Waimakariri Red Zone drop-in session tomorrow (Wednesday)

The Waimakariri District Council (WDC) and CERA are hosting a Red Zone drop-in session on Wednesday 5 June between 2.30pm and 7pm at the Kaiapoi Service Centre, 24 Sewell Street. The following is the text of a letter dated the 30th of May from the WDC to Red Zone residents …

Dear Resident, Invitation to attend drop-in session for Residential Red Zone homeowners and tenants I am writing to invite you to visit a drop-in session the Waimakariri District Council and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) are holding on Wednesday 5 June between 2.30pm and 7pm at the Kaiapoi Service Centre, 24 Sewell Street. This drop-in session is to assist Kaiapoi, Pines Beach and Kairaki Residential Red Zone homeowners and tenants. If you are a property owner who has either accepted or declined a purchase offer from the Crown, or you are a tenant living in the Residential Red Zone, you are welcome to attend. You will have the opportunity to speak with representatives from Council, CERA, Work and Income, Housing New Zealand, the Waimakariri Earthquake Support Service (WESS), the Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service (CETAS), the Residential Advisory Service (RAS) and local police. The session is to ensure you have all available current information about safety and security in the Residential Red Zone, Council’s position on continuing infrastructural services, the Crown offer settlement process and options for temporary accommodation. Staff from the Council’s Building Unit will answer your questions about building consenting processes. Representatives from CERA will be available to discuss the process for requesting an extension to the Residential Red Zone settlement date. If you are not able to attend this session, but would like some support in requesting an extension or need information about the process, please contact your support co-ordinator. If you do not have a support co-ordinator and would like to talk to or register with the support service, please phone 03 327 5621, or visit the Kaiapoi Earthquake Hub at 11 Cass Street. David Ayers MAYOR

Red Zone meetings – urgent message

The following is from Leanne Curtis of CanCERN. If you are a Red Zoner and haven’t attended one of CERA’s Red Zone meetings please read.

This is a very quick summary of the Red Zone Workshops which were held yesterday, Monday 20 May. There are two further planned workshops TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY 22 MAY at 1pm and 6.30pm.

If you have not yet registered and would like to please ring:

0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372). Registration is essential to cater for seating.

(If you are unable to attend one of the workshops and you are concerned that you may not be able to meet your settlement date, you can call 0800 RING CERA (0800 7464 2372) to discuss your concerns.)

The feedback from attendees has been positive and the phrase ‘useful’ was the most common. The workshop is mostly focused on the small group discussion/workshopping although there is an overview of the offer, deadlines and support services.

The main questions relate to why exactly you have had issues with settling and vacating and what possible solutions need to be looked at.

Case Management is discussed and the workshop discussion is informing how the case management will work.

In essense, all red zoners now have an opportunity to write to Roger Sutton to request an extension on their deadline based on individual circumstances. Not every situation will be granted an extension but the discussion is painting a very clear picture of the obvious and far more invisible impacts and issues remaining red zoners are facing.

I strongly encourage you to attend the workshops planned for tomorrow. People have felt and been heard, there are ample opportunities to talk to the people you need to talk to and this has been most appreciated by attendees. If speaking in a group is not your thing there are opportunities to talk alone or to register your story on a form so that CERA can contact you to follow up. You can register for the Residential Advisory Service, receive Red Cross Grant information, talk to Community Law, et Financial Advice, connect with an Earthquake Support Coordinator (and discuss case management in more depth).

Please feel free to call me on the numbers below if you would like any further information before registering. I’m only too happy to talk you through it.

Please note: a Port Hills specific meeting will be planned and we are discussing with the Waimakariri District Council what the needs in the area are. Waimakariri residents are also welcome to register for tomorrows workshop though.

