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Leadership Matters More Than Structure in Chch Rebuild

Leadership Matters More Than Structure in Chch Rebuild

The people to lead Canterbury’s rebuilding matter more than the structure, Wigram MP Jim Anderton says.

He is supporting the government’s CERA legislation because Canterbury needs quality consultation and quick decisions.

“For some reason there is a view that public participation is in conflict with rapid decision-making. In fact they are both essential to each other. You cannot rebuild quickly if you don’t take all the people along with you, because people who are left out will challenge the process, they will feel disillusionment and ultimately the process will fail.”

Jim Anderton says the challenge for Christchurch is to shift our perspective from ‘recovering what we once were’ to ‘building what we seek to become.’

“This ability to re-imagine Christchurch requires leadership - leadership capable of engaging with all the city’s people. The success of what we have to do will depend on that leadership much more than the structure we have. I am not as concerned with the structure and design of the CERA as I am with having the right people to lead it.

“We need leaders who have the confidence of people and are able to communicate with them and get things done. The ability to engage the community and get things moving was the big disappointment after the first quake. It simply didn’t happen well enough, and not enough was done soon enough.

“So I understand why the Government has taken control, and I don’t blame them. It’s a recognition that a lot of taxpayer money is at stake, and also that things need to be handled better than they were after the first quake.

“What we need to see now, in this legislation, is a commitment to listening and making the community part of the rebuilding.

“People need to feel their views are taken into account and that the kind of Christchurch they want is being created. Because otherwise, if they feel it’s not the Christchurch they were born into, or came to, or want to experience again, they will feel no commitment to it,” Jim Anderton says.

ENDS

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