reader report

Christchurch: Too classist for comfort

02:30, Jul 24 2013
Quake damage
Christian Palmer left Christchurch before the earthquakes struck after experiencing the bad attitudes of some residents.

Is Christchurch still a great place to bring up a family? Or has the damage been too great? Christian Palmer says cracks were showing before the quakes.

Christchurch was, and always will be, a beautiful city but I wouldn't bring my kids up there.

I spent the first 25 years of my life being brought up outside of the central city in Merivale. Now I'm a Taranaki dairy farmer.

Yes it's lovely with the beaches, the mild weather, the parks, malls, all the cool stuff.

I left long before any earthquakes and never thought of coming back because of the underlying attitudes and stereotypes. In my opinion it's a class-orientated place. It's all about what school you go to, what part of town you live in. If you are a bit different you stand out.

I couldn't walk from one side of town to another without somebody yelling out my differences from a passing car. I lived in Wellington and Hamilton for five years afterwards and that didn't happen to me once.

I know that those are the actions of a few idiots but I feel that they reflect the attitudes of a majority of the city.

Here in Taranaki I finally have a home where I feel part of things, without having to change who I am. I feel my kids can grow up to be who they are with less social resistance than I had to struggle against.

All this said, it broke my heart when those quakes hit.