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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: 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 teputahi.org.nz website.


 

The Influencers: Lianne Dalziel


We are now well and truly into autumn. Maybe the odd chilly day will give you a chance to have your say on a range of plans that represent significant investments in our city.

 

Christchurch Mayor

 

Ihave referred to the Long- Term Plan as investing in the future. I am aware of calls for austerity in the wake of Covid-19. However, under-investment in our key infrastructure simply passes on the problems and costs to future generations.

We need a balanced approach. And that’s why we are asking for feedback on a draft Climate Change Strategy at the same time. We need to act together. These two documents are critically important; they will help shape how our city grows and develops in the next decade and how we respond to the challenges and opportunities of climate change.

We know from our experience over the past decade that we need to plan for the unexpected. We have established a good track record of building on what we know and adapting to challenges we face.

In many respects we are a new city with new infrastructure and community facilities that exceed what a city our size would expect. That is the legacy of investment decisions made in the wake of a crisis. The legacy of the investment in relationships has also paid off.

We are at a turning point and we need your feedback to help us invest wisely. Visit ccc.govt.nz to have your say.


 

The Influencers: Lianne Dalziel


I was in a coffee shop the other day when someone asked me if I was the Mayor. Turns out she had recently moved from Auckland to take up a job here, and it was her chance to let me know how much she was enjoying the move.

 

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel

 

The rent she was paying was much lower, and the pace of life was a welcome change as well.

She thought the city was great and was only going to get better.

It was fantastic to hear a young person speaking about what this city represents to her generation. She said she knew others her age who were moving here as well.

This conversation represents the real opportunity our city has at our fingertips. We have enormous benefits that flow from having more affordable housing options and a relatively easy city to get around. We have fantastic facilities and will have several more that exceed anything a city of our size would normally have.

Facilities like the Margaret Mahy playground and our city library, Tūranga, make us a really child-friendly city, and we should never under-estimate the value of that for residents and visitors.

I know that the pandemic has caused major challenges for many residents and businesses, especially those that rely on international visitors, so we need to ramp up the domestic market. It’s time those of us who haven’t, to invite family and friends to come to the city and have a good look around.

It might even make some think about Christchurch as a place to live.


 

The Influencers: Lianne Dalziel


Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel

It’s hard to believe 2020 is finally coming to an end.

At the same time, it doesn’t feel like a year has passed with the dramatic changes that Covid-19 has forced on us.

I’ll be forever grateful to be part of the team of 5 million that acted together to prevent the spread of this coronavirus, in a way other places have not.

I think of us entering the holiday season with the confidence to celebrate with family and friends, as well as enjoying those places special to us at this time.

I’ll be spending Christmas and Boxing Days with family, as well as at the City Mission lunch, which I’m really looking forward to. I will also be spending the New Year with close friends in Coromandel as I usually do.

Many people travel overseas in this holiday period, so we can expect to see people from all around New Zealand visit Christchurch. Let’s make them feel welcome.

I get a lot of feedback from people who absolutely love the vibe of the central city. And I have to say I’m making the most of my annual tram pass.

It’s been a tough year for many people, but I am hopeful that next year is a good one for us all. I will be back in time for the Duvauchelle and Little River A&P Shows and Bread & Circus Backyard Buskers Festival – proving that our own entertainers and performers are world-class.


 

The Influencers: Lianne Dalziel


Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel

November is always a big month for us with the Bloom Festival embracing a range of activities, including NZ Cup and Show Week.

We certainly missed the A&P Show, which had to be cancelled earlier in the year, but the fact that we are able to celebrate all the other festivities and look forward to Christmas and the New Year with confidence, means we have got something right.

And that’s the approach we took as a team of five million.

We are bearing the fruits of our collective efforts where others in the world are returning to lockdown conditions.

For the first time since March, we’ve been able to celebrate our new citizens in a more memorable way than a certificate simply arriving in the mail.

The resounding applause spoke volumes of how much we mean to each other, and what we can achieve when we work together for the greater good.

So, as we begin moving into the Christmas season and start looking forward to end-of-year parties and festivities with work colleagues, friends and families I urge you all to keep up the good work that has got us to our fortunate position.

Keep up the hand washing and keep tracking where you go with the Covid-19 tracer app. If you feel unwell, stay at home, and if you have symptoms, get tested.

If we, as the team of five million, do all those things, then we can continue to come together and celebrate the occasions and the events that mean so much to us.


 

The Influencers: Lianne Dalziel


Christchurch Mayor

While the year 2050 may seem like a long time away, when I look around the city today, I can imagine that future even though I won’t be here to enjoy it. But that, in itself, is the wake-up call we need.

