Christchurch v Wellington – Guest Post John Stringer

May 9th, 2013 at 10:00 am by Kokila Patel

Wellington is 1/10th as Good as Christchurch (even after the
earthquakes).

Kilometres of Christchurch beaches make Oriental Bay look
like a sand pit, which it is, just dumped ships ballast. So
you’re sunbathing on a tip!

Up until the year 2000, I had lived equal durations in both
the Wellington and Canterbury regions, raised my kids in
both, so am qualified to take on Colin Espiner and his
assessment of Wellington vs Auckland.  I’m sorry, but this
will be a one-eyed total slam dunk.

Christchurch is named after God; Wellington after some
British warmonger.

Colin opines,

1. Better coffee. Wellington is powered by caffeine. And
there’s none finer than in the capital.

Well, if “coffee” is Wellington’s best “asset”
let’s just stop now. The same coffee in Wellington is
distributed elsewhere in NZ, so that is an impotent point.
Christchurch has hundreds of cafes and all the main brands
of coffee, as well as its own local roasters.

2. The Brooklyn windmill. Don’t scoff. One of the first in
the country and now a major tourist attraction. The views
from the carpark are stunning.

Any views in Welly (if you’re not being blown over) are
about a tenth as good as the 360 degree views from the Port
Hills (try the Christchurch Gondola, not that red fire
engine on a cable thingy; ours is silent, yours rattles and
bangs away).  Against the Welly Windmill (an ironic but
appropriate fit for Windy Welly) Christchurch has the
Victorian Jubilee clock tower, the bells of several
neo-gothic churches, two massive cathedrals, and had the
Lyttelton time ball.

3. The Bucket Fountain. You’ve got to love a town that
keeps something so hideous and so broken that it’s become
a city icon.

If this is one of Welly’s finest bench-marks then it’s
all over.  It’s a hideous thing.  To counter, Christchurch
has it kitsch Queen Mother Corgis, the stunning Drummonds
outside the Christchurch Art Gallery, the Anzac bridge, the
hideous 9/11 memorial sculpture on Madras St (perhaps the
ugliest public sculpture ever made) or any number of
brilliant public sculptures that grace like artificial
flowers this very fair Garden City.

4. The Penthouse cinema. Arthouse cinema at its finest,
complete with decent red wine and its own theatre cat.

The Art Centre cinemas (Cloisters and Academy), Hollywood at
Sumner, the Rialtos, the Metro, the Regent, as well as the
chains: Hoyts, Movieland and Readings. Christchurch has
gazillions more cinematic options than Welly and even more
than Sydney.  We even have outdoor cinema.

5. Westpac Stadium. Sorry Eden Park, but the Cake Tin is
better in every respect.

I have to concede this one, as Jade is damaged, but we have
several others (our Westpac Stadium for example, as backup)
and Christchurch is getting a huge multi-million dollar job
bordering Cathedral Square.  It will be state-of-the-art.

6. Public transport. Aucklanders haven’t heard of this,
but it’s a fast, cheap, convenient and quick way to get to
work.

Many young adults in Christchurch simply do not have drivers
licenses because they can get anywhere in our city, hassle
free, inexpensively, on the amazing transport system.
Moreover, we have San Francisco style trams, London
double-decker buses, an efficient rail system; it all leaves
Welly for dead.  Our bus drivers are also friendly and
helpful; Welly bus drivers are known for their grumpiness.
It’s the weather.

Christchurch has far more bikes than Welly and the most
amazing suburban rides as well as mountain-biking options
with views the best in the world for this sport.

7. Sunshine and fresh air. OK, sometimes too much fresh air,
but Welly clocks up many more sunshine hours than its
northern sibling.

Blenheim actually has the record, so this goes to a
Mainlander.  Christchurch has much fresher air because we
have a massive range of mountains along our spine, and our
city is much closer to direct prevailing sea winds.

