Sue Wells – The New Canterbury Tales

October 3, 2011

Central city plan – the hearings commence

Our first morning session of central city plan hearings has concluded. We are in for 8 x 11 hour days. 4707 comments were received on the plan. 427 people/groups have asked to speak.
Our hearings are taking place at the Balmerino Room, Riccarton Racecourse as the council building is still out of action. A jockey exercising their horse entertained me before the hearings began. To my left is a full wet bar. Rest assured it will not be used otherwise there will be guaranteed nodding off before we finish day 1 at 8pm.
So far we have received (and I have read) 5 volumes of material from submitters who wish to be heard. We have three further volumes to come plus another 10 or so volumes of “not heard” submissions to assess before deliberations commence in two weeks. Each volume is roughly 500 pages long.
I have learned some lessons over the years about long haul hearings. I bring my mug and some flowers from home, my own favorite tea and coffee. I bring snacks (healthy) and Kim made my lunch (even healthier).
When I take notes from the submissions, they’re multicolored with a coding system I develop as I go. I take notes in sketch form as well as in written word – it stimulates my thinking (and helps me stay focussed).
People are given 5 minutes to be heard and organizations 10. No small ask to get everyone through in time but we are working to the government’s timeline. We have a job to do and do it we will. What is more, we will do it well.

(and happy birthday Warren Brixton)

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