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Author: Guest Columnist

The Influencers: Peter Townsend

A proactive approach. The profile of health and wellbeing activity in our community is currently at an all-time high. The continuing issues around Covid-19, national and international, are creating a lot of interest and challenges. These will continue to impact on us all into the foreseeable future.


Te Papa Hauora Advisory Council
Independent Chair


The recent ministerial announcement containing further details and timing on The Health and Disability Systems Review has attracted a lot of attention across the Health Sector and beyond. This too will have significant impacts right across the nation.

In Canterbury we are preparing for change and are determined to maximise the opportunities that will result from the proposed transitions.

We accept that things are going to be different in the future, and we also appreciate that while we prepare for the changes, we all have an ongoing responsibility to continue to deliver excellent health and wellbeing outcomes to our people.

We also want to ensure we protect those many components of the current Canterbury Health System that are recognised as special and valuable.

This will best be achieved by all participants in the system working constructively and positively together, proactively embracing change and never forgetting that patients and the health and wellbeing of all people remain our prime focus.


The Influencers: John Bridgman

Aspirational venue. The importance of Parakiore Recreation and Sports Centre (formerly Metro Sports Facility) to Canterbury’s sporting landscape was recently reinforced to me when I had the opportunity to show a few members of the Tactix netball team around the site.




These were the first elite athletes to set foot on to what will likely be their new home venue and it was pleasing to see that the sheer scale of Parakiore made an impression.

A lack of appropriate facilities in post-quake Christchurch has meant the Tactix still travel more than any other team.

They will play two-thirds of their matches away this season, so they are looking forward to spending a few more nights at home come 2023.

The one-stop-shop nature of Parakiore is also expected to put the Tactix and other Canterbury teams in an enviable position. Being able to have gym, pool, physio sessions all under the same roof as their game-day courts ensures our athletes can spend more time training and less time travelling.

The flow-on effect is that the better these teams do, the more spectators will be drawn into the central city, a driving force behind all the Crown-led Anchor Projects.

Having been designed for users of all ages and abilities, Parakiore will also bring these elite teams back into the community. As young Silver Fern Kimiora Poi put it – when you see your idols training on the courts next to you, you have something to aspire to.


The Influencers: Lianne Dalziel

Long term planning. The beginning of May saw amazing weather accentuate the beauty of autumn. One of the things people love about Christchurch is the four distinct seasons that take us through the year. We always have a different season to enjoy and another to look forward to.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel


We had our second warmest April mean maximum temperature since records began back in the 1800s. Although that is great for those of us who like to walk around the central city, including Hagley Park and the Botanic Gardens, it does create pressure on our water infrastructure, and it reminds us that our climate is changing.

I make this point because we have spent the month listening to submissions on our draft Long Term Plan, which is very much focused on risk and resilience, along with preparing for the anticipated impacts of climate change.

It has been incredibly positive listening to community groups and residents’ associations, who want to partner with the council to achieve our shared objectives.

The message has been that working together enables us to get more done, at the same time as building and strengthening community relationships over issues people care about.

For the same reason, many submitters have been very supportive of the strengthening communities fund and the support that gives the volunteer sector, along with the libraries and galleries, which are highly valued as an important part of our social infrastructure.

There’s much to think about.


The Influencers: Leeann Watson

A new style of leadership. The speed and scope of the pandemic crisis has presented an extraordinary challenge – and opportunity – for today’s business leaders.




Almost overnight businesses had to quickly adapt to a very challenging operating landscape that, even now more than a year on, continues to evolve.

At the heart of every business is its people, which is why it has never been so important to look at how to best lead people through a period of constant change.

In a challenging, unsettled, uncertain environment, many people develop a ‘fight or flight’ instinct, which is not sustainable for the business or the individual long term. This requires a shift away from a managerial-focused role to a more leadership role.

While in any uncertain times, human instinct can cause some leaders to keep their cards close to their chest, perhaps out of fear of getting it wrong, however unprecedented situations require leaders to recognise that miss-steps are inevitable and continual readjustment of the path is essential – as is taking their staff on that journey.

Today’s new style of leadership requires leaders to inspire their people to do their very best work and focus on impact – to give them the tools, scope and support to let them fly.

