Day 015. What is it like living in Christchurch – Part Two. 

By Mana Williams. 11 Minutes 

The South Island of New Zealand is better than the North Island. We have the private bays of Marlborough Sounds, two-thirds of the countries Vineyards, areas of unexplored land within the Fiordland, the largest military base in the country, the largest mountain in the country, rocks that look like pancakes in Punakaiki and a pancake shop built inside of the freaking rocks!

But we also have Christchurch… Now notice the use of the word Island when referring to the South being better than the North. I was referring to the land, not the people because it is land that makes the south island better than the North. When we rank places by the opinions of people in a way that is non-judgmental, Christchurch comes close to last place.

So why does Christchurch suck so bad?

When a place is swamped in fire, split apart in earthquakes, is home to a nightlife depressed with drama raged arguments and street fights. It makes me think about how an imbalance could have occurred so badly in a place as beautiful as the south island of New Zealand.

I got it down to the weather. When it is cloudy we feel bored and complain about it not being sunny enough. When it’s sunny we complain about it being too hot or too bright.. When it’s raining we feel comfortable but complain because the washing is on the line. When it is windy we complain because we lose a sock to the garden. Everywhere is like this but Christchurch is generally more inconsistent than the likes of Wellywood and Auckland. With four seasons everyday in the wrongly timed order, some Cantabrians complain till the cows come home.

People complain a lot about things not being in balance. We grow up dependent on the world around us being ideal as if to say that everything should be ideal no matter what. Then when things aren’t ideal we find ways in which to impose hardship into someone else’s life. When we see someone who is succeeding with their goals some people feel the urge to corrupt that growth or otherwise known as tall poppy syndrome.

Its funny how the definition of ‘ideal’ is the conception of something perfect. As to assume that perfection is a concept not a reality. That we imagine only that something is perfect or ‘ideal’. But if we look at it from a cultural perspective. The word ‘ideal’ is from the English language. A language designed to convince or appeal to the listener that what is being said is true. Does the English culture dampen people’s spirits? Does it have something to do with the first British settlers being prisoners, sailors and hard working people? I don’t know the answer to that question.

All I know is that there are  positive differences in other cultures such as Maori. Symbolically, fairness, love and compassion is something instilled within you at birth and is taken away from you through your life. ‘Mana’ and not me, is taken from a person out of unfairness. It cannot be resorted without difficulty. This process of restoring and providing support for the people of Christchurch who lost their Mana, or their balance, their feet, their prestige. The environment within post-quake Christchurch has become sour. Where love has been fighting with unfairness and upset. This in turn spills into business, into the adult world and subsequently pours into the way kids treat other kids.

Kids are our future. The kids of Christchurch will define the future of Christchurch. Having lived in Christchurch during four of my schooling years, I learned quickly some people are cut down at the knees as collateral of unfairness. That Christchurch suffers hugely from the illness that is tall poppy syndrome. Many minorities within Christchurch are generally the first demographic to receive heavy judgment. Gays, Muslims and Maori are some parties whom receive the back hand from the majorities within The Garden City.

And that’s pretty sad. But when you recognize that individuals are influenced in their way of thinking based on our biggest life-threatening force, the weather.

Thank you for ready Sundays blog! We will see you tomorrow.

One thought on “Day 015. What is it like living in Christchurch – Part Two. 

  1. As much as I agree with the environmental impacts of having 60 000 acres of Vineyards in the Marlborough region. It does however bring 1.15 billion dollars into Marlborough economy annually. Which is good economically for the region. The reason why many dairy and sheep farmers have converted into grapes in Marlborough is because wine is easier and makes the same or more money.

    Now look at the ethics of it. Yes, it is money focused economics. Yes, there are a small minority of New Zealanders that hold a large stake of that money to themselves.

    But it creates work, even if the work is hard, as someone who also lived in Blenheim his life, I am equally aware of the number of Vanuatu workers who suffer from huge hours with little pay. But for them, little pay here is a lot of pay in Vanuatu. So there is a balance.

    From an Environmental perspective, I am aware of the chemicals used in their fertilization as well as the treatments used on the posts of the grape vines. Having worked the grapes for a period of time I understand how they administer these chemicals.

    I’m not an advocate for the consumption of alcohol. But at least it’s grapes and not methane from cows, fumes from coal powered stations or nothing. Because without it Blenheim wouldn’t nearly offer up as much opportunity for development.

    With everything there is a balance. Progress will find its way and that’s not negotiable. Yes I agree that these Vineyards are purely profit based.

    Focus on what matters like family and their development. Not some rich farmers position as a wealthy businessman ruining our landscape. The thing is Vineyards actually look really nice.

    So I’m saying respectfully to let it go.

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