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Author: Guest Columnist

The Influencers: Joanna Norris


ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive

With August 2020 spending in the central city down 4 percent compared to the same month last year and tourism related industries showing a greater decrease, it’s more important than ever to support local.

Major events play an essential role in supporting social and economic prosperity and help create a vibrant atmosphere.
BLOOM is our spring celebration – packed with festivals, gigs, art and entertainment. As we head down the home straight of the season, things only get bigger in November as we finish with a flourish.

SCAPE Public Art, Riccarton Park and Addington Cup Weeks, Hazletts City Farmyard, Mitre 10 Canterbury versus Auckland game and Go Live! Festival are just some of the events packed into the November BLOOM schedule.

Other ways we continue to stimulate the economy include working with local businesses through the Canterbury Regional Business Partner Network – the team have supported 3500 businesses in the six months since the start of lockdown, over five times their annual volume.

We’ve launched a domestic tourism campaign #ExploreCHC to drive both local and visitor spending.

We’ve invested into the creation of a city-wide innovation ecosystem to create valuable and sustainable jobs.

Already, we’ve seen the emergence of success stories like Pyper Vision and Zincovery gaining national and international recognition.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, we continue to work in partnership across the city to support social and economic recovery and showcase what makes Ōtautahi Christchurch a fantastic place to live and work.


 

The Influencers: Peter Townsend


Te Papa Hauora Advisory Council
Independent Chair

The events of this year have brought the value of health into sharp focus.

They also placed unprecedented pressure on already stretched health, education and research resources.

In Canterbury, our health board is fighting to balance growing demand with financial constraints.

Organisations training our future health workers are facing, among other challenges, a large drop in international students.

Funding for life-saving research is harder to get. I am very proud of how our local health system has responded to extraordinary recent challenges.

When Covid-19 threatened New Zealanders, all parts of the system from laboratory workers to researchers joined the fight.

We were fortunate that key players in Canterbury’s health system already collaborate through the unique-in-New Zealand Te Papa Hauora Health Precinct.

It brings health-related organisations together to foster innovation and identify opportunities for improvement. For example, members run regular simulation exercises where students and working professionals practice different medical scenarios together to improve their performance when encountering them in real life.

They are working together to ensure the next generation of nurses are ready to meet changing patient needs and deliver more care in the community.

Today’s challenges are not going to disappear. New ones will undoubtedly emerge.

It just makes sense to work together to address them and improve outcomes for everyone. In Canterbury we are well positioned to do just that.


 

The Influencers: John Bridgman


Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive

From many parts of the city, and even from the Port Hills, you can now clearly make out the white steel skeleton of what will be the Metro Sports Facility.

Some very big bones were added recently, in the form of the roof trusses for the 2500-seat show court.

The roof is made up of four sections, each of which weighs as much as about 33 cars and has a span close to half the length of a rugby field.

Unsurprisingly, getting these giant steel sections into place to the millimetre was a delicate operation, and it’s just a taste of what’s to come as we create the largest sports and recreation facility of its kind in New Zealand.

These roof sections required one of the big cranes to lift them into place.

The spans over the ten pools will require two cranes to work in tandem.

The 12 metre ceiling height of the show court space is to meet the requirements for hosting the likes of top-level basketball and netball fixtures at the facility.

The grandstand seats will be retractable, to reveal two more courts that can then be used for community competitions.

That’s alongside the six other indoor courts at the southern end of the site, near Moorhouse Avenue.

The sheer size and adaptability of this anchor project we’re delivering are key elements in allowing a wide range of people to reap the benefits of being active.


 

The Influencers: Marian Johnson


Ministry of Awesome Chief Awesome Officer

For the last few days, I have been helping eight finalists of the HealthTech Supernode Challenge prepare their five-minute presentations for the upcoming final Demo Night where they will compete for $340,000 of in-kind and cash prizes.

It’s been pretty interesting work hearing about the healthtech innovations of our future and meeting the researchers, students, and startup founders who are responsible for them.

From virtual reality that could repair brain damage, to artificial intelligence that detects disease, 22 of the country’s most innovative and life changing healthcare innovations were whittled down to this final eight.

