Travel and Timeshare Update on New Zealand

In the wake of the devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand this past week it is still difficult to gather precise information about the situation at New Zealand timeshares and hotels. Here is a summary of what we believe to be an accurate, although not comprehensive, report:

At the time this post on The Timeshare Authority blog is being written, the historic Hotel grand Chancellor, one of Christchurch’s tallest buildings, has not yet collapsed but undoubtedly will, unless it is not deliberately brought down by safety officials first. Officials have evacuated a two-block radius around this perilous property.

Leigh Stock, a general manager of the Edgewater Resort- Wanaka timeshare was in Christchurch for a board meeting at the time of the earthquake. Although he escaped to safety, he witnessed the façade of a building as it collapsed, flattening a car with a passenger inside, along with other devastation. Stock told the Otago Daily News, after hearing the initial destruction and going outside to check on things he attempted to return to building he had been in to collect his cell phone. He explained, “From the outside, the building looked relatively unscathed. It was just a war zone in there. The ceiling had collapsed internally and a big ceiling fan was on the table where we had been sitting.”

The three Accor hotels in Christchurch were evacuated, and no guests or staff were injured. Two of these hotels are in the Cathedral Square, which is in lock-down under a State of Emergency.

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has evacuated three of its hotels, the Crowne Plaza Christchurch, Holiday Inn City Centre Christchurch and Holiday Inn on Avon Christchurch after identifying structural damage. The three hotels are reportedly closed until further notice.

Peppers Clearwater Resort in Christchurch is open, with the following statement on its website, “Preliminary inspections show no major structural damage to the property. The kitchen is fully operational with the use of generators and drinking water has been supplied to all guests. Water is available for toilet usage and there is no damage to the property’s sewerage system.”

The Heritage Christchurch has posted a notice on its website that it has been evacuated and no entry to the property is permitted.

International travelers scheduled to visit New Zealand are advised that all regions outside of the Canterbury area remain operational. As a precaution, travelers are urged to check with their airline and confirm that their flight is still scheduled. International travelers already in Christchurch and who need assistance should call 0800 779 997.