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One year on from the 4 September 2010 Canterbury earthquake

Issue date: 
Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, has issued a message to reflect on the year that has passed since the 4 September 2010 earthquake.

Early in the morning on 4 September 2010, a violent earthquake shook Christchurch and Canterbury. No lives were lost, but the tragedy and devastation that would unfold in the coming 12 months, could not be imagined. On that very same day, nine lives were lost in an aircraft accident at Fox Glacier on the West Coast.

That the country’s worst mining disaster since 1914 would follow, taking the lives of 29 men in the mine explosions of late November 2010, cut deeper into the hearts of all New Zealanders as we grieved alongside the friends and families of those that were lost. That a subsequent earthquake near Christchurch on 22 February should occur, resulting in significant loss of life, was something that none of us would have ever anticipated.

As a nation, we have endured enormous pain and sorrow during the past year. We have stood together in a time of great adversity, and have shown the rest of the world what being a unified family and community really means. We have demonstrated compassion, love and kindness to each other, sharing the burden of loss with those suffering.

I am proud to be Governor-General of a nation which demonstrates the best of human qualities in the darkest of times. 

The challenge I set before every New Zealander is that of continued unity. Everyone can significantly contribute to our community and our country by exemplifying that legendary Kiwi spirit, in every situation placed before us.

As the third verse of our national anthem says:

Nei ka tono ko ngā hē.
Māu e whakaahu kē,
Kia ora mārire

From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our state,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand.

Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, GNZM QSO
Governor-General of New Zealand

For more information, please contact Rebekah Clement, Public Affairs Advisor, Office of the Governor-General, on 021 243 7958

Last updated: 
Sunday, 4 September 2011

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