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Christchurch City Scene
February 2003

Lead Stories

Voting poll on the way

Lots of wins when we work together

Pipeline update

Go easy on water


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Lots of wins when we work together

Lots of wins when we work together
Mayor Garry Moore and Mayoress Pam Sharpe join the crowd at the new weekend produce market on Tuam Street.

We do so much so well in Christchurch I think that maybe we also tend to take it a little too much for granted. For this first column of the year I thought it might be fun to look at some of our collective “wins” as a city and also why I think they work so well.

Starting in the central city, the biggest smash hit in recent weeks has been the way the new produce market has roared into life.

It’s turned out to be a rollicking affair where the buyers and sellers around the quality produce merge to make one big exciting central-city show.

Run by Christchurch Market Ltd, the market takes place on Council land opposite the Council's Civic Offices from early each Saturday and Sunday.

It took a while to find a site but now it’s arrived, the strong demand for the produce and other wares has confirmed what the Central City Mayoral Forum was told some time ago. We were told that produce markets were proven central-city assets internationally and that they could take on a life of their own.

We also heard that such markets are great crowd-pleasing ice-breakers, giving a huge cross-section of a city’s population a chance to mingle and meet that they otherwise might not get.

The produce market idea was one of the strongest that came up when we set about getting all our people together to look at how to revive the central city for the good of the whole city.

It may seem hugely simple, but we were only told this idea because we provided the public and other sector groups with a forum that let them tell us what they wanted.

So far the results have been outstanding.

For the central city the turnaround is marked. A few years ago the complaints were about the decline of the area and its lack of attractions. Now they are about how hard it is to find a car park.

In recent years we have found that by careful listening and responding we are able as a Council to help steer and shape Christchurch in a way that hopefully is often in line with the real needs and wants of the public.

The produce market project and the public response to the reality is a great example of how we can achieve great collective results.

Driving around Christchurch recently I have also been thinking about another good example of the collective will at work — how the graffiti plague, which was once starting to swamp our city, has lost strength. The tagging and graffiti pests are learning that their awful efforts at visual pollution are doomed to a very short lifespan.

It was a negative problem where the community rightly was very angry to see so much public and private property being defaced. A small group of people with no respect for other people's property rights were eroding our image and reality as a city that takes pride in looking good.

As a Council we put together a response that acknowledged the severity of the problem and provided a solution by involving the public in supporting and telling us about graffiti.

The staff and funding for the graffiti hotline combined with intense public support to slash both the incidence and duration of tagging/graffiti in Christchurch — another collective win for the people of this city.

It has also attracted more favourable national media attention, as has our most recent scheme for our youngest citizens on their way to and from school.

We now have nine schools using the new 40 km/h speed zones.

These slow traffic to at most 40 km/h near schools at the start and end of each school day.

The idea was developed by the Christchurch City Council and Transit NZ to improve safety for school children, and it is proving to be effective.

The scheme has now moved from the trial phase to spreading out around the city as funding permits — another example of Christchurch leading the way for the rest of New Zealand and of a collective win that adds to our over-all quality of life as a city.

We do so much, so well.

We should stop sometimes and all appreciate that fact.
  • The Graffiti Hotline is 0800 TAGGED (0800 824 433). Call to report graffiti anywhere in the city and contractors will be sent promptly to clean up. Helping the City Council with this effort are the Police, the Safer Community Council, Orion NZ, Telecom and Housing NZ.
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