Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Opportunity for Christchurch to have world class public bike share system

The Bike Share system is a world class option that will connect key sites within the CBD, and offer a way for people to move easily between businesses, attractions and back again. The first thirty minutes of every ride will be free, and, once registered, use of the bikes is as easy as logging in with your cellphone number. Helmets and combination locks will also be
provided with every bike.

In order to seed a two-year pilot, a crowdfunding campaign on PledgeMe is being launched to raise the money needed for technical costs, visit www.chchbikeshare.co.nz

The project has already received commitment from private partners for the operating costs – however, $45,000 is still needed to enable equipment leasing and installation costs.

“The great thing about the crowdfunding campaign is that every cent raised goes towards the bikes on the street. If the community really get behind the campaign, we can add more bikes and more stations to the pilot.” Project Manager Robert Henderson said today.

He also said public bike share systems operated in some of the most vibrant cities in the world, where they played an integral part of a city’s public transport mix. Christchurch City Councillor Paul Lonsdale agrees, saying that "the bike share stations are an internationally proven way to reduce inner city traffic by getting people traveling to meetings across the city out of their cars and onto a bike. It’s also fantastic way to introduce exercise into your day."

People who support the crowdfunding project have the option to gain advanced exclusive memberships to the Bike Share system which will give them extended riding time and other benefits. There is also the chance to win Spark mobile phones and other prizes through contributing to the campaign.

Christchurch businesses also have the opportunity to back the project and get their staff easily moving about the CBD. There are corporate pledge options which give employees extended memberships to the system and offer benefits to local businesses.

A leading city central retailer, Dan Joines, has also strongly supported the concept saying that “a bike share is innovative and reflective of the new Christchurch - we think it is a fabulous idea for the CBD.”

Supporters of the campaign will also be asked to suggest where in the CBD they would like to see Bike Share stations.

The PledgeMe campaign will run for four weeks. If it does not reach its target the project will not proceed.

The Bike Share project has gratefully received support from Spark, MoreFM, Nextbike NZ, Ontrack Cycle Gear, Treadlie Magazine, Pepe’s Mexican Grill, and LexaFilms. For more information visit: www.chchbikeshare.co.nz

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Get involved with the Christchurch - West Melton Zone Committee

We need your knowledge, passion, experience, and ability to work collaboratively to help deliver benefits from Christchurch’s water resource to your community

The Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) is an innovative and bold new way of managing our fresh water.

The strategy affects every person in Canterbury, because it sets goals for freshwater management for now and the future.

It will help to ensure safe drinking water supplies, sustainable farming practices and clean rivers and streams, as well as enhancing recreational opportunities and protecting environment and cultural values.

Each zone committee has developed a set of water management recommendations to deliver the community's aspirations for water management - for a copy of the Christchurch West Melton Zone Implementation Programme summary click here.

The Christchurch - West Melton Zone Committee is calling for expressions of interest for new community members to enable new perspectives to be represented. 

Applicants need to show they have experience in working collaboratively and engaging with communities.

They also need to be competent in dealing with technical and often complex issues, must be able to attend the meetings, and live in (or have a significant relationship with) the zone.

The committee meets monthly for a public meeting which usually lasts several hours. There are also other workshops and field-trips that members are expected to attend. Click here to learn more.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

The Castle. The Queen. And the Electric Vehicle.

If, like me, you think a great deal about the future of Christchurch beyond the rebuild, you'll be interested in EVolocity, a programme developed to spur innovation and skills development in the electric transport sector, and with lots of engagement already right here in Canterbury.

Sixteen Canterbury high school teams have participated in the EVolocity programme this year, as have CPIT, University of Canterbury, several local engineering firms including BVT and Powell Fenwick and a number of private electric vehicle enthusiasts like Air New Zealand engineer Simon Wilkinson who has built a 300 horsepower electric Falcon ute which he will race against a combustion XR8.

The programme culminates on November 29 & 30, and features three world record holding celebrities from the US and their unique vehicles.

On Saturday, November 29, you are invited to an exclusive function at an equally exclusive venue – Chapman Hall Castle in Tai Tapu. There, you will have an opportunity to meet the US celebrities including the fastest woman on a motorbike in the world (the queen of electric motorsport) and the owner of the quickest electric drag bike in the world – the bike goes from 0-100 in 1 second! These vehicles will be at the castle and available for viewing. They are both part of the Killacycle Racing Team.

A tour of the castle is offered at 3pm, with canap├ęs and cocktails along with brief presentations from the international celebrities starting at 4pm. A fund raising auction will also be held, with opportunities to bid on electric bicycles, electric scooters and electric cars, as well as such exotic options as being honorary pit crew for the Killacycle Racing Team at Bonneville. Tickets to the event are $150.

On November 30, a full day of electric motorsport is taking place at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna, including performances from the US vehicles, combustion versus electric shootouts (think Ferrari 360 versus the Tesla Roadster Electric), NZ’s first Tesla S, electric motor bike and electric go kart competitions and of course the high school competitions. Kids under 18 are free – in keeping with EVolocity’s aim of exposing electric vehicle technology and opportunities to youth. 

Why do I feel it is important to support EVolocity?
  • Because it's an exciting new vehicle (excuse the pun) for getting kids interested in science, technology and engineering;
  • Because it has already created important bridges between high schools, tertiaries and the corporate sector right here in Canterbury;
  • Because it plays to Canterbury's strengths in engineering, ICT and niche manufacturing;
  • Because there are economic, environmental and social benefits. Economic in terms of innovation and export opportunities. Environmental in terms of improved air quality and reduced reliance on imported fossil fuels. And social in terms of skills development as well as ultimately, reduced health care costs brought about through exposure to vehicle emissions.
Please visit www.evolocity.co.nz to learn more about the Chapman Castle function on November 29 and the Ruapuna event on November 30. And remember, this is a tangible and practical way to invest in our city’s future wellbeing.