David Ayers Mayor of Waimakariri District
Roger Sutton CEO, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority
Ian Simpson CEO, NZ Earthquake Commission
Peter Townsend CEO, Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce
Joanna Norris Editor, The Press
What are positive signs of progress and what's in the pipeline?
What are the main obstacles and how can they be resolved?
When spoke to the South Island Property Council in December last year I said the new Council was ready and willing to assume our leadership role in the city's recovery, but admitted that it was the 'able' part that still needed work.
We are getting there.
I am not going to talk about the pipes that have been laid and the roads repaired—the figures are extraordinary—I want to talk about the past 6 months and where we are heading.
I no longer reflect on what we as a Council have inherited. It is what it is. We are determined to find solutions.
The Korda Mentha report is not far away, but there are issues around the detail of the cost-share as it relates to the horizontal infrastructure. We are trying to nail down the detail of what shows in our present three year plan as 'savings to be found'.
In the meantime we have engaged Cameron & partners to look at CCHL, our CCTOs and CCOs, to ensure that we are getting the best possible return on what are significant investments, and to look at all the options. Again with a solutions focus in mind, it might be better to link the two reports together.
We have started interviewing people for the Chief Executive's position and I am confident that we will be able to make an appointment.
The Council will be establishing a clear direction and we will have a Chief Executive who can deliver results. The feedback that I have had is that people have appreciated the involvement of a company that has made it its businesses to talk to major stakeholders on our behalf about their aspirations for the city's chief executive. Thank you to those who shared advice and support.
In the meantime, Acting Chief Executive has implemented a significant change proposal for the top-tier management structure at the Council. We have a Chief Financial Officer on board and that has given me real comfort about our financial situation going forward.
We are on track to win back accreditation as a Building Consent Authority by July—this has put pressure on the whole organisation, not just consents.
Accreditation is not just a single process—it relates to governance as well.
No-one is talking business as usual at the Christchurch City Council now.
Land use has been front of mind—the Port Hills, Land use Recovery Plan, District Plan Review and flooding. These are huge challenges.
Natural Hazards have been brought into sharp relief by the extreme weather event that caused flooding and a slip that could have had much more severe consequences for Lyttelton.
I have valued the opportunity to sit around the table with CERA, EQC and the Insurance Council to work out how we can find solutions to some of the intractable problems that are holding back the solutions that people are looking for. The joined up communications that were initiated for Port Hills' residents are the right way to go. Partnership and collaboration are what we need.
Investment, Procurement and delivery - the city would benefit from a joined up agency to act as a single point of entry with relationship managers. But we can't wait; we have community assets that we need to build and our procurement model needs to be more flexible.
Another priority is housing. We have temporary accommodation pressures, social housing to be fixed and affordable rental housing, which is awaiting urgent attention. We are working as hard as we can to get a vehicle to catalyse the market in innovative ways.
After the Annual Plan is bedded down, the Long Term Plan gets underway and that is our chance to place our mark on the direction of the council. We are promising that this will not be BAU either—it will be setting a whole new strategic focus for the city.
Coupled with a representation review that will invite communities to think about participatory planning in their immediate vicinity, we have a great formula for major change, pushing decision-making closer to the place where it matters.
We need to shift the locus of decision-making to the community when it is in the community and the city's interest. This will change dramatically the orientation of the Council.
And that's where the Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities comes in— resilience is not just about:
· preparation and planning;
· the ability to absorb or withstand disturbance or adversity while keeping
the essentials going;
· the capacity to recover, 'bounce back' or better still 'bounce forward' or
· the capacity to adapt given a change in conditions.
But the capacity to thrive in the face of adversity, evidencing a willingness to
take risks and to be creative or innovative in exploring the world of possibility
that such an environment offers and the power to co-create, which is what I find really exciting.