If we are to meet the needs of future generations, we need to start planning now and we need to work with our neighbours, Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Lincoln and Rolleston.

And that is what Greater Christchurch 2050 is all about.

The opportunity of Greater Christchurch has not always been well understood – as a place to live, work and invest, and as a significant contributor to national wellbeing – locally, nationally, internationally.

We are at a pivotal point in our post-quake journey – it’s time to look ahead, to set a confident vision for the future.

Working in partnership with mana whenua and iwi, Greater Christchurch 2050 will help us build on our region’s economic strengths, which in turn will enable us to grow and attract the industries, employment and investment that will provide prosperity for our future generations.

At the same time, we know we need to ensure an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future. Councils can’t do this for their communities. And that’s where you come in.

We want you to help shape a vision for the future of Greater Christchurch.

There is a quick on-line survey at www.greaterchristchurch.org.nz and it’s open until November 8. It should take around five minutes to provide some feedback. I hope you do.


 

The Influencers: Lianne Dalziel


Christchurch Mayor

It has been great to see people coming back into the building to work. I won’t pretend that I haven’t enjoyed some of the features of working from home. I seemed to get a lot more done. But the truth is I’m pretty much Zoomed out. What I missed the most were those people to people interactions – not just the contact that social distancing denied us, but the sharing of ideas, joining in conversations, putting two and two together as connections were made – that’s where innovation starts.
I think innovative enterprises – and yes our public services should be those too – should be encouraging people back to their offices and encouraging people to support those businesses who are doing it hard. Let’s all who can do so, help them get back on their feet.
Now here’s a reason for everyone to come to town in July. CHCH IS LIT, a month long festival of light, runs until 29 July from 6pm until 11pm daily to help fill the gap until Botanic D’Lights Tirama returns.
More than 20 installations, from lighting up trees to full-on projections on buildings, have been created and built by Christchurch companies and artists, with locations including Victoria Square, Friendship Corner (the grass area opposite Riverside Market), Park of Remembrance (on the Avon River opposite The Terraces), Cathedral Square, City Mall and New Brighton Pier. These will all be filmed as well, so people can see them online.
It will be great to see the city come alive with light and people.


 

The Influencers: Lianne Dalziel


 

Christchurch Mayor

Work on the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan process was well underway when the COVID-19 crisis hit our shores, which means all the tools that will help us drill into our finances and project priorities have been developed.

Now we can road-test them on our updated draft annual plan.

I know some commentators have said there is a simple solution to the annual plan – a one-size-fits-all approach – but there isn’t.

One council project cut is another company laying off employees and subcontractors missing out. We need a balance.

And that’s what the tools are all about.

It’s not a choice between more efficient spending (with better value for money by renegotiating with contractors and suppliers), or increasing short term borrowing, (while leaving sufficient headroom in case there was to be another disaster); it’s got to be both.

And it’s also got to be about stripping out costs that don’t impact significant levels of service and deferring items of capital expenditure that can wait.
Instead of a small surplus, COVID-19 sees us end this financial year with a $33M deficit.

And with a large reduction in dividends from our companies expected next year, the challenge we face pulling down the average household rates increase we had budgeted at 4.65 percent was much tougher than we had anticipated at the beginning of the year.

But we can get there.

And we now know that we have the tools to help us reposition the Council in a post-COVID environment as a reliable and efficient organisation that enables its residents and businesses to prosper.


 

The Influencers: Lianne Dalziel


  Christchurch Mayor

I remember the Commonwealth Games in 1974. I was a young teenager and the city was abuzz with excitement. I can still remember the song:

We’ve got to join together,
let our laughter fill the air
It’s time for every race and creed
to throw away their every care
Let sport unite us all as one
in the spirit of the lord above
And let us all remember
The games are for the fostering of
peace and love

Never would I have imagined 45 years later that the spirit of these words would be invoked in response to an atrocity such as we experienced on 15 March last year.

Although we will never forget the 51 people whose lives were taken, our memory of that time will always include the way we ‘joined together’.

We stood side-by-side regardless of ‘race or creed’. We were ‘united as one’, and the ‘fostering of peace and love’ was made real.

This act, which was inspired by hatred and was designed to divide us and tear us apart, instead united us with all our communities and embraced us in compassion and love.

The words of our Prime Minister and that of our local Muslim community leaders, who spoke of peace, love, compassion, unity and forgiveness, helped us through this time.

In a time of crisis, this is what the world needs to see and hear, and that’s what makes Christchurch such a special place.