metropol » The Influencers

Tag: The Influencers

John Bridgman

The Influencers: John Bridgman


One of the pleasing aspects of our work delivering anchor projects for Christchurch is the positive impact on suppliers.

Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive

We’re spending over $10m a month in the city at the moment. We’ve profiled some of those suppliers in recent in-house video updates.

Local company, John Jones Steel is producing 4500 tonnes of fabricated steelwork for the large Metro Sports Facility. It’s the biggest project in the company’s 50-year history and will keep them busy for a year.

John Jones Steel notes that their staff and families look forward to swimming in the competition and leisure pools, and playing on the court and other facilities, making it a special project for them.

That steel is being hoisted into place by Titan Cranes, which has three of the largest cranes ever used in New Zealand on-site, including a massive 500-tonne crawler crane especially imported for the project. I’m with one of the crane operators who notes excitedly: “You’re never too old to ride a hydroslide!”

But it’s not just the large companies that benefit from these projects. Remarkable Surfaces, a small family business based at Wigram, is spray painting the 487 gilded boxes that compose the ceiling design in the vast banquet room at the Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre.

This is the largest project that Remarkable Surfaces has ever undertaken, and they are indeed doing a remarkable job.

With Covid-19, these are challenging times to be delivering major construction projects. We look forward to having them completed for the enjoyment and benefit of us all.


 

 

The Influencers: Antonia Riordan


 

Compliance Partners Occupational Health Nurse

A sense of loss of control is a product of the prevailing times and can concern both our personal and professional lives, but we can take back that control and, while it might seem a tall order, the long-term gains of good wellbeing far outstrip feeling less than our best selves.

It’s a straightforward recipe that includes the five ways of wellbeing, better sleep, improved nutrition and reducing alcohol.

Let’s kick-off with the five ways of wellbeing which underpin our mental wellbeing – how we feel, function and our relationships.

Here’s how: Take notice – savour the moment and enjoy the simple things. It not only makes you feel better but it broadens awareness.

Connect – take time with people. Phone, don’t text, and better still, meet up, talk and listen.

Be active – we know regular physical activity promotes both mental and physical wellbeing, but did you know it helps slow age-related cognitive decline?

No time to lose. It could be dancing in the kitchen, joining a team or simply taking regular walks.

Give – do something for someone else. Help a neighbour, a friend, or volunteer.

The power of giving is linked to increased feelings of personal control.

Lastly; keep learning – try something new, from learning a new language to trying Sudoku for the first time; if it’s ballroom dancing you fancy, give it a go.

So don’t delay. Be active, take notice, connect, give and keep learning because these five steps can make a large impact for a better life.


 

The Influencers: Marian Johnson


Ministry of Awesome Chief Awesome Officer

In case readers aren’t aware, Ministry of Awesome enables and supports high growth entrepreneurship and innovation in Christchurch and, increasingly, across New Zealand.

Why is this important? Because our city, our country and the world are undergoing a massive period of transition, stemming from the rapid uptake of technology, globalisation and the urgent requirement to live, work and produce sustainably.

With this rapid change comes incredible opportunity to disrupt and innovate. Enter the startup.

The biggest challenge Ministry of Awesome and other startup hubs in New Zealand have had is accessing a talent pipeline of potential startup founders. COVID has changed that with a national talent pipeline of more than 260,000 capable Kiwis suddenly unemployed, grounded from OEs, and newly returned.

Imagine if each of them became founders of high growth startups with global ambition? Our startup and innovation ecosystem would explode and future New Zealand would be assured of its world-first innovations and high value jobs.

We know that startup life is not for everyone. Many of us Kiwis are entrepreneurs but only a fraction of us are startup founders.

The difference between a small business and a startup is that the latter generally has an innovation at its heart and an ambition for rapid global growth.

While small businesses contribute some 30 percent of New Zealand’s GDP, it is startups that will have a more permanent impact on the future economic landscape of our country.

Yes, COVID has thrown us a lemon but there’s no time like the present to make startup lemonade.


 

John Bridgman

The Influencers: John Bridgman


Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive

It seems the recent extended stay within the confines of our own homes has led many people to consider whether the grass might be greener over by Rauora Park, where Fletcher Living is experiencing a surge in interest in its One Central homes, post-lockdown.

