Christchurch. Our beautiful City.

mareeStarred Page By maree, 29th May 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Tips>Planning

These are photo's and my thought's on the Christchurch Earthquake.
Yes we are still a city, everyone should visit.
We might be a little shaky at times, but we still need over sea's support to help get our city back on track.
You will experience a warm smile from locals, plus see some spectacular scenery.
So I suggest start saving now.
All members will even have a free bed to stay in if you come to Christchurch.
Just email me at


Christchurch is a beautiful city.
My mother was born here, then married and moved to Gisborne, in the North Island.
It is funny that my sister and I have settled here, in my mum's home town.
We moved mum here a few years ago.
Gisborne can be a very isolated place for the elderly, when their family have all moved away.
So we solved the problem, moved mum here, gave her a year to adjust and then she made the decision to sell up in Gisborne.
So we all were delighted with the out come.

I spend many a day just sitting and appreciating the fact that my family is still with me.
We were spared the grief of losing loved one's.
But I still have to deal daily with memories of those close to me lost.
It all is still to raw to go into any sort of major detail.

Instead I spend precious moments with my mum, talking hours on end.
Witness to mum remembering times long gone, her face lit up with memories, her mind as sharp as when she was a kid.
My heart just swells with pride as she expresses all her achievements to me.
She has had a good long life. Mothered four children and done a damn good job.

We have had our differences, yelled at each other from time to time.
But moments like these make things like that seem so trivial.
It is water under the bridge, swept away with all that is of little importance.

For a new dawn has come, life you see now is with a different outlook.
Treasures are things that friends and family have given you.
Not wealth, because wealth can not give you your health. Or bring back lost ones.

History becomes so much more relevant, as you travel through your ravaged city.
Seeing buildings that have been shaken and rocking, still holding their ground.
You tend to take more notice and appreciate all that is around you.

Elderly Entertainment.

My mum loves being back in her home town.
I have never seen her so happy.

She is involved with the church, loves the Returned Services Club.
Yes she is 83 and still goes dancing every Sunday.
I sit and just watch her wizz around the floor. New life just fills her.

Takes me back to yesteryear when my dad was alive.
We use to go to an old hall every week and attend old time dancing.
My parents were beautiful dancers and loved showing off.
So I know how to waltz, surprising people occasionally when I am out and about.

She is active in groups. Goes down south all the time.

Yes it took her to be eighty, to really start to go on adventures and explore.
She returns after weekends away, full of stories and laughs.
Making her younger at heart.

The Groins is a must see Reserve. I discovered it after the Earthquake.

We all decided to meet their and get away from the destruction around us.

Instead of attending the memorial, A group of us decided to avoid the crowds that would be in Hagley Park.

Let the kids run and play instead. Breathe in some fresh air, full their lungs, and just be kids again.
They still were full of fear, not leaving their parent's side.
They needed to be given a gentle push to start exploring again. Encouragement is what we gave them.
What they had witnessed, each had a different story to tell.
You could see the confusion in their eyes while their wee brains tried to comprehend it.
To much to take in for such small ones.
Their security ripped away from them, replace with insecurities instead, never knowing where or when destruction might raise its ugly head again.

It was great to see them start to drift away, build up courage once again and just play.

We all talked and shared our experience's, we were only meant to be their for lunch, but we were all having such a good time. We decided to stay for tea as well.
Just seeing all the fun the children were having, their first day were they could forget all the misery around them.
Safely tucked away from the sights on display.

Children will love it

In Christchurch their is so much entertainment that is free.
Your children can relax and run free through the most amazing scenery.
Yes you can sit back and relax, while taking delight in your children's squeals of happiness.

this bike is so old, and yes it has a motor. No guard over 20 years old.
The children showed so much courage, lining up to turns to ride it.

It bought strangers together, as their children asked for a ride, or just chased each other on their bikes.
One wee boy just kept running so fast behind it. All I could do was smile.

We had all changed, we spoke to each other, strangers included.
Time was not of the essence any more. Time was ours to have and treasure.
No rushing to jobs, because most of us had lost them any way, or were put on holiday, while our bosses tried to recover and decide what the next step was to take.