This, along with clarity and decisiveness, is what I believe good leadership will look like moving forward and will be vital for us to embrace the opportunities around our economic recovery.


The Influencers: Lianne Dalziel

Is there a building that you’ve walked past and wondered what it is like inside? This month, for one weekend only, the doors to 46 of the city’s buildings will be thrown open to the public as part of a new festival of architecture, Open Christchurch.


Mayor of Christchurch


The festival on May 15 and 16 is being led by Te Pūtahi Centre for Architecture and City Making as part of a global initiative celebrating urban landscapes.

Building owners will literally be opening their doors so that you can experience great design from the inside.

We’re the only New Zealand city taking part and it’s going to be a fun weekend of discovery, with buildings of all different types, ages, architectural styles, size and construction open for you to have a look around.

Te Hononga Civic Offices is one of the buildings. Originally home to NZ Post, the building was redeveloped into the Civic Offices 11 years ago, earning its status as the first building in New Zealand to achieve a 6 Green Star triple honour.

I look forward to being part of this visit.

I hope to see lots of people out and about during Open Christchurch, discovering the city through architecture and satisfying long-held curiosities about what lies behind the doors of many of our exceptional buildings.

Details on the website.


The Influencers: Joanna Norris

Working in partnership with public, private and community organisations means we’re able to achieve more for the city by leveraging different strengths and resources. Partnerships sit at the heart of the Ōtautahi Christchurch Recovery Plan, which details the city’s collective efforts to ensure our economic and social recovery is deliberate, strong and fair.


ChristchurchNZ CEO


As we head into winter we’re mindful of the challenges. Closed borders and a moderation in retail spending means the winter will be tough for many businesses.

So, we’re delivering initiatives with city partners to stimulate economic growth, create more high-value decent work and build resilience into businesses and our economy.

With the Ministry of Social Development we’re supporting over 200 jobseekers to start a business, and learn how to draw support from the city’s innovation eco-system.

With the Crusaders we’re changing perceptions of Christchurch and driving visitors to the city, by helping them come to a game, and explore the city while they
are here.

With ThincLab, Te Ōhaka Centre for Growth and Innovation and KiwiNet we’re uncovering some of the most exciting and future-focused business ideas in the food, fibre and agritech sector.

With the Regional Business Partner Network, Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce, and Business Mentors New Zealand we’re supporting thousands of businesses each year – connecting them with advice, funding, support and resources.

Our aim is to continue to strengthen and grow these partnerships and deliver value back to Ōtautahi Christchurch.


The Influencers: John Bridgman

Two brilliant white wing-like structures will begin making their way out of the ground mid-year, outside what will be the main entrance to Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre.




Standing about eight metres tall, these will create a modern day ngutu or ceremonial entranceway.

This will be where event visitors for formal cultural ceremonies can be welcomed into the venue.

Called Te Aika, which means “the home people,” the artwork recognises the mana of local hapu, Ngāi Tūāhuriri.

I encourage you to visit the Ōtākaro Limited website and take a look at the design.

It has been inspired by the distinctive southern maihi, or diagonal bargeboards, on whare on the bank of the Cam River.

Other influences include the kōtuku, which is considered a good omen and the kahu huruhuru or cloak as a symbol of welcome, warmth, mana and protection.

Commissioned by Ōtākaro, Te Aika has been designed by artists Rachael Rakena and Simon Kaan and is being produced by SCAPE Public Art, in collaboration with Matapopore.

We are proud to be able to place what will become an iconic piece of Christchurch art outside an equally iconic building.


The Influencers: Leeann Watson

The recently announced trans-Tasman travel bubble has come as welcome relief. Prior to Covid-19, Australia was our largest international visitor market, accounting for almost half of all international visitor arrivals, and spending approximately $2.7 billion.




So as we head into the colder months, an influx of visitors from Australia will have a significant positive impact on many businesses, particularly in hospitality and tourism.

It will also be a boost for small businesses that rely on international tourism spend, and are shouldering additional costs of operating in a Covid-19 environment and with the recently increased minimum wage.