Of the 172 homes currently on offer, ranging from one-bedroom apartments through to four-bedroom townhouses, 100 have now been sold.

As the number of residents has grown, so has the sense of community. Many people are notably excited by the fact they will be living on the doorstep of the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena, with its All Blacks and big acts.

With more than half of the existing homes now sold, Ōtākaro and Fletcher Living are in the thick of working out what comes next, but rest assured the future development sites will not be sitting idle.

In August, Fletcher Living’s placemaking partner, Gap Filler, will be holding the Good Vibes Winter Festival in the area, which will be followed by the A&P City Farm in November and, naturally, a Christmas Carnival in December.

Add to the mix record low home loan rates and the next few months offer a great opportunity to scope out what living in central Christchurch looks like. And let’s face it, any excuse to get
out of the house these days is a welcome one.


 

The Influencers: Leeann Watson


Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive

As we head into the home straight of the general election, and given the challenges of the current COVID-19 environment, it has never been more important to be fully informed and engaged in the election process, to play a real part in shaping the future of our country for the better.

General elections traditionally attract positive voter turnout.

In 2017, the total number of votes cast nationally was 2,630,173 with a turnout of 79.8 percent of enrolled voters – the highest since 2005.

The enrolment rate was 92.4 percent which is also very positive. This shows that there is a strong interest in national politics.

However, this engagement in the process is wasted if that decision-making is not well-informed.

Just as there is a lot of information out there; so too is there a lot of mis-information, so finding a trusted conduit of information is vital.

Providing the opportunity for two-way engagement between key political parties and local employers is one of the ways that we, as an Employers’ Chamber, can help to cut through that noise.

We also advocate on issues that impact local businesses and the livelihoods of our community, such as the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy.

We are so fortunate to have a strong democratic process that we owe it to ourselves to make the most of it.

I would encourage you to get informed on the issues that will impact you, your family, and your livelihood.

Our central Government should represent the whole country, but that won’t happen if we don’t involve ourselves in the process.


 

The Influencers: Joanna Norris


ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive

Having the right skills to supply the future job market is crucial in repositioning Ōtautahi Christchurch for social and economic prosperity.
Unemployment in the city was 4.2 percent, similar to the national average of 4.4 percent (as at the end of March 2020). Since the lockdown, the number of Jobseeker Support Recipients, an early indicator of unemployment levels, in Canterbury has increased by 35 percent compared to 31 percent growth nationally. We expect this rate to rise when the support of the central government wage subsidy is removed.
The impact of Covid-19 will be much clearer at the end of the June quarter. But in real terms, this means between 12,500 and 20,000 people will be unemployed in Christchurch over the next 12 months. That is why we are acting now to support people into new jobs and build a talent pipeline for the sectors that have job opportunities.
One of the first initiatives is a city-wide career and study expo on 6 August, at Vodafone Innova8, Tuam Street. Industry and tertiary partners will be delivering workshops and highlighting the types of employment and training opportunities that will be in-demand and advising on how people unemployed or looking to re-train to a future-focused sector can get involved.
This is an important first step in a programme of work that will address our current and future employment needs, with the ultimate goal of positioning Ōtautahi Christchurch with the right skills and employment opportunities to future-proof our economy and meet changing global demands.

The Influencers: John Bridgman


John Bridgman
Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive

So much of central Christchurch has a shiny new face, meaning opportunities to rejuvenate buildings with historic charm are now relatively rare. But on 13 August we’ll be taking to auction the illustrious Odeon Theatre and neighbouring Lawrie and Wilson building in a heritage offering like no other.
The Odeon’s white stone street frontage, entry and stairs carry a Category 1 listing. It was designed in 1883 by Thomas Stoddart Lambert as a public theatre and hall, and later transformed to a vaudeville venue, cinema and church. It has hosted the likes of Sir Laurence Olivier and the Old Vic company as well as a public meeting with Kate Sheppard for the women’s suffrage movement. The Lawrie and Wilson building dates back to 1911 and was built as auction premises.
It’s no secret that heritage projects are hard work, so this is a proposition for those who want to give something back to Christchurch by reinvigorating the hidden treasure that is the Odeon. Also included in the offering is the large parcel of vacant land adjoining the two heritage buildings, fronting onto the high-profile intersection of Tuam and Manchester Streets.
Some fantastic restoration work has already been carried out around the city but we know a lot of the local developers who like heritage projects have their hands full at the moment, so this is a great opportunity for other parties to potentially take centre stage.

