‘Christchurch reimagined’ campaign to lure Aussies back to quake-hit city

Christchurch Mayor and former This Is Your Life host Bob Parker

An ad campaign to bring Australians back to earthquake-hit Christchurch is to launch in two weeks with the slogan ‘Christchurch reimagined’.

In a multi-phased campaign kicking off on 24 September, the city’s mayor and former TV show host Bob Parker is to feature in the first wave of advertising with a focus on how Christchurch has changed in the wake of the earthquake of February 2011.

Parker was the host of the original version of New Zealand’s version of This is Your Life in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism CEO Tim Hunter said at an event today that “new images of Christchurch will be the primary driver of perception change.”

“The texture and attitude of Christchurch is returning,” he said.

Campaign logo

The campaign will not avoid referring to the disaster, which claimed 185 lives, but will focus on now the city looks now, with attractions such as the distinctive pop up bars in the centre and attractions outside the quake-hit CBD.

The campaign has been created by Iris Sydney, which won the ‘most challenging brief of 2012’ after a competitive pitch involving 50 agencies at the beginning of July.

International tourist visits to Christchurch fell from 3.2m in the year leading up to the February 2011 disaster to 2.26m over the next year.

Australian arrivals at Christchurch airport fell by 19% over the same 12 month period, according to a story in the Herald Sun today.


  1. Tiki Godzilla
    22 Aug 12
    10:26 am

  2. I went to a conference in Christchurch last week. The hotel ceiling was being held up by temporary girders. There are no pubs, restaurants etc. Not a lack of choice. None. I feel bad for the locals, but my advice is; avoid the joint like the plague.

  3. Jill Collins
    22 Aug 12
    12:20 pm

  4. Hi Tiki Godzilla – sorry you didn’t get to see some of the fabulous bars, restaurants and other places to go in Christchurch. Cargo bar built in the carwash, Revolver bar in the shipping container, Smash palace in the vintage bus and the Carlton Club on the back of a semi trailer to name just a few of the fab places to go eat and drink in Christchurch. There is the pedal power cinema, the Court Theatre, Re:Start shopping mall in brightly coloured shipping containers – not to mention many of the activities/events that are up and running. There is actually a great choice of places to go and the locals would appreciate Aussies going back and visiting them. . I do declare a bias as it’s my job and my privelege to tell people what’s happening in Christchurch in a real and honest way so thanks for going down there but please go back – I am happy to plan your itinerary next time!

  5. Jackie
    22 Aug 12
    12:47 pm

  6. Nice response Jill!

  7. Scott Pettet
    22 Aug 12
    1:31 pm

  8. Well played Jill. I hope web is part of the brief for Iris so I can see some of these cool sounding places!

  9. Hoin
    22 Aug 12
    3:24 pm

  10. The only time I’ve been to NZ was in 1987 for my brother’s wedding. I only there a few days and only saw the North Island. It is my biggest regret that I wasn’t able to see the South Island because when I arrived home everybody said that the South Island is far better and more picturesque.

  11. Tigger
    22 Aug 12
    3:41 pm

  12. ‘Privilege’.

  13. Bridget
    22 Aug 12
    3:43 pm

  14. My family is from Christchurch and I have visited the city a number of times since the February quake. I have fond childhood memories of a city with beautiful gardens, food, wine, art and the high country at your doorstep. My recent memories are those of a awesome crate city, where local shops and restaurants destroyed by the earthquake, have reopened in crates within the red zone that was cordoned off for a year.

    When does a city ever have a chance to re-plan like Christchurch does? I personally cannot wait to see what comes of Christchurch. It’s sad to see its history vanish and I shed a tear every time I am there remembering what used to be, but as a 23 year old I think the future is exciting and in our hands. Over time people will move back they are just waiting for the ground to stop shaking. Unfortunately my 95 year old grandparents who were probably Australia’s oldest immigrants due to the earthquake wont be able to make the journey back!