Christchurch rated world's best-run city
We are the best-run city in the world and that's not just my opinion.
It's the very recent verdict from the American-based Governing magazine.
It has only ever done two articles outside of America.
The latest, starting on the front page with a photo of Victoria Square, rates our city as "The Best Run City In The World."
It is a stunning coup for Christchurch: for the Christchurch City Council staff, for your local body politicians, and for the public who have backed and supported their city.
It is the sort of achievement that is going to take us all some time to absorb.
It's all the more impressive when you learn that originally the Governing magazine team plan was to look at all the major New Zealand cities.
Once it saw Christchurch the magazine decided it was so fascinating as a success story it would make our city the main focus. And it did.
While our quality of life and scenery comes in for strong praise it was the way the city is run that tipped the scales toward Christchurch winning this amazing honour.
We win praise for our refusal to charge for services such as water, libraries and museums. Christchurch is also lauded for the transparency, openness and honesty of the way the city's budgets and spending plans are laid out.
I learnt the details of our elevation to global pin-up city in Governing magazine just a few days after hearing the Council had also received a credit upgrade from Standard and Poor's.
Both these events add up to a realistic picture of a city that is well placed to meet the challenges of the coming year in robust good shape. Our challenge now is how to make a great city even better.
Perhaps a good first step for us all will be to take pride in our achievements as a city and build from that base.
Let's try and make the world's best-run city even better.