With the removal of the final cordon around the red zone in the central city last weekend, I came in with my family to have a look around the newly reopened areas of the CBD. We stopped to watch the parade of soldiers who were being thanked by the Prime Minister, the Mayor of Christchurch and Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu for their work in controlling the central city red zone and with community welfare in the immediate aftermath of the February earthquake.
Seeing the combined defence forces in front of the gallery again was a poignant reminder of the early hours and days after the devastating earthquake. We're tremendously grateful for the work they've done, and for their very human presence in the city over these past few years, but their leaving at this point seems like a positive step for the city.
There was a great turn out from the public for the ceremony and it was good to see so many people stopping to enjoy our Outer Spaces works around the exterior of our building. Although I suspect the chap below was too busy keeping watch over proceedings to notice the fine Raymond McIntyre portrait to his left.