The Canterbury Spirit - the 2nd event

The Arts Center Clock. Ergo tua rura manebunt.
When the earth moves the clocks stop...
we knew we were working against the clock.

Tuesday 22 -2 - 2011, 12:51 p.m., the day the second big earthquake called into town, an earthquake for the yellow pages.

Focal Depth 5 km, Richter magnitude 6.3,  Latitude, Longitude 43.60°S, 172.71°E.
Location: within 5 km of Lyttelton, within 5 km of Diamond Harbour, 10 km south-east of Christchurch
The clock on the old Post Office opposite the cathedral in The Square stopped at 12.41 – it must have been slow, because the earthquake, as everyone knows, struck 10 minutes later.

"This earthquake has also been particularly shallow, so despite measuring slightly less than the previous major earthquake in Christchurch ... more of the earthquake's energy makes it to the surface causing far greater destruction, than if the quake was deeper underground." "We learn this morning that this 'quake was the largest ground shaking ever recorded in New Zealand. 2.2 G force was recorded at the Heathcote Valley School, i.e., 2.2 times the force of gravity. Another part of the city was lower at 1.88 G force. Somehow most have survived this. There is nowhere that builds for this force." Before & After Port Hills Fault.

Source: Stuff newspapers, family & friends.

Feb. 22. Riccarton Road
What struck us the most was the sheer number of people walking down the road and footpath away from the city, many with backpacks and possessions, many covered in plaster dust and quite a number bloodied to some degree from injuries from the quake. Traffic gave way to the people for once, offering them rides and courtesy, something rarely seen on the roads. The walkers and drivers co-existed side by side, everyone wanting to get away from the city.

Running a free cellphone charging service at their South New Brighton home, a pair were overwhelmed by the response to their service, with people offering money, fruit, vegetables and other goods in exchange for having their cellphone link restored. "It's been real fun, and I'm going to be gutted when the power comes on and people go back and hide in their houses" 

In Christchurch everyone has a story

It was gut wrenching when I first read the news. Feb. 22 "We have relocated to Akaroa as our house is a mess/ more damage than the Sept. quake (not sure if it can be saved!!!). Not expecting power and water to be back on for some time. Back to town to pick up my cousin in Lyttelton as she has major damage and lives on her own. We walked out of the house and just left everything"  

"Yes, it was worse than the Sept. one - of a smaller magnitude, but the shaking was stronger. Our house has a cracked foundation slab and a cracked structural wall. We also have a small amount of liquefaction. Nothing too bad though, and we're feeling fortunate. Just got water back, and power returned last night. Not much sleep last night, with the continuing aftershocks. Waiting for news of friends."

"Mar 5. I only got the power back yesterday so was able to check my emails then. At least my computer was working as it had a tumble in the earthquake. Much worse than the 7.1. Sharp, close, shallow but short. It didn't seem short at the time. 27 seconds and then so much devastation. The water had come back on very slow though, yesterday. No sewerage yet. The army has been delivering chemical toilets to households. Sewerage pipes have either been damaged or filled with sand. A lot to fix. My friends' house has been condemned. They live about a km from me. They stayed with me for 4 nights then we decided to leave. Back to the quake. When it stopped I immediately thought of the children. One door was jammed so we went out the main door. Another strong aftershock hit as we reached the playground. Many kids were distressed and of course wanted their parents. We checked all were present then took them inside. Parents collected them from class rooms. The grounds were affected with flooding and liquefaction. My classroom was the highest so all junior classes we put in there. With our ESOL teacher I kept the children amused with Green Eggs and Ham. A relieving teacher helped too. The other teachers were busy texting their families. Once a degree of calm had been restored the kids were ready to play and I rang Mum and Dad. My last pupil left school about 5.00 pm. I was so pleased to see his mum. She had walked at least 12 km to school. She told me she saw a building collapse. Other parents had walked from the city centre so we knew it was bad. Friends took me home in their 4 wheel drive. They knew I lived alone and I was so relieved to have their support. My house still stands with only a few more hair line cracks around windows and in the driveway. My problem is of course the infrastructure, lack of. We can be thankful that we are alive to tell this story and that not all CHCH is damaged so and can still get supplies. We are in for the long haul though."

Family is so vital. Feb. In the days following the quake, a family pitched a tent in their backyard, too afraid to sleep in their home. But material things no longer mattered. "I have everything I need here," she said, gesturing at her family.

We got off lightly, no structural damage, just without water power and sewer for around four days.

You really have to be here to experience what occurred and see the awful devastation. 180,000 tonnes of silt from liquefaction in the city. It's everywhere, through folks homes in some areas. These people have no water, power or sewerage or in some instances no communications. The power authority have resorted to putting up the old power poles to get electricity to eastern suburbs, as everything is so damaged underground. Liquefaction has created huge potholes, into which some people drove. There have been 800 farmers helping clean the silt up over the w/end and one was telling the listeners that in some cul de sacs the silt was up to half metre deep, all over the sections too and under the houses as well. They have removed up to 20 tonnes from sections...20t!!! One bobcat can do the work of ten men with a wheelbarrow, and they had a good number of them with more coming.

The Canterbury University was closed so the students through Facebook got together -18,000 students and worked.
"U Can . . . shovel silt".

Aren't these students fantastic? It sort of restores your faith in humanity," says Rakaia farmer as he is cleaning up. Aranui Primary School in Breezes Rd is like a small village. Locals have rigged up an ingenious water supply fed by the school's own well, and a bank of eight washing machines, donated by Fisher & Paykel, is churning through the neighbourhood's washing. A van from Canterbury Leisure Tours is running shower shuttles. "Ordinary people are coming around with baking and food. It's bringing people together." Yeats knows the power of hope and urges Cantabrians to keep theirs. He sang the praises of New Zealand's building codes following the earthquake in September. He compared the massive loss of life from Haiti's similar magnitude quake to the "success" of Christchurch's 7.1 experience. "You have to realise that New Zealand has some of the strongest building codes in the world, and those building codes are respected. "That means you have loss of life, but it's in the dozens or maybe 100 or 200. "...the magnitude of the whole thing, just walking into (the city), not a sense of panic but still disbelief."

April 2012: The RSA said the Anzac of the Year Award would be given to the Student Volunteer Army for its contribution to the Christchurch community after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. This will become the first "group" to receive this award which recognises the efforts of New Zealanders who exemplify the qualities of comradeship, compassion, courage and commitment, has been given to non-military personnel or to more than one person. Pitching in where its needed. They were fit and able with shovels and wheelbarrows and smiling and so willing to give.

Mother Nature has taken a devastating toll on Christchurch and Lyttelton redesigning the roads, gardens and lives. The response from people has been incredible. There is amazing community spirit in Chch. Roads are bent and humped, providing a slow and bumpy ride. It's not just a street. It's suburb after suburb. The sight of the city carrying on, enduring, provides strength and inspiration. People are cleaning up, rebuilding, rescheduling, and adapting to the new normal.  "The response has been outstanding. Everyone's efforts, from the volunteers to the professionals, it has been absolutely outstanding. They have a long long way to go, but they will get there." It's all hands to the pump. And it will take a long time to affect full recovery. Christchurch is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. The response has been absolutely phenomenal, it's just so overwhelming, so humbling. It's been both urban and rural all working together. They just get out there and shovel silt, shift furniture, lift cars. The massive "Farmy Army" effort at the Canterbury A&P Showgrounds, and the Uni Student Army sending out hundreds of willing volunteers to clear the thousands of tonnes of silt and liquefaction piling up on the city streets. Cafe owner whose business is destroyed has been cooking up a storm to feed the "army".  People wanting to help are self-sufficient as not to place any more stress on the city's already struggling infrastructure.  It is never one, it takes an army to tackle a problem like this. There is never enough resources but when a seed is planted the idea grows, it is a ripple effect.

 Herbert Hampton (1862-1929) English sculptor. Unveiling date: 26 May, 1906 - Wm Rolleston statue outside the Canterbury Museum.  Photo taken by Dave Wilson, a visitor from the UK, who was in the Museum, on the 3rd floor, at the time of the quake,  within 15 minutes of the 6.3 aftershock.

The photo of the Wm. Rolleston statue down in front of the Canterbury Museum seemed to say it all. "Pick me up." This photo and the photo of the soil parted were taken by Dave, a visitor from England, within fifteen minutes of quake on 22 Feb. 2011. He witnessed the Canterbury Spirit and he wrote "I have every admiration for the people there and how they coped with the disaster and pulled together. It was my first visit to NZ and I'm looking forward to a return trip within the next year or so."  This marble sculpture carved by Herbert Hampton, was unveiled on 26 May, 1906 stood fast until 22nd Feb.2011. William Rolleston was responsible for the quotation engraved above the entrance to the Canterbury Museum at Christchurch: “Lo, these are parts of His ways: but how little a portion is heard of Him” (Job 26:14 KJV). This is the conclusion of the discourse concerning the wonderful works of God. But the thunder of his power who can understand? see Job 40:9.  "My head is at Christ College." 21 Dec. 2016, nearly six years later, he was restored and returned.

 I reckon we'll be the safest town in any earthquake zone once the rubble of the buildings is cleared.
 Things are not even day by day here at the moment. But we'll get back to a new normal soon enough.

Dean Beck

"This is not an act of God; this is the Earth, doing what it does. The Act of God is how we love each other, how we reach out to one another"
- Dean Peter Beck, Dean of the Christchurch Cathedral.

22 Feb. 2011 Rev. Beck. It is just huge. Everything is clicking into action in an immensely efficient way as fast they can as you would expect here in Christchurch. Citizens are reaching out to one another. We have to reach out to one another. The buildings have gone. The buildings have gone. Roads are pretty grim. The most important thing here is caring for the people.

25 Feb. 2011 Dean Beck
Advice from the Dean Beck and Bishop to Our clergy "You guys, make sure you have your dog collars" Talk to one another. Grass roots community groups we have are linked in a collective called CanCern, formed after the September 2010 quake. There are grass root community folks, they have street coordinators, can knock on doors. The coordinators look after about ten homes, they are doing it well. They make the real links and say to Civil Links to say it is better to put port-a loos here and not there. We are seeing lots of initiatives. There were briefings with the Grass roots and the Civil Defence. Life and death gives meaning, value and purpose in life. The act of God is in the love and compassionate people are sharing amongst one another. We call it The Canterbury Spirit - it is there. We will get through this. It is the human spirit at its the very best and you often see it at the worst of times you see the human beings being at their very best, you see the love and compassion of God who is in us, and working in us, and embracing us, and helping us to get on. Well God, we are right back in it, more and more than ever. Huge trauma. You can completely understand why people feel they need to go, or take off or move away. The important thing is to seek someone they could talk to, don't bottle it up. It is not a wise thing to make big decisions at a time like this. God Bless you.

26 Feb 2011 Mayor Bob Parker "Spirits are remarkably good"

Anglican clergy throughout the country read out a statement from Christchurch Bishop Victoria Matthews, Bishop John Gray, head of the Maori Anglican Church, and Archbishop David Moxon: "The people of God are responding with courage and resolve to the present state of emergency caused by the recent earthquake and aftershocks. Although debris and wreckage are in evidence on every street and both the army and emergency services are a constant presence, courtesy and consideration prevail. A very significant number of people have lost their home, business and/or church building, yet there is a sense of aroha (love), community care and outreach."

10 March 2011 on the lawn of Christchurch South Library, hundreds arrived on bicycles and on foot to reflect on the tragic event. Parishioners set up rows of chairs in the sunlight and under the trees on the lawn of St. Barnabas, an 86-year-old Anglican church where the quake cracked stone walls, shattered some stained glass windows and left the tower sinking. Wails of passing police cars and the roar of a military helicopter overhead occasionally interrupted the sermon, the Herald reported.

10 March 2011 you are alive. You are alive. The image of Sue Spigal trapped in the Cathedral has been broadcast around the world. She's a resident artist at the Cathedral, a quilt-maker and textile artist, and she was working in an isolated room making a cope for the Dean of Auckland when the quake hit. Nightline tracked her down, and while she's battered and bruised, she's very much alive.

09/08/2011 The Press survivor Sue Spigel is using her art and skills to make quilts for children who lost parents on February 22. Sue, who narrowly cheated death when her Christ Church Cathedral workshop crumbled around her, said the quake had made her reconsider her art. "I was doing very grand sorts of things that were in the public eye and I had a high profile," she said. "Since this has happened, I know of five children, through people I know, who have lost parents. I want to make a quilt for specific kids. It's almost like returning to the roots of quiltmaking where you make a quilt to comfort and warm people. So I want to work locally and ease people's pain doing what I do best, which is probably to make quilts." The renowned quiltmaker, who has had several Christchurch exhibitions, expects to finish her first quilt this week. It will go to a two-year-old boy who lost his father in City Mall in the earthquake. She has not met the family yet. She had aimed to make a traditional quilt that the boy could "take through life", but if the family put it on the wall, that was fine too. Spigel broke her arm in the earthquake, but said it was almost back to normal. Last week she met police officer Paul Martin who, on February 22, found an extension ladder and climbed into the workshop to help her get out. "We talked and talked for hours. I was a bit worried because I thought it might bring it all back, but it didn't. I felt much better. It helped resolve a lot of things." Eventually, she hopes to make a quilt incorporating an image of the cathedral window from which she was rescued. The Canterbury Patchwork Society had also commissioned her to make an earthquake-themed quilt.
"I've got a lot of quilts to be getting on with." 
    Comments: It's something the kids can just have, quilts are a good place to hide when things get rough and to snuggle with someone when things are ok, and it will be something that is just theirs no one else's. What a beautiful "gift" in the truest sense of the word. When you lose a parent so tragically it's got to be hard to know what you want!!!! Mostly you want people to care and taking time to make a gift is exactly that showing you care. Lets embrace those that do. Fantastic, these kids have been through so much and for someone to put their time and love in to something that they will have for a very long time is extra special. Great to see. When we retrieved our children's duvet covers from our uninhabitable house my son burst into tears: HIS bed, his safe place. In times of hardship and heartache, beautiful art (of all sorts) can bring joy - so very important to us all.

March 10 "Some of our churches were run in the open air outside the damaged buildings," said the Rev. Dugald Wilson of St. Mark's Presbyterian. His church at Avonhead, on the outskirts of the city, suffered minor damage, and had people visiting from other churches during the weekend. "We played Bruce Springsteen's song Rise Up, and one of my colleagues got a PowerPoint together. It was a very powerful moment. We also got our choir to sing a beautiful blessing at the end, to remind us of God's presence," Wilson said. The congregation sang Psalm 46, God Is Our Refuge.

