AS A New Zealand-born Australian, I have always considered myself fortunate to be able to call two beautiful parts of the world home.
I've been trying to digest the enormity of the latest earthquake (SCD, November 15). My parents and oldest brother and family live in Christchurch, my sister is in Blenheim and other family members are in Nelson, Wellington and Auckland.
It's desperately sad viewing footage of the devastation caused by the 7.8 quake . Though much of the middle of the eastern part of the South Island and around Wellington resembles a war-zone, it could have been a lot worse.
It's amazing there were only two fatalities: during the day, there would have been people everywhere, going about their business, on the water, travelling State Highway 1 from Picton and Blenheim to Kaikoura and Christchurch. I've driven that road many times and know the heart surge as we head north from Christchurch, across the Canterbury Plains through Cheviot, traversing steep winding roads around the Hunderlees to catch the first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean, and stopping overnight at Kaikoura.
I know the recovery program is set to be fast-tracked and that's wonderful because New Zealand is still one of the most stunning countries in the world.
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