The Probability of Celebrities Gardening in the Red Zone

Red zone Christ Church CathedralProbability

Sue Wells “released” figures on her blog regarding the likelihood of another earthquake in the near future (23% chance in Canterbury within the next year, between 6 and 7 on the Richter scale).

Some people said that it’s horrible to release statistics because they thought the earthquakes were over. February’s quake taught us the importance of not being complacent. It also taught us that the Richter scale does not accurately measure disaster or loss of life, that it could be a 4 or a 5 earthquake that we should be concerned about.

Context should be given with statistics so people reasonably prepare, rather than worry. Sue Wells provided appropriate context for the statistics saying that she had no information on “Mercalli scale or g-force or depth”. The information was appropriately attributed to a CERA meeting at the top of the post and more specifically to Roger Sutton in the comments.

“Those figures might not have seen the light of day for at least another couple of weeks if Cr Sue Wells had not included them in her blog at the weekend.” Information is empowering and should not be held back behind closed doors.


Rachel Hunter, Russell Crowe, Kevin Rudd, Prince William and Julia Gillard have been allowed inside the Christchurch red zone.

Some people are unhappy and are calling it celebrity tourism. They’re angry that they aren’t able to see their city but “important people” are.

However all of these people had a reason for being in the red zone. Prince William spoke at the earthquake memorial. Rachel Hunter and Russell Crowe were both fundraising for the earthquake appeal. Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard came to experience what their Australian personnel were dealing with over here.

It’s unfair to say they were just there to push past residents to have their little look.


There is currently a debate going on regarding whether people who are paid to care for plants should be caring for them in the red zone… A business owner, who I’m assuming was actually in the cordon accessing his business for a similar time that the gardeners were there, took a photo of City Care workers… working. Business owners are confused as to why City Care workers are allowed in an outside area that would’ve been approved as safe when they’re not allowed in their buildings that have either been deemed unsafe or that they aren’t able to access because of surrounding buildings.

The different parts of Christchurch’s recovery aren’t going to line up in a nice timeline and tidying up of gardens would have to happen eventually. The glass, food… still lying around the city and in businesses is likely to be around or inside buildings that aren’t accessible or otherwise would’ve already been cleaned up. “David Lynch, who gave The Press the photos, said the businessman wanted no unnecessary work in the red zone.” This seems like a selfish mentality of ‘if I can’t get into the red zone NO ONE SHOULDDDDDDD!!!@44$%@11@’. The recovery is in progress. What’s able to be done is being done.

A safe and carefully planned public tour of the city should happen and the media tours have shown that is possible, however that doesn’t mean that other recovery work should be hijacked until then. Issues around the earthquake are always going to have opposing views. I’m sure if a public tour goes ahead there will be business owners talking to the media about the security of their buildings.

“The Press could not contact Deputy Mayor Ngaire Button yesterday.” As a Stuff commenter put it, maybe she was tending to some plants. But it seems like some of the complainers should take up a hobby too.

Image by me

5 thoughts on “The Probability of Celebrities Gardening in the Red Zone

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  2. I noticed 6 folks planting new plants on Cashmere hill this week and also the strip down Moorhouse ave have also been freshly planted. I personally feel that planting new plants is not the ideal use for resources while so many have issues that mean they cannot flush, shower or wash in their own homes, or drive the streets without damaging cars.
    I think he City Care workers gardening in the red zone was inappropriate given the nature of what we are facing here in Christchurch. The council seem to be working on pre quake maintainance schedules, which is insane
    I feel the Council and City Care also seem to have forgotten that there is more to rebuilding Christchurch than just the CBD. If these areas are not going to be used for up to 12 months planting is a waste of time. I am sure the “jungle” the council fear will grow in the CBD really would not take too long for teams of gardeners to work on if and when the areas are about to be reopened. Seriously I would also be happy for the garden beds on Cashmere and moorhouse ave to remain bare while the resources are used for recovery work.
    I am not an inner city resident or inner city business owner.

    1. Thanks for your comment Wendy. I asked the City Care’s media person whether the people working on the gardens could be set other tasks that might be seen as more important, but I haven’t received a response. If I do I’ll update here.

  3. Nice to see a sensible post on this! I bet the business owner wouldn’t have complained if the workers had been clearing rubble or doing something useful-looking with a scaffold.

    1. Exactly. In reality, someone would’ve complained about the unsightly overgrown gardens if they were left until after the cordon was removed.

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