Christchurch: It’s time for a rethink
I know this is not going to go down well with a lot of people in Christchurch, but I really think this needs to be said. We need to rethink the plan for Christchurch, because what they’re planning right now could get more people killed.
I has become clear that Christchurch isn’t going to stop shaking any time soon. I saw yesterday that someone who was around last time Christchurch started shaking (about 100 years ago, I believe) said it kept going for ten years. And after it was said on 3 News last night that we could be looking at an earthquake of 7+ in the very near future, plus with number of earthquakes 5+ in the past couple weeks, you have to rethink the situation.
Personally, I do not see how it’s viable to rebuild the Christchurch CBD in the same place. I know that it’s seen as a psychological thing, where people will finally be able to accept it’s over when that’s rebuilt, but I don’t think it’s appropriate, firstly because even if this series of earthquakes stop, it will almost assuredly happen again in a century as it did a century before. Let’s not put the future generations of New Zealanders at risk.
I also don’t see how it makes sense to rebuild there, given there are still bodies in that area. By now, they will have decomposed. You won’t find the bodies. It doesn’t seem right that you just continue live on top of the final resting space of someone.
To me, the solution is get rid of all the buildings in the CBD Red Zone and turn it into a green space. A massive public park or something like that. A memorial to each of the people who died in February. You could put plaques right throughout the area. It could be used as a public space. If it’s a bunch of grass and trees, it doesn’t really matter that much if there’s a massive crack in the ground – you just put fences around the crack and carry on. Not only would this be a brilliant way to remember the people who died, it would also be a brilliant way to save lives in the future.
This has been suggested by other people in other forums and the response from people in Christchurch is almost always “you don’t know what it’s like here, so you can’t talk”. Once again, it’s back to the psychological thing of the rebuilding of the CBD signaling it’s over. I’m not saying don’t build a CBD. But build it in the west where the area is largely unscathed. Sure, I don’t know what it’s like to be living through this, and I can honestly say I don’t know how the people of Christchurch are staying even mildly sane. I have a lot of respect for these people. But let’s not sacrifice the lives of people in the future in order to make you feel better now.