8. Cuba Street. No other city in New Zealand does cool
grunge like Wellington’s Cuba Street. Plus it’s home to
Midnight Espresso, home of the finest nachos in the country.

Sorry, Cuba Street is a second-hand shop with a few buskers.
Christchurch wipes the floor here with its impressive
Cashel Street pop-up Restart Mall (now an international
attraction) and New Regent Street with its tram flow and
Spanish Colonial architecture.  Then there’s Rolleston
Avenue flanked by Christs College, the Canterbury Museum,
the Avon, and spectacular Hagley Park, the rival of NY’s
Central Park. No contest.

9. Wellington’s waterfront. Whereas Auckland and
Christchurch have turned their backs on their ports, the
capital’s is a living, breathing, human space. And you
can’t beat Oriental Parade in the sunshine.

It is abutted by a huge Soviet box (Te Papa paid for by the
rest of us) and trying to access the foreshore is not that
easy.  In Christchurch stroll down to New Brighton and walk
along the Brighton Pier, read a book in the library on the
sea front, or go over to the many bays of Banks Peninsula
where you can swim with dolphins, catch various ferries to
exotic bays like Diamond Harbour, or enjoy the seaman’s
culture of Lyttelton, Scott and Shackleton’s final ports
of call.

10. Houses you can actually afford to buy. Not much point in
living somewhere if you can’t afford it. Wellington house
prices are not cheap, but they’re not stupid either.

You can buy a 2-3 bedroom in Christchurch by the sea for
$149,000 (there are several on Trademe today) or you can buy
multi-million dollar homes in a massive selection of
beautiful suburbs, several with rivers flowing through them.

We haven’t even mentioned the Crusaders (I have to show
some mercy), or the easy access to the great outdoors that
Christchurch has in spades: from alpine skiing to ocean
sports, ballooning, sky sports, caving, mountain climbing
and all within the hour.

Kilometres of beaches make Oriental Bay look like a sand
pit. There is mighty chinook salmon, and trout fishing, in
Christchurch. You can literally hand feed wild trout and NZ
eels within a block of Cathedral Square. We are wrapped
around by an ocean reserve with whales, dolphins, and ocean
fishing. We have a working Maori village, a working modern
Maori tribe, Ngai Tahu, a role model for how Maori can make
the most of historic Treaty settlements.

Our art gallery puts to shame anything in Wellington as does
the vibrant arts community across the spectrum.
Punting-on-the-Avon, the Antarctic Centre, the Cardboard
Cathedral, our huge network of parks, gardens, river and
wetland reserves; the texture of Banks Peninsula. Then
there’s Autumn and Spring.  Christchurch is utterly
gorgeous.

Since 1900, Canterbury has produced seven prime ministers
(Hall-Jones, Holland, Kirk, Palmer, Moore, Shipley, Key) to
Wellington’s three (Fraser, Nash. Marshall).  Aaron
Gilmore may have stood on our List, but he moved to live in
Wellington, so he’s yours.

You may have the (recent) Wellywood investment of Sir Peter
Jackson at Miramar, and Weta, but where are all those films
actually shot?  Canterbury. Heavenly Creatures is a
Christchurch Story.  The Riders of Rohan gallop Canterbury
vistas. Narnia’s centaurs and fawns carouse among our
limestone outcrops.

Sorry Welly, but perhaps the best measure is that more
people choose to live in the Garden City than in the glass
and steel corridor of Welly, jammed in between the Petone
highway and the Ngauranga Gorge.  Christchurch is the second
largest city in New Zealand and shines beside Wellington’s
flickering torch.

~ www.coNZervative.wordpress.com

Tags:

44 Responses to “Christchurch v Wellington – Guest Post John Stringer”

  1. WineOh (632 comments) says:

    Nothing like a one-eyed Cantab for an opinion.
    I did think that Espiner’s top ten was especially weak, but most are.

    Reminds me of a T-shirt: “My favourite sports team is better than your favourite sports team.”

