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I went for a walk through part of the red zone in New Brighton today, joining a friend and her spaniels for a walk around the wide open spaces. The dogs were pretty excited. There were rather a lot of blossom trees, magnolias and camellias in flower – all once upon a time someone’s pride and joy. It’s interesting to see how nature is starting to take over – with grass now growing over some of the foot paths.

This is the new Justice and Emergency precinct, which had an open day today. According to the news, over 14,000 people went through the buildings. I had a strong suspicion that this was going to be a popular event, so get down there at 10 am this morning. Even then, the queue was pretty long. We Christchurch people turn up to openings!

Look at that queue!

The water feature has its first resident duck. It seemed rather pleased with itself. This water feature is actually a level above the ground floor, so good spotting on the duck’s part.

It was a great opportunity to see the inner workings of the government departments that will move into the buildings. I got to see the police cells, the courtrooms, patted a puppy police dog and picked up one of the armed offender squads guns (it’s ok, it was unloaded and allowed). I can report that the gun was very heavy. They also had a lot of the implements they use to break into a house.

Built using just cardboard boxes and tape, this cardboard replica version of the Cathedral was constructed yesterday in Market Square in the Arts Centre as part of the Arts Festival. It seemed very fitting that this was on display this weekend, the very weekend that the Anglican Synod voted in favour of a full restoration of the ChristChurch Cathedral. It will take seven years to rebuild apparently.

The cardboard version was going to be demolished at 3 pm today, but the rain got to it earlier than that – with it collapsing on its own.

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