There are some events that leave such an impression on us that we always remember where we were and what we were doing when we first learned of them. I remember where I was and what I was doing when I first heard about the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre on 11 September 2001. I remember when Princess Diana died. And I will forever remember 22 February 2011, the day the world shook for Christchurch and everything came crumbling down.
I was having lunch with some visiting MPs from the United Kingdom when word first came through that there had been another earthquake in Christchurch. Things moved pretty quickly after that. Parliamentary Question Time was cancelled, replaced by brief statements from party leaders, and Parliament then adjourned as Christchurch MPs, most of whom had only arrived in Wellington that morning for the week’s business, frantically tried to get home to be with their loved ones and their local communities in their hour of need. (more…)