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Five years on Christchurch remembers

9 February 2016

The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Lady Janine Mateparae will attend the civic memorial service that day to offer support and encouragement for the future. 

The service will start at midday on Monday 22 February at the Botanic Gardens Archery Lawn and include a minute’s silence at the time of the earthquake – 12.51pm. 

Mayor Lianne Dalziel says, "This is an important event for the Christchurch community to reflect on what happened the day of the earthquake but also look at how far we've come. We are honoured to have the Governor-General attend the commemoration service, especially as it is the fifth anniversary." 

Some of the families who lost loved ones in the earthquake and people whose lives were changed by serious injury will attend the event as well as representatives of the emergency services. Some families are travelling from overseas to be here for the fifth anniversary. 

The civic memorial service is a community event and everyone is invited to attend. 

John Hartnell, one of the founders of the Farmy Army, has agreed to be master of ceremonies for the civic memorial service. John was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2013 for services to the community and agriculture. 

Along with an address by the Governor-General, the civic memorial service programme will be similar to previous years including a mihi whakatau, an address by the Mayor, an act of remembrance by youth representatives of different faiths, wreath laying, and reading of the names of those who perished in the earthquake. 

For people who are unable to attend the service, a live broadcast will be available on the Council's website. 

After the service people may throw flowers into the Avon River, at the Daffodil Woodlands Bridge, near the Peace Bell in the Botanic Gardens, as part of the River of Flowers event coordinated by the Avon-Otakaro Network.