Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says Christchurch will always be New Zealand’s ‘Garden City’ but what that means in the 21st century is much more than what it meant in the past.
“The city is now reinventing itself and becoming more innovative, creative and focused on sustainability, environmental protection and food resilience," she says.
Projects like the development of New Zealand’s first urban food hub, Ōtākaro Orchard, are proving that community-led progress creates valuable and meaningful outcomes.
“Christchurch has a really important part to play in finding some of the solutions to questions being asked globally around sustainability and environmental management.
"Innovative design and creative solutions are being applied to community-centric spaces throughout the city and the wider region."
Mayor Dalziel says Canterbury is also an excellent base for emerging technologies such as New Zealand’s first fully-autonomous Smart Shuttle at Christchurch Airport.
People often don’t realise “just how high-tech our history is”, she says, including the fact that several high-profile pioneers of technology have their roots in the region, such as innovative engineer and motorcycle designer John Britten.
Mayor Dalziel describes herself as “a fierce advocate” of her city of birth and actively promotes Christchurch as the international gateway to the South. As well as offering plenty to do, she says it is a vital link between the South Island and the rest of the world.
The city's spirit of reinvention following the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 has won international acclaim and resulted in "an overall feeling of a city where anything is possible. We’re open to new people, new ideas and new ways of doing things".
She encourages visitors to keep coming back to Christchurch see the progress “as we turn New Zealand’s oldest city into New Zealand’s newest”.
Mayor Lianne Dalziel’s top five things to do in Christchurch:
- Hagley Park and the Christchurch Botanic Gardens – they’re an incredible asset to the city and I spend a lot of time exercising in the park and enjoying the gardens – I will never take them for granted.
- Having a look around The Arts Centre, which is the most fantastic restoration project you could imagine – and Canterbury Museum. Immerse yourself in the history of the city and the region and make sure you visit the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities in the Chemistry Building. The museum's James Logie Memorial Collection is an extraordinary find in our part of the world.
- The Christchurch Art Gallery has several amazing collections, combining a constantly-evolving exhibition programme with a great range of talks, films and events. The gallery does a fantastic job celebrating our city’s local artists alongside national and international exhibits.
- The gondola and tram are both Christchurch icons. The gondola takes you to the most exhilarating view of the city and Lyttelton Harbour and the tram allows you to view the city at a leisurely pace.
- The International Antarctic Centre tells a story not only about the history of Antarctica but also the importance in knowing about our future in terms of climate change.