The NZ Herald Mar. 1 2011
The Wizard's take on the Christchurch quake. "Don't worry, really because we can't do anything else right now, We can't think about the thing. No one can think clearly at the moment. A few people from outside Canterbury like the Government and the earthquake people are going to have to think for us for us a bit and find out whether the soil is okay or not. Unless you have a really important job get on with it, but the rest of us just hold on, see your friends, keep on the phone, watch TV, play games, go for walks, and talk, talk, talk, talk, talk it out. We have been pretty hard as rocks in the past. We have to stay stiff upper lip, English types, basically which means you don't panic and you help people out and don't expect to hug people. For an Englishman too hug someone is going to far. Just being there for your neighbours. She will be right, she will be right. Typical of the Kiwi attitude, anyway to be brave in a time of great crisis, not too fall apart and not get to excited. Wait for the future. We don't know the future."  His trademark ladder lost in Christ Church Cathedral. Someone asked him he'd predicted the earthquakes; his response? 'I observe people, not nature.'

It is the Kiwi spirit isn't it. We all live in a small community here and communities are made up of people and we are just trying to help everybody anyway we can. We have got the skills, why wouldn't we offer some of our skills to these people. Anyway we can to help then out when they may not be able to help themselves and a lot of old people here don't know what to do and don't know where to go.

No stranger to quakes

One of the Catherdal bells. "We sing the Lord's song in a strange land" 
Climbing the tower  The bells - Glory to God  Bell Ringing and more bell ringers 

The bells in Anglican Christ Church Cathedral are known as change ringing bells. For the uninitiated, that means big bells are swung full circle by people pulling on ropes, rather than chimed by something hitting against them. There are only seven churches in the country with bells capable of change ringing. The first set of bells at the cathedral was rung for the first time at the cathedral's consecration on November 1, 1881. In 1978, a full peal of 12 new bells was installed and rung for the first time on Christmas Day that year. They have rung every Sunday since then and for special occasions such as weddings and funerals. "People come from all over the world to hear these bells." The 12 bells, made in Loughborough, England, were installed in 1978, replacing the original 10-bell set dedicated in 1881. "Some people used to be annoyed by the bells, I'm sure, but they will be the same ones who miss them now they are not there."

The silence between the chimes spoke volumes, deafening in its weight of grief. From inside The Press on Tuesday nights the cathedral bellringers could be heard practising for hours. The sound drove me to distraction. "Give it a rest, how hard is it to ring a bell?" I'd joke with colleagues. What I wouldn't give to hear that sound again. As we face the direction of the cathedral, the silence from our city's heart will be deafening but in my heart I will hear the bells ring out hundreds of times.

Cathedral bells go to meet their maker. The Press 4/11/2012
As if giving voice to the miracle of survival, a beam of silver light passes through a high window and lands like a spotlight on the tenor bell, illuminating the inscription that recognises early Canterbury settler Robert Heaton Rhodes as the donor of the original bells in 1881:

"Through all the ROADS of life, the best
We'll strive to be your guide;
And let our notes do your behest
By tolling far and wide.
We've crossed the seas to this fair land
To do GOD all the honour,
From clime to clime we'll ring our chime,
And tell of RHODES the donor."

Inscribed on the other bells are the names of prominent people in the cathedral's history, including Archbishop Julius, Dean Michael Underhill, James Collins - instrumental in raising the $500,000 for the Cathedral Restoration Appeal in the late 1970s - and donors of the 1978 bells. Christchurch Cathedral's bell ringers have established a fund. Ringing master Peter Whitehead led the charge for restoration, opposing melting them down and recasting. "The miracle of survival was so great I'd love to see them back in the tower." About $20,000 in donations have have come from Britain, where the bell-ringing community is 40,000 strong. The first Sunday after the bells arrived, Taylors held an open day and raised nearly $1000 in three hours - the upturned fifth bell serving as a collection plate.

The 13 bells were transported back to the John Taylor & Co The Bell Foundry in the English Midlands town of Loughborough in October 2012 in a shipping container. 12 of the 13 bells were in better condition than feared and only required new fittings. The bells ranged in weight from 250kg to one tonne - would be ready to be shipped back to Christchurch by March 2014. The head stocks, wheels, clappers - basically anything that goes with the ringing bell was replaced. One, No. 5, had to be recast, due to the damage, the original bell metal was melted down, and used to create a new one. A Maori inscription was added, commemorating the earthquake. The cost of repair is about $120,000 and the bells themselves are valued at about $600,000. New ringing fittings were provided for all the bells. Bell ringers from Lancashire raised £200 to help towards the recasting of the bell. These fine musical instruments have been subjected to such trauma, will be triumphant in continuing to ring over Christchurch in the near future. Leicester Mercury The diameter of the bells ranges from 540 millimetres to 2.78 metres. Further to the original order, an extra treble bell, with the inscription, The Joyce Newton Bell, in memory of those who died in the earthquake of 22nd February 2011, was cast, giving a front six or light ten using the flat 6th bell, and the 5th or the 9th as tenor of this light ring. The fifth bell now has inscribed on it:
Recast in 2013 after falling with the tower with the earthquake of February 22nd 2011.
Standing tall and staying strong
Kia Kaha

(Kia Kaha is Maori for Stay Strong and was a phrase much used in support of the people of Christchurch and Canterbury after the quake and is used here to recognise that the bells survived despite such a destructive fall.)

The Catholic Cathedral in Christchurch was also badly damaged. All the archive material stored in the bell towers at the Cathedral had been removed after the Sept '10 earthquake as workers had begun strengthening them to prevent just what happened in Feb. 2011. It was still a 'work in progress' unfortunately when the Feb earthquake struck, but thankfully all the workers got away from the falling rocks safely and no one was hurt. Progress on dismantling the Cathedral is continuing and we are all hopeful that it will be rebuilt but until it is safe enough for engineers to do a full report we continue to pray with confidence. Now that Barbadoes St is open again it is heartbreaking to drive past there every morning especially as the aftershocks continue to cause havoc, but we soldier on and trust in God. For safety, Cathedral House has now relocated to the next block away from the Cathedral itself although we can still see the dome which is at present having all the copper in the dome removed. Quite a sight! 26 June 2011

A 5.3 aftershock hit Christchurch on 16 April 2011. The jolt was centred 10km north-east of Diamond Harbour at a depth of 11km. It cut power to about 20,000 Canterbury homes and weakened at least one building in the city centre. The eastern suburbs again suffered from liquefaction and flooding. It was strong enough to knock items from shelves. Earthquake Commission has it classed as a "separate" event for claims purposes. In the past month four buildings in South Canterbury that had been in use – a hairdressing salon in King St, Timaru, the former bus deport in High St, Timaru, the former caretaker's house in the Temuka Domain, and a building housing several shops in King St, Temuka – have all been declared unsafe by engineers. The old brick Timaru bus depot in High St was demolished on 26 April 2011 after sustaining major damage after the most recent aftershocks. The facade had shifted and there was a slight bow to the front of the building. The building is more than a century old. A house in Victoria St was demolished. The Temuka "Domain house" was originally built as the domain curator's home about 1918-1920 by the Temuka Borough Council has cracks in the exterior wall were caused by long term settlement of the building foundations in addition to the earthquake. Before February 22, the town's Edwardian streetscape was a source of pride. Now, for some, the two-storey, 100-year-old, unreinforced masonry buildings are a source of fear.

28/04/2011 Timaru Herald - Chalmers Church Friendship Centre in Elizabeth St is off limits because of earthquake damage, it is the back wall causing concern. There was cracking to both structural and non-structural walls. Chalmers Church developed superficial cracks after the September 2010 quake.

10 May 2011 A large number of homes will have unstable chimneys as a result of the September and February earthquakes. Since the February 22 quake, there have been more than 136,000 claims lodged with EQC. 1221 claims for earthquake-related damage lodged in South Canterbury since the February 22 earthquake. About 30,000 chimneys in Canterbury have been damaged or toppled by the quakes.

Canon Brian Thomas, who is general editor of the Anglican Church in New Zealand on 28 February 2011, said "The first earthquake knocked us to the ground, this one has kicked us in the teeth. Almost all the Anglican heritage stone churches that helped give Christchurch its identity were damaged." "It's a big call on them (the ministers) to put all that aside – to put aside a house that's in ruins – and go out and help others."

 The arrival to the Christchurch's Avon-Heathcote Estuary of bar-tailed godwits from Alaska, was marked yesterday (13 Sept. 2011) by ringing the bells of St Paul's Anglican Church bells in Papanui. Christ Church Cathedral's bells had heralded the birds' arrival, but it was destroyed in February.

The startling noise is a characteristic of shallow earthquakes, known as the 'heard effect.'

Cantabrians are a good humoured bunch.

As you can see we still have a sense of humour!!!!! Here and there we've noticed little bits of black humour popping up amongst the silt and despair. Someone in the hard-hit eastern suburbs is selling M*A*S*H tee shirts with a picture of John Key in a helicopter on them. There's another tee shirt idea in the works which says: The only thing worse than a port-a-loo is no port-a-loo.
Then there was "Rocky" a 30 tonne rock that had rolled through Phil's the garage and parked in his hallway. Phil placed it for sale on
A Canterbury Kiwi.Trade-Me with a reserve of $1 and a great sense of humour. The highest bid going to Mt Hutt Ski field with $60,000 going to the earthquake fund. 316,356 hits.
Hey Phil, Do you know if Rocky is susceptible to the cold? Here at Mt Hutt we’d be very keen to give Rocky a new home. Do you think he’d be happy in a snowy alpine environment where lots of people can come and say ‘hi’ throughout winter? Clearly he needs to get himself out of that jam he’s in and re-engage with his adoring public. Happy to dust him off a bit and roll him up the hill.... nzski (9 ) 11:15 am, Mon 7 Mar. Rocky was on facebook too.

Phil. Rocky just about bowled the rest of the house over when I mentioned that!!! Great view, surrounded by some of the BIG rocks that he looks up to, plus heaps and heaps of hot little ski rocks to chat up. He loves the cold - just remember is a VOLCANIC boy at heart. Just one thing...bags NOT rolling him up that hill :-) Thanks guys and here's to a good season for you all :-) 11:21 am, Mon 7 Mar

Shipping details: To be arranged. Seller allows pick-ups.

Two weeks on, the weathered and sleep-deprived mayor of Christchurch remains haunted by a vision of his broken city. "It is something no-one wants to remember, but I will never forget," Bob Parker said. "I just can't escape the thought of why us? Why our city? Why twice? Sometimes it's just best to stick your head down and do what you have got to do." Like thousands of Christchurch residents, the couple was without water and power, unable to shower or watch the news for eight days. "It felt as though the rest of the country knew more about what was happening than us in that first week," The mayoress described it as "camping" in her own home. Mrs Nicholls-Parker said it was her husband's duty to lift the city's morale. "He lives and breathes this job and always has. And this place just has to keep going." - The Press 08/03/2011

"The main sewer trunks are seriously munted," Mayor Bob Parker told TVNZ. "I believe that is the technical term."
A few examples of how to tell if you're in Christchurch - read more

You know you’re in Christchurch when:

1. You use the term “liquefaction” and “seismic design” and the extreme 'peak ground acceleration' in casual conversation.
2. Digging a hole and pooping in your garden is no longer weird.
3. Your mayor describes the city as munted.
4. Weaving through car size potholes on the street is no longer weird
5. Going to Wellington to escape earthquakes makes sense
6. A shower is heaven
7. You have a preference of which kind of silt you’d rather shovel, dry or wet
8. You see tanks driving around town
9. You are always noting what you are standing under
10. Due to frequent aftershocks during the night, you sleep like a baby–every 10 minutes you wake up.
11. Your kids have stopped asking for a sandpit.
12. On SingStar sessions with your neighbours you rehash the Rolling Stones (I can't get no liquefaction)
13. Geonet is saved as your homepage or Quake2.
You drive around puddles on the road, just in case! 
15. You sleep in one suburb, shower in another, get water in another and go to the toilet wherever you can
16. A hot shower feels like you've won Lotto.
17. Face masks and gumboots are regular daywear.
18. Having 50 students congregating in your street doesn't make you call the cops
19. When you talk to people in Wellington about how big "it'' was you are not being suggestive
20. Dressing up to head into town involves putting on a hard hat, high visibility vest and steel-capped boots
21. When everyone around you freezes when a truck goes past
22. The notion of doing University classes in a tent suddenly doesn't seem outrageous
23. You ring the Bus Info line and the guy who answers is working from his lounge
24. When spring cleaning actually means cleaning the spring that has appeared in your yard!!
25. You know you're from ChCh when you no longer need to stir your coffee
26. The answer to where anything is ... it’s on the floor
27. Your friends and family want you to move back to Invercargill....and it sounds like a good idea!!!
28. Half the population of children in your city come from 'broken homes'
29. Instead of rushing to the clothes line when it rains, you put dirty washing on the line in the hope that it will rain enough to clean them.
30. A group of students turn up at your place and leave it in a better condition than when they arrived
31. “nothing major” is how you describe losing your chimneys, half your foundation cracking, your TV smashed, most of the contents of your cupboard ending in small pieces on your floor, your white ware relocating itself and making odd noises they never used to and no longer being able to open or shut any door in your house, in fact not even being sure if your house is still liveable … you know, “we got off lightly, nothing major”!
32. Thoughtful dinner guests bring a bottle of water instead of a bottle of wine.
33. A sign at a gate "Free bricks and sand."
34. When going to work is a luxury because you don't have power, water or sewage at home!
35. No need to get my coffee this morning... I'm already well awake thanks to the shaking!
35. The cat was on tenterhooks and the cuckoo clock stopped.

The Key - broken, but not beaten

"Christchurch, this is not your test, this is New Zealand's test." - John Key.
"I remember thinking, this is a city I grew up in, I knew it really well. And it was destroyed."

March 5 2011 Prime Minister John Key said that because of the "severe" lateral movement of land in the quake, buildings had absorbed on average 1.8 to two times the building code standard of movement. "We are totally committed to rebuilding Christchurch and ensuring that those buildings are of a standard that can withstand an earthquake shock," Mr Key said. "It's quite possible that 800 buildings will be removed and demolished as a result of the earthquake." Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has indicated that, when the hotel and other unsafe buildings are brought down, the central business district will reopen. And there would be "widespread demolitions" in the city once it was clear that there were no more bodies still trapped in buildings – but that was still some way away. Central city retailers may be shut out of their premises for weeks, if not longer. Half of Christchurch's most prized heritage buildings have been slapped with red stickers, with 3006 properties within the city's four avenues going through assessment. Of those, 45 per cent had red or yellow stickers marking them as unsafe. Further inspections will determine if they need to be demolished.

Tuesday Mar 8, 2011 Mr Key said 80 per cent of the city now had running water, 96 per cent had power and half the city had flushing toilets. But that still left 158,000 people with no access to toilets, though the report downgraded this to 100,000, taking into account those who have left.

7 Sep. 2010 PM John Key statement to parliament "It was a frightening experience for everyone, but it has proven one thing: that in the worst of times, you see the best of New Zealand. I have been impressed by the community spirit shown..."

