Today Cantabrians commemorate five years since the devastating February 2011 Canterbury Earthquake. After recent months of positive rebuild stories, including the opening of Christchurch Art Gallery and the wonderful Margaret Mahy Playground, the large quake that hit the city last week was an unwelcome step backwards for Canterbury’s psychological recovery.

Our thoughts are with the families of the 185 people who lost their lives and all those who suffered through the earthquakes and those who continue to suffer upheaval and stress.

And heartfelt thanks go to all those who have helped and continue to help us to provide support for the recovery, including our wonderful Funding Managers, CanCERN, other funders, and all the other community, neighbourhood and social service organisations who have put their heart and soul into the collective effort.

For those of you in Christchurch today, you might want to head down to the River of Flowers commemoration event. Throughout the day today people will be able to throw flowers into a waterway and write messages on a Tree of Hope. At 12.51 two minutes silence will be held.

The Tindall Foundation and Healthy Christchurch are the key supporters of the 2016 River of Flowers events, and are supported by many partner organisations and businesses.

Kia kaha, Canterbury.