Regards

Leanne Curtis

CanCERN Relationships Manager

DDI       03 3100325   CELL    027 6555665

Action recommended on the Council’s Communications Audit

From a CCC media statement released yesterday (here):

Christchurch City Council’s Community, Recreation and Culture Committee today recommended the Council take a range of actions in response to the Communications Audit Review. Committee Chair Yani Johanson says: “These issues are critical for our city in normal times, and even more so as we recover and rebuild after the earthquakes. “The Communication Audit Report commissioned by the Mayor and Chief Executive raised a number of areas that needed improvement. Good communications, engagement and transparency are essential for a good recovery. I am hopeful that a number of actions today recommended by the Committee to Council will help change the culture of the organisation to serve our citizens better than before.”

The Committee’s recommendations include (some interesting bits highlighted):  

  • Staff facilitate a workshop for the Council to agree a new vision and recovery priorities for the city. Staff would then work on a communications strategy to inform residents about his vision and priorities.
  • Committee chairs have responsibility to speak formally on portfolio matters and the Charter be amended to allow them to speak on issues relevant to the committee terms of reference.
  • Staff initiate a process for monitoring and responding to requests in a timely manner.
  • A working party be set up to review current Communication Policy, Your Council Your Voice resource and the Civics Education Resource.
  • Staff to arrange a meeting with Community Boards, CERA, EQC, CCDU, SCIRT, UDS partners and Cancern with the aim of producing a draft action plan on how governance and communications can work more effectively and coherently.
  • Staff to prepare a draft engagement strategy, including regular public forums.
  • A working party be set up to look at online communications tools.
  • Additional regular meetings are requested with key recovery agencies.
  • Fortnightly meetings are requested with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister and Associate Minister.
  • Council request the CEO establish a Councillors’ office to provide administrative support and assistance to Councillors.
  • The CEO Subcommittee review the CEO’s performance agreement and set KPIs on improving delivery of communications and public engagement.
  • Council workshops are open to the public as a default and are only held in public excluded where a good justification exists.

Council communication audit report

The audit report has been released, and is to be considered by Council next Tuesday. The Council’s take on the report, accentuating the positive, is:

The review found that the Council was doing an excellent job keeping people informed about the projects and services it delivers; it especially praised the Share an Idea community engagement initiative around the Draft Central City Plan. It also pointed to recent resident surveys which show residents do not understand the Council’s decision-making process. The report makes a series of recommendations which it says outline “a need for Council (elected members and management) to adopt a culture of open communication and engagement with residents and stakeholders so that the Council can build understanding and mutual support for its objectives, plans and decisions”.

The review is less enthusiastic in a number of areas. It can be downloaded from the bottom of the web page here.

Earthquake Recovery Strategy released

CERA have made the Christchurch earthquake Recovery Strategy available on their website here. There will be public “engagement opportunities”, which are set out here. From the CERA website:

The Recovery Strategy provides a vision, goals and a road map for ensuring the success of greater Christchurch for recovery and future leadership in earthquake resilience. The Recovery Strategy Vision is: Greater Christchurch recovers and progresses as a place to be proud of an attractive and vibrant place to live, work, visit and invest – mō tātou, ā, mō kāuri ā muri ake nei – for us and our children after us. The community is at the heart of the vision and the success of recovery.

As far as community engagement is concerned, this is CERA’s commitment to the process:

CERA considers ongoing engagement is required to successfully implement the Recovery Strategy. CERA’s Community Engagement Strategy [PDF 65KB] is a commitment to work transparently and inclusively. It commits CERA to the following when involving communities in the development of programmes and plans for recovery:

  • inclusivity – seeking out the voices of those that might otherwise not be heard, recognising that communities have diverse needs;
  • integrity – engaging with communities in honest, consistent and responsible ways;
  • building good relationships and earning respect – recognising that this requires time, attention and trust;
  • communicating in an honest, sensitive and timely fashion – recognising that people need access to information that can help them make decisions for their futures; and
  • clarity and accountability – so that everyone knows who is making the final decision and how much influence people and communities can have on the decisions that need to be made to rebuild and revitalise Canterbury.

How community engagement is undertaken during the development of the recovery programmes and plans will vary depending on the nature of, and those involved in, the issues being addressed. In line with the International Association for Public Participation spectrum of public participation [PDF 228KB], CERA’s community engagement framework [PDF 228KB] uses different tools such as website information, written submissions, public meetings, stakeholder workshops and community forums.