Silver lining to earthquake devastation

Posted 22 Feb 2012 by Media3News Popular
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WED, 22 FEB 2012 6:22P.M.

By Annabelle Tukia

Some parts of Christchurch have begun to spring back from the devastation.

Temporary accommodation has allowed businesses to resume or new ones to start up, including the city's Restart Mall, made up of brightly painted shipping containers.

Reclamations like this, of the inner city shopping precinct, are putting Christchurch back on its feet and giving tourists somewhere to go.

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter says it's great for the region.

“It’s been a huge attraction for visitors to Christchurch and it’s helping bring people back.”

It is estimated 70 bars and restaurants were lost in the quakes, but since then dozens have popped up all over the place in everything from shipping containers to a caravan and a bus.

Hospitality Association Canterbury president Peter Morrison is feeling positive about the progress.

“With every cloud there's a silver lining. I mean we've had this disaster, but we've got to look forward to the rebuild and all that’s going to go with it.”

Vacant lots in Christchurch's once bustling CBD are now providing a blank canvas for creative minds.

Regeneration initiative Gap Filler is creating projects to help revitalise the city, such as a cycle powered cinema.

“If you can change the perception of Christchurch, instead of ‘poor Christchurch’ it becomes ‘that’s the place to try something new, there’s space and there’s opportunity and they're really into it’. I think that is very powerful,” Gap Filler’s Coralie Winn says.

However what is proving really powerful is the sight of Christchurch's decimated Cathedral, which draws crowds including overseas tourists daily.

A Canadian tourist came to have a look today.

“We'd heard a little bit about it, but only when you’re here do you really see the impact.”

A Dutch tourist wanted to see how the city was coping.

“We want to see Christchurch again and how they try to live again, to stand up.”


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