Toi Ōtautahi Christchurch Arts Strategy

Q. What does “Toi Ōtautahi – Strategy for Arts and Creativity in Ōtautahi Christchurch” have to do with a new centre being built at 10 Shirley Road?
A. “In Christchurch, we have many different opportunities to ‘observe’ the arts/creativity, but few opportunities to ‘participate’ in the arts/creativity, for our identity, well-being & learning.
We need arts/creativity access for all ages and stages of life, for every resident and every visitor to Christchurch. Shirley Centre: inclusive centre, library with learning spaces, available for anyone in the community to use.”

Toi Ōtautahi – Strategy for Arts and Creativity in Ōtautahi Christchurch

Item 19. Toi Ōtautahi – Strategy for Arts and Creativity in Ōtautahi Christchurch
https://christchurch.infocouncil.biz/Open/2019/08/CNCL_20190822_AGN_3376_AT.PDF
– Pages 201 to 209, Council Staff Report
– Pages 210 to 223, Toi Ōtautahi – Final
– Pages 224 to 264, Toi Ōtautahi – Submissions*
* My submission is on Pages 245 to 250.
CCCDraftArtsStrategyJune2019JoannaGould.pdf

CCC Draft Annual Plan 2019

My submission is in support of building/requesting funding for a new community facility/citizen hub at 10 Shirley Road, Richmond, Christchurch.
Shirley Centre, opposite Shirley Primary School. New Inclusive Centre with: Shirley Library | Learning Spaces | Service Centre. Supporting our communities: Identity | Well-being | Learning.

Christchurch City Council Draft Annual Plan 2019 – Joanna Gould

https://christchurch.infocouncil.biz/Open/2019/04/CAPL_20190430_AGN_3710_AT.PDF, Pages 202-230

CCC Draft Annual Plan 2019 | Submission .pdfs by Joanna Gould
Update for the Christchurch City Council Draft Annual Plan 2019-2020.
Feasibility Study for Shirley Community Centre & Community Facilities Network Plan.

CCC Draft Annual Plan 2019 | Ali Jones, Papanui-Innes Community Board
https://christchurch.infocouncil.biz/Open/2019/04/CAPL_20190430_AGN_3710_AT.PDF, Pages 47-51
https://www.ccc.govt.nz/assets/Documents/The-Council/Community-Boards/Plans/Papanui-Innes-Community-Board-Plan.pdf, 2017-2019

Christchurch City Council Draft Annual Plan 2019
Ali Jones, Papanui-Innes Community Board, 10 Shirley Road @ 11:00 minutes

CCC Shirley Community Reserve Feedback

https://ccc.govt.nz/the-council/consultations-and-submissions/haveyoursay/show/252

Do you support the landscape plan for the Shirley Community Reserve pump track and multi-use concrete table?: No
Do you have any comments on the plan?: I do support Shannon’s request for a permanent pump track to be located within MacFarlane Park, which is why I got involved and emailed the Papanui-Innes Community Board.
I do not support the landscape plan or the proposed temporary “modular” pump track being purchased/installed on 10 Shirley Road.
https://www.10shirleyroad.org.nz/proposed-pump-track-for-shirley/
https://www.10shirleyroad.org.nz/papanui-innes-skate-facilities/
https://www.10shirleyroad.org.nz/ccc-shirley-community-reserve-consultation/

Petition: Shirley Primary School students asked for a skate park in MacFarlane Park, not Richmond. Shirley residents have been asking the Papanui-Innes Board since 2001 for this facility, and up until now their requests have been ignored.
After the Board’s decision to accept the Council report, the student who presented the petition was quoted in the local newspaper: “temporary [modular] pump track is not the option he wants”.

Consultation: This consultation does not address the issue: that Shirley will still have no local skate facilities, for local children who are unable to travel outside of their neighbourhood. (1)
The consultation info asks two leading questions for a desired outcome, and doesn’t include any info regarding the actual location (Shirley Community Reserve = 10 Shirley Road, former Shirley Community Centre), costs, or noise/safety issues, so residents can make an informed decision.

