Life goes on for many despite rain and aftershocks

By Chloe Winter

Graeme Cunningham with his jam stall at the Frank Kitts Park Underground Markets. Photo / Hagan Hopkins
Graeme Cunningham with his jam stall at the Frank Kitts Park Underground Markets. Photo / Hagan Hopkins

The weekend events calendar in the capital was shaken up by Friday's jolt and subsequent aftershocks.

Some events around the city were cancelled while inspections were carried out for earthquake damage but most public amenities and gatherings are shrugging off the seismic spoilsport.

The 20th Annual Storylines Festival was meant to be a highlight of Wellington Family Day yesterday at the Michael Fowler Centre but was called off, as was the Illuminate Paint Party at the Westpac Stadium last night.

Despite steady rain and aftershocks, the annual DCM Bookfair at the TSB Arena on Wellington's waterfront was still in full swing after getting the all-clear on Friday evening. Event organiser Stephanie McIntyre said she was worried the fair would be cancelled.

"People know how important it is for it to go on. It would have been heartbreaking if we couldn't have done it."

The Wellington Underground Market, normally a lively Saturday market, lost a few customers yesterday but some blamed the rain as much as the tremors.

Miramar resident Graeme Cunningham, who runs a jam stall, admitted he always wonders if it was the big one, which he said was a "horrible thought" but he was not worried. "If you're going to cop some concrete on your head, it's going to happen."

Wellingtonian Shona, who runs a jewellery stall, said it was still a better place than some others. "I'd rather live here than in a tornado city in America." She said a lot of parking buildings were closed because of the quake and rain did not help.

NBA basketballer Steven Adams - back in town for a national academy coaching session for kids aged 10 to 17 - was out for a walk downtown to see the damage for himself.

Hundreds of aspiring basketball schoolchildren were expected to turn up to the New Zealand Basketball Academy's special training camp with NBL star Brook Lopez and Oklahoma City Thunder draft player Adams at Wellington's ASB Sports Centre in Kilbirnie this morning.

After the short camp and autograph signing session Adams was expected to announce his availability to play in the Tall Blacks at next year's world championships.

Neil Francis, who was at the top of a ladder leaning against a 90-year-old house at the time of Friday's jolt, said he thought the shakes would quieten down now - like last time.

"I don't think the country could handle another quake. Wellington would be flattened."

Francis was out and about yesterday continuing with his day-to-day life.

"You can't spend your whole day under a table," he said.

Aucklander Adam Groem was visiting Wellington and was at a popular cafe in Cuba St when the earthquake hit.

"It wasn't too bad ... actually we had just come from the earthquake exhibition at Te Papa."

Wellington's Te Papa Museum was open as usual this weekend and was to host one of New Zealand's first gay marriages today.

- Herald on Sunday

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