Editor sees return to 'where we belong'

OLIVIA CARVILLE
Last updated 05:00 28/05/2012
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A NEW VIEW: The view of the CBD from the sixth floor of Press House.

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HERITAGE: The Press in a picture believed to have been taken between 1909 and 1915.

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The Press has returned home.

In the heart of Christchurch's broken city, Press House stands tall.

Today marks the first edition of the newspaper created in the city centre since the February 2011 earthquake.

The new seven-storey building in Gloucester St sits on the edge of the red zone.

For the past 15 months, more than 250 Press staff have operated from portacoms on the outskirts of Christchurch after the magnitude 6.3 quake partially destroyed its Cathedral Square building, killing one staff member and injuring others.

The former building, which had been occupied by the newspaper for more than a century, was demolished last August.

Editor Andrew Holden said it felt right for The Press to return "to where we belong", but the move came with mixed emotions.

"The Press going back into the heart of the town is a signal that we are moving from the demolition phase toward the regrowth of our city."

The newsroom looks out over the crippled Christ Church Cathedral and Holden said Press journalists would be "living and literally breathing the rebirth of the city".

"There is a tinge of sadness looking down on an empty site where the old building used to be and it comes with mixed emotions, but now we are in a position to give people an insight into what's happening around us.

"When the Clarendon Towers come down we will actually be able to eyeball the city council and Roger Sutton."

Holden said staff were excited about the move and he didn't believe many would miss life in "portacom village".

The Press was a "landmark Christchurch business" and Holden said it was appropriate the newspaper was one of the first businesses to return to the city.

There had been an incredible amount of support from the community for the newspaper's return to town.

A steady stream of people were seen wandering around the former Press site yesterday.

One member of the public, Martin Chant, believed the new Press building had the look of the "new Christchurch".

"I think The Press should be the first ones back in the city," Chant said.

"It's appropriate because they are essential for getting the message out there."

Another Christchurch resident, Joan Constantine, agreed.

"The Press is an institution in Christchurch and having them return to the city shows they are still committed to the future of this place," Constantine said.

"I think it shows great hope for the future."

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