From the CEO

Oct 13, 2012

Chief Executive Officer,mikeSang
Te Rūnanga O Ngāi Tahu,
Mike Sang

Congratulations to Ōtautahi, its people and its leaders for producing the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. This is another step forward that provides confidence and certainty. It also reflects the Ngāi Tahu voice, thanks to the hard work behind the scenes of mana whenua, Te Awheawhe Rū Whenua, staff and whānau.

The rebuild created an opportunity to make the city, our Ōtautahi, an even better place to live. That opportunity needed shaping, buy-in, momentum and partnerships to make it happen. And that is what we have seen.

The Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU), the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and the Christchurch City Council are to be congratulated for the plan, as are all the individuals who offered their ideas. It’s a great achievement. From my perspective there are three aspects I’d like to highlight.

First, the plan will lead to a city that reflects both Ngāi Tahu and settler histories. The Ngāi Tahu team working on this is very capable and it came as no surprise to me that its fundamental thinking (and great logic) has influenced the CCDU. We all want a city that includes Ngāi Tahu values and aspirations and we have seen a real commitment to making that happen.

Second, the plan links clearly back to the 106,000 ideas and suggestions the council gathered in the initial planning process, including a clear desire to reflect Ngāi Tahu culture and history. The team used their expertise and innovative thinking to take these ideas and breathe life into them. I believe these factors will lead to Ōtautahi being one of the best and most liveable cities in the world and, importantly for Ngāi Tahu, it will reflect its indigenous culture.

Finally, the plan reflects partnership. Central government, local government and Ngāi Tahu all contributed to and are aligned in supporting the plan. The wider community input is critical, and the business community has given its support.

So what are some of the opportunities that will see Ngāi Tahu’s values and aspirations reflected in Ōtautahi? Well, here are a few examples.

The Christchurch Central Recovery Plan states CERA will work in partnership with the representative organisations of Ngāi Tahu to ensure that:

  • Ngāi Tahu’s aspirations are reflected across the central city;
  • There is a more visible and tangible cultural presence in the city;
  • Shared culture and natural heritage is respected;
  • Anchor projects and key public spaces are designed and named in collaboration with Ngāi Tahu. Simply put: we have an opportunity to ensure our Ngāi Tahu place names and history are embedded back into our landscape. There are mechanisms being developed to achieve this including an urban design panel, of which the Christchurch City Council, CERA and Ngāi Tahu are members.

We now need to make it happen. The commitment to many of the key projects is in place, and the momentum needs to continue. Ngāi Tahu understands the power of consensus, and the plan needs the partnerships to stay strong and committed.

Finally, a warm welcome to our new CEO, Arihia Bennett. Arihia was someone I encouraged to apply and I personally think she will be great in the role. Many thanks to all the people who have helped and supported me.