Location: Shirley Community Reserve is in Richmond. The reserve does not have toilets. The closest toilets are at Jebson Street, by the flying fox at MacFarlane Park South Playground. This location is also where I suggested a permanent track could be made by adapting the path that goes around the flying fox. It is also the location of the Shirley Community Garden, and the main thoroughfare for Shirley children walking to and from Shirley Primary School. (2)

Type of Track: “Project Brief: Tracks can be permanent or modular design. In this case a modular design is preferred allowing for future relocation.” (3)
The Board has the opportunity to finally provide Shirley children with a permanent skate facility in their local MacFarlane Park, but the original Council report was based on a “modular” pump track design only.
“A location near Jebson Street beside the flying fox, toilets and Shirley Community Gardens was also considered, however, this has a separation of 25m between residents and the [modular] pump track. Further noise information would be required if this site was preferred over the site near Emmett Street.” (4)

Noise Issues: “The Environmental Health team have recommended that Council engage an independent noise engineer to test a modular pump track at Burwood and use readings to suggest a suitable distance [40m] between the proposed [modular] pump track and residents to ensure compliance with the District Plan.” (3)
I accept that the proposed “modular” pump track cannot be located in MacFarlane Park, Shirley, due to the above noise issues/setback required, relating to the 11 modular track section joins.
But a permanent track is basically a very bumpy asphalt footpath and wouldn’t have the same restrictions/setback requirements. Noise from the flying fox hasn’t been an issue, so why would there be a problem with noise from a permanent track?

Safety Issues: “Motorists running red lights on a signalised pedestrian crossing Shirley Rd [between Shirley Community Reserve and Shirley Primary School] have posed a major threat to pupils.” (5)
The Board has been aware of safety issues with the lights/crossing on Shirley Road since 2017, when I emailed my concerns/suggestions (which included delaying the pedestrian crossing signal change phase).
Local children in Shirley know there is an “invisible boundary line”, they are free to play unsupervised, as long as they don’t cross the major roads and stay within MacFarlane Park.
The proposed pump track will be mainly used after school and on the weekends, when the crossing lights (red light runners) from Shirley Primary to 10 Shirley Road, will not be supervised by a teacher.
If the proposed location is approved by the Board, Shirley children will be forced to cross a busy main road, Shirley Road, with known safety issues.

Environmental Issues: “[Christchurch City Council] have declared climate change emergencies and pledged to take urgent action to reduce their carbon emissions.” (6)
The Board is considering purchasing a “modular” pump track which is imported from overseas. The local businesses that created the #detour Gap Filler project on Manchester Street, could create a permanent skate track in MacFarlane Park, less expensive and less carbon emissions.

Shirley Community: “An east Christchurch suburb overlooked since the earthquakes is close to breaking point, community leaders say. Papanui-Innes Community Board chairwoman Ali Jones told a council submissions hearing on Monday Shirley was in dire need of new community facilities, but had been largely left out of the Christchurch City Council’s draft 10-year budget. “Our ward has been forgotten in many ways, particularly the Shirley area – an area that is in the east but not in the east we hear so much about.” “The community is close to breaking point. They need a place to meet, to gather, to mend.” (7) 30th April 2018

Papanui-Innes Community Board Plan 2017-2019:
“Strong Communities | Board Priorities: (for the next two years) Develop a ten year plan for the area at 10 Shirley Road for community use. The plan will be considered in the Long Term Plan. The rebuild of a community centre on the land at 10 Shirley Road is designed and commenced.
Strong Communities | We will measure our success by: Development of a ten year plan for the area at 10 Shirley Road and consideration in the Long Term Plan. This may include, among other items, a children’s playground, community gardens and a community centre. A community board community working party commencing to work with technical staff to design and begin the rebuild of a community facility at 10 Shirley Road.
Prosperous economy | Board Priorities: (for the next two years) Successful rebuild of the 10 Shirley Road.
Prosperous economy | We will measure our success by: Commencement of the rebuild of the 10 Shirley Road Community Centre.” (8)

As a community we need to ask ourselves whether we want temporary facilities as part of our children’s childhood memories?
Or whether we should be investing in building permanent facilities? Facilities that enliven our community, and rise up a sense of identity and well-being through the memories created, when our children connect with our community spaces.

