The Queen has sent Christchurch a message on the 10th anniversary of the earthquake that changed the city forever and claimed 185 lives.
The message, which was read out by Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy at the national memorial service this afternoon, says:
“On the tenth anniversary of the Canterbury earthquakes, as you gather to remember those lost and reflect on the devastating effects these earthquakes had on Christchurch, my thoughts are with you all.
“The loss of life was both sudden and tragic, profoundly affecting many people in New Zealand and around the world.
“While there are many sad memories of that terrible time, there is also solace in remembering how your community rose to the challenge of rebuilding your lives and supporting each other. You displayed great fortitude in the face of sudden, overwhelming loss.
“Since that time you have continued to work to rebuild your city and your community, looking to a positive future.
“My prayers are with all those marking today’s solemn anniversary,’’ the Queen wrote.
The service was held at the Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial and was attended by the Governor General and the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern.
Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said she hoped people who couldn’t be at Oi Manawa would join in remembering by watching online.
“This is the opportunity for us to reflect on the events of that day, 22nd February 2011, when 185 people lost their lives, and so many were injured or traumatised by what they experienced.
“We also want to give thanks to all who supported us at our time of need and to reflect on what that has meant for us,” Mayor Dalziel says.
Christchurch City Council has worked closely with the Quake Families Trust on the programme for the service, which included a minute’s silence at 12.51pm, the exact time the magnitude-6.3 earthquake struck.
The names of the 185 people killed in the earthquake were also read out during the service.