Saturday, 25 September 2010

The day New Zealand came to Christchurch

A big Shout Out to Television New Zealand!

It could be said that never before has Cathedral Square been so crowded. A lot of people go for the New Year concert but this was standing room only, shoulder to shoulder – packed.

TVNZ made the decision to move the Auckland based morning show “Breakfast” to Christchurch for Breakfast for Canterbury on 24 Sep. – a way to show solidarity with and give strength to those devastated by the Sep. 4 quake.

Both our sons (T2 and T1) were keen to go and so we headed off just after 6.30am. We entered an already crowded Square to which only more bodies were added. The area in front of the Cathedral was given over to the TVNZ programme and Paul Henry, broadcasting personality of the year this year, Pippa Wetzel, Tamati Coffey and Corin Dan lead a plethora of personaities including The Wizard, Crusaders Coach Todd Blackadder, and members of the Canterbury Rugby Team etc. etc. During the add breaks we were entertained by such local acts as Stella, Kids of 88 and The Feelers. It was good.

Also present were Prime Minister John Key, earthquake reconstruction minister Gerry Brownlee and Mayor Bob Parker. At one stage they and 2 others were in the middle of the set talking away animatedly, don’t know what they were talking about but it did add to the whole feel good atmosphere.

And just the fact that the whole of New Zealand had come to Canterbury this day was indeed something special was evident in the intense yet jovial, excited yet serious feeling enveloping the crowd. While the odd bunch of school girls added some colour in their own way there was not an over supply of exultation in the crowd. More than anything, everyone was pleased to have something so special to take their minds off the reality and they were happy that New Zealand had come to Christchurch for 3 hours. Thank you TVNZ.

What makes New Zealand such a great place? Read this and find out.

We went to the Square, T1 on his bike and Naomi, Jeff and T2 went on foot. We got close to the front and while I could see, T2 was stuck in his 130cm low hole, surrounded by adult bums and backs. But he was keen to get to the front to do something to be able to say “I was there.” He did get an autograph card and managed to get several signatures but other than that spent most of the time reading clothing labels. Today was the last day of the school term and so we couldn’t wait round till the end at 9 and so started to head home when T2 said, “lets go backstage.” Reluctantly I said, “OK,” and we walked past patrolling police officers to the barriers. What we found was Prime Minister John Key reading an official looking briefing paper – no doubt about Canterbury reconstruction! Took a couple of photos of our boss hard at work but then he put it down and wandered over to where we were.

After talking to another person John was right in front of us and so I asked can we get a photograph?” “Sure,” said John and I got out the camera, “is that the new iphone4,” asked John and I replied “yes.” He asked me how it was and I think I may have said something like that it was bloody good! We took the photo, shook his hand and I thanked him for coming down here today and for all the help he was giving Canterbury. T2 then found a local act, Kids of 88 that had played live and is making a name for themselves and got a photo with them – he was just so happy.

It is this kind of spontaneity – being able to meet, chat with and take a photo with the Prime Minister or a Popstar that sums up how great life is in New Zealand. And no matter how much the earth moves, it can’t take this away from us.


  1. Another Great Blog Jeff!
    Good reading.

  2. Anonymous, Thanks for staying tuned in!!!