Minister brave and provocative in remarks about Future Canterbury Network

“Earthquake Recovery Minister, Gerry Brownlee, makes some brave and provocative remarks when he describes a group of prominent Canterbury citizens as ‘hand-wringing talkers’ and ‘time wasters’”, says the Chairman of the Future Canterbury Network (FCN), Hon Philip Burdon, who is the former MP for Fendalton and a Cabinet Minister in the Bolger administration as well as being a very prominent Canterbury businessman.

“The FCN represents a broad spectrum of people from the Canterbury community, ranging from the Vice Chancellor of the University to the head of the Salvation Army, who have agreed to endorse and support a process designed to give a sympathetic and constructive assessment of the achievements of the multiple administrative organisations responsible for the management of the Canterbury rebuild,” says Mr Burdon.

“Evaluations, which will be published shortly, have been conducted with the constructive co-operation of the Selwyn and Waimakariri District Councils and it is intended to engage in a similar process with the Christchurch City Council and CERA.

“The FCN is deeply conscious that the challenges and problems of the September earthquake have been magnified multiple times by the February disaster and the June reprise.

“The purpose of the whole process is to evaluate in a non-partisan and inclusive way the buy-in and acceptance of the leadership initiatives of those involved in the massive reconstruction we now face.

“The FCN is committed to a constructive inclusion of the entire community in the massive challenge we face in ‘the rebuild’ and very conscious of the capacity for a dangerous alienation between the competing administrative bodies and the community at large.

“The province faces an exceptional challenge that will require the united effort of the entire community if we are to succeed,” concludes Mr Burdon.

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