Blog & media

Why the low public response to Water Strategy consultation?

Opinion: Consultation closed yesterday on the Christchurch City Council’s draft Integrated Water Strategy. This Strategy is described as setting a framework to help the Council manage water supply, wastewater, & stormwater, and also water infrastructure, waterways, and coastal waters. It’s a Strategy that relates to $10 billion in Council spending and a 100-year view.

Simon IWS comment in Tuesday Club
Coverage of the Water Strategy in the Tuesday Club newsletter

Sounds important, right? Especially when water is something that impacts every member of the community, and people will march in the street over issues like water bottling? I attended two of the Council’s drop-in information sessions on the draft Strategy (and viewed the sign-in sheet for the others), and am sad to say there was a near-zero attendance by members of the public. Most sessions have had one or two people sign in. Why are so few people turning out? Continue reading “Why the low public response to Water Strategy consultation?”

Recap: Council grants greater powers to Christchurch community boards

In a Council meeting last month, a decision was made that was years in the making, and that shifts some powers closer to local communities. It doesn’t seem to have received much press and I haven’t seen elected members commenting about it on social media. Read on for details…

13 june item 16 st.jpg
Councillor Sara Templeton speaks in support of the proposed partnership approach

When I was on the campaign trail in the 2016 local body elections, an issue I heard discussed was the decision making authority and responsibilities held by Christchurch’s Community Boards. Continue reading “Recap: Council grants greater powers to Christchurch community boards”

Press release: Simon Britten to stand as a Papanui Community Board candidate

SBTP profile pic 4c portrait hi-cFounder and curator of Think Papanui Simon Britten has today announced that he will be a Community Board candidate in the Papanui Ward at the 2019 local body elections.

Earlier this year Simon announced that he would be a Papanui Ward candidate, and he has now confirmed his decision to stand for election to the Waipapa/Papanui-Innes Community Board.

“What I really value about Think Papanui is the focus on the local community,” says Simon. “I’m standing as a Community Board candidate so that I can continue to contribute at this local level. I’m also involved in some really exciting community projects in my employment at Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi, and if I’m successful in being elected to the Community Board, I’ll still have the capacity to see those projects through to completion.”

Background:

In 2016 Simon founded the Think Papanui community engagement initiative, and he is still involved on a daily basis. Think Papanui’s aim is to share information on City Council consultations, Community Board agenda items and decisions, local projects in action, and generally what’s happening in the community. “This has helped keep the community informed,” says Simon, “and has also helped me keep in touch with local government and our community”.

Simon has had the privilege of working in a leadership role at Papanui-based youth and community development organisation Te Ora Hou Ōtautahi since 2011. For a large part of that time he has been involved with the school attendance service, supporting children, whānau/families, and schools. He has also worked in areas including youth employment and alternative education.

Previously Simon worked for Tait Communications in marketing management, and has volunteered with the Papanui Youth Development Trust. He has served on boards including the Papanui Baptist Freedom Trust, Pillars – the charity working nationally with children of prisoners, and the Casebrook Intermediate School Board of Trustees. He is a previous Vodafone Foundation World of Difference recipient, and has completed two Canterbury University postgraduate courses for leaders in the community sector.

For more information:
Simon Britten, info@simonbritten.com or 027 787 5241
https://simonbritten.com/
https://thinkpapanui.nz/

Recap: Council’s DEMP decision – why not investigate delaying the CNC?

Item 15 on the agenda for the Council’s 13 June meeting was the Christchurch Northern Corridor Downstream Effects Management Plan (DEMP). As the name suggests, this is the plan to manage the traffic impacts downstream of the Christchurch Northern Corridor (CNC) – the motorway (currently under construction) that will run between Cranford Street and the Waimakariri River.

DEMP protest at Council
A view of the community protest ahead of the 13 June Council meeting

I attended the community protest ahead of the Council meeting, caught part of the discussion on the DEMP via the livestream, and the rest through the Council’s incredibly handy video archive. At the time I was left wondering: what happened to the recommendation that the Council investigates delaying the opening of the CNC south of QEII Drive? Continue reading “Recap: Council’s DEMP decision – why not investigate delaying the CNC?”

Submission on Harewood/Gardiners/Breens intersection

I recently submitted feedback to Council on the proposed options for addressing and improving the safety of the Harewood/Gardiners/Breens Road intersection.

Harewood-Gardiners-Breens 4

In the interests of transparency in light of my Papanui Ward candidacy in the 2019 local government elections, my submission follows: Continue reading “Submission on Harewood/Gardiners/Breens intersection”

Boards reject Northern Corridor traffic management plan? Not really?

Recap: “Boards reject northern corridor traffic management plan” ran the headline on the Council’s article summarising the outcome of Friday’s joint Community Board meeting. What happened at the meeting, and what happens next? What does it mean for those intending to use the Christchurch Northern Corridor, and for those living downstream of it?

Council protest
Part of the ‘interactive installation’ protesting congestion and traffic increases downstream of the Christchurch Northern Corridor – see previous article for details.

I was in the public gallery of the Council chambers when the Community Boards met on Friday. I also captured some images of the ‘Turn On The Heat’ community protest held ahead of the meeting. Continue reading “Boards reject Northern Corridor traffic management plan? Not really?”

Residents turn up and turn on the heat

Background: Members of the public partially blocked access to the Christchurch City Council Chambers on Friday, with an ‘interactive installation’ illustrating congestion concerns.

Cars outside Council chambers.jpg

A security guard kept an eye on proceedings, but Council staff and elected members didn’t appear upset by the community action. “It’s been a few years since we had a good protest inside the building” observed one Councillor. Continue reading “Residents turn up and turn on the heat”