“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?

Shirley Library Engineering Report

Aurecon Shirley Library Quantitative Engineering Evaluation

https://christchurch.infocouncil.biz/Open/2022/07/PICB_20220715_AGN_7649_AT.PDF, Page 124 & 125

13. Waipapa Papanui-Innes Community Board Area Report – July 2022
3. Community Support, Governance and Partnership Activity
3.5 Governance Advice

3.5.4 Public Participation
Deputation on Shirley Community Reserve
The Board received a deputation advocating for relocating and upgrading Shirley Library to be part of a community centre suggested to be sited on Shirley Community Reserve.

3.5.6 Board Requests
Shirley Library
Further to receiving the deputation advocating for relocating and upgrading Shirley Library to the Shirley Community Reserve site, the Board requested to see the engineering report for Shirley Library, receiving advice after its last meeting that:
As the building strength is greater than 67%, it is not considered at risk of being earthquake prone.

From an asset, sustainability and lifecycle approach, Shirley Library is currently in good physical condition, having undergone capital works in 2020 and also received works to HVAC systems in 2014.
The building is currently in the first third of its useful life.

Council would not anticipate significant capital works to occur in the next five years based on current condition and data modelling.

There is a programme of funds in the LTP for the portfolio which is allocated to the remainder of the Libraries network.

The primary services delivered from the facility include:
– Library services
– Service Centre
– NZ Post
– Governance

The recent refurbishment works ensure that the facility continues to provide value to the community and remains fit for purpose.

Continued data collection and condition monitoring will be used to help inform future decision making for this site. Physically, the asset is well positioned to respond to how these services are delivered.

The Board inquired about a re-assessment of the building given the passage of time, and related points, and received advice that the engineering assessment (completed by Aurecon) for Shirley Library (which also accommodates the Community Governance Team for the neighbouring Coastal-Burwood Board area, as being located within that area) occurred on 27 May 2013 and was determined to be 68% of the New Building Standard. Two Chartered Engineers undertook a quantitative review of the report from CERA on 6 March 2014, with further Capital works occurring in 2020.

Council’s Senior Manager Facilities and its Technical Advisor, who oversees the Council’s Earthquake-prone buildings, have reviewed the 2013 report and advise there is no need to commission another assessment of the Shirley Library.

The Technical Advisor has advised that the Library is of a Low Risk and not classified as earthquake-prone or at earthquake risk.

Board Minutes 17th June 2022

Waipapa Papanui-Innes Community Board Minutes 17th June 2022

5. Deputations by Appointment Ngā Huinga Whakaritenga
5.4 Joanna Gould – Shirley Community Reserve
Joanna Gould spoke to the Board regarding the Shirley Community Reserve as a matter discussed in Item 13, the Community Board Area Report, with a related memo attached to that Report.
Ms Gould spoke to her attached supporting links, focusing on her case that Shirley Library should be relocated and upgraded to the Shirley Community Reserve (10 Shirley Road) site, among other needs and benefits for the community that could be fulfilled through the site.
After questions from members, the Chairperson thanked Ms Gould for her presentation.
Joanna Gould’s Supporting Links:

11. Waipapa Papanui-Innes 2021-2022 Discretionary Response Fund Application – Activation of Shirley Community Reserve
That the Waipapa Papanui-Innes Community Board:
Approves a grant of $10,000 from its 2021-22 Discretionary Response Fund towards the Activation of Shirley Community Reserve project, with any unspent funds to be returned to the Waipapa Papanui-Innes Community Board’s Discretionary Response Fund.
Waipapa Papanui-Innes Community Board 17 June 2022 Matrix Shirley Community Reserve Activation:
https://christchurch.infocouncil.biz/Open/2022/06/PICB_20220617_AGN_7648_AT.PDF, Page 74
This project is about activating the Shirley Reserve with the local community. This project will collaborate with local community organisations to plan, implement, and ensure the provision of activities, events, and programmes in the park throughout the year. The project will work with the community to ensure these activities are sustainable and transferable as the park’s future is decided.
The project contributes to the well-being and prosperity of the local community.
The projects aims to have the following outcomes:
– Set up a community working group to plan and implement activations at the site.
– Build capacity of the working group in events and programme management.
– Participant Satisfaction Survey – 90% of the participants are satisfied with the events, programmes, and use of the site has increased.
– Feedback from participants and working group informs future activations at the site.

