New Zealand: Earthquake Damage

Christchurch New Zealand suffered major damage last Saturday from an earthquake registering 7.1 on the Richter scale .

We were extremely fortunate that the quake struck in the early hours of the morning and casualties were amazingly light.  One death and few major injuries is a very light escape from a shake that destroyed hundreds, or possibly even thousands of buildings.  The rowing clubs in Christchurch all suffered damage with Union RC and Christ’s College the worst hit and Canterbury and Avon less severely damaged.  Fortunately the damage was mostly confined to buildings and the boat fleets are largely intact.

In the first few days after the disaster some hardy souls got out and rowed but now the river has been closed because of contamination of the water from sewage spills and leaks. Cure B.C. based at Kaiapoi has similar problems as their stretch of the Cam and the Waimakariri are also a health risk.

All the clubs and schools are now facing major problems.  There appears to be no clear information available about when the rivers may be usable again and there are worrying rumours about the entire Kerr’s Reach site where all the city clubs have their home being declared unfit for building.  There are also rumours of joint building projects with a massive new shed housing all the clubs being mooted.

So, as is always the case, rowing offers all the opportunities problems and difficulties that real life offers.  The real questions are the same: will we find leaders who will bring us together to move towards better things or will we descend into bickering and the pushing of private agendas?

The AGM of the Canterbury Rowing Association is tonight and may provide some answers.

Duncan Holland

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