Links:
(1) http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK0303/S00015/new-skate-facility-planned-for-mcfarlane-park.htm
(2) MacFarlane Park South Playground https://goo.gl/maps/gGXTAKXf5hmvJrwy7
(3) 2018/19 Capital Endowment Fund Application Decision Matrix: https://christchurch.infocouncil.biz/Open/2019/03/CNCL_20190328_AGN_3367_AT.htm#PDF3_Attachment_22966_2
(4) Modular Pump Track Shirley Report: https://christchurch.infocouncil.biz/Open/2018/12/PICB_20181207_AGN_2446_AT.htm
(5) https://www.star.kiwi/2017/08/red-light-runners-thwarted-by-signal-phase-change/
(6) https://www.ccc.govt.nz/news-and-events/newsline/show/3614
(7) https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/103484014/christchurch-suburb-overlooked-since-the-earthquakes-community-leaders-say
(8) https://www.ccc.govt.nz/assets/Documents/The-Council/Community-Boards/Plans/Papanui-Innes-Community-Board-Plan.pdf

Where would you prefer the multi-use table to be located?: Other location (please describe below)
Comments – Please be as specific as possible: There has been much debate online and in the local papers questioning the cost and safety issues (concrete table near playground, wayward ping pong balls near a busy main road) of this proposed multi-use table.
Since these debates, a wooden picnic table has been anonymously placed in the Shirley Community Reserve.
The seating/picnic table that the resident original asked the Board for, has been kindly donated by someone in our community.
There is no need to purchase this concrete multi-use table and concrete seating.

