Canterbury Earthquake Collection

The Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 are among the most significant events in New Zealand’s history. Te Papa collected objects around fundraising, spirit-raising, and creative and entrepreneurial responses to the earthquakes.

The Canterbury earthquake collection

This ‘Lyttelton Heart’ brooch is one of over one thousand made in response to the Canterbury earthquake on 22 February 2011. The group ‘Lyttel Stitches’ was the hub of creativity as many people made and gave out these ‘spirit-raisers’ in the Lyttelton community.

Brooch, ’Lyttelton Heart’, 2011, New Zealand, by Lyttel Stitches. Gift of Lyttel Stitches, 2011. Te Papa (GH017426)

This digital poster was created by the Student Volunteer Army to summon up its members for what was believed to be the final clean-up of Christchurch after the 22 February 2011 earthquake.

Digital poster, ’The Student Volunteer Army wants you to fight’, April 2011, New Zealand, by Student Volunteer Army, Laura Campbell, Joel Hart. Gift of Student Volunteer Army, 2011. Te Papa (GH021950)

This ‘Christchurch Sure to Rise’ print was created by Lyttelton resident Rebecca Lovell-Smith who lost much in the Canterbury earthquakes. She has combined the iconic Canterbury Cathedral with the famous Edmonds baking powder tin’s claim of ‘Sure to Rise'.

Print, ’Christchurch Sure to Rise’, 2011, New Zealand, by Rebecca Lovell-Smith, Screen Concepts. Gift of Liz Grant, 2011. Te Papa (GH017310)

This ‘Silty’ brick was made from liquefaction silt collected from Hagley Park, Christchurch, after the Canterbury earthquake on 22 February 2011. ‘Kia Kaha’ became a catch-cry of support and the brick was sold to raise money for creative projects in the city.

Brick, ’SILTY’, 2011, New Zealand, by Urban Paving and Landscape Supplies. Te Papa (GH021678)

These ‘aftersocks’ were created by Rural Women New Zealand as a fundraiser after the Canterbury earthquake of 22 February 2011. The socks are knitted in the colours of Canterbury with earthquake shock lines.

Socks, ’aftersocks’, 2011, New Zealand, by Rural Women New Zealand, New Zealand Sock Company. Te Papa (GH017406)

This T-shirt was co-organised and designed by Aucklander Deborah Kelland who wanted to create something wearable that showed people's support for Christchurch after the earthquake. The heart symbolises love, support and affection. At least 10,000 t-shirts were sold with $150,000 raised.

T-shirt, ’Christchurch Heart’, 2011, New Zealand, by Deborah Kelland, Chch Heart Trust, Novelli. Gift of Mr Eneliko Ioane, 2011. Te Papa (GH017293)

This brooch is one of 16 made by jeweller Jacqui Chan from damaged earthquake materials found around Christchurch as part of her ‘Host A Brooch’ project in 2011. Members of the public would take a brooch on an adventure around the damaged city and record their experiences.

Brooch [13], 2011, New Zealand, by Jacqui Chan. Te Papa (GH021808)

This ‘Hansel Waistcoat’ was made by Christchurch fashion duo MisteR. They managed to create a collection for New Zealand Fashion week in 2011 despite losing their workroom in the 22 February 2011 earthquake.

Waistcoat, ’Hansel Waistcoat’, 2011, New Zealand, by MisteR. Te Papa (GH017384)