‘Shirley Road Central’ Group

1. Name
2. Constitution
3. Committee Members
4. Current Status
5. Website
6. Facebook Page
7. Facebook Community Group
8. “Where is our Community Centre” Petition
9. Submissions to the Christchurch City Council
10. Events
11. Letters of Support from Local Christchurch MPs
12. “The Future for Shirley Road Central” News Article (May 2021)
13. ‘Study to determine feasibility of Christchurch community centre’ News Article (16 July 2021)
14. ‘Lengthy delay in centre rebuild an ‘injustice’ News Article (4 August 2022)
15. ‘Shirley Community Centre’s future to be decided’ News Article (24 July 2023)

1. Name
– Shirley Road Central Incorporated (50064847)

– Why ‘Shirley Road Central’?
10 Shirley Road is central to connecting communities in Shirley, Dallington, Richmond, Edgeware, St Albans & Mairehau.

– Why the suburbs of Shirley, Dallington, Richmond, Edgeware, St Albans & Mairehau?
When you draw a 2km radius from 10 Shirley Road, these are the suburbs included in this area.

2. Constitution
To support the development of a community hub including a modern library, and meeting rooms on the site at 10 Shirley Road for the use of the surrounding communities.
The objects of the Group are:
3.1 To encourage the urgent development of public facilities and activities particularly for the residents of the area:
3.2 To encourage any activity that promotes the wellbeing of residents of the area:
3.3 To engage in any charitable activities for the benefit of the locality and residents of the area.

3. Committee Members
Joanna Gould, Don Gould, Jennifer Dalziel, Joanne Byrne, Margaret Stewart, Mark Wilson, Stephen McPaike, Jacqueline Tither, Paul Smith, Tuangane Matangi, Jason Harvey, Alan Liefting, Melinda Biggs, Jennifer McKinnel & Paul McKinnel

4. Current Status
Registered: 11 May 2021 to 28 Oct 2022.
Dissolved: 28 Nov 2022.

The ‘Shirley Road Central’ (SRC) residents group was setup just before the Christchurch City Council’s Long Term Plan in 2021.

In order to be seen as an official ‘Community Organization’ & not just a ‘Facebook group’ by Council staff, to enable our group to have extra time to speak at the CCC LTP verbal submission hearings.

The group’s constitution shows the aim was to advocate for a new community hub (modern library & meeting rooms) but divisions occurred over:
– ‘new’ community hub vs replacement ‘traditional’ community centre &
– ‘advocating’ for a new building vs ‘activating’ the 10 Shirley Road site.

Currently the SRC Website* is still live, but no longer updated.
SRC Facebook* Page & Community Group are still active & updated.
* I setup a separate SRC website & Facebook to distinguish between the SRC group view & my personal ideas/research as ‘Shirley Centre 10 Shirley Road’.

5. Website

6. Facebook Page

7. Facebook Community Group

8. “Where is our Community Centre” Petition
– LTP 2021-2031 Petition from Shirley Road Central
“This petition was submitted to Council at the Long Term Plan (2021 to 2031) meeting in 2021 from the Shirley Road Central group.
The petition contains signatures in support of a new community facility on the Shirley Community Reserve.
The petition also resulted in Council asking staff to develop an updated feasibility study, looking at what options are appropriate for the reserve.”

– “Where is our Community Centre” Petition
‘Shirley Road Central’ group members collected signatures/comments through an online ‘Change’ petition & in person via door knocking, outside local schools & onsite at ‘activation’ events like ‘Skip Day’, held at 10 Shirley Road.

9. Submissions to the Christchurch City Council
– 12.05.21, Item 3: Jennifer Dalziel & Joanne Burn – Shirley Road Central

– 11.05.22, Item 3: Shirley Rd Central, Jennifer Dalziel

10. Events
In my opinion, the ‘Pop up’ activities to ‘activate’ the 10 Shirley Road site had little success in creating connections: to the 10 Shirley Road site & between local residents.
Events like ‘Skip Day’ & the ‘Car Boot Sale’ organised by the ‘Shirley Road Central’ group:
– required many people to be involved in the planning & running of these events.
– more hours were invested in planning/meetings, than the actual duration of the event.
– Events had to be postponed or cancelled due to the weather.

11. Letters of Support from Local Christchurch MPs
– “The Richmond, Avonside, Dallington and Shirley Locals have a brilliant concept in their application to provide a Library and Education space and this new Community Centre could also provide a range of opportunities for the locals…
A space for after school activities and holiday programmes and possibly a venue for hire.
The Community Centre could also house NGO’s as well as drop in sessions for local organisations who could provide advice and assistance to those in need including Wellbeing/Health and Youth Clinics.
A Community Centre is a place where you are bringing everyone in the community together of all ethnicities and therefore I fully support this application.”
Hon Poto Williams, Member of Parliament for Christchurch East

– “I write in support of further exploration of the community centre concept proposed for 10 Shirley Road.
While this is not in my electorate the area serviced by such a centre would cross into Christchurch Central and benefit my constituents.
I have read the support letter provided by MP for Christchurch East, Hon Poto Williams, and I am happy to add my support to her views and encourage council to consider exploring the idea further, such as commissioning a feasibility study for full review including the future of the current Shirley Library.”
Dr Duncan Webb, Member of Parliament for Christchurch Central

12. “The Future for Shirley Road Central” News Article (May 2021)
Richmond Community News, Page 5
“Following the Christchurch earthquakes the community centre at 10 Shirley Road was demolished.
It was a popular and welcoming community asset situated on multiple bus routes, reaching out to the communities of Shirley, Dallington, Richmond, Edgeware, St Albans and Mairehau.
A wide variety of people and groups attended this facility offering classes, courses and community events…
The library at the Palms is outdated and too small, it lacks meeting spaces and is not central to all local schools and bus routes.
Our communities are ethnically and socially diverse.
We have areas of social deprivation, and others of relative well being.
We have increased social housing, and increased high density, infill housing.
As our population grows, the demand for community facilities grows also.
Church facilities can be a barrier for some of our secular community members.
School facilities are often limited in the times they are available…
In 2021 the land remains empty.
Our communities have waited over a decade for a replacement facility, while watching tens of millions of dollars spent on new community facilities in other areas of the city.
The decision to not rebuild ours has disadvantaged our community and continues to do so.
Our vision is a new community hub at Shirley Road Central.
We want a modern future-focused library, with learning/meeting spaces for all ages and stages of life.
We want a centre that is inclusive and accessible for all.”

