Bright youth sees little future in Chch

19:15, Sep 10 2012
Layton Duncan
BRIGHT YOUTH: Layton Duncan, founder of Christchurch IT company Polar Bear Farm, is among a group of young people considering their future in Christchurch. He is planning to move to Melbourne in January.

An iPhone programmer is leaving Christchurch for Australia to avoid "a life of constant frustration".

Layton Duncan, 29, is among a group of young creative people who are considering their future in Christchurch.

The founder of Christchurch IT company Polar Bear Farm, he fears there will be a "lost generation" of young creative people leaving the city after the earthquakes.

Duncan, who has lived in the city all his life, is preparing to move to Melbourne in January.

"There are very few of my friends left here now. They have all left," he said.

"There is that feeling of why are we sticking around? It seems like there will be a lost generation of people in the city.

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"For someone my age, who can live wherever they want in the world, you don't want to be a passenger in a ride where you have no control and don't like the destination.

"Fundamentally, there is no mechanism where people like me and others who want to contribute something concrete and long-term for Christchurch are able to do that.

"We can see all these mistakes and that the road we are heading down is not going to create a place where people like us will want to live. You don't get the sense you are getting involved in the rebuild."

Christchurch musician Nick Harte, of Shocking Pinks, has said he will no longer live in the city.

"Thank God - well, I won't say thank God - thank whoever got me out of that city. I'm never going back to Christchurch," he told a music website.

"It's my home town and I love Christchurch, but I'm never going to go back there.

"To me it's not Christchurch any more; the old city is just a memory."

Creative New Zealand's senior adviser to the Canterbury earthquake response, Chris Herbert, said he had not seen a mass exodus of young artists leaving the city.

"The support systems that we have been putting in place have stemmed that tide to a trickle. We are never going to eliminate it altogether," he said. "It is the odd person and everyone can understand their frustrations."

Herbert said the emergency assistance fund for Christchurch artists had distributed about $2 million to help creative people.

The Press