Press newspaper’s expose of CTV builder’s fraudulent qualifications

For those of you living outside of Christchurch you may have missed the Press newspaper’s lead story this morning. Headed A life of lies it documents how William Anthony Fisher, construction manager for the company that built the CTV building, was a fraud. He was actually Gerald Shirtcliff, who had stolen the identity of another man and his engineering qualifications. The online version is here. .

We are not looking after each other

There have been many fine words about the need to look after each other, however it is clearly not happening.  Those best placed to help aren’t, and many of those who would like to no longer can. There are problems with EQC and insurance companies causing great distress, however no one who can help is willing to do anything useful. Maybe a working party, review committee, or conference will be offered up, if there is enough noise, but nothing that can make changes. Why? Intervention is inappropriate as it disturbs the theories that govern these things. Why upset organised money if it is only the general public in distress? The need for affordable housing and accommodation attracts pious sentiments, best wishes, and bogus interpretations of market theory. What is being done, is happening in the splendid isolation of remoteness from the problem and unencumbered with a sense of urgency or sympathy for the needs of now and the short term future.  Theory, slogans, and success-statistics are a good way for politicians, businesses, and bureaucrats to avoid the messy details of personal hardship. Many of us have, to some extent or other, become hardened to the callousness of the big players in earthquake recovery. Hardened also to the fact that earthquake victims are not just those killed or injured on the 22nd, or suffered property damage. Occasionally the starkness of how one person has suffered becomes a reminder that not only isn’t it business as usual, it is nowhere near an acceptable new reality either, and those making decisions and issuing directions still don’t value individuals. UK based website Demolition News has picked up on a Northern Outlook article on the distress of a demolition man who helped locate bodies at the CTV building. You can read it here. How many more people like him are around us, suffering their own private isolated hell? Who is looking for them? What corrective market forces does Minister Brownlee or his general manager Roger Sutton anticipate will kick into action? Maybe it is time for those starting to feel strongly about these things to make an impression on those who could make a difference, but choose not to do so. Not only do they not choose to do so, there is no evidence they put great value on the the problems they are not fixing. Harsh? When was the last time a politician, public servant, or business manager resigned on a matter of conscience? Check out the WeCan website (here) for some people who are working on making these sorts of points.

Earthquake Royal Commission – 9th July transcript of the CTV Building hearing

 The Royal Commission has published the transcript of the CTV Building hearing for the 9th of July 2012 (here).  The speakers were:

  • Dr Clark Hyland, director of Hyland Fatigue and Earthquake Engineering
  • Ashley Smith, director of Structure Smith Limited
  • CTV transcripts published to date

    The CTV transcripts published so far are listed below, along with the speakers on the day. Click on the date to go to the transcript.

    25 June

  • Stephen Mills QC, Counsel Assisting the Commission
  • Nilgun Kulpe, Building Occupant
  • Elizabeth Cammock, Building Occupant
  • Kendyll Mitchell, Building Occupant
  • Phillippa Lee, Building Occupant
  • Ronald Godkin, Building Occupant
  • (click on the link to continue)


    26 June

  • Stephen Mills, QC, Counsel Assisting the Commission
  • Marcus Elliott, Counsel Assisting the Commission
  • Mark Zarifeh, Counsel Assisting the Commission
  • Margaret Jane Aydon, Building Occupant (Level 4)
  • Maryanne Jackson (read only statement), Building Occupant (Levels 1-2)
  • Tom Hawker, Collapse Eyewitness (Levels 1-2)
  • Penelope Spencer, Collapse Eyewitness (Levels 1-2, south)
  • Michael Williams, Collapse Eyewitness (south)
  • Stephen Grenfell, Collapse Eyewitness (south)
  • Euan Gutteridge, Collapse Eyewitness (south-east)
  • Steve Gill, Collapse Eyewitness (west)
  • Leonard Fortune, Collapse Eyewitness (west and western wall)
  • Bruce Campbell, Collapse Eyewitness (western wall)
  • Arthur Tyndall, Collapse Eyewitness (western wall)
  • Alan Edge, Collapse Eyewitness
  • David Bainbridge (read only statement), Damage Post-September Eyewitness (level 4)
  • Peter Brown, Damage Post-September Eyewitness (levels 1-2)
  • 27 June

  • Stephen Mills QC, Counsel Assisting the Commission
  • Marcus Elliot, Counsel Assisting the Commission
  • Matthew Ross, Collapse Eyewitness (south-east)
  • Rob Heywood, USAR (Post-Collapse Witness)
  • John Trowsdale, USAR (Post-Collapse Witness) Pages 46 – 47 referred to on hearing dates: 5, 9, 10 July 2012 (Clark Hyland and Ashley Smith)
  • 28 June

  • Stephen Mills QC, Counsel Assisting the Commission
  • Richard Sullivan (read by consent), Post-Earthquake Assessments
  • Peter Van der Zee, Post-September Earthquake Assessments
  • Graeme Calvert, Post-September Earthquake Assessments
  • Dave Flewellen, Post-September Earthquake Assessments
  • Russell Simson, Post-September Earthquake Assessments
  • 2 July

  • Stephen Mills, QC, Counsel Assisting the Commission
  • Marcus Elliott, Counsel Assisting the Commission
  • John Drew, CTV Building property manager, Post-Earthquake Assessments
  • Marie Holland, Post-Boxing Day Earthquake Assessments
  • Andy Ayers (read only statement), NZ Fire Service, Post-Boxing Day earthquake Assessments
  • Jo-Ann Vivian, Relationship Services, Post-Boxing Day Earthquake Assessments
  • Graeme Smith, Concrete Protection and Repair Ltd, Post-Earthquake Assessments
  • PeterHiggins, Concrete Techniques Ltd, Post-Earthquake Assessments
  • Stephen Kissell, Otis, Post-Earthquake Assessments
  • Phillip Reynish, Reynish Decorators Ltd, Post-Earthquake Assessments
  • Pieter Van den Berg, Standstill & Seymour Builders Ltd, Post-Earthquake Assessments
  • 3 July

  • Stephen Mills, QC, Counsel Assisting the Commission
  • Marcus Elliott, Counsel Assisting the Commission
  • Mark Zarifeh, Counsel Assisting the Commission
  • Leonard Pagan, Rawlinsons Ltd, Post-Earthquake Assessments
  • Steve McCarthy, Christchurch City Council, Post-4 September Earthquake Assessments
  • 4 July

  • Marcus Elliott, Counsel Assisting the Commission
  • Mark Zarifeh, Counsel Assisting the Commission
  • David Coatsworth, Structural Engineer, CPG New Zealand Limited
  • Brian Kehoe, Structural Engineer, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc.
  • 5 July

  • Brian Kehoe, Structural Engineer, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc, USA
  • Daniel Morris, formerly of Knock Out Concrete Cutters
  • Dr Clark Hyland, director of Hyland Fatigue and Earthquake Engineering
  • Ashley Smith, director of Structure Smith Limited
  • 9 July

  • Dr Clark Hyland, director of Hyland Fatigue and Earthquake Engineering
  • Ashley Smith, director of Structure Smith Limited