Residents Association AGM and speaker

St Albans Residents Association (SARA) is seeking new people to join the committee (to share or gain governance skills) and support community activities in St Albans at its AGM on September 22 at 4pm at the St Albans Tennis Club.

SARA has an exciting year ahead with the employment of a community activator and the new community centre up and running late 2020.

Speaker Michael Reynolds the founder and coordinator of the Roimata Food Commons will be leading a discussion on how we can best use the grounds of the community centre on Colombo St when the new centre opens.

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Bumper election issue St Albans News

So many people want to represent citizens in St Albans, the October/November issue is full to the brim and overflowing. The bumper election issue contains snapshots of candidates for the Mayor, Council and several community wards (eg: Central, Innes, Fendalton, Papanui) and, at 24 pages, our largest ever edition. A joint board meeting to hear oral submissions and discuss possible road plan changes had to be adjourned in the middle of question time (since resumed and concluded). We managed to fit a few other items of interest in there as well. Click the image to the right to download the pdf.

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Health board election candidates revealed

The following candidates (so far) have responded to a questionnaire from St Albans News seeking  information about the Canterbury District Health Board Elections on October 12:

Peter Ballantyne
Peter Ballantyne

Peter Ballantyne has considerable experience in the health sector having served as Deputy Chair of the Canterbury District Health Board and Chair of the West Coast District Health Board.
Peter believes the health board has worked tirelessly to meet the needs of Cantabrians, but has been constrained by lack of funding. “It’s time for Canterbury to get its fair share. I am well-placed to advocate strongly for equitable funding for our health needs in Canterbury.
“This, combined with efficiencies in service, will enable more funds to be available to meet the increased demands of health issues such as mental health, cancer and elective surgery in order to ensure that our communities get well, stay well and live well closer to home.
“There is also need to remove the capital charge, and progress the rate of our facility rebuilds to ensure our people receive timely and appropriate treatment in modern hospital facilities.”

Previously a partner in the international consulting firm Deloitte, Peter currently serves on the CDHB Quality, Finance, Audit, and Risk Committee and on the University of Canterbury Council.

If you wish to contact Peter you can email him at

Geoffrey James Booth – Independent

Geoff Booth’s reason for standing for the health board is personal. He lost his 21 year old son to suicide a couple of years ago and wants to be part of the board conversation about mental health and suicide prevention. “I have a lived experience of what it is like as a parent to deal with the aftermath of suicide. The current board does not have this insight. The current suicide stats show that what we are currently doing is not working. It is time for change.” Parking at the public hospital is also an issue that needs improving. Geoff Booth works as a sales manager, is on the board of trustees at his local school and has held a national role in the NZ Ostomy Society. You can find Geoff Booth on Facebook.

Sally Buck – Independent

Sally Buck

Sally Buck would bring to the role of health board member considerable experience in the disability sector, where she is / or has been a disability advisor, speech and language therapist and early intervention teacher. She is also standing as a community board member for the Christchurch City Council’s central ward where she has been a member for several terms, gaining governance experience in this role and as a director or trustee of a number of organisations. “I care about people and want to ensure everyone can easily access the health care that they need and that health care is delivered based on putting people first.” She identified waiting lists for surgery, older peoples health, disability, mental health, high cost of dental health, non-funding of certain drugs, the underfunding of CDHB from the Ministry of Health and car parking at Christchurch hospital as issues of particular interest to Canterbury people. If you want to contact Sally she is available on 3792820 or 0210580392 or email at:

Gray Crawford

Former manager of Social Services at the Christchurch City Mission, Gray Crawford has many years’ experience providing crisis intervention services. to people at risk through poor physical and mental health, domestic violence, financial mismanagement, homelessness and drug/alcohol addiction.

Gray’s health management experience dates back more than two decades. In that time he has also been the manager of Victim Support, providing emotional support to victims of serious accidents, crime and other trauma and previously manager of radiology at Christchurch Public Hospital. Some time ago he was an ACC rehabilitation officer at the Burwood Spinal Unit providing spinal patients with vocational and social rehabilitation services.

Gray currently chairs the NZIM Foundation and is a member of a multidisciplinary alliance formed to promote and protect equitable health care services through better co-operation between government agencies, not for profits and the general community. He is also a Judicial Justice of the Peace, a member of Rotary Sunrise and is on the Mayor’s Welfare committee.

Ministerial consultancy appointments have included Chair of the Health and Disability Ethics Committee (Upper South Island) and a membership of the Lottery Welfare grants committee.

Gray sees good health as a basic human right but fears our expectations of hospitals might not be sustainable. Service demand is growing due to “a greater ethnic diversity in Christchurch, people living longer, poor diets, easier accessibility to alcohol/drugs, inadequate housing, increased domestic violence and mental health/social isolation.”

Heightened expectations around salary and wages by health staff also put pressure on delivery of services.

