Nothing pleases me more than to be part of this official re-opening of the beloved Great Hall.
Linwood College, 85 Aldwins Road, Wednesday 15 June 2016, 1.30pm
E nga mana, e nga reo, e rau rangatira ma tenei te mihi ki a koutou i runga i te kaupapa o te ra Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena ra tatou katoa
I would like to acknowledge my councillor colleague Paul Lonsdale, Representatives of the Runanga, Ngai Tuahuriri Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police, Bruce Bird and Canterbury District Commander, John Price Coralanne Child and Ministry of Education staff, Linwood College Principal, Dick Edmundson and students Representatives of the 16 agencies which are partners in the Hub Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen I am pleased to join you here today to celebrate this milestone in the regeneration of our city. The Mobile Wellbeing Hub is a wonderful initiative which has evolved carefully over 18 months, underpinned by constant discussion with the community about what they need and how best to make services available. The project began within the Ministry of Education’s Greater Christchurch Earthquake Renewal Programme, followed by a huge boost from the New Zealand Police modelling the collaborative approach that is so vital to successful initiatives. For me, the concept of partnership lies at the very heart of an effective community development initiative. And that reaches into the heart of the community as well. If we are committed to building community resilience, then communities themselves must be able to sit at the table as an equal partner, so they can describe their own strengths and ambitions, as well as their challenges and needs. This is what I believe in when I talk about community development. And it can be hard for governments and councils to let go of some of their authority, but it is vital that we do, so we can build a shared platform for change – not in our individual silos, but together working as one. The Mobile Wellbeing Hub for me seems to embody all of those key concepts – a partnership developed in the context of trust, mutual respect and understanding. I am so pleased to see this kind of community development approach being applied to an early childhood wellbeing initiative. You cannot be watching “Why am I?” without understanding the importance of these precious early years and the combination of nature and nuture. I remember sitting in the Great Hall of the Arts Centre a number of years ago and listening to Dr Bruce Perry talking about the importance of the first three years of life in terms of brain development. I remember tears welling up in my eyes as he put up a picture of the brains of two 3-year-olds side by side – one the child brought up in a loving nurturing environment and the other the child of neglect. The scale of the difference in size between the two has always haunted me. My memory of that one presentation opened up to me the importance of ensuring that children were nurtured in their early years, and that their families were supported. And while this initiative focusses on early childhood, its impact will extend beyond the home and the immediate neighbourhood to the city where these children will grow up. We are a city that aspires to always be a great place to bring up children. The vision for this project states the following: “We understand that when children feel safe and have a sense of wellbeing and belonging they will be supported to be able to learn and reach their potential. We know that working together in partnership will support our vision.” That says it all and I came here today to pledge the support of the city to this partnership. Noreira tena koutou, tena koutou, tena ra tatou katoa
Christchurch Art Gallery
Joanna Norris, Editor of The Press and Leanne Lazarus, General Manager Operations, Westpac Bank.
Can I acknowledge Fairfax Media for the initiative in recognising Women of Influence in this way and Westpac Bank for your support for these Awards.
The Women of Influence Awards celebrate the important contribution influential women make to business, community and society right across New Zealand – they are leaders whatever their sphere of influence.