“We live in a beautiful part of the country, and it’s more about how I am as opposed to who I am, and I like that.”
Proud Cantabrian Jason Gunn has a special bond with his birthplace, and believes there’s something down to earth and authentic about Christchurch.
“I love we’re a close village, we’re a close people.
“I don’t think you get too big for your boots in a city like Christchurch. It’s got a lot of successful people here but we’ve got our feet firmly on the ground. There are not too many ego issues I know of.”
There’s no place like home
Jason says he started his entertainment career in the southern city before trying his fortune overseas. But something always seemed to be pulling him back.
“I had a good look at the likes of London and the States, and certainly chased that dream for a little bit. But as things went on I had that realisation and appreciation of how good I had it back home. I know it sounds cliché but I came back and went ‘yip no, here it is – it was here all along’.”
The secret to a golden future
Looking back at the past five years, he says the city’s been through a hell of a journey, but is coming out the other side and there is an air of excitement about the future.
“One of the greatest things to come out of the earthquake was our ability to turn and look after each other. Strangers became friends as they dug out their neighbour’s liquefaction and stuff like that.
“As long as we still look after each other like we did in those early days, that’s the secret. This has been our greatest strength and the greatest thing going forward.”
Jason says as well as looking forward, there are still a lot of people that are living in situations that aren’t good enough, and it’s important to stay aware of the current situation.
But the Canterbury spirit and the belief that anything’s possible has always been something he’s loved about living there.
“Many people could have built buildings, but not many people could have got up and dusted themselves off and had the attitude of positivity that we have.”
When asked what he would want this period of his beloved city’s history to be remembered for, Jason says, “It would be for people to look back at Christchurch and have a slight understanding of just how hard it was sure, but more so how we did get up when others may not have.
“How we’ve stuck together I think we’ve amazed ourselves. We’ve dreamed big and every day we’re seeing growth.
“From something so bad, we’re making something so good – and that’s what I’m most proud of.”