The whole point of the challenge is to accelerate the future of healthcare and cement Ōtautahi Christchurch as a hotbed of healthtech innovation in New Zealand.

Sponsored by ChristchurchNZ, KiwiNet, and Ryman Healthcare, the challenge aimed to identify commercially viable solutions that address real healthcare problems.

Why does Canterbury care about becoming a hotbed of health tech innovation?

At present, New Zealand’s current healthtech companies represent $1.9 billion revenue and the average wage – at $85,000 annually, is 40 percent higher than the average across other sectors.

We have proven capability in Christchurch to innovate in this sector and proudly headquarter healthtech powerhouses such as Aranz, Orion, and Taska Prosthetics to name a few.

Congratulations to the winners of the HealthTech Supernode Challenge. Their innovations could spawn the Cantabrian healthtech powerhouses of the future.


 

The Influencers: Lianne Dalziel


Christchurch Mayor

While the year 2050 may seem like a long time away, when I look around the city today, I can imagine that future even though I won’t be here to enjoy it. But that, in itself, is the wake-up call we need.

If we are to meet the needs of future generations, we need to start planning now and we need to work with our neighbours, Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Lincoln and Rolleston.

And that is what Greater Christchurch 2050 is all about.

The opportunity of Greater Christchurch has not always been well understood – as a place to live, work and invest, and as a significant contributor to national wellbeing – locally, nationally, internationally.

We are at a pivotal point in our post-quake journey – it’s time to look ahead, to set a confident vision for the future.

Working in partnership with mana whenua and iwi, Greater Christchurch 2050 will help us build on our region’s economic strengths, which in turn will enable us to grow and attract the industries, employment and investment that will provide prosperity for our future generations.

At the same time, we know we need to ensure an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future. Councils can’t do this for their communities. And that’s where you come in.

We want you to help shape a vision for the future of Greater Christchurch.

There is a quick on-line survey at www.greaterchristchurch.org.nz and it’s open until November 8. It should take around five minutes to provide some feedback. I hope you do.


 

The Influencers: Leeann Watson


Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive

We’re celebrating Canterbury business champions! Kei te whakanui tātou i ngā pakihi kairangi o Waitaha!

While the last few months have been challenging, we have also heard some amazing stories of innovation, nimbleness, determination, collaboration and kindness, so we wanted to provide a platform to share those stories.

That’s why Westpac and The Chamber are so excited to bring you our new Canterbury Business Champions campaign.
Your business champion could be your own team that has introduced a new wellbeing initiative or new product or service, or another a business you work with that has innovated to make the most of a market opportunity. It might even be a shout-out to a local business operator who provides a great customer experience.

From great feats to small tokens – whatever you think makes a business champion – we
want to hear from you.

Share your story – tohaina mai ōu kōrero – visit www.canterburybusinesschampions.com.

All individuals who share a story will go in the draw to win one of three advertising vouchers, worth $5000 each, from Mediaworks and The Press or one of three $1000 Air New Zealand Travel Vouchers.

Thanks to: Lead Partner Westpac, Creative Partner Harvey Cameron Group, Radio Partner Mediaworks, Print Partner The Press and Channel Partner ChristchurchNZ; Campaign Partners Christchurch City Council, and Lyttelton Port Company; and Campaign Supporters Kordia PLC, Christchurch Casino, Air New Zealand, and Export New Zealand Canterbury.

The campaign runs until November 6, so get in quick! Together, let’s celebrate and champion our local businesses and businesspeople. We’re all in this together — he waka eke noa.


 

The Influencers: Leeann Watson


Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive

Tēnā koutou katoa. As I write this, we are in the lead-up to Māori Language Week.

With a growing Māori population reflected in our workforce, customers and stakeholders, there has never been a better time to grow our competence and awareness of Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique and rich Māori heritage, culture and language.

While our children may be learning te reo at their schools and daycares, where does this leave those already in the workplace?

I am not fluent in te reo by any means, but I am willing to learn, which is why I joined some of my colleagues at our recent Māori Culture and Language in the Workplace workshop – a new programme of learning The Chamber launched this year.

