Rebuild offers a self-reinvention
30 Minutes With... is a weekly feature looking at life in Christchurch as the rebuild progresses. This week, ABBIE NAPIER spends 30 minutes with Claudia Reid.
Former city councillor
Lives in: Merivale
Lived in Christchurch: 28 years
Where: Home sweet home
In the past three years, Claudia Reid's life has done a complete flip.
In 2011 she was living in Diamond Harbour and working as the city councillor for that ward. Today the council role is gone and she and husband Chris Moore are living right on the edge of the central city and have exchanged a lengthy car commute for walking.
Like Christchurch, Reid says she is "reinventing" herself.
After a cancer scare, her focus is on health and fitness and pursuing her passion for the environment. She does not miss the council and does not miss peninsula life.
"I don't think I'll leave the peninsula because it travels with me," she says.
Most mornings, Reid is up early for a long walk. Most of her favourite places in Christchurch are outdoors but the weather is hit and miss so we meet at her home in Merivale.
She is heavily involved in community projects like the Coastal Pathway and the Lyttelton Civic Square.
It is actually people who make the city, not buildings, she says.
While a blueprint was needed for things in the city to move on, she thinks the spaces in between those big buildings are what makes a city great.
"I'm talking about the public places where people can congregate. The Avon River Precinct is just lovely. Heavenly."
She wants a more integrated rebuild. A transport plan should have come before a blueprint for buildings and how people would use the city needed to be considered.
Reid has a positive outlook on most things, it seems. She misses a "truly functioning" city but is looking forward to seeing it progress.
"It's a mixed marathon really," she says. "I never expected it'd be quick."
On the one hand, there is the "agonising" wait for a verdict on the future of their current home. On the other, there is a city a few blocks away in various stages of rebuild.
"Sometimes you wonder why you hang around when everything is so hard but there's something exciting about being here too," she says.
"It's a time of innovation and there's some things happening now that will never happen again, which is wonderful. Every day you see something different - a mural or artwork that wasn't there before."