Such misfortune had made people stop and think about life's journey, what road they would take. Where would they go. So much to decide.

Yes we were homeless, staying at Bryan's mum's while we decided what action to take.
I was not going to run away, I was determined to stay.
We were one of the lucky ones, a roof over our head and food in our mouths.

Tempers had been crazy the last few days. Words of anger just spewed from my mouth, any little thing would set me off.
Anger filled my soul, anger at everything and everyone. It held no bounds, I yelled at young and old.
Yet I had respect normally, I respected the elderly I knew better than that. I normally was a carefree person with little upsetting me.

But I just breathed in deep, stretched out on a blanket, and escaped into the clouds, releasing all the stress within. I went blank for I don't know how long.
Letting my brain have a rest, as we had to be strong for the children, we were the ones they looked up to for support and guidance.

Yes I felt renewed, reborn, that I was ready to tackle head on all the challenges that will come before me.
Yes I was staying in Christchurch, I was not going to run away like so many are doing.

Time to Relax.

I spent the whole day, in the most beautiful Reserve.
My partner took me their, he was astonished I new nothing of its location.
I had lived in Christchurch for twenty three years, and never knew it was here.

After resting I was like a new person, running around with my camera, wanting to catch all its essence. A picture says a thousand words.


We still need everyone to visit.
Yes we need to rebuild, but we will open our beautiful city again.
At the moment even the locals can not enter our Central business district.
Yes It still is a red zone.
The earthquake hit on the 22nd of February and today's date is the 30th of May 2011

So okay you might not be able to stroll through our main City, but the suburbs are still here, and we have some gorgeous parks and churches still standing.

You still will be so entertained, no dull moments. Life will go on.

Sturdy Buildings.

We have some amazing old houses, that you would not see over seas.
Built to last, this house amazed me.
Yes it still stands, hard to believe.

I took this photo after the September earthquake, we actually passed it while driving, so I went back to take a photo with my camera.

It just made me feel so happy to see it still standing after the February earthquake, I could not believe it had survived again. Just totally awesume.

Our tram will be running again

Saddens me to see this photo.
But yes our tram will be running again.
You will be able to travel around a new city of the future.
Give us a year and we will empress you.

Now I have a new online business, with the support of everyone world wide.
I love the social networks available, It lets me know their is still life going on.

Yes you also can join me and get paid for writing.

You get to also read what is happening else where around the world.

World Buskers Festival.

We will still hold the World Buskers festival in 2011
Just a change of venue.
Our city in in the plans of turning Hagley Park into a one spot party.
We will have tents set up and ready for you for the World Cup.
Yes we will also hold the World buskers festival there.
This is a photo I took when I use to have my stall at the Christchurch Artcentre.

I reminisce back to this day, the balmy army was walking through.
The place was pumping, we were playing a match against England.
Everything was so exciting.

So glad I have a photo to look back on.


Yes by the time you get here, we would have restored this building back to its finest glory.

The Avon river flows beside it, twisting and running it's course.
The water is so clear and fresh, you will love it.

Birds are returning, and the land is settling.

For a while when walking the ground seemed to move under your feet, it was as if the liquefaction was still underneath.
Imagine lightly swinging a milkshake around and looking down at the milk moving and splashing.
this is how the ground felt like a sponge, all soft and moist.

Horse Riding

We may be a city broken.
But we can still entertain you with horse riding and jet boating down the Waimaki River.

I remember this day, such laughter as my children went on their first venture.

Now they are older, my daughter was in the red zone when it hit. At Poly tech studying bachelor of design. She was in her last year.
Up stories high, when the building just started to sway.
She said "it was terrible and everyone did not know what was going on.
They just made a mad dash for the stairs. Leaving their bags and everything behind them. Not knowing what lay ahead."
She would not get these returned until well into April.

I have put into word's what I visualize she experienced.
I needed to do this, because as a mother I felt useless and lost, you always imagine you can protect your children.
But when the situation is taken out of your hands and you have no communication or knowledge of were they are or how they are doing.
Your world just comes crashing down.
You are left helpless and a shivering mess.
Yes for so many hours I was home alone dreading the worse.
Going crazy with thought's of death, so close to a mental melt down.

