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’ 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 Building Knowledge | Speaker Series 2017/18 Christchurch on progressive path ‘Let it go’, global thinker tells Christchurch

“Get Creative Christchurch” Website

Welcome to my “Get Creative Christchurch” website:

Our People
Identity | Well-being | Learning | Business | Community | Economy

Our Places | Shirley Community Centre
Creative Books | Learning Spaces

Our Places | Rise Up Richmond
Street Art | Sutton’s Place | Māori Heritage Park | River Bank Centre
Kai Town | River Road Park | Retreat Road Park

– April 2018: I started with this ‘project’
I created, to collate my ideas/research for the rebuild of the Shirley Community Centre, as part of my submission to the Christchurch City Council 2018 Long Term Plan.

– May 2018: Presented my verbal submission 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.”
Mayor Lianne Dalziel said “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.”

– June 2018: I began to look around at our Richmond suburb, and my ideas/research became my “Rise Up Richmond” website

– July 2018: Regenerate Christchurch asked for feedback on their Red Zone Futures Exhibition:
Created, for my Red Zone Futures ideas.
Created, for my Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor feedback:

– August 2018: “Help develop the draft Arts Strategy for Ōtautahi Christchurch.
Have Your Say on the draft Christchurch City Council Arts Strategy 2018.”

The rebuild of the Shirley Community Centre ( was my starting point, but through my research/community mapping, I realised that there was a need for more in our communities, more opportunities for everyone to find their space/place, and to create a new identity (after the earthquakes) for our communities through creative placemaking (

We need to “Get Creative” in our placemaking and storytelling of our unique Māori heritage and the Christchurch earthquakes, as we invite people from throughout NZ and all the world to come and see Creative Christchurch.

Joanna Gould |
Facebook Page | Get Creative Christchurch
Facebook Group | Get Creative Christchurch Group

Mapping Our World

Today I learnt to use Google My Maps.

My Maps has allowed me to present an interactive map of the whole area showing:

10 Shirley Road, at the centre of the map.

Support Services (green ?):
Te Puna Oraka, Shirley Community Trust, MacFarlane Park Centre, Drug Arm, Mental Health Education Resource Centre, Work and Income, Early Start Project, Plunket Shirley, Autism NZ, Delta Community Support Trust, The Champion Centre.

Education Providers (purple children):
Mairehau High School, St Francis of Assisi School, Mairehau Primary School, Shirley Primary School, Shirley Intermediate School, Banks Avenue School, Jean Seabrook Memorial School, Arahina ki Ōtautahi, Kidsfirst Kindy MacFarlane Park, Shirley Playcentre, Kidsfirst Kindy Richmond, Kidsfirst Kindy Mairehau.

Libraries (black book):
Shirley Library, Papanui Library, Parklands Library, New Brighton Library.

Metro Info Bus Routes (colour coded as per network map):
O Orange Line, Or Orbiter, 28 Papanui/Lyttelton, 44 Shirley, 60 Hillmorton/Southshore, 100 Wigram/The Palms, 107 Styx Mill/Northlands, 108 Casebrook/Northlands, 125 Redwood/Westlake, 135 Burwood/New Brighton, 150 The Palms/Spencerville.

Each pin is clickable and has more info/links, + & -, are in the bottom left hand corner, so you can zoom in/out.

Click on the square with arrow, in the top left hand corner, to show/hide map legend/layers.

“Rise Up Richmond” Website

Welcome to my “Rise Up Richmond” website

The ideas/research for this website began after I presented my verbal submission to the Christchurch City Council’s 2018 Long Term Plan, for the rebuild of the Shirley Community Centre (, 10 Shirley Road, Christchurch, to create a multi-cultural centre as a “Gateway to the East.”

“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.”
Mayor Lianne Dalziel – 12th May 2018

I began to look around at our Richmond suburb, and soon realised that we already have so many positive things happening here.

Richmond Village is a destination space for our history (Maori & British), our food (NZ & International) and our art (Street Art & Bill Sutton), all showcasing our NZ identity/heritage.

I hope that after you read through this website you will realise like me, we have an identity, a history, our heritage, a story to tell…so let’s “Rise Up Richmond”.

Christchurch Libraries

Libraries 2025 Facilities Plan | May 2015 |Christchurch City Council
– Link:

The library as a place – a community hub, a business hub, a space for innovation and creativity – is becoming more important even as libraries become more digital and virtual. The library is changing from being a place where people came to get ideas and information, to an experiential place where people meet with others to create, share and learn about new ideas in a social context.

Facilities Plan
Libraries are important community hubs and help strengthen communities.
– The Plan will recognise the need to provide relevant services and community space.
– Libraries will foster local communities’ wellbeing by providing accessible meeting places and focal points for the community, learning and leisure activities.
– Library facilities will be safe buildings that can be utilised as local hubs and in particular enable access to information and Council and related services during emergencies.
– 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.

City’s Community Outcomes
– A City of Lifelong Learning.
– A City for Recreation, Fun and Creativity.
– A City of Inclusive and Diverse Communities.
These are key contributors to meeting the Council’s strategic direction for creating Strong Communities along with a Liveable City and Prosperous Economy.

