The Future Canterbury Network’s evaluation of the Christchurch City Council’s leadership of the earthquake recovery is a very mixed bag. Some elements of the FCN Accountability Matrix show the Council has engaged effectively with the community and done an excellent job restoring shattered infrastructure and services but the recovery is about much more than that.
The Assessment Panel states in the Report:
“Christchurch City scored well on the development of a shared vision for the future of the Central City. The draft plan consultation process was seen by the assessors as being highly effective and as giving a great opportunity for anyone who had an idea to make sure that idea was heard.
“The city also exceeded expectations on the work it has done to restore, maintain and develop resilient infrastructure which was damaged by the earthquakes.
“Unfortunately the city’s leadership did not meet expectations in a number of areas which are critical to the achievement of the long term vision for central Christchurch and the wider city.
“The relatively low scores awarded by the assessors are due to their view that the city has not maintained the energy and enthusiasm which was generated during the Share an Idea process to take that momentum forward.
“We were unable to find any evidence that the city had translated the vision into a concrete strategy and plans which would allow the Council and citizens to effectively measure progress. This may be because the FCN was unable to find any documents from official Council sources. “But it appears that even Councillors don’t have that sort of information judging by the contents of the Council’s website.
“The Council may have fared better if it had engaged openly with the FCN Evaluation process but judging by the frequent decisions to take important matters into secret Council session there is a sense in which the lack of transparency is actually “situation normal” for Christchurch City.
“In public at least the Council appears to be fractured at a time in its history where it needs to be united. Nothing was found during the evaluation which gave the assessors any sense that the fractured state of affairs would not continue to exist without a desire on the part of the Council’s leaders to adopt a more united approach.
“If the Council continues to perform as it has in recent months it a runs a serious risk to the delivery of a recovery which realises the ambitions of Christchurch people to take a huge opportunity to refashion their city in a new paradigm (including external intervention).
“Christchurch City Council is elected to serve the people of Christchurch – we encourage the Council to resolutely, and in a united way, demonstrate that is its primary focus.”