Families of those who died in Christchurch CTV building collapse determined not to let their memory fade

A decade on since the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, families who lost loved ones when the CTV building collapsed are determined not to let their memory fade.

Ten years ago, Karen Selway lost her sister Susan in the collapse of the CTV building, one of 115 people to die in the building. A decade on, she's opened a dedicated wellbeing centre in memory of her older sister that clinicians can rent and work out of.

"[It has] the aim of mental health professionals being able to services to clients and achieve good outcomes," Selway says.

Selway, a clinical psychologist, was temporarily working out of a clinic on the fourth floor of the CTV building when the quake struck.

She hopes the Selway Centre will be a way of continuing the legacy her sister created in the field of clinical psychology.

"A lot of the clinical psychologists I meet knew Susan, she either lectured them or supervised them and people who were clients of hers as well, so it's a lovely way of keeping her work going in a way."

February 22, 2021 will mark 10 years since Maan Alkaisi lost his wife Maysoon Abbas, a doctor who was working in the CTV building. 

Like every anniversary and many other days of the year, he will visit the Avonhead Cemetery to visit her grave.

"I sometimes even come here and talk to her about what's happened and for some reason, I just feel comfortable," he says.

Alkaisi continues to fight for justice for his wife and the 114 other people who lost their lives in the five-storey office building's collapse.

"The best way to honour all those people who lost their lives is to ensure that what happened on February 22, 2011 will not happen again," he says.

Two families linked by unthinkable tragedy who are determined to honour their loved ones' memories a decade on.