As Christchurch and Selwyn was dusting itself down in the wake of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in the heart of the Canterbury plains tragedy struck at the very centre of Te Wai Pounamu’s largest city.

Unlike the September 2010 earthquake centred on Darfield damage was not limited to just bricks and mortar. The events that unfolded on Tuesday 22 February 2011 at 12:51 pm are etched in our minds and on our hearts and still show across the landscape and skyline of Christchurch today.

The challenges faced by so many in the minutes, hours, and days after the earthquake were enormous. Through news stories the world watched as Christchurch battled courageously to save lives. For too many the battle was lost and the challenges of moving forward without loved ones is something friends and family still face a decade on.

Today (Monday 22 February) I have the privilege of laying a wreath on behalf of the Canterbury Mayoral Forum at the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial at a ceremony to remember the events of that day and those who were lost. At the same time our Council staff will be taking time to reflect on the events of ten years ago by gathering for a simple moment of silence at our Council offices. I know that there are many other people across New Zealand who will be taking the time, privately or with others, to mark the moment.

From piles of rubble on that day emerged great hearts, holding cups of tea, offers of spare rooms, or simply a hug. Support and assistance was both national and global and Selwyn played its part with our other neighbouring districts. It was this spirit and sense of community that set the foundations on which the city of Christchurch was rebuilt.

Otautahi has risen to the challenge of rebuilding new lives as well as a new city. So as we continue the reconstruction journey we do so remembering those who are not hear but also celebrating progress and looking to the future with optimism.

You can watch the national memorial on a livestream.

Last modified: 22 Feb 2021 10:42am