In memory of where we’ve been: New Zealand’s #eqnz tweets

I wrote this two years ago, as the Tweets of the Month from the month of That Quake – and as posterous, where it was hosted, is closing down, I thought it should be kept.


February 2011: There’s something wonderful about the Kiwi spirit. We’re opinionated, bulshy, and have awesome senses of humour. And given the terrible events of the last week, that sense of humour has done us proud.

Here’s to you, New Zealand, you funny, amazing people.

nasstkVEVO I’d like to personally thank the U.S for sending 960 Portaloos to Christchurch. When things turn to shit, we know we can count on you
Tarquin_Death The bottle of ‘earthquake vodka’ is getting low. Almost time to open the earthquake rum! Not sure the earthquake is a good influence on me.
securitygalnz No power/water = no bathroom cleaning, washing, ironing, vacuuming, car cleaning or mowing lawns = silver lining to #eqnz
Kiwi05 Only in NZ would the mayor describe the broken sewage system as “seriously munted”
harvestbird The dogs assembled around me and the bush toilet at dawn, as if to say, we knew you’d join us out here one day.
richirvine Everyone, make sure you hug + kiss your partners and kids tonight. Not your flatmates though, that leads to dark places.
brianedwardsmed Just heard – from total stranger on Twitter – that my daughter and family are ok. He went round to her house for me . Kindness in bad times. 
 Dear Christchurch, and all who love that city, what can any of us say, except we’re carrying you in our hearts.
NZTopModelColin As always, be considerate of someone more vulnerable than yourself. Strength is multiplied when the burden is shared.
LitaNZ We are all family, no matter where we come from and our backgrounds. WE WILL get through this. WE WILL stand as a nation again!
nathanknz These shakes just keep coming. Every time I feel one I can’t help but think what it must be like for those amongst the rubble.

 benkepes Hope. Pure and simple

This person (a complete stranger to me) responded to a tweet of mine. I was trying to locate the mother of a friend in the UK. She actually went round to his mum’s house and then tweeted me that she was fine. You can imagine the relief of her son after waiting over 24 hours and hearing nothing. Just awesome. – Marg

Words for a memorial: We will get through

We love Christchurch

A year ago today I wrote:


Words just seem so futile at a time like this. The entire dictionary – even every word ever uttered – can’t describe what’s going on right now.

A nation sits in shock. This isn’t our burden, surely? This isn’t our event? This is what happens in some foreign land, some distant place, to people who aren’t us.

But no, this is our place. This is our event. This is our land.

As a mother hen gathers her chicks in close, so New Zealand gathers its people together. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those who have lost everything. We protect those who are weakened. We guard those we have lost.

Nightfall is coming. The rescuers will continue to search, and we will continue to hope. ‘Recovery’ is a word still far too raw to be uttered. Until we have our people back, we will hold fast.

We will get through this.


As I look back on what happened, I can’t help but admire the people of Canterbury. Those who worked selflessly for others. Those who ignored frayed nerves and kept on. Those who had everything taken away – everything but their smiles. Those who made the brave decision to stay. Those who made the brave decision to leave.

I don’t think I’d be overstating the case to say that New Zealand changed as a nation that day. We all took a knock on some level – even those of us who didn’t feel the quakes with our bodies still felt it in our hearts.

We watched on, desperate to help, wanting Cantabrians to know how much we cared. We longed to make things right, but couldn’t really do anything. And as the quakes kept coming, we despaired with those who continued to suffer.

They say these things make you stronger. I agree, but what a fucking painful growth spurt. Almost one you don’t come back from; one you maybe don’t get through in one piece.

But the people of Canterbury did get through it. They will continue to get through it.

And we will all continue to stand with them.

Kia kaha, New Zealand.