Residents in a small pocket of Christchurch have gathered to say goodbye to their community after nearly 500 homes have been written off and much of the area abandoned.
While many of the homes in Brooklands can be repaired, the Government said the land needed extensive remediation work to be made safe and the homes would have to be demolished anyway for this to take place.
"It's a bit like a funeral," said Georgina Knox, one of the event's organisers.
"It's a celebration service for us to show our gratitude and thankfulness for being here and the joy in the time we've had."
The gathering was held at Brooklands' local hall, which is to be demolished.
The hall has special memories for Nyla Sullivan, who was born in Brooklands. She met her husband at the hall was married there.
"We had our mum's funeral here," she said.
Also facing the wrecking ball is the fire hall.
"It's like losing a family member, in a way," said Rodger Curragh, the fire brigade's former chief and a founding member.
"Because we've grown, we've moulded, we've formed companionship, teamwork. And then be told you're going."
The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority has written off every home in the area - 470.
Many of the people who lived in these homes have already gone. The rest have been told they must vacate the suburb by April 30 next year.
By then, the Government will own nearly all the houses and by this time next year demolition will be well underway.
Some residents, however, have vowed to stay.
Forty families have formed the Brooklands Stayers' Group. One member, Les Griffiths, said they could live off the land if the council cut services such as power and sewerage.
"We could be self sufficient and live off the grid," he said.