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Notes on the Geography of New Zealand: Christchurch: Photo 17

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The city's pride and joy was its Anglican cathedral, and bitter controversy swirled over the Church's stated wish to demolish rather than repair the building. Plenty of other buildings had already bitten the dust: in the two years after the quake, 585 of the city's 1,784 heritage buildings were demolished, which perhaps explains the dismay in the voices of city councillors. Angry that the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority was not listening, one councillor said, "We have got to the stage where the frustration is immense...I think we need to start meeting face-to-face with the minister." Another said "The view of the people in this city is not being listened to.... It is a disgrace." A third said, "This is a loss of democracy; it's like trying to negotiate with kidnappers." (See Lois Cairs in The Press, November 29, 2012.) The building at the left edge is a Novotel, which had been built in 2010 and which suffered only minor damage. It reopened in 2013 after removal of the cordon placed around the city centre, which had been guarded by soldiers for 857 days.

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