I stop off in Christchurch for the night on my way down to Dunedin. It seems like as good a spot as any to watch the opening match of the 2011 Rugby World Cup in a pub full of Kiwis, and also to take in some of the sights of Christchurch. More than aware of the devastation that the city experienced, I am expecting to see a few abandoned buildings and large piles of rubble dotted around, as the city continues to attempt to rebuild. What I do not expect to find, however, is practically the entire city centre completely cordoned off and out of bounds to all but security and construction workers. When the second major earthquake struck here in February it left almost 200 people dead in its wake. Buildings that had become unstable after the September 2010 earthquake collapsed and buried those inside. To see an area comprising of eight city blocks by four, completely out of bounds to the outside world, is a rather unnerving experience. Flowers, poems and photos of those who tragically passed away are left tied to the security fences keeping us all out. Christchurch’s famous Cathedral Square is now nothing more than a macabre reminder of what happened here earlier this year. While those 250,000 who still remain here -80,000 having left- valiantly attempt to rebuild Christchurch, I get the sense that the job of reconstruction is almost too big, especially in the context of constant aftershocks still rattling the nerves of all those who reside here. My observation as somebody briefly passing through is that Christchurch will never quite be the same again. If it is to prosper again it will need months and years without significant earthquake activity. But if there are to be more major tremors, I think many of the 250,000 will also conclude that it is time to leave.