You can see the strain’

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Queenstown Lakes District Council communications boss Meaghan Miller is managing access to Christchurch’s quake-stricken areas for 1000-plus international media. She’s been working for the national civil defence controller. “I have huge respect for the media and what they’re doing here.” She’s also “waved a big stick” at two crews arrested for breaching the CBD cordon. “I think for everybody here, it’s like doing a day in an hour.” Many emergency personnel were working 13-14 hour days despite damage to their own homes: “That level of commitment is humbling. You look at people’s eyes and there’s a lot of strain.”