13 Sep 2016

Mayor Lianne Dalziel has formally pledged to introduce a budget that commits at least 10 per cent of Christchurch City Council’s 2017/18 spending to building Christchurch’s resilience.

Mayor Dalziel and 100 Resilience Cities (100RC) Asia-Pacific Associate Director Sam Kernaghan signed the pledge at the official launch of Resilient Greater Christchurch - a plan aimed at ensuring Christchurch and the surrounding towns and districts have the resilience to deal with future challenges.

The pledge will make Greater Christchurch eligible for up to US$5 million worth of goods and services from the 100RC that can be used to help it achieve its resilience goals.

“As long as I am Mayor I will lead and encourage the Council, our citizens and our city partners to make resilience a high priority,’’ Mayor Dalziel said.

“I want to find innovative ways to get citizens participating in local decision making because I see that as vital to building connected, resilient communities.

“We’ve faced enormous challenges as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes and we know we will encounter future challenges. This is not simply about preparing our infrastructure or our built environment and it’s not about bouncing back to the way things used to be.

“Resilience is about understanding the risks and challenges we face and developing ways to adapt and co-create a new normal,’’ the Mayor said.

Christchurch was among the first 33 cities worldwide selected to join the 100RC, which was pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. The 100RC is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.

Since joining the network in December 2013 Christchurch’s Chief Resilience Officer, Mike Gillooly, has worked across the Greater Christchurch region to pull together a plan for building a more resilient, thriving and equitable place to for people to live, learn, work and play.

Mr Gillooly said Resilient Greater Christchurch provided a framework for city and district leaders to work together to empower people and enable them to participate  in local decision-making, which was vital to building resilient communities and a resilient city.

“This plan identifies some key issues facing the region right now, pulls together all work already underway and suggests some new actions for the future. It is a multi-agency document which spans three Council and includes four goals: to connect, participate, prosper and understand,’’ Mr Gillooly said.

Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities, said: “We have been impressed by Greater Christchurch’s willingness to look beyond the city's earthquake and seismic issues, to dig into social and economic stresses that are also facing the city.

“The strength of this Resilience Plan is founded on its collaborative approach, and efforts to embrace a diversity of perspectives. We believe that implementation of this plan has the potential to create real change for the city, while generating resilience practices to share with its peers in the 100 Resilient Cities Network and other cities throughout the globe,” Mr Berkowitz said.