The ANZAC. "The Australians were remarkable. They dispatched resources and nothing was too much of a problem. We compete like hell with the Australians and that was one clear example where you felt like they were kind of family." said Mr Key, PM, 22 Feb. 2012

Long drop

A & E Waves

First wave at the Christchurch Hospital was the walking wounded in the first two to three hours many had cuts and minor injuries. Children were being carried in by strangers and people were being brought in by car, and on tops of cars, because the ambulances were overwhelmed. 300 to 400 people were seen in the 24 hours after the quake and many others who sought help for less-serious injuries at makeshift triage centres or other "satellite" emergency departments around the city. After the lull came the major crush injuries after being rescued. Many had serious head or spinal injuries or have lost limbs or fractures after being crushed or struck by collapsing buildings or falling debris and "crush injury syndrome" where a heavy weight presses on a person for a long time. The pressure destroys muscles and releases toxins into the blood stream, leading to heart and kidney problems. Then there was a great variety of asthma and respiratory conditions from the dust, injuries, broken bones, a few heart attacks, a bit of diarrhoea around. Then there were the stoic injures- the elderly who had fallen and fracture their hips but didn't want to burden the emergency room. At Christchurch Hospital the surgical team performed about 130 orthopaedic operations in the week immediately after the February 22 quake, mainly to fix broken hips, arms and shoulders. It raises lots of issues about hospital design. It's difficult to move patients up and down stairs, which causes real problems if your operating theatre is on a different floor from your emergency department.  The quake highlighted the importance of decision-making being driven at a local level rather than from a national level.

The Press 12/07/2011 The 7.1 earthquake which struck at 04:35 on 4 September 2010 “a significant trigger” of heart attacks.
There is a significant link between the timing of the earthquake and the increase in the number of heart attacks. AMI is significantly higher if a quake hits in the dark. The daily average of 5.5 over four weeks leaped to 17 on the day of the quake and more than half were women. The significant increase of AMI continued for the following week, 59 cases compared to an average of 38.5 each week. 35 were female; more than double the usual amount. 

Broken hearts swamp city hospital
Christchurch Hospital was inundated with people suffering from broken hearts in the hours after the earthquake, an expert says. Clinical director of cardiology David Smyth said the department usually saw one or two people a month with broken-heart syndrome. In the 36 hours after the quake, the department dealt almost exclusively with people suffering from the condition. It was now seeing about 10 people a day. Stress cardiomyopathy, or broken-heart syndrome, is brought on by sudden emotional strain, but, unlike an anxiety attack, part of the heart stops working. "It's been interesting in a terrible way," Smyth said. "These people are dangerously ill. When we give conventional treatments, we find the artery isn't blocked." He said the condition was more common in women, but no-one had died from it. The unit was also seeing many more people having regular heart attacks – up from two a day to about 10 and the catheter laboratories had been working non-stop.  The Press 01/03/2011

Fairfax Media 7/3/2011
Five people have been left paralysed by the earthquake. Back and spinal injuries have been the most common, says the ACC, which has received more than 280 injury claims for injured backs or spines. Burwood Spinal Unit consultant Dr Raj Singhal said Christchurch Hospital saw three months of spinal injuries in one day. Of five patients with spinal-cord injuries, four were paralysed and one had partial paralysis. Another 18 to 20 people broke vertebrae, but nerves were not affected so they would walk again. Six or seven had to be operated on, while others were put in braces. Singhal said one spinal-cord patient had spleen removed in a life-saving operation and had been transferred to intensive care in Wellington. A woman had a "nasty fracture of the neck" and was transferred to Auckland with her daughter, who was also seriously injured. The mother was able to move her arms and legs, which was "good news", Singhal said. One patient was an incomplete tetraplegic and would probably walk again. He said the injuries were suffered in several ways. One woman had a chimney fall on her, another had a crush injury and one was pulled from a collapsed building. Spinal-cord patients would eventually return to Christchurch for three to six months of rehabilitation at Burwood's specialist unit, Singhal said. Overall, Christchurch was lucky as the number of spinal-cord injuries could have been higher, he said. An ACC spokeswoman said the corporation received 20 spinal-injury claims.

Bird and marine species on Banks Peninsula are under threat as earthquakes shake their habitats to pieces or bury them under piles of rubble. The September 2010 and February 2011 quakes and the aftershocks triggered rock falls in bays around the peninsula. Birds such as gulls, terns and shags had their cliff side breeding grounds disappear and have been forced to nest elsewhere. Seabirds were seriously disrupted; deaths were highest among penguins and seals crushed by falling rocks. The main species that have gone downhill in terms of deaths are penguins in burrows and seals.  

Fairfax Media 02/01/2012 Michelle Cook.
 Christchurch's February earthquake may have contributed to more deaths than the official toll of 182. The 182 are believed to have died within the first 24 hours – but the earthquake may also also have contributed to a "small number" of deaths during the following days. Professor Michael Ardagh is chairing a research group which is looking into the health implications from the February 22 quake. "There were deaths in elderly people transferred out of Christchurch possibly contributed to by the stress of the transfer, and deaths on the road contributed to by earthquake road damage. These numbers are small but they are not included in the official death toll as they are not directly due to earthquake-caused injuries. When frail, elderly people break a hip or other bones, the stress can sometimes be too much for them to cope with. They die of renal failure, or heart attacks, or respiratory problems, or some complication of underlying diseases. So, while the fracture is the 'final straw', it is not directly the cause of death, Ardagh said. 6659 people were injured within the first 24 hours of the February quake. The most common injuries were lumbar (lower back) sprains, which were probably caused by falls. General sprains and contusions (bruising), general wounds and dental injuries were also common. While patients would usually go to Christchurch Hospital, "on this occasion people sought treatment from wherever they could". Those places included Burwood, Princess Margaret and Southern Cross hospitals, the after-hours surgery, general practitioners and the emergency triage centre set up in Latimer Square.

Thank you

27-4-2012 EAU News
Four urological surgeons were awarded the inaugural Christchurch Medal, in recognition of their bravery and self-sacrifice during rescue operations in the wake of last year’s Christchurch earthquake. They received the Medal during the Gala Dinner of the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand’s Annual Scientific Meeting in Darwin on Tuesday night. Almost 600 urological surgeons and nurses, including EAU Secretary General Per-Anders Abrahamsson, were attending the same meeting in the Christchurch city centre when the earthquake struck in February last year, claiming 185 lives. Many of those attending the medical conference risked their own lives to help rescue people trapped in shattered buildings. “The Urological Society’s Board of Directors has decided to acknowledge the exceptionally selfless feats of four individuals by introducing the Christchurch Medal, awarded for acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances,” says Society President. The Medal has been struck from metal recovered from the Crown Plaza Hotel, which was the meeting’s official hotel and has since been destroyed as a consequence of the earthquake. The four medal recipients are Lydia Johns Putra from Ballarat, Stuart Phillip from Brisbane, Stephen Mark from Christchurch and Julian Shah from England.
    Lydia Johns Putra was part of a team who performed bilateral above the knee amputation to free a man trapped under concrete in a collapsed building in central Christchurch, shortly after the earthquake struck. Her only instrument was a pocket knife with a saw to perform the surgery. At considerable personal risk, Lydia crawled beneath tonnes of crumbling concrete to perform the lifesaving surgery in an unstable building that continued to be rocked by large aftershocks.
    Stephen Mark provided medical assistance to the injured in the Arts Centre, before searching for survivors in the collapsed Cathedral. He then went on to aid three people trapped on the top floor of The Press Building. After accessing the roof via a cage suspended from a crane, Stephen entered the partially collapsed structure through a hole cut by the rescue team and despite regular aftershocks, provided pain relief and support to two women trapped under debris for several hours until they could be rescued.
    Stuart Phillip from Brisbane demonstrated leadership, skill and bravery along with Lydia Johns Putra in a precarious situation atop a destroyed building resuscitating, operating on and attempting to retrieve injured people. Stuart’s communication skills and lateral thinking in co-ordinating, along with Lydia, setting up an emergency resuscitation and triage service made him invaluable to the operation.
    Julian Shah assisted in the rescue of a woman trapped on the top floor of the severely damaged Christchurch Press Building. After negotiating the last two flights of stairs, which had been reduced to rubble, on his hands and knees he assisted the trapped and severely injured victim until she was freed from under a beam and transferred to a crane rescue bucket. At that moment a severe aftershock further damaged the stairs and upper floors leaving Julian and his fellow rescuers no choice but to jump across a 1.5 metre chasm 5 stories deep onto the roof of an adjoining building.

Following the disaster, Julian said: "People were saying we were heroes and although I wouldn’t go that far, we did our best – we didn’t shirk from trying to help. We were the first doctors to get there. I just volunteered, but then why wouldn’t I? You’re either a doer or you’re not.”"

 Another surgeon honoured was Stephen Mark. “No one knew what was going to happen, no one knew it was going to occur in the first place, but you could not leave that situation you had to provide some degree of care for someone who was visible and in trouble.” He was on the buildings and triaging patients until about 11 30 pm the night of the quake with no thought to his own safety. People like you, Stephen, make our world a better place. The metal the medals were made of bares special meaning - it comes from the hotel where the group was staying. They were engraved by Canterbury Engravers’ Mike Wilson. “The actual material of these medals part of it is copper from the Crown Plaza’s air conditioning units and it has been melted down.” They also have a map of Australia and New Zealand one side and the crest of Christchurch city on the other, forever symbolising the close relationship that was forged that day between a group of Australian surgeons and the people they rescued.

22/02/2012 A total of 140 groups and individuals were given Christchurch Earthquake Awards. Their efforts following Christchurch's February 22 quake have been recognised.

Underwoods is a collection of poems by Robert Louis Stevenson published in 1887. The dedication to his doctors "There are men and classes of men that stand above the common herd: the soldier, the sailor and the shepherd not infrequently; the artist rarely; rarer still the clergyman; the physician almost as a rule. He is the flower (such as it is) of our civilization... Generosity he has, such as is possible to those who practise an art, never to those who drive a trade; discretion, tested by a hundred secrets; tact, tried in a thousand embarrassments; and, what are more, Heraclean cheerfulness and courage.”

The inner and outer circle

The design of the interment site at Avonhead Park Cemetery is intended to be timeless, reflecting elements from the central city. Etched in our City’s memory, never to be forgotten. The City of Christchurch.

There is a community there

After the second earthquake everyone was getting in helping each other. We are a lot closer as a city and a lot friendly, and smile now. We have become more of a big town and less of a city, where as people are more are more likely to look after themselves and look after their neighbours. Lot of people have finally got to know their neighbours said a ChCh taxi driver on 13 June 2011.The community spirit has made our neighborhood stronger.

"The quake broke down bricks and mortar but it didn't destroy the spirit - kia kaha."

Mar. 1st. The Christchurch police chief leading the response to the city's devastating earthquake has been presented with an important Maori totem. Superintendent Dave Cliff was presented with a tewhatewha -- a traditional Maori weapon which signifies authority, strategy and mobilisation. It was given to him by police colleagues, in a message of solidarity.

Quilts by the Rotorua Sunrise Rotary Club, whose members wanted to give a gift to foreign nationals caught up in the disaster. Ten quilts were given to patients, including two young women in intensive care who lost limbs, a Canadian couple who were seriously injured and a woman who was seriously injured and whose daughter died.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull sent a message of support to ''Christchurch, our big sister up the line''. ''We will give, we will offer and we will find whatever we can to support you,'' Cull told the crowd at the remembrance service.  ''As your needs crystallise and you identify what you need help with, just ask. Ask for resources, as for personnel, ask for equipment, and we will give to the limit of our ability.'' Dunedin City Council has already pledged an initial $250,000 towards quake recovery, and Mayor Cull promised more help would come. He outlined the range of activities already under way to help Christchurch, from the council-organised ''Christchurch Embassy'' established at Dunedin Railway Station to assist quake victims, to the Otago University Students Association assembling and sending 18,000 packed lunches to Christchurch. ''We are here for Christchurch and her people,'' Cull said. ''And we will continue to be here in the dismal, grinding, days of clean up, reconstruction and inevitable dislocation that will follow. Dunedin will not give a hand out and then forget you. Dunedin is here for Christchurch for the long haul.'' Nearly 50,000 people have flown out of Christchurch since last week's earthquake - the exodus is expected to soar as cheap fares are snapped up. Many more people have left the quake-hit city by car. 01/03/2011 Stuff

Lyttelton Port of Christchurch provided a solution to the city’s disposal of demolition hard fill from earthquake damage by opening a disposal area at the port. The demolition material was placed into a reclamation area, 10-hectare Te Awaparahi Bay Reclamation to the east of Cashin Quay, the eastern end of the port. This was a way for the port can assist the city’s recovery. It benefits Christchurch because it diverts that material from landfill and saves dumping fees. At the same time, it will build future storage space and so assists the further development of the port as the cargo hub for the South Island and saved the port many millions of dollars on quarrying and transporting rock. The port plays a significant role to in the economic recovery of Christchurch and the Canterbury region.

19/07/2012 The Press Lyttelton to get new 'heart'
Land for a new civic square in Lyttelton has been secured by the Christchurch City Council. It has bought a site at 44 London St that it plans to transform into an outdoor gathering space for Lyttelton residents. Under the council's recently adopted master plan for Lyttelton, the London St. site will become the new home for the Lyttelton War Memorial Cenotaph. It will also have a children's playground and open spaces where people can socialise.

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) created aftersocks. From the website: As Mother Nature socks it to Canterbury, we all want to help. Today you can, while also keeping your feet cosy and warm this winter. By purchasing a pair of aftersocks™ you are donating to the rebuild of our garden city - Christchurch, and supporting employment within the Canterbury region. All proceeds to go to the Christchurch Mayoral Fund. Now sold out.

Members of the England World Cup squad visited AMI stadium on 8 Sept. 2011 to raise spirits and mayor Bob Parker, spoke and presented the players with a box of red and black socks. The team was to be based in ChCh but used Dunedin as a base during the RWC. 

___ stayed behind as we had liquefaction back again in the street and he wanted to help.

Some are living in fear; well I refuse to live like that so my outlook is positive rather than negative. Will take many years for the city to be rebuilt, which I think is something to look forward too.

Poignant writing from Christchurch - The City that Rocks!

The Press team banded together and continued to put out a daily paper, even though they lost the use of their Cathedral Square building. News articles appeared on the www keeping the world in touch even before they appeared in the paper. Rolling coverage continued. There are many poems out there regarding that terrible Tuesday, the day Mother Nature crossed the line. Lean on us Leaving the Red Zone, a response to a monumental event. the launch. When dust flies.

7.1 performance

Rocky part 2 by Josie Uren
That’s not the only thing he’s done, he gave the lab a fright,
We are all so very thankful – not in the midst of night!
Now Rocky’s got an agent, ‘cos he did a boulder-dash
And ended up in public view, to generate some cash. ...
At this tragic time for Christchurch, in the midst of woe and grief,
Big Rocky is an icon, providing light relief.
So even though your fingers are typed down to the bone
Keep at it Phil you legend, there’s such a lot you’ve shown.
When things have turned to custard, and life’s put to the test,
To have a sense of humour, brings out the very best.
So keep your chin up Canty, we support what Phil has done,
In the midst of such disaster, to have a little bit of fun.
And generate some money to help you all down there
To relieve you of some burden, and lighten your despair.
We’re donating to your cause; we’re helping where we can
Our thoughts and prayers are with you, every woman, child and man.

