Christchurch is home - but Bluestone is great

02:27, Feb 22 2013
HERE TO STAY: Principal Ian Poulter chats with pupils Mollie Nicol, 11, Shayle Haumu, 11, Jessica Grey, 10, and Brooke Grey, 11, at Bluestone School.

Former Christchurch schoolchildren are making a new home at Bluestone School in Timaru after their lives were thrown into chaos following the February 22, 2011 earthquake.

Shayle Haumu, 11, said he and a friend had just finished lunch at Windsor School and gone out to the playground when the quake hit.

"We held on to the big poles in the playground because they weren't moving. People were on the ground covering their heads. A lot of little kids were crying."

Some children had cuts because the fish tank in the library smashed.

"When Mum arrived we both had a wee cry."

He and his mother tried to get across some bridges to get his brother who was at kindergarten. When they found him he was very upset.


"Mum said coming to Timaru was the best thing in our lives because we met [Bluestone School principal] Ian Poulter because he made us feel so welcome, and everyone cared and looked after us.

"Because I've been through so much I really don't have any more fears about it now. My sister and I would like to go back to Christchurch because Christchurch is home. [But] Bluestone is great because I feel like I belong here."

Brooke Grey, 11, was at Freeville School in New Brighton when the quake hit. The pupils were told to go out on the field.

"It was really scary because everything was moving. People were scared and then the liquefaction started. I felt really scared because Mum was in the Palms Mall and I was worried about her."

Brooke said she felt safe here and had made new friends. She was happy to know Christchurch is being rebuilt. Brooke's sister, Jessica, 10, said moving to Timaru felt great because people were friendly.

"There's lots of things to do."

The Timaru Herald