Queenstown has become a long-term haven for quake-affected families.
Mum Susan Kay and daughters Megan Carr, six, and Amy Carr, three, have spent the past year in Queenstown trying to reach normality as they remain in limbo with their badly-damaged Mt Pleasant home in Christchurch.
“Like many people in Christchurch, we’re still working with the Earthquake Commission and insurance companies to find out whether our home will be demolished or repaired,” Kay says.
“Until that decision’s made, we’re going to have to stay with what we’re doing for the time being.”
Kay’s husband, a civil engineer, remains in Christchurch and travels every weekend to the resort, where the family live in a rental property.
Kay can’t believe it’s been a year since the magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck.
“I can still very much feel where the earthquake hit, the bookcase falling down on me, grabbing Amy and tucking her underneath me. I was aware that if it had been five minutes later Amy would have been in bed asleep in her cot. There’s a big mirror above her cot which smashed across it. We wouldn’t have Amy the way she is now.”
It’s taken a year for Megan to settle into normal sleeping patterns, too.
“The children were definitely affected.”
The family is one of 14 Christchurch families who enrolled at Queenstown Primary after the quake hit. Six remain.
“The school has been so supportive,” Kay says.
“The fact that there has been that support has made it easier to still be here a year on. We are kind-of getting back to a normal life.”
Kay is in the process of starting up her BodyWorks massage therapy business in Queenstown.
Queenstown Primary remembered the tragedy with a two-minute silence yesterday.
Principal Lyn Bird – who also moved from Christchurch to the resort last year – praises Queenstown’s community support towards quake-affected families.