CCC Shirley Community Reserve Consultation

Below are some key points regarding the CCC Shirley Community Reserve Consultation (modular pump track and multi-purpose concrete table/seating, 10 Shirley Road, Richmond, former Shirley Community Centre site).
Children’s Petition:
– Thirty Shirley Primary School students signed/presented a petition to the Papanui-Innes Community Board to ask for a skate park in MacFarlane Park, Shirley. (August 2018)
– After the Board’s decision, the student who presented the petition was quoted in the local newspaper: “temporary [modular] pump track is not the option he wants”. (December 2018)
Council Report:
– “Project Brief: Tracks can be permanent or modular design. In this case a modular design is preferred allowing for future relocation.” (see ‘Funding’ Decision Matrix link below)
– Only a Modular track option was considered. A Permanent track option was not considered.
– “A location near Jebson Street beside the flying fox, toilets and Shirley Community Gardens was also considered, however, this has a separation of 25m between residents and the pump track. Further noise information would be required if this site was preferred over the site near Emmett Street.”
– “There is currently no funding available in the 2018 – 2028 Long Term Plan.”
– “There is a risk that if the Community Board decide to do nothing that the [Shirley] community will continue to demand this type of facility.”
Funding:
– Council staff recommended a 2021 – 2031 Long Term Plan bid for funding.
– The Board “request that the Parks Team explore alternative funding to action the project within the financial year.”
– 2018/19 Capital Endowment Fund Application, Decision Matrix: https://christchurch.infocouncil.biz/Open/2019/03/CNCL_20190328_AGN_3367_AT.htm#PDF3_Attachment_22966_2
Proposed Location:
– Shirley Community Reserve, is at 10 Shirley Road, Richmond, the site of the former Shirley Community Centre.
– The reserve does not have toilets. The closest toilets are at Jebson Street, https://goo.gl/maps/gGXTAKXf5hmvJrwy7, by the flying fox at MacFarlane Park South Playground.
– The Council/Board/staff are currently discussing future plans for the 10 Shirley Road site.
– The “Richmond Community Needs Analysis” has been received by the Board.
– The “Community Facilities Network Plan” has been received by the Council Committee, and is currently in ‘Public Excluded Items’.
https://christchurch.infocouncil.biz/Open/2019/06/SOC_20190612_MIN_3838_AT.htm#PDF2_ReportName_23695
Noise Issues:
– The Environmental Health team have recommended that Council engage an independent noise engineer to test a modular pump track at Burwood and use readings to suggest a suitable distance [40m] between the proposed [modular] pump track and residents to ensure compliance with the District Plan.
– The Modular pump track cannot be located in MacFarlane Park, Shirley, due to the above noise issues, relating to the 11 modular track section joins.
Safety Issues:
– “Motorists running red lights on a signalised pedestrian crossing Shirley Rd [between Shirley Community Reserve and Shirley Primary School] have posed a major threat to pupils.”
– The Board have been aware of safety issues with the lights/crossing on Shirley Road since 2017, when I emailed my concerns/suggestions (which included delaying the pedestrian crossing signal change phase).
Proposed Track:
– $81,000 Quadragon Modular Pump Track (48m track, 20.7m long, 10.3m wide, track width approx 1.2m)
– $1,050 Noise test of existing pump track at the corner of Brooker Avenue and New Brighton Road, Burwood (to ensure pump track proposed at Shirley Community Reserve complies with the noise standards of the District Plan)
– $5,000 Development of concept plan for community engagement and project management fees
– $200 per annum required for two years (monthly cleaning, maintenance and inspection)
– The pump track is imported from overseas, so exchange rates may result in an increase in cost.
– The expected life span of the modular pump track is 10 years.
– $16,400 for site works [same cost to relocate track to the next site], which includes temporary fencing, excavating 50mm of top surface, installing timber edging and peg’s, supply of geo-textile and compacted GAP20 (fine gravel). This is for an area of 209m2.
Proposed Table:
– Cost: $5,000 for concrete multi-purpose table. Extra cost for concrete seating/benches.
– “A resident from the Richmond area spoke to the Community Board regarding concerns over the condition of the 10 Shirley Road site. The resident felt the site was overgrown and untidy and that there was a lack of seating in the area.”
– John Stringer and Mike Davidson (Innes Ward) requested that their vote against the decision [to purchase a concrete multipurpose table] be recorded.
– There has been much debate online and in the local papers questioning the cost and safety issues (concrete table near playground, wayward ping pong balls near a busy main road).
– A table tennis table needs approx 2 metres behind each end of the table, and 1 metre each side of the table, to be able to play table tennis.
– Since the debate, a wooden picnic table has been anonymously placed in the Shirley Community Reserve.
– The seating/picnic table that the resident original asked the Board for, has been kindly donated by someone in our community.
Shirley Residents:
– Shirley Primary School students asked for a skate park in MacFarlane Park. Shirley residents have been asking the Board since 2001, and they still have no local skate facilities, for local children unable to travel outside of their neighbourhood.
– If the proposed location is approved by the Board, Shirley children will be forced to cross a busy main road, Shirley Road, with known safety issues.
– ‘Shirley Needs Analysis (2001)’, recommended the development of skateboard facilities in MacFarlane Park.
– In response to requests from Shirley residents, a skate path is being planned for MacFarlane Park next to the flying fox on Jebson St. (2003)
– “Other parks were also considered but are outside of the community focus area and would not cater for local children unable to travel outside of their [Shirley] neighbourhood.” (2004)
– ‘Shirley MacFarlane Park Community Concept Plan (2005-2008), recommended the development of skateboard facilities in MacFarlane Park.
– “Shannon’s question was ‘Do you want a Scooter, Skate and Bike Park for Shirley? We want to ask the Christchurch City Council if we can put one in at MacFarlane Park.’” (2018)
– I contacted the design/construction business involved with the Gap Filler #detour pump track on Manchester Street. A ballpark figure for a permanent track/path around the flying fox in MacFarlane Park/Jebson Street: “for the $71,000 for the modular pump track you will get a pretty good asphalt pump track, potentially up to 140 square metres worth maybe even more depending on how complex of a design you are looking at”.
Richmond Residents:
– There are noise issues related to this modular pump track design, see ‘Noise Issues’ above.
– The proposed pump track/multi purpose table location, is very visible from Shirley Road, and could attract anti-social behaviour into this area, especially at night.
– This is not a permanent facility. This is a temporary facility, to activate the 10 Shirley Road site, and then it will be relocated to another suburb.
– If you look at the Landscape Plan (on the left hand side), at the back of the Shirley Community Reserve, there are already existing ‘permanent asphalt’ paths running along in front of Dudley Creek.
St Albans Residents:
– Staff have received requests from youth previously around extending the [St Albans] skate park, including a request from youth in 2014 and a request in March 2017 for an extension of the [St Albans] skate park to include building a skate bowl.
– A group of 16 children from St Albans School presented their design ideas for a planned extension to the St Albans skate park to Council staff members who were invited to attend a meeting at the school. (May 2019)
– Community suggestions will soon be sent to the skate park designer. We hope to hold public consultation on a draft plan [St Albans Skate Park Extension] by November [2019].
Papanui Ward Residents:
– Community leaders are pushing for more facilities for young people in the Christchurch suburb of Papanui. ‘Both Papanui and Redwood are missing a good outdoor youth recreational facility and potentially we may need to look at two facilities in the Papanui ward.’ (2017)
– Sites in the Papanui Ward have been identified for a skate park but it could be up to 12 years before anyone gets to use it.
– No money was available for the project in the council budget, but the community board planned to lobby to get money included in the council’s 10-year budget, the Long Term Plan, to be considered next year [2018].

