My Wakatipu quake relief

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Quake-hit Christchurch businessman Richard Sinke says thank goodness for Queenstown. 

Since the disastrous February earthquake, Sinke has been evicted from his high-profile Dux de Lux restaurant/brewery bar in Christchurch’s historic Arts Centre. 

He’s fighting the move but grateful he has a surviving Queenstown branch – the Dux de Lux bar on Church Street. 

“One of the most positive things that’s happened in the last seven weeks is that Queenstown’s been running well. 

“The only other positive is that people’s humanity to each other has improved hugely – a man-hug is quite OK. 

“The Queenstown operation is the only thing that is keeping the brand alive. 

“I’m so pleased it’s there.” 

Sinke bought the then-McNeills brewery bar in 2003 and turned it into a mini version of his wildly popular Chrischurch venue. 

Sinke has laid off up to 50 of his 60 Christhchurch staff, including a son – he and another son are now working at Queenstown’s Dux. 

Sinke is looking forward to hearing Christchurch band Oval Office perform a quake fundraising gig at Queenstown’s Dux on Saturday. 

“We’re looking forward to seeing some normality.” 

The concert is also a chance for Queenstowners to join Sinke’s campaign to reopen his Christ-church operation – a petition’s running on his saveourdux.co.nz website. 

Sinke can’t fathom why the Arts Centre management kicked him out “after 33 years of being a totally faithful, loyal tenant”. 

An engineer’s report tells him his building is “quite fixable, quite easily”. 

“I probably pay between 20-25 per cent of their whole rental income. 

“Christchurch needs beacons of hope in the city, and a hospitality venue can provide a place where people get together and comfort each other. 

“The Dux has been a huge part of Christchurch for 33 years and now we’re not even on our knees, we’ve bloody fallen to the ground.”