13. ‘Study to determine feasibility of Christchurch community centre’ News Article (16 July 2021)
An upcoming feasibility study could set the ball rolling on a $3 million community facility in east Christchurch.
Christchurch City Council’s Long Term Plan, approved last month, allocates $3 million towards a centre rebuild in the 2031-2032 financial year.
It also budgets $35,000 for a feasibility study to take place in the 2021-2022 financial year.
Innes Ward city councillor Pauline Cotter said the future of the project is in the hands of the community.
“It’s now with the community, they’re going to have to drive that,” Cotter said.
It is possible the $3 million funding could be brought forward if a building plan was ready and viable, she said.
Joanne Byrne, spokeswoman for the 10 Shirley Road [Shirley Road Central] group, helped organise a petition of over 1200 signatures which was presented to the council in May.
The community was devastated when funding was dropped from the last Long Term Plan and wanted to avoid a repeat of that scenario, she said.
Shirley Recreational Walkers leader Sue Lang said she hoped a new community centre would be built.
The site was currently home to a pump track and playground.
“That’s great, but it won’t meet the needs of the whole community,” Lang said.
However, she did not trust the council to pull through on the project.
“A decade is a long time to wait for when you’ve already waited a decade.”

14. ‘Lengthy delay in centre rebuild an ‘injustice’ News Article (4 August 2022)
An 11-year delay in rebuilding a community facility has been described as an “injustice” to a “forgotten suburb”.
Community group Shirley Road Central chair Jennifer Dalziel has been advocating for a rebuild since the old facility was demolished, and described the whole process as “hugely frustrating”.
“My position is the injustice of it,” she said.
“They call Shirley the forgotten suburb…it’s like Shirley is just left out of everything.”
In May last year, Dalziel, along with Shirley residents passionate about the rebuild of the community centre, created a petition advocating for it.
They gained more than 1200 signatures from the community.
Innes Ward councillor Pauline Cotter said she can understand why Dalziel has described the process as an “injustice”.
“I can empathise with the community for having a community centre that was then gone,” she said.
“I feel like this area is kind of almost last to have areas restored…Shirley, in particular, needs the stability.”
Cotter said she fought alongside Papanui Ward councillor Mike Davidson to get the money for a feasibility study allocated to the city council’s Long Term Plan.
She said the wheels are starting to turn now, and hopes the feasibility study will be presented to the community board by the end of the year.
Dalziel said the whole process has been an “uphill battle against authorities” but has hope that the community facility will be restored.
“They’ve [city council] agreed to do something but what it’s going to be, we don’t know.”
(Front Page & Page 4)

15. ‘Shirley Community Centre’s future to be decided’ News Article (24 July 2023)
Shirley residents are one step closer to a decision on the suburb’s Community Reserve.
The Christchurch City Council is calling for submissions on the future of the contentious site.
Speaking during a deputation to city councillors, Mark Wilson said the Shirley Community Centre had been well used before the quakes.
“There are other areas of the city which have recently had new community centres built, more money and tens of millions of dollars thrown at them.
“And here we are. Shirley is still struggling to get a community centre rebuilt that they lost after the earthquakes.
“It’s inadequate, it’s embarrassing”.
Wilson said the Shirley community had lost a lot and needed its community centre.
“Build it, and they will come”.

“Review into the Future for Local Government” Update

“Review into the Future for Local Government”

“Review into the Future for Local Government”: Draft Report

“Review into the Future for Local Government” Draft Report – Webinar
I watched the public webinar, presented by the Panel, which was recorded on 2 Feb 2023: https://youtu.be/e48NLRovj-M

My submission for the “Review into the Future for Local Government” Interim Report:

“A report has found libraries have ‘untapped potential’ to provide their communities with more than just books.
Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) wants to see libraries diversify to be community hubs servicing readers and ratepayers. And some places have already adapted…After conducting a report into the future of libraries, LGNZ wants to see models like this rolled out across the country.
“There’s so much more potential in libraries…and they could be really one-stop shops,” said LGNZ CEO Susan Freeman-Greene.
That potential is endless. LGNZ believes libraries can host services including healthcare, financial support, education – all sorts of support…The only barrier right now is funding. It wants local and central governments to partner up on costs because those areas that’ve already adapted can prove it’s worth it. Like in Selwyn.”

Libraries are ‘third places (social)’ the ‘living room’ of society in our communities.
We have many in our communities who don’t have a ‘second place (work)’: stay at home parents, caregivers, retirees, unemployed, people working from home etc. Some due to their circumstances don’t feel like they have a safe and relaxing ‘first place (home)’.
This is why it is so important that our ‘third places (social)’ are welcoming and inclusive for everyone in our communities.