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    Two provincial towns. Auckland is greater than both of them combined. Fact.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Kilometres of Christchurch beaches make Oriental Bay look like a sand pit, which it is, just dumped ships ballast. So you’re sunbathing on a tip!

    I suspect your writer has only ever heard of Oriental Bay. They might be surprised to learn that there are many beaches in Wellington.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. La Grand Fromage (145 comments) says:

    As a Wellingtonian I can say that I thoroughly support John Stringers right not to live here.

    I would also encourage any other whiny fucktards to join him in Canterbury.

    When you are cool you never have to tell people why.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. jonnobanks (148 comments) says:

    Chch.. full of skinheads. Be careful or they will stab ya.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Kleva Kiwi (289 comments) says:

    They forgot the other big one.
    Christchurch has had its big earthquake. Wellington is still due for one. Chch wins again

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Alan Wilkinson (1,901 comments) says:

    @ross69, yes, Wellington has many beaches. You can get sandpapered in all of them. We spent five Christmases in Wellington when our grandkids were living there. Every time it blew a howling gale the whole time with winter temperatures.

    @BigCheese: cool doesn’t do it justice.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Manolo (14,082 comments) says:

    I expect big bruv to fully endorse John’s opinion.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. RightNow (7,013 comments) says:

    How did I miss the announcement for ‘bash Wellington’ week?

    Just don’t come here, we won’t be upset.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. anonymouse (722 comments) says:

    We won’t mention “Which School did you go to” or “which ship did you ancestors arrive on”

    Oh and there is that interesting mix of skinheads, racists and bigots known as Kyle chapman’s Right Wing Resistance

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Fox (206 comments) says:

    Aaron Gilmore may have stood on our List, but he moved to live in
    Wellington, so he’s yours.

    Hahaha.

    Give it a few more weeks, and through some thorough research of his family tree, Gilmore will probably be passed on to Australia! :D

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. dishy (248 comments) says:

    Those of us Wellingtonians who have provided money and labour to assist Christchurch with its earthquake recovery can rest in the knowledge that spiteful children like Stringer have no mandate to speak for the good folk of Christchurch. How hard is it to enjoy and express pride in one’s city without denigrating another city?

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Albert_Ross (311 comments) says:

    What an unpleasant, mean spirited, rude piece of writing.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Nigel Kearney (1,051 comments) says:

    Since John is counting things that don’t exist yet, are broken beyond repair, or are in Blenheim, I think Wellington should be able to count the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Eiffel Tower and the elevator to the moon.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. davidp (3,588 comments) says:

    >Christchurch wipes the floor here with its impressive Cashel Street pop-up Restart Mall

    I didn’t know what this pop-up mall looked like, but I managed to find a photo of Christchurch and the mall online…

    http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100114084554/galactica/images/7/70/Cylon-Occupied_New_Caprica_City.jpg

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Zapper (1,033 comments) says:

    Lighten up people. If Wellington needed help, we would all come. No need to throw your toys.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Alan Wilkinson (1,901 comments) says:

    11. Christchurch people have a sense of humour.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. rouppe (984 comments) says:

    1) The bean makes maybe 20% of the experience. The rest is the barista. Having just been the Melbourne I can report that the coffee experience there is shyte

    2) It costs money to go up the Gondola in ChCH. And at the top every time I’ve been there it’s been uncomfortably cold and windy too. And once there all you can do is, well, go back down again. From the Brooklyn windmill there are walking and mountain bike options galore. Either into the Makara Peaks Park, or down Brooklyn Hill, or down onto the South Coast beach

    3) I think he’s missing the point

    4) Colin isn’t talking about how many cinemas there are, he is talking about the cinema experience.

    5) Yep, nothing like a National Disaster to help upgrade stadiums. Without the rebuild, ChCH would not be any better in this regard. I do wish they’d designed in a roof for the Caketin tho. However in terms of accessibility to the people, to transport, to entertainment, Westpac Stadium is pretty bloody good.

