Three years on

February 22, 2014

Those of us who weren’t in Christchurch at 12:51pm on February 22nd, 2011 will probably always recall where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news of the earthquake.

Those who were in the city or close to it will never forget.

This post is to remember the ones who died and were injured;  the ones who lost family and friends, homes and work places;  those who lives were literally and figuratively turned upside down and those who are still dealing with the physical, financial and emotional problems caused by the quake and its aftermath.

It is to acknowledge those who helped during the crisis and those who are dealing with ordinary life in extraordinary circumstances.

It is also to celebrate the people who are working so hard, under still trying conditions, to rebuild the city.

The Press lists commemorative events.

 


Two years on

February 22, 2013

At 12:51pm two years ago a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch.

On this second anniversary we remember the 185 people who died and the many others who were seriously injured.

We think of people whose homes and businesses were badly damaged, some irreparably.

We think of people still living in limbo, waiting for decisions, waiting for repairs, waiting to move on.

But two years on as the rebuild gains momentum we can also appreciate the work that has been done, the opportunities grasped and look ahead to better times for Christchurch and Canterbury.

 

 


Can we prevent a repeat?

August 15, 2012

Alan Reay whose design firm Alan Reay Consultants designed the Canterbury Television building which collapsed in the Christchurch earthquake has accepted full responsibility for its failings.

Without in anyway minimising the tragic loss of life in that quake, the death toll was low considering how many people were in the city centre and most of those who died were in just two buildings.

Taking responsibility for building failings can not change what happened and its tragic consequences.

But learning from the mistakes and shortcomings not just in the design and construction but in inspections after the pre-February 22nd earthquakes could prevent them and the tragic consequences being repeated.


Red and black

February 22, 2012

For Canterbury:

(Ribbon borrowed from Scrubone at Something Should Go Here Maybe Later)


Broken rules helped

February 22, 2012

When disaster strikes you can’t always go by the rules.

In financing a fund to cover wages for Canterbury businesses in the aftermath of the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes in Canterbury, the government wasn’t following the rules:

In an interview on last February’s quake Prime Minister John Key said:

The Government’s response in the following days involved not just the rescue effort, but how to keep the heart of Christchurch beating. “In a way we almost broke every rule in the book.

“You’d never establish a fund where you just say, `Ring up and we’ll give you money’, because governments don’t operate like that and if you do, they’re liable to all sorts of activity which could be fraudulent.

“But we just sort-of knew there was no way to have a system with all the bells and whistles on it … if you look back on it I reckon that actually kept Christchurch afloat. We essentially paid the bill for 50,000 people for six or eight weeks and business did start regrouping, in fact, much quicker than we thought.”

A business leader told a meeting I was at last year that the fund made a huge difference to the city and he credited it with the relatively low number of business failures after the quakes.

The fund kept money flowing through the economy, it gave businesses breathing room while they regrouped, it worked on honour and there was very little abuse of it.


Kia Kaha Christchurch

February 22, 2012

At 12:51 a year ago today, a violent earthquake shook Christchurch, Lyttleton and the hinterland.

It lasted just 24 seconds but in that time changed the city forever.

Among the victims on the day were 185 who were killed and many more who were injured.

The physical and financial costs of the quake, and the thousands of big and small ones which have followed, might be quantifiable.

The emotional impact on the people of Christchurch is not.

Today we will remember them all: the people who died; their family and friends who will still be mourning for them;  the people who were injured and those still supporting them; the people who were forced from their homes and businesses and those who have stayed.

Today is also an opportunity to honour the many organisations and individuals who have worked so hard to help the city and its people. Among them are Sam Johnson who was named Young New Zealander of the Year for his leadership of the Student Volunteer Army, and Federated Farmers’ John Hartnell who led the Farmy Army.

Today is an opportunity to look back in sadness but it’s also an opporutnity to look forward in hope.

Kia Kaha Christchurch.

Timetable of commemoration  services:

  • Christchurch

Where: North Hagley Park

When: 12pm-1:30pm

Christchurch residents welcome to attend the reading of names of the  185 who perished and two minute’s silence will be observed.

Where: North Hagley Park

When: 2pm-4pm

Christchurch Earthquake Awards will celebrate those who rose above the call of duty to assist others in the aftermath.

Where: Latimer Square

When: 8am-8.45am

Service focused towards those who lost loved ones as well as first  responders, the public is also welcome to attend.

Where: Avon River

When: 8am-8pm

An event called River of Flowers. The public is invited to  cast flowers into the river at particular sites. More information available here

Where: Christchurch Botanic Gardens

When: 10am-11.45am

Festival of Flowers where Golden Angel/Spirit sculpture will be  unveiled and ringing of Peace Bell by Japanese students who lost friends in the  CTV building.

Where: Wainoni/Avonside Community Services Trust

When: 12:45pm

Lighting of candles and two minutes’ silence along with other memorial  activites.