 


 

The Influencers: Lianne Dalziel


Christchurch Mayor

It has been great to see people coming back into the building to work. I won’t pretend that I haven’t enjoyed some of the features of working from home. I seemed to get a lot more done. But the truth is I’m pretty much Zoomed out. What I missed the most were those people to people interactions – not just the contact that social distancing denied us, but the sharing of ideas, joining in conversations, putting two and two together as connections were made – that’s where innovation starts.
I think innovative enterprises – and yes our public services should be those too – should be encouraging people back to their offices and encouraging people to support those businesses who are doing it hard. Let’s all who can do so, help them get back on their feet.
Now here’s a reason for everyone to come to town in July. CHCH IS LIT, a month long festival of light, runs until 29 July from 6pm until 11pm daily to help fill the gap until Botanic D’Lights Tirama returns.
More than 20 installations, from lighting up trees to full-on projections on buildings, have been created and built by Christchurch companies and artists, with locations including Victoria Square, Friendship Corner (the grass area opposite Riverside Market), Park of Remembrance (on the Avon River opposite The Terraces), Cathedral Square, City Mall and New Brighton Pier. These will all be filmed as well, so people can see them online.
It will be great to see the city come alive with light and people.


 

The Influencers: Marian Johnson


Ministry of Awesome Chief Awesome Officer

Throughout June, the MoA team has been focusing on the launch of Christchurch’s first national healthtech initiative – the HealthTech Supernode Challenge, which went live on 29 June. This is our signal to New Zealand that Ōtautahi Christchurch aims to become the home of NZ healthtech innovation.
With a total prize pool across multiple categories valued at over $340,000, there are plenty of reasons to enter the challenge. There’s entry into a virtual pre-accelerator programme where we will help grow the ventures, the potential for investment, a CDHB validation contract, an exclusive opportunity to develop the venture alongside Ryman Healthcare’s team, and an invitation to a further startup incubator programme.
Most readers will not know that Christchurch is home to one of the most prolific healthtech innovation communities in New Zealand. I’ve written here before about the Christchurch ‘supernode’ strategy. HealthTech is one of those supernodes given our existing strength in this area and the opportunity it represents for creating high value jobs in our city’s future.
The aim of the Challenge is to identify and generate viable solutions to healthcare problems. We’re focused on Aged and Rural Care sectors but there’s also an Open category to ensure no innovation is left uncovered.
The nationwide challenge, sponsored by ChristchurchNZ, is open to anyone with a healthtech innovation or idea – from students and startups to researchers, and healthcare professionals. If this sounds like you or someone you know, please spread the word. Applications close on 16 August.

 


 

The Influencers: Paul Lonsdale


Mainstreet Management Ltd Managing Director

While I enjoyed the break over the lockdown period, I have to admit, it was great getting back into the real-life working routine again. Like many, I grew tired of the Zoom this and Skype that. I went back to work the moment the restrictions allowed me to do so and over the last six weeks I visited many of the city businesses to gauge the city’s financial temperature.
There seems to be a warm glow coming from many businesses and I think this is, in part, our people yearning for a real life experience rather than the overused virtual experience.
However, we are now in the midst of our winter and generally people go into hibernation the moment that cold snap bites in. At some point over the last 30 years many of us have forgotten how to put a coat on; we go from air-conditioned homes, to air-conditioned cars, to air-conditioned work places. But we need you to find that coat and continue supporting your local businesses over the next couple of months to keep that warm glow momentum going.
It is looking likely that Australian bubble will not happen this year. However, I am grateful we have wonderful local neighbours; the Greater Canterbury region, Southland, Otago, Marlborough and the West Coast.
‘Supporting your local’ is one of the elements to our economy’s recovery and I know your local business would love to see you in person, because nothing beats the real thing.