Our ski season is a drawcard, and with 53 percent of Australian holiday visitors flying direct to the South Island pre-Covid-19, this will help to spread some economic benefits to smaller tourism-reliant regions that are really hurting – as well as Ōtautahi Christchurch as the gateway to the south.

A safe travel zone will also remove a significant hurdle for businesses reliant on trans-Tasman travel, particularly under-pressure exporters and manufacturers.

We know how important this travel bubble is for the health and wellbeing of those unable to visit with friends and whānau across the Tasman for over a year.

With the vaccination roll-out gaining momentum, we are optimistic we are reaching a turning point in our response to one of the most significant economic disruptors of a generation.


Meet the marketplace for movers making prices fairer: Wise Move

Problem: You’re about to move a large item. Say it’s a motorcycle you’ve ordered from Oamaru that you’d like brought up to Rangiora.

If there’s just one of you, and your item weighs 300 kilograms, you realise you’re not going to be able to fit it in your car or ute, let alone lift the thing.

Next, you flip through the Canterbury Yellow Pages to the M section.

The immediate result: drowning in a sea of irrelevant adverts.

A sad solution for many is to think of the largest, least personable freight company you know of and get the bike picked up.

The final result: a moving job that’s potentially overpriced, overly time-consuming, and under-caring.

The solution is to list a free advert at, sit back and let competitive quotes roll in. It’s a digital marketplace to find your mover.

With chuffed customers getting their transport sorted cheaply in countries around the world, Wise Move is all about reputation.

The independent movers that sign up as providers grow their reputations through reviews left on Every mover listed has had security vetting and proof of identity supplied – so you know your goods have both assurance and insurance.

At the end of March, customers who’d been through Wise Move numbered over 193,000, with 725,000 shipments quoted.

All that experience gives us helpful data from which we can glean excellent information about prices, safety, security, vetting, accountability, travel locations, outcomes and availability.

Just click through and you’ll see the marketplace in action.

  • If you want to see the price Phil paid MotoCrossCountry to move his bike from Lower Hutt to Christchurch, that’s available at
  • If you want to see reviews from other people who have trialled the same business, those reviews are there too
  • If you’re impressed by MotoCrossCountry and would like to get a quote directly from them, that’s doable too.
  • If you want your mover to know the dimensions, specs and handling requirements for whatever you’re moving – and you’d like to upload a photo to demonstrate – that’s easily done. Plus you don’t have to do it over and over: one job listing will attract multiple quotes so Kiwis can find the best price. This saves time and money; Wise Move estimates the price of moving services can be 75% cheaper than standard moving rates if you are matched with the nearest or cheapest provider.

Sounds amazing, honest and inefficient?

Wise Move manager Emma believes so.

“A lot of senior citizens have found the platform really helpful in separating honest, independent and fairly-priced movers from other options,” Emma says. “People are finding Wise Move incredibly helpful for moving cars from the North Island to the South Island, bringing down boats, moving house, furniture or even livestock.”

“It’s about solving inefficiencies and offering Kiwis a market with more fairness – plus a chance for independent movers to find fresh customers.”


The Influencers: Peter Townsend

For as long as I can remember, the need to improve the interface between education and the workplace has been an issue. How can we better equip those in education to be as well prepared as possible for life beyond the classroom?


Te Papa Hauora Advisory Council
Independent Chair


Given its unique grouping of key stakeholders, (Canterbury District Health Board, Ara, Otago University, University of Canterbury, supported by Ngāi Tahu) Te Papa Hauora is well predisposed to address that interface.

In May, Te Papa Hauora is hosting The Future Leaders programme. This involves health students who are advanced in their training, being exposed to a wide range of topics and engaging with a variety of leading health professionals.

The students will be exposed to challenges they will face in leadership roles in their future work. The week long programme is about gaining a better understanding of the Canterbury Health System, its key drivers, and how it compares to other health offerings in New Zealand and beyond. There is strong emphasis on future scenarios and how to engage in new ways of working to shape our health system.

The students are challenged to consider patient demographics, culture, equity, funding models, infrastructure and politics, amongst other things.

We know from past experience that participants are better equipped to adopt leaderships roles, and we would like to see more of this type of bridge building in our community.