Sunday, October 30, 2011

Life Returns to the Former Red Zone

After eight months of post-quake remediation, a section of the city's red exclusion zone opens for shoppers. Temporary shops in shipping containers form a pop-up mall, relieving the raw scars of demolition.

Any misgivings about returning to the shattered city are forgotten in the gorgeous spring weather.

An estimated 10,000 take the opportunity to reclaim their lost city.

Almost like it used to be, only the $2 shops seem to be missing.
In the distance the hopelessly damaged Hotel Grand Chancellor awaits the high-rise wrecking ball.

Good to be back. Having a coffee in the city is like pinching yourself to make sure that you're not dreaming, only much more fun.

Once the city's premier riverside cafe strip, Oxford Terrace is still undergoing demolition.

Prime Minister John Key proudly displays his rugby world cup lapel badge as he mixes with the crowd after declaring the mall open. A hapless security operative grimly shields Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee from the PM's radiance.

"It's alright kids, he's just a big softy".
The Prime Minister reassures children that he has Brownlee totally under control, while the Earthquake Recovery Minister encourages a seagull to head over to one of the remaining orange zones if it wants to pull that sort of nonsense.

TV One's Charlotte Bellis and crew on the job.

Mayor and media veteran Bob Parker in his element.

It takes a real media professional to remain unmoved by the mayoral smile.

A chance for a closer look into the remaining red exclusion zone.

Even the advertising appears to mimic people's hunger for a glimpse of their city's lost heart.

Inside the nearby Tap Room things remain eerily frozen in time since the earthquake of February 22nd.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Key's Surprise RWC Treat for Christchurch

Tuesday Oct 25: Prankster PM John Key prepares to ambush ABs captain Richie McCaw and More FM's Simon Barnett at the Hagley fanzone victoryfest. His attempted repeat of the endearingly goofy three-way handshake that touched the nation's funnybone on the big night put the cherry on top of Christchurch's magic event.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

All Blacks Bring the RWC Mug to Town

The victorious ABs made their triumphant way through the city's relatively undamaged fringe.
With a high proportion of the local Canterbury Crusaders in the team it was something of a homecoming. The parade culminated in a mass love-in at the Hagley Park Fanzone.

Crusaders Corey Flynn and Israel Dagg receive the adulation of their home crowd.

Not Clark Kent but a bespectacled Corey Jane, with Crusader Owen Franks.

Malili Muliaina, Crusader Ben Franks, and surprise match hero Stephen Donald.

Jimmy Cowan and Crusader Sam Whitelock.

Crusaders Andrew Ellis and Kieran Read.

Crusaders Dan Carter and Richie McCaw

Coach Graham Henry gives his benediction to the adoring throng.

Crusader Dan Carter displays the mug.

Getting political.

 'Rosie' storms the stage.

Never too old to love the ABs.

The ultra-rare phenomenon of coach Graham Henry cracking a smile.

It's not easy facing up when your whole world is black?
Mick Jagger proved wrong.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Glorious Labour Day in Shake City

After holding out last week at their South Hagley Park camp through one of the year's biggest downpours, the Occupy Christchurch protesters' numbers are swelled for a gorgeously sunny Labour Day march.

An extended stop at the Bridge of Remembrance.

While the messages were plain the atmosphere seemed more partylike than overtly political.

A minute's silence for those who perished in the earthquakes.

Gathered for speeches at the City Art Gallery before returning to the camp in the park.

In accordance with the aims of the global occupy movement, speakers talked unaffectedly of their everyday experience of globalisation. While the atmosphere was almost festive there was no mistaking the seriousness of the first-hand stories of poor working conditions from those involved in the rebuilding of Christchurch.

Speech bubble? 
A stray soap bubble floats by one of the speakers at the City Gallery.

Rugby World Cup Final, Hagley Park Fanzone

While the recent earthquakes deprived Christchurch of the chance to host any RWC matches, Cantabrians turned out in force to cheer the All Black victory on the big screens.

A future AB's debut.

Ready for the big night.

The Blacks are gonna do it.

The game in the balance.

Blessed relief.

 Bravo the Blacks.

Applauding the epic win.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

After the Deluge

A stormy day in Christchurch. Torrential rain and high winds started sometime around midnight and lasted until late afternoon.

Near the Swanns Road bridge the Avon strains its banks.

Has the level of the land dropped in the recent earthquakes?

A couple of weeks ago this pair of swans were working towards raising a family
Now their nest seems to be completely underwater.

A more fortunate duck family.

Surface flooding in Avonside.

Not a heavy metal traffic cone but yet another sinkhole. Since the quakes they've been appearing in all sizes, all over the place.