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Thursday, 23 May 2019 04:51 pm

Quake left few Wellingtonians untouched

Mar 2nd, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

MOST people on the streets of Wellington have a story to tell about the impact of last week’s earthquake on their lives.

Tales of sadness, luck and friendship were shared with Whitireia Journalism students, who asked people how the quake had affected them personally.

Roger Smith, Te Aro, knew an old school friend who worked in the CTV building and was still missing.

Brian Nijman, right, Newlands, was luckier. “I come from Christchurch. I had a relative who was pulled out of the Pyne Gould Building, but she’s in one piece.”

Leila Lamb’s friend now has two different levels across her lounge floor.

She recounted a story about how her friend stood screaming in the street until two workmen from across the road put a blanket around her and made her a cup of tea. “I don’t know if she’s still gonna stay there. I just think it’s awful, just awful.”

Declan Brady, left, visiting from Ireland, was caught in the quake and was impressed with the community spirit present in a Christchurch hostel he stayed at while waiting for a flight. “In the hostel there was a communal meal that night, which normally wouldn’t happen, everybody cooked together, it actually brought people together more in the hostel.”

Even those unaffected by the quake were prepared to help those who were.

Rhys Barnes, right, Newlands, is a member of the Arise Church, whose efforts have previously appeared on Newswire.

“We [Arise Church] packed up a truck just the other day, a big 18-wheeler, filled it with like sleeping bags, clothes, food, everything, medical items, all that sort of stuff. There was maybe 20 of us, spent about a day loading it all up, then we drove it down overnight.”

Barbara Harris, Aro Valley, has relatives in Christchurch who are okay. She donated $1000 to the earthquake relief fund, and her son donated $10,000 “We’re retired so we have nothing to save for, and he’s well off so he can afford it.”

Martin Orloff (59), left, retired, Los Angeles, USA.
Martin owns a house in Christchurch but has not seen it yet. “I started flying on Monday…that’s Tuesday here, we were at the airport when the earthquake hit, coming here.” He has since heard his property is not damaged. “We were thinking we had this pile of rocks.”

Stephane Renaud (38), restaurant manager, Newtown.
“I gave $50. I was at a shop buying some cigarettes and stuff, it was there.”
Stuart (50), right, labourer, Christchurch.
Stuart told how he had been at a triage centre at a high school, and was feeling very depressed, “lowest point I’ve ever been”, until a one-year-old child smiled at him. “You know what that gave me? It gave me hope, it gave me reassurance, that I don’t have to struggle on my own.”

Ash Robbie (21), student, Te Aro.
Living in China at the time of the quake, Ash was surprised when he heard the news.“I didn’t really get the news of it until just before I came down [to Wellington].”

Sajeev Unni (29), left, petrol station worker, Wellington.
Sajeev is sad about the quake although he did not know anyone personally.  He donated loose change at the Sunday market and met people at ferry terminal who had just come from Christchurch with “interesting stories”.  “They’re afraid,” he said.

Zane MacGibbon (20), student, Christchurch.
“Uni hadn’t started or anything yet, but we’ve got two weeks off for that, we start on the 14th of march, and our house wasn’t damaged but. Our neighbours were, just broken windows and stuff. We went into the CBD and had a look [it was] pretty damaged. I’m at Lincoln University, and that’s all fine, but they can’t get up and running yet – people can’t get into town and people don’t have places to stay.”

Iris Neuhauser (23), tourist, Austria.
Iris knows French and English tourists who were in Christchurch, one of whom lost everything. “He lost his whole bags and all his passports. He gets a lot of help so he’s okay.”

Jerome Pittman (71), right,  retired, Newfoundland, Canada.
“We were in Auckland, and we had a flight booked to fly in [to Christchurch] the day after. We were getting ready to go to the airport when we got all the news. We changed our plans and decided to stay on this island.”

Dizzy Strange (47), busker at Wellington Railway Station.
Dizzy said he watched the news footage for hours. The last time he had done that was 9/11. “Definitely like 9/11 you know because, destruction, chaos, and a terrible thing.” He wanted to cheer people up as he played in the subway. “Just trying to put out some positive energy.”

Ramsey Margolis (52), left, Executive Director, NZ Co-operatives Association, Te Aro. Ramsey knows one person in the CBD. “One of our associate members lives on Manchester St in a housing complex next to a city church. He’s had to move in with his daughter because of liquefaction and damage.” Ramsey’s organisation has started a rolling blog calling on people to submit ideas for earthquake relief.

Courtney White (20s), administrator, North Shore, Auckland.
Courtney didn’t know anyone affected, but had donated online to Red Cross through their Facebook appeal.

Ewen Taylor (74), right, retired, Karaka Bays.
Ewen has a son in Christchurch. “He’s ok, but there’s an old mate who teaches English in the CBD and I don’t know how he is. I’m making enquiries.” Mr Taylor hasn’t been involved with any fundraising yet.

Marie Nicolle (40), registered nurse, Remuera.
Marie was on her way to get information on her cousin. “She’s moved into a hotel and I’m going to find out what’s happening.” She and her sister are thinking of ways to fundraise.

Daryn Blackburn (26), left, works at Molly Malones, Wellington.
Daryn knows people with family in Christchurch. They had just signed a lease on a flat in Christchurch and were moving there from Nelson when the earthquake hit. They came to Wellington instead and now work here. He said Molly Malones held a concert that night with all proceeds, including staff wages, going to the earthquake recovery.  “We’re trying to get people in the door and to spend some money”

Jo Motu (20s), roofer, Albany, Auckland.
Jo didn’t know anyone affected but had seen people with buckets and had donated.

Lisa Egen (43), right, musician NZSO, Evans Bay.
Lisa has several family members in Christchurch. “My father, stepmother and sisters are all down there but they’re all ok. I have twin nieces that can’t sleep, they’re extremely traumatised. We were at the Christchurch airport and asked the Red Cross if there was any way to help. We ended up giving a couple of Dutch tourists a place to stay for two nights while they organised flights out of the country.”

Emma Banks (20) student, Aro Valley.
“I was in Merivale, Christchurch, my family live there. It was pretty rough, pretty scary, but my house is still standing and everyone is still safe.”

Eno Lepaio (48), left,Wellington City Council drainlayer, Wellington.
Eno will soon go to Christchurch to aid in recovery. “I’m going down in about a week to relieve a crew that are down there at the moment. We are going to roll weekly rosters. I spent about two weeks down there after the last quake.” He and his workmates have donated through the Wellington City Council.

Alexander Yule, Kelburn.
Alexander has a friend who lives in Karori with family in Christchurch. Another friend was badly burnt as he was making tomato soup when the earthquake hit and the stove exploded. He has donated “indirectly” and says he will probably donate through the National Bank.

Thorsten Beermann (31), right,  tourist, Germany.
Thorsten was camping near the Fox Glacier at the time of the earthquake. He was in Christchurch on Thursday last week but didn’t want to go into town or take photos because “it freaks me out”. A friend he had met while travelling lost her flat and is now living with her parents. When asked about people fundraising, he said he had seen a lot of shops with cans and that he had donated $20.

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