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Canterbury Earthquake Memorial

Christchurch Walking Route

Simone Mackenzie —

Of Loss and Remembrance - Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial Wall

Following the Avon River Promenade westward will bring you to a curved marble wall against a backdrop of young maple trees. Graceful steps lead down to the Avon River, where you may feel solemnity and peace. This is a place of national significance; the wall is inscribed with the names of our 185 people lost to the 22nd February 2011 earthquake.

This memorial is one of only two national memorials built in New Zealand to commemorate a disaster. It brings our city together in loss and remembrance for those we have lost and those who have suffered trauma.

Visitors are encouraged to touch the pounamu (greenstone) at the entrance to the memorial. This stone, gifted by local iwi, is a significant Māori tradition to connect visitors to the land and those who come before them. The name, Oi Manawa means ‘tremor or quivering of the heart’.

Cross at the Montreal Street bridge to access the north bank. This is a reflective space to see the memorial set amongst the trees, grass and stone. The colourful placement of flowers placed against the grey marble is the human touch that shows our ongoing care.