Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Let's Get Into It Christchurch!

The Get Into It Christchurch campaign is being run by Recover Canterbury and aims to drive consumers to make a concise choice to support local businesses.

Our business community has experience pain over the last year but gain is just around the corner. We have a huge rebuild ahead of us, with about $30 billion being invested here over the coming years. I want to see as many businesses as possible remain in Christchurch to reap the benefits of this. That means we, as a community, all need to support our businesses while they get over the final few hurdles ahead of them.

The Get Into It Christchurch campaign is supported by The Press and More FM who are running public promotions as well as offering discounted advertising packages to local businesses. The campaign provides a platform on which businesses can promote themselves while also appealing to the public to get into their city again.

The campaign runs until1 April, so let's get out there and support all our local businesses!

Follow the campaign on facebook or join up if you are a local business wishing to take part.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

February 22 is going to mean many different things to many different people

For most of us it will be a time to reflect and to remember what we have all been through over the past year. It will also be a time to look forward and to really begin to consider how best we can concentrate on rebuilding our city.

I have had a series of meetings in Auckland and Wellington over the past week and have been the recipient of many messages of goodwill from compassionate New Zealanders during my travels. It is good to feel part of one big family at this time.

While in Auckland I visited the Wynyard Wharf area as storm clouds rumbled around the city. I could not resist the attached photo with the light catching a super-yacht and the storm clouds brewing in the background.

I hope you all mark February 22 in your own special way and prepare yourselves for the positive challenges ahead.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Santa Cruz - "Gang of 36"

As we still struggle to find the right balance between strategy, action, leadership and community input, I was reflecting on the Santa Cruz model which was developed to influence the rebuild of downtown Santa Cruz after the 1989 San Francisco earthquake.  Here is an extract from my trip report after a visit to Santa Cruz in June 2011”.

The “Gang of 36” was formed post earthquake.  There were 18 nominess from the Chamber of Commerce and 18 nominess from the local council.  The committee was co-chaired with one chair from each of the groups.  It operated on consensus and developed a 200 page plan for the future of Santa Cruz which I have on file.

The group brought in outside experts to look at design, economic development, investment funding, housing, great streets, great down town etc.  The group developed its vision, which was fundamentally based around “civic living room” for down town Santa Cruz.  The City Council did not delegate authority to the “Gang of 36” but adopted all of the recommendations from “Gang of 36”.  The Council’s representation on “Gang 36” included the Mayor and some city councilors.

Initially in Santa Cruz there was a high level of dysfunctional relationships between local Government and business.  The “Gang of 36” operating on consensus tended to overcome that dysfunction.  One of the keys issues of the “Gang of 36” was that once a decision had been made there was no going back.  This gave certainty for the pathway forward.

The “Gang of 36” was formed three months after the earthquake which involved initially a Council that was anti-development and kept the business community on the outside. Downtown was already dying quietly before the earthquake. 

There were two parts to the “Gang of 36” plan;  One was “Vision and Principals” and two was “what does the redevelopment mean in terms of the details of what the city will look like, is the city attractive to investors”?  The degree of autocracy involved, I was advised, depends on the political and cultural context.  Cities usually get general consensus but it is highly perishable, leadership has to protect that consensus through the media etc. by reinforcing again and again the vision.  There needs to be agreement between the Council and the private sector on specific projects with specific outcomes.  The involvement in design was a process which was truly participative and involved a consensus outcome. 

Worth considering, I would have thought.