I have just started a documentation project covering the relocation of Residential Red Zone (RRZ) houses to Rolleston Prison for refurbishment. It has been a fascinating time, both looking into the state the RRZ, as well as working at the Prison.
The prison training scheme is actually very innovative, with prisoners obtaining trade skills and unit standards. Good houses on poor land get recycled, therefore saving landfill. Housing NZ tenants effectively get a new house, complete with modern insulation and ammenties. It is a very positive outcome for CHCH after horrendous events of 2010 & 2011.
Though working in the RRZ, I don’t think there is a house left that has a hot water cylinder. I think most houses have been ransacked by thieves for copper. Often leaving the insulation and outer cylinder wrap scattered throughout the house, with little care taken ripping the cylinder from the cavity space.
Though the irony is not lost – that many houses may in fact be destined for the Prison, where many offenders could potentially have been be involved in their vandalism. Yet they contribute to their repair, and subsequently the houses may potentially also be destined for their families long term.