13. Waipapa Papanui-Innes Community Board Area Report – June 2022
Board Comment
A Board member recorded the staff advice, provided subsequent to the memo regarding Shirley Community Reserve (attached to the Area Report) that, dependent on the outcomes of community engagement/feedback for the Reserve, the following is at this stage set aside for these financial years, FY26 $50k, FY27 $50k, FY28 $500k, FY29 $500k, within 61782 Programme – Community Parks
New Development (the advice further noting that: however, this will be reviewed in the next Long Term Plan as it was initially proposed for a major park facility such as a skate-park, but this will depend on decisions regarding the community centre).

14. Elected Members’ Information Exchange Te Whakawhiti Whakaaro o Te Kāhui Amorangi
14.3 Shirley Library Engineering Report
The Board requested a copy of the most recent engineering report for Shirley Library, and that staff include a summary of information relating to any potential repairs/rebuild requirements.

“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:

Shirley Community Reserve Memo

13. Waipapa Papanui-Innes Community Board Area Report – June 2022
3. Community Support, Governance and Partnership Activity
3.1 Community Governance Projects
Activity: Shirley Community Reserve Activation
Detail: Staff are investigating options (Attachment A) for the activation of the site further to the Board’s site visit and follow up discussion of the Youth Audit Workshop.
On 18 May 2022, Council staff (local Community Development Adviser, Manager Parks Planning and Asset Management, Team Leader Visitor Experience) met with representatives from the Shirley Road Central group to discuss their ideas for the Shirley Community Reserve, and got an insight from the group on the local history of the site and surrounding area.
Timeline: Ongoing
Strategic Alignment: Improve and support community facilities and amenity in the Papanui-Innes Wards.

Attachments: A – Memo – Shirley Community Reserve

Date: 10 June 2022
From: Kelly Hansen, Manager Parks Planning and Asset Management
To: Waipapa Papanui-Innes Community Board
Reference: 22/701171
Shirley Community Reserve

1. Purpose of this Memo
1.1 The purpose of this memo is to collate and provide information and advice to the Waipapa Papanui-Innes Community Board on short term development suggestions for Shirley Community Reserve.

2. Origin
2.1 Following demolition of the earthquake damaged Shirley Community Centre in 2012, the Community Board has discussed various suggestions for redevelopment that have been raised through community engagement and a youth audit and have asked for advice on a number of ideas.

4. Key Points

4.1 The community centre that was located on Shirley Community Reserve at 10 Shirley Road was demolished in 2012 as a result of earthquake damage.
A pre-school [Shirley Playcentre], playground, basketball half court, trees, and paths remain on site.
The Council has constructed a relocatable pump track, table tennis/picnic table, and an open grass area.

4.2 In June 2021, the Council approved $3 million funding for the rebuild of the Shirley Community Centre in FY 2029/30 – FY 2031/32 with the option to bring forward funding in an Annual Plan if plans are progressed.

4.3 A feasibility study is currently underway to estimate the construction costs for four potential options for a new community facility.
– 1. Mixed use hub incorporating a library, service centre, and community operated community space,
– 2. Community operated large community facilities building,
– 3. Community opearted small community facilities building,
– 4. Outdoor options similar to Dallington landing.

4.4 Staff will prepare a report to the Council that incorporated all the work undertaken regarding the Shirley Community Reserve in recent years including both feasibility studies, community feedback, and the geotechnical information for the site.

4.5 The Community Board has allocated $15,000 in discretionary funds for some short term enhancement of the site until longer term decisions are made.

4.6 Provision of toilets was suggested by two submitters in the 2020 community engagement exercise and the 2022 Youth Audit for the reserve.
4.7 Neighbourhood parks, such as the Shirley Community Reserve, cater for local communities.
They do not usually have toilets as they are generally only a short distance from users’ homes and people do not visit for long periods of time.

4.19 At its meeting of 18 March 2022, in response to a presentation in the public forum, the Community Board resolved:
Request staff work with Shirley Road Central to progress their idea for signage.
4.20 Current signage at the reserve is outdated, in poor condition, misleading, and therefore unwelcoming.
Modern, maintained signs subconsciously send our park users the message that the park is cared for. This can reduce anti-social behaviour.
4.21 A sign plan for the park will be developed by the Parks Unit Visitor Experience team by August 2022.
4.23 The signage plan will follow the guidelines provided in the Parks Unit Sign manual, the Parks and Reserves bylaw, and the requirements of Council branding.
Current use of the park will be considered.
Signs not compliant with the Council branding may be modified in consultation with any external groups.
4.24 After discussion with representatives from the Shirley Road Central group it was agreed the Visitor Experience Team would also investigate developing one or two interpretation boards.
These would tell the stories of both local and city-wide significance; original school heritage buildings, community centre and its role in the community, historic domestic buildings adjacent to the park, and Dudley Creek remediation.
The Shirley Road Central group has provided reference material.
4.25 The existing damaged community centre user group sign will be removed and stored by the Parks Unit with potential to restore and re-use if a relevant re-use on the reserve is found.

