Needed a last minute room in Christchurch near the airport, and asked a taxi to drop me off on the street closest to the airport with inexpensive motels. After checking a few nearby, I was lucky to find a single room available at Aarburg. For single occupancy the rate was $30-40 less than neighboring motels, but what really stayed with me was how kind the owner couple was to me. I explained I was out of NZ dollars and barely had bus fare in my wallet, and they offered to drive me to the airport the next morning to catch my connecting flight. Also, I asked about wifi access, and they gave me their username and password (try finding free wifi at your typical NZ hotel!)
Yes, the room was very dated, but spotless and comfortable. Options appear to be limited in Christchurch since the earthquake. There is little in terms of food/shops within walking distance, but that's par for the course near the airport. Sometimes, when you're a tired, broke backpacker, kind, helpful service rises above all else.
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