Resilience is a word we have heard a lot in Greater Christchurch over the past five years. No matter what extent to which we are familiar with this word in our day-to-day lives, it is important that we collectively understand the concept of resilience.
We know that we will encounter future challenges. This is not simply about preparing our infrastructure or our built environment and it’s not about bouncing back to the way things used to be. For us, resilience will be about understanding the risks and challenges we face and developing ways to adapt and co-create a new normal. The strength of our resilience lies in us, not just as individuals, but as communities and whānau.
The Resilient Greater Christchurch Plan [PDF, 8.8 MB] enables us as city and district leaders to work together to enable and empower our communities to face the future with confidence. As a group of leaders we were already working together before the earthquakes struck.
Innovative businesses are welcome and can thrive supported by a wide range of attractive facilities and opportunities.
Prosperous communities can enjoy a variety of lifestyles in good health and safety, enriched by the diversity of cultures and the beautiful environment of Greater Christchurch.
The vision has not only survived our experience; it has been enhanced. We see this resilience plan as enabling the review of the strategy to occur with a resilience lens and an ongoing commitment from each of us to visible collaborative leadership.
As we shift from recovery to regeneration, we can restate the importance of collaboration; between the city, the districts and the region, Central Government, the Canterbury District Health Board and most importantly with the many and varied communities that make up this special part of New Zealand.
In October 2013 the City of Christchurch applied to The Rockefeller Foundation to take part in their 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge.
The application envisioned an internal network within New Zealand, so that not only could Christchurch learn from what it had been through, but so it could also share its experiences with the rest of the world. Our application was based on a desire to increase our social capital and bring about real change by embracing participatory planning and collaborative decision-making. Our membership would be an enduring legacy to the city and the nation.
The first phase, starting in December 2014, was a consultative scoping exercise involving a broad range of stakeholder organisations. Workshop sessions explored the shocks and stresses facing Greater Christchurch, the experiences from the Canterbury earthquakes and the priorities to improve the future resilience of Greater Christchurch communities. The resulting Preliminary Resilience Assessment, published September 2015, identified eight resilience challenges and opportunities on which to concentrate.
Phase 2 – the development of the plan – is founded on four Focus Areas identified during the Preliminary Resilience Assessment. Project teams were set up for each of the four Focus Areas, led by individuals with subject expertise from the Canterbury District Health Board, Canterbury Development Corporation, Civil Defence and Emergency Management/NZ Transport Agency (jointly) and Christchurch City Council.