2 Sep 2020

Prominent landmarks around Christchurch are being lit-up on 3 and 4 September to mark the 10th anniversary of the start of the destructive Canterbury earthquake sequence.

The Darfield War Memorial, in the neighbouring Selwyn Distict, is also being lit up green. Darfield was the closest town to the epicentre of the 4 September earthquake.

The earthquake sequence started in the early hours of 4 September 2010 when a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck near Darfield. Between then and December 2011, Christchurch was hit by four major earthquakes and thousands of aftershocks. The most damaging quake struck on 22 February 2011 and claimed the lives of 185 people.

“The 4 September 2010 earthquake caused widespread damage and marked the start of a period of major upheaval in our city. People lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods, and it was traumatic time for so many of our residents,’’ says Christchurch City Council Civic and International Relations Manager Matt Nichols.

“Originally we had planned to mark the 10th anniversary of the 4 September quake with a civic event that would bring people together, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Alert Level 2 restrictions we have been unable to do that.

“Instead we are going to acknowledge the anniversary by lighting up some of the city’s landmarks in green - a colour that is associated with growth and renewal.

“Anniversaries give rise to reflection. As we approach the 10th anniversary of the 4 September earthquake we know that people will reflect on what was lost. But we also hope that people will reflect on how the brave and caring residents of our city have supported each other, and on all that has been achieved since then,’’ Mr Nicholls says.

The landmarks that are being lit up include: New Brighton Pier, the New Regent Street shops, the Town Hall Ferrier fountain, the Vaka a Hina sculpture in the East Frame, the Fanfare sculpture at Chaney’s Corner, Christchurch Airport, and the State Highway 1 Memorial Bridge.

Further commemorative events are being planned around 22 February next year, subject to COVID-19 alert levels. More information on these events will be released in the coming months.