This week marks the 2nd Anniversary of our 7.1 on the Richter scale Earthquake.
There have been more than 11,000 aftershocks, with varying degrees of damage and fear. Any wonder we are in varying states of ill temper from time to time. Our roads are still rather like off road tracks in many places. Lots of road works, lots of holes, closed roads and bridges.
There is progress being made, but so much to deal with. Where there were liquafaction ‘sand volcanoes’, which were cleaned up and sealed over, there are now potholes as the surface has collapsed and sunk back into the spaces the sand came from in the first place. The sewers are gradually being replaced as the roads are being repaired. There are so many spaces in our city, almost all the older buildings are gone, many homes and businesses are gone, the sky is a forest of cranes, and there are many places in what used to be the city centre still closed to us as everything is torn down. Many abandoned homes and broken buildings.
It is a shock. It is still a shock, and 2 years on there is a long way still to go. Having said that, people are in pretty good spirits, not everyone has lost there home and land, and people are working very hard to be positive.
The local government is doing its best, the government has taken over a bit and has big plans for the city centre. Not everybody is happy about that. There are to be compulsory sales to the Government for some businesses who have forged ahead and got things up and running themselves. I feel this is heavy handed.
A city should have some aspects of organic growth to reflect the people who live there. Individual efforts should be rewarded in my mind. It is artificial to have the entire city laid out and planned all in one go and there is a risk that it will be soulless. The city should be mostly for the people who live in it, not just a place to make money and attract tourists. It is, above all else, our home, and we are the people who will make it interesting and different from other places. Our unique character and ways of doing and seeing things is what should give Christchurch its own authentic, unique character.
We have had this huge, uncontrollable series of events change our city beyond any of our imaginations. There is no going back, it is gone. And now we have a government who is taking what is left away from us, dictating what they think is best for us, and making people feel powerless in the face of that too. There will be many who will leave just to regain a sense of control over their own destiny. I think that is sad, and will be a loss to Christchurch in another way. We have had enough losses, and should be allowed more self determination amongst all this decision making on our behalf.
I don’t often have a rant, but there we are, that is what I think. I won’t be the only one.