The Earthquake Memorial

On 4 September 2010, a series of earthquakes began that dramatically altered the landscape and people of Canterbury.

Earthquake Memorial Announcement, 17 February 2015

The opportunity for the public to feedback on the six short-listed designs for Canterbury Earthquake Memorial has now closed.

The Evaluation Panel will now look at how the designs meet the criteria and principles of the Memorial and will consider feedback from the First Knowledge Group, the public and partners before recommending a final chosen design to the Memorial Leadership Group.

The Memorial Leadership Group will consider these recommendations and provide advice to the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery.

The Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery will then announce the final chosen design by May 2015.

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.