A Photo a Day of Christchurch New Zealand

City Mall Re-Opening with Container Shipping Shops

A big crowd waiting for the mall to be re-opened

We’ve had a stunning day for the re-opening of the City Mall on Cashel Street – the sun shone the sky was blue and a big crowd turned up. It was hard for me to get good shots to show you just how many people were there – I’m in the middle of the crowd for the photo above standing on one of the benches they have in the mall. The mall was re-opened by our Prime Minister John Key (who was later mobbed by people who wanted photos with him – I think he may have even kissed a baby or two!).

The crowd was quietly excited if there is such a thing. I understand some people were probably nervous or felt a bit funny about going into the mall – it was the scene of so much carnage and destruction and personal tragedy. I was not in the mall on the day of the quake, so I was feeling more excited than nervous about what I was going to see. As a city we desperately need to put some live back into the central city and have somewhere that is buzzing and vibrant. So I was very pleased that so many people have turned out to support this ‘Re-Start’ initiative. It’s a temporary shopping precinct developed with shipping containers. But the containers are done up so well there is no way you’d really know you were in a container. There’s lots of shops and cafes and of-course the iconic Ballantynes department store has re-opened as well. I can see what will happen with this area – the developments will slowly creep out into the main streets where we still have buildings as the foot traffic comes back to this area. That will be a great thing indeed.

Memorial tiles have been placed in the cobble stones so we don't forget

John Key was a popular attraction - where else in the world can you get this close to the leader of the country?

Throngs of people - it was hard to move at times

Some excellent shopping is to be had here!


There are at least two places for a cuppa

The containers are quite striking


Naturally people were curious about what lies on the other side behind the cordon - Colombo Street

Johnson's grocers are back and doing a roaring trade

(message to Bruce, my favourite chocolates are the Queen Anne ones and you can get them from Johnsons’s)..

Johnson's grocers famous bike

The Johnson's container - a very spiffy green

Musicians are back too - these guys had a great latin sound

A giant snow man at Ballantynes

About the Author:


Michelle is a Christchurch web designer and photography fan living in Christchurch New Zealand.


  1. […] in Christchurch New Zealand, after the earthquake, the shopping centre was reconstructed with shipping containers. As a result in the global downturn in business, containers are in surplus (by the 1000s) all over […]

  2. Les Holcomb on October 1, 2012 at 3:08 am

    So full of hope and sustainability. Totally recyclable. Affordable commerce with dignity. Containers demonstrate the accessibility of sanitation, utilities, and leave roofs for solar, storage of inventory or to make frames to grow things on. Thanks for the explanation and photos.

    Les Holcomb
    Community Dev. Specialist
    (community health and technical literacy development)

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