This weekend we mark the ninth anniversary of the devastating 22 February 2011 earthquake that claimed 185 lives and impacted on thousands more, changing our city forever.
It will be a time for us to pause and reflect on the tragedy, to remember the people and places that we lost, and all the challenges so many have had to confront for years. It will also be a time for us to reflect on how far we have come.
We can always be proud of our achievements, both large and small. And we can think of the myriad of ways we have come together to support each other and to create opportunity out of adversity.
We can see a modern, vibrant central city full of people friendly spaces that makes a feature of the Ōtākaro Avon River.
We have replaced many community facilities throughout the city with modern, multi-purpose facilities that bring people together.
We have restored many of our heritage buildings, rebuilt damaged infrastructure and created new world-class facilities like our Tūranga library and the soon-to-be opened Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre. The city is going from strength to strength, with the new developments creating a real sense of vibrancy.
As a city we will never forget the tragic events of 22 February 2011 – or the people we lost – however we can look forward with confidence to the future, knowing that no matter what, we can always rely on each other to come together in times of need and make the most of everything we each have to offer.