Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Christchurch 3 years on 22/2/14 - A positive outlook

21/02/2014

Opinion piece: Christchurch 3 years on 22/2/14 - A positive outlook

Three years on there is an air optimism taking hold of the people within the city.

At this three year stage from the big one it is hard not to reflect on where we have come from. Some of us still feel frustrated and lost in the political and insurance battleground gripping the city. However we must look at what has actually been done and progress made, which there is plenty.

We have come a long way from those first few days of digging a hole in the back yard to do number 2 to now where most services work as they should even as the city infrastructure goes through a near complete replacement. It is incredible.

Nearly 1500 commercial buildings in the city have been demolished with approx. 100 still to go in the CBD area. Thousands of houses have been demolished in the red zones with many more to go. Roads are being repaired, houses are being built, buildings are being constructed. It is happening.

None of this work can happen quickly. Christchurch has vastly different physical conditions to what it was founded on and this is confusing and a nightmare to plan. But we are getting on with it and things are been done.

I would like at this stage to thank the rebuild workers from all over for the work you have done and for the mammoth amount of work still to happen. You are the people at the coalface working tirelessly without fuss. You are the heros of the rebuild and I know although there are frustrations felt (talking about roadworks at every bend here) the city appreciates it.

Here is a challenge to us all. Take a moment one day and shake the hand of one of the rebuild workers and say thank you.

2014 has been called the year of the rebuild. 9 of the 14 anchor projects will start this year. The Bus Interchange, Justice and Emergency Services Precinct, Retail Precinct, Health Precinct, South Frame public realm, Performing Arts Precinct, North Frame, Margaret Mahy Family Playground, Innovation Precinct and Metro Sports Facility. Alongside this activity private investment is taking shape with many rebuild plans ready to be executed.

This is fabulous news for the city. If we continue to gather momentum on top of the developments that we can see now in the areas like Victoria Street, Durham Street, Addington, Moorehouse Ave and The Terrace project there will be plenty for people to become optimistic about. Tomorrow The Terrace is pouring the largest concrete pour in Christchurch since the quakes. I find it very fitting and symbolic that this is happening exactly 3 years to the day from when the destructive Earthquake hit. It’s a real turning point. Thank you Antony Gough.

This momentum must however continue to spread to the suburbs to ensure lost facilities in the east and hills are returned and new facilities in the north and west are planned and built to cater for the increases of population densities there.

It is pleasing to see the council in the early part of this year make priority to a number of community facilities such as the repair of the Gaiety Hall, Mona Vale, Halswell Community Library, the Scarborough Paddling Pool and for a new community centre in Aranui. These activities will strengthen the living experience in the suburbs while the city rebuilds and re settles.

All the players must work alongside each other respectfully and look beyond the maze of policy and finance to see the longer term vision for Christchurch. A city where people will live, work, play, raise families and migrate to for opportunity. We have incredibly talented people in the city who have supported us moving through the transitional phase from disaster response through to recovery and now rebuild.

Activities such as Greening the Rubble, Gap Filler, our own Rebuild Christchurch Foundation, the SVA and many others who were here long before the quakes have harnessed the incredible will power of the people post-quake to connect people together for a common good. Working alongside all of these people for 3 years and more has been a pleasure. All the community leaders in these organisations deserve a massive thanks. The getting on with often thankless tasks are examples of how resilient communities are born.

We do have challenges in this city post-quake, no one can deny these but a lot of effort over the past few years has gone into community events to bring people together to keep active, participate and continue the strong community bonds we found early on.

Connecting people is my dream for the rebuild. The best cities in the world all have one thing in common; physically connected people. The people make the city with the built up environment harnessing the power of the connection, giving it free range to collaborate and grow. This is the incubator and birth of innovation which leads to a healthy engaged vibrant city long term.

We have the people, the ideas and the passion. With the opportunities of the rebuild bringing us together with the developments city wide, Christchurch will be the best little city in the world I am sure. Lets make it happen, by the people for the people.

Tomorrow from 1230pm I am hosting a River of Flowers event at Riccarton Bush next to the market where at 1251we will observe 2 minutes silence to remember the 185 lives we lost in the quakes and to those who were injured, lost their homes, communities and networks. You are welcome to come down and share this moment with us all.

We all lost something as a result of the quakes but we have the opportunity now to gain so much.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ.

Cunliffe marshalled his points better, kept Key off balance and – more often than not – was in control of the general tenor of the contest. Labour supporters would have been heartened, and given some belated reassurance that maybe the change of leadership last year had been the right decision. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

ALSO:

More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour On Climate Change: Focus On The Now For The Future

A Labour Government will put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on both mitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission and implement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Housing Assistance Plan

So, as many as 90,000 people could derive some benefit from National’s housing assistance plans for low and middle-income earners... Yet in reality, the benefits seem likely to be insignificant, and they will be skewed towards those at the top end of the income group that’s supposedly the target. More>>

ALSO:

Election Data Consortium: National’s Worst Case Scenario At Stage One?

A month out from the general election and ipredict traders are still forecasting National’s vote to slip below current polling levels and there is potential for it to fall further. More>>

ALSO:

From The Scoop Video Archive: PM Says SIS "Told Me" About OIA Release

In a press conference immediately following an controversial OIA release of notes on an SIS briefing to then Labour leader Phil Goff, Key said "at that point [Tucker] told me he'd release it ...". Since the release of Nicky Hager's 'Dirty Politics' Key has denied being personally informed and said references by officials to 'the PM' being told briefed referred to his office. He now says the same about his own statement. More>>

ALSO:

  • Scoop Video in the news - New questions over Key claims | NZ Herald News - Stuff.co.nz
  • Earlier - Felix Marwick: Laying out facts over SIS documents - Newstalk ZB
  • Labour - Director’s letter contradicts Key’s claims
  • ACT - The Letter - 26 days to go
  • TV3 Video - Housing issue nudges Dirty Politics aside - David Cunliffe: Key's SIS explanation 'defies belief' - SIS leak came from Key's Office - Goff - Key 'categorically denies' Slater OIA discussion - Video: Key faces more Dirty Politics questions

  • TVNZ - Winston Peters: ‘Dirty Politics' is a new low
  • The Nation - Debate Between Grant Robertson And Russel Norman
  • NZ First - “The Words Mean What I Say They Mean”
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Regional
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news