FORMER Echo reporter Simon Winn, who emigrated to New Zealand last year, has spoken of a nation’s grief after the earthquake that claimed the lives of at least 98 people in Christchurch.

Simon, who was ordained priest in 1996, moved to Wellington on New Zealand’s North Island last year with his wife Lizzi and their two children Harriet and Charlie.

He said: “It’s scary here. I've never lived or worked in a country that is in a National Emergency before. Strangely surreal in Wellington - but everyone knows someone - it's such a small country - and there is a lot of grief.”

Simon was chief reporter at the Echo’s Poole office for three years before his ordination.

• See related links below.