CCC Draft Annual Plan 2023-2024 Presentation

On Friday, 28th April 2023, I presented my submission to the Christchurch City Council’s Draft Annual Plan 2023/24.

Five minutes for the fifth year in a row & 15 pages, advocating for the rebuild of the Shirley Community Centre & redevelopment of the Shirley Community Reserve, at 10 Shirley Road, Richmond.

Written Submission:, Page 127-143
Blog Post:

“The 10 Shirley Road site has historically been a ‘place of learning’ since 1915 when the original Shirley Primary School was built.
The foundation stone was laid on 16th June 1915.

In May 1977, the building and site became surplus to the Ministry of Education requirements.
In March 1978, Shirley Community Centre opened as a ‘place for cultural, educational and recreational activities’.
It was a Category 2 historic place (#7117) & demolished in 2012, due to earthquake damage.

To be honest, after 5 years advocating for this site, I didn’t know what more I could say in my submission this year.

It wasn’t until I started trying to condense my research into the 15 pages you have before you, that I reread the 2015 Shirley Community Facility Rebuild report., Page 17-32

Well done, if you clicked on all the links in my written submission, you deserve a gold star!

The key point I would like to highlight today is found in:
Option 4 – Do not build a Community Facility at 10 Shirley Road.

In the ‘Legal Implications’ section: The land at 10 Shirley Rd is classified as reserve, vested in the Council by the Crown to be held ‘in trust for local purpose (site for a community centre)’.

That means the land could not be used for any other purpose than a community centre unless and until the reserve classification is changed.

It also appears the land could not simply sit ‘vacant’ with the reserve status unchanged, as that would also be inconsistent with the reserve purpose.

Option 4: Does not restore the service available pre-earthquake on what was a popular, heavily used site.
Unlikely to be acceptable to the Community.

Eight years after this report was written, residents have seen no further progress to reinstate their local community facility & the land has been left vacant.

The current 2030-31 funding time frame, does not align with the purpose of the reserve status & legal implications, or the District Plan changes where housing intensification has already exceed predicted population density in the suburbs surrounding the reserve.

Our demographics have changed, our rates have increased by 59%, we have a climate change emergency, yet we can’t ‘live local & go local’, when we have no ‘suburban’ sized libraries in the Innes Ward.

For the last 5 years I have been highlighting why this site is so important to our communities wellbeing.

A draft concept plan needs to be created & costed now, before a detailed budget can be presented to Council for approval.

We have been waiting for a rebuild since 2012.
Council doesn’t have to buy the land, or have an existing building demolished.
So let’s get on with it…”

Q. “Is there access to the [Shirley Primary] school across the road for community events and also with the North [Avon] hub just down the road on North Parade, has that changed your expectations?”
Kelly Barber, Councillor for Burwood Ward

A. “What I’ve presented from the beginning, since 2018, is not just a standard traditional community centre.
It’s a Learning Library, which involves putting a community centre building, that has the resources that a library has, with learning spaces, flexible spaces, meeting rooms.
All that we don’t have in our Innes Ward, and the closest option is the Shirley Library, which isn’t fit for purpose. It isn’t big enough, it doesn’t have those facilities available, so our communities are missing out or having to travel to other libraries.”

A. 1 | Shirley Primary School
11 Shirley Road, Shirley,

The 10 Shirley Road site is central to our 14 local education providers, all are within 3km of the 10 Shirley Road site, Shirley Community Reserve.

Since the redevelopment of our local schools, after the earthquakes, our children now have access during the school day to new learning spaces, school halls, sports fields & playgrounds.

But our preschoolers, ‘home school’ children, ‘correspondence school’ children & children after school/during the school holidays, living in the communities surrounding 10 Shirley Road (Shirley, Dallington, Richmond, Edgeware, St Albans & Mairehau), don’t have access to learning spaces/books/resources, as there is no ‘suburban’ sized library in the Innes Ward & the Shirley Library has limited books/resources/seating & doesn’t have any learning spaces.

A. 2 | Avon Hub
77 North Parade, Pricing varies based on availability
Indoors: Full sized Basketball Gym with wooden floor – gym is 30m long x 21m wide.
Outdoors: 3/4 sized hockey turf which can be played as 3 futsal/korfball turf with sand based astro surface LED lights for night use.

