Christchurch is Munted: but still Rocking!

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Comments (10)

Ian Stehbens on April 23, 2011

Here an art-deco building occupied by motor vehicle repairers will soon be a cleared space.

I stood here saddened by all that lay before me.

Just a little further on was the Durham Street Methodist Church. In it 3 men died in the February quake as they were dismantling the pipe organ, for the church had been severely damaged in the September quake and had to be demolished.

Ahead I could see the casino, the hotels. The Copthorne Hotel had just been assessed as needing to be demolished. A deep sadness engulfed me.

Then a woman arrived to stand beside me. As she peered over this remaining piece of wall, she was looking into her former office, and there was her electric fan, her name on it, crushed in the pile of rubble. She hadn't wept in a week, but we did then.

jeff_msn123 on April 23, 2011


Cheers, Jeff

Greg Swinfield on April 24, 2011

Hi Ian, it is indeed very sad seeing the destruction in your photos and reading your descriptions. It must be worse to walk through this. It is tragic that those men died attempting to save the organ. So many cruel blows in this city. Thanks for sharing the images. best wishes Greg

Rainer Warzecha on April 27, 2011

Hi Ian, I'm so sorry for all this, happening to your homelands. Sometimes fotography is about witnessing the terrible ...

Best wishes - how is the situation now?

Ian Stehbens on April 28, 2011

Thank you Jeff for your empathy. Quakes are terrible, frightening, violent ............ and destructive. This has been a terrible blow for Christchurch.


Ian Stehbens on April 28, 2011

Greetings Greg,

It is because of the potential for loss of life and all the associated traumas that we need our earth science teachers for every generation, Greg. I feel their pain. The scale of the devastation is making it so hard to manage, but I am impressed by the corporate will to recover their city.

Thanks for your empathy and understanding and interest.


Ian Stehbens on April 28, 2011

Dear Rainer,

I appreciate your interest and empathy. I find that my photography makes me open my eyes, and makes me remember. The scale of the disaster, especially the fact that it has hit the CBD and that is an exclusion zone for recovery, forensic and demolition reasons means that the economy of the city is severely impacted. The continuing after-shocks also keep people on edge all the time. But there is well coordinated and determined efforts being made to go on. Some whole suburbs may need to be resumed and relocated so there are many challenges ahead still. In all this there is a brave spirit and a compassionate will prevailing.

Thanks for your inquiry,


Rainer Warzecha on April 29, 2011

Thank you - Ian!!

beegood on April 29, 2011

thank you for sharing these personal experiences dear Ian. Absolutely traumatising. So good you have been there and helping!

Love, Maja

Ian Stehbens on April 30, 2011

Dear Maja and Rainer,

It is a privilege to walk with others in their suffering, sharing love and mercy, building partnerships and friendships, sharing pain and living in hope.


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Photo taken in Christchurch Central, Christchurch, New Zealand

Photo details

  • Uploaded on April 23, 2011
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens