The 22nd of February at 12.51pm is a date that all Cantabrians remember as a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the city, resulting in panic and destruction.
I remember exactly what I was doing at the time of the earthquake. I was at home, completing some University readings when the power went out and the house started rocking back and forward. I had no idea of the damage that it caused until reports started to pop up all over the city .
The following weeks saw buildings being demolished and a cordon being set up within the CBD as many IT companies had no option but to relocate their resources.
Five years later, not only have we seen Vodafone setting up a new head office in Christchurch, now Microsoft have followed suit. This is great news for the citizens of Christchurch as the IT industry is finally returning to the city and some normality can be restored.
Just days after the city of Christchurch marked the five-year anniversary of the 2011 earthquakes, Microsoft New Zealand has announced that its Christchurch based operations are returning to the CBD. The tech giant - which employs around 220 staff in New Zealand - has had a presence in Christchurch for many years, with four employees serving the business community from their inner city office, with regular support from the company’s Auckland headquarters. However, after the office was seriously damaged by the quake, Microsoft’s Christchurch staff began working remotely. Now, following a recent successful partnership with business accelerator Lightning Lab, the company has taken up residence in the city again in Christchurch’s CBD. “For the first time, since the 2011 earthquakes, Microsoft has a space back in the city,” says Elizabeth Kirby, Partner Business Manager, Microsoft New Zealand.