“What if public libraries were open late every night and we could engage in public life there, instead of having to choose between drinking at the bar and domestic isolation.”
Erin Glass

“Libraries allow children to ask questions about the world and find the answers.
And the wonderful thing is that once a child learns to use a library, the doors to learning are always open.”
Laura Bush

Libraries are intergenerational ‘bumping spaces’ that provide opportunities for all ages to connect, to be seen, be heard & to belong…
“I became something of a lost soul…I’m just a run-of-the-mill guy, who just does something which has helped me get through my week…I belong. I belong. I’m not this old man who lives on his own. I’m part of the community which is great.”
100-year-old Peter Davies started volunteering teaching children how to read, after his wife died: https://fb.watch/iY9p4b1Rdo/

“In an age of ever-increasing unaffordable housing, increasing privatisation and control of urban space, along with public services moving online or closing altogether, people with complex needs are increasingly forced to live out their private lives in these public spaces like libraries. As a result, we are seeing the role of public libraries changing.”
Lessons from the Central Hub. Safe Spaces Pilot Project.
By Anna Lockwood, Senior Advisor Inclusive Services, Auckland Council Connected Communities, 1 Feb 2023, Page 7-9, https://lianza.pressreader.com/library-life

“I love public libraries because they are built on the principle that books are so important and so necessary to human flourishing that access to them cannot depend on your income.”
Icona @iconawrites

Community Education: Well-being WOF/Tool Kit’ & ‘While You Wait’
“Jason Joseph, mental health lead for Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System said the service helped prevent escalation…help and signposting to other support services was given by specially-trained library staff and volunteers, or people from the Mental Health Trust teams…many people were isolated, but ‘having a space where they can come out of their house is a huge benefit to them’…We don’t want library services to be seen as a replacement for GPs or statutory mental health services, that’s not their job. But what they can do is some of the early intervention prevention work with people, before they get to a point when they might be in crisis.”

‘Participate, Engage, Observe’
‘You don’t know what you need to know, until you need to know it.’
‘I wish I had known about that organisation sooner’ & ‘I wish they taught that at school.’
Instore demonstrations work with the flow of people in a supermarket & are positioned accordingly.
Shoppers usually have one of three reactions:
1. Participate (stop & engage with demonstrator),
2. Engage (walk passed & take what is handed to them by the demonstrator),
3. Observe (watches & listens by shelves close to the demonstrator)
The same principles would work if we integrated support services into our library learning spaces:
1. Participate: support services can invite residents to learn more about their services or hold weekly/monthly meetings.
2. Engage: support services ‘demonstrators’ become a familiar face, in residents local ‘safe’ place, more accessible ‘bumping’ space.
3. Observe: residents are now aware of this support service, they might not need their help at this time or they might remember this support services & refer someone else to it. Residents might not be comfortable approaching ‘demonstrators’ in a public place & may reach out to the support service in private. Some residents who have trust issues, will need to see the support service or ‘demonstrator’ more than once, before they decide it is ‘safe’ to ‘participate’ or ‘engage’.

Bringing support services into our local libraries learning spaces, provides opportunities for residents to be informed & connect with the ‘demonstrator’, in a safe known local environment.
‘Demonstrations’ provide bumping space opportunities for residents to connect with others in their situation, like minded people with similar issues/interests.
Our local librarians are ‘information specialists’, who can provide information/contact details to residents about the ‘demonstrator’/support service, when they enquire at a later date.

“The Loft is a new way for the people of Canterbury to access a wide range of health and wellbeing services. Located on the first floor of the Eastgate Shopping Centre [next to the Christchurch City Libraries Linwood suburban library, https://maps.app.goo.gl/1sB7wHVAa1MkH8Di9], in Christchurch’s eastern suburbs.”

“The Loft offers a free and confidential Social Emergency Response Service (SERS) for those in need of social and wellbeing support. We will talk to you about what difficulties are happening for you and develop a plan.”
The Loft Community and Social Services
“We listened to peoples stories, and offered everyone who came to us immediate support, advice and advocacy.
We completed 899 assessments [during 2022] where we rapidly connected people to services they needed, making over 1000 referrals to other agencies.
– 83% were women
– Our clients had a total of 740 tamariki and rangatahi in their care
– Ethnicity: 67% NZ European, 23% Māori, 5% Asian, 5% Pacifica, 5% Other
– Issues: 320 Family or Sexual Violence, 234 Financial/Budgeting, 221 Mental Health, 205 Housing, 201 Safety Concerns, 194 Access and Custody, 93 Addiction, 89 Parenting, 227 Other”

Community Education: Civic Education/Engagement/Participation
How does the Council work? What are the different Units for?
How does the Community Board work?
What do the different roles in Council/Community Board do?
How do I participate/engage with Council/Community Board?



“Civic Education 101” classes for residents, should be made available online & at our local suburban libraries. Covering: steps to positively engage with elected members & council/community board staff, how Council/Community Board meetings are run, how to speak at Council/Community Board meetings, how to lay a complaint regarding Council/Community Board/Elected Members/Residents Association/Community Group, how to become a candidate in Council/Community Board elections.

“Civic Engagement 101’ classes for elected members/candidates, should be made available online & through workshops at Council. Covering: steps to positively engage with residents, how to address/follow up resident queries/issues, social media accounts/posts/comments & how to be available in your Ward for residents: community activities/events, ‘Meet your Elected Member’ drop in sessions at local suburban library, while campaigning, during local emergencies & onsite visits to discuss local issues.

“Civic Participation 101’ classes for council/community board staff, should be made available online & through workshops at Council. Covering: steps to positively engaging with residents, how to address/follow up resident queries/issues, how to run Council/Community Board meetings so residents attending understand what is happening, how to help residents prepare to speak at Council/Community Board, how to help residents apply for funding at Council/Community Board, how to help residents setup a residents association/community group, how to help residents if they have an issue with Council/Community Board/Elected Members/Residents Association/Community Group.

Community Education: “Climate Change 101”
Climate change is a big picture issue. How can we break it down into achievable practical day to day tasks/changes to the way we live in Christchurch/NZ?