“It is essential health is seen as a community issue and that we empower (better integrate) families, primary health services and not for profit social services (even businesses?) in working more collaboratively together, with quality/timely information sharing to improve and protect the best health outcomes for all.”

Find out more about Gray Crawford on LinkedIn:

Vicki Tahau Paton

Real estate agent Vicki Tahau Paton is concerned for people living in poor housing.

“Our most vulnerable/compromised are living in substandard conditions, there is a huge increase in respiratory issues in the winter because of this. Private landlords can be fined but our City Council and Otautahi Community Trust get a dispensation.  This is unacceptable, tenants and the CDHB should be able to invoice them for what it costs for Healthcare.  It is a health and safety matter, it needs to be taken more seriously.”

Prior to involvement in real estate,  Vicki spent more than 20 years working with pharmacies throughout the South Island.

 She has a management and governance background and has an understanding of what is required to sit on a board and says she is driven by solutions and has zero tolerance for over promising and underdelivering.

Brian Salisbury – Independent

Brian Salisbury, a registered nurse with governance experience on school boards of trustees, identifies the ongoing shortage of hospital staff in Canterbury as one of the greatest issues facing the hospital board.

“Poor staffing means unsafe and inadequate care, long waiting lists and delayed recovery. My aim to provide a staff voice on the board to ensure those working within the CDHB are heard and advocated for.

“When staff feel valued and enjoy their jobs, they will be less likely to leave. Additionally, better working conditions will attract more staff. By looking after staff they will be able to better look after you and your loved ones.”

He also wants to address parking around the hospital and minimise the CDHB’s environmental footprint.

For more information check out:

Peter Wakeman
STOP Trashing Our Planet

Businessman investor and retired airline pilot Peter Wakeman is passionate about Canterbury and Christchurch and doesn’t think central government is funding the health board sufficiently.

He says Increasing poverty is affecting well-being “therefore I would lobby government for change and raise income levels for residents.”

Peter says the city’s drinking water is being affected by nitrates from dairy cows but Central Government lacks leadership for reducing them.

He wants to see alternative behaviour treatments such as diet and exercise provided as they play an important role in good health.. .

For more information check out this video: Youtube video
and website:

There are so many candidates standing for election this year we are running out of space in the printed News and have opted to place the health board candidates answers on the website. Information from other candidates has been received and will be posted shortly.  Voting papers are being posted.

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St Albans News August/September out now

August September St Albans News With elections coming up in October, three local authority representatives give us a look at their work. Christchurch City Council pushes stage 1 of the roading management plan forward with greater emphasis on traffic reduction management. It looks like the permanent community centre building will start in late October, with a completion date in June 2020, nearly 10 years since the September 4 quake, when the wall fell out in the old community centre, making the building unusable. We take a look at the Smith family, who ran a printing factory in Springfield Rd, had the first telephone in Christchurch and took an active part in the life of the city, in particular Methodist church activities and votes for women. Two new columns start this issue: one on gardening and another on being a grandfather. Click on the image to the right to download.

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Jo Byrne on being a community board member

St Albans News asked several current councillors and community board members about workloads and roles. An article was created, based largely on replies from three councillors or community board members who responded, for the August/September St Albans News, which is being delivered to St Albans letterboxes this weekend. For space reasons some details had to be left out. Nominations for local authority candidates close on August 16. This is how Jo Byrne replied by email. These notes are the raw material from which the article draws.

1. City councillor or community board member or both?

Jo Byrne – Community Board representing Innes

2. How many hours a month do you spend on
-attending community board meetings
-council meetings

This can vary from month to month. As well as our official Community Board Meetings we can have staff briefings, seminars and workshops as well as community engagements including awards, consultations etc. I attend as many as I can.

3. What subcommittees of council are you on? Do you chair any of these com
mittees? How many hours a month do you attend these meetings? How does the council work out who goes on which subcommittee?

Not applicable.

4. How much time would you spend preparing for each meeting eg: reading documents? Have you included this in the monthly total?

Again it depends on what is happening. If a major issue is being decided there may be multiple community submissions to read. Some months are quieter, but there are often times requiring some in-depth reading and analysis. Staff briefings can be helpful in making sense of technical issues. Background reading can be complex e.g. working with the Styx River working party required technical understanding regarding drainage etc.

5. How much time (monthly average) do you spend attending things like launches, other organisation meetings in your official capacity including one off events.

Several hours – again depending what is happening. For example early each year I have the privilege of being part of the judging of the loveliest street in our ward. That takes a good half day, but it is fun. Ive learned what the judging team is looking for and love seeing the effort people put into their gardens. Ive visited people and attended funerals and seen people displaying their certificates with such pride. we have just had our Community Service Awards – it is so important to recognise the amazing volunteers in our wards.

