Remembering the 53 nurses who died in Christchurch earthquake
Nurses gathered at Christchurch's earthquake memorial wall to honour 53 colleagues killed in the 2011 earthquake.
New Zealand Nursing Organisation (NZNO) Canterbury regional council chair Cheryl Hanham and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel laid wreaths after the names of the nurses were read out and the group sang a waiata.
Three nurses read out poems selected for a poetry book to be published by the NZNO to raise the visibility of nurses.
The small gathering included retired nurses, students and those who had just started their nursing careers.
Hanham said the council arranged the ceremony for International Nurses Day after learning the number of nurses killed.
As the memorial wall had opened, it seemed fitting for Christchurch nurses to mark the day by remembering their colleagues.
The nurses who died were from eight countries including Canada, Japan, China, the Philippines, Ireland, Taiwan, Thailand and New Zealand.
Most were in the CTV building at the time of the earthquake, either in King's Education, an English language school or at a medical clinic.
Sacha Miller, 23, who recently started working at Christchurch Hospital, went to the ceremony on her day off "to show our respect for the nurses [who] died".
She had not realised how many earthquake victims were nurses.
Mayor Lianne Dalziel attended the ceremony and was touched by the use of the wall to honour a group of victims.
"I was actually quite surprised at the number of nurses who died. This gives us the opportunity to reflect on a special group that died on that day."