Some feel the government's handling of recovery has been less than tip top

By Taroi Black

Today marks five years since the Christchurch earthquake took the lives of 185 people in 2011. Canterbury Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee said today that the focus will now change from recovery to regeneration in greater Christchurch.

But it appears that some feel that the government's handling of recovery has been less than tip top, after a by stander threw ice cream at the Minister.

It was a standout in a day where dozens of people paid floral tributes to those who lost their lives on this day in 2011.

A moment of silence to mark the fifth anniversary of the deadly 2011 earthquake.

"I thought we were going to die that day, it was really bad and I've never been through that trauma before," says Luty Paul from Ngapuhi

Government officials, emergency services and Defence Force representatives joined these family members to pay tribute to their loved ones, who lost their lives on this day in 2011.

On the outskirts of the city, Te Kura Whakapumau suffered a significant drop in student numbers, its roll falling from 120 to just over 50.

“We've just came back. We've spent nearly two years based at another school until our school was repaired and it was safe to return,” says teacher Ruawhitu Pokaia

Now up to 60, the roll is slowly increasing.

“Since the quake last Sunday, we've gone back to using our safety plan. Everyone wears their shoes at all times, even inside. No matter where they are, they wear their shoes at all times. It ensures we're ready at all times,” says teacher Merita Waitoa-Paku.

Strategies have also been implemented to ensure students are kept safe in the future.

“Most of the insurance issues are settled, except for multi-unit dwellings and homes that have retaining walls, says Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chair Tā Mark Solomon.

The government says its focus will now change from recovery to regeneration in Christchurch.

But it seems many Māori families are still in recovery mode.

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