With CCC draft Long term Plan submissions just heard, there has been a fair bit of hurt and disappointed noise aimed at both the council as a whole and more sadly, directly at our Mayor. She was moved enough to make a public apology reported in The Press here.
Mayor Lianne Dalziel has had an interesting ride since leaving her role of Christchurch East MP and picking up the even bigger role of Christchurch Mayor. At the beginning, many pinned their hopes on her being able to direct attention and resource back to the hard hit east. She has always been a vocal advocate for those in her patch so it stood to good reason that she would be able to do a lot as Mayor. We think she thought she would be able to do a lot for the people of the east as well.
Unfortunately, the size of the hospital pass she picked up was bigger than Ben Hur and we don’t believe that most citizens of Christchurch will even begin to imagine how complex her role is. Her council is tied into agreements that make little sense, is having to make decisions with half the necessary information, has to work with a government which has something of a caveman approach to communication and on top of all that, has a staff and structure that needs refreshing after years of management not really designed for today’s environment. Worst of all, she has to give disappointing news to constituents who have not been well served by others who gave unrealistic post disaster expectations.
We all want to have more (things and opportunities) and pay less for it but perhaps we need to remember early messages our parents gave us – you can’t have everything you want, you’re not the only person in the room, money doesn’t grow on trees, … you get the message. Obviously some shouldn’t have to wait too much longer because their need is greater. These are perhaps the people and communities that feel most let down by our Mayor.
It has to be said though, in every forum we sit in with Lianne, she is still advocating hard for the east and she is definitely advocating hard to get the city up and running. She advocates for citizens to have more choice on how we spend what money we actually have as a city. She is doing a pretty bloody amazing job in an incredibly difficult position. Perhaps instead of throwing rocks or trying to make her job more difficult, we could try a little harder to figure out how to help her and the council. We have a better shot of success if we look for ways to solve problems and ways to engage with those who are both part of the problem and part of the solution.
From those of us here at CanCERN, thanks Lianne. We appreciate your integrity, efforts and voice.