Home' Christchurch Mail : September 13th 2012 Contents 3
CHRISTCHURCH MAIL, SEPTEMBER 13, 2012
MP for Christchurch East
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Rescued dad counts blessings
By ANNA PRICE
HAPPY DAYS: Surfer James Tuhikarama with his son Nick, 14, at North Beach on Sunday.
James Tuhikarama wants to
thank North Wai buddies for
raising $2500 to help while he
was unable to work for eight
months. He also thanks
Quiksilver New Brighton for
giving him a brand new wetsuit --
his original was cut in two during
A YEAR ago almost to the day,
surfer James Tuhikarama slipped
between life and death as rescuers
battled to keep him alive in a dra-
matic vigil at North Beach.
The father of two remembers
nothing of the nightmare that
unfolded, after being felled by a
heart attack during a surf compe-
tition on September 18.
He was spotted floating face
down 50 metres out. He just
knows by all accounts he should
He is in no doubt he was given
a second chance and that it has
changed his life.
I haven t had a bad day since,
Mr Tuhikarama, 48, said.
Every day is a good day. It
makes you realise how precious
His son Nick, now 14 and a
promising surfer, looked on in dis-
belief as his father was dragged,
unconscious, from the water.
I was scared and the doctors
and staff that were there were
saying that dad wouldn t make it
and we should prepare for the
worst, Nick recounts. I saw dad
coughing up foam and blood.
His father s North Wai club-
mates shielded the youngster
from the distressing scene and
ushered him away to the club-
house so I couldn t see.
Three clubmates dashed into
the sea fully clothed to bring Mr
He says he has thousands to
thank and will never be able to
repay the young North Beach surf
lifesavers who sprinted across the
beach to perform CPR -- keeping
him alive until the St John
As he hovered between life and
death in an induced coma in
Christchurch Hospital s critical
care unit, his family flew from
Western Australia for a funeral.
He recalls seeing his heart
I could see but I couldn t talk.
I had awareness I was dying.
I was waiting for someone to
throw a blanket over my head. I
thought they wouldn t know I was
He has already been out catch-
ing the waves again, but in
warmer water now.
And we all keep an eye on each
As for Nick, his smile says it all.
Innovative library meets
100pc of building code
Bob Parker gets
ribbon from Izzy
Libraries are more
than books and
buildings. They provide
a hub for communities.
THE NEW $5 million Aranui
Library is probably the
strongest building in Christ-
church and possibly New Zea-
land -- at 100 per cent of the new
It has been opened by mayor
Bob Parker, following a powhiri.
The 500 square metre library
designed by the Christchurch
City Council s architects uses
the sun for heat and light, where
possible, and allows natural air
movement for ventilation.
Libraries are more than
books and buildings. They pro-
vide a hub for communities, a
place to learn, relax and meet,
Mr Parker said.
Increased excavation and
ground works, additional con-
crete for the floor slab and
additional reinforcing steel
added a further estimated
$600,000 to the cost of the proj-
ect.The new library collection,
and the artwork on the exterior
by local artist Raph Stowers,
reflected the community s
diverse culture and demograph-
ics, city libraries unit manager
Carolyn Robertson said.
The library would also provide
for group learning and the meet-
ing and community spaces the
It has several innovative sus-
tainability and security fea-
The library hours are Monday to
Friday 9am to 6pm and 10am to
4pm on Saturdays.
This week the first programmes
began -- with Babytimes at
2.15pm on Tuesdays and Story
Times at 11.15am Thursdays.
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