In February 2011 Christchurch, particularly the Central Business District (CBD), was devastated by an earthquake. Around 183 people were killed and much of the city became unstable. Most of the news I have seen centers around the future of Christchurch Cathedral and issues with the City Council. I was not prepared to see the desolation and ruin of the CBD and eerie emptiness of the streets in the center of New Zealand's 3rd largest city. Most structures are surrounded by fences and gates. The only entry way to the building is through an army checkpoint. These pictures were taken on a very nice Sunday morning just before lunchtime. The buildings that you see are completely unused now.
This is looking straight to the Chirstchurch Cathedral. It had looked like this:
An abandoned coffee shop, furniture and coffee machines still inside.
The entry checkpoint next to the cathedral.
Things are improving in Chch slowly. New business centers are popping up in areas that had not been so nice before the earthquake. However, smaller continuing earthquakes and political infighting are hampering the progress.
I am hoping to make another trip up to Chch soon, and I will focus on the nicer aspects of the city and its people.