Happy in Christchurch
I am originally from Christchurch but had been living in Wellington for five years before returning to Christchurch to live 10 days before February's quake.
I came back with my husband and two young children that are now one and two-years-old, 14 months apart. We were in a rental property when the earthquake struck and were lucky that we were all together at home and apart from a number of smashed glasses, had little damage.
I was initially concerned at the reaction of my daughter who was visibly upset and clingy for a number of days. However, she has adjusted now and is quick to recover and my son is still young enough that he is not badly affected.
We have bought our first house in May which we love. The weather is so much better in Christchurch- as much as we still love Wellington.
We also kind of feel that this is one of the safest places to be now with pretty much everything that could fall down, already having done so or marked to come down.
I do feel some sadness for favourite old haunts like the Arts Centre or the Repertory Theatre but I am looking forward to seeing what rises from the rubble once the council can agree and if businesses can come on board with the vision for the city.
I do want the centre of the city to be rebuilt but with a much greener focus and plenty of public spaces. I like the idea of the Avon Park, a new library and sports centre, and state of the art conference centre.
I'm hoping that there will be the money found from somewhere to make these things happen.
I am quite excited to be based here now with the promise of a truly modern and progressive city in the pipelines. I just hope it happens in time for our kids to get the most out of it.
- BY SUZIE VESPER