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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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?
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.
Over a year after the first cases of Covid-19 hit our shores, we continue to see considerable strain on our global supply chain, which could have significant long-term repercussions for both businesses and consumers.
The concern around freight is a “perfect storm” of supply chain challenges. The global surge in demand for goods teamed with factory supply issues has seen shipping lines changing tack – putting containers geographically out of balance around the world.
National ports too are struggling with issues around skills shortages and infrastructure. This has caused cargo operators to re-think their services to Aotearoa.
So how does this impact us? The products we see on shop shelves and the price we pay for them; our agriculture, manufacturing and construction sectors, and exporters who need certainty around delivery. It also puts strain on the transport industry – costing everybody more to do the same job. That increase will need to be passed on to the consumer.
As a small nation reliant on international trade for our way of life and to help turn the cogs of our economy, we need to ensure everything is being done to provide a long-term, resilient supply network.
The key will be taking a more collaborative approach between businesses and government to ensure our location doesn’t put us in the too hard basket, impacting our country’s trade competitiveness and consumers’ pockets long-term if left unchecked.
A growing number of Kiwis are eyeing up Ōtautahi Christchurch as a tempting place to live.
Twenty per cent of those recently surveyed said they were open to relocating to Christchurch within the next five years.
This is a great indicator of the vibrancy and profile of our city.
We regularly gauge the perceptions of people outside of the city, including their willingness to travel or move to Christchurch.
Perceptions are important. How people view our city, what they know, what they don’t know and how they speak about it influences our economic growth.
Waitaha Canterbury requires an additional 70,000 workers over the next 15 years to fill vacancies created by an aging population. We’re competing not just nationally, but globally, to attract a strong workforce.
If we want to maintain and grow our market share of the national economy, we need to work hard to attract people to the city and to understand what drives behaviours and perceptions.
Some of the most important factors are the cost of living, housing affordability, housing quality and ease of getting around – all areas in which Christchurch outperformed both Auckland and Wellington.
These results are hugely positive for the city, but there is always more work to do.
We know people want to see more employment opportunities available in the city.
So attracting businesses, supporting innovation and creating more high-value decent jobs will continue to be a priority for us in 2021 and beyond.