Dear Members

 Well we have a new Christchurch City Council and they’re a happy and motivated looking bunch. This week’s quote seems good advice to the incoming councillors and we very much hope they action what they wrote and spoke during the campaign. Let’s also hope they have the courage to sit down and listen with open ears to the people who got them there and the people they have yet to win over.

Lianne’s response was unfortunately missed from previous newsletters so we have published it here so you can understand Lianne’s position.

One of my primary reasons for running for Mayor is my belief that we must embed CanCERN’s founding principles into the recovery at every layer of decision-making.  Sir Peter Gluckman essentially said in his report to government only 3 months after the Feb 2011 earthquake, that empowerment was the only effective antidote to the disempowering effect of the earthquakes.  Failing to include communities in the decision-making, withholding vital information and making major shocking announcements  about land and schools with no prior preparation have been the ingredients for a recipe that has resulted in a disaster upon a disaster.  As I have made clear in all my statements since I announced my intention to run, I will engage our diverse communities by: 

  • developing a sounding board of business, NGO and community representatives to strengthen the governance role of the council through its committees and the community boards;
  • increasing the responsibility of community boards to make decisions about their priorities with their communities;
  • developing a model of participatory planning that educates communities about the hazards they face in their communities and engaging local knowledge to plan for and mitigate risks;
  • Using the representation review as a grassroots-up exercise in defining communities of interest for electoral and planning purposes, based on a strengths-based asset model of community development.

 Community representatives, like CanCERN and the Chamber of Commerce, will be asked to define the attributes they would like to see in a new Chief Executive for the Council.  I personally think that relationship-building will be vital to re-establish the trust that has been lost over the years.  The new Chief Executive’s KPIs will reflect the 5 principles CanCERN has set out for our consideration. I would like to have regular meetings with CanCERN, which I would also like to ask to regularly report to the new Earthquake Recovery Committee made up of all councillors, which I will chair as Mayor.

 There are those who believe that consultation slows things down.  It may take longer in the short-term but it often saves much more time in the long-term as there is buy-in, people tend not to go to court and the solutions are more durable.

Great word from our new Mayor and CanCERN is certainly keen to ensure the key principles we have outlined are deeply embedded into the culture of the Council. Congratulations also to the elected Community Board members. Your job is vital and hopefully under the new Mayor’s leadership, about to get a whole lot more meaningful within the community. Let’s look forward to establishing a meaningful and robust working relationship with Mayor Lianne Dalziel, the new Council and Community Boards and also the staff of the Council because we are sure waiting for the change of openness and access to happen.

Have a great week.

Kia Kaha Everyone.

The CanCERN Team