‘Live Local, Go Local’: promoting buying/renting home near where you work/go to school/play/shop/community facilities etc.
‘Where we live versus where we work’: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/6f8b5f981ad34f11bedaf1725e9cb698

I try to ‘Live Local & Go Local’, apart from my weekly visits to the library.
My local Shirley Library is only 600m from my home, but I travel 5.4km to the Fendalton Library: https://maps.app.goo.gl/wR6fvq2zXWjcPkp46.
The Fendalton Library is a destination space situated next to Jeffreys Reserve/Playground, which is better for community wellbeing.
Free parking is available close to the building & there are a wider range of books/activities/events available.
I pay the $2 reserve fee for each book to be delivered to the Fendalton Library, instead of travelling to other libraries.
I drive an EV, charging only at night during the free 3 hours time slot from 9pm.
I could drive further to the other Christchurch City Libraries suburban libraries to pick up books, but I choose not to add to the already congested roads.

Libraries continue to evolve their service delivery to meet the needs of the community
“Public libraries drive literacy and life-long learning. Beyond books and reading, libraries operate as the access point for literacy of all types, including financial literacy, digital literacy, design literacy, information literacy, and health and wellbeing literacy. Increasingly, libraries are providing access to critical services that support and improve the wellbeing of their communities.”

Libraries are trusted institutions in their communities
“Libraries operate as established places of information and support for communities, often acting as a foundation for government engagement with communities. Libraries reflect the language and cultural diversity of their community and foster relationships and networks that enable them to be best placed to respond to the needs of their community. It is generally agreed that the indispensable “value-add” of libraries comes from the personal and institutional relationships (across community members and organisations) as well as the networks (both community and nationwide) that libraries support.”

Delivering through libraries can lower operating costs for central/local government
“Leveraging the knowledge, local connections and relationships of library staff can increase the engagement with and uptake of government services, as well as lowering the operational costs for government. Library staff are usually well placed within the community, with established relationships and local knowledge which can facilitate more efficient engagement with government services. Rather than a new entity, agency or person entering the community and applying a broad, nationwide delivery model, leveraging the expertise of local libraries can improve efficiency and create potential cost-savings.”
Project Summary: Libraries as a vehicle for service delivery
FrankAdvice prepared the report for Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ), January 2023, http://ow.ly/5UwU50MWCE6.

“Everyone of us needs help at some point in our life. And, the more that we can lift up those who need it the most in our community, the more the community itself betters.”
John Rivers

when you create a difference in someone’s life, you not only impact their life, you impact everyone influenced by them throughout their entire lifetime.
no act is ever too small. one by one, this is how to make an ocean rise.”

“Tangata ako ana i te kāenga, te tūranga ki te marae, tau ana.
A person nurtured in the community contributes strongly to society.”
Everyone needs a free, safe, inclusive & accessible place in our local communities:
Where they belong
Where they are seen
Where they are heard
Where they can be themselves
Where they have the opportunity to connect with others in their local communities & find their own circle of friends.

Shirley Community Centre (former Shirley School)
I created https://www.10shirleyroad.org.nz/ to collate my research and ideas for my submission to the Christchurch City Council 2018 Long Term Plan, for the rebuild of the Shirley Community Centre, 10 Shirley Road, Richmond, Christchurch.
“Are you saying that rather than just building back a community centre, that actually we should look at the whole of the area, and look at the whole of the needs.
So maybe what we need to be considering for the Long Term Plan is a budget that would enable a full needs analysis, and to look at what the different options are.”
Former Mayor Lianne Dalziel – 12th May 2018

From 1915 to 2012, when the building was demolished after earthquake damage, this site at 10 Shirley Road, Richmond, Christchurch, has historically been a ‘place of learning’ in our communities, for our residents.
https://www.10shirleyroad.org.nz/timeline/ (from 2012-2019, as I stopped updating it)

Renewed calls to rebuild Shirley Community Centre – 1 December 2020
Residents are calling for the revival of the Shirley Community Centre after the area has been left without a facility for nearly a decade.
It comes after the Papanui-Innes Community Board sought ideas for the future use of the former community centre site at 10 Shirley Rd.
Due to Christchurch City Council’s financial restraints, it is unlikely that funding would be available in the short-term for permanent options.
In September, a questionnaire was delivered to about 800 properties within the site’s vicinity, asking residents whether they currently used the site, how they would like to use it, and how the city council can make the most of what was already there?
The city council received 58 submissions.
Shirley Recreational Walkers leader Sue Lang wants to see the centre reinstated and feared it might not happen after the rebuild was deferred for a number of years.
“I would like to see the Shirley Community Centre reinstated back at this site as we were led to believe it would be happening back in 2017,” Lang said in her submission.
“It is on a great bus route and was used by many groups both day and night. Other areas have had their community centres re-built, but not Shirley. Why?”
Prior to the September 4, 2010, and February 22, 2011, earthquakes, the well-established centre was used by many community groups to host workshops, classes and fun activities.
Due to the building’s damage caused by the earthquakes, the facility was demolished in 2012 and has not been replaced since, in spite of the area’s growing population.

The former Shirley Community Centre location at 10 Shirley Road, Richmond (https://maps.app.goo.gl/JhZdQboE1WXXvHov9) includes the Shirley Community Reserve/Playground (https://maps.app.goo.gl/pri5Ug86LTUQFJXj6) & Shirley Playcentre (https://maps.app.goo.gl/E8FVhXcjTqimzeq58).

This location connects the communities & residents living in the adjoining Innes & Central Ward, by our two main roads (Hills, Shirley) & bus stops located on either side of Shirley Road.

