23 March 2011

When is it fear mongering? Christchurch Earthquake Potential in 1996 Doco

I love old buildings. I love to go to places that reek with history and stories and a sense of how things were before iPhones and cruise control.

Some want to now demolish the old dodgy buildings and move on, rebuild in a new style. Others want to retain what they can, to restore.

So many questions arise.
Who pays for strengthening of buildings, or for the mess afterwards? How do city councils weigh the costs and risks, and decide with prudence? There are many risks all around us. Can we protect everyone from all of them?

Who's responsible? The building owners, or those who built them? Some in Christchurch are nearly 100 years old, heritage sites with the plaques out front to prove it. Well, the plaques were there. Now they are mostly under rubble.

Who approved construction on soil that might be unstable? Who decided the Canterbury Plains would be a good place for a city? Asking questions of generations long gone, of men who only knew what could be known at the time, is not possible, as is laying blame nearly useless.

Early settlers build near water where there are enough natural resources to sustain life. They build where there is access to hunting grounds, building materials, commodities that can be traded. They build with what's available and things improve over time. Or do they?

Later generations make the most of what they're given, and try to build upon the bones and pot shards they find. But then, when new discoveries are made, new dilemmas arise.

Notice the date of this documentary; 1996.
Aired by TV3 in July 1996, an Inside New Zealand documentary called Earthquakes.
How many other doom docos have been made and are still lying dusty in the archives?

"... to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need." 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, The Bible, New Testament

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