Facilitated by Anton Matthews (Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri), also owner of Fush restaurant, the three-part course covers basic pronunication, greetings, common workplace words and phrases, as well as an outline of tikanga (customary system of values and practices), and an overview of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) and its importance today.

For many people who want to learn, but aren’t sure where to start, this is a great starting point to gain the confidence to give it a go – in fact, the course has been so popular we have another scheduled for November, as well as an advanced course.

This demonstrates an appetite among our business community to learn more about one of our official languages and share in our collective responsibility to keep this important, unique language alive. We’re all in this together — he waka eke noa.


 

The Influencers: Lianne Dalziel


Christchurch Mayor

I have been looking forward to October for a range of reasons, but the main one is the WORD Christchurch Spring Festival 2020. We might not be able to hear from overseas writers who had planned to participate, but the brilliant talent of our own writers will inspire the devoted readers among us.
The festival will encourage debate and discussion about people, places and ideas. I registered and bought tickets straight away.
I believe such festivals contribute to the essence of what makes a liveable city. Festivals that cater to children, young people, and people from every background and walk of life lie at the heart of the kind of vibrancy we need to bring the central city alive.
At the same time this festival encourages us to think. How much do we all know about the Ngāi Tahu Settlement with the Crown? How well did we know Llew Summers, the man behind the amazing sculptures in our city? How well do we understand the journey that writing a biography (Charles Upham VC) represents, and what it says about the writer, Tom Scott?
And then there are the writers of poetry and prose who will offer an answer to the question, “Who are New Zealanders?” And in another session what they would say in a letter to Ōtautahi.
I am really looking forward to listening, thinking and discussing these with others, and to see central city venues and streets come alive with people enjoying each other’s company and thoughts.


 

The Influencers: Marian Johnson


Ministry of Awesome Chief Awesome Officer

With continuing concern around the impact of Covid-19 on the job market, there is no time like the present to consider entrepreneurship as the way forward.

This doesn’t just apply to people already active in the work force. Graduating students are also entering the hardest job market since the GFC.

Entrepreneurship will be a critical driver of our economic recovery. We will rely on new start-ups to innovate new ways of meeting our country’s needs, supporting our own populations, and providing new jobs.

As Cantabrians, we are extraordinarily lucky to have what is fast becoming a dynamic community of entrepreneurs, innovators, and start-ups.

If you are new to entrepreneurship, there are excellent online resources on the Ministry of Awesome website at ministryofawesome.com and at teohaka.co.nz.

There are also a number of monthly meetups worth getting along to including Canterbury Angels’ Pitch & Pizza events (canterburyangels.co.nz); Ministry of Awesome’s well known start-up meetup, Coffee & Jam (live in October on the Ara campus); and Start-up Breakfast Club powered by the team at MYOB.

All of these events are free and just require a simple online booking. All Ministry of Awesome events are livestreamed on Facebook as well so get on to our channel and learn.

Christchurch has the red carpet rolled out for high growth entrepreneurs and innovators and there’s no better time than now to go chase that dream.


 

The Influencers: John Bridgman


Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive

We’re about to let pedestrians, cyclists and scooter riders onto the latest section of the South Frame’s greenway to be completed, between Durham and Montreal Streets.
Completion of the work in this block means you will be able to get from Colombo to Montreal Streets on this new garden-lined laneway, away from the traffic on Tuam or St Asaph Streets which flank it.
Taking this journey will, however, draw your attention to the few sections of the South Frame still to be completed. The great news on that front is that all the agreements with the relevant landowners are now in place to allow Ōtākaro to finish this anchor project.
This includes Butchers Lane, near Dux Central, which will create a layout for the area similar to that surrounding the ever-popular Little High Eatery. We hope the design encourages a similar style of private development in this area.
Private and public spaces will also come together when the section of the greenway to the west of the ECan building is created. Here the laneway will effectively run though the Team Hutchinson Ford building, with the owners retaining the heritage roof over the top.
Our successful divestment of the Odeon Theatre and Lawrie & Wilson Auctioneers sites in the South Frame to ECan recently will also lead to additional activity in this ever-growing green space.