Why I'm 'so very proud' of Christchurch

Last updated 09:30 13/01/2014
gap filler

GAP FILLER: Dance-O-Mat on an empty demolition site on Oxford Terrace.

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Christchurch was my home town, I now live in Australia.

People in Australia are shocked when I tell them that Christchurch hasn't recovered, and that makes me angry.

There tends to be an immediate blame on the Christchurch community as to why they haven't recovered three years on.

Most Australians live in a pretty comfortable bubble, believing that in a developed country recovery from an earthquake should be done and dusted in a year.

Christchurch has been ignored, and left to its own defences, which has created something rather beautiful.

I came back for the first time after the earthquake to visit family at christmas.

I was encouraged, amazed even, by the classic New Zealand creative and hardy spirit that has emerged from the rubble.

The arty reawakening of the city center through the Gap Filler and other community projects embodies a New Zealand collective narrative that I have always admired.

New Zealanders are strong, supportive, and creative. New Zealand has always resisted the bland and the vapid. New Zealanders have always cheekily pushed the boundaries of societal norms, boundaries that Australian's would never breach. 

The creative community responses in Christchurch show the council and government that we will not sacrifice the unique energy that makes Christchurch what it is.

We should resist the quick-build skyscrapers that could take over the city and serve as an ever present reminder of how the character of the city used to be, how it was made up of a mismatched jigsaw of architectural delights.

I am proud, I am so very proud of the Christchurch community for bouncing back as it has.

Of course there is a long way to go, but the resilient and creative spirit of the Christchurch community has prevailed.

You are a city to be reckoned with. You are amazing.

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