Stand tall my fellow Cantab's we will rise again..
The ground shook, the buildings came down;
The angels gathered, over our town.
They came down from heaven, and took you away;
To a place where the buildings no longer do sway.
Where the ground stands firm and there's no deafening roar;
Even though our hearts are left broken and sore.
No longer do you have to live in the fear,
of that deafening roar drawing ever so near.
This city will stand tall and proud once again,
a reminder to all, of you, our dearest friends. R.I.P.
~ Kris Danilo, Christchurch, Canterbury

Roses are red, the chalice is blue,
the Cathedral has fallen many buildings have too.
You can rattle our bones, you can rip streets apart,
but you will never defeat our red and black hearts.
For we are Cantabrians and together we know,
we stand tall together, through anything we regrow.
Add to your wall to remember those who have fall...
en and to remind us all to stand tall.
22/02/2011 ~ Angela, Christchurch, Canterbury

His Spirit reached us from above
in countless acts of human love
where perfect strangers stopped to brave
the risks, another's life to save;
where everybody did their best
to comfort injured and distressed.
In our calamity and fear,
God's Spirit, with us all, was near.
~ Hugh Wyles, April 15 2011
and Earthquake 2011


FRACTION LIQUEFACTION (opens up in a new window) by Team Reynolds
Twenty second of February,
in the province of Canterbury
We got the shaking of our lives
We've got rivers instead of roads,
it was flat now it's full of holes
And we're in silt up to our eyes
There's a fraction liquefaction,
there's a fraction liquefaction yeah
Driving 'round is too much trouble,
what you need is a great big shovel
There's a fraction liquefaction yeah, oh yeah

Broken sewers and broken pipes,
no water we are in strife
Worst part is perching over a hole
Hundreds, hundreds of aftershocks,
dirty undies and stinky socks
Just cooking tea is a rigmarole
There's a fraction liquefaction,
there's a fraction liquefaction yeah
Cars buried up to their axles,
daily life is a great big hassle
There's a fraction liquefaction yeah, oh yeah.

Look for a man with a great big shovel,
look for a woman who will lend a hand
When it's rainy it turns to slush,
when it's sunny it turns to dust
Christchurch just needs a good steam clean
Looking forward to normality,
chokkie bikkie and cup of tea
And running water in my latrine
There's a fraction liquefaction,
there's a fraction liquefaction yeah
Neighbourhood is like a ghost town,
don't touch anything if it's brown
There's a fraction liquefaction yeah
What we need is some positive action
What we need is some excavation
- The Press 04 Apr 2011  


Things are looking up! We're talking about the weather instead of earthquakes!
The Press 20 Oct. 2011, Alistair Nisbet

20 Jan. 2014 - 6.2 Earthquake NE of Masterston, depth 21km. We were in Palmerston North (34km SSE from the epicentre) so actually closer to the epic centre than Wgtn. It was just a good shake but nothing moved.
    Shocks send moviegoers running 21 Jan. 2014
Palmerston North office workers ducked under desks, music equipment rocked on shelves, and moviegoers got some additional special effects during the massive shake. People were in various theatres at Downtown Cinemas when the 6.2-magnitude quake hit yesterday. Malcolm Hopwood was enjoying the second Hobbit film, The Desolation of Smaug, when the floor began to move. "The dragon was creating its own earthquake as it chased Bilbo. Suddenly a stereophonic roar sounded through the cinema followed by an ongoing massive shake. I thought to myself, ‘Sir Peter, you've surpassed yourself this time'."

Let them rattle, let them roll,
these shakes on our collective soul,
it's what we get in this fair land,
'cause life down here is far from bland.

these shaky isles we call our home,
are really nothing like old Rome,
or London town, or flash New York
where winter blues are all the talk

New Zealand's new in Geo terms,
its rugged beauty sold by firms,
of advertisers bold and sure,
who brag of us as sweet and PURE

yet all our newness has a cost,
a shake or two, some sleep is lost,
but that my friends is just the price
for living here in paradise,

So Let them have their shaky fun,
these quakes of our young land,
and take a breath and steady hold,
chin up, ain't life grand !
by Jack Flash. 21/1/2014

22/2/2013 The Press - Will Harvie
Whatever else hasn't happened since at the Christchurch City Council-managed estate, the flowers have bloomed, the roses were pruned and the shrubs trimmed. As a symbol of a city striving for rebirth and renewal, the gardens of the Garden City are as good as they come. If we couldn't repair or rebuild, we could at least garden.

Mona Vale in November 2009.

Juuly 2013. River Avon.
Driving or walking around Christchurch, you are occasionally and unexpectedly struck by visions of loveliness. Late Christchurch architect John Huggins referred to these places as "moments". It is silly to compile a list of them, as you are best to discover them for yourself. Add attractive buildings or natural features, and you have a moment. A bend begs you to come a little further and see what's around the corner, wrote Mike Crean in May 2011. 150 reasons to love Canterbury. Chess

The Avon is truly an artist river. There are public paths along both banks. One of the delightful features of NZ is that most river banks and all foreshore are public property, which is as it should be. The Press, 16 January 1930, Page 3

You can see the liquefaction in the water.
The Avon, Christchurch Feb. 26th 2011, four days after the big quake. You can see the liquefaction in the water. Beautiful. We can't beat nature. A healthy river leads to a healthy city.
Before February 22, 2011, Christchurch was gardens, tree-lined streets, two elegant Cathedrals and historic facades.

Show me a hero and I'll write you a tragedy. - F. Scott Fitzgerald

ChCh rolls out a rather bumpy red carpet complete with traffic cones
The Press 12 May 2015, Alistair Nisbet


The Christchurch earthquakes, the loss of the Rugby Cup in the city and the recent tsunamis and earthquakes in Japan would be a "triple whammy" to tourism. It was estimated that more than 9000 Christchurch moved to Timaru after the February earthquake.

On Trade-me there were 398 pets lost in Christchurch and 197 found in Christchurch as of 7 March 2011.

"You can have the best architects, the best engineers and the best contractors but if nature's going to drag things away from the foundations, there's nothing you can do." Mr McCarthy said the earthquake forces were such that buildings were lifted with an acceleration of 2g – twice the force of gravity – and then dropped again." We had 4000 damaged houses after the September earthquake.

An aftershock hits as she speaks, and there is a discussion about its intensity. Christchurch people have internalised the Richter scale.

A suburban street in CHCH, if you look it could be anywhere, anywhere in NZ it looks tranquil and peaceful and the damage isn't obvious but there is damage in every house and in every person in every house. The sense of safety has been shattered. It is so wonderful to know the nation is supporting us. It is so wonderful to know people care. Have support systems in place.

Whilst we have been amazed at the resilience of our people, they require assistance - Jeff Greenslade CE Pyne Gould Corporation 3 March 2011

PGC building- On the Wednesday morning, Timaru staff were charged with looking after the PGC building, and filled that role until they returned on Sunday, working a 12-hour day shift, and being relieved at 9.30pm. Their duties involved guarding the scene and liaising with all the agencies within the area. There were several; USAR teams, crane drivers, St John, firefighters, building management, victims' families and surveyors. A church group provided food for the whole scene. The response from members of the public to the work done by emergency services has been a highlight. And I was working with people who had no power or water on at their homes, but they were still coming to work and doing 12-hour days." We have a renewed appreciation of the logistics involved in managing something like that, of getting enough people in there, feeding and toileting them – even to the extent of ensuring sufficient water supplies and hand sanitiser for the EQC staff. "We were just doing what we had to do. You put your game face on, that's what we are there to do. The Timaru Herald 3 March.

THE EAST is shocked and damaged. Dallington area, you could see the scale of the damage – silt from kerb to kerb and in the park. But in the eastern suburbs, the damage is typically less spectacular. The roads are crumpled and sometimes split, but most are passable. Houses are sometimes a pile of bricks, but more often, they have a blue tarpaulin where the chimney was or plywood over a window. Brick and breezeblock fences are toppled. People tend to be stoical and good-humoured. It takes about 20 minutes to get a sense of what is happening in the suburbs that follow the Avon River out to sea. The problem in many of these areas has been flooding as well as liquefaction.

It is incredible the amount of help everyone is getting. It makes you think. We are a world part really from Haiti. It makes you think how you are lucky you are in a developed world. At anytime even when you get clobbered by a big natural disaster you just got have resources straight away, no one is going hungry, you have got water, some very minor hardships, does make you pause and think a little bit about all that kind of stuff. Thank God the Australians and all those other allies are helping this great place.

"felt like the house was at sea"


June 13 2011 - a new fault line - 3 shocks - the 3rd event
Christchurch's deadly February earthquake was smaller than the second June 13 quake, GNS Science has found. The first, at 1.01pm that day, had a magnitude of 5.893, after an initial re-analysis. The 2.20pm quake was upgraded to 6.411. That makes it slightly larger than the shallower, magnitude-6.343 quake at 12.51pm on February 22 that killed 182 people.

Christchurch was shaken by three large shocks of magnitudes 5.7, 4.4 and 6.3 [943.56°S, 172.74°E and 6km deep, 10 km east of Christchurch] and 4.9. The quakes struck at 1pm, 1.08pm, 2.20pm and 2.40 pm were all located within a 10 kilometre radius of Christchurch. The tower of Lyttelton's historic Timeball Station fell in today's second quake. The Timeball and tower are now lying on the ground. Telephone networks reported lines overloaded and asked users to text rather than call. Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said the two quakes probably put a greater imperative to move more quickly. Some of the areas that were uncertain ... there'll be a higher degree of certainty about them now. The Cathedral in the Square lost more masonry, the west wall and lost its stained glass rose window yesterday. It was shattered. Dean Peter Beck said "Clearly, we will rebuild. It will be rebuilt in some form or other, but we don't know the answers for that yet. After yesterday, you feel completely awful. It was not a good day. You feel exasperated and distressed." Lyttelton lost three out of its four churches after Monday's quake. They had had a total of 23 quakes measuring over 5.0 on the Ritcher scale since September 7350 aftershocks in total. Widespread liquefaction has struck again, the water bubbling up through the ground, an amazing sight, and the muck just bubbled up all over the place. So many were out there on the sunny in gumboots shovelling, again. Other areas have sink holes etc., again. Roads and bridges have been closed due to further damage so it takes a lot of detours to get anywhere and there have been reports of serious rock falls. It is certain that some areas will not be rebuilt. 75 previously undamaged buildings in the red zone would need to be demolished in the wake of yesterday's quakes and 147 buildings suffered more damage. There are some streets that were badly damaged before and are really, really badly damaged now. Strange driving around the city as so many old landmarks are gone. Going to the edge of the Red Zone is spooky. I now understand even more why the authorities won't permit people to go into the area. It will take many years for the city to be rebuilt, which I think is something to look forward too but it is out of our hands. The farmers ‘‘farmy army’’ rallied again to help people in Christchurch.

 The guiding spirit.

17 June 2011. In the Christchurch motto the symbol says "Spe Fortis which means strong and hope for the future, we are strong in hope for the future and you have got to look at things like the student volunteer army, the farmy army, all reaching out to one another, that's great, and that is the basis for community for the future and I am going to here and be part of all that." said Dean Beck. "The buildings are buildings but the really important thing is the people."

He was the dean of ChristChurch Cathedral in CHCH from 2002 until Dec. 2011 when he resigned to contest a vacancy on Christchurch City Council in a 2012 by-election in the Burwood/Pegasus ward.  Beck Sep 6, 2010 - 11 min - Uploaded by CTVinNZ

A new fault, south of the Port Hills fault, is now believed responsible for yesterday's major aftershocks in Christchurch. GNS Science seismologists said the newly-confirmed fault had already generated a number of quakes since the deadly February 22 event. The dominant energy in yesterday's magnitude 5.7 and 6.3 aftershocks had been horizontal, compared with the vertical action in February's 6.3 quake. This meant they were felt differently. Mayor Parker said he was not worried about an exodus from city. He said if people needed to leave, that would be the right decision for them and "we should support them in that".  "The vast majority of people in this city love it," he said. Thousands of Christchurch homeowners will have to abandon their homes, Prime Minister John Key says. While the Government had a "clear picture" of what land would have to be abandoned, Key refused to name the areas or put a timeline on when the information would be available to the public. There is a substantial drop in land levels, particularly in the eastern suburbs.

Driving is challenging because you have to watch out for the road as well as other traffic. As soon as I had worked out the best route, the roads were dug up again so it was detour, detour. My most straight forward way has been clear for the last few days.  Just another day living in our new normal. 3rd July 2011

An opportunity to shovel!

Liquefaction - Avondale, CHCH- 14 June 2011
14 June 2011 - Avondale, suburb, in Christchurch, on the Avon River, has been fairly hard hit, again, with liquefaction. If a magnitude-6.0 quake hit close to the city, liquefaction was likely. Fives don't really produce significant liquefaction. Liquefaction caused as much, if not more, damage than the actual shaking.

With regard to the house – it took another pounding - I think we will be lucky to survive as a suburb looking at the devastation around us. June 17th 2011

20 June 2011 The Press & 11/10/2011 The Press + Timaru Herald
Eccentrics with diverse skills - artists in their own right. "There is a great need to paint things while they are still here. You don't want to much detail. You need a hint of everything that is still there. On one level painting is a bit like a personal diary," said Wayne Seyb, is an abstract painter, while on the corner of Kilmore and Fitzgerald Ave where he was painting on a cold Saturday morning. He has been producing one painting a day working on the spot. He is recording on canvas - finding inspiration where others only see devastation.  "People would watch me paint, sharing stories with me and commenting on my work. I got more feedback on my paintings from people on the street than in all my years of exhibiting." Wayne was b. in Temuka in 1961 and attended the Otago Polytechnic School of Art in Dunedin in 1980.  In 2015 Wayne was still busy painting around Christchurch - mainly red zone gardens.

Spirits rise and fall.

Super Rugby 2011 - The red and black Crusaders have not played a single game in their earthquake-stricken Christchurch, they have not had a home ground due to the AMI Stadium being damaged in the February 22 quake. They have put in a fantastic effort during a difficult season. They certainly are an inspiration. We keep on smiling and say "Go the Crusaders!" The travel factor "You get a choice - you can use it as an excuse or you can decide not to. We made a decision when all the carnage happened at home we wanted to stand up for the people at home and what the Crusaders meant," said Crusaders skipper, Richie McCaw. Queensland Reds defeated the Crusaders 18-13 [13 (Dan Carter try; Dan Carter 2 pens, con) in Brisbane, the final, 9th July. Having been forced to travel out of their home city after the Crusaders had the opportunity to complete one of the greatest fairytales in New Zealand sporting history but they lost. McCaw, said he was mystified why a team that had overcome a mountain of adversity created by the Christchurch earthquakes then produced such a shoddy display in a match they so desperately wanted to win. "I'm not sure. A bit of pressure and one or two mistakes can be the difference - that is probably what it turned out to be. I am not sure why. I guess that is the disappointing part because we didn't do what we intended. That is what happens in these type of games, if you don't get it right you come second.'' The name recalls the English heritage of the city of Christchurch and the nature of Canterbury rugby, aggressive. 

