We caught up with National’s spokesperson for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner to discuss the issues facing the greater community and the bright future ahead of us.
What are the biggest issues affecting Christchurch at this time?
There are always a multitude of issues to address in a city like Christchurch. But for me the overarching issue is to create a Christchurch, post-earthquake, that is a great place to live, to work and play; a special place for us, our children and the generations to come; a place of opportunity for everyone.
We want Christchurch people to be connected to their communities, and interested and involved in everything that’s going on in our city.
What are your thoughts about the water restrictions and how the community is responding?
Christchurch people are justifiably proud of our world famous, clean, clear, untreated water. So, we will do almost anything to get rid of the present treatment. If, as we are told, using water more carefully and wisely will lead to ending the treatment, I think the community is absolutely up for that.
What are the focus issues for 2019?
There is a lot of change and uncertainty in the world at present and the best way to respond to that is to strengthen our families, our communities and complete the rebuild of our city. The All Right? campaign tells us that to be happy and healthy we need to connect and strengthen our relationships with others, be curious and keep learning, and be physically active.
We should pay attention to world around us and finally, to give, in terms of time, energy and interest, is more beneficial than to receive. Great advice when we are feeling a bit overwhelmed about the future.
In terms of completing the rebuild of Christchurch, we need to finalise the work on the Metro Sports complex, finish building the convention centre and decisions need to be made about the Multi Use Arena, to make it a very flexible and useable stadium.
Finishing will still take some time but every day brings new attractions, new facilities, new businesses and new ways for all of us to interact with the city. Over the holidays, and right through 2019, I hope you can take the time to visit and enjoy the city.
Walk the Promenade alongside the river, maybe cycle through Rauora Park, visit the shopping complexes, take in Tūranga, the most exciting library in the country, or scoot through the city to have coffee, food or a drink. We have a beautiful, people friendly and sustainable city. Enjoy it!
Are families returning to the area and our population numbers increasing or are we staying stagnant?
The population of greater Christchurch is increasing. Although some people left after the earthquakes, most have returned and our post-earthquake population has increased since 2013.
New people are being attracted to our city from across the country and even internationally. They are coming because there are jobs, and many people want to be part of building a new city.
Also because the cost of living is reasonable, the quality of life is great and because they see a bright future for Christchurch.