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River of Flowers returns for quake anniversary

Thursday 18 February 2016Media release2 minutes to read

Cantabrians are being invited to take part in the annual River of Flowers commemoration for the fifth anniversary of the 22 February 2011 earthquake.

Evan Smith from the Avon-Ōtākaro Network says the River of Flowers has become the key way communities come together to commemorate the earthquakes and the impacts they've had.

“The River of Flowers provides an opportunity for people to come together, remember those who experienced loss, and share our hopes for the future,” Evan says.

Using waterways that link to each other shows how different communities are connected and part of something much bigger.”

Evan says five years on it is easy to forget the huge impact the quakes have had on our communities.

“Many people had no choice but to pack up and go, while those in Green Zone properties saw their neighbours leave and had their community forever changed.

“In some parts of our city the River of Flowers is the one day every year where communities get back together, connect with each other, and share their experiences and hopes,” says Evan.

Flourish Inc's Michelle Whitaker, who is managing River of Flowers, says there will be more hosted sites this year than in the four previous years of the commemoration.

“A unique feature of the River of Flowers is that it is driven by each local community. It's great that this year 19 community groups have put themselves forward to host sites along the Avon, Healthcote and Liffey rivers, and at the estuary,” Michelle says.

On Monday (February 22), between 8am and 8pm people will be able to place flowers in the waterways at the sites. Between 12.30pm-1.30pm the sites will be hosted by community groups. Two minutes silence will be held at 12:51pm.

In addition to the sites confirmed so far, there will be an opportunity for those who attend the Civic Memorial Service at the Botanical Gardens to participate at the River of Flowers site on the Avon River at the conclusion of the service.

For a list of River of Flowers sites go to

For more information contact Evan Smith: 029 739 9796



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Page last updated: 19 December 2018

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