Tuesday, 22 December 2015

It's been a big year!

It has been a big year in Christchurch and Canterbury.  We have made good progress across our city,  which  we can expect to ramp up in the New Year. The money is being spent and it is really starting to show.

2016 will be  another big year with $100 million  per week being invested in the rebuild and by October you will be able to enjoy a nearly complete central city retail precinct.

2016 will be the year we get to be 50% through the rebuild in terms on dollar spend.

Across Canterbury much has been done through the good work of the Mayoral Forum to clarify regional vision and identify what needs to be done to achieve it.

It's also good to see progress being made on the Urban Development Strategy Refresh Project which will create a vision and framework reflecting our common values, principles and direction for how Greater Christchurch will look, feel and function in our future. There is an initial workshop 'Our Place' on 1-3 February to discuss  a draft shared vision, underlying values and a demonstrable commitment to work together. Having a strong business representation is critical so that the conversations cover the breadth of ideas and aspirations to form a shared perspective. I strongly encourage member organisations to step up and contribute to this initiative. To signal such a desire please email ourplace@greaterchristchurch.org.nz for more details and to register.

We live in a remarkable  part of the world  full of real opportunity. It is up to all of us to realise those opportunities.

But right now, as we wind up another exhausting  12 months, it is time to relax, enjoy family,  friends and pay special attention to those who continue to need support.

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2016.

Peter T

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

We are underway at 57 Kilmore Street!

After five years of sorting out insurance claims, demolition, land issues, designs, contracts, consents and the finer details of a new build we are seeing real progress at 57 Kilmore Street.

We are on track to have a new  purpose built, highly functional home for the Chamber ready for occupation in mid-2016.

That is a real relief, given that the hard working team at the Chamber has moved three times on the way back home and is currently operating in relatively cramped conditions in our Colombo Street premises.

We are also aware of the frustrations created for our membership by not having a permanent home.

We are very grateful to all of those who have assisted us on the way through and very excited about getting back to our own premises next year.

The new building will have the capability to host most membership training programmes and events. It will also future-proof the accommodation needs of our team for years to come.

Keep an eye on progress as we go into the new year! 

We are proud to continue to commit to the central city and  pleased that we will be returning to one of the most vibrant and progressive areas of Christchurch.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The Great Debate - 'The rebuild of Christchurch is leaving our young professionals out of the loop'

Come along and support me and my team (Councillor Ali Jones and Shaun Hubbard, Regional Manager SI, AECOM) as we take on the Young Professionals in The Great Debate!

Comedian and writer Joe Bennett is our MC for the evening and will do his best to keep us in check as we argue the hot topic 'The rebuild of Christchurch is leaving our young professionals out of the loop'.

What a great opportunity for the Chamber and established business leaders to engage and interact with some of Christchurch's young, talented professionals. I'm sure of course, that the older, wiser team will definitely come out on top, but bring it on!

Find out more here.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Speaking of trivia - observations throughout Europe!

I have recently returned from a holiday in Europe. It is always good to get outside of New Zealand from time to time and look back into our country. It tends to give you an appreciation of what a good place New Zealand is to live and how sometimes we get pre-occupied with trivia when compared to the challenges the rest of the world have. 

Speaking of trivia here are a few observations of mine from my travels throughout the UK, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands:
  1. Smoking is still pervasive in Europe. Smoking in restaurants in most of the countries I visited is common and young people in particular seem to be doing an awful lot of it.
  2. Tattoos are in vogue. Again the young predominated, but intensive tattooing with brightly coloured tattoos seemed to be common among the Europeans.
  3. I think I had two drinks of water out of taps while I was in Europe. Everyone is consuming water out of bottles and there must be millions of plastic bottles filled with water from consumption every week in Europe. The fact that local tap water is not fit to drink is really an indictment on us all.
  4. The roading systems in Europe are functioning well. Italy in particular impressed me with the quality of its motorways. Of course you pay for them through tolls and it is not cheap. But they are highly efficient, fast, safe and well designed.
  5. We hear a lot about economic crisis (particularly in Greece), the refugee situation, and the troubled interface between Eastern Europe and Russia. While all those issues are rumbling away in the background as you interact with Europeans, generally speaking they are not at the forefront of conversation. 
I found Europe to be generally in a relaxed mood with people simply getting on with their lives. Of course it is always great to come back to our beautiful country with clear skies, blue rivers and lots of wide open spaces. We really should continue to appreciate how lucky we are.