Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Traffic Cones for Christchurch

People all over New Zealand are being asked to remember the devastating February 2011 Christchurch earthquake by placing flowers in traffic cones in their neighbourhoods, towns and cities this weekend.

The project is inspired by Henry Sunderland, a Christchurch design tutor and artist. On the first anniversary of the February 22earthquake, he circulated a cartoon asking Cantabrians to place flowers in traffic cones “To remember all of those who lost their lives, those who lost loved ones and those whose lives will never again be the same.”

Christchurch writer and social historian Te Awhina Arahanga, an earthquake “refugee” now living in Auckland, is promoting the idea in Auckland for the third anniversary this weekend and hopes it will get support around the country.

“Three years down the track, people have the idea that Christchurch is back on its feet. But that is not the case. People are still struggling.”

“On the day of the first memorial, traffic cones all over the city were decorated with flowers. It was a simple, quiet and poignant visual recognition,” says Te Awhina.

She is setting up an installation of 185 traffic cones outside the Pitt St Methodist Church in Auckland. The cones will be set up in time for the third anniversary of the earthquake, which occurred at 12.51 p.m. on February 22, when there will be a blessing and the names of the victims will be read out. After this, people are invited to place their flowers in the cones.

Construction company Fulton Hogan, which has been involved in many demolition and infrastructure projects in Christchurch, has provided the traffic cones. Other local businesses are supporting the project.

“It is wonderful how Aucklanders are moved by this reminder of the suffering in Christchurch and how they are getting behind the project. Anyone who can’t get to the blessing can place flowers in a traffic cone near them,” she says.

She is setting up a Facebook page with information about the earthquake and the memorial, and a brief history of traffic cones. People are invited to share their own photos of decorated traffic cones.

The official toll of the February 22 earthquake was 185: 115 people died in the Canterbury Television Building, 18 died in the Pyne Gould Corporation Building, eight people died on buses in the central city, 28 people died in other parts of the central city and 12 people died in suburban locations. The deaths of four more people were directly associated with the earthquake.

Te Awhina says that traffic cones became important to Cantabrians in the aftermath of the earthquakes as a symbol of the destruction that took place and the struggle to adapt to life in a city that had thousands of after-shocks.

The humble, hard-working traffic cone has become the symbol of Christchurch’s dislocation, an indicator of danger and destruction, and now of the slow rebuild. It is estimated there are now about 150,000 traffic cones in Christchurch.

“They stood beside the carnage when humanity was in turmoil. They continue to protect what is left of the Garden city and to help indicate a way through to the future.”

Te Awhina says that she chose the Pitt St Methodist Church as the site for the memorial because its fellow church, the Durham St Methodist Church in Christchurch, collapsed in the quake with the loss of three lives. The church had already been severely damaged in the September 2010 Darfield shake and the workers who died when it collapsed were removing its historic organ for safe-keeping and restoration.

Te Awhina Arahanga is a short-story writer, poet and social historian. She lived in one of the Dorset Street flats in central Christchurch, designed by architect Miles Warren, and was unable to return after the February 2011 earthquake. The flats are still cordoned off. In 2012, she was awarded a residency at the Michael King Writers’ Centre in Devonport.

She is a member of the Pitt St Methodist Church congregation.

Since the Canterbury earthquake sequence started with the Darfield shake in September 2010, there have been more than 11,500 after-shocks. The Darfield quake measured 7.1 on the Richter scale and larger than the February quake, but the February earthquake was shallow and much more damaging.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Shifting Goalposts: New 2030 Emissions Target Is Weaker - Expert

Minister Tim Groser said the new climate change target is a significant increase on the current target of 5 percent below 1990 emissions levels by 2020... the 2030 target gives New Zealand “10 extra years to produce very little extra reduction”. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Government Continues To Fail Students With Special Needs

Children with special needs are continuing to miss out on inclusive education because of an under-resourced and underfunded system, says NZEI Te Riu Roa President Louise Green. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Where Greece Goes From Here

As one candid British commentator tried to come to grips with why his confident prediction of a “Yes” vote in Greece has failed so resoundingly, he said that he’d made that prediction from his own viewpoint – as someone with savings to protect. But most Greek people, he suddenly realised, didn’t have that concern anymore after five years of austerity. Duh. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Cabinet Presser: EQC Reform, Greece & Surplus Stimulation

Prime Minister John key discussed proposals for reform of the EQC act and the Greek economic crisis at a press conference in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

GCSB/NZSIS: Intelligence And Security Reviewers Seek Public’s Views

“We are seeking public submissions to help us determine what issues to focus on during the review,” says Sir Michael Cullen. “We want to hear your views on what the GCSB and NZSIS should be doing to protect New Zealand and how they should do it.” More>>

Education: Schools Funded To Trial Innovative Approaches

Education Minister Hekia Parata has announced the successful applicants for a new $10 million fund to encourage innovative teaching practices. “I’m delighted with the quality of the 39 projects that have won funding in the first round of the Teacher-led Innovation Fund worth a total of about $2.6 million,” says Ms Parata. More>>

ALSO:

Generation Zero: Skypath Granted Resource Consent

Generation Zero is delighted and relieved that the ‘Skypath’ walking and cycling addition to the Harbour Bridge has been granted resource consent. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Two New Auckland Special Housing Areas

Two new greenfield Special Housing Areas (SHAs) that will provide up to 1800 new homes in Auckland have been announced today by Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and Mayor Len Brown. More>>

ALSO:

Royals: The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall To Visit

Prime Minister John Key welcomes today’s announcement that the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit New Zealand in November. This will be the second joint visit for Their Royal Highnesses to New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Tracey Martin Replaced: Ron Mark Is New New Zealand First Deputy Leader

Clayton Mitchell was the successful candidate for the Associate Whip position. Winston Peters was re-elected as Leader by the Caucus. Ron Mark was elected as the Deputy Leader with effect from 10am, Friday, 3rd July. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news