Sue Wells – The New Canterbury Tales

October 4, 2011

Central city plan day 2 #eqnz #Chch

It’s afternoon tea break on day two. We sit today from 9am til 8pm. Two hour long breaks at 1 and at 430 give us a chance to recharge.
Submitters today have had an arts theme with the museum art gallery and court theatre coming in. This morning architects planners and urban designers were offered the opportunity to give us their thoughts on an idea I am mulling – a “what if the RMA were not the planning vehicle for the rebuild” concept. More on that in another post – suffice it to say I am wondering if there might be a better, smarter more intuitive solution that delivers what we want in a swifter timeframe than the outdated RMA under which our nation’s planning lumbers.
A diverse bunch of submitters are between us and the close of the day. The airport is followed by the national council of women, individuals speaking as well.
Highlights so far today include a magical submission from Deaf Aotearoa, a wow-factor presentation from Wiki Design, and a very cool app based car pooling solution which had me reaching for the install button.
The breadth of views and ideas is quite wonderful. My note book is a technicolour pastiche of ideas on colored sticky notes, sketches and jottings beside where I have been piqued into thought.
These submissions are offering great opportunity for creativity and imagination. Day 2 of 8 and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

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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