As the pundits pore over the entrails of the campaign and try to predict which way NZ First will turn, we are preparing the briefing to incoming ministers that I spoke about in my column last week.
In many respects, it doesn’t matter the make-up of the Government; what matters is that Christchurch and its place in the region are seen as a vital component of the future of New Zealand.
We need to resolve a range of issues. Obviously there is the Cost Sharing Agreement signed just four months before I was elected.
There is work to be done, especially on the matters I highlighted last week – our flood vulnerability exacerbated by the earthquakes, but ignored in the original agreement; accelerating the remaining projects in the central city; and resourcing the future use of the residential red zone.
One of my major concerns, however, remains the need to learn the lessons of our experience, so we can embed them into future practice both as a city and as a country.
After each event we have experienced in my term, we have conducted a review so that we can learn the lessons from what we did well and what we didn’t do so well. This is because we often learn more from our mistakes than our successes. But not everyone is keen to front up and admit when we have got things wrong.
We still haven’t done this as far as the earthquakes are concerned and I am hoping that, whichever parties form the Government, they are willing to look at what each other have said in this space.
Do we need an inquiry into EQC and the insurance industry? Absolutely we do. So let’s not make it partisan. Let’s agree to some terms of reference and get on with it.
Do we need a regional multi-use arena with a roof? Yes, we do. So let’s get the business case done and let’s get it properly funded.
It will be the largest indoor arena in the country, which makes it important for New Zealand and not just the region.