    6) I’ve been to ChCh quite a few times. I didn’t see half the transport options he’s talking about. I don’t even recall seeing a running tram.

    7) And his point is…? Colin’s piece was a comparison of Auckland and (dying) Wellington

    8) Yep, nothing like a National Disaster to help upgrade things. I wonder what he’s be saying if ChCH hadn’t been knocked over?

    9) [shakes head] Colin’s talking about accessibility from the central city. This Stringer guy is a bit of a dork

    10) Talking up the housing situation in ChCh? I guess we (i.e. everyone else) don’t need to pay red-zone house owners anymore then…

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. RightNow (7,013 comments) says:

    “11. Christchurch people have a sense of humour.”

    They have to, they live in Christchurch.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. RightNow (7,013 comments) says:

    It is a great sense of humour though: ” In Christchurch stroll down to New Brighton ”
    Yep, and there’s just enough time for you to “stroll” back home before it gets dark.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Ed Snack (1,927 comments) says:

    Golly but aren’t Wellington people precious and defensive.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. RightNow (7,013 comments) says:

    “Golly but aren’t Wellington people precious and defensive.”

    Where’s your sense of humour Ed?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Peter (1,723 comments) says:

    Those obsessed with what high school you went to please stay in Christchurch, endlessly reliving second year 5th school C.

    The rest of the South Island is great, tho….

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Zapper (1,033 comments) says:

    http://conzervative.wordpress.com/about/

    RIDER: This site is not connected to nzconservative, a Catholic site, or NZ Conservative Party, although from time-to-time I share some of the views espoused by both groups and other sites I follow, as published; I am an independent thinker and blogger.

    EDIT: This was in response to Elaycee saying Stringer represents Colin Craig. He must have found this page and deleted his comment…carry on

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. 2boyz (266 comments) says:

    Dispute payment of a round of drinks in Wellington, come to some mutual agreement for payment that doesn’t involve getting the shit kicked out of you. Try the same thing in Christchurch….

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Ed Snack (1,927 comments) says:

    Rightnow, oh I’m laughing alright; I do think it is funny….

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. RRM (10,034 comments) says:

    Christchurch is a nice enough city, I’d live there, but Stringer is getting a bit carried away methinks…

    In Christchurch stroll down to New Brighton and walk along the Brighton Pier

    :lol: LOL, New Brighton’s a shit hole!
    It’s a hell of a long drive (i.e. not “stroll”) across town to get there, and the Pier is a ludicrous ratepayer-funded folly that serves no purpose and is usually deserted.

    We haven’t even mentioned the Crusaders…

    Please don’t. Spend any amount of time in Christchurch and you’ll quickly realise Christchurch people have got nothing else going on in their lives besides their beloved rugby team. Rugby rugby rugby. It’s embarrassing.

    Christchurch also has teenaged boys who fuck donkeys in the park at Sumner; psychopaths who fuck corpses under the floor of their house, and the Right Wing Resistance. The greatest city in New Zealand for sick fucking weirdoes…

    The best thing about Christchurch is how people drive.
    In Christchurch, if you indicate you want to change lanes, people will often slow down to make a gap for you.
    In Wellington, if you indicate you want to change lanes, people don’t notice/ don’t care.
    In Auckland, if you indicate you want to change lanes, people actually close up the gaps so you can’t get into “their” lane…

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. iMP (2,422 comments) says:

    Ah “humour” thy name is “cat” in Pigeon Park.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Ed Snack (1,927 comments) says:

    RRM, and in Invercargill when you indicate, the other driver will courteously stop and get out to personally escort you into the other lane and make sure other traffic slows and allows you to do so unimpeded as well !

    Or at least it seems to take them that long, very well mannered in general though.

    Wellington though, always has one huge black mark against it; it is full of politicians most of the time. Those plastic, rapacious c**ts who want to run your life in their best interests.