Currently there is no ‘suburban’ library in the Innes Ward & Central Ward (with the new boundary changes).
Facilities and amenities: 3 Council libraries: Tūranga (metropolitan, distance to parking buildings, parking fees), Redwood, Papanui
Facilities and amenities: 5 Council libraries: Parklands, New Brighton, Aranui, Shirley, Linwood

Our current Shirley Library (https://maps.app.goo.gl/ZS9ycmpvGcWxXVdz5) is located in the carpark of The Palms Shopping Centre, in the Burwood Ward & isn’t located near bus stops for our main bus routes.

“Her deputation focused on Shirley Library and the former Shirley Community Centre. She questioned the priority on South Library, when Shirley Library has issues around variety of books available and capacity. She also queried why the rebuild of the Shirley Community Centre has been delayed until 2030/31, and whether this aligns with the Council’s policies on sustainability and environmental outcomes.”

In the recent Innes ward of the Waipapa Papanui-Innes-Central Community Board By-election, the voter return was 21.23%, being 3,540 votes.

Over 1,200 residents signed the petition for a new building to be built at 10 Shirley Road.

Study to determine feasibility of Christchurch community centre – 16 July 2021
The old community centre at 10 Shirley Rd was demolished following the February 22, 2011, earthquake. But Christchurch City Council’s Long Term Plan, approved last month, allocates $3 million towards a centre rebuild in the 2031-2032 financial year.
It also budgets $35,000 for a feasibility study to take place in the 2021-2022 financial year.
Innes Ward city councillor Pauline Cotter said the future of the project is in the hands of the community.
“It’s now with the community, they’re going to have to drive that,” Cotter said.
It is possible the $3 million funding could be brought forward if a building plan was ready and viable, she said.

Yet we are still waiting for a feasibility study & funding isn’t on budget until 2030/2031?

When will it be our year to establish a new building, a new legacy for the generations to come?





“Every place already has a story to tell – placemaking just brings that story forward…We start with the belief that every place already has a history and a story to tell – that places already have soul. Our role as designers is to honor that story, bring it forward and integrate it into every level of design and detail, from the shaping of space to programming, lighting, materiality, and signage. The best measure of good placemaking is after having visited a place, you find yourself compelled to tell others about it. It becomes a place you’re excited to return time and again.”




Shirley Centre: Identity | Well-being | Learning
Inclusive Accessible Citizen Hub
CCC Suburban Library, CCC Service Centre, Learning Spaces, Meeting Rooms
Located in the Shirley Community Reserve/Playground with Shirley Playcentre
“You Are Here”: a place to be, within our communities.
Community Education & Support Services in Learning Libraries


My idea for the Shirley Centre could be the pilot project on how Central & Local Government worked together, pooling funding/resources, providing outreach opportunities for Ministries/Departments/NGOs, into our local communities through our suburban libraries.

“Women make up 6% of New Zealand’s prison population.
Sadly, there is not the same level of support available for them as there is for men.
Department of Corrections statistics show…
– 62% of women in prison have had both mental health and substance disorders in their lifetime (41% of men)
– 52% have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (22% of men)
– 44% have experienced drug dependence (37% of men)
– 46% have lifetime alcohol dependence (35% of men)
– 75% have had a diagnosed mental health condition in the last 12 months (61% of men)
– 68% have been a victim of family violence.”

I wonder what the statistics are for ‘able to read’ or ‘have learning difficulties’?

“Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible.”
Barack Obama

Cyclone communications show need to breach digital divide – 26 Feb 2023
A Christchurch social housing trust says the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle shows how important it is for everyone to have digital skills.
The Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust (OCHT) has been offering digital tutoring since a survey showed that many of their tenants lacked the skills or equipment to make use of digital technology.
OCHT digital coach adviser Joanne Cantrick said there was a real need for digital training so their tenants could fully take part in society.
“The cyclone is a perfect example – it’s go to Facebook or online for more information but a lot of people don’t have an internet connection or a device they can look up that information on.

Are we prepared for another local emergency?
Are we prepared for our own community issues?
Are we prepared for our own family issues?
Are we prepared for our own personal issues?
While some might say these issues aren’t a central or local government issue…are they really not?

“Once again a moving ceremony to mark at quake anniversary in Christchurch – was special to have the choir from St Peter’s School (Beckenham) performing three wonderful songs – this is my former primary schools (and my dad’s primary school before that!) and the choir coach was Victoria Pankhurst – one of my best friends from when we were students there – all of this reinforcing for me how connected our Christchurch worlds are and how this is what has been key to us getting through some tough days!”
Megan Woods – MP for Wigram

Q. What is the most common question asked in Christchurch?
A. Where did you go to school.
Our schools are a central part of our identity, places of learning, community gathering, learning opportunities, social networks formed…
So the Government outreach into our city/town is mainly through our schools in each suburb.

Q. Where is the outreach from Christchurch City Council into our suburbs?
A. Through our Christchurch City Council suburban libraries.
Most residents have few opportunities or never go into the Christchurch City Council building or Community Board meetings, but they regularly go to their local suburban library.

These local suburban libraries are the Christchurch City Council/Community Board’s outreach into our communities, which could also be utilized by Central Government to reach every New Zealander.

They are citizen hubs, civil defence emergency centre, learning/meeting spaces, local information/directory, learning opportunities, community education, support services outreach, central/local government voting locations…connecting residents to local community boards/residents associations/community groups & local MPs/electoral offices/Ministry’s/Govt Department’s.

So why is there still no local suburban library in the Innes Ward?

