Blog & media

Cranford Regeneration Plan

Consultation outcome: if you are interested in the Cranford Regeneration Plan, you can view a revised plan and other supporting documents on the City Council website at Documents include a summary of key issues and a full listing of comments received & staff responses.

Think Papanui page launched on Facebook

This week Simon launched the Think Papanui page on Facebook. Think Papanui is a page promoting community engagement with local government, focusing on the Papanui ward in Christchurch, New Zealand. The page is not affiliated with the Christchurch City Council, the Papanui-Innes Community Board, or any political party. Content is curated by Simon, and will primarily be a news feed relating to Council and Community Board consultations, meetings, agenda items, and decisions. Selected local events may be promoted and local organisations profiled. For an official source of Council and Community Board information, please refer to


Thank you for your support

Thanks to the more than 2,500 people who voted for me for the Papanui Community Board. Preliminary results show that I’ve come up just short, but as a first-time candidate I have had a great response – polling higher than some successful candidates in other wards in the city, and no other unsuccessful Christchurch council or community board candidate came closer to getting over the line. Thanks again for all the support, and congratulations to Emma Norrish and John Stringer. Official results will be declared on the Council website and by public notice later in October.

Preliminary results 2016

Response to Christchurch Youth Council question

My response to a question from the Christchurch Youth Council ahead of their Youth Focus Q&A event on 27 September 2016:

Q: If elected how will you ensure young people are engaged? (200 words): 
A: If elected I will be looking to establish a mentoring relationship with a young person within my ward who would like to explore local government and civic leadership. This is a contribution to youth engagement I can make at a personal level, and is intended to be a learning exercise for me as well as the young person.

I will be a strong supporter of initiatives that my local Community Board already has underway, such as resourcing local organisations that work with young people, and also directly funding (and hearing feedback from) young people seeking assistance to participate in cultural and sporting activities.

It is also important that the Community Board considers young people when making local decisions and when advocating for the community with the City Council. The best way to do this is through relationship, and I believe we can strengthen relationships and increase youth participation with the Community Board – for example including young people in community leaders’ forums; ensuring that information about Board agendas, decisions, and funding opportunities are accessible; and that young people know how to engage with Council staff and Board members.

Youth Focus response

Response to Nor’West News question

During September 2016 Papanui Ward candidates were asked the following question by the Nor’West News:

Q: What should be done about the traffic congestion in the ward, particularly along roads like Main North Rd, Cranford St and Papanui Rd? Is rail an option that should be pursued? (limit: 100 words)

My answer was published in the 20 September edition:

A: Reduction of traffic congestion has been a priority for the current Shirley-Papanui Community Board, and if elected I will support continued work in this area. We can expect construction of the Northern Corridor to begin soon – this project will have a massive impact on traffic flows, and the new Papanui-Innes Community Board will need to continue to work with affected residents. Rail as a commuter option was assessed unfavourably in 2014, but alternative public transport options such as light rail need to be considered, as well as the Board supporting ongoing work on cycleways and fine-tuning of the bus network.

NorWest News 20 Sep 16

Youth Focus Q&A events are coming up in Christchurch

Christchurch Youth Council supported by Youth Voice Canterbury are holding two Local Election Q + A events during the 2016 local body elections.

Candidates at the WEST event (5pm Mon 26 Sep) are running in the following Wards:
– Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood
– Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton
– Spreydon-Cashmere
– Heathcote-Central-Linwood

Candidates at the EAST & MAYORAL event (5pm Tue 27 Sep) are running in the following Wards:
– Papanui-Innes
– Coastal-Burwood
– Banks Peninsula
– Candidates running for Mayor

The links above will allow you to click through to Facebook events with full details.

WEST Invite East Invite

Disclaimer: I will be speaking at the East & Mayoral event on 27 Sep, but I’m not involved in organising these events. I’m publicising them because youth participation is important to me. If you have any questions or want more information, please contact the organisers via their Facebook page.

Statement for the Christchurch Mail

A brief, 50-word statement about the importance of community boards and what you see as the most pressing issue for your area:

Community Boards represent, advocate for, and make decisions about their local community. A significant issue for the Papanui-Innes Board will be the need to work collaboratively with neighbouring boards where communities such as Belfast and St Albans will be split between multiple board areas following the representation review.