The hospitality and friendliness of NZ people is something that stands out wherever you go – from shops, bars and restaurants to professionals and colleagues. Today I spent my first weekend in NZ with the lovely Anne and Peter Gibbs, who showed me the lovely Tannery Boutique Shopping Centre on the Banks of the Heathcote River in Woolston and the coastline near Lyttleton. After stopping for coffee (we managed to resist the cakes!), they kindly cooked lunch for me in their own beautiful home (shared with their very friendly dog – Rocky). Anne’s own inspirational travels around the world are evident from the large number of artefacts and furniture around the house – the vase pictured below is just one example. The house is a treasure trove of multi-cultural art. Many people that you speak to here are well-travelled, maybe because the island is small (population the size of Scotland).
Anne is an Educational Psychologist on the island and works with many children affected by the earthquakes. Children with SEND in particular rehearse their trauma through unusual behaviour such as being hyper-vigilant to everyday sounds that remind them of the experience. Looking forward to hearing more about this as I meet children and families next week.