Moving To Christchurch | Post Earthquake(s)


On the morning of February 22nd 2011 I was in Istanbul and got a text from a friend simply saying “have you heard about New Zealand?”…

Thoughts immediately went to my brother who lives on the North Island and after logging into BBC News a wave of relief settled my nerves as the earthquake I was now reading about was in South Island.

This emotion was quickly followed by one of compassion and concern for the community I had visited a little over a year ago and then a pang of selfish worry””Christchurch was the destination of my outstanding immigration application.

Over the next few hours and days the sad story unfolded as strangers, contacts and the general media tweeted, blogged, and covered their experiences.

A week later my application was approved.

The city is still getting aftershocks, the business district is a no-go area and needs to be rebuilt plus a few of the surrounding communities are still without water and sanitation.

So (the question from my Gran), why am I still moving there?

Apart from falling in love with the country and city, the basic reason for my emigration is adventure.

There was/is nothing wrong with my life other than the nagging feeling of wanting to explore new challenges and opportunities—moving to the other side of the planet creates that situation of starting again, establishing a home, a friendships, a business, a career, a life etc

In some way there’s a synergy between that and the city as it strives to rediscovers itself again. Christchurch will have to be re-imagined. Rebranded. Rebuilt. Relaunched.

Who knows what my attitude will be like when those aftershocks test my metal and I’m under no illusions it will be challenging to be in a place which has experienced such loss and devastation. It is not my city or home yet but it will be soon, and I don’t know how but in some way I’m hoping to positively contribute to the redevelopment.

So here goes nothing.

“When a great adventure is offered, you don’t refuse it.”
Amelia Earhart

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  1. Bravo to you, I for one will buy you a coffee and intro you to some tweeps when you get here. We need good strong solid positive people in the rebuild of this city.
    So from me a HUGE WELCOME

    1. I may be one of the tweeps Wendy introduces you to. Thank you. We need more people like you here

  2. Many thanks for the kind words here Wendy – will take you up on that drink (although a peppermint tea is my preferred tipple if I can be cheeky) :-)

    1. Ah you’ll want to switch to coffee. Specifically lattes. Good head of milk froth keeps the beverage in its mug during aftershocks :)

      I moved to Christchurch in January, six weeks before the 22 Feb quake and was caught in the CBD on Cashel Street Mall. Very scary, and in the few hours following I wanted to be anywhere but Christchurch … however a few weeks after that we found a new house to live in, my job was confirmed as safe and I’m glad I stayed here. Beautiful country, landscape, people and the opportunity to be a part of something big.

      See you when you get here!

      1. Thanks for the advice and for taking the time to share your story. Sounds like a great positive set of events after the scary earthquake event… looking forward to meeting you in person sir.

  3. Welcome to Christchurch!!! Peppermint teas are wonderful =) I hope you enjoy however long you are here for =)


  4. Likewise a Chch tweep. Been living in Chch since August, quakes started in September <— my impeccable timing. Would be pleased to make your acquaintance.

  5. Good on you!…. I’ve helped many immigrants settle into New Zealand and your positive attitude will make all the difference! Please let me know if you need a place to stay…there are a couple of nice blokes in Riccarton looking for a flat mate. All the best!…..

  6. Lawrence – looking forward to connecting #irl

    Mark – happy to make friends & the best way is through adding me on twitter then pinging us a DM

    Randi – appreciate the kind words and offer. Will be seeking a place but probably by myself (prefer my own space), thank you again though.

  7. I am a New Zealander who is completing my last year at Otago University (career change) and I too have plans to move to Chch to live and work. But I am not going to move there to take jobs from Cantabs or occupy a safe, unshakable house that they may need. I will reassess the situation at the end of the year but do not mind going some where else till all Cantabs are sorted.
    Kia Kaha Chch residents.

  8. I’m like you and shifting to Christchurch post quake, albeit a few months down the track. I met an amzing Cantabrian following the Feb 22 earthquake, and after some “long distance” dating I’ve decided to move up from Southland. I have been feeling a little nervous, but excited more than anything. I’m looking forward to being part of the re-build and I believe Christchurch will be the frontier of NZ. Anyway, I hope you’ve settled into your new life :o)and any tips on settling in, meeting new friends would be greatly received….as well as great cafes to visit, with pepperment tea or lattes on the menu – both are great!

    1. Hey there Cindy – hope the move is going well… the people here are great as you’ve already found out (snagging yourself one as a partner) – plenty of cafes offering the herbals so can’t really choose one, I’m sure you’ll find a local soon enough.

      Thanks for stopping by and here’s to a speedy Chch rebuild :-)

  9. Wow sounds like a few people are on the move to Christchurch. I too am making the move, leaving my adopted home in Dublin after five years to spend the foreseeable future in Christchurch. Sounds like a wonderful place.

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