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PM announces national memorial service for ChCh

Published: 4:47PM Monday March 07, 2011 Source: ONE News

Prime Minister John Key has announced there will be a national memorial service for the victims of the Christchurch earthquake.

It will be held on Friday March 18.

It will also be a one-off provincial holiday for the Canterbury region so that as many Cantabrians as possible can attend the service in North Hagley Park.

The service will begin at 12.45pm to coincide with the time the February 22 earthquake struck - 12.51pm.

It is being organised in conjunction with the office of Christchurch mayor Bob Parker.

"By having a provincial holiday we are allowing a large number of people to attend the service," Key said.

The holiday will require a law change; Labour has said it will cooperate.

Key is expecting more than 100,000 people to attend the service, including a large overseas contingent.

"While we will never forget those who have been lost, we must now focus that indomitable Canterbury spirit on the future.

"This service will be a beginning, not an end," he said.

He said a nationwide holiday was discussed but Cabinet decided against it.

The death toll from the devastating 6.3 magnitude quake stands at 166.

Key said the flags on government buildings should be raised from half-mast at 12.51pm tomorrow, exactly two weeks after the quake struck.

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  • royalcourtier said on 2011-03-14 @ 21:33 NZDT: Report abusive post

    The whole focus of this debate is wrong. There is no reason for any of these buildings to be demolished. It is not a case of which should be saved, but which should be demolished. There are few which cannot be saved. What people are missing is that if a building is demolished unnecessarily, and illegally, there won't be any insurance. Only the city can approve demolition - civil defence cannot do so.

  • Adam Chc said on 2011-03-09 @ 14:44 NZDT: Report abusive post

    As a small business based near the epicentre in Christchurch we are strugeling to survive and simply can not afford a day off. I also do not think I or my staff are reasdy for a day of mourning yet. I am surprised the govenment would even consider this, it shows how out of touch they are to the impact this is having on business and staff.

  • annej said on 2011-03-08 @ 15:09 NZDT: Report abusive post

    I must congratulate Bob Parker for his leadership and his caring nature to all people in Christchurch and his unfaultering continual contact with his people, a fine leader and the restoration of Christchurch should go through him and the council and not left to those who do not care about the uniqueness of Christchurch, sack Brownlee, send him back where he come from.

  • annej said on 2011-03-08 @ 15:04 NZDT: Report abusive post

    At a time when the suffering is entering an unacceptable time frame of two weeks, John Key throws the baby out with the bath water and states that the government will buy the land off people who have suffered so much,this is akin to pulling the rug from underneath those who are stressed,do not know their fate and have lost loved ones, more thought and empathy is needed from central govt and to deal with the bulk of the people and not just the business sector.Thoughts and prayers to all.

  • Huatoki said on 2011-03-08 @ 13:37 NZDT: Report abusive post

    As with every issue he's dealt with, Brownlee crashes in with an ill-advised and inflammatory attitude, then scuttles behind his officials and is unavailable for comment. Christchurch needs unifying, reassuring and competent leadership and Brownlee consistently fails on all three counts. We need resources, not divisiveness. If the minister cannot deliver them quickly and efficiently, he needs to go. We deserve better.