Quake victims fly to Queenstown for Fergburger


Five Christchurch women took their love of Queenstown’s iconic Fergburger to a whole new level for a brief quake escape today (Sunday). 

Five shipping company workmates jumped on a 9.10am flight to the resort to chow down fare from the famous burger joint before nipping home again at 2.30pm. 

But they got more than the burger they bargained for. 

The ladies were picked up in style by a Limousine Line limo, which ferried them to town free of charge, where they downed breakfast burgers and sipped bubbles at a specially prepared table decked out with white tablecloth and flowers – all on the house. 

“It was the last thing we expected,” Helen Hewertson says. 

The jet-set jaunt was discussed prior to the magnitude 6.3 quake which devastated Christchurch, after three of the group sampled tasty Fergburger food and wouldn’t stop raving about it. 

After the February 22 destruction, they had even more reason to escape for some ‘quake therapy’ and grabbed cheap $19 Jetstar flights. 

“We needed time out,” Linda Whittaker says. 

Hewertson emailed the burger joint to let them know they were coming so the group didn’t need to queue since they had limited time to spend on the stop-off. 

“All my email was sent for was the hope they would bump us to the front of the queue. 

“We’ve been treated like royalty.” 

Fergburger duty manager James Burtinshaw says: “They probably had a bit of a rough time with the earthquake and things, and we thought they deserved something nice.” 

Their Ferrymead workplace, not far from the earthquake epicentre, isn’t inhabitable and the some of the women “were working out of a girl’s kitchen bench the next day” ensuring shipments were made around Australasia. 

All their houses were also damaged. 

“We have all been affected in one way or another,” Whittaker says. 

They consider the excursion “cheap entertainment” – something they say is lacking in Christchurch with the city centre a no-go zone.