It can take a disaster to bring people together, bringing out the best in people. 

"The real story of what has happened in Christchurch is the heroic story at the grass roots level, which is neighbour working with neighbour." Mayor Bob Parker’s speech to the Christchurch City Council in 2011.

"What is the city but the people"

Voices from near and far

"Mate, it's the happiest day. Freeing those people on the night was fantastic, but going and seeing her like that was awesome. CTV building.

March 3 We suffered a big kick, much bigger kick than the 4th of September. A sympathy order is nice thing for a camera shop. Mall order customers stock up things they don't really need. Merivale Mall one level stood through both earthquakes.

"Well honey did the Earth move for you." We are not ruined, just hurting. The new kitchen was designed to withstand this sort of thing, so crockery, glassware and day to day stores are safely intact. In the lounge and hallway the ornaments are destroyed. Upstairs - the office is trashed. Best make some brackets to tie these bookshelves back to the wall.

My great-grandparents emigrated from Ireland to Canterbury in the 19th century to start new lives. Three generations of our family were born in or near Christchurch. I grieve with the people of New Zealand for all that is lost and hope that, like the pioneers, the people of Christchurch will rebuild their beautiful city and re-establish their lives.

A city so beautiful in both its physical being but more significantly its people. Let us stand with you today and the hard days ahead. Your national strength is bigger than nature's.

~God Bless New Zealand~
'Great Griefs Are Silent'

Mar 2. It was fantastic to see such big crowds turn out in Wellington for yesterday's two minutes of silence. My sister was amongst the 5000 or so in Parliament grounds and only sounds to be heard were the cicadas in the surrounding trees. The vigil service conducted from the steps of Parliament by the Dean of Wellington, Frank Nelson, ran ahead of schedule, turning the two-minute silence into something closer to four. It didn't matter, with traffic stopped; the only sounds were the flags at half-mast gently crackling in the breeze on Parliament's forecourt to the backdrop of cicadas and the blast of a lone ship's horn on Wellington harbour. Bill English, speaking in his role as Deputy Prime Minster in John Key's absence in Christchurch, told the service: "At the end of our silence will be the beginning of hope. "Hope that we can stitch up the ragged edges of broken hearts and broken homes and rebuild. Hope that the memory of those who have died will be the foundations of a renewed city and renewed communities." It just shows the whole country is behind Christchurch. We had an earthquake here in Wellington at 10pm last night, registered as 4.5 on the Richter scale but 40kms deep.

May the words of Rev 21:4 be of comfort to you, when God promises that all things that bring us such grief and sorrow will be done away with forever. So sad to see such a beautiful place hurting due to Mother Nature's force. It could have been any of us, but it wasn't, it was the lovely Garden City. It's heartbreaking to see so much loss. But it's amazing to see and hear about the resilience and strength of people united in tragedy. Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with you Christchurch. Remember Canterbury is a strong place that creates strong people and we will rebuild from this. The South Island of NZL without any doubt the most beautiful place here on planet earth guys and it will still be into the future. Kiwi's know how to "man up" with any major problems and they are proving this right now and your Ozzie brothers are with you all the way people!  Rarely has The Ditch that separates New Zealand and Australia, as the Tasman Sea is popularly known, seemed narrower.  

Opinion editorials 2011 / Black Tuesday Released 24 Feb 2011
By Don Nicolson, Federated Farmers President
It's hard feeling so helpless as I write from the biennial Paris International Agricultural Show. Completely numb, I stare into monitors playing CNN and on Wednesday, French farmers extended their heartfelt sympathy to all those affected. In my thanks I had to swallow hard such is the emotion I now feel. In my adult life this disaster ranks with Erebus in 1979. Everyone will reference to ‘where you were.' This earthquake is a tragedy in the rawest sense of the word for while Erebus was an accident, Christchurch is nature. While one was preventable this earthquake was inevitable. It all became a question of when, where and how large. This is a very different earthquake for rural Christchurch. Last September, North Canterbury's farms were wrecked as fields were cleaved or suffered from liquefaction. It is awe inspiring to see once mighty grain silos crushed like a soft drink can. Last September, it was the rural community who were badly affected but this time, it's our garden city. While rural Banks Peninsula was the epicentre it happens to be an extinct volcano. Yes there is some damage to farms, homes and roads but its nothing compared to Christchurch. The epicentre started under tough volcanic rock but found its terrible expression in Christchurch's once swampy soil. While I sat stunned watching these graphic images in Europe, Federated Farmers had swung into action. Our rural people are the most isolated and the most distant so we need to look out for them. It was with some relief that after torturous and worrying attempts, we finally made contact with a goodly number to form a clear picture. While shaken there was a realisation that raw nature had struck Christchurch. But at times like this farmers can come to a cities aid. As a farmer you know the three basics of life - water, food and of course, shelter. Given the destruction to Christchurch's water supply, Federated Farmers worked with Fonterra Cooperative Group to get 200,000 litres of drinking water into the city. Individual water tanker owners have called in offering tens of thousands more in an effort that must be sustained. Federated Farmers has made an open request for spare portable water tanks to spread these bulk supplies and to help meet stock water needs in Banks Peninsula, where town supply has failed. Yet I'm inspired by the three Canterbury provinces of Federated Farmers. These ‘red and blacks' wish to accommodate fellow Cantabrians and rescue workers in Canterbury. They don't want an evacuation to Dunedin, Wellington, or Auckland, but to keep the community together in rural Canterbury. Working with Fonterra, the Red Cross and Civil Defence, we've got scores of accommodation pledges. Federated Farmers members are working with rural sport clubs to transform these into relief centres. These clubs all offer working sanitation, water and electricity and could help relieve pressure on the city. It's also humbling to hear that farmers from the Waikato to South Otago are offering meat despite beef and sheep farmers just coming out of lean times. It may sound old fashioned but these farmers are offering the shirt off their backs. That's community. There are also other key areas where farmers expertise can make a difference in the coming weeks. Yet the biggest message Canterbury's farmers are sending is a will to keep the Christchurch family together. I know some of us will have someone who has lost their life or be close to those who have lost life. This emergency underlines we are all one people underneath our skin and is why I want to come home.

Federated Farmers helped to meet the needs of Christchurch and later the initiative led by Federated Farmers "Meat the needs of Christchurch'' designed to help meat and fibre farmers make a contribution to the fundraising efforts and was the easiest way for farmers to make a donation without writing a cheque.
By the numbers: 4,000 volunteers
28,000 hours of digging backed by 3,900 machine hours
Over 70,000 cubic metres of silt moved
2,000 kitchen hours generated 5,000 meals
5.5 million litres of water delivered into Christchurch by tankers

Knitting Communities Together – Christchurch - a RWNZ four month project launched after the February quake. Many have been busy knitting for Christchurch from black and red scarves, knit beanies, babies' and children's jerseys and peggy squares to make blankets.

Christchurch earthquake was one of many events that had proved volunteers were priceless beyond measure, said Mayor Janie Annear, Timaru, 5 July 2011.

Hope and humanity. When masses come together for a selfless cause there is hope for peace and prosperity in future.

Mrs H. Cummings, 89, has been around quakes her "whole life" and she wants the people of Canterbury to relax. "Why worry about what you can't change? Just keep living your life for each moment. What you can't change you have to put up with. Might as well live your life anyway. You know you can't stop them, those quakes, you can't do anything about it so why worry?"

"When a City Falls"- 105 mins. a 2011 documentary. Trailer. Poignant and powerful with no commentary - unnecessary. Uplifting in spirit.

4 May 2011 3 News - John Campbell The Anzac Spirit. What redeems a situation like this. What makes it slightly better for people. Sunshine helps. Acts of kindness help people in a community cope. That what those Aussies are doing. They have crossed the ocean to come and help these strangers. Strangers there, feels like there aren't any in this town at the moment.  People are just getting on with it. It shows their spirit. OUR KIWI MATES We have come to New Zealand to help out our mates.

Those of us who were far away on that terrible day share in your grief and we know it has been a struggle but through that struggle we have seen the strength and perseverance of the people of Christchurch. We grieve with you and think about you all the time; we will continue to support you. H.R. Clinton 22 Feb. 2012. Hillary visited ChCh in Nov. 2010. "I saw firsthand the beauty of Christchurch, and it was heartbreaking to see the pictures of destruction."  "In the aftermath of the earthquake, the United States, along with many other countries, sent an Urban Search and Rescue team to provide assistance. When their mission ended, they gave their advanced rescue equipment to their Kiwi partners so the work could continue. When a terrible earthquake struck Japan just weeks later, New Zealand quickly deployed its own teams...along with that same equipment. In America, we call that 'paying it forward.' It was international relations at its very best.

Text messages.

"We’re really praying around here ... believe me,"


In front of the cathedral stands the empty plinth once occupied by a statue of the founder of Christchurch, John Robert Godley. It now lies face down by its side. Mayor Parker says it will be one of the first things to be restored. The bronze statue, which was on display beside ChristChurch Cathedral, was unveiled on August 8 1867 by Godley's former secretary Charles Bowen. It was made in England and displayed in London before being sent to Christchurch. At least two time capsules have been discovered underneath earthquake damaged Christchurch with the man who found them saying the mayor was so excited when it was handed to him it was "like he'd won the lottery". The time capsules are a symbol of hope for CHCH. The time capsules had been handed to Anthony Wright at Christchurch Museum and he had been asked to carefully open them. Mr Parker said "We knew it was something special as it came from under the feet of Godley. A broken bottle with a roll of heavy looking paper that had been soak in a some type of liquid and a copper tube beautifully soldered up. May be their is recordings what where their hopes, what were their visions. What were they thinking about life, what did they think their future would hold.  A vision from the past might be just be the inspirational for the future. There were several opportunities to put the capsules under the plinth of the John Robert Godley statue - one when it was first erected in 1867, or when it was returned to its original site in 1933, after being removed in 1918 to make way for a tram shelter and toilets, which were later demolished. Irishman John Robert Godley is known as the "Founder of Canterbury" even though he lived there for only two-and-a-half years. He travelled in Ireland and North America and developed ideas about how colonies should be established and governed. 01/03/2011 Stuff  The first time capsule, a glass bottle, contained a vellum manuscript detailing the statue's move in 1918, while the second capsule, containing a larger sealed copper tube, was placed under the statue when it was moved back to its original site in 1933. There were editions of The Sun, The Star and the Lyttelton Times from 1918 and 1922, as well as official city council documents from 1921 such as the council's balance sheet and a statement by the deputy mayor at the time. Also inside was a blue book dated 1922 which contained photos and panoramas of Christchurch. There was an edition of The Press from 1933. The financial statements of the time would be of great interest to historians. The contents were mainly everyday stories rather than any "unique treasure." The third time capsule to be recovered from the old Civic Building, located on the eastern side of Manchester Street between Gloucester and Worcester Streets was brought and refurbished by the Christchurch City Council in 1924, is a sealed tin box and now also in the care of Canterbury Museum. Mr Parker said the capsules would eventually be replanted, with the addition of the stories of the earthquakes in September and February. After a conservation process that included the strengthening of the bronze, the statue was put back on 18 February 2015, "just shy of four years since he tumbled from his plinth."

My photo of the Lyttelton Timeball Station, Nov. 28 2009
This site remains significant. It was chosen as a building site over 135 years ago for the Timeball Station because of its elevated position, allowing ships to see it clearly from the harbour. On 13 June 2011 the tower collapsed and the Timeball landed 15 metres down the hill over this retaining wall.

The city will go from being one of the country's most historical to one of its newest.

Heritage heartbreak - heritage lost - demolished

Timaru - Temuka

In Lyttelton, the small port above the epicentre of the earthquake, the war memorial was damaged. The Timeball station has been damaged beyond repair and will be dismantled. But as this southern summer has demonstrated on both sides of the Tasman, the ANZAC spirit that it enshrines is still very much intact. Past the entrance of Lyttelton tunnel, protected from falling rocks by rows of containers. After a nervous negotiation of the tunnel, sunlight opens out to Norwich Quay, the main street of the port town. It's a shattering sight. Almost every building seems irretrievably damaged as they pass by and head up the hill. Stopping on a gently sloping street they step out for a first glimpse of the convent. It's still standing and, at first glance, seems to have made a miraculous escape. A closer examination of its front will reveal sagging brickwork and terminal cracks. The back of the building is worse.  

The Spanish mission-style building, the first built by Christchurch builder Charles Luney, was opened in 1929. The Repertory Theatre took over in 1950. The 106-year-old building had been earthquake-strengthened five years ago, which Witteman believed saved the lives of those in the building. The loss of the Kilmore St store would be difficult. "It took 29 years to build up, and 25 seconds to knock down. It's just not fair." - The Press 08/03/2011

Until just over a week ago Linwood House was Christchurch's oldest brick home - an 1856 Georgian-style beauty and the original homestead of Linwood Farm built of bricks from ship ballast and stone from Charteris Bay. That's it. There is talk of rebuilding a lodge on the site of Linwood House with recycled doors and fireplace surrounds.

Such history, I hate seeing these old buildings destroyed after all these years. Bloody shame. The powerful jolt rocked and rolled the quake epicentre, lifting two 1400-tonne Lyttelton Port cranes off the ground and out of their rails. It was an awesome display of power. However, the bustling port is already back on track. The heart of Lyttelton and Christchurch's vital trade link will again be a fully operational container port this week, with the damaged wharves quickly being fixed.  

Lyttelton Cemetery munted. 26 March 2011. Photo by Bruce Comfort.
 The Lyttelton Cemetery on Reserve Tce is now 'closed' as it is as it's too dangerous to visit. The February quake left the cemetery in a bad state; the April quake did far more damage. Memorials crumbled, obelisks snapped in half and hundreds of headstones across the city crashed to the ground in February's earthquake. The headstones will lie down in the place that they have fallen over forever now the damage was almost irreparable. No-one would take responsibility for restoration because each headstone was privately owned and not the liability of the City Council but they are part of the community's history. Headstones were commissioned by families and therefore their responsibility. The CHCH Library.

Photo taken Feb. 26th 2011. Avonside.

The cathedral's rose window is was intact when this photo was taken Feb. 26th 2011 but not anymore. Buildings are braced. The area cordoned off.  The white building on the right is the base of Claredon Tower which is coming down. The red dome is part of the Regent Theatre Building (former Royal Exchange) made a major contribution to the townscape of Cathedral Square. It was the first major Edwardian building erected in the square. It was the last of six cinemas to be developed around Cathedral Sq.  In fact most of the buildings in the photo, except the hotel on the left, will be coming down - are already down as of Dec. 2011. 

