New Zealand mayors take city tour
New Zealand mayors have been shown the sights of earthquake-hit Christchurch before a local government meeting in the city.
Auckland Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse said it was ''gut-wrenching'' to see the damage to Christ Church Cathedral.
She praised the recovery efforts in the city and said officials and residents deserved ''a pat on the back'' for all the work that had been done so far.
''From a local government perspective, I just know how hard it is to do the planning and everything that goes with it, and Christchurch is doing an outstanding job,'' she said.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, making his first visit to the red zone, said the tour was a ''sobering'' experience.
''When you're given an idea of the buildings that are yet to come down, and they're clearly substantial, it makes you realise how much work is still left to do,'' he said.
The 22 mayors and chief executives were taken on a tour of Christchurch as part of the Local Government New Zealand metropolitan sector meeting being held today and tomorrow.
A city council spokeswoman said the group was shown parts of the central-city red zone and would also visit Bexley.
The group will hold a workshop tomorrow as part of the sector meeting, which is being held in Christchurch for the first time.