Innovative ideas: Phil Mauger
It’s certainly been a busy four weeks for the council, but I was very pleased that we approved the Annual Plan for the coming year, with an average rates increase of 6.41%.
We were all very aware of needing to reduce the burden council’s rates put on households, and I was determined to keep any increases below inflation, which was 6.7%.
With the new rates agreed, it was off to Seattle with local businesspeople, three councillors and members of the Christchurch Seattle Sister City Committee, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of our Sister City relationship.
The Sister City movement was conceived by President Eisenhower post-WWII as a people-to-people means of promoting peace around the world, and that is still the case today.
We travelled with a delegation of 11 local businesspeople, who were keen to join us in exploring new post-pandemic business opportunities for Christchurch, particularly in the aerospace and tech sectors. Making the effort to meet people face-to-face really helps open doors and allowed us to both promote our local businesses and create connections for future investment in Christchurch.
In Seattle we met with the Mayor of Seattle, the Seattle Office of Emergency Management, Seattle Public Library, Washington Park Arboretum, Blue Origin, Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft, Seattle Tacoma International Airport, Greater Seattle Partners, and also the Puyallup Tribe.
We came home via Los Angeles, where we called on SoFi Stadium, Air New Zealand, and Los Angeles International Airport.
Now I’m really looking forward to seeing how our city can put into practice some of the innovative ideas.