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Call for Government to Work More Closely with Locals

20 February 2013 Media Release
Call for Government to Work More Closely with Local Communities

Rebuild Christchurch Foundation head Deon Swiggs is calling on the Government to increase its focus on suburban communities in Christchurch as it continues rebuilding the city.

“As we approach the second anniversary of the February 22nd quake, there must be a focus on strengthening and growing our communities as part of the long term goals of the rebuild,” he says.

“Major, life-changing decisions have been made by the Government, altering the outcomes for thousands of residents, and from our daily role working alongside so many of those people and organisations Rebuild Christchurch knows many Cantabrians would welcome the opportunity to be more actively involved in the decision-making process,” says Swiggs.

At the heart of the Rebuild Christchurch Foundation’s work is a philosophy that encourages empowered, resilient communities to act and participate in moving forward, placing those communities at the heart of the social and political discussions.

Swiggs says that a strong partnership between Cantabrians and the Government is essential if the community is to move forward. He stresses however that this is a two way dialogue.

“For progress to occur there must be true collaboration between decision-makers and residents. Important decisions are being made every day and these decisions need us all to be genuinely and democratically involved. As time has passed, the hearts of Cantabrians living, working and rebuilding Christchurch are also healing. We’re stronger now from our experiences and are looking to the future, and we want the Government to respect the fact that the people of Christchurch are our biggest asset to rebuilding a future-proofed city; not only for us and our children but for the generations ahead of us”, he says.

Swiggs adds that Christchurch and its people are ready to look ahead to the future and that the Rebuild Christchurch Foundation is ready, willing and able and to be a part of a true partnership approach to decisions about the future of Christchurch; suburbs and CBD together.

The Foundation was established following the launch and ongoing success of rebuildchristchurch.co.nz. The Foundation facilitates community engagement and communication though the Rebuild Christchurch website, providing service delivery, volunteer co-ordination and service to assist with the rebuild of Christchurch and Canterbury following the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. For more information visit www.foundation.rebuildchristchurch.co.nz

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