4.26 Lighting the reserve was suggested through the youth audit as a way to improve safety.
4.28 Staff strongly recommend against lighting the park due to concerns about user safety and disturbance of neighbours.
4.29 It is a common perception that lights make a park safer, however, the opposite is often true.
Lighting encourages people to use a park at night when there is no passive surveillance occuring – there are no people walking past and neighbours have their curtains closed and attention focussed indoors.
Lighting makes park users visible and predictable and creates shadows and hidden areas for danger to lurk.
Lighting parks at night is contrary to the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).*
It creates a false sense of security and sends a potentially misleading message that the park is a safe place to use at night.
4.30 Lighting encourages night time activity that may disturb neighbours, e.g. basketball.
There are residential properties close to the Shirley Community Reserve.
Complaints about basketball noise and other evening activities could be expected.
Automatic light switch-off times may help but activity would likely extend beyond these times.

* [see “CCC Draft Annual Plan 2022-2023 Submission” post:
– 3.1 Christchurch City Council – Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) | Research
– 3.2 Christchurch City Council – Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) | Comments
https://www.10shirleyroad.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/CCCDraftAnnualPlan2022JoannaGould.pdf, Page 3]

Basketball court renewal
4.31 The condition of the basketball court is currently rated as moderate (scored as 4 on a scale of 1-5 where 1 is good and 5 is poor).
Asset renewals are prioritised based on condition and community need with the poorest condition assets (scoring 5) prioritised first.
It is important to confirm any potential changes in location or size of the court as part of the reserve redevelopment before renewing the court.
This would be done as part of a landscape plan for the whole reserve.
4.32 A new full court is estimated at approximately $90,000.

4.35 Pathways provide access to the reserve for people with disabilities.
Any new developments would take accessibility into account.
Difficulty with access over the road gutter on Slater Street was raised during a site visit.
Bridge blocks over the gutter or a pedestrian cut down is estimated at $4-7,000 depending on the design and this work would be requested through the Transport Unit.

4.36 The results from the Youth Audit identified that the space is not currently used to its full potential.
Feedback received indicated that a series of activations would enhance the area whilst planning for the site is undertaken.
Suggestions were for community sport and recreation programmes, e.g. Ki O Rahi, play activations, and community family-focused events.
Two car boot sales and a skip day have already been held.
A series of activations would enhance the utilisation of the site and help facilitate future planning.
This would be done in conjunction with the local community.
The activation would cost approximately $10,000.

Reserve Planning
4.44 Planning for any reserve development will be dependent on the final decision on a community centre.
Ad hoc piecemeal development is to be avoided, a plan for the whole site will achieve the best outcome.
The reserve is suitable for a range of recreation opportunities and is of particular interest for facilities that have no other suitable location in the area, e.g. a skatepark (with unmet demand going back to 1993).*
Some funding is proposed for reserve development in FY26-29, subject to the community centre progressing and funding being confirmed in the next Long Term Plan.

* [10 Shirley Road/Shirley Community Reserve is in Richmond, not Shirley.
Currently the site is in the Innes Ward, but will be in the new Central Ward from October 2022.
Shirley MacFarlane Park Community Concept Plan
This is a community concept plan developed through a community planning process since 2005. MacFarlane Park and the Acheson Ave shops are in the physical centre of the study area and are the focus of this community concept plan because community feedback from the Shine event 2007 identified this as the main community concern and focus of their suggestions on ways to improve the neighbourhood.
(February 2008)

5. Financial Implications
5.1 Budget Code: The Community Board have allocated $15,000 in discretionary funding towards the Shirley Community Reserve.
There is no other capital funding allocated for short term development.

6. Community Interest and Consultation
6.1 A range of views and suggestions for the reserve have been collected through a community engagement exercise in 2020, a Youth Audit in 2022, and various other community discussions.

7. Next Steps
7.1 Community Board reports are being prepared on the feasibility study for a community centre and proposed activation of the site.