Two years ago, the Christchurch City Council was the "unanimous overall winner" of the Co-creation Award for that campaign. These awards recognise and celebrate the most original and successful co-creation initiatives.
"Share an Idea is an inspiring example of co-creation, which established co-creation with their community in several ways and at several moments in time: an online platform to post ideas, a Community Expo, workshops and roadshows, to develop the city centre together.
"The response on this initiative was overwhelming: more than 106,000 ideas have been shared and more than 10,000 people visited the Expo. Next to developing the new city centre, the result of this co-creation is also a stronger community."
I want to start my mayoralty where Share an Idea left off. We have been recognised internationally for the plan that Share an Idea should have generated for the city as a whole, rather than the draft plan for the central city that was taken behind closed doors and re-written by central government without any input from the community.
This was co-option by the powers-that-be; not co-creation based on engaging and authentic communication.
Although those words – co-creation based on engaging and authentic conversation – don't make a campaign slogan, they represent the essence of what I am standing for – One City Together.
To get there we need to make our council the pride of the city. It needs to be a high-performing team that gets things done.
We need to tell it how it is – no spin – just the plain and honest truth. We need our communities to be involved in co-creating our future as a city.
We need to stand up for Christchurch. Letting the government take over our responsibilities as a city – how does that make us stronger and better prepared for the future?
We need to build strong partnerships with business, community and government. I know it sounds cliché but we are all in this together.
Let's make that real so that Christchurch is the place that future generations will be proud to call home.
My reason for standing for Mayor is that I believe we can do this. I will ensure our council is the pride of our city. Recent experience will no doubt mean some of you are skeptical.
But I am both assured and inspired by the story of the Crusaders. People forget they came last in the very first Super 12 competition back in 1996. They rewrote their plan, they took risks, they invested in players from outside the region, as well as developing local talent, and they built up the infrastructure a professional team would need. They became a champion team and we are proud of them.
They define themselves with these words: "An understated, ruthless pursuit of excellence; leaving nothing to chance, by attention to detail, courage under fire, innovation and risk taking, ...!"
I am offering the leadership the council needs to get back on track, so we can reclaim our city. We can build a high-performing team that gets things done.
Christchurch is much more diverse than it was when the current boundaries were set in 1989. When I grew up, the Treaty of Waitangi meant nothing to me. Now I understand how vital partnership is and I want to explore with Ngai Tahu what that could look like and mean. I believe that the city has a real opportunity to create something meaningful on the strength of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery model and that this would be empowering for the city as a whole. Our history pre-dates the arrival of the first four ships, and how we honour that history will be an important part of our recovery.
Like the Crusaders we need to re-write the plan and we need to take some risks.
We've started recruiting some outside players. The government's Crown manager has written a plan which will have the building consent unit re-accredited by the middle of next year.
But we need to be better connected with the government. How did government ministers not know what was going on with CERA right next door and MBIE receiving the same reports as the council?
We need to achieve excellence right across the council. I am determined that our council will be able to benchmark itself against the best on every measure. We will need outside help to achieve that. We must break down the barriers to business recovery. Business as usual must stop.
People have said that they are worried that the momentum will stop if I am elected as mayor. What momentum? My inclusive approach will build the momentum we all want to see.
I fear that someone is going to challenge the government in court over the location of the anchor projects and the frame. If they win the argument that the blueprint, which was not consulted on at all, does not meet the purpose or the requirements of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act, where are we left?
We need to bring all the interests to the table so we can work out how we get things back on track.
And the government must sit at the table too, as a genuine partner with the city, committed to building our capacity to take responsibility for our future. I've never thumped a table in my life and I'm not going to start now.
I also don't want anyone to ask again whether I can get on with the Minister. I can get on with anyone. My election as mayor is the mandate I need to speak for the city as a whole. The government as a whole needs to demonstrate its willingness to negotiate with the people of Christchurch regardless of who is the Mayor.
We need our central city to be the life and soul of Christchurch, and I know I can add value to that conversation. But we need all our communities back on their feet as well.
It's not an 'either-or' with me; it's an 'and'. When I take people from out of town for a tour of the areas I currently represent in Parliament, they go quiet and then they say 'we had no idea'. We cannot leave those communities behind and the council has an important role to play, which cannot be just left to the government.
Communities must play an active role too. But when I say that, it's not a one-way street. The more you give, the more you get. Council Community Partnerships could be a Christchurch variant on the public private partnerships we've heard so much about. Local government and communities collaborating on a shared vision makes much more sense than communities making submissions on council plans.
But I also want the council focused on making life easier for you.
New York City has a 311 service where help is just a click, text, or call away. Christchurch City could develop a similar service based on CCC which is 222 – never to be forgotten because it stands for the 22nd of February as well.
We need to tell it how it is.
People have had enough of decisions taken behind closed doors and not knowing what is going on. People are saying they would rather have bad news than no news and under no circumstances do they want 'spin'. The council I lead will be open and honest in all its dealings with everyone – business, communities and government.