    Oh, and beaches, anyone who knows anything about beaches should keep politely quiet comparing Wellington beaches to anywhere but Napier (or perhaps Palmerston North and Hamilton).

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Zapper (1,033 comments) says:

    I know plenty of people in Christchurch who couldn’t tell you who the Crusaders have played so far this year and don’t care.

    Mind you, EVERY person I know (including my retired Mum) is a skinhead part of the so-called “right-wing” resistance. Nothing else in their lives you see…

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Thanks for the laughs guys..I have lived in both cities for lengthy periods and easily prefer CHCH..Firstly the weather..a fabulous summer , gorgeous Autumn and an amazing Spring..the vege gardening , the fruit trees , the walks..My favourite being the Godley head track..Before anyone else jumps in , I’ll say yes a young women was murdered there buy an absolute monster . We do tend to have our share of monsters but it is worth remembering that the top ten crime families in Canterbury all moved down from the North Island..on account of their lads ending up in CHCH prison.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Sam Buchanan (501 comments) says:

    Forget everything else – the Bucket Fountain is the key point. Cultural snobs hate the thing and want to spend tax money to tear it down and replace it with something that suits their elitist tastes. Everyone else, of all ages and other demographics, enjoy it and often stop and stare (sometimes for ages). Possibly the only bit of ‘public art’ in the country that has this effect.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. hj (7,067 comments) says:

    Cities and towns are different things to different people. As in, Auckland grows and just gets better and better according to Professor Paul Spoonley of Massey University. It is all bullshit until you take every bodies experience into account. Unfortunately the voice is captured by those who control the PR mill.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    What a bore this whole debate is. Live where you want to live, just don’t bleat on about it like you’re a born-again whatever. Everywhere has it’s own benefits and they each suit different people and different personalities.

    What is really good is when you go to a city and get to be shown around by a local who cares. They show you things that you’d otherwise never see or know about and get to see a different side of the city and maybe understand some of the things the people there like about it.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. Viking2 (11,575 comments) says:

    Ah Christchurch. The city of the dammed.

    Birmingham mark 2.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. RightNow (7,013 comments) says:

    Midwich v2, V2.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Interested Party (61 comments) says:

    Sorry argument over – Georgie Pie coming to Auckland and Hamilton next month. Please continue with argument for 3rd and 4th place :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. Sam Buchanan (501 comments) says:

    What? Auckland and Hamilton are so deprived they are looking forward to the arrival of mince and cheese pies? Another point for Wellington.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. big bruv (14,165 comments) says:

    Is it still compulsory to marry your sister in Canterbury?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. Interested Party (61 comments) says:

    Sam – I’m taking the mickey out off the small town provincial comments above

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    Palmer and Moore don’t really count as Christchurch Prime Ministers, since they were both carpet bag MPs from Nelson/Wellington and the Far North/Auckland respectively.

    I grew up in Christchurch. Weird little town. They always seem to be fishing prostitutes’ bodies out of the Avon.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. greybeard (62 comments) says:

    Christchurch.
    Foggy. Flattened. Feral.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. Alan Wilkinson (1,901 comments) says:

    @greybeard, I suspect Wellington airport is more often closed because of fog than Chch and that Porirua does feral better than most. As for flattened – let’s hope Wellingtonians are touching wood.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. Nick Archer (136 comments) says:

    ‘In Christchurch stroll down to New Brighton and walk
    along the Brighton Pier’

    Agree with RightAgain as that is the one thing that jumped out at me when reading, it is a long stroll to New Brighton from the centre of Christchurch… Whereas Oriental Bay is just right there…

    Christchurch is too spread out, and the inner city was dead, good thing though is that they were improving the inner city with more cafes etc and tragically the Earthquakes came along. With the rebuild Christchurch has an opportunity to get a city that isnt dead at the city centre (had become a suburb city where no one went to town and just shopped at places like Northlands or Riccarton Mall)…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote