SuperLocal, Local Government NZ’s 2023 Conference has drawn representatives around the motu together to inspire louder local leadership and take home lessons learnt from the southern capital’s restoration and revitalisation.
Ōtautahi Christchurch has welcomed the largest ever delegation of councillors, mayors, and support staff to the city for this year’s Local Government NZ Conference. The three-day program includes compelling international and national keynote speakers, a range of expert panellists and thought-provoking workshops encouraging attendees to speak, share and learn. Alongside election-year political debates and case studies that unpack new ways of serving communities, the gathering is designed to send each delegate home recharged and full of practical insights on how improve outcomes for their communities.
Critically, this is a chance for Ōtautahi Christchurch to illuminate the country’s local representatives on the public engagement and consultation processes that took place as part of the city’s post-quake revitalisation. Devised to inspire those from the hardest hit regions suffering the fallout from severe weather events in the last 12 months, the city sees the opportunity to shine the light at the end of the tunnel and encourage local leadership to think boldly, seek balance, and take the community with them on the journey from recovery to revitalized.
Today, Tyla Harrison-Hunt acts a narrator telling the Ōtautahi Christchurch story at the conference and hopes his youth as a first-time councillor, Te Ao Māori and Islamic lens will be beneficial for all. Harrison-Hunt opens Christchurch’s session with a story of restoring the mana and mauri to the land and to the people. Takapūneke is a story of healing and reclaiming a culturally significant landmark on the Banks Peninsula. Despite the historic, cultural, and spiritual significance of this important site, Takapūneke ended up being used as a rubbish dump and a sewage treatment plant. Christchurch City Council, mana whenua and the community have worked side-by-side and now govern the site together, acknowledging our shared history.
Development of regenerative project He Puna Taimoana, New Brighton hot pools complex on the beach front stands out as a clear symbol of the power in collaboration between community and local government. Helping transform an area severely affected by the earthquakes as well as re-establishing New Brighton as a place to go for the whole city and visitors, finding balance in their busy lives. Plus, there is a quick look at Te Pou Toetoe Linwood pool that has made a big splash. A grass-roots effort to give people of all ages and backgrounds a place to swim, meet and play. The popular local facility lies in the heart of a diverse community who helped shape its design, including the one-of-a-kind mānu pool for the young and the young at heart.
Finally, Ōtautahi Christchurch looks to the stars and imagines its future industries by rocketing towards being the centre of a nation’s thriving aerospace industry. With open landscapes, air and seaports, advanced local manufacturing, world class infrastructure and highly rated educators, our city is the perfect home for an innovative 21st century industry - which is not only good for the city but all of Aotearoa New Zealand.
With almost 750 registered delegates expected over the next three days of conference activity, ChristchurchNZ estimates the net economic benefit to the city is close to $1,000,000. Half a dozen city tours are being hosted by staff, reintroducing our revitalised city centre to our visitors, as well as showcasing the business opportunities such as our burgeoning aerospace sector.