Ten years on from the devastating demise of the CTV building in Christchurch, a new podcast – Collapse – examines the tragedy through the eyes of those directly affected, in their own words.
While the collapse of CTV has been reported on extensively, the podcast is the first to examine the minutes, hours, days and years after the building came crashing down, killing 115 people and accounting for more than 60% of Christchurch earthquake deaths.
In production for the past year, the densely researched and intensively fact-checked six-part podcast has been created by Stuff journalists Michael Wright and Marc Greenhill with Australian-based Kiwi journalist and producer Margaret Gordon. It is co-narrated by Wright and Gordon.
“Having covered the earthquake as journalists, and sat through the Royal Commission and coroner’s inquest, we had a huge bank of knowledge and contacts, but the trauma was still too raw for many to tell their stories,” says Greenhill. “Ten years on, people were ready to talk, and demand answers to the many questions that still remain unanswered.”
Collapse is the definitive, long-form story of the CTV building failure, told in one place.
“While making this podcast we heard all these amazing details from people who were there that day – people trapped in the building, the rescuers who spent hours racing to save them, the doctors forced to make impossible decisions,” says Wright.
“But we’ve also zoomed right out to ask: why did this building totally collapse while others in Christchurch held up? What were the design flaws? Who knew about them, and why weren’t they fixed? We also try to answer the biggest questions of all: is anyone to blame, and if so, who has been held accountable?”
“Everyone working on this project has a strong connection to the event, including living and working in Christchurch at the time of the earthquake. The people affected could be any one of us. Ten years on, we hope the podcast will re-energise interest in the community and provide understanding and empathy around the CTV collapse,” says Greenhill.
Evocative first-hand stories, expertly interspersed with archive audio, vividly communicate the real-life impact of the CTV collapse.
All six episodes will be available on Stuff, Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Whooshka and Google from February 12. Collapse was produced with support from New Zealand on Air.