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.
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.