The Earthquake Memorial

On Wednesday 13 May 2015, Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, Hon Gerry Brownlee announced The Memorial Wall as the selected design for the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial. Designed by Slovenian architect, Grega Vezjak, The Memorial Wall design resonated well with the families of those who died in the earthquake, the seriously injured and the people of Canterbury.

Read Minister Brownlee's announcement and further information about the winning design.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, Christchurch City Council, Ngāi Tahu and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage would like to acknowledge and thank the five unsuccessful shortlisted designers. Their designs were of a very high standard and were all powerful symbols of remembrance and recognition.

The Canterbury Earthquake Memorial will provide a place to reflect on the events that changed Canterbury forever, paying respect to the 185 people who lost their lives on 22 February 2011. It will acknowledge the shared trauma and huge support received with the recovery operation that followed.

How we choose to remember varies over time, and across cultures and individuals. It can also happen in all kinds of ways - sometimes as part of a formal civic function, and at other times as personal and informal refection. The design of a memorial contributes to this by providing for different interpretations and experience. It might be a place you can walk through, or simply sit and reflect.

The site for the Memorial is on a stretch of the Ōtākaro/Avon River between Montreal Street and Rhododendron Island.

Site of the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial.

This location was selected because it is easily accessible and can accommodate one person seeking quiet reflection or events with many people. Feedback from families of people who died in the earthquake and those who were severely injured showed they wished for the memorial to incorporate water and greenery. This location fits well with these wishes as it is on the banks of the Ōtākaro/Avon River with many well-established large trees.

The location of the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial.
Site of the Memorial - view from Oxford Terrace, looking north west, Montreal Street bridge on the left.

Design Panel Evaluation

Canterbury Earthquake Memorial Evaluation Panel Recommendation [PDF 9.5MB], 32 pages - includes appendix written by designer Grega Vezjak.

Canterbury Earthquake Memorial Research Analysis - 01 April 2015 [PDF 1.6MB] - report prepared by Ipsos New Zealand summarising the public feedback received on designs for the memorial.