Strengthen The Community
Public libraries strengthen the communities in which they are situated:
– helping to build community unity,
– identity and developing citizenship;
– providing people with the information they need to enrich and excite them;
– supporting, encouraging and facilitating lifelong learning and fostering literacy;
– encouraging a love of reading.
Public libraries assist in drawing people out of social exclusion and contribute to the economic development and cultural well being of their communities.

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.

Key Stakeholder Engagement
Selective pre-consultation engagement by the Project Team with key stakeholder groups was undertaken during the information-gathering phase to support and inform the Working Party’s deliberations. Representative community groups, library professionals, education providers, volunteers and library website users were among those consulted. Earlier customer and stakeholder research was also referenced. In summary, the key and common points raised by many of these stakeholder groups were:

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.
– Access to a diverse range of reading materials – books, magazines, children’s and talking books; Central Library used by people for the value and depth of collection and there are more items from which to choose.
– Free learning environment; provider of ‘second chance’ opportunities for adults wanting to learn.
– Provider of general services, e.g. photocopiers, 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.

Library facilities need to be ‘where the people go’. Many users, particularly casual leisure users, are attracted to libraries in a similar way to retail and entertainment activities.
Therefore, library facilities are best located either close to a major destination within the city, such as a mall and/or a major transport junction, or at sites sufficiently attractive to draw visitors to them as standalone ‘destination locations’.

Building Requirements
– Spaciousness – cafes; room for quiet spaces away from bustle of café and children’s area; generous space between book stack aisles to enable easy browsing by less nimble and multiple users at one time; plenty of chairs/ beanbags and desks at which to work/relax.
– Whanau-friendly facilities, e.g. children’s areas, baby feeding/changing facilities.
– Outdoor environment important – need natural features and to be welcoming; clear signposting within and outside the building.
– Accessible buildings and facilities for people with disabilities.
– Good infrastructure and building design (air conditioning, etc).
– Library buildings will foster a sense of civic pride.

Future Service Needs
– Will always be a need for books.
– Continue free access to libraries. In the future, key uses will be for carrying out research using non-digitised resources and accessing leisure reading.
– Retain libraries as the key repositories for books/knowledge in the city; storage of local history and identity; act as a one-stop source for tourist and community information, e.g. InfoTap and Heartlands.
– Ensure adequate staffing by helpful, positive and knowledgeable librarians.
– Provide continuing education courses in information access/library use.
– Ensure libraries are safe, restful places; provide opportunities to relax – coffee and areas for families.
– Maintain a high-quality library website and electronic catalogue.
– Provide more resources in Te reo and materials of interest to Maori.
– Incorporate barrier-free access to latest technology, e.g. free Broadband and wireless network; provide online assistance for remote users; and free internet access.
– Include technologies that enable access to information by people with disabilities – important that Central and at least some of community libraries have a good range of technologies available; ensure information and leisure reading/listening/viewing resources meet needs of people with disabilities.

Library Trends
Libraries will transition from a centre of information to a centre of culture.
Not surprisingly the growing use of technology is a major trend. The New Zealand government’s Digital Strategy envisages a digital future for all New Zealanders, using the power of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to enhance all aspects of our lives; provide seamless, easy access to information for work, leisure and cultural identity.
Its goals are to:
– Enable communities to use technology to realise their social, cultural and economic aspirations.
– Enhance the contribution ICT makes to New Zealand’s overall business productivity.
– Provide all New Zealanders with the digital skills and confidence to find and use the information they need.
– Public libraries, as primary providers of information in Christchurch, must embrace key goals of the Strategy in future planning.

Post Earthquakes
Those libraries that were able to remain open in the aftermath of the quakes rapidly became the only, vital link that people could have with friends and family elsewhere. Free access to the internet and social media enabled people to connect with family and friends to reassure them of their safety, sharing their experiences and expressing their needs.
Public and community information was readily available at libraries – they became an information and social conduit for recovery.
Libraries have always had this role in communities, but never more valued than during this time when other channels of communication were limited.

‘Share an Idea’ | Christchurch Central Recovery Plan
People’s thoughts on libraries in our city’s future included that they are community hubs and lifeblood, provide accessible public spaces where all are welcome, are centres for preserving and reflecting cultural heritage, have exciting learning spaces, children’s areas, café, exhibition and performance spaces, and provide free WiFi and interactive access.
The community has strongly indicated libraries are valued as key destinations and “anchors”.

Shirley Library 2008
Current Facility: Built 1996. Future need for more service capability. Space required to develop service for learning services to support need in the community.
Fit With Need: Growth retail – The Palms Shopping Centre. Need – Community.
Recommended Actions: Participate in ongoing Council/Ecan planning with mall owners with the view to possible relocation and upgrade of library facility as suburban library.
Priority Driver: Growth/need. Retail development impacted by growth. Opportunity for service improvement.

Land Use Recovery Plan | December 2013
Halswell, Belfast, New Brighton and Shirley suburbs are identified a key activity centres for business and community which aligns with the planning for new and retention of libraries in these areas.

Shirley Library 2014
Current Facility: Detailed Engineering. Evaluation completed. Some repairs will be required.
Fit With Need: Extensive housing developments to the north expected to balance the loss of households to the east due to earthquake damage.
Recommended Actions: Maintain library service and consider the future location of the library in the post earthquake environment in line with developments in Shirley and Marshlands.
Priority Driver: Growth/need. Supporting the projected increases in residential growth in the north east.

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