This photo was taken 27th April 2014 on Worcester Bvd. The cathedral is no longer dwarfed by the Press building.

Photo taken early Oct. 2015.

Christchurch - responded - searched - rescued 
"Reflect, Reuse, Recycle"

The ChCh Catholic Cathedral December 2011. Note the containers to the right in the background. They are being used to brace a wall. Containers are also found along the Sumner Rd to prevent rocks from falling onto the road and in Cashel St. just two blocks from The Square, the City Mall has returned but entirely of shipping containers, a pop up design - a symbol of renewal.  At CHCH cathedral the protection works - the lower level containers are filled with 25,000 L of water and the top containers are locked in place.

Cranmer Courts Apartments (Old Normal School) on the corner of Montreal St and 53 Kilmore and Cranmer Square., Nov. 2011. Street Art online. Demolished August 2012. Built in 1873-75. Additions to northern end of west wing (Montreal St.) to provide a kindergarten and training department in 1878, architect - Thomas Cane.

Rising from the rubble. Knox Church, a Gothic Revival structure was built in 1902. Photo taken in Dec. 2011.  July 2015 we drove passed the rebuilt Presbyterian Church on the corner of Bealey Ave and Victoria Street.  No more bricks. The peaked roof line and the interior timbers remain. Timber used from the damaged building was used to rebuild the pews etc. The Edgar Henry Jenkins pipe organ built in 1904, survived with minor damage. Official opening 2 Feb. 2015.

BNZ Bank
Historic Buildings Of Canterbury and South Canterbury a Register of Classified Buildings compiled by John Cattell for the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. 1988 soft cover 76pp. This book illustrates and describes all the A and B classified buildings and lists all the C and D classified buildings in the area. It was the first of seven registers that documented every classified historic building in New Zealand. Interesting that the Edmonds Factory was classified as B (merit permanent preservation) was still pulled down despite this. If money didn't demolish the buildings, the earthquakes did for many of the buildings.

The Nurses Memorial Chapel, Christchurch, July 2013
The Nurses' Memorial Chapel designed by J.G. Collins (1927-28), photo July 2013, remains closed and braced. Still closed in April 2014 due to earthquake damage.

The Press 3/8/2013 Finds rewrite Chch history
Thousands of secret treasures discovered under Christchurch are rewriting New Zealand history. "We don't know what patterns were on their plates and what goods they were importing. We are now able to tell what people were eating and using and doing. "This is what formed our identity. This is New Zealand's identity." The wealth of information was unprecedented. There has never been an archaeological venture like this before. It is such a broad sample from the heart of the city and all the residential areas. High level history is not about everyday people and their experiences of life in Christchurch. These are people who gave up everything to move to the other side of the world. What happened to them? Did it work?" "For us this is a silver lining on a very dark cloud because it opens up a big window into the past." We have done a lot of work gathering the data but we haven't had time to analyse it. There is a lot that can be learnt from it." But archaeologists agree that their historical journey of discovery has only just begun. The rebuild will bring even more finds to the surface. "This is one of those huge projects that comes along every decade or so. It will be a legacy for the city."

Edmonds was established in Christchurch in 1879 "Sure to Rise"

South Canterbury support

Traffic headed into Christchurch from the south and out of Christchurch to the south as it did in the September quake.  Fuel was being transported to Christchurch through the port at Timaru. More rest home residents are being relocated with 63 patients moved today, 17 to Timaru and 29 to Oamaru and the rest going further afield. Wilson St Baptist, Timaru, members came and helped with cleanup.

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker estimates that 70,000 people have fled the city since the devastating quake, almost a fifth of the population of about 360,000 people. Police said the Lewis Pass between Christchurch and Nelson looked like peak-hour traffic on the first couple of days after the quake. Many of those who have left either have friends or family in other cities or holiday homes in areas such as Wanaka, Queenstown, or Nelson. On Tuesday, Timaru mayor Janie Annear said that about 7000 people had arrived in the area.

Volunteer helpers put in a huge effort
The Rev Ian Hyslop led about 30 of Geraldine's St Andrews Church congregation into the city this weekend. The team hit New Brighton Rd with wheelbarrows, shovels and Bobcats, as well as bringing in trailers full of water. "There was everything from a 75-year-old retired lawyer to a four-year-old girl with a shovel. It's just part of us as church people helping in any way we can," he said.  On Saturday, Chris Williams' New Brighton Rd home was visited first by Brailsford in his digger and then by the church group. Williams said he was stunned by the kindness of the people who cleared his garden of waist-high silt. The Press  01/03/2011

Twenty victims of the Christchurch earthquake have been transferred to Timaru Hospital and acute Ashburton patients will also start arriving today. South Canterbury District Health Board chief executive said the Ashburton patients would be transferred to make room for Christchurch patients in Ashburton. Christchurch rest home residents will also be sent to Timaru, while three Timaru nurses were sent to Christchurch Hospital yesterday and half of its linen was sent back to Timaru for laundering. "All acute hospital admissions from the Ashburton area will come to Timaru Hospital from today, including maternity and mental health patients," Mr Fleming said. "Since the earthquake, about 20 patients have been transferred from Christchurch Hospital to Timaru Hospital and a number of patients and their families continue to turn up at the Emergency Department. "Three senior registered nurses who have emergency department and intensive care experience have gone to support Christchurch Hospital. Rest homes that are structurally damaged are being evacuated in Canterbury and the movement of residents is a high priority. South Canterbury aged care facilities are ready and waiting to take patients and we have reported this to those co-ordinating the evacuation. The Timaru Hospital laundry worked overnight on Wednesday and was due to do so again last night, cleaning seven tonnes of linen from Christchurch Hospital, laundry manager Donna Conroy said. "We have all our staff working and have called in some casuals, as well as hospital staff who have kindly donated their time ... We put through 3½ tonnes last night [Wednesday] and will put through three or four tonnes overnight."
- Timaru Herald Monday 28 February 2011

March 2 2011
In Fairlie, the whole town observed two minutes silence for Christchurch's quake victims. Mackenzie Mayor Claire Barlow paid tribute to those who had lost family and friends. "To those who have offered their homes as a place of shelter, baked, cooked, travelled to Christchurch as part of the rescue operation, transported food and necessities to people in need, shovelled silt, secured homes, hugged strangers, prayed, donated money and done a myriad of other good things – I commend you and thank you for your support," she said. "In a tragedy such as this, we recognise our own mortality ... There is not a single person in this town that has not been affected in some way."

Since the February quake, 252 claims have been lodged in Timaru. A number of people in parts of High St, Colombo St and Cashel Mall were killed by falling masonry from facades and verandas on older buildings, which are also common in Timaru's central business district. The victims included people from 20 foreign countries.
Temuka Takeaways and Video Ezy staff were told to vacate their premises on Friday evening after an engineer's report identified risks in the King St building. Since the February 22 earthquake staff had heard a lot of movement in the building and the windows moved every time the wind blew. The south side of the wall is at risk of coming down if we were to get another shake. A joist upstairs was also at risk of coming through. After the September 4 earthquake a large brace was put up to stabilise the building - The Timaru Herald 08/03/2011. The building was demolished on Saturday 24th March 2012. See Timaru Herald 26th March.

The Temuka "Domain house" was originally built as the domain curator's home about 1918-1920 by the Temuka Borough Council. The council property manager recommended the house be demolished and the land incorporated into the domain. When structural engineer inspected the house, he found cracks in the exterior wall were caused by long term settlement of the building foundations in addition to the earthquake. Timaru Herald 15/04/2011

An 1877 limestone block home on Clelland Road, Totara Valley - cracks appeared in the walls and the first floor of the structure moved due to the quakes. Will have to be pulled apart or pulled to bits. Timaru Herald 27 May 2011
A chimney on the building at 17 Beswick St., Timaru had to come down under urgency because it was endangering other property or life. It was sitting there basically because of gravity. 10/06/2011 TH

Mackenzie District's schools have welcomed dozens of new school students in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake. Several Mackenzie schools have taken on the equivalent of one extra class, as families flee Christchurch to escape the effects of last week's devastating quake. Lake Tekapo School's roll has increased by more than 20 pupils, taking it to 37. Principal Anna Roseingrave said they welcomed the new pupils with open arms.
"We are pleased we can offer some normality for them in times of chaos, providing them with the opportunity to maintain and enhance their learning in our wonderful little school, whose roll has just increased by 100 per cent," she said. The school has been a hive of activity over the last week." The school had taken on three extra teachers since the start of the week – including John Leadbetter from Christchurch's Parkview Primary School. "Parkview Primary School is not looking that good," Mr Leadbetter said. "Our house is all right, but with no water and no sewerage, and our kids constantly frightened by aftershocks, it is not an ideal place to live." He was not sure how long he would be teaching at Tekapo School, but said he was pleased with all the support. "Coming from a school with 400 pupils, this is quite a different experience. Everyone has been offering help, and I even spotted a pupil from Parkview in one of my classes yesterday."
Twizel Area School has had an influx of at least 50 pupils since last Friday. Acting principal Neil Potter said so far the school – which ordinarily has about 180 pupils – has been able to cope with the influx. But they had been asking for extra support where needed. Mr Potter said a new "house" had been created for the new pupils. "It offers counselling and senior student support," he said. "Whatever we have had to cope with [at Twizel Area School], it is nothing compared with those in Christchurch."
    At Mackenzie College, more than 20 students have arrived from Christchurch since last Friday. Principal Mark Jones said the new students were "fitting in brilliantly". Mr Jones was unsure what effect the influx of new students will have on the permanent role, but said the school may need to get an extra teacher. Several parents of current students have assisted with accommodation, he said. Two of Mackenzie College's newest students from Linwood College – were staying at a friend's place at Burke's Pass. Their Christchurch home was still without power or running water. Temuka Primary School principal Grant Willocks said with 30 new enrolments, "things are pretty stretched". There was a "bulge" in years three and four - enough for another class, he said. At Geraldine High School, 26 students had joined in the last few days, Principal Juliette Hayes said. The school had been short on classroom space before last week's earthquake, and had to hire an extra teacher to look after new students, she said.
    Waimataitai School principal Jane Culhane said the school had 24 Christchurch pupils but "hadn't run out of desks yet". For smaller schools such as Arowhenua Maori School and Lake Tekapo School, the influx of children means extra hands are needed. The school had been short on classroom space before last week's earthquake, and had to hire an extra teacher to look after new students, she said. Waimataitai School principal Jane Culhane said the school had 24 Christchurch pupils but "hadn't run out of desks yet". For smaller schools such as Arowhenua Maori School and Lake Tekapo School, the influx of children means extra hands are needed. More than 500 people have been through the reception centre set up at Caroline Bay to assist those who have left Christchurch. - The Timaru Herald 04/03/2011& 01/03/2011
    Almost 4900 Christchurch students have re-enrolled in other schools around New Zealand and around 70,000 people - or 20 per cent of the population - have left the city since last Tuesday. With 379 students Timaru District has absorbed the most students. Queenstown-Lakes District is a close second with 372 and Auckland third with 370.

Editorial: Timaru's tragedy too
Today is the day when, in a sense, the human tragedy of the February 22 earthquake really strikes home for Timaru. Not that it hasn't already seriously affected some South Cantabrians, through friends or family caught up in the event, but today one of two Timaru men killed in the quake is farewelled. Scott Lucy, whose funeral takes place at Chalmers Church at 1pm today, was one of two employees of the locally based South Island Organ Company not to make it out of the Durham St Methodist Church alive when the quake struck 11 days ago. The other was company factory foreman Neil Stocker. A third man, Rolleston optometrist Paul Dunlop, who was helping with the removal of an organ from the already quake-weakened church, was also killed. It's a terribly cruel irony that the men died at a time when they were seeking to remove the pipe organ for storage while a decision on the fate of the church building was awaited after earlier quakes. It had taken some time for clearance to be gained for the work following the September 4 quake and the significant aftershock on Boxing Day. Hopefully, in some way, the sharing of their personal tragedies will help to relieve their grief just a little bit, though only the passage of time will truly soothe their sorrow. It has been said that last month's quake had an impact far beyond Christchurch and Canterbury and that is undoubtedly true. Christchurch is a city that attracts visitors and students from across the globe, with a particularly large number coming from various Asian countries to attend language schools, including one in the devastated CTV building. Which meant the 6.3 magnitude quake had a global, rather than a simply local effect. It impacted in Japan, which had more than 20 students in the CTV building, in the Philippines, in China, in Israel, already confirmed to have lost two nationals in the quake, in Ireland.  It's a long list. It impacted in Mid Canterbury, taking the life of Ashburton accountant Philip McDonald, a Crusaders board member. And it impacted here, taking the lives of two well-loved locals. Christchurch's tragedy, sure, primarily, but also a truly global tragedy, and Timaru's tragedy too. Timaru Herald 05/03/2011

8 July 2011 - The Earthquake Commission's latest figures reveal that more than 7445 claims had been lodged for earthquake-related damage in South Canterbury since September 4, with at least 2382 of them lodged since the February 22 earthquake and the subsequent aftershocks.

icing on the quake (snow)

The clean up was well under way in Hagley Park. Photo taken Feb. 26th 2011. Pine cones were so thick on the ground after the quake. Now you can't even tell there had been an earthquake in the park. Monday 28th Nov. 2011 Hagley Park - had one round of twilight golf. A southerly came up, 4pm -  82F and by 5 pm - 68F,  6pm -60.8F, 7pm, 55.4. , 8 pm 53.6F but that didn't bother the flock of paradise ducks enjoying the greens.


Earthquakes happen - and not just in Wellington
We must be more prepared
Emergency kits are not enough. The second aspect is securing objects in homes and workplaces that will fly around in earthquakes, like television sets and bookshelves, and securing the hot water cylinder, ensuring supplies of water. This doesn't cost a lot.
How can we get people to prepare? Legislate
Motivate. A second way of increasing preparedness is by incentives. In contrast with vehicle insurance, where drivers of more hazardous vehicles pay higher insurance, there are no financial incentives for people to buy wooden houses, rather than brick ones, or to replace their brick chimneys, until they get hit by a quake. Insurance companies don't charge an excess on buildings that have brick chimneys that are likely to go through the roof in an earthquake. This could be changed.
Build community. Intriguingly, one of the strongest predictors of earthquake preparedness is involvement in the community - in clubs, in social organisations, etc. When we strengthen community, a bonus spin-off is greater preparedness.
There is a community there. New Zealand is often seen as a self-centred culture and many people feel the heart of the community has disappeared. But in disasters we find out that, yes, there is more to us, or to some of us. A bunch of moneyless students set up a huge clean-up operation and help change the mood from despair to recovery.  People have neighbours again and big business rolls up its sleeves to help. Amidst the devastation, there is community, love and hope. - Sunday Star Times 06/03/2011

Lessons of 9/11 help recreational mountaineer, John Haynes, belay 12 people down over 20m to a car park where they could escape to the ground from the sixth storey of the Forsyth Barr building, the stairwells had gone. Haynes worked as an investigator for the Ombudsman, said after 9/11 staff installed emergency supplies, including rope, sledge hammers, axes and food in their Christchurch offices. “When we decided to get out and bash through the window a great flood of light came into the building and it was great,” he says. 

