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Business refugees move to Air Force Museum

Atrium at the Air Force Museum
Atrium at the Air Force Museum (image courtesy of Museum)

28 March 2011

We're all aware of the devastation within Christchurch following the September and February earthquakes and the implications for many residents, employees and employers. 

Once family and friends are confirmed safe and there's a ‘suitable’ level of housing, the next thought for most people is their personal income and returning to a semblance of normality; if there is such a thing!

Office space, meeting rooms, function venues, and car parking are all in short supply.  In less than 24 hours after the February 22nd earthquake the Air Force Museum had been contact by several government and private organisations asking for available office space to use for the next two or three weeks - which may now last up until Christmas.

Currently the museum is hosting approximately 25 staff from Inland Revenue, the Ministry of Justice, and an architectural firm. We have established a family court in the theatre, and a North Island based SPCA animal rescue team used our facilities for ten days just after the earthquake. These organisations are considered the 'lucky' ones, going by the number of calls still being received from many displaced organisations seeking office space close to the CBD.

So while this is not a core function for museum staff, accommodating needy organisations not only helps them and the Christchurch economy recover, it exposes the Air Force Museum to a great number of locals. A win-win solution.

By Dave Clearwater
Air Force Museum of New Zealand 

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