While we have indoor & outdoor sports facilities/parks in our communities, they are aimed at ‘teams’, not ‘individuals’ & there are financial costs (hire costs, club fees, uniform etc) associated with participating in these sports, which can exclude residents on a low income.
Most sports are played after school, at night or during the weekend.
We have a lack of opportunities for those who are available during the daytime.

Our residents have plenty of opportunities to access greenspaces in their local communities:
– Sports Park, Local/Community Park, Garden & Heritage Park & Residential Red Zone:,-43.50686,15
– Sports Park:
MacFarlane Park (Shirley),
Richmond Park (Richmond),
St Albans Park (St Albans),
Westminster Park (Mairehau),
Walter Park (Mairehau),

We don’t have a lack of school facilities in our local communities.
We don’t have a lack of greenspaces in our local communities.
We don’t have a lack of community centres in our local communities.
What we do have is a lack of Christchurch City Council ‘suburban’ sized libraries in our local communities.
What we do have is a lack of places we can ‘be’ during the day in our local communities.

Christchurch City Council Draft Annual Plan 2023-2024 Presentation
Waiapapa Papanui-Innes-Central Community Board

Chairperson Emma Norrish and Deputy Chairperson Simon Britten

“Placemaking and greenspace shaping from Innes to Central
Shirley Community Reserve
Community conversations to realise the vision for the future of the reserve.”

Written Submission:, Page 43-52
Page 45: 1.9 Capital Programme
i. Project 20053 (‘Shirley Community Centre’) – noting that though this is what this line item is labelled as, it is requested that this be re-labeled as a ‘community facility’ to more broadly reflect the consultation to be undertaken with this community on what is preferred for this site).

CCC Draft Annual Plan 2023-2024 Submission

Christchurch City Council
2023-2024 Draft Annual Plan ‘Have Your Say’ Consultation

Att: Mayor Phil Mauger, Deputy Mayor Pauline Cotter, Councillors & Council Staff

Re: Rebuild of the former Shirley Community Centre & Redevelopment of 10 Shirley Road/Shirley Community Reserve

The attached .pdf has been compiled from my research & ideas over the last five years.

I ask the Council to consider this information & the growing needs in the local communities surrounding Shirley Road:
Shirley, Dallington, Richmond, Edgeware, St Albans & Mairehau.

We have been waiting since 2012 for the rebuild of our community centre at 10 Shirley Road, Richmond.
Our communities keep growing, due to infill housing & more social housing.

We can’t keep waiting for a new building to be built, because what could happen inside this building, is needed now:
a ‘fit for purpose’ local ‘suburban’ sized library with learning spaces & a wider range of books, citizen hub for community connections, community directory, sharing resources, promoting local activities/events/organisations, community education, connecting residents to the right support services at the right time…

As a former Shirley now Richmond resident & research/designer, I would be happy to be part of any discussions regarding this rebuild/redevelopment.

Through my families lived experience with mental health, disability issues & neurodiversity, I can share my insights into ‘why’ I’ve suggested these research based ideas for a new Shirley Centre.

Please proceed with planning the ‘Rebuild of the former Shirley Community Centre & Redevelopment of 10 Shirley Road/Shirley Community Reserve’, so that a proposal can be presented to our communities for consultation.

Thank you for your time,
Joanna Gould

“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:

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:

“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,

“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,], 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’:

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:
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,

“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 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. (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 ( includes the Shirley Community Reserve/Playground ( & Shirley Playcentre (

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.;bus-position;bus-stops#/@172.65369,-43.50847,16

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 ( 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?

South Library Submission

South Library and Service Centre building – user survey
“Your feedback will help shape design, feel and functionality, as we explore plans for rebuilding South Library | Te Kete Wānanga o wai Mōkihi and Service Centre.”


– “South Library Report” Blog Post:

– “Designed by architects Warren and Mahoney, and officially opened on 23 August 2003.”

– “The former Central Library, New Brighton Library and South Library were all designed by Warren and Mahoney.”

