Quote of the day:
“It’s distressing enough for people in Christchurch to have to go through the difficulties that the earthquake events continue to present, without actually scaring them completely by suggesting that they’re going to have to relocate to Dunedin.”
It comes from Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee in response to Dunedin City Councillor Lee Vandervis who said that rather than rebuilding Christchurch it should be relocated to Dunedin.
Like most who were students at Otago I have a soft spot for Dunedin but the idea of relocating Christchurch there is ludicrous.
Some quake refugees have moved south but that’s very different from relocating the city infrastructure like the port and other services as Cr Vandervis is suggesting.
Many refugees have moved north or emigrated and if the city wasn’t rebuilt it’s more likely that people and businesses would choose those options over Dunedin.
Fortunately, most Christchurch people want to stay in or near the city which is their home and they have the backing to do so from central and local government which is committed to the rebuild and recovery.
Dunedin, and the rest of the South Island should be co-operating with and supporting that not trying to compete with the city.
Without a strong, vibrant Christchurch the whole of the south will suffer and the growing population imbalance between North and South Islands will get even bigger.
UPDATE: Just spotted a link on Facebook to Lonely Planet’s post-quake guide to Christchurch :