For more background information/research links/timeline:
https://www.riseuprichmond.nz/proposed-pump-track-for-shirley/
https://www.riseuprichmond.nz/papanui-innes-skate-facilities/

Here is the link to the “Have Your Say” CCC Shirley Community Reserve Consultation:
https://ccc.govt.nz/the-council/consultations-and-submissions/haveyoursay/show/252
Here is the link to the landscape plan for the Shirley Community Reserve pump track and multi-use concrete table:
https://ccc.govt.nz/assets/Images/Consultation/2019/06-June/Shirley-Pump-Track/Plans.pdf
Q. Do you support the landscape plan for the Shirley Community Reserve pump track and multi-use concrete table?
A. Yes, No, Do you have any comments on the plan?
Q. Where would you prefer the multi-use table to be located?
A. Location A, Location B, Other location (please describe below), Comments – Please be as specific as possible

Open for feedback: 1st July 2019 – 29th July 2019

Shirley Centre Q & A

Below are some of the commonly asked questions I’ve been asked over the last year:

Q. Is the 10 Shirley Road site the best place for a community centre?
Yes. The new Shirley centre needs to be on Shirley Road. Our Shirley Library needs to be on Shirley Road.
This is part of our identity as a community. This location has had an “educational” facility here since 1915.
This location is opposite our biggest primary school, Shirley Primary. Kidsfirst Kindergartens MacFarlane Park is to the north, with Kidsfirst Kindergartens Richmond to the south, and Kidsfirst Kindergartens Shirley to the east.
Shirley Playcentre is already part of this location, and there are other preschools/centres on Shirley Road.
Plenty of Off Street Parking: Cnr Hills Road & Shirley Road Shopping Centre, pathway from car park to Slater Street, following Dudley Creek; Shirley Road; Slater Street; Chancellor Street, bridge over Dudley Creek by the Shirley Playcentre; Julius Terrace; and Stapletons Road.
Bus stops are located outside 10 Shirley Road, and across the road, by Shirley Primary School.
– Orange Line: Halswell>Addington>Christchurch Hospital>Bus Interchange>The Palms>Burwood Hospital>Queenspark
– The Orbiter: Eastgate Shopping Centre>St Martins>Barrington Mall>Westfield Riccarton>University of Canterbury>Northlands>The Palms>Eastgate Shopping Centre
– 100 Wigram/The Palms via Riccarton: Halswell>Wigram>Church Corner>University of Canterbury>Westfield Riccarton>Merivale Mall>The Palms (www.10shirleyroad.org.nz/where/).
More Housing NZ developments are being built in Shirley/Richmond. Private/Commercial property developers are building more “higher density” housing in Shirley/Richmond.

