Adelaide-bound couple given an unfriendly farewell
Last updated 05:00 20/04/2011
Two former Christchurch residents say friends treated them like "war criminals" after they opted to leave the earthquake-damaged city.
Rebecca and Evan, who do not want their surname published, have moved to Adelaide.
They said they were "all but ostracised for leaving" after February's quake.
"People said that we were running away," Evan said. "They felt we should be committed to the rebuild of Christchurch and the cleanup, but at the end of the day we don't have a mortgage, we don't have any children, we have family in Adelaide, and it seemed like an obvious move to make."
The couple said they made their decision after the quake and "the chaos that followed".
"The city has been major understaffed in terms of police," Evan said. "There are drunks running riot every weekend."
The couple lived on Wilsons Rd in St Martins. Their house escaped with minor damage, but their driveway collapsed and their car sank after quake liquefaction. Evan said there was major damage to the area's infrastructure and some friends had lost their homes. "People's attitudes in Christchurch had really begun to annoy me and the cost of living in New Zealand was just getting ridiculous," he said. "We were both earning decent wages, yet we were still struggling."
The couple said they were enjoying their life in Adelaide and did not know when, or if, they would return.