Sunday, 3 February 2013
Arriving in New Zealand and Christchurch Devastation
Jackie and I have arrived in New Zealand for a holiday. It is a long way from the UK, and the flights took about a day and a half to go via Singapore and Sydney. The flights were very good (thanks Qantas) and the time went much more quickly than I expected.
This was the view of NZ as we flew over the south island, on our approach to Christchurch.....
We will be going to these mountains over the next couple of weeks.
Today we toured central Christchurch. It was nearly two years ago that an earthquake struck the centre of the city. I hadn’t realised the extent of the devastation until we walked around the city. Surprised at how little work had been done to demolish the damaged buildings and to start the rebuilding works, we asked about this and discovered the neither the local government or the insurance companies have the money to pay for the work. I imagine that ‘acts of God’ were not covered by most insurance policies and so are not paying out on claims.
It might take a long time to get the centre back to normal and major parts of what was the heart of the city are closed to the public.
What I did like was how part of the centre had been regenerated. Containers have been used to create temporary shops in a couple of small areas. These are now bustling and busy places that work really well. Quite where the offices have been relocated to I don’t know. We have discovered that many small motels are very busy, providing the rooms needed by the lack of hotels that were destroyed in the city centre.