• Melissa Parsons is a Christchurch local and married mother of two. She holds a BA from the University of Canterbury and also has diplomas in Teaching, Intercultural Studies and Social Science (Linguistics). These latter two qualifications prepared her for a year of volunteer service in the Central African Republic as a research linguist, from 2000-2001.
  • Apart from this, and the obligatory Kiwi OE in the early nineties, Melissa has spent most of her working life as a high school French teacher in New Zealand.
  • At the moment of the February quake, she was on her way to a Continuing Education course on Writing for Children. Since then, Melissa has been a volunteer interviewer for the Women's Voices Project, recording the earthquake experiences of Canterbury women. While journaling and writing poetry in response to the quake events, she became convinced that this book was one that needed to be written.


"As one who was born and raised in Christchurch, and a local church member for most of my life, I have a double investment in the future of this special city. Our family has lived through this quake period as participants, not mere observers, which has had its challenges. In the course of research, I drove to interviews over damaged roads, and was granted time and energy by already-busy people (I even managed once to record an aftershock!) The interviewees bravely trusted me with their stories, even when the retelling of them brought tears to their eyes, and mine. 'Three years on' may seem like a long time post-quake for the release of a book, yet for those of us here in the city, the reminders are ever-present.