“Review into the Future for Local Government”

“Review into the Future for Local Government”

“Review into the Future for Local Government”: Interim Report

The wellbeing dimension (Page 17-24)
“The future wellbeing of New Zealand communities depends at least in part on effective local governance. Under the Local Government Act 2002, one of the purposes of local government is to promote social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing in local communities.
This review is being conducted to determine how local authorities might need to evolve in order to deliver on that purpose over the next 30 years.
Under current local governance arrangements, local authorities make significant contributions to local wellbeing, but neither they nor central government on their own can address the most significant wellbeing issues facing local communities, or to address all of the challenges that might emerge in the future.
A more collaborative approach will be necessary in future to meet these challenges and create conditions in which communities can thrive over the next three decades.
The vast bulk of local government spending is focused on infrastructure, the environment, and facilities and services – including…facilities such as libraries, and community and recreation centres.
These facilities and services play critical roles in local wellbeing. They provide for basic needs; keep people healthy and safe; allow people to move around and connect with each other; enable work and business activity; support family, neighbourhood and community connections; and create environments in which people can exercise and relax. An attractive, well-functioning physical and natural environment can lift mood, reflect identity, create a sense of belonging, and attract skills, tourism and commerce.”

LIANZA “Libraries and the Future of Local Government Review Panel”

Below is my email to the “Review into the Future for Local Government” Panel:


Last night I watched the LIANZA “Libraries and the Future of Local Government” public panel discussion & listened to Gael Surgenor speak about the review.

Below is an overview of my “Learning Libraries” concept (Library with Learning Spaces: Community Education & Support Services):

“In community building, the third place is the social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home (“first place”) and the workplace (“second place”).
Examples of third places would be environments such as churches, cafes, clubs, public libraries, bookstores or parks. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_place
In his influential book The Great Good Place, Ray Oldenburg (1989, 1991) argues that third places are important for civil society, democracy, civic engagement, and establishing feelings of a sense of place.
Third places, then, are “anchors” of community life and facilitate and foster broader, more creative interaction.”

We have many in our communities who don’t have a ‘second place (work)’: stay at home parents, caregivers, retirees, unemployed, people unable to work due to chronic illness, people working from home etc.
Some due to their circumstances don’t feel like they have a safe and relaxing ‘first place (home)’.
This is why it is so important that our ‘third places (social)’ are welcoming, inclusive & accessible for everyone in our communities.

“Urban planners seeking to stabilize neighborhoods are focusing on the critical role that “third places” can play in strengthening our sense of community.
Third places have a number of important community-building attributes.
Depending on their location, social classes and backgrounds can be “leveled-out” in ways that are unfortunately rare these days, with people feeling they are treated as social equals.
Informal conversation is the main activity and most important linking function. One commentator refers to third places as the “living room” of society.
Many city planning efforts to reinvigorate metropolitan neighborhoods now include specific steps to create third places, especially public spaces, to try and break down social siloes.”

“The public library is the one place, potentially the only civic place, where people are welcome to come no matter their background, their politics, their beliefs.
People who are disenfranchised, have mobility issues, are socially isolated, the very old and the very young, it can be the only comfortable place to be – and their ideas are welcome.”
“We are becoming a bastion of wellbeing and welcome for people,” says Kat Cuttriss, Hutt City Libraries manager and chair of Public Libraries of New Zealand.

“Social infrastructure provides the setting and context for social participation, and the library is among the most critical forms of social infrastructure that we have.
It’s also one of the most undervalued…Our communities are full of children whose future, will be formed in the places where they go to learn about themselves and the world they’ll inherit. They deserve palaces. Whether they get them is up to us.”
“Palaces for the People: How To Build a More Equal and United Society” by Eric Klinenberg

“Tangata ako ana i te kāenga, te tūranga ki te marae, tau ana.
A person nurtured in the community contributes strongly to society.”

When we know who we are (identity), what we need to be healthy (well-being), and the importance of a growth mindset (learning), this causes a positive ripple effect in our businesses, communities and economy.

“Inā kei te mohio koe ko wai koe, I anga mai koe i hea, kei te mohio koe. Kei te anga atu ki hea.
If you know who you are and where you are from, then you will know where you are going.”

Page 3-5: Canterbury Wellbeing Index
Page 6: Original Learning Libraries Concept

The Christchurch City Council has set the bar high on how to create architectural award winning libraries & community centres.
What if Christchurch City Council also set the example for what happens inside?
What happens inside the library has more impact on our communities. How?
By creating Learning Libraries: citizen hubs where community education is the centre & the learning spaces are utilised by the Govt/CCC/Organisations as a central outreach to the residents in the surrounding communities.
Learning Libraries are ‘schools in the community for everyone, all ages & stages of life are welcome.’

Instore demonstrations work with the flow of people in a supermarket & are positioned accordingly. Shoppers usually have one of three reactions:
1. Participate (stop & engage with demonstrator),
2. Engage (walk passed & take what is handed to them by the demonstrator),
3. Observe (watches & listens by shelves close to the demonstrator)

The same principles would work if we integrated support services into our library learning spaces:
1. Participate: support services can invite residents to learn more about their services or hold weekly/monthly meetings.
2. Engage: support services ‘demonstrators’ become a familiar face, in residents local ‘safe’ place, more accessible ‘bumping’ space.
3. Observe: residents are now aware of this support service, they might not need their help at this time or they might remember this support services & refer someone else to it.
Residents might not be comfortable approaching ‘demonstrators’ in a public place & may reach out to the support service in private.
Some residents who have trust issues, will need to see the support service or ‘demonstrator’ more than once, before they decide it is ‘safe’ to ‘participate’ or ‘engage’.


If “Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible.” (Barack Obama), why is it so hard for people who struggle to read, to get the help & support they need?
There are tools available (like the different coloured plastic in this video), so why aren’t we sharing this knowledge in our Christchurch City Libraries?


