Canterbury earthquake memorial to open for February 22, 2017 anniversary

Paving stones are being laid along the river bank.
STACY SQUIRES/FAIRFAX NZ

Paving stones are being laid along the river bank.

The Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial is on-schedule to open on the sixth anniversary of the February 22, 2011 earthquake.

Crown company Otakaro Limited is overseeing construction of the memorial on Oxford Tce beside the Avon River between Montreal St and Durham St South in Christchurch.

The memorial consists of two sections: a seat and a planted "reflective space" on the north bank, and a memorial wall on the south bank of the river.

Grega Vezjak's original design for the memorial has been altered, including replacing the Japanese cherry blossom trees ...
Grega Vezjak

Grega Vezjak's original design for the memorial has been altered, including replacing the Japanese cherry blossom trees with red maples.

Contractors completed the reflective space in early 2016.

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The memorial wall, designed by Slovenian architect Grega Vezjak, is in its final stages. It is made of concrete and cladded with Italian marble panels.

A "reflection space" on the north bank of the river overlooks the wall on the south bank.
STACY SQUIRES/FAIRFAX NZ

A "reflection space" on the north bank of the river overlooks the wall on the south bank.

The names of the 185 people who died in the February 2011 earthquake have been inscribed on panels and placed on the wall.

Contractors will install the last of the 517 marble panels, lay the basalt pavers and install handrails over the coming weeks.

They will also plant a row of red maple trees.

Inscribed panels will remain covered until a ceremony is held for bereaved families.
STACY SQUIRES/FAIRFAX NZ

Inscribed panels will remain covered until a ceremony is held for bereaved families.

The inscribed panels will remain covered until the bereaved families can view the finished site at a private blessing ceremony, according to the Otakaro website.

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The names are written as requested by the families. This includes preferred names, maiden names and middle names.

All the names have been inscribed in English. Seventy people also have their name inscribed in their first language.

The government contributed $10 million to the project and the Christchurch Earthquake Mayoral Relief Fund contributed $1m.

 - Stuff

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