Where: Branston Intermediate

When: 4.30pm-7.30pm

The Crusaders will be manning the  free BBQ and there will be ice cream and games to entertain the  children.

Where: Sacred Heart Parish Church, Addington

When: 5pm-8pm

Mass by the Filipino community of  Christchurch.

Where: Queenspark Reserve

When: 5pm-7pm

A Memorial Reflection where northeast Christchurch residents can  reflect over the year at stations dotted around the park.

Where: Oxford Terrace Baptist Church

When: 7pm

Reflection of Loss of Lives, Livelihoods and Living in Neighbourhood.  An installation of white chairs will represent earthquake victims.

Where: Holy Trinity Avonside

When: 7pm

Brief service and candle lighting will be followed by Ash Wednesday  service.

Where: Spreydon Baptist Church

When: 7.30pm

Remembrance and Ash Wednesday service.

  • Selwyn

Where: Selwyn District Council chambers, two minutes’ silence

When: 12.51pm

Where: Rolleston Domain

When: 5pm-7pm

Community picnic with music and children’s games

  • Waimakariri

Where: Kaiapoi Baptist Church, the Kaiapoi Club and the Oxford  Workingman’s Club

When: 12pm-1.30pm

North Hagley Park’s Civic Memorial Service will be screened.

Where: District Council Rangiora and Oxford service centres and  Darnley Square, Kaiapoi

When: 12.51pm

Two minute’s silence.

  • Auckland

Where: Parnell’s Holy Trinity Cathedral

When: 12.30-1:00pm

Mayor Len Brown will lead two minute’s silence at 12.51pm.

Where: Aotea Square

When: 12.51pm

The Auckland Town Hall clock bell will ring at the start and finish of  two minutes’ silence.

Where: Auckland War Memorial Museum

When: 12pm-2pm

Reading from The Broken Book by Christchurch author Fiona  Farrell, two minutes’ silence at 12.51pm and a screening of When A City  Falls documentary at 1pm.

  • Wellington

Where: Anglican and Catholic cathedrals

When: 12.30pm

Wellington’s service will be hosted by the Anglican and Catholic  cathedrals, as vigil of solidarity with the two iconic Christchurch cathedrals  that were destroyed.

  • Dunedin

Where: Otago Museum lawn

When: 12.30pm

Otago Student Association president Logan Edgar says a two minute’s  silence, mayoral address from Dave Cull and end karakia will be held.

  • Wanganui

Where: Majestic Square

When: 5pm

Wanganui District Council’s youth committee and Mayor Annette Main will  be hosting a service.


Fonterra inviting applications for assistance in Christchurch

February 13, 2012

Any politician knows that you rarely get acknowledged for the good you do and will always be criticised for any lapses.

Businesses suffer from a similar lack of appreciation.

Take Fonterra for example.

When the company’s plan to provide free milk for low decile schools was announced their was some appreciation but the predominant sentiment was, and so they should.

If many ever knew that Fonterra had donated more than $6 million to the Canterbury earthquake recovery, most will have forgotten.

A newsletter to suppliers reminds us:

Immediately after each quake, Fonterra provided on-the-ground Civil Defence support including the provision of water through milk vats and tankers, distribution of UHT and flavoured milk to welfare centres, and assistance with the urban search and rescue effort through our 24-strong Emergency Response Team. Our suppliers also provided emergency accommodation for people affected by the earthquake.

To further assist the Christchurch community, we created a fund that acted as a central collection point for donations from suppliers, staff and joint venture partners.
Fonterra pledged $1 million after each quake. Our suppliers, staff and joint venture partners raised a further $1.9 million for a total of $3.9 million that was donated directly to the Red Cross.

Fonterra also matched dollar-for-dollar the $1.9 million raised to create the ongoing Fonterra Rebuilding Communities Programme. Through Rebuilding Communities, Fonterra has provided donations to The Prime Minister’s Earthquake Relief Appeal, Canterbury Business Recovery Fund and Rise Up Christchurch – Te Kotahitanga Telethon. The Programme has also welcomed applications for funding for direct assistance to Christchurch community groups, clubs and schools.

A final call for funding is open until the end of the month. Any funds left after February 29 will be donated to the Red Cross Earthquake Appeal.

Applications can request funding of up to $5,000 for initiatives that fall into the following categories:

1.Community Safety – development of new safety projects such as safety equipment or training to further prepare the community for future disasters. Support in the past has gone to survival kits and first aid training.
2.Christchurch Community – support in replacing essential wellbeing equipment such as toys and books for libraries. This has a positive effect for families, especially children.
3.Environmental Sustainability – restoration of environmental areas which encourage community spirit in schools, early childhood centres and the wider local community. Previous examples include replanting trees and replacing garden beds.

If you know of any groups which could benefit from this funding please spread the word.


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