After arriving from England to live in Auckland in late 1970, I was lucky enough to get to visit Christchurch for the first time Xmas 1974 when I had been filled with images of the Commonwealth games -so watching this video was quite nostalgic. Not only for the images of the old Christchurch it shows, but for the NZ way of life I found when I was a teenager.
I remember being impressed on my second visit when I was taken to visit the pool at QE2 Park in 1977 and in 1980, spent a cold week here ( i was visiting from the sunny far north then) in the winter enjoying the city - Coffee at Ballantines, all the wee shopping arcades, feeding the lions at Orana Park, sitting watching the first national telethon running in the fairly new, beautiful Town Hall - all red velvet and gleaming wood. We walked across the square from some motel by the river to select a movie from the multiple cinemas, finally going to America with Neil Diamond. All so many, many years ago.
I guess after three visits to absorb this lovely city, it was an easy choice to finally move here in 1997. I don't regret it - it has been a wonderful adventure and despite the earthquakes and the deconstructions and everything that has happened, I still want to live here. Seeing the work the city did to get ready for the games just reminds me of the current work happening - just on a grander scale.
I hope that a phoenix city can rise again from the carnage.