Of course there are commercially sensitive aspects to our work, but under my leadership, you will never be caught off guard the way we have been before. There are millions of dollars spent every year by the council and CERA on communications and yet people don't know what is going on. That is not good enough. We will tell it how it is.
There will be no spin designed to reassure people that everything is going as well as could be expected. You will get from me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
We will enter into the 21st century starting with the live-streaming of Council meetings. We will experiment with new forms of democratic participation in decision-making. We have won our international award for co-creation – we will earn it under my leadership.
We need to stand up for people of Christchurch.
We cannot be cheerleaders relegated to the sidelines - on the receiving end of decisions that others have made.
Our council must be the voice of Christchurch.
As I have already said we are entitled to be involved in decisions that affect our lives.
Our council must honour this pledge too with a commitment to engage with people before the decisions are made, especially when they relate to people's homes and the environment they live in. The High Court has made it crystal clear that this obligation has not been diminished by the scale of the work to be done. Citizens should not have to take their council or their government to court to get justice.
Many people are struggling with EQC and insurers. They cannot be left to battle it out alone. And we cannot add to their burden by leaving them out of the loop as well.
We must stand up for people and we must do all we can to make sure they get the service they need and the advice that is required for them to be able to make informed decisions.
We need to stand up for business. Christchurch is an investment destination in a way that it hasn't been for a long time and we must capture every opportunity that represents.
Good governance is critical when such large amounts of money are involved. Our council must provide sound governance as well as responsible financial management.
The government has taken on many roles in our city for five years. The next council will be elected at the half way point. We need a high performing team for the second half so we are ready to take charge. We have two and a half years to do that and I know that we can.
The city has changed, not only in terms of the damage, but also where businesses have relocated and where residential areas have emerged.
The council needs a helicopter view of what that means for the city – traffic, cycleways, parking, impact on neighbourhoods, community facilities, as well as how we bring businesses back to the central city. Our council needs to work collaboratively with communities and businesses to help resolve these issues for the benefit of the city as a whole.
We need to connect the heart of the newest city in the world to the communities that surround it and make up the city of Christchurch.
We must work in partnership with business, communities and the government. Together we will build a city future generations will be proud to call home.
As I said at the start, Share an Idea inspired us to start a public conversation about a city that is clean, green, safe and smart. We need to test all our ideas against that vision – Christchurch not only the garden city, but now the city in a garden. That vision speaks to the health and wellbeing of the people of Christchurch. It speaks to food as well as beauty – both sustain us in different ways. It speaks to our past and our future.
It enables us to think about what we have lost as the city has changed. I biked safely to and from school every single day – is it too much to imagine that we could reclaim that for this generation of school children? Could this become the most cycle-friendly city in the country or this part of the world? In parts of New York where cycle-ways have been given predominance, local businesses have experienced a 30% increase in their turnover.
Why can't have we have community gardens in every community that wants one? Co-creation strengthens community – isn't that the most obvious way that could be achieved?
And at the same time, we will be co-creating a momentum in the central city that will showcase something unique about our city to the rest of the world and inspire those of who live here to be the best that we can be.
How do we use the opportunity that disaster has afforded to make these ideas part of a shared vision for our city? And how does everyone have a voice?
That is the conversation I am starting as I officially launch my Mayoral campaign on a special day – it's the first day of spring. Spring is the season of renewal. It is also Father's Day – we only had city fathers when the Arts Centre was built.
We've come a long way, but we have a long way to go.
This is the most important local body election this city has faced. It is about taking back our city and reclaiming our democratic voice, by giving your Mayor the mandate that is needed. When the ballot papers arrive in the mail I want you to sit down, fill them out and post them right away.
My campaign launch is different from any other. Today we are starting a symbolic journey through Christchurch starting with the central city. We need a beating heart in the centre of our city to pump the lifeblood throughout the city. That's why I am launching here.
The Arts Centre speaks to our past, present and future – it was our university, it is the home of the wonderfully creative and inspiring Christchurch Arts Festival and it is being lovingly restored, which will showcase the best of technology that can preserve our history.
We will then say Thx 4 the Memories as we take in the poignant photographic journey through one of the city's red zones.
This is a reminder of the importance of engaging with communities rather than just making earth-shattering announcements on top of the earth-shattering experience we have lived through. It also reminds us from where we draw our strength and our true resilience – not from any government – but from those around us – our families, neighbours and communities. As I said at the opening, I truly hope this exhibition travels around the country so others can learn from our experience here.
And then we will be joined outside the council offices by people who understand how important it is to fully engage with people and they will be giving me a very clear message about their expectations of a future Mayor.
And then we will walk around the city, soaking in the enormity of the responsibility that building the newest city in the world means, ending up with those who are celebrating random acts of kindness in New Regent Street. The acts of kindness will remain my abiding memory of the aftermath of our earthquakes and it seems fitting to join up with them.
And then we will be driving around the wider city as part of a longer journey over the next few weeks, stopping and talking to people along the way.
I am launching my campaign the way I want the journey ahead to be – open to all ideas and inclusive of all the communities who make up our city.
I invite you to join me on this journey – One City Together!
Arts Centre, Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch - 1 September 2013