The Acting Dean of the Cathedral, the Reverend Lynda Patterson
The competition judges and special guest Kevin McCloud (an international judges and so well known to us all as host of the popular British television show Grand Design)
Members of the community, building industry leaders and the media
Fellow Councillors and Representatives from the four finalists of the Breathe New Urban Village Competition - Teams from Holloway, Ganellen, Walker and Viva/Jasmax
On behalf of the city of Christchurch a very warm welcome to you all.
Tonight is a milestone on so many fronts. The embryo for this competition was the Council's very successful Share an Idea consultation.
The designs we are seeing today reflect our community's vision for a clean green, vibrant, safe ,smart and people friendly city.
Even before the earthquakes, one of the aims of the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy was revitalising our central city by increasing the number of people living within the four avenues. Returning residents to our central city is now even more critical to our long term vitality.
I spent over 10 years living within the four avenues and if the truth be known I would love to come back to the heart of the city one day.
We are building the newest city in the world and no other place in the earth has the world of possibility that Christchurch offers today.
To all four finalists – to have reached this stage of the competition is a credit to you all. You are the final four of an international competition that attracted 58 entries for Stage 1 – half from New Zealand and the rest from 15 countries around the world - with the four finalists going through to stage 2.
We needed an exemplar to showcase the high quality of life possible in our new central city and all four of the finalists have each given us one.
It is a tribute to the high standards of the finalists that elements of each of your designs could be picked up for developments in our city.
And I am hoping that, that even though there is only one winner tonight, there is certainly an appetite around the council table to see what else is possible.
On behalf of the city, thank you for your ideas and innovation.
Shortly we will find out the exciting conclusion to the competition, but first Kevin McCloud our international judge will share with us his views on what makes an exemplar, liveable and sustainable neighbourhood and his reflections on the competition. Then Stuart Gardyne, the Chair of the Judging Panel, will introduce each of the four finalists before Minister Williamson announces the winner.