“The accessible physical space of the library is not the only factor that makes it work well as social infrastructure.
The institution’s extensive programming, organized by a professional staff that upholds a principled commitment to openness and inclusivity, fosters social cohesion among clients who might otherwise keep to themselves…
Why have so many public officials and civic leaders failed to recognize the value of libraries and their role in our social infrastructure?
Perhaps it’s because the founding principle behind the library—that all people deserve free, open access to our shared culture and heritage, which they can use to any end they see fit—is out of sync with the market logic that dominates our time…
Their core mission is to help people elevate themselves and improve their situation. Libraries do this, principally, by providing free access to the widest possible variety of cultural materials to people of all ages, from all ethnicities and groups.”
“Palaces for the People: How To Build a More Equal and United Society” by Eric Klinenberg

Libraries are usually the first place new people to an area will go to for information/help, as they are often centrally located in our communities & accessible by public transport.
Our librarians are information specialists. They are often the first public servant our babies meet & our children grow up knowing that it’s ok to ask a librarian for help.

I’ve been advocating since 2018 for a new building to be built on 10 Shirley Road, after our former Shirley Primary School/Shirley Community Centre was demolished in 2012 due to earthquake damage.

The former Shirley Community Centre was a historic building, used for Cultural, Educational and Recreational Activities.
Prior to the September 4, 2010, and February 22, 2011 earthquakes, the well-established centre was used by many community groups.
The Shirley Library (built in 1995), has become our community centre by default & is located in the carpark of The Palms mall (Burwood Ward).
The building is smaller than most ‘suburban’ libraries in Christchurch, with the Shirley Library, Service Centre/NZ Post & Coastal-Burwood Governance unit sharing this space.
Page 1-2: Identity, Well-being, Learning, Shirley Library & 10 Shirley Road


There is no suburban library in the Innes Ward. The ward boundary size will decrease in the October 2022 elections, due to the population increase in social housing & infill housing in these areas.
Page 6, ReVision Youth Audit Shirley Library
Shirley Library is still considered the second busiest suburban library in Christchurch, even without dedicated learning spaces (limited after school/holiday programmes) & meeting rooms.
“It [South] is the third-busiest suburban library, behind Fendalton and Shirley, with 4552 weekly visitors.”

From a potential disaster/civil defence point of view, a standalone civic building at 10 Shirley Road, opposite our largest school (Shirley Primary) would also provide a central emergency location (with solar panels & rainwater harvesting system).
The Palms was closed for over six months due to earthquake repairs. Fences and containers at Shirley Library: https://canterburystories.nz/collections/community/ginahubert/ccl-cs-22611
“Building Community Resilience: Learning from the Canterbury earthquakes”, Appendix 2: Shirley Case Study Report, Page 73-85

The communities around Shirley Road have been waiting since 2012 for a new building to be built on 10 Shirley Road.
Why has the Christchurch City Council deferred funding this until 2030/31?

Please let me know if you have any questions,

Joanna Gould

(updated daily with research/ideas/organisations/shared posts)

P.S. I forgot to sending this link in my email, to my Shirley Centre research from 2019, on why a new building at 10 Shirley Road is important, a need not a want:

Think: Christchurch with Hila Oren

Thank you Facebook AI engine for suggesting I go to this event:

Think: Christchurch with Hila Oren
The Piano: Centre for Music and the Arts
Monday, 10th September 2018
“The following guest speakers will be joining our ‘Thinker in Residence’ on the stage to share their thoughts on how Christchurch, a city of explorers, could leverage our unique selling point.
Simon Hunter | KPMG, Nigel Watson | NZ Antarctic Heritage Trust, Jasina Gurung and Thomas Akolo | Linwood College, Lianne Dalziel | Christchurch Mayor and Tim Loftus | ChristchurchNZ

“Are you an explorer? We think most people from Christchurch are. Come along and hear from some talented and passionate people about where they think being a city of explorers could take Christchurch.”

Christchurch on progressive path
“Christchurch’s first ‘thinker in residence’ believes the city is moving in the right direction. Ms Oren, who is the chief executive of the Tel Aviv Foundation, is considered a global leader in creating a city’s narrative, supporting entrepreneurialism and philanthropy.

She has been brought back to the city for two months by the Christchurch Foundation as the first ‘thinker in residence’ to engage with city leaders, charities and social enterprises on several projects. She has shared her infectious enthusiasm for ‘city making’ at this week’s Think Christchurch workshop, delivering a thought-provoking keynote address.

Ms Oren heard about Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s expeditions when she was on a leadership programme at Harvard University in the United States.
‘You need to celebrate your links to history and tell the stories of Shackleton, Edmund Hillary, New Zealand’s suffrage leader, Kate Sheppard, and others who have played such a huge part in what your city is today,’ she says.

‘Explorers from all over the world should want to touch Christchurch’s spirit to inspire them.’
‘As to the future, your city is at a crucial stage of considering ‘where to, now’. Even just bringing me from the other side of the world to help you think through ideas demonstrates that you are bold in taking the next step.'”

Elevating the City’s Quality of Life
Education | Arts & Culture | Social Services | Innovation | Environment
Building Knowledge | Speaker Series 2017/18 | Hila Oren

My Story…
For me the “Think: Christchurch” event, was inspiring and encouraging, listening to the guest speakers speaking my language, using words I use, talking about a vision for Christchurch similar to mine.
I am a Christchurch resident ‘thinker’. I went to the above event because I have a creative growth mindset. I’ve been listening/learning/researching and creating ideas to help our community.

During this week I’ve read articles/comments regarding this event and listened to: ‘What does a thinker in residence do?’ Chris Lynch/NewstalkZB asked Christchurch Foundation chief executive Amy Carter.
The irony is that without ‘thinkers’ sharing their thoughts on talkback radio, this radio show wouldn’t exist as it does, the ‘thinkers’ help provide the content.
‘Thinkers’ have value and add value to our communities.

When I started with this ‘project’ https://www.10shirleyroad.org.nz/imagine/ in April 2018, I didn’t have a clue where this journey would take me.

