OPINION: Two years on, and what do we know?
What's different, what works and what doesn't?
Christchurch and parts of Canterbury will never be the same after the 6.3 magnitude quake brought it to its knees on February 22, 2011.
The first anniversary was all about remembering the horrific day and those who never made it home that day. Emotions were still raw a year on.
The second anniversary had a different feel to it. While any anniversary is an obvious time for reflection there was more of a sense of hope this time around.
The loss of life will always be felt, but there is no a real attitude that the city is bouncing back. With that, though, is the sense of frustration that things simply aren't happening fast enough.
Christchurch is a city that is being pushed and pulled in a lot of directions.
There are so many questions to be answered and problems to be solved, but not enough time, money or resources around to keep everyone happy.
The new Christchurch will have a set of winners and a set of losers when it comes to the rebuild. People are inevitably going to miss out, whether it be a settlement with their house or that their local school is closed down.
That is part of the new reality.
Many hard decisions have to be made and they will be made quickly.
With much of the demolition work done, the next 12 months will see a lot more progress than the previous two years.
For some, it will all be too much and they may decide to pack up and leave the region because of the pressure and stress. But for the majority of people constant change is the new norm.
The word "resilient" was thrown around a lot in the days and weeks after the quake, but the true test of that characteristic is in the long-term.
The real test of progress will be one year from now when we all look to see what has been achieved.
Not everything will go to plan and the people of Christchurch need to be prepared for that.
We should be used to it by now, but there's still something a little odd about Super Rugby being played in February. Traditional summer sports, like cricket, have often battled for attention once rugby starts up in the professional era. But, maybe it's also a not-so-subtle reminder that summer is winding to a close and those of us who have enjoyed the clear and warm weather aren't quite ready to say goodbye to it.
- Manawatu Standard
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