruction workers to make them cheaper, because that is how neo-liberal economics works, does it not?
    Perhaps even have them prefabricated in China rather than Christchurch?
    We can ship over a few containers with milk powder in return for their help.

    • Swampy 7.1

      Why are you advocating they are built overseas. Funny viewpoint for this blog.

      • HC 7.1.1

        Swampy: You are far too serious. Do you really think I was serious with my comment? It was a cynical remark addressed at the measures this government takes in flip flop disaster management.
        We have Filipino farm workers and fruit pickers from various other countries, we have Thai tilers and decorators, Indonesian builders and so forth. There are thousands coming into NZ every year on working holiday permits. Many get ripped off when working here.
        They create more “competition” while we have enough unemployed looking for a decent and sufficiently paid job.
        So my “shot” was not a straight shot, but one needs to “read between the lines” to get what I meant: BS neo liberal right wing economic policies stuffing this and other countries up!

    • burt 7.2

      ;And that at $ 85 grand a piece??? Maybe we can bring in some filipino costruction workers to make them cheaper, because that is how neo-liberal economics works, does it not?

      No, Thai tilers will however be working for assistance with their work permits because they are cheaper than Filipino’s.

      The best thing is that even if people get convicted of fraud and corruption abusing their positions of power people like you will refuse to admit any wrong doing occurred.

  8. David 8

    The scale of disaster is on a whole different level to here. There are 1400 homes for rent on TradeMe alone so no shortage and even the camper vans are empty.There is more of a risk of over supply. Japan is hardly a gleaming example of effecient government, debt at 200% of GDP.

    • millsy 8.1


      That should be a good thing in terms of rental property.

      Rents are too damn high, and a lot of people are finding it hard to find a place as it is.

      • Jim Nald 8.1.1

        Japan is hardly a gleaming example of effecient government, debt at 200% of GDP. And they already have their emergency houses. Gee, Christchurch folks still dreaming of nice-to-haves, we must have less effecient a government, with even worse debt.

  9. Drakula 9

    In a disaster aesthetics are not an option I think I would feel more comfortable in the Japanese model.

    The difference? one is real the other is an illustration!!!

    Says it all about our government doesn’t it? But lets not have a national disaster get in the way of giving $36 million of tax payers money to the yachties in San Fran!!!!!

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Says it all about our government doesn’t it?

      That it’s an illustration of a bad government? It shows how things shouldn’t be done.

  10. Uncle Helen 10

    I see the difference:
    One was built in a country that didn’t just have a decade of a far-Left Labour Party deliberately taxing the economy into stagnation and flushing all of the tax-take down the welfare toilet.

    • And the winner of the Troll trophy for the comment most removed from reality is … drum roll … Uncle Helen!!

      Well done Uncle. It is a real tribute to win this award each day because there are so many stupid comments. But yours takes the cake! Even better than PeteG when he is on form!

  11. millsy 11

    Here we go, that tired old meme.

    Tell me, how many hospitals did National close between 1990 and 1999? and how many did Labour close between 1999 and 2008?

    Personally I think our hospital system is more important than your flat screen TV.

    And please dont go on about health insurance, because if you get sick, an insurance company WONT pay out.

  12. Swampy 12

    Pardon my shouting but most of you ARE NOT IN CHRISTCHURCH.

    These houses are for people who are temporarily displaced out of their own home which a lot of people are still living in while waiting for decisions to be made about rebuilding.

    They are standard off the shelf models produced for the NZ market by these companies. And they are being put up in temporary villages which will eventually be closed down.

    Frankly most of what is in this thread is cheap shots, I am sure the people living in them will be grateful to have something better than a tent or a house with tarps over the gaps in the roof to live in for winter which is coming up pretty soon.

    • HC 12.1

      Why not build more proper houses right away, rather than create “temporary” accom for $ 85 k a piece? There are still thousands on Housing NZ waiting lists and now many in CH CH needing temporary accom. We may as well do a proper job and create a proper public housing project here and there. What will happen to the dismantled temporary houses when they are no longer needed? Ship them off to a disaster zone overseas, I presume. Or keep them in storage until Wellington gets hit with a similar disaster?

  13. jaymam 13

    So the Japanese houses look horrible and the NZ houses look OK.

  14. tsmithfield 14

    A big point of difference is that most of our houses are still standing. Not the case in Japan where a lot of houses have been swept away. So the need is a lot more urgent in Japan. I understand there are still a lot of people living in welfare centres and the like for instance. In Christchurch I don’t believe there are people living in welfare centres or on the streets because of the quake, so at least everyone is housed in one way or another. So the emergency is not on the same level as in Japan.

    In Christchurch its not just about the temporary homes. There is a lot of effort being put into emergency repairs on damaged homes so that they become liveable again. For instance, a woman at my work has had plywood cladding installed on her badly damaged home in Heathcote  through EQC.  Now her home is comfortable again and she is quite happy. She would far rather be living in her own home in her familiar community rather than in some temporary village somewhere.