I thought I had gone to hell and back and could share with her and understand to some extend what demons were left invading her head.

Her story sends shivers down my bones.
Her exiting the doorway, not realizing the extent of destruction to be welcomed by a wall of dust.
Like a blanket being thrown over her and leaving her blind she became disorientated.
Burning her eyes, hazy and sending her into a state of distress.
All that she had known now made no sense. All innocence gone.
They were all squashed and jammed together coming down the stairs.
Getting thrown from one side to the other with an almighty force.
Trying to make their escape, while people were pushing and shoving just trying to get to a safe place.

What none of us knew is that walls could break bones, people got hurt with no escaping or salvation by leaning on the walls, they just came to life, moving and expanding sending people flying as if tossing a ball across the room.

They all ended up being directed to a safe car park.
Standing huddled together in disbelief. Trying to piece together what had just happened.
Thrown into a world of utter chaos.
To much for the average brain to take in, all in one go is to much to expect.
People's screams could be heard all around them.
Piercing and horrifying sounds blowing with the wind, traveling and spreading from all directions.
She was made witness to sight's no one should have to see as people ran past covered in blood. Just yelling and screaming out of their minds.

People were trying to pull together and organize helping the injured,.
But when a man came towards her asking for help to move bricks and stone's from the crumbled buildings, which had people still underneath them.
She just froze terrified and started running for her life. Away from the horror.
I tried to comfort her and reassure her that she had made the right decision.
I could see it weighing heavily on her mind.
But human survival had set in, primitive times had returned, like a time warp had happened and now it was every dog for its self.
I told her it was only natural to be scared, that she could of also lost her life if another aftershock had happened at that precise moment, as it would of just bought more buildings down.

So many of us are now just left to deal with the demon's in our head, what ifs start to surface in our brains.
Sorting out our thoughts is going to be a challenge within its self.
For all of us will find different ways to deal with the ongoing situation's.

Need the tourists back.

If our city is to survive, we need our tourists back.
If you are a little scared of being caught up in an aftershock, don't worry.
Yes we have had over 7000, but they are settling and happening less often.

For our city to rise and flourish we need the return and support of every body world wide.
Just take the gamble in the next few years. Start saving as this could be your dream holiday abroad.

Surely another Earthquake of that volume shouldn't appear for another 100 years.

Gone for ever.

Yes some of our building are beyond repair.
But it is so exciting listening to all the ideas of what will spring up from the ruins.
We will be a city of the future, Green and beautiful once again.
Time is all it will take.
So start saving now to visit, by the time you arrive. We will amaze you.
Plans are coming together, groups are brain storming with some incredible idea's.

I enjoy sitting down to the news and keeping up to date with the daily progress.
So do not forget us. As we will survive.

Talented Youngsters.

Yes we have some talented young people.
Wander the streets see their art work first hand.
Visit our Art Gallery and Museum.
Yes they still stand.
People will start to come back and feel secure.
It just will take time and a little bit of encouragement and support.


Peaceful and quiet.
We have some beautiful scenery.
Where else do you see such green pastures, and butterflies fluttering by.
You can almost reach out and touch them.
I spend hours unwinding just watching the ducks swim by.

The birds and bee's are returning.

Just being witness to this duck says it all, not a care in the world.

Our city shall return.

It was the weirdest day, when we were allowed back into the out skirts of our city.
The atmosphere was subdued.
People were just so quite, looking at our broken city.
Gates all around blocking any entry. Like a war zone.
All we could do was look through and stare.
Buildings gone beyond repair.
Street we knew now were unrecognizable.
We had to try and work out were we were, we knew in our brains the streets name's, but their was very little things we remembered to give us our bearings.

It was like entering a strange city we had never been to before.

A strange silence hung in the air, you could hear someone drop a pin, if they so dared.
People were still bewildered.

Church restore.

Nothing a little repair can not fix.
We will rebuild and restore. It will just take time.

This is the church we use to attend our stoma support meetings are, it broke my heart seeing it like this.
I haven't gone back to another meeting yet, as I still feel a little unsettled.
I am on the committee but just can't seem to pull my head together.

