Christchurch marks 5 years since quake that killed 185

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A service to commemorate the fifth anniversary of a deadly earthquake in the New Zealand city of Christchurch turned ugly Monday when someone threw goop over the government minister responsible for quake recovery efforts.

See Full Article

Hundreds of people attended the botanical gardens service in New Zealand's second-largest city to memorialize the magnitude-6.1 quake that killed 185 people on Feb 22, 2011.

As people chatted after the service ended, somebody tossed the unidentified goop from a plastic ice cream container over Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee, his spokesman confirmed.

Police said they arrested a 41-year-old man in connection with the incident and charged him with assault. Police said the man had left the service but was found a short time later.

Brownlee has proved a polarizing figure in the rebuilding of Christchurch. Many people frustrated at delays in collecting insurance or at the slow pace of the downtown reconstruction have blamed him.

Earlier in the day, Brownlee was heckled by a man during an outdoor radio interview: "You've done a bad job. A bad, bad job," the man yelled after first shouting an insult. On air, Brownlee laughed off the incident.

Brownlee's spokesman, Nick Bryant, said the lawmaker didn't wish to comment on the incident at the service because it had become a legal matter.

It's the second time this month that somebody has thrown something at a New Zealand lawmaker. On Feb. 6, a woman threw a pink toy penis at Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce to protest an international free trade deal.

Earlier during Monday's memorial service, speakers made the point that while there had been big progress since the quake, there was much left to be done.

"There is still some way to go until Christchurch is truly reborn," said Governor-General Jerry Mateparae.

Speakers also mentioned the disquiet they felt when the region was rattled again last week by an earthquake, one of the strongest since 2011. Last week's quake knocked items from shelves and triggered rock falls, but didn't cause major damage.

Emergency responders and officials representing more than a dozen foreign nations were among those who read out the names of each of the victims who died in the quake.

Mateparae said it changed the region forever.

"We recall the ordered streets and gracious buildings of a city renowned for its style and substance," he said. "We recall how, in an instant, that physical landscape was shattered. We recall how dust and the sound of sirens filled the air."

He said many people have faced exhaustion, stress, frustration and financial hardship in the years since, but that he hopes the end of that period is fast approaching and people can look at their city with renewed optimism and energy.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said there was an incredible opportunity to reimagine and reinvent the city.

"But we must acknowledge there are still many people who have unanswered questions," she said. "People with unresolved insurance claims, people who are still living in the houses that were damaged five years ago. None of them with any certainty of when they will find closure."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Women will march again with aim to become a political force

    World News CTV News
    Activists are returning to the streets a year after more than 1 million people rallied at women's marches around the world with a message of female empowerment and protest against President Donald Trump. Hundreds of marches worldwide and a signature rally in Las Vegas this weekend are aimed at converting anger and enthusiasm into political force. Source
  • Egypt's el-Sissi will run for a second term

    World News CTV News
    CAIRO - Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has announced he will run for a second, four-year term in elections due in March. The former general made the announcement in televised comments carried live on Friday. Source
  • Sea King helicopters finally ready for full retirement on the East Coast

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX - Three geriatric military aircraft flew in formation above Halifax harbour Friday, marking the long-overdue retirement of the 54-year-old East Coast Sea King fleet. Several journalists were taken for a ride to record the flight, which comes one week before the helicopters end their operational duties on the East Coast at 12 Wing Shearwater. Source
  • Van full of dogs stolen near Toronto, suspect considered armed: police

    Canada News CTV News
    A police force east of Toronto is searching for a stolen van that they say contains 13 to 15 dogs. They are warning that the “suspect is considered armed.” Durham Regional Police said on Twitter that a white 2008 Chevrolet Uplander van was stolen around 11:30 a.m. Source
  • 3 former MMA rail workers acquitted in Lac-Mégantic disaster trial

    Canada News CBC News
    Jurors have acquitted the three former Montreal, Maine and Atlantic (MMA) railway employees charged with criminal negligence causing death in the 2013 Lac-Mégantic rail disaster. Locomotive engineer Tom Harding, 56, rail traffic controller Richard Labrie, 59, and operations manager Jean Demaître, 53, were all charged after the derailment of a runaway fuel train early on July 6, 2013. Source
  • Members-only men's group targeting B.C. businesses online

    Canada News CTV News
    WARNING: This story contains content some readers may find offensive A private, men-only Facebook group has been used to flood multiple B.C. businesses with offensive reviews and circulate intimate images of women without consent, CTVNews.ca has learned. Source
  • Las Vegas police not expecting to charge Mandalay Bay shooter's girlfriend

    World News CBC News
    Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told reporters Friday that investigators believe Las Vegas gunman Steven Paddock acted alone in the Oct. 1 shooting at the Mandalay Bay casino-hotel. The sheriff said investigators have not uncovered a specific reason why Paddock decided to open fire from his highrise hotel suite, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds as a country music festival was held below at street level. Source
  • Nations flex nuclear muscles as fears of new arms race grow

    World News CBC News
    Welcome to The National Today, which takes a closer look at what's happening around some of the day's most notable stories. Sign up here and it will be delivered directly to your inbox Monday to Friday. Source
  • Probe: Las Vegas shooting suspect's motive remains a mystery

    World News CTV News
    LAS VEGAS -- Investigators have still not discovered what motivated Stephen Paddock to embark on the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history but determined that he researched SWAT tactics ahead of the massacre and investigated other possible targets, including the famed California beach in Santa Monica, officials said Friday. Source
  • Alberta investigating ice-cream-eating bear at Dairy Queen drive-thru

    Canada News CBC News
    The province is investigating a video that shows a Kodiak bear from a central Alberta zoo being taken through a fast-food drive-thru and being hand-fed ice cream by the restaurant's owner. The video, posted on social media by the Discovery Wildlife Park in Innisfail, shows a one-year-old captive bear named Berkley leaning out the driver's side of a truck's window for her treat at the local Dairy Queen. Source