    • You mean TS that all of Christchurch’s homes are standing and liveable and there is no housing shortage? Go easy on the liquid stuff young man. There is a dire need of accommodation in both countries but there is one difference, the Japanese Government do have a clue.

      • Pascal's bookie 14.1.1

        hah. It seems like only a few short weeks since t was telling us that ChCh was pretty much poked and that thousands of homes were completely munted, whole suburbs would need to abandoned. 

        What’s changed?

        • tsmithfield

          Nothing. But there is a big difference between liveable and repairable or insurable. For instance, houses with big cracks through their foundations may need to be bulldozed at some point, but may be quite liveable at the moment.

          It is much better to do emergency repairs to existing houses to get them to a liveable standard where possible for a number of reasons, even if the long term viability for them is not good. For a start it keeps people where they are most comfortable. Also, it doesn’t require finding land and providing services for temporary housing. So it is a much better solution where it is possible. I agree there are some areas where temporary housing will be the only option in the medium term. However, it is still a vastly different scenario to Japan.

          • mickysavage

            TS your beloved leader said there were 10,000 houses that were wrecked. Bits of plywood were not going to do it. Are you saying now that no houses need replacement?

            • tsmithfield

              MS you really need to get your head around the difference between houses that are uneconomical to restore to their former condition and those that are unliveable. For instance a house that has badly cracked foundations may be uneconomical to repair, so it will need replacing at some stage. But structurally it might be quite liveable. I know a number of people in this situation. So long as issues of water tightness etc can be resolved for these houses, then they are liveable until they can be replaced. This takes the urgency away from these houses.

              FYI, the EQC survey found over 11000 houses that had damage over $100000. So the 10000 figure probably isn’t far off the mark. 

          • Colonial Viper

            For instance, houses with big cracks through their foundations may need to be bulldozed at some point, but may be quite liveable at the moment.

            Quite livable? Don’t you think a family in such a home will be nervous that the next magnitude 5.5 will cause their house to come down on top of them and kill them all?

            • tsmithfield

              Depends. Probably not going to happen with the traditional timber framing house with a tin roof, which has proved structurally fairly resilient through all the quakes thus far, even if brick cladding as fallen off. In these cases, a plywood emergency repair does the trick.

              If it is a house like my parents property, then that is a different story. Their house is in the horseshoe lake area, one of the worst affected areas. They have approx 8 tons of concrete tiles above their heads. After the February quake their house tilted sideways quite noticeably. It appears that the tiles had been affected, and there was a large crack running through the centre of their ceiling, suggesting the roof was causing stress to the support structures.

              In their case, we were able to find them a rental that their insurance is paying for. Just waiting for the geotec reporting etc to come back in so they can get a steer on whether they can rebuild on their section or not. I suspect that their area will be abandoned due to the liquifaction risk.

              So it is a case by case basis as to whether houses are safe or not. That is where a structural inspection is important so that people can be moved out if their houses are unsafe. 

  15. Treetop 15

    When the allocating of portaloos is sorted out in Christchurch I may start to have some confidence in the temporary housing.

    I am left wondering why people whose home has been written off and they have received an EQC check are still waiting to hear whether or not they can rebuild on their land?  It would be sensible to have a decision made on the land in a timely manner so people can make a long term plan to stay or go.

  16. burt 16

    This is a good example of how useless we are in NZ at just getting things done. We piss about all wrapped up in OSH regulations bitching about what we need. Hell I wouldn’t be surprised if emergency housing is currently held up because people are arguing about that colour to paint the bathrooms.

    We just need to get our shit together on this one – people are suffering.

    • You obviously have not read CERRA Burt. If you did you would realise that Brownlee has enough power to do anything and if he hasn’t it is either because of incompetence or laziness.

      • Pascal's bookie 16.1.1

        I know nothing at all about Japanese red tape, but I think the assumption that they don’t have any needs support.

        I remember reading shortly after the quake that all sorts of things started happening because of various policies that were in place. As soon as the quake hit, organisations carried out plans and started filing reports of damage, reporting on damage to communication systems and the like. The example I read was of a university who immediately emailed and rang all campuses and departments confirming and checking on damage, the status of staff and students, evacuation plans etc. This data was co-ordinated with emergency centers. I doubt that this happened all by itself, and imagine that it was not particular to that one university.

        Smells like red tape, doing its job, to me.

    • Treetop 16.2

      I’d go and camp outside the Beehive to let the government know that they are dragging their heels over the emergency housing if I was waiting for them to get their A into gee. My tent would be plastered with signage as well.

  17. Once the house is even slightly damage by earthquake it is not possible to stay in. Temporary housing seems to be quite viable alternative for affected areas. Finish driveways are not such important as the safety for people against the stricken environment.

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