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Christchurch Etiquette

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Christchurch Etiquette

Spending a night in Christchurch soon, just wondering if, as a tourist, it is ok to go looking at the earthquake damage, is it ok to be talking with locals about the earthquakes. Or is it better not to mention it?

Greymouth, New...
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1. Re: Christchurch Etiquette

Local seem to talk quite freely about Earthquakes, once started many wont stop.

the Restart shopping complex which is in the heart of the Central Bussines District was also part of the 'Red Zone' and with the new Central Bus Exchange nearby, acccess to this part is easy and most people are taking photos of the buildings being demolished and damage which can be seen almost everywhere.

In the Eastern Suberurds, a lot of property damage has occurred to private residential homes, and it is polite to respect the privacy of those still trying to survive under very difficult conditions. The roads are not in good shape either, so driving around can be challenging, as many roads are closed, full of big holes or bumps.

Do a google search on Christchurch Earthqukes to get an update on how the city is coping. yesterday I felt a 5.0 whilst there, all the light poles and signs were waving around, but no new damage was reported.

Christchurch, New...
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2. Re: Christchurch Etiquette

Coaster sums it up nicely. You will be second away from the residential areas, almost encouraged by most. Some people dont want to talk so follow your instinct. Follow their lead in unlikely event of after shocks.

In my view the more that come and see and try to understand what we have been through the better.

Christchurch, New...
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3. Re: Christchurch Etiquette

Asking "how's your house?" is as much a greeting as hello these days!!

I agree however, do not deliberately drive into the eastern suburbs to take photos. Sumner beach is worht a visit to see the walls of shipping containers & the appalling state of the roads.

Christchurch, New...
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4. Re: Christchurch Etiquette

I have seen people standing and watching the demolition of the Grand Chancellor, no one will tell you not to do that. The new Cashal Mall is near by so good chances these people also walk around there and help the city's economy to recover.

I wouldn't go to the eastern suburbs to take photos, but if you walk around the central city streets, you can try talking to people. Follow your instinct and feel if they are open to talk. Most will, some will not. Don't take it personally. Each of us has its own way of overcoming this difficult time.

Christchurch, New...
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5. Re: Christchurch Etiquette

Actually the drive to Sumner is a really good way of getting a feel for the drama and extent of it all. I avoid taking photos of the houses because no matter how spectacular it looks, they are peoples homes and dreams.

Photos of public buildings and the like are fine. Before the Restart Mall opened I would go in to watch DTZ house being demolished as my office was in there. It was almost a party atmosphere at the fence as no one had been killed or injured in the building. There were always "stories" each time I went in. It pays to be sensitive in areas where people were killed, but the Grand Chancellor etc was not one of those.

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6. Re: Christchurch Etiquette

Thanks all, this has given me a good feel for the situation.

The drive to Sumner sounds interesting. How long should we allow for this drive?

australia
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7. Re: Christchurch Etiquette

flying into Chch Feb 1. Going to look quite different to when was there just 2 week before the disaster hit last year. Having couple of nights in city. 2 more Akaroa. Then nth to Nelson and Golden Bay which hopefully all dried out from the flooding.

Christchurch, New...
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8. Re: Christchurch Etiquette

Well DebsterF I would allow at least an hour, more by the time you stroll along the beach and stop for a coffee. There is a group of rocks at the north end of the beach that used to be known as Shag Rock and is now known as Shag Pile.

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9. Re: Christchurch Etiquette

We live in the west of the city and frequently, like many others go for a drive or a wander to see whats happening in the city/Sumner and the Eastern suburbs. As a tourist you wont know which streets to head for to see the worst of the residential damage but you will get to the city center/Sumner ok. I think most people are happy to talk about their quake experiences but when talking to strangers be mindful that many families did loose loved ones or have lived through traumatic experiences or are stressed about the future of their homes/jobs so just be gentle in your approach. We still live in a very beautiful city!!

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10. Re: Christchurch Etiquette

We were there last Thursday for a few hours from late morning.

The Restart Mall area was buzzy but once outside that area we found the city eerily quiet.There were a few construction workers about and some tourists but generally the streets near the cordoned off area were pretty empty.

The Botanic Gardens were still lovely to walk in though and people were sitting on the grass with their sandwiches and some were on the river.

A few stall holders had set up near the Arts Centre and we bought a few items here to take home.