I would just like to get the message out there, that Christchurch NZ is still here, is still vibrant, still has lots of people, still has great concert venue options, and is still the commercial hub of the South Island. I am getting a little bit sick of touring acts stopping at Wellington, or the more disturbing recent trend of preferring to go to Dunedin! What? Neil, please come to Christchurch with your band. We are hanging out to see you. Master Dave Dobbyn has been here heaps. C'mon, come down here.... 

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I'm coming over in early June for a few days.  Where do you recommend going sydbeck?  I used to live there, and haven't been back since the earthquake, so don't imagine many of the places I knew are still there, or operational.  Arts Centre for example?

It's a bit dire, to be honest, at least in terms of the cultural attractions. I've just returned there after a year or so overseas, the Central City is a ghost town (although the shipping container shopping district is funky.) The de-facto CBD is definitely Riccarton, and I guess Sumner is still worth a visit, if you want to hit the hills or the hinterland then you'll find a little more to pique your interest if you like being outdoors.

Thanks, didn't know about Riccarton being the centre of things (who'd have thought!). Definitely going to Sumner as we have friends in Heathcote.  Spending some time in Akaroa, which will be lovely.  But it'll be very hard to see the rest of the city, especially the centre. 

Well the centre of Christchurch is certainly a ghost town - heartbreaking - and really nowhere to go (much) when you get there.  But lots of rebuilding so that's a good thing.  And the pop up mall in Cashel Street, plus lots of container shops and venues are fun and innovative.  Suburbs appear to be untouched until you look closely, and places like Sumner are shattered.  But as usual, Christchurch people were friendly and optimistic; have to be, it's a long haul, years of rebuild to go. 

 

So, yes, very upsetting but good to see there's things happening. (And great coffee which is new for Christchurch!).

Unfortunately, I didn't see much of Christchurch on my round New Zealand trip. Where the bus dropped me off, I could see a brothel and a "head shop" right next to each other. I was straight into a cab, dropping off my stuff at the hotel, then off to the gig in Waipera. (That cabby sure loved me!)

At the gig, my drinks were provided by some friendly locals, who had seen me on the news and I got quite sloshed.

The next day (my 34th birthday) I had a long, long bus ride all the way to Queenstown. Being hungover, I lay down in the back seat, but was kept awake by the driver's running commentary and a group of very noisy Canadians. As he drove thru Christchurch, the driver talked about how Christchurch was known for it's beautiful home gardens. I should have dragged myself up for a squiz, but the hangover... 

Yes, but it will take a long time I fear, and it will very different.  Hopefully the chance to make a new, green and human focussed CBD will be taken, and a new type of city for the 21st century emerge.  It is an opportunity to be innovative.  But, golly, it'll take decades.  Be good if SE and CH did a fundraising concert - really raise the spirits of the residents who are doing it tough.

Thanks for the replys all. The message needs repeating I feel. Neil, Tim, this is YOUR country! This is one of YOUR cities in need! Just think how the morale would improve, and we are willing to pay! O yes, not problem there. We do not expect a 'handout' free concert. So put Christchurch on your itinerary please, perhaps within the next couple of years would be great. Stay strong Christchurch, you're awesome. To all those who have stayed, you are all heroes, and I salute every single one of you.

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