Chur Chur: Stories from the Christchurch earthquake

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This is a digital version of the book we published in 2011, released 6 years after the September quake. All money was gifted to relevant organisations and the publication is now available for free download.


On 22 February 2011 the people of Christchurch experienced the most destructive earthquake in New Zealand’s young recorded history. It was the third large earthquake to hit the region in the past six months, the first being a 7.1 earthquake on 4 September 2010. 185 people have died, thousands are homeless, scores of buildings have been destroyed, and the central city is still closed to the public. This special issue of Freerange is a window into the experiences of some who are affected.

“Many people are still homeless and jobless, and some have lost loved ones. I can get my head around the physical damage that Christchurch has sustained, but the emotional I find hard to understand. I wish I could assure my friends that it will be over soon… but it won’t. I can’t relate to their trauma and shock, to the stress they are living in, and I can’t share their burden of a life so changed by one event. But I can listen to their stories and I hope that helps. That is what this special edition of Freerange is about. Let’s listen, it’s the least we can do.”

Gina Moss

“It’s helpful to tell our stories and that’s mine. I have life and limb and all my loved ones but the emptiness reminds me that I’m human and I need love and support. I know I have that in big measure. Whether we’ve lost a little or a lot the reality is that for each one of us in Christchurch that day, life has changed forever. I will never be the same again. I don’t say that in an airy fairy way, I just know that my heart has been broken in a way I can’t explain and it has affected me at a very basic level.”

Madeleine Peacock.


What the Drummer said to the Drum by Gary McCormick

Madeleine’s Story part I and II by Madeleine Peacock

Earthquake Moments by Alison Locke

Show Us Your Long Drops

Blow Off Valve by Johnny Moore

Sienna’s Story by Sienna Kahurangi Newberry

Evil Genius by Ben James

Lessons from a 6.3 by Tony Brunt

Photography by Gina Moss and Tony Brunt