By Brad Foster
Rocked by the tragic March terrorist attack, New Zealand and particularly Christchurch needs Aussies support.
Almost a decade on from the devastating earthquake of 2011, the peaceful city of Christchurch has once again been rocked to the core, this time by a terrorist attack that New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern described as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.
The outpouring of emotion from Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the world came quickly.
Questions about how this happened, and strategies to ensure that something like it can never happen again, will continue over the coming months and very possibly years.
While this latest terror attack is not the same as the tragic Bali bombings of 2002 following which tourism came to a grinding halt, there could be a tendancy for tourists and business event groups to reconsider visiting the South Island city.
This is not what is needed now.
As New Zealand’s largest source market for conferences, Australian meeting planners should now be putting Christchurch on the table as the destination to meet in over the coming 12 months.
It is a city in recovery and one that needs our help to ensure that it continues to move forward.
Recently the Christchurch Town Hall reopened. Major hotel venues in the city centre are back up and running, and construction is well underway on Te Pae, the brand new Christchurch convention centre.
It is a city whose people have been knocked down and who have gotten back up; who have rebuilt; who have recovered. They are a resilient people. A proud people. A welcoming people.
Every time I have visited Christchurch I have always felt welcomed. It is a special place. A beautiful place.
Right now, they need us more than ever.
The best way to learn more about Christchurch is through the good people at the Christchurch & Canterbury Convention Bureau. Visit www.christchurchconventions.com.