Remembering the 22 February 2011 earthquake

Ian Henderson |


This Saturday is the third anniversary of the devastating Christchurch earthquake of 22 February 2011.

185 people were killed as a result of the earthquake, with many thousands injured, and many more suffering damage to their homes and workplaces.

“We should not forget that hundreds of our staff in Canterbury suffered serious damage to their homes, and three years on many of these properties have still not been repaired,” says David Thomas, General Manager of the South Island Region.

“Through all of this our staff have remained committed to doing their best. We must not underestimate the impact this has had on our people. We must continue to support their welfare as we have done with our earthquake programme.”

Christchurch is slowly rebuilding from the earthquake, he says. "This is a long process, though, with some ongoing challenges, including for St John people, who have continued to work hard and care for their community - even while dealing with their own difficult circumstances."

A major project in the central city is the Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct, scheduled to open in 2017. St John is a part of his project, and many Christchurch-based staff will be located in this building.

Mr Thomas says St John is proud of how its personnel responded during the response to the earthquake.

“Christchurch is in a rebuild phase, and St John is a big part of that,” he says. “There are exciting projects coming up in the new Christchurch, such as the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct, and the planning we are doing for new ambulance stations. However, we shouldn’t forget what happened that terrible day. It’s important to remember what everyone went through, and is still dealing with.”

St John personnel in Christchurch are invited to take part in the Civic Memorial Service on Saturday 22 February 2014. This will take place on the Archery Lawn at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens at noon. This is a public event. You are invited to wear operational uniform, or formal uniform if you have one. Please note that there will not be specified areas for emergency services.

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