Christchurch feels like a city under attack.
So much of its central business district has been demolished that its streets are unrecognisable, even to those of us who have spent most of our lives here.
The inner-city area within the Four Avenues is described by locals increasingly in terms of a war zone. Comparisons with Kabul or Baghdad abound.
Citizens are in a state of shock and many avoid the CBD altogether, grief-stricken at how much of their city has been destroyed - not by earthquakes, but by order of the Canterbury Earthquakes Recovery Authority (Cera).
According to Warwick Isaacs, Chief Executive of the Central City Development Unit (CCDU) who is backed by Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee, the demolitions will not cease until 20 per cent of the original CBD remains.
Now this is a rather alarmist piece. So we skipped down to the bottom to see who Lorraine North is, and discovered this:
Lorraine North is Chair of Canterbury Arts and Heritage Trust.
With due respect to Ms North, she's hardly a neutral observer, and her opinion-piece needs to be read with that context applied.
As chance would have it, we visited Christchurch at the weekend, and when we had a bit of free time, we drove into what had formerly been red zoned streets in the CBD. Sure, there are vast tracts of cleared land, and demolitions are ongoing. But it's not all doom and gloom.
As we stopped on one corner where a church used to stand, the silence was interrupted by the constant banging of a pile-driver as construction of a new building begins. The Ibis Hotel has reopened and Rydge's Hotel has been refurbished. As soon as the demolition across the road has finished, Rydges' reopening will be scheduled.
There are plenty of cranes on the Christchurch skyline; they're doing a mix of demolition and reconstruction. Sure; some buildings with significant heritage value have been damaged beyond repair, but others are being saved. And over by Latimer Square, the siteworks have already begun for the Cardboard Cathedral. Further on, the giant rugby ball used to promote RWC 2011 is being erected on a corner site in the CBD, destined we understand to become a restaurant.
Christchurch still faces enormous challenges. But people are getting stuck in and making the best of their lot. Huge investment is going to be required to build the new and modern Christchurch, and whilst the Government will fund a significant part, it is going to be private investment that is crucial.
Apocalyptic predictions such as this one from Ms North do nothing to give investors confidence. But what we saw at the weekend, and what we gathered from people we talked to suggested strongly that the Lorraine Norths are a small but vocal minority.
Christchurch is open for business, and things can only get better.