“It is no use all the organisations involved in the recovery trying to have the general population involved if the issue of community morale has not been addressed. What affects morale is knowledge, whether you have it or don’t gives you high or low morale levels.

Our biggest community need is to have knowledge of what is currently happening in our suburb, what is programmed to happen, the time-frame for work to be done. Is there any reason why this information cannot be communicated to us through a monthly newsletter?”
(David McGimpsey – participant in the Parklands Older Generation Forum)

Dear Members

I was privileged enough to be invited to attend the Older Generation Forum at Parklands Baptist Church which one of our wonderful community leaders, John Patterson brought together. Roger Sutton was in attendance along with Councillors Peter Beck and Glenn Livingstone, and Garry Moore did an admiral job facilitating the meeting which drew about 400 people. I was reminded a few times of the respect we need to afford this generation – they built our city in the first place and want to be actively involved in building it again. They are a highly skilled and articulate part of our society and we need not speak for them. We just need to ensure they are heard.

The quote above is an example of the common sense but eloquent comments that were made at the meeting. Others said they would support the recovery if they were involved and could see themselves in it. The comments reflected the desire of people to be empowered through meaningful knowledge. I bet Southshore residents would agree with the quote as well and we spare a thought for them as they again face delays over their land zoning. The gauntlet was definitely laid down. Now we just need the leadership to pick it up.

It was also a good reminder that although a large number of the elderly are internet savvy, there are others who can’t access a lot of information because it’s hidden on websites. If you have a community noticeboard, friendly library, shop, service station, lamp-post, etc please consider printing important material to share with these people. If you need hard copies, please give us a yell and we’ll print for you if you can pick them up.

One of the inspiring stories of the week has been the symbolic journey of the Avon Otakaro petition up the Avon River to parliament this week. The petition, signed by 18,500 people asked parliament “to work with the people and local authorities of Christchurch to ensure that the Avon River red zone becomes a reserve and river park when the home owners have to leave”. Click here to read the story and see the photos of the journey. Well done to the organisers for all the work that has gone into this petition. Fingers crossed someone is listening.

Thanks to members for a great strategic planning meeting. The details will be out as soon as they have been collated and we look forward to the members putting their skills and expertise to an area so we can put some actions and solutions in place.

Just a wee note to members who take parts from the CanCERN newsletter to use in their own communications with residents – if it’s come from our newsletter, please add a note identifying that. It helps residents to know what CanCERN is doing and feel confident that many people are working on their behalf.

Warm regards

Leanne (and Brian who is making the big move to the hill folk today – good luck unpacking!)