Tech Talk - Geo Net  
Magnitude 2.8 is about the lowest level at which people can detect earth movement.

Location, location, location

After September 4's magnitude-7.1 quake, scientists warned an aftershock of 6.0 or more was possible, but the threat had dropped as months passed. However, seismologists recently estimated there was still about a 25% chance of a magnitude-6.0 or higher earthquake in the year starting February 1. "This quake, last Tuesday's, has been incredibly rich in aftershocks, and seems to be dying away very quickly. That number of magnitude 5s represents a very energetic aftershock sequence," Berryman said yesterday. "The other one, September 4, was a bit low in energy. The rate of decay from last week is much sharper than at Darfield.

Mar 7 2010 The failure of high-rise stairwells - normally considered a lifeline to safety - during the Christchurch earthquake should be a focus of a high-level inquiry. Workers in the 17-storey Forsyth Barr building had to abseil to safety after the stairs collapsed, even though the building didn't. The Hotel Grand Chancellor's stairwells also disintegrated into rubble. Because building levels move relative to each other in a quake, stairs are typically fixed at the top; however, they are supported on something that allows them to slide at the bottom. Stairwells fixed at both the top and bottom could fail during a quake. "If, for any reason, the bottom is prevented from sliding then what happens is that you've got two floors moving with a lot of force - if you've got a stair that's rigidly fixed between them and is not able to slide, then the stairwell will break its back.  

A trend: to build an earthquake proof house on isolated pads, solar power and generator and artesian water.

South Canterbury is sitting on a number of active fault lines, but do not panic, geologists say. As Christchurch comes to terms with last week's devastating earthquake, there has been discussion about the need to review New Zealand's building codes and civil defence plans. Professor Richard Norris, of Otago University's Geology department, said there were a number of major faults in South Canterbury, most of which had not been regularly "active" within the last 2000 to 3000 years. "There are a number of fault lines all over the place, the most prominent among which is the Ostler Fault, found in the Mackenzie Basin near Lake Ohau," he said. "There is also the Irishmen's Creek fault, which runs through the ranges east of Lake Tekapo and the Kirkliston Fault in the Hakataramea Valley. "We know of quite a large number of faults, but there is only a relatively small proportion for which we have substantial information regarding their activity." The average length of fault line in South Canterbury was around 25km. The fault line that caused the September earthquake in Christchurch was also about 30km long whereas the most recent one was only about 15km. Prof Norris said the "relative" rarity of big earthquakes near New Zealand's major towns meant people could get complacent. "In the last century, there have been 18 earthquakes east of the Alpine Fault which measured over 5.8 on the Richter scale. The biggest were mostly in North Canterbury; in 1929 there was a 7.1 near Arthur's Pass," he said. "But the last major earthquake in a city (before the September 4 and February 22 earthquakes) was Napier 1931. Most of the other big ones have been in remote areas." However, he warned against "knee-jerk" changes based on "merely finding a new fault right beside a city". "Those plans have to be reviewed and addressed over time constantly. Recent events just remind us we live in a highly seismic country." Prof Norris said the Ostler Fault could produce an earthquake of a magnitude 7+ on the Richter scale. He said geologists knew of the complex geology near where the most recent Christchurch earthquake occurred, but not the specific fault line that broke. "Even if we had known where the specific one had existed, it probably would not have changed the perceived hazard levels, although it could have been incorporated as a `worse case scenario'," Prof Norris said. Environment Canterbury hazards analyst Helen Grant said the Alpine Fault was thought to move every few hundred years, generating a magnitude 8 earthquake. Ad Feedback The last movement on the fault is thought to have been in 1717 and an earthquake on the Alpine Fault will cause significant damage in South Canterbury, particularly in Mt Cook and the Mackenzie Basin. Timaru mayor Janie Annear has said the council had not planned to review the town's building code in the immediate future. However, she expected the Government would instigate a review of the Building Act in the wake of the recent earthquakes. - The Timaru Herald 05/03/2011  

Shared ideas

For every step up in magnitude there is about a 30 times increase in energy released. In other words, a magnitude-7 earthquake releases about 30 times more energy than a magnitude 6. Fault length gets bigger with magnitude, but the factor is more like 10. The magnitude- 6.3, February 22 earthquake was on a fault about 10 kilometres long. The magnitude-7.1 Darfield earthquake was on the Greendale Fault, of about 35km. Latest quakes.

Land agitation An earthquake. 
Liquefaction - the solid factsAfter the dust settled, kindness and incredible community spirit rose up.

6th September 2012 - no quakes recorded. It took two years for the tremors to stop.

Canterbury earthquakes from 4th September 2010 to 5th September 2012
8189 quakes depth 5-10 km.   1,568 quakes depth of 10-20 km.
Magnitude 0-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5-6 6-7 7+
Number quakes 217 7076 364 364 36 3 1
Total (Mag+) 10485 10268 3192 404 40   7.1

The Fourth Event - at Christmas time 2011
One hell of a hit I thought. Its shattered us all again and just on Christmas.

A swarm of earthquakes struck Christchurch on the 23rd December 2011 causing liquefaction, more damage and a few injuries. Malls there were quickly evacuated after the 5.8 earthquake at 1.58 p.m. A 5.3 quake hit at 2.06pm. It struck 20km east of Belfast at a depth of 10km. The magnitude-6.0 quake, which struck at 3.18pm, was six kilometres deep and centred 10km north of Lyttelton. A 5.1 struck at 4.50p.m. Riccarton Road was chaotic - the mall closed.  Of course the east side of the city took another hit with liquefaction, etc. Further damage occurred on the western wall of the Christ Church Cathedral. Dean Beck said the new quakes were a "huge emotional shock. We were starting to get traction again and now it feels like June 13 again." There was no mail delivery on Christmas Eve by NZ Post. Mayor Bob Parker said the quake was another setback physically and psychologically. "Coming almost on Christmas Eve, with all the shops shutting, malls evacuated and airports closed, and people sitting around in tears ... you just can't underestimate the ongoing stress this has created for so many people. It's just going to be one hell of a day and my heart just breaks really to think so many people have already been so much." Some people injured and a few more already damaged buildings suffered a bit more. Falls, anxiety attacks and heart problems were treated by Christchurch emergency services after the earthquakes. At 6.37 a.m. the next day another 5.1 rattled area. It turned out to be lovely day that helped to dry things out ...horrible. People are basically sick of it all now. There are a lot of spooked people around. I think most people thought they were past it all and looking forward to a new year. But we are all ok. The excess has now increased on grocery store so they have to wear losses and breakages. Wine was the biggest loss and, of course at Xmas, the shop is loaded with it. The staff is distressed as they are already tired with the busy lead up to Xmas. When will the quakes stop??? The Cathedral.

Reverend Bryan Haggitt said the turnout was good across the city. Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews told all churches to hold their services outside after Friday's quakes, he said. "The Anglican diocese generally re-checks all its buildings after a 5.5 ... services were either relocated to local parks or simply just outside of the church itself," Haggitt said. "The weather has been great and it was lovely to sing outside at our service in Halswell. There were trees all around us, the birds were singing and it was quite magical really."

March 2015. Photo taken by Bev. Evans.
March 2015. Lych-gate. St. Mary's at Halswell is pretty old, quite a bit of liquefaction in the grounds and also quite a bit of cracked concrete around.

Bishop Victoria Matthews 24 Dec. 2011
In the wake of the December 23 quakes, Bishop Victoria has announced that all Christchurch Christmas services are to be held outdoors. 1:58pm: In a moment, Christchurch folk – whose most weighty decision at 1:57pm may have been how large a ham to buy – were thrown, yet again, into crisis response mode. We know the drill at such times, of course. And as I went outside to check on my neighbours, I found one group huddled on the grass with their pets, while others were about to jump on their pushbikes to check on frail and elderly family members. One priest who’d been living in one of just two houses left habitable on her street has had to call it quits there – because the sewer line that runs outside her front door has ruptured. It isn't that more people are homeless. Or even, for example, that more churches are down. Rather, there is an anger and an indignation that even at Christmas time we are not immune from the quakes and shakes that have plagued the city for 15 months. Late services on the 24th will be BYOT or 'bring your own torch'. One parish has said that they’ll have carols by candlelight (or rather, carols by torchlight because candles and quakes don’t go well together) and a simple celebration of the Eucharist. Not having people gather in church this Christmas isn't about fear of buildings falling down. We just don’t want large numbers of people – including the very young, the elderly and infirm – in close-confined quarters in the event of another 5.5 or 6. Gathering outdoors, away from tall buildings, will allow for community but not crowding. I know that isn't what most of us expected. But the first Christmas was very messy too – and the outcome from that extraordinary gathering was life saving. Who knows? Maybe this Christmas some people who would not otherwise darken the door of a church will hear the music and join the throng.

For the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch, 18 churches around the city had been closed or demolished since the February 22 earthquake including the beautiful Basicillic. Services usually held in churches were moved to parish halls or outdoor public spaces.

Reduce stress: Do things you find comforting: exercise, read, listen to music. Be with people whose company you enjoy.

The Darfield quake - the first event- 4 Sept. 2010.

Nov. 2011, near Dean's Bush.  
Nine months after 2nd event many buildings are still braced and tauped and fenced off. 


November 2011 - nine months later

Christchurch will always be a beautiful city. They can grow flowers there. Driving down Memorial Ave to Riccarton and seeing each house with a different style of fence and beautiful gardens with huge rhododendrons in full bloom in November is a stunning welcome and you don't notice the absence of chimneys. Then you get deeper into CHCH and look a bit harder you can still see many buildings and brick walls braced even a blue tarp on a roof. Then there was Mona Vale and Deans Bush with scaffolding and the chimneys and chimney pots gone and a crack in the chimney of the old Deans cottage, and it was fenced off, too. CHCH was busy, the motels were full with contractors and visitors as it was Show Week and when we flew out CHCH was still busy with the NZ open starting and players warming up at the beautiful Russley Golf Course. Hagley Park was looking fine as ever, many out there running, exercising and visitors out with their camera taking photos of the Avon and the flock of paradise ducks on the golf course. We drove down New Brighton Rd, all the way, late in the evening, I was the back seat driver, telling my son, slow down, slow down, we went to visit a friend. The road was bumpy and had been patched, and there were POT HOLES, then I realised CHCH was still hurting. Then there was the stopbank along side the Avon. I didn’t expect that but can see the level of the Avon was up. There is a higher water table following the earthquakes. The earthquakes has placed Christchurch on the map. My son came home with Bruce Raines “You know You’re from Christchurch when…"  I knew I was in CHCH when I found the Internal Affairs Office at the Airport – not a pretty office but functional. 

Five years later a good short sharp one.

On Sunday, Valentines Day, 2016, CHCH rocked and the Victoria St. clock stopped once again when a 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck at 1.13pm, bringing down cliffs in Sumner and causing liquefaction in parts of east Christchurch. The quake was mild compared with the 2010-11 ones, but it's been a while since we've had a decent one, so it made us take notice. It was a timely reminder that the earth hasn't stop delivering it 's blows. People were their usual stoical self and and just minor damage from falling things. "No damage, just a few breakages of everyday china and glassware." The thing immediately after this earthquake: people went out and talked to their neighbours, and that is step one – realising you’re not alone. The epicentre was 15 kms (9 miles) east of Christchurch, off shore, Pegasus Bay area, and at a shallow depth of 15 km (9 miles) and were more than 40 small aftershocks. "Slowly and surely the city is being fixed. It is a matter of detours to get around. My road has even been one way. It is likely my school will be repaired next year."

ChCh Nov. 2011- nine months after 2nd event. Brick fences are unstable.


Dean's Bush cottage, Nov. 2011
Dean's cottage with a cracked chimney - Nov. 2011, nine months, after 2nd event.  The Deans cottage chimney will also be rebuilt with Homebush bricks.

It was still looking like this in April 2014 and open to the public.

Dean's house, the restaurant had moved outside. The chimneys all fractured but did not topple and will be rebuilt and bricks attached to the steel frame where it comes out of the roof , complete with the undamaged Homebush pots.

Deans house Nov. 2009. Before the quakes.

Dean's Bush, is still closed as on July 2012. 
Riccarton House sustained further damage as a result of the 22 February earthquake and had a Yellow Sticker which means limited owner access but no public access. Repairs were underway. This notice and the restriction on access may be removed if the Chief Executive, CERA is satisfied a full structural assessment of the building had been carried out and it shows there is no serious structural deficiencies. As a result of the Canterbury earthquakes, this building has undergone structural change, and therefore its structural safety is questionable. Subsequent aftershocks or other events may result in increased damage and danger. 

Hall on Matai St. CHCH, Nov. 2011
Matai  St. W. There was a chimney there. That cabbage tree will outlive the building.  Nine months after 2nd event. Another photo 3 years & 3 months later. Not much has changed.

April 2014 - three years and three months later
The Changing City: As the city changes many of our most significant buildings will no longer be part of our cityscape. Those that remain become more significant. I visited Christchurch again and it is still hurting. The city centre is a mess in a rebuild mode, many buildings and sections fenced off, surface parking for cars, many empty sections. Walked passed the Bridge of Remembrance which was still cordoned off, pass the old cathedral, didn't find the cardboard cathedral. Saw all the fences with the plastic blocks poked in from the backside. Disappointed with all the graffiti on the buildings and rubbish about but there was some impressive art work on the buildings. There were tourists walking around. It is a tourist destination. Impressed with the contemporary container mall. Enjoyed my visit to the new temporary central library on Manchester St. near Moorhouse Ave. Looked at the church register cards. Nothing changed at Riccarton Bush. The house is still closed and the cottage chimney has not been repaired. The Sunday farmers market was still there. The above church on Matai St. West still had a tarp on its roof.

July 2014
The CCC put in place it's Make Safe programme. Make Safe aims to evaluate the extent and cost of the earthquake damage and determine the scope of repair throughout the CC managed cemeteries. Any headstone pieces fallen off the grave plot will, where possible and as necessary be returned to the plot and any headstones positioned neatly, raised on wood and turned so they can be read. Damage was random and had nothing to do with the size, age or construction of the headstone. Some newly restored headstones fell for example. Restoration is the responsibility of the family.

Friends of Linwood Cemetery photo July 2014

June 2015 - Population
Christchurch's population is now estimated to be 367,800, as of June 2015 and has recovered to the level it was around 2008, and is currently 8,500 people lower than the pre earthquake population in 2010 of 376,300. At the current rate it will take just over 1.5 years to return to the pre quake population.

