Monday, December 15, 2014

Christchurch Drivers Can Be Dicks!

Christchurch motorists often get a bad rap...and it seems it's fully justified!
One local is on a crusade to document some of the city's worst driving. Footage of illegal parking and absurd overtaking manoeuvres feature on his Shocking Christchurch Drivers Facebook page that has attracted around 13,000 likes.
The page's administrator - who would only be named Steve - has posted pix of vehicles double parked, in disabled spaces or parked too close to others. He hopes drivers whose vehicles feature on his page will change their behaviour in response to the public shaming, or that police will take action in serious cases.
Christchurch police say they could investigate serious roading incidents on social media, but typically need to receive a complaint and evidence from someone.
Steve's local efforts have been reported on the DailyMail On-Line website, as he joins a growing list of people globally, who're pissed off at dickhead drivers. The number plate and any identifying features are always published to ensure maximum embarrassment.
And here's one I personally spotted last weekend...
14 Dec.2014, Hornby Mall, Christchurch
Not only is the car straddling FOUR spaces,
but one of those spaces is for disabled drivers!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Qantas: The Bad Ol' Days Return?

The Sydney-Dallas Qantas flight QF7 was forced to return on Monday, due to on-board system faults.
This was the third Qantas aircraft diverted in less than 24 hours...and soooo reminiscent of the long run of faults that Qantas never quite laid-to-rest in 2011.
Qantas says this technical fault impacted seat power, in-flight entertainment system and some of the toilets: "While the aircraft could have continued flying safely to Dallas, the decision was made to return to Sydney in the interests of passenger comfort, on what is a long flight." The plane was about four hours into its journey when it turned back. The Sydney-Dallas route is the world's longest non-stop route, taking 14 hours 50 to the US, and 15 hours 30 on the return flight.
In an eventful 24 hours, two other Qantas planes made emergency landings at Perth, in one case with dozens of passengers needing medical treatment. Crew noticed an unusual odour,and all passengers disembarked after the unscheduled landing. While Qantas denies any reports of passengers being affected, St John Ambulance paramedics treated 75 people at the airport for smoke inhalation.
Yea....and nothing happened? Riiiiiiiight!
Earlier, a Dubai-Sydney Qantas A380 was diverted to Perth when the air conditioning crapped out over the Indian Ocean.
So, Qantas...is it a case of "Here we go again?"

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Forsyth Barr Finds Out Its Fate

Finally, an answer to the Christchurch skyline's biggest unanswered question:
what is happening to the Forsyth Barr Tower?
Well, the earthquake-damaged 19-storey office tower at the corner of Armagh and Colombo Sts., Victoria Square, will be converted into a 200-room hotel with restaurants and a bar.
A hotel chain has signed a deal with the building's owners to convert the 1988-designed tower, and it will open in 2016 as the new Crowne Plaza Hotel.
You may recall the old five-star 297-room Crowne Plaza Hotel on the opposite side of Victoria Square (near the Chch Town Hall) was demolished post-EQ in 2012.
This replacement will be the third Crowne Plaza in NZ for the chain, which is part of the global InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG). With five suites, 195 guest rooms, two restaurants, a bar, fitness centre, and function rooms, it will be aimed at business and leisure travellers. It will be the CBD's biggest hotel, pushing the 171-room Rendezvous into 2nd.place.
Crowne Plaza demolition, 2012
Forsyth Barr Tower's owners, local investors and developers MC Christchurch Holdings, bought the property earlier this year from an investment group who had offered it for sale as-is-where-is, after taking a large insurance payout.
It certainly makes sense for this building to be bought by a hotel chain, because it would be difficult for anyone to build to the height of Forsyth Barr now. Of course, major remedial work to bring it up to compliance will need to be undertaken (one cannot forget that in the Feb.2011 EQ the tower's stairs collapsed, trapping 15 people on the 6th floor).
There's also the logistical issue of how tour coaches will be able to pick up and drop off guests, given the corner location of the tower. They surely wouldn't park over where the collapsed Copthorne Hotel used to be, and make passengers walk in winter weather to the new Crowne Plaza?
I'm sure, before a multi-million dollar conversion like this is begun, IHG would have considered every angle long and hard. Still, I'll just whisper quietly...*caveat emptor*...
Victoria Square: Copthorne Hotel (now gone) and Forsyth Barr Tower