Welcome to everyone.
Humphry Rolleston has talked about the extraordinary nature of the past week.
In many respects it has encapsulated in a short space of time the devastation and the opportunity that has been our collective experience since the earthquakes struck.
I’ve been quoting the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emmanuel, who once said never let a serious crisis go to waste – it’s an opportunity to do things you think you couldn’t do before.
In my first term in office as Mayor, I and the whole council realised that we had to do things differently if we were to take advantage of that opportunity.
We spoke of our city as one that was open to new ideas, new people and new ways of doing things – a city where anything is possible.
The desire to support that sense of possibility led us to establish a development company, capable of partnering in commercial terms, in a way a council cannot.
The desire to re-engage our communities in the future of their city, led us to sit down with central government to co-design a new direction – Regenerate Christchurch was born of that.
Late in 2015, we realised that we needed a way to channel the generosity and goodwill that lay behind the flood of donations that came our way after the earthquakes and a way to form enduring relationships with corporate partners.
We formed the Steering Committee as Amy has mentioned and she was a critical part of that team, which also involved:
- Cr Andrew Turner
- Cr Raf Manji
- Cr Tim Scandrett
- Louise Edwards from the Rata Foundation, and
- Dr Karleen Edwards
Thank you all for your hard work to get to this point.
We also had external support, which has helped shaped what I believe will be a lasting legacy for Christchurch.
And thank you Humphry for taking on another leadership role in this city at this time.
It is my great pleasure to announce that the first gift is going to support the betterment of our city’s new Central Library, which will not just be a library, but rather a 21st century knowledge centre that will connect Christchurch people locally, nationally and internationally.
A total of $2.5 million has been gifted by Spark, TSB Bank and Southbase. This does not in any way contribute to the building costs. These funds, and the relationship with these City Partners will enable additional programmes and experiences to be offered in a way that will ensure that the Knowledge Centre is the digital heart to our new city.
Whenever I tell the story of what we are creating to connect Cathedral Square to the Performing Arts Precinct and the Convention Centre, I say it will be at the forefront of new thinking. Technology and experience. No longer defined by its walls, this new generation centre will include online resources, embrace social media and allow for collaboration in a way we could not imagine before.
Engagement, Community, Identity, Discovery, Innovation.
From the minute people enter this centre they will be engaged in whatever experience they choose.
Our world has changed.
And I hope the people of Christchurch embrace the city Foundation. It is not of government; it is not of council; it is of and for the city.
New Zealand’s first city established by Royal Charter in 1856.
New Zealand’s oldest city is becoming New Zealand’s newest city.
And the Foundation is the platform for ensuring that everyone can contribute to our shared vision of what that can mean.