May 27 2014. A inner city still city rife with road cones, pot holes and exasperating detours. The orange traffic cones do add colour to the grey streets.  I find it easier to navigate CHCH City Centre on the weekends when there is less traffic. The one way system gets me. The City Mall is between Oxford Tce (B.  of Remembrance) and Colombo St., High St. on Cashel St. Don't forget to place a flower in a road cone to remember the earthquake of 2011. A city of roadcones.

Godley, was shaken off his pedestal and lay face down in, William Rolleston fell backwards off its plinth to lie beheaded by the forces of nature and Capt. Robert Falcon Scott's likeness was also knocked over and is in need of repair. Photo May 2014.
The Robert Falcon Scott Memorial. April 2014. CHCH.
Robert Falcon Scott, Captain Royal Navy who died retvrning from the Sovth Pole 1912 with AE. Wilson  HR. Bowers  LEG. Oates E. Evans I do not regret this journey which shows that Englishmen can endvre hardships help one another and meet death with as great fortitvde as ever in the past. Scott's diary. This statute was unveiled in 9 Feb. 1917. [EA Wilson - a mistake that will not be corrected] Carved by  Kathleen Scott the widow of Capt. Scott  made out of Italian carrara marble in England. The memorial commemorates her husband and the four members of the Polar Party, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Edgar Evans and Lawrence Oates, who perished on their return journey from the South Pole in 1912.  The 22nd Feb. 2011 ,  6.3 earthquake toppled the statute. The memorial broke in two at the legs.  The statue was repaired and strengthened with four carbon fibre robs drilled through the base and legs vertically and carbon fibre ribbon was threaded 24 times, no air pockets left, through the leg horizontally. The pedestal also strengthen. A steel spring now connects the plate base to the 2.6m statue which weighs 2.5 tons.  6 Oct. 2017 our Scott was unveiled for the second time. The memorial now stands again ready to inspire new generations of explorers, scientists and researchers, and ready for the next chapter in its story.

What is going to be a foundation for a new building. Those colourful plastic blocks decorate many of the cyclone fences around the city centre, one way of brightening up the inner city. The beautiful old building in the background is the former Chief Post Office at 31 Cathedral Square, Christchurch.  Note the door is chained and padlocked.  1862- 1962 This plaque commemorates the establishment of the Lyttelton-Christchurch telegraph line. The first Government telegraph service provided in New Zealand. Note the bracing on the clock tower.


Heritage is inheritance from the past.

The old Chambers of Commerce building still propped up in April 2014, Oxford Terrace.

Godley, Cathedral Square, still missing. Photo taken April 2014. 2011 Christchurch mayor Bob Parker said "the first thing that we will do in this city is put back up on that plinth the man whose vision it was." Colour in the way of grass blocks and art work to brighten up the city centre.

I have never seen The Square so deserted. April 2014. There were still pigeons perched on building sills.

Cathedral Square, April 2014

The weather is also taking its toll on the old cathedral. Look at the moss growing. The Gothic Revival Anglican Cathedral was built from 1860-1904 and designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811-1878). Construction was largely supervised by the Canterbury architect B.W. Mountfort who made changes in the course of the construction, to the design. The building was deconsecrated in November 2011.  During Bishop Victoria Matthews address she said, “In homelessness, God’s love is still with us.”

CBD = Containers, Braces and Dirt

The Bridge of Remembrance, unveiled in 1924, was still closed off for Anzac Day 2014. Wreaths were placed around 2413 Pte Henry James Nicolas statue in the Remembrance Park in view of the bridge. Repair and strengthening of the arch and bridge is underway. The plan for the Bridge of Remembrance and the Remembrance Arch in association with the RSA, the Bridge of Remembrance will be re-tiled and upgraded to match the new paving. A new grand stair case to the Bridge of Remembrance will improve the east-west connections along Cashel St and better commemorate the processional route taken by soldiers during WW1.

Even BNZ is using a container in the Re-start mall. April 2014. That parking garage far left is closed and covered with graffiti.
Part of Cashel Street was to reopen on 29 October 2011.  The remaining Red Zone cordon was lifted in June 2013.

April 2014
The container mall, currently opposite Ballantynes in May 2014,  Ballantynes, Christchurch's last local department store, is only a two storey building, was closed for 8 months. Reopened 29 Oct. 2011 and is the retail anchor in the Re:Start Mall, Cashel St.  The Restart Mall was only meant to be temporary and five years later , 2016, it is still functioning and drawing people into the city centre.

September 9 2015 Business Day Stuff
Ballantynes property general manager Philip Richards said the company was committed to its Timaru store and searching for a new store manager. Richards said the company's flagship Christchurch store had generally improved revenues in the last few years. Following the 2011 quakes the Ballantynes property was left isolated in the central city, though other retail including the Re:Start Mall has since come back to the area."[Trading] is quite satisfactory. If go go back four-and-a-half years after the earthquakes we had no idea what to expect, and I've got to say our customers have stood behind us ...," Richards said. " I personally think [trading] is going to escalate quite rapidly as the city comes back together. We're already starting to see [people] moving back into the city. "When the first of Nick Hunt's buildings open at the end of December there's going to be another good number of central city workers."So within three years I think it is there's going to be 15,000 workers within 300 metres of the retail precinct." There would be more retail competition in the city but that should be to the benefit of all, he said. The central city could be "a much more vibrant" place than it was before the earthquakes, but the people of Christchurch needed to be prepared to pass around obstacles such as roading repairs in order help that revival.

C is is for Coffee, Cafes, Containers, Companies and Cashel St, CHCH.

Wise Men Re:Start. Steel shipping cargo containers - element of safety.
Another use for shipping containers.

The bells were plastic. Even The Square is being greened. Near The Quake City Exhibit.

 The creative spirit. The new graffiti is art, The Christchurch Art gallery is set to re-open in 2015. Oct. 2012 University of Canterbury student Reuben Woods, is working on a thesis about the city's post-quake street art, says the destruction in Christchurch has made it easier for budding artists to leave their mark, mostly anonymous artists. Out of devastation, comes opportunity, and container art. At Sumner there is a container cosy and an open air gallery, PVC canvas stretched 40ft x 17ft high and painted x160 containers. Inverted.  Creativity and innovation are no longer optional.  Wall art - botanic project.

185 CHAIRS ........... Over the past 18 months Susan has been working on this body of work. She found it, on one hand comforting...the other meditative and a privilege. She is pleased she can present to you on the 5th anniversary of the 2011 earthquake. susan hurrell-fieldes. Part 1. Tiki touring. 185 chair.


Quake City, the special exhibition telling stories from the Canterbury earthquakes will close at 99 Cashel St. on 25 June and reopen at 299 Durham St. at the end of August.

Braces, fencing, tarps, scaffolding, empty sections and reconstruction is still a common site in CHCH in April 2014

Compare April 2014 with Nov. 2011. No change.

All Fall Down : Christchurch's Lost Chimneys by Geoff Rice, November 2011, RRP NZ$29.95, paperback, 244pp

A house without a chimney doesn't really look like a home. Yet thousands of Christchurch houses no longer have a chimney after the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. The streets look strangely different without their familiar vertical accents. While this book was prompted by the Christchurch earthquake of September 2010, its author has long had a fascination with chimneys. He grew up in the smoggy Christchurch of the 1950s, not far from the Gasworks, and brick chimneys were all around him, both industrial and domestic, silhouetted against the red winter sunsets. He then noted the variety of British and European chimney pots seen on his travels, and realised that Christchurch had its own unique type, the Homebush pot. The book was first written over the summer of 2010, but then came the devastating February 2011 earthquake, with serious loss of life, and text and photographs alike had to be revisited. Many of the chimneys photographed after September were destroyed in February. This book is a visual history of Christchurch chimneys - domestic, commercial and industrial, most of which no longer exist.


The entire country is behind Christchurch.
Thank you to everyone who helped, shovelled, donated, listened and wrote.

Christchurch 18 July 2015 update : Pigeons are having a field day.
Pigeons have nested in the cathedral for years and it is still their home in 2015.
Pigeons struts along the steel supports and poop inside over the organ and everything else inside.

Press 02/03/2011 "He might be a Betty."
A pigeon trapped in the rubble of Christ Church Cathedral has risen again but, like the weakened city, needs time to regain its strength. The pigeon, named Barney Rubble by rescuers, was pulled from a pocket of rubble on Sunday night. The bird was released at SPCA Canterbury yesterday after staff members gathered in silence with the nation at 12:51pm. SPCA Canterbury manager Geoff Sutton said the pigeon was being released in the hope it would signify a "rebirth and rebuilding of the city". However, the bird, which was dehydrated and underweight when it was found, did not have the strength to fly more than a few metres yesterday. Sutton said the pigeon, like the city, was still in shock and needed time to rebuild its strength before it could fly again. SPCA staff would care for it until it was ready. "It hasn't used its wings for several days. It needs to build its strength before it's ready to fly," he said. The pigeon was the only sign of life rescuers searching through the crumbled central city had seen since Wednesday. "The rescuers sat down and rejoiced when they found the bird. "It was the first thing they had come across for a long time that was actually alive," Sutton said. SPCA staff member Vanessa Hampton collected the pigeon at 10pm on Sunday from the cordon surrounding the city centre. She said rescue workers were "pretty chuffed to find this wee guy alive". Pigeons have nested in the cathedral for years, and Sutton said the bird would have to "find another home, like a lot of people in the city". The SPCA has received about 250 lost or abandoned pets since last week's quake. Pigeons have a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years, but in urban areas tend to live for only five.

Bishop Victoria Matthews wants an inspiring new cathedral that speaks to the past but looks to a future.

Christchurch was a city of churches

The Transitional Cathedral, 234 Hereford St., sits on the old St. John's Anglican Church lot which was destroyed in the quakes. To get to the old cathedral walk across Latimer Square NW down Worcester St. The A-framed cardboard cathedral has become a tourist attraction was built in 2013 for $6 million, can seat 700, has 98 large cardboard tubes with a polycarbonate roof, was built with volunteer labour. Lifespan 50 years as it was built up to earthquake codes with concrete, steel and laminated timber. It was originally conceived as a temporary structure. Designed by the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. 18th July 2015 photos. Light, bright and has a wonderful atmosphere.



July 2016 Pottering on. Crack'd for Christchurch. They make beautiful public works of art using china, plates, cups and vases which were broken in the Christchurch earthquakes. You can find works - a giant mosaic chair and ottoman - on Colombo Street. Ceismic Collection.

Greif is the price we play for love. said QEII

The Memorial - Oi Manawa - The names of those who died as a result of the 22nd February 2011 earthquake are inscribed into marble panels. Each name is written as requested by their family. The names are not arranged alphabetically. Bereaved families guided the arrangement of many of the names. The names of those with personal and other relationships are near each other, such as where they lived or where they died, while other names are placed in a chance arrangement, reflecting the random nature of the earthquake.

A day of reflection and dedication. One-hundred-and-eighty-five names stretched across 40 metres of the 112m-long memorial wall unveiled. Another year, another ceremony to remember 185 lives lost and countless more upended. Through two, three, four and five-year anniversaries, Cantabrians have congregated, commemorated and dispersed. Prime Minister Bill English addressed the bereaved families directly. ‘‘We cannot know what fear or courage or hope filled the last moments of your loved ones. For years to come people will come to this place to remember and honour your loss and hope, as we hope today, that this memorial of hopes will stitch up the ragged edges of broken hearts. You can know that the memories of your loved ones are at the foundations of this renewed city. May the living live with hope and those who have died rest in peace.’’ Flowers flowing through the lower reaches of the Avon River the only reminder that the day was the 22nd February. Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy said. ‘‘This memorial is a pledge from us, the living, to those that we have loved and lost. A pledge that they will not be forgotten. As this river flows towards the sea, its life and movement reflect the strength that comes from common effort and the hope and determination to overcome the trials that beset us.’’ The 185 names were read out and a minute’s silence marked at 12.51pm, as poignant as ever. Afterwards, instead of dispersing, people stayed. They had a reason to. The queue to get down to the memorial wall was so long, access had to be staggered in groups. ‘‘It’s absolutely beautiful.’’ ‘‘It just provides all the spaces that you need. The ability to touch the names on the wall. To sit and reflect. It serves so many purposes. It is everything that we could have dreamed of.’’ Now the dream is reality. Michael Wright, The Press, 23rd February 2017. The Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial, a national place of remembrance. A touch stone. Together we are stronger.

2019 - comments eight years later.

70% CBD demolished.  2000 buildings pulled down. 52% urban roads smashed. Over 1,000k roads had to be rebuilt, 900,000 tonnes liquefaction ejecta rose to the earth's surface
8,000 families permanently displaced. 16,000 homes suffered foundation damage. The earthquakes were a shock to us in Canterbury.
Witnessing devastation, injury and death on a normal lunchtime break is not wiped away by 'just move on.'
Never forget driving my petrified children through the battered streets.
Stickers on the doors and windows of the CBD, first green from the first earthquake, then red from the second one. Layers of posted notes as the various entities reassess after each earthquake. Lots of scribbled notes, "We are ok" "We have moved to xyz"
Sobering how quickly we forget.
The constant rumbling and falling masonry every few minutes in the few days after were the worst.
It is not something you can ever train for. The scale was staggering. It was amazing and utterly terrible at the same time.
Huge stress and depression issues. The place is still stuffed. Great photos.
Saw homes broken, families broken, and normally stoic Cantabrians broken. It was bloody awful.
The odd shake still makes myself and I am sure others think, Oh no not again.
You had to be there and feel it to fully understand the devastation. Christchurch folk have shown what real strength and bravery is all about.
When you look at the raw data the quakes were bad by any standard. In terms of severity of shaking they were huge. (Richter scale is not the full picture - check out the vertical shaking in the Christchurch quakes). And then, of course, the after shocks. (And let's not forget the insurance battles).
Was almost thrown out of bed by that quake. And I was in Wellington. Knew it was bad. These photos reinforce just how very bad it was.
Had to go to Auckland for a month, for work and was astounded by the level of care and compassion that Aucklanders displayed - the wear red and black day was amazing for the number of people involved, I was on Queen Street and there was just a sea of red and black (it still leaves tears in my eyes!)
22 February 2011 in Christchurch changed everything forever. Shocking.

22 Feb. 2019 The Ferrier Fountain has been switched back on in front in CHCH town Hall this week. The Town Hall's original opening in 1972 and will reopen at the end of Feb. 2019. Christchurch City Council decision was to fix the Town Hall rather than demolish it entirely, which former Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee wanted. The fountain was donated by Claude Jack Ferrier and his wife, Marjorie, the daughter of Robert McDougall. Created by a British company called Ustigate, the “sphere de fleur” design features two spheres, and one hemisphere that sits just above the water line.

Things we should have learnt in 2011
Secure all loose furniture.
Plug in phones.
Torches, radio and batteries.
Alternative cooking -keep gas bottle full.
Alternative toilets -buckets, plastic bags - or dig a hole!
No perishable food, can opener, cash, first aid kit.
Always have an emergency kit in your car.
Never allow your vehicles fuel tank to reach under half full.
Clean undies in your emergency kit.
Look after your neighbours.

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project