A Photo a Day of Christchurch New Zealand

We’re Still Living Here, Three Years on from our First Quake


Today is the third anniversary of the first large earthquake in Christchurch. It was a magnitude 7.1 earthquake and was located west of the city. Though some buildings sustained a lot of damage, as a city, we got off lightly. For the next six months after September, we lived in blissful ignorance of what was to come.

The photo for today is of a sculpture that’s located in the arts centre. I took it during the weekend – as I’m currently out of Christchurch having a few days ‘down south’ visiting relatives. I couldn’t find out any information about the sculpture, but I thought it was very fitting for today’s anniversary. It’s so symbolic for the city – amongst all the broken steel and debris and dust and road works and rebuilding, we have carried on living here. It’s a city of thousands of different earthquake stories.

As human beings we like to mark anniversaries, yet this morning, 6 hours’ drive away from Christchurch, I completely forgot about today’s anniversary. It was not until my Mother reminded me… until then, I’d been focused on the pelting rain, and what baking I was going to do today. I’ve been surprised to see a few others in my Facebook network have also forgotten it was the anniversary – which goes to show, life goes on, we get focused on the small acts of daily living. At least that’s what many of us can do, some unfortunately, are not so lucky, and are still stuck with broken homes, broken dreams and a tiredness that doesn’t go away.

I’ve realised now, that the rebuild of Christchurch and the re-development of the city is happening in incremental changes with wonderful new developments that collectively make a new city. One day, some time in the near future, we will all just stare in wonder and go wow…

I think one of the best things that has come out of the last three years, is that Christchurch is a more caring and compassionate place for everyone and all of the new ideas and creativity is making this an energetic and fascinating place to live. I look forward to seeing what happens over the next three years. I know I won’t like everything that happens – some of the buildings going up right now are pretty boring and utilitarian – grey boxes that are designed to be looked out of not looked at. But I live in hope. And hope is what gets us from one day to the next.


About the Author:


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

1 Comment

  1. gerald on September 5, 2013 at 1:38 am

    It is good to not be remembering all the time otherwise we can’t go forward but not forgetting altogether is good too

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