Q. Why do we need another community centre?
We don’t. The old school ‘community centre’ model is out dated. The ‘community centre’ model is a ‘one size fits all’ centre. They cater for a specific group of people with targeted activities. They can appear ‘closed’, as they only look ‘open’ when activities are on. They can be intimidating for newcomers. Open hours, activity choices, faith based, personality differences can lead to residents feeling judged/excluded.
Libraries with learning spaces are the new ‘community centre’ model (www.10shirleyroad.org.nz/this-is-what-a-librarian-looks-like/).
“Public places on neutral ground where people can gather and interact. In contrast to first places (home) and second places (work), third places allow people to put aside their concerns and simply enjoy the company and conversation around them.” “third places are the heart of a community’s social vitality. Providing the foundation for a functioning democracy, these spaces promote social equity by leveling the status of guests, providing a setting for grassroots politics, creating habits of public association, and offering psychological support to individuals and communities.”
Ray Oldenburg (www.pps.org/article/roldenburg)
As part of my feedback on the Draft OARC Regeneration Plan, I created this “Community Needs” post (www.riseuprichmond.nz/draft-oarc-regeneration-plan-community-needs/) which includes:
Why are Identity, Well-being, & Learning important?; How can we “Get Creative Christchurch”?; Shirley Research by Joanna Gould; Richmond Research by Joanna Gould; Dallington Research by Joanna Gould; Social Isolation And Older People In Canterbury; An Inventory of Community-led and Non-governmental Organisations and Initiatives in Post-earthquake Canterbury (to September 2013); Community Needs Profile For East Christchurch for Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Plan.
My “Community Needs: Community Centres” post (www.riseuprichmond.nz/community-needs-community-centres/) outlines my research shows the need for two community centres:
– OARC Regeneration Plan Idea for Shirley/Richmond by Joanna Gould: “Shirley/Richmond, new Community Centre at 10 Shirley Road opposite Shirley Primary School, includes Shirley Library, Learning Spaces, Service Centre, sell Shirley Library building at The Palms.”
– OARC Regeneration Plan Idea for Dallington/Burwood/Avondale by Joanna Gould: “Dallington/Burwood/Avondale, new Community Centre at 255 New Brighton Road close to All Saints Church, includes Coastal-Burwood Governance Unit more central to their residents, small Meeting/Learning spaces with kitchen, Service Centre, Volunteer Library similar to Redcliffs Village Library, sell Shirley Library building at The Palms.”
– CCC Shirley The Palms Commercial Centre (2017): https://ccc.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Culture-Community/Stats-and-facts-on-Christchurch/Community-Ward-Profiles/Commercial-Centre-Factsheets/Shirley-The-Palms.pdf

