Cordon northwest of Christchurch centre to be lifted
Last updated 05:00 11/04/2011
Business owners and residents in the northwestern corner of the central city were allowed back into their buildings yesterday, but few took up the chance.
The cordon around Zone 4, bordered by Montreal St, Bealey Ave, Park Tce and Peterborough St, is the latest to be lifted.
The area will be reopened to the public from today, freeing up much of Montreal St and providing the first direct link between Moorhouse Ave and Bealey Ave.
Christchurch City Council project manager Mike Sheffield said only about 30 residents used the opportunity to access their homes.
"There were probably a dozen or so business owners as well," he said. "I thought there would've been more."
Ben and Bridget Moir, of James Dunlop Textiles on Peterborough St, were inside the cordon yesterday taking away files and samples.
Ben Moir said the company would move back to the Peterborough St site as soon as possible.
"This is the head office. It's crucial that we get back into this building.
"That'll be the game maker for us.
"We'll have access to our full files. We're in the business of full colour design and we need to be able to touch designs and have colour to allow people to make decisions."
There were 16,000 stock samples in the office.
"You just can't have those in a domestic home," he said.
The couple have had 12 staff working in their Merivale home since the quake.
"It's been fairly close. Very cramped conditions.
"[The staff] have coped very well. Four of them have lost their homes."
The business had suffered since the quake, however, with Moir predicting some "financial fatalities" among the company's international client base.
"Everything pretty much came to a halt for two weeks. But it is coming back.
"Our clients have certainly had a serious bit of interruption."
More central-city cordons will be lifted this week, starting with Zone 7 on Barbadoes St.
The two blocks south from the Salisbury St corner will be reopened from 8am today.