“The Studio used to be across the river from the Pyne Gould Guinness building so my memories of the day of the earthquake were; first; just seeing the tram tracks in New Regent Street all wobbly and realising this was real serious, and then; seeing the PGC building collapsed and then realising it was really really serious.

We moved the studio about six times, and have learnt a lot of lessons the hard way. I bought an as-is where-is building which has turned into being an endless nightmare. It took me a few years to realise that the free market wouldn’t sort things out, the Government and Council would try to, but very slowly.

I can remember not long after the quake someone asked me, “are arts important in the rebuild?”, and I said no. That’s something I feel the complete opposite about now. You think people should just value art, unfortunately it’s so freely available it’s hard to convince a non-artist how important art is to the enrichment of the city. That got me into a battle which were some of the lowest years of my life – banging my head against a wall trying to explain how artists work to people that just don’t get it.

It’s definitely taken me years after the earthquake to realise that people of generations before me seem to want to build Christchurch they know and remember, and people of my generation and after me aren’t sentimental at all about it. More young people need to get into politics.

I’m shattered. I wish I could say that I felt like it was over. The resulting rebuilding and moving, it takes its toll on most people. Ten years on it is tiring, is there ever going to be an end? A couple of years ago I was ready to move cities.

I started working on the Andromeda Theatre concept in 2015. In 2019 Anthony Gough kindly said we can take a space in town. Little Andromeda has been on The Terrace for a year and a half now, we’ve been in this permanent space for a few months. For us to have someone finally believe in us and make it work has been such an opportunity, and makes me feel so optimistic that we can make a Christchurch that’s going to serve the next generation.”

– Michael

Charity registration number: CC57701