Mayors from across the country are meeting in Christchurch to take home lessons in disaster management and preparedness.
The group of 22 mayors and chief executives have been shown through the central city red zone and the eastern suburbs, and describe what they've seen as a bomb-site.
Auckland Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse says they're in Christchurch to learn.
"How council itself works, right through to the construction, the reconstruction, the planning, the relationship with Government. There are so many lessons we need to learn."
And Dunedin mayor Dave Cull says it's an eye opener.
"The Canterbury area has lost a lot of its heritage buildings. We still have a good number and it makes me realise how vulnerable they are and probably how important they are to our sense of place."
Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown says it's taking a long time for Christchurch to get back on its feet and suggests better preparedness could have helped.
"What is so enormous is the time for recovery, so the more we can put into preparation of buildings, people and business the better."
Photo: NZ Herald