A drama show based in post-earthquake Christchurch has received almost $5 million in funding by NZ on Air.

Hope and Wire will be directed by Gaylene Preston (Home by Christmas, Perfect Strangers) and six episodes will be produced, it was confirmed today.

"This is an incredibly important project," NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson said in a statement, which confirmed NZ on Air's support at $4,972,664.

"It is set around the most significant event in New Zealand's recent history and we are pleased to commit this investment to telling a version of Christchurch's story."

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Preston, who directed the documentary Earthquake about the 1931 Hawke's Bay quakes, will produce and direct the series.

"It would be hard to find a family in Aotearoa New Zealand that has not been affected in some way by the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in Canterbury," she said.

The statement said Hope and Wire would present "a fictionalised mix of strong characters - families that fly apart, others that come together - to illuminate the best and the worst of what happens when a city literally loses its heart".

Christchurch was rocked by a major earthquake on February 22, 2011, killing 185 people and destroying homes, offices and landmarks.

It has already been the subject of a major documentary, When a City Falls.

- nzherald.co.nz