– “This single-storey building was designed to serve a wide range of community needs. Among these were a traditional library, a council service centre, meeting rooms, a learning centre with an IT suite servicing local schools, and an independent café. The brief was developed through consultation with the local community which expressed a strong preference for an informal building that was responsive to the environment and acknowledged the building’s unique site, bounded as it is on one edge by Heathcote River. The core concept for the building was then developed with the help of The Natural Step, and it later become a pilot for the development of the Christchurch City Council’s Target Zero Strategy. Sustainability features make the complex one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in Christchurch providing substantial long-term benefits for the community.
Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) Features: Water use, Material selection, Waste minimisation & Site ecology”

– Opportunity to revisit/learn from the original building’s research, design & planning decisions

– Opportunity to use this project as a ‘Case Study’ learning experience for local engineering & design students to be involved

South Library and Service Centre | Exterior
– Iconic landmark building, park setting with significant trees & Heathcote River
– Free onsite/off street car parking
– New natives gardens closer to the building, to attract birds lower down to eye level, for library visitors to enjoy watching
– New outdoor seating, better connection with the park setting & river
– Repurpose moat, new water feature or rainwater garden
– “Your Wellbeing Garden”:
– “The Nature Fix”:

South Library and Service Centre | Interior
– Current interior is very grey & feels quite dark/oppressive in the middle of the building
– Lack of visibility/sight lines throughout the Library Space, height of bookshelves, ‘white space’ areas needed
– Currently Librarians aren’t very visible in the Library Space, if you need to ask for help
– Noise issues associated with Café & Children’s collection, more acoustic treatment needed, help people with sensory processing
– Relocate Café to Children’s collection area, so the Café isn’t the first area you see when walking into the library, identity crisis
– Relocate Fiction collection to Café area, so you do see books as soon as you walk into the library
– Create new Intergenerational outdoor seating area, incorporating play area, connected to the Café & Children’s collection areas
– More variety of seating/table options: adjustable tables, extra large long table for people wanting to spread out or be together
– ‘Quiet’ spaces, arranged near the windows to enjoy the view
– ‘Work’ spaces, for people who are using the library to work from: mobile workers, self-employed, freelancers, tutors etc, so they don’t disturb other library users with their phone calls/discussions
– ‘Open Door’ policy for Meeting Rooms & Learning Spaces, make rooms/spaces available for free to library users (if not already booked), similar to McDonald’s Meeting Rooms
– Obstacle course getting from the Entrance to the Non Fiction collection
– Bookable exhibition space by Non Fiction collection, is hidden by the bookshelves, needs to be relocated to a more visible location
– New windows to replace Bookable exhibition space, currently this area is disconnected from the park setting/river view
Incorporate into the Interior Design: Universal, Cultural, Māori Culture: Te Pae Māhutonga, Māori Culture: Te Whare Tapa Whā, Māori Culture: Whakairo (Carving), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) & Sensory Processing, Biophilic, Environmental & Sustainable
Community Education & Support Services in Learning Libraries (see Page 4 of .pdf)

South Library and Service Centre | Visitor Experience
– Internal Doors: “Welcome” in different languages
– If you are new to Christchurch or the area, when you walk in the entrance, ‘what is the purpose of this building?’
– ‘Where is the Community Board meeting held?’
– ‘Where do I go to join the Library?’
– Foyer or “Square” area, can be overwhelming, lacks focus/direction, ‘where am I?’, ‘where do I go from here?’
– Install new central U shaped “Welcome” info/help desk, Self “Returns” on left hand side, Self “Issues” on right hand side
– Relocate “Public Computers” (only used 30% of the time) to the area towards the left of the “Welcome” desk, visible location by the Service Centre & doubles as a waiting area, extra desk space available for BYOD (power points/charging facilities)
– Relocate “New Books” & “Magazines” to the area towards the right of the “Welcome” desk, visible location by Self “Issues”
– Relocate “Reserves” bookshelves opposite the Self “Issues”, to make it easier to locate & pick up your reserves
– Relocate “Recent Returns” Non Fiction books to the beginning of the Non Fiction collection, easier to find than current location
– Remove seating/tables from in between Non Fiction collection, not easy to get past or view books on lower bookshelves
– Create Visual Coloured Coded Building Layout Map
– Create Visual Coloured Coded Wayfinding signage, age appropriate for adults & children, make it easier to direct people to the different areas or help them to independently find their way, consider those with disabilities
– Create Visual Coloured Coded Learning Spaces Programme (‘What’s on this week?’ & ‘What’s on today?’)
– Use Bilingual signs: Install signs in both English and Māori, encourages people to learn & use Te reo Māori
– New “Public Toilets”: unisex, inclusive, accessible, self contained toilet/basin/dryer/fold down changing table, less confusing which ‘gender/sex’ toilet to use, make it easier for parents/caregiver changing babies & toileting young children
– StoryWalk: Combines family fun, exercise, and literacy into one great community activity,

“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.
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:
“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: