New Brighton: ‘No one is anonymous’


VIDEO: Simon Cooper and Ashleigh Monk

A girl hula hooping in her living room while her heavily tattooed father plays with her little brother; the local tattoo artist in full moko; street art that pokes fun at Minister Gerry Brownlee and even two women taking their horse for a ride at the New Brighton Seaside Market.

These are the images captured by three Canterbury University students, as part of a photo documentary, which tells the story of the community that stretches from Southshore to Waimairi Beach.

Janneth Gil, Tegan Hollis-Ristow and Rachel Pugh spent a year taking thousands of photos, to make “The Edge of the East”.

Ms Hollis-Ristow said she had not witnessed something as close as the community in New Brighton.

“They have a really interesting spirit,” said Ms Hollis-Ristow.

“They’re almost segregated out from Christchurch because they’re really community-minded. No one in the community is really anonymous.”

The documentary was part of a five-year photo project in collaboration with Christchurch City Libraries. A different area is explored each year in an effort to showcase the post-earthquake city.

“Before we started the project, I had a not very accurate vision of New Brighton. I would never go there except for the market,” said Ms Gil.

“But now there’s just so many events and things happening, and I really love the place, I love the people.”

Halswell was the subject of the series in 2015, and next year’s project would look at the north of the city.

To view the photo documentary go to