6. What are the constraints on your work or councillors work in general? I am thinking of things like codes of behaviour, not criticising council staff in public, or other things I might not be aware of. (I am asking this question as most people think you can just do/say what you want)

I think anyone working in a professional capacity is used to abiding by a code of conduct, and ethical requirements. This role is just the same. You do work with the public, and sometimes when people are stressed or vulnerable you need to be sympathetic and sensitive to their situation. There are limitations on what you can do, e.g. we can advocate for our community for what is important, but final budgeting decisions are made at council. I personally dislike the inequity of distribution of resources across our city. But all I can do is advocate and support the public to submit on issues of importance.

And I think that the Council Staff are part of the team – we set goals for our work and the staff are there to support the community too. They are often equally passionate and have had long term relationships to the people in our communities. It is important to have good communication skills to deal with anyone you come across.

7. Do you ever get frustrated by these processes? Are there things you would like to see changed in the way the council or board operates?

It can be a slow going in local government – it takes a long time for things to happen – but I think it is important to value the process as this is what allows for engagement and for people to have a voice in what is happening in their local community. The transparent process is so important. And we are bound by legislation that guides how we have to work – I know sometimes the public finds time delays frustrating, as do I but it is important to work through the processes and have our public meetings and discussions so people can see how much thought is put into important issues in our community.

8. When you first stood for council or community board how long did it take to get used to the meeting format, council ways of doing things?
Council and LgNZ provide induction to support people new into the role so that they can quickly understand how things work. The Community Board Advisor and team are also an ongoing source of support to the team.

9. What skills do people need to be on the board or council eg: public speaking, patience etc.

Speed reading skills would be awesome! Awareness of different community groups, a passion for those who need particular advocacy, and a love of community.

10. Would you advise newcomers to become community board members first to get an idea of whether the work will suit them before taking on council work?

I think they are very different roles, I love that Community Board level is at the grassroots of communities, and that individuals find us approachable and supportive in resolving issues. I love the way we can be passionate about our wards, whereas I think Councillors need to be ethical and ensure that their decisions are not promoting one part of the city above another.

11. If you are a parent, how does your involvement work in with family life? What provision does the council/board make for representatives who have newborns or toddlers?

I am a single working parent of two primary school aged children! They attend school close to home which helps. I also work part time as a Speech Language Therapist in a specialist school. I have a passion for children and young people, particularly those who are very vulnerable. I think my knowledge has carried into my work as a Community Board Member and an example of this is that I have enjoyed seeing more accessible play equipment in our local playgrounds. My knowledge of local government has also impacted on my work as a Speech Therapist, and I encourage the team I am part of to submit whenever it is relevant.

I often take my children to meetings with me if I dont have childcare available. They are learning about politics too! I encourage them to submit on relevant issues too – I think making sure that the voice of our whole community is heard is really important. we do have some squeaky wheels in our community and we need to be sure that everyone has a fair say and a fair outcome.

I am fortunate in that our team has our meetings now in school time. I rely on child support whenever possible to attend meetings

12. What are the current pay rates for community board members, councillors?

This question was not answered by Jo but information was sourced online

13. How have you found combining a paid job/work/self-employment and being a board or council member? Any useful advice on handling this?

In all honesty women who juggle work, motherhood, housekeeping etc report that life is stressful. But it is also rewarding thinking that what you are doing will make a difference. Make sure you have your support team around you.

St Albans News thanks Jo Byrne for taking the time to respond as this gives potential candidates and the rest of Christchurch a better idea of what she does and the time commitment involved.

Posted in community board, News, Newsletter, Papanui Innes Community Board | Leave a comment

Mike Davidson on being a city councillor

St Albans News asked several current councillors and community board members about workloads and roles. An article was created, based largely on replies from three councillors or community board members who responded, for August/September St Albans News, which is being delivered to St Albans letterboxes this weekend. For space reasons details had to be left out of the print article. Nominations for local authority candidates close on August 16.. This is how Cr Mike Davidson replied by email. These notes are the raw material from which the article draws.

It can be hard sometimes to break it down in to bite size amounts because every meeting no matter if it’s for Council, Community Board or a Committee is different and depending on the content can take up more or less of your time. I usually spend about 40-70 hours per week on my role as a Councillor.

In general we have two Council meeting a month and these last all day. We have a Finance and Performance Committee of the whole meeting each month that also last all day. Other committee meetings are also once a month and last for 4 hours. Community Board meetings last for 2 hours and there are two a month. We have briefings for Committees and Community Boards…I would say on average about I would spend about 10 hours per month on this.

The Committees I am on are Infrastructure, Transport and Environment. Innovation and Sustainable Development. Community, Social Development and Housing. Finance and Performance. I am the deputy chair of ITE.

I am also on Climate Change working group and Land Drainage working group. 2-3 hours per month.

We also have Council briefings about 6 hours per week.

Prep time depends on the content of the meeting and can take a considerable amount of time…I would spend around 10 – 20 