Monday, 22 February 2016

Fifth anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake

It is now five years on from the devastating earthquake of 2011. Many people still can’t get their lives back and still more are in real pain.

The truest words come from the Wizard who talks of the incompetence and the inhumanity (he could have added the corruption). On the day when they had a meeting in Cathedral Square to talk about the event they brought in the trucks to remove all the graffiti – the signs of pain.
"Time to move on”, says our criminal prime minister, John Key.

Five years on Christchurch remembers the 2011 earthquake

More than 1000 people gathered at Christchurch's Botanic Gardens for the public ceremony.

22 February, 2016

They heard from the Governor General and the leader of the Farmy Army, which organised volunteers to help people clean up following the quakes.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said this would be the last time the council would lead the memorial event.

She said the Earthquake Families Trust, which is made up of family members of the people who died or were seriously injured in the disaster, had been asked to manage the event next year.

It will be held at the new earthquake memorial which is currently under construction.

Today's ceremony ended with the reading of the names of the 185 people who died, a minute's silence and the laying of wreaths.

Other events to commemorate the earthquake are being held across the day.
Christchurch resident Terri Green said she attended the memorial service as a commitment to those who had lost so much that they were not forgotten.

She said she was deeply touched by the reading of the list of the 185 people who died in the quake.

"As I stand here listening to the names being read out I think how dreadful, what if my son's name was read out, you know and the only thing that can support you is the fact that everyone still cares - and we do - we still care for those people who lost other people and all those people who are still struggling. And we have to remember that because Christchurch isn't over yet."

Mrs Green said many in Christchurch were also still dealing with broken homes, and they too should not be forgotten.

The memorial service for the fifth anniversary of the February earthquake. Christchurch City Council

Japanese national remembered

Dignitaries and families of Japanese nationals who lost their lives in the earthquake five years ago today are gathering at Christchurch's Transitional Cathedral to pay their respects.

Of the 185 people killed when the earthquake struck shortly; 28 of them were Japanese.

Members of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the Canterbury Japanese Choir will join forces this evening to put on a concert commemorating the anniversary.

Donations received at the service will go towards the construction of a bell tower at the Transitional Cathedral.

There was a strong Japanese contingent at the Civic Memorial Service in the botanical gardens this afternoon, including the Japanese minister of foreign affairs.

Convention centre decision not far off

On the fifth anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake, the prime minister has revealed a decision on the future of a new convention centre is not far away.

The $280 million project was announced with great fanfare in 2012 as a way to encourage more private sector investment in the devastated centre of the city.
Three-and-a-half-years on there is still no set timeframe for when it will be built.

On a visit to the city today, John Key has said rushing the project could result in the government paying too much for it.

But he said the gap was narrowing between what the government wanted and what was wanted by the consortium chosen to build the centre.

Last year Mr Key hinted the project could be scaled back in size

Assault charge after something thrown at Brownlee

A 41-year-old man has been charged with assault after an incident in which something was thrown at Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee at the memorial service in Christchurch today.

Christchurch quake anniversary.Gerry Brownlee (centre) at the service. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

A video of the incident on Newshub shows Gerry Brownlee immediately after the incident standing and wiping a brown substance from the top of his head.

A large amount of the substance can be seen on the left hand side of his jacket and over his tie.

After being offered a handkerchief to help clean up the mess from another guest, Mr Brownlee hands the handkerchief back and quickly leaves, with Labour Party leader Andrew Little seen patting him, in what looked like a show of support, on the back as he left.

Earlier a spokesperson for Mr Brownlee said the incident happened while the minister was seated at the service.

The spokesperson did not want to say what it was that was thrown at the minister, but said it was not very pleasant.

He said the minister was fine following the incident and did not wish to comment any further.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little said it was "entirely inappropriate" for someone to use the Christchurch memorial service to protest against the Earthquake Recovery Minister.

Mr Little said he understood people were feeling angry, but that there were better ways to protest.

"I'm not sure there's ever a time and place to throw a sludgy mix over somebody's head," he said.

"But in terms of making a protest, given this was a commemorative event, we were talking about families who had lost loved ones and a city that was trashed, and to use that as a time to protest in the way that person did, I thought was entirely inappropriate."

The service commemorated the fifth anniversary of the destructive 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

More than 1000 people gathered at Christchurch's Botanic gardens for the public ceremony.

They heard from the Governor General, the leader of the Farmy Army, which organised volunteers to help people clean up following the quakes and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

Lessons from the Christchurch quakes: RNZ Checkpoint

John Campbell, throughout the 5 years has been there for the people of Christchurch, providing empathetic coverage and giving a voice to the people of the city.

Kudos, John.

Voices of Christchurch: RNZ Checkpoint

Today, February 22 2016, a service to mark the fifth anniversary of the quake that killed 185 was held. More than a thousand people gathered at the city's Botanic Gardens to remember the 185 lives lost.

John Campbell spoke to the people of Christchurch

Not one of my favourite people ex-mayor Bob Parker makes a wonderful job of recollecting the day the earthquake struck and the initial response.

Former Mayor Bob Parker relives February 22 2011: RNZ Checkpoint

No sleep, no water, no sewerage, liquefaction, collapsed hillsides and bridges, trapped and badly injured people, a temporary morgue and limited communications.

It was a city on the brink.

That's how former Mayor Sir Bob Parker recounts February 22 2011. He remembers being hurled through the air when the quake hit, breaking ribs as he fell and then trying to phone the Prime Minister in the chaos.

The truest words of all came from the Wizard of Christchurch - they couldn't allow the signs of pain but came to remove the graffitti.

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