Merivale, Christchurch

In February, just before going to Tasmania,   I dashed over to Christchurch, New Zealand, to attend my mothers' funeral. She was 97. 

I stayed in a motel in Papanui Rd, Merivale with my sister.   In the early morning I would walk down to the local shops to have breakfast and  I would take  a few snaps along  the way. 

Merivale is one of Christchurch's  more upmarket suburbs. In contrast,  to say Sydenham,  it is where the old money is. It didn't seem to have been that badly damaged by the 2011 earthquake. Or if it had, then the  insurance money flowed in quickly to repair the damage to the buildings.  

Merivale  was such a contrast to the CBD, which still looks like a war zone in spite of the rebuilding that is going on.  The Christchurch earthquake, which resulted from fractures within  fragments of the Pacific Plate that lies beneath the Canterbury Plains,   was a local event: short, sharp and vicious. 

I only had time to wander around the CBD for a few hours in the morning. Whole sections of the city had been razed. Christchurch  was no longer  the city that I knew from growing up in. The old familiar landmarks and buildings had disappeared. Old houses and commercial buildings constructed in the early 20th century, or in some cases in the 19th century, and which relied on single or double brick for their structural integrity, had disintegrated rapidly.

The western side of Manchester Street had been completely stripped. There were no buildings at all.   I wondered if that was  due to  the liquefaction damage, which  has meant that some parts of Christchurch could not be rebuilt on. It is quite clear that Christchurch will never be the same.