My friends are a little concerned because before all this I had such energy and bounce to my step.

Re build underway.

Yes we are rebuilding already.
Our town is not going to lay down and sulk, instead all forces are joining together.

I will just wait and this can be another story as our town rebuilds.

Damaged but not down

Here is another view that when you get here will be gone and replaced with something more modern. Or hopefully rebuilt like the original.

Businesses reopen.

Yes we are not going to run away with our legs between our tails.
We are staying and most of us have already started to rebuild our businesses.
So when you get here we will have lots of goodies on offer.

I have put Maree Design's on the back burner for the while, as I can not seem to concentrate on designing.
But I will for sure get back sewing in the future. For now I am just taking a wee rest, and enjoying exploring the internet.

World of opportunity

Where else in the world doe's a city get the opportunity to rebuild and start all over.
Instead of feeling sorry for our selves, we are going to turn around this dread of destruction and build instead a world of hope and glory.
Yes you will be impressed when you arrive.

Rural pubs are still open.

Yes we have some beautiful rural pubs.
Located in green pastures.
Where the sun shines and the air is clean.
You can relax and sip away on local beer in warm outside gardens.

Back to nature.

Relax and get back to nature.
Take a leisure bike ride around some beautiful settings.
Spend a day, cost nothing just your time.
Breathe fresh air, full your lungs and just enjoy.

Colour will return.

This block will look beautiful once all the colour is given back.

Everyday when driving, something new is bought to my attention.
Whether it be another empty lot. I find my self pulling over and trying to imagine what use to be there. Instead I'm left feeling sad as I just can not recall.

How quickly everything changes and moves forward.
Yes it is to our benefit as time heals.


Family is so important.
To make time to be together, share the wonders all around you.

I just had to capture this on my camera.
So unreal, to see a family so happy and their laughter reaching my ears. Was just so pleasing to my soul.

Homeless but not out.

Yes we were homeless for six weeks living with the mother inlaw.
But we had hopes and visions to work on.
Finding a new place and rebuilding our dreams and goals.
By the time you are here, all will be restored.

Roads will be ready.

Do not worry, we will have our roads ready for you to travel on.

Remember to come and join me, and yes get paid for writing as well.

Another interested story I found put a smile back onto my face. Written by another member.

New Zealand is safe.

Yes we are a safe city.
The army are here building and helping.
They are so nice, reassuring us all will be alright.
I had a good laugh with these new lads, the destruction they witnessed in the red zone, surely would leave them with nightmares.
But they stay and support, for weeks put their own families in the back ground, while assisting everyone else.
They truly need all our support and a big pat on the back.


Christchurch New Zealand Photos, Contentment, Earthquake, Family, Grief, History, Life, Living, Loss, Love, Peace Of Mind, Rebuild, Recovery, Relationships, Scenery, Support

Meet the author

author avatar maree
Due to major surgery in 2009, I was forced to shut shop after 20 years. Determined not to feel sorry for myself I decided to swing the situation around to my benefit.

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author avatar nutNbolt
30th May 2011 (#)

you write very long article which means you are an hard working girl

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
1st Jun 2011 (#)

My heart goes out to the people of Christchurch. Very great article and the pictures were awesome and very revealing. My son and his girl friend toured the entire South Island a year ago January. They came back to America and said they both wanted to move to New Zealand.

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author avatar maree
1st Jun 2011 (#)

They should the air is fresh and the grass in green.
Yes it is a shame, but our city is getting back on its feet.
Thank you

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author avatar Maree
9th Feb 2013 (#)

It is the 9th of Feb 2013. We just had another aftershock. We have had over 10,000 now.
I have relocated to a new home. Plus I have started business again through trademe.

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author avatar Maree wells
7th Mar 2013 (#)

8th March 2013. Got the call. We have to move out for a month so EQC can come in and fix the damage at our rented house from the earthquake.

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author avatar Maree wells
4th Aug 2013 (#)

Back in the house now. Yahoo

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author avatar maree
25th Oct 2018 (#)

It is 2018 I now work from home full time Check out the plan,

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