Friday, 22 September 2017

Getting Christ Church Cathedral Back

It is a great relief that the decision has been made to restore Christ Church Cathedral. This is the beginning of a long and complicated process that must produce the best possible outcome for the heart of our city.

There are some critical elements of the restoration that need to be carefully managed and thought through.

The restoration is going to take a long time - anticipated somewhere between seven and ten years. This will involve the project being deliberately planned and executed over that timeframe. Importantly that execution will need to be done in a way that will have minimal impact on the heart of our city. It needs to be conducted in a way that adds attraction and interest to our central city as the restoration is conducted. That might mean that the restoration is visually accessible to the public in Cathedral Square.

Of course, the Cathedral needs to be restored in harmony with the Cathedral Square redevelopment. The Square is going through a massive reconstruction and this needs to be done to reinforce the positioning and presentation of Christ Church Cathedral in the Square.

We have got one chance to get this right. The restoration of the Arts Centre is showing us how that can be done with a staged rebuild, sensitive to its environment.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Better Connections

As the Christchurch and Canterbury economies continue to grow apace good infrastructure will be vital to ensure an increase in economic activity is well supported.

The evolution of our highway infrastructure is impressive and needs to continue. The work in progress to connect Christchurch to Rolleston with a four lane highway, the overbridge at the Airport (over State Highway 1) and the continuing progress on the Northern Motorway are all very encouraging.

Regardless of who assumes power post 23 September the continuation of four lane highways from Ashburton through to Pegasus township will be vitally important for our future. It will make an incredible difference to traffic flows on State Highway 1. If the proposed investment is adopted and quickly it will be another big step forward in good infrastructure in Canterbury that will reinforce this city and this region as a living destination of choice.

Regardless of the development of other forms of transport, good regional roading resulting in good connectivity is going to be important for a long time yet. From the perspective of ease of travel through to the efficient movement of products and the increased safety of our roading network, investment is necessary and welcome.