In May 2018 I presented my verbal submission ‘You Are Here’ to the Christchurch City Council’s 2018 Long Term Plan, for the rebuild of the Shirley Community Centre, to create a multi-cultural centre as a ‘Gateway to the East.’

Afterwards I went to the Christchurch Art Gallery for the first time.
I walked through the exhibitions admiring all the artworks, and then I found ‘Our Collection: 19th and 20th Century New Zealand Art’.
The saying goes ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’, but standing in front of the Māori portraits, the 3 words that came into my mind were: ‘Tell Our Stories’.

I had been given a map of the Art Gallery, and as I was looking for the name of the Māori portraits exhibition, another name jumped out at me ‘You Are Here’.
It took me awhile to find this in the Outer Spaces. It is a signpost.
“- looking at the influences these artists had drawn on
– related to distance/directions from these artworks to this location
– how isolated we are in NZ and how we draw on influences from outside
– you are here, and what are you going to do about it?
– a challenge to the people of Christchurch post earthquakes”

Christchurch, The Garden City, known for its English heritage, Avon River, Botanic Gardens, Christchurch Cathedral…
“The city suffered a series of earthquakes between September 2010 and early 2012, with the most destructive of them occurring at 12.51 p.m. on Tuesday, 22 February 2011, in which 185 people were killed and thousands of buildings across the city collapsed or suffered severe damage. By late 2013, 1,500 buildings in the city had been demolished, leading to an ongoing recovery and rebuilding project.”

Post earthquakes the people in the East have been waiting/fighting for repairs/rebuilds, our footpaths/roads are ‘munted’, some of our schools have been closed/relocated, and our mental health/well-being has suffered.

The quintessential photo Hila captured of the girls dressed in kilts, walking to school through the trees and daffodils, had me thinking.
– Why was this image important?
– How many of us have driven passed the same scene and thought nothing of it?
– Did you notice their school uniforms? How are they designed?
– Are the girls just talking? Or are they making connections that will last them a lifetime?

Hila is right, we need to start appreciating what we do have.
We need to reframe some of the stories we have been telling ourselves.
Yes the earthquakes happened in Christchurch, we can learn from them and share our learning with others around the world, but they aren’t our identity.

Christchurch is still ‘The Garden City’.
How many photos did you see on social media this weekend, of people admiring the cherry blossom trees in full bloom around Hagley Park?

Yes we are explorers, it is in our DNA, and in our school uniforms (logos, kilts, Māori designs).
Our roots go back to the brave explorers, our Māori people and those who travelled on the First Four Ships. They went on a journey to discover the unknown, to learn more about the world and the new lands they would find.

Standing in the foyer during the break at this event, I was reminded again as we introduced ourselves, a person’s identity in Christchurch is connected to ‘what school did you go to?’

Learning is part of our Christchurch identity.
Our communities are centered around our schools.
Our education connects us to social networks/employment.
We value learning and the places it can take us.
“The MORE that you READ. The more THINGS you will KNOW. The MORE you LEARN. The more PLACES you’ll GO!” – Dr. Seuss

Q. Why is identity, well-being and learning important for our people?
A. When we know who we are (identity), what we need to be healthy (well-being), and the importance of a growth mindset (learning), this causes a positive ripple effect in our businesses, communities and economy.

Through my research I realised the ideas I had created, had a common theme: learning.
Shirley Community Centre: library with learning spaces available for anyone in the community to use
Sutton’s Place: arts/crafts community with learning spaces for local/overseas teachers to provide classes/workshops/retreats, opportunity to learn about W. A. (Bill) Sutton and his teaching/artworks and house/garden
Māori Heritage Park: indoor/outdoor learning spaces for Māori architecture/arts/crafts, opportunities to learn about the Māori language/culture/stories/legends
River Bank Centre: research/design/technology hub with learning spaces to inspire/educate with STEAM, opportunity to see startup/innovation businesses and to learn about Richard Bedward Owen and why he was called ‘River Bank’ Owen.

Q. Why do we need these types of learning facilities in the East?
To inspire/educate the children/teenagers living in the East, who now have fewer options for schools, and limited access to continued learning outside of the schools.
We need to open the eyes of every child in Christchurch to what is possible through learning.
In the south of Christchurch, children/teenagers see those attending Ara Institute of Canterbury.
In the west of Christchurch, children/teenagers see those attending the University of Canterbury.

Our access to knowledge and where our locals have gathered since the earthquakes, is currently hidden in the car park of The Palms, as our Shirley Library.
I see the 10 Shirley Road site (opposite Shirley Primary School) for the rebuild of the Shirley Community Centre, as an opportunity to show our children/teenagers that continued learning is possible once they leave school, and to inspire them to become ‘explorers’ and pursue their dreams.
The rebuild of the Shirley Community Centre represents laying a new foundation stone as the ‘Gateway to the East’, that says ‘we value our children and we value their learning’.
Hila Oren is right ‘it starts with our children’.

“Tangata ako ana i te kāenga, te tūranga ki te marae, tau ana.
A person nurtured in the community contributes strongly to society.”

We do need to ‘reframe our mindset’. We don’t need to rebuild our communities back to what they were pre earthquakes.
Post earthquakes we have the opportunity to tell the unique stories of our local people, to inspire/educate a new generation, leave a legacy for the generations to come, and to create new spaces/places/attractions, for the local/New Zealand/overseas ‘explorers’.

We need to move forward from ‘Think: Christchurch’ to ‘Get Creative Christchurch’!

“Think: Christchurch with Hila Oren” Post | Links
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdaobm0f85w Building Knowledge | Speaker Series 2017/18
https://www.ccc.govt.nz/news-and-events/newsline/show/2980 Christchurch on progressive path
https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/106961822/let-it-go-global-thinker-tells-christchurch ‘Let it go’, global thinker tells Christchurch