Q. Why are you suggesting we move the Shirley Library to the 10 Shirley Road site?
The Shirley Library was built in 1996 (23 years old). In 2008 it was reported “Future need for more service capability. Space required to develop service for learning services to support need in the community.”
The Land Use Recovery Plan in December 2013 “[Shirley suburb] identified as a key activity centres for business and community which aligns with the planning for new and retention of libraries in these areas.”
Does the current Shirley Library and Service Centre align with the Libraries 2025 Facilities Plan (May 2015)?
– Libraries will foster local communities’ wellbeing by providing accessible meeting places and focal points for the community, learning and leisure activities.
– Library facilities will embrace the cultural diversity of local communities.
– The Plan will reflect Council’s commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi by reflecting an understanding of and respect for the needs of the Tangata Whenua.
– Architecturally designed buildings will generate community pride and reflect the diversity of local cultures and lifestyles.
– Urban Design Protocol: The value of public buildings such as libraries is emphasised in the Urban Design Protocol (which Christchurch City Council is a signatory to): they protect the cultural identity and heritage of our towns and cities; provide creativity; and add social, environmental and cultural benefits by creating well connected, inclusive and accessible places.
– Library Facilities: Important, central meeting place and focal point in a community; Open, spacious, welcoming environment; warm place to be in winter; vital social contact for many (especially older persons); place to meet (café) and relax with children and friends or family; Outstanding location (e.g. overlooking ocean, park setting), source of community pride, for the building and the resources available; Free learning environment; provider of ‘second chance’ opportunities for adults wanting to learn; Provider of general services, e.g. photocopiers, internet, community/local information.
– Location Preferences: Near local shops/supermarket/mall/bank/medical centre/schools/playground/toy library; malls and aquatic facilities not seen as highly desirable areas for co-location or as adjacent locations; co-location with a Council service centre favoured; On bus route/near transport hubs; handy walking distance from home, easily accessed, free, plentiful car parking adjacent to library; Attractive street visibility. (www.10shirleyroad.org.nz/chch-libraries/)

Q. Why do we need Learning Spaces in a library?
“Shirley and Parklands Libraries: these do not have dedicated ‘learning’ spaces. They have spaces that are able to be used for programming and events as part of the library footprint.
– Shirley hosted 416 programmes with 9,381 participants, Parklands hosted 260 programmes with 3,800 participants.
– Aranui Library has a dedicated whānau room which is a multi-purpose space. The Library hosted 433 programmes with 5,213 participants. The Programme statistics for Sumner saw 106 sessions hosted with 2,322 participants.”
(LGOIMA request, Library Plans/Learning Space Participants, November 2018)
If “Shirley hosted 416 programmes with 9,381 participants” without dedicated ‘learning’ spaces, what opportunities could they offer the communities if they did?
I was first inspired by the open learning spaces (www.getcreativechristchurch.nz/learning-spaces/) in the new building at Shirley Primary School. Then after attending the Ministry of Awesome: ‘Coffee & Jam’ sessions at the EPIC Innovation Campus, I thought wouldn’t it be a great opportunity to invite guest speakers from all the different Government agencies, organisations, community groups, support services, community workers to come & ‘introduce’ themselves to the community, in a non-threatening way that was accessible for all, through the learning spaces at the library, so they become more than a name, approachable familiar faces to the residents of our communities.

Q. Why not just leave the 10 Shirley Road site as a park?
The World Health Organisation’s definition of health says that it is ‘more than the absence of disease’; it is ‘a state of complete physical, social and mental wellbeing’.”
(www.getcreativechristchurch.nz/well-being/)
In focusing so much on our physical health, we have been neglecting our ‘social and mental wellbeing’.
We already have enough parks in this area with: St Albans Park to the west, Westminster Park to the north-west, MacFarlane Park to the north, Burwood Park to the east, Richmond Park to the south-east, Petrie Park to the south.

Q. What is one word to describe your idea, that represents your “why” this centre is needed?
Inclusive. “The definition of inclusive is something that does not leave any part or group out.”
Libraries are inclusive by design. Every age/stage/race/religion/beliefs/values is catered for, within the words of the books, and the information you find online.
Anyone can go into a library, find a book that they can identity with: who they are, their beliefs, their values & their circumstances in life.
Libraries are not just for books, they empower people. You don’t have to wait on a waiting list for help. You can help yourself by asking a librarian for guidance to find the book/information you need. Librarians show us that it’s ok to ask for help, it’s ok to ask questions there. They are a safe place to teach children social skills. And for some they are a second opportunity for education.