Supporting communities  |  18 Sep 2020

Christchurch City Council is planning to set up a new group to provide advice on how to engage with residents on issues that are important for the whole city.

The Residents’ Forum, which would have between 30 and 50 members, will be established to help the Council better understand how and why residents get involved in the decision-making process, and what are the barriers stopping people from having their say.

Sustainability and Community Resilience Committee Chair Sara Templeton says the forum is being set up in response to feedback in the Annual Plan and the 2020 Residents’ Survey that showed some people don’t feel they are able to have an impact on decisions that affect their future.

“It’s really important for our Council decision-making that we hear from a wide range of residents – people of all ages, from communities all across Christchurch.

“We want people to be well-informed, and to feel as though they can participate and contribute to decisions, and we need people to have trust in our processes,” Councillor Templeton says.

“The Residents’ Forum will help us identify what’s working, what isn’t and where we can make changes so that more residents have a better experience of the decision-making process. We also want to encourage more people to get involved at the right point in the process, when their feedback can have the biggest impact.”

The first step in establishing a Residents’ Forum will be researching what people know about the Council processes at present, what’s working well, and how they believe things can be improved.

A forum made up of 30 to 50 residents representing the demographics of the city will then be established at the start of next year. It will review the research and provide some recommendations to the Sustainability and Community Resilience Committee on how the Council engages with residents.

The Committee will consider the proposed approach to the new Residents’ Forum at a meeting next Thursday. Read the Chair's report prepared for the meeting