Farmers building in Rangiora demolished
The man responsible for pulling down the damaged blight in Rangiora's High St was too busy worrying about the 1000 tonnes of concrete bearing down on him to notice the crowd watching.
The last and "most poignant moment" in the demolition of the Farmers department store - closed for more than two years after the Canterbury earthquakes - was carried out this morning.
A video of the demolition has been shared more than 100 times on Facebook since it was posted a few hours ago.
Dcon Demolition owner and digger operator Jeff Hingston told Fairfax Media it was rewarding and satisfying to conduct the big step in the Rangiora community being able to move on and see progress in its main street.
His demolition company had been on site for six weeks, but pulling down the shop facade this morning was the big moment - proven by the crowd of families gathered to watch the deed.
"I try not to look out there, but I guess there was a few people.
"When there is 1000 tonnes of concrete bearing down on you ... you're watching 10 things at once."
Hingston described it as being "reasonably intense for a couple of seconds".
"It's certainly not as easy as it looks."
Farmers and the property owners, Mandeville Properties, announced in June the planned redevelopment of the landmark department store would go ahead.
The site is being prepared for construction to start in January 2015, and Farmers plans to open a new store there within 12 months.