Out of crisis, out of misery and despair has come opportunity for Christchurch. The deadly earthquakes that destroyed so many and so much in our city have caused us to come together to rethink, restore and rebuild our communities. We’ve had a very tough few years but as time passes and as we see our new city emerging there is a new buzz and excitement for the future.
International research tells us that it takes a decade for a community to recover from a disaster such as our earthquakes but the August 2016 Canterbury Well-Being Survey showed that 82% of people in greater Christchurch are living a good or very good life. Overall the rating is pretty close to most other cities in New Zealand.
But there are still some who rate the quality of life poorly, and that’s often related to stress from the earthquakes. It is critical that these people can resolve their earthquake issues, so I'm working with the free Residential Advisory Service, Earthquake Support Coordinators and well-being specialists to support people through the process. If you know people in our community that need help, please ask them to get in touch.
It’s important for the future of Christchurch that we all make the most of every opportunity the rebuild provides. With a low unemployment rate and increasing wages, families are able to make more choices in their lives and young people can see how training opportunities lead to worthwhile jobs. With increasing tourist numbers and improving export returns, the economic future for Christchurch is very positive.
The regeneration of Christchurch has given us the opportunity to think differently about our city. I think we are more focussed on people, and certainly our new homes and buildings are warmer, drier and better designed. And in contrast to other parts of the country, housing, to own or to rent, is becoming increasingly more affordable.
Community facilities such as our new hospitals and the new school and university buildings are of a quality we could only dream of in the past. The new Justice Precinct provides the venue for the Courts, Police, and Corrections to work more collaboratively and effectively to reduce crime. There are unique new shopping and entertainment options in the city for all the family, from the Art Gallery and Museum, to the Isaac Theatre Royal and the Piano. And everyone, who is young or young at heart, loves the Margaret Mahy Playground.
But for me, as a parent and an ex-teacher, it’s the new opportunities for our children and young people that are the most exciting. Not so long ago our young people were leaving Christchurch, but now with our new city come all the advantages of global connectivity, new technologies and previously unimagined training, education and career opportunities. The key for me is to encourage all Christchurch people to take advantage of these opportunities
I have always loved Christchurch- it’s my home, and my friends and family are here, so I feel absolutely privileged to be part of its regeneration. There is more work to do, and I am certainly up for that, but we can all see that every day our city is coming to life, its more sustainable, more people friendly, and is becoming a better and better place for all of us to live, work and play.
New Zealand is a place of Opportunity for all New Zealanders
With a strong economy - that is innovative, creative, and sustainable. A strong economy creates real opportunities for everyone to get ahead and allows us as a community to care for our people and our environment. You can't have world class health, education or superannuation schemes unless you have a world class economy.
With excellence in education and training – opening doors to developing the skills and knowledge so our people can make the most of every opportunity to work, to establish careers, and secure the future for themselves and their families.
With opportunities to all to enjoy our magnificent natural environment - clean water, clear air, and the getting out into the great outdoors are the birthright of all New Zealanders.
Feeling safe and secure - within our homes, our communities and our country. We need intelligent and responsive policing, a firm control of crime, and a well-trained defense force.