Wednesday, 14 March 2012

ChristChurch Cathedral - A big call and a tough one!

The decision to demolish most of the ChristChurch Cathedral seems to be the right one, given the state of the building and the significant additional damage caused on December 23. It is a big call and a tough one, given how iconic the Cathedral is and what it means to so many in the city and beyond. 

In my opinion it is symbolic of the many big calls being made, and that will have to be made, in the context of our going to new places as we rebuild this city not going back to where we came from.

Dutch Leonard, Professor of Crisis Management at Harvard University stated when in Christchurch before Christmas, that as we rebuild and recreate Christchurch, we must do so in a way that allows us " to ride the great tail winds of our time". That  means doing new and different things, from buildings and businesses right through to how our city is laid out and how our society evolves and operates.

In my (very few) darker moments, I ponder on the fact that it has taken the citizens of Christchurch 40 years to disagree on the design and layout of Cathedral Square and now,somehow, we have to agree on the rebuild of a large part of our city. Big, brave, hard calls will be required and what some will consider to be serious and sad sacrifices will have to made.

The unique strength of our community will get us through these issues, but that same strength sometimes polarizes us and makes progress difficult. That is when inspired leadership has to step up!

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