Christchurch police name 14 more earthquake victims
Police have today named a further 14 Christchurch quake victims, including former Black Sticks hockey player Amanda Hooper, CTV producer Donna Manning and her colleague, presenter Jo Giles.
Today's release brings to 97 the number of victims whose identity has been confirmed following last month's 6.3 magnitude quake. The death toll remains at 166 but is expected to rise.
Four Japanese, two Chinese and a Thai woman were also named among the dead. Relationship Services have also confirmed one of their staff was among those killed in the CTV. Nina Bishop had been a treasured member of the Christchurch service's administration team for the past ten years, chief executive Jeff Sanders said.
"Nina had an amazing capacity for giving and caring for those around her - from friends to family and workmates. She was always ready to say yes and go that extra mile," a statement released this afternoon said.
Meanwhile, Civil Defence officials have called off a planned memorial walk on March 18 through Christchurch's earthquake-ravaged city centre because of safety concerns.
Mayor Bob Parker had hoped residents could walk on a pathway through the CBD next Friday, the day set aside for the earthquake memorial service.
Civil Defence acting controller Steve Brazier told media the planned walk would not go ahead.
"It's not possible to find a walkway or a way through the city which is safe enough to allow that to happen," he said.
"The advice I have from USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) and police is that it's too dangerous. We've been spent quite a lot of time to see if you can do it. But the further back you get from the danger area, the less you can see."
The proposal had also drawn criticism as being "grotesque" and concerns were raised that priority earthquake response work might be passed over.
The victims named today are:
Nina Jane Bishop, 32, of Christchurch
Patrick John Coupe, 46, of Christchurch
Joanne May Giles, 60, of Christchurch
Yumiko Hata, 29 (female), of Japan
Amanda Jane Hooper, 30, of Rolleston, Christchurch
Megumi Horita, 19 (female), of Japan
Haruki Hyakuman, 27 (male), of Japan
Yasuhiro Kitagawa, 39 (male), of Japan
Xia Li, 42 (female), of China
Phimphorn Liangchuea, 41 (female), of Thailand
Donna Merrie Manning, 43, of Christchurch
Blair James O'Connor, 34, of Christchurch
Asuka Tsuchihashi, 28 (female), of Japan
Hui Zhang, 34 (female), of China
TV producer Donna Manning has been missing since the quake struck the CTV building. Her children were photographed keeping vigil outside the quake-ravaged building, destroyed when the 6.3 magnitude quake struck.
At the same time the family's house was being robbed, Ms Manning's brother, Maurice Gardiner, later told TV1.
He said while the Manning family had prayed that she would be found alive. "We are prepared for the worst."
Manning's colleague Jo Giles, a CTV host, has also been confirmed among the dead.
The former national athlete was a political hopeful and mother of four to Anna, Samantha, Olivia and James.
Ms Giles represented New Zealand in pistol shooting at two Oceania Games and a World Cup. She was New Zealand's first female jockey, and competed in motorsport and rock 'n' roll competitions.
Former Black Sticks player Amanda Hooper (nee Christie) was working on the second floor of the Pyne Gould Corporation building when the earthquake struck.
Hooper, 30, was an employee with Marac and played for the Black Sticks in 2003.
Meanwhile Prime Minister John Key said today some overseas leaders may attend next Friday's memorial service for Christchurch earthquake victims.
Key said that as well as the attendance of Prince William, who would speak at the Hagley Park service, there was talk other leaders may attend.
Mr Key declined to speculate on which leaders might attend.