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2010 has been a funny old year.  We started the year not too sure about where the financial world was going.  As I recall our markets were getting jittery about the EU bailing out Greece.  During the year we’ve seen more finance companies hit the wall (including Nationwide Finance who leased an office from us – sorry that you’ve gone Michael). We finish the year with alternating signs of hope and gloom (and the EU is bailing out Ireland now).

Incidentally, while we’ve all heard of the effect of finance companies collapsing on large visible developments, I think one of the less visible effects of the death of second tier lending via finance companies is that the smaller commercial developments (the kind where a handful of shops goes up) are not even starting any more.

Politically John Keys’ star has continued to shine bright despite a difficult year.  Even my 12 year old daughter is keen on him following his humorous, if somewhat off-key (no pun intended) appearance on The Edge radio station.

We saw Ecan’s elected officials booted out and replaced with Commissioners.  Not a stunning moment for democracy, but time will be the best test to see if the Commissioners can make a positive change.

At the Christchurch City Council the elections bought some new blood onto the Council and returned Bob Parker as mayor.  Quite possibly his re-election was largely due to his response and leadership following the earthquake.

Yep, the earthquake shifted more than just dirt.  A profound event for Canterbury, it will be some time before the scars have been repaired. It’s amazing that there were no fatalities, but some people have had their lives turned upside down, losing homes and businesses to the shaking earth.

And Pike River shook us all too.  Amazing that we can land a man on the moon but we can’t get 2 kilometres up a mine shaft.  Our thoughts are with those on the Coast who are living on without their loved ones.

Now, being a “nerd-burger”, I need to mention some techy stuff that looks interesting – a kind of “watch this space”.

You have to be deaf not to have head of the iPad.  Once again Apple created a device which no-one knew they needed and they’ve been selling like hot cakes.  How useful for a survey firm though?  Well, we need pretty grunty hardware and software to do our design work so the iPad won’t quite cut it.

However, AutoCad have bought out a browser based Cad package this year and you can run it as an app on an iPad.

And finally, a bit of high tech that offers hope. Basically – pass sea water across waste from a thermal power station and you get cement! You’re using up waste products and locking up carbon as you do it – Fantastic! (find out more here)

Whatever your year has been like we wish you well.  From all the team at Fox & Associates:  have a great Christmas break and a very happy New Year.

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