I was interested to read recently a submission by the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce on the Christchurch City Council’s 2019/2020 Draft Annual Plan, and to note the shared thinking between the Chamber and Regenerate Christchurch on what is needed to ensure Christchurch achieves long-term, sustainable regeneration.
A key element, as noted by the Chamber, is best-for-city decision-making across a public sector that is committed to genuine partnerships with the business sector, to not only support the private investment and leverage the public investment that has been made to date but also encourage further investment. In other words, to demonstrate that Christchurch is open for business.
Nationally, the urban development and planning sectors are talking about this type of collaboration being critical for success. But they are also talking about a need for streamlined tools to expedite planning processes and provide more certainty.
In Christchurch, we already have bespoke legislation available to us that mandates and drives greater collaboration and delivers a capability to streamline processes that other cities and centres can only talk about. It represents a genuine opportunity to address some of the urban planning and development challenges that can create roadblocks.
We do not have long, though, as the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act will expire in two years’ time. But the legislation, in isolation, will not be enough and a firm commitment to genuine collaboration is critical.