Christchurch's iconic cathedral, which was badly damaged in the earthquake, will be rebuilt, Mayor Bob Parker says. He said the building was a stunning and symbolic building. "There is some discussion that that is a building we could rebuild brick by brick, stone by stone.
We need to find some symbols like that." There will be a new and stronger city rising out of the ruins and it was realistic to start thinking about it, he said. "The scale of what has happened here means we will have to take some bold steps." He would not rule out the need to knock over whole blocks of the city and some of the character buildings they would have once fought for may have to go. "We have got to have a safe city going forward."
The mayor said as the death toll rises, people should expect to see names they know. "People need to prepare themselves for that," he said. One of the names mentioned as among the missing was well-known among city councillors. Parker said citizens of Christchurch need to be tolerant of each other today as tempers become frayed. "Cut people a bit of slack today.
There will be grumpy people, we all express our stress in different ways. Some laugh and get silly and that can offend someone else who is feeling really depressed and sad," he said. "We've got to keep working together, we've got to hang in there as a city." Parker said 80 council teams were going out into the city today and they would all be properly identified.
He warned people to be careful, and said his own house had some security issues overnight. "There are bad people out there - it makes you feel a little uneasy. "We have to be aware that there are people out there for whom this is nothing but an opportunity...
They do not have feelings or consideration; they have greed and a need."He said the naming of the dead through the day would be increasingly distressing. He said 50 percent of the city now had some water and most of the bottled water was going to hospitals. Parker suggested that if elderly people could not get to water supplies, they should leave a container on their mail box and other citizens would get if filled.
He said toilets could be flushed only if pipework remained intact but people were advised to "limit the usage". Council teams would knock on doors and ask about personal health and the state of property. "We are going to build up a far more complete picture of the city." Parker said bridges were gradually being opened. "There are no quick answers, prepare yourself with your neighbours and friends to cope." He said it was going to get cold. "We know what is needed and we know it is tough." Parker said he was really worried about the elderly and appealed to people to check on their neighbours.