Monday, 23 November 2015

My visit to Christchurch

Last week I spent two nights in Christchurch for work.  I had planned a conference for 100 people at the beautiful Hagley Oval.  Thankfully it all went well, and there were no hiccups.

Hagley Oval is a cricket ground in Hagley Park, in the middle of Christchurch city.  The new Hadlee Pavilion was a great place to hold a conference. If you watched any of the Cricket world Cup earlier in the year you would have seen this pavilion in use.

lunch break

before dinner drinks

I also had time for a bit of a look around the central city. Christchurch was hit by a huge earthquake in February 2011.  185 people died in that earthquake, and since that time, many buildings have been demolished because they don't meet the building code now.  Other buildings are being saved, but need earthquake strengthening, and as a result, the central city is very bare.

Here's some of what I saw:

The view from my Rendezvous Hotel room - it's so flat, and so empty

Gloucester Street - no shortage of parking in the city

The Christchurch Cathedral - all fenced off and very dangerous

The Cathedral - photos taken through the fence

The Arts Centre - all closed off for repairs

repairs at the Arts Centre
awaiting demolition - I saw a number of buildings like this in the central city
the Avon River
I left feeling sorry for Christchurch - both for the people and for the city.  Rebuild progress has been a lot slower than many would have liked. I guess life goes on out in the suburbs, but the central city really is a barren wasteland at the moment.  Unfortunately it will be many years yet before it returns to being a vibrant city, however I know there are great plans in the pipeline.


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

back when that earthquake happened I was corresponding with a young lady from NZ in the area of the quake - I heard from her quite often for a couple months she was a nervous wreck - she must have quit blogging as after a couple months I never heard from her again and her blog disappeared. She had told me she had to get over her fear that her family was worried about her. I do hope she got on with her life.

ES said...

I'm gutted for Christchurch and everyone who was effected by the earthquake, it was a charming city that I loved to visit, I hope one day it's vibrant and alive again.

margaret said...

such devastation caused by the earthquake, good that they can build building that can survive earthquakes, presumably they will all be replaced that way. Do hpe the Cathedral can be restored back to its original beauty. Must have been so frightening for those living in Christchurch and there must be a fear of will it happen again.
Two more quilts you have quilted so beautifully the twins will be sure to love them

Linda said...

Your post www very sad. We were in Chriwtchurch four days before the February 2011 earthquake. A group of ten friends ate a lovely meal in a restaurant just up from th Cathedrwl. That restaurant was completely demolished - as were most of th buildings in that street - by the earthquake. Our hearts went out to Christchurch then and still do now as we know how slow the rebuilding has been. All those well remembered landmarks gone or will be gone once the demolishing team get going. So very sad. I don't ever want to go back, it's just too sad.

HeathersSewingRoom said...

That is an interesting update on Christchurch. Sad to see that it is going to take so long before they get their city back. Earthquakes are so tough to recover from when they are so devastating. It is a reminder to me what Christchurch is still going through.

Granny Maud's Girl said...

I was with two Kiwi friends, both with family in Christchurch, on the day of that quake. Our neighbours are from Christchurch too, so they often talk about home. I am sure the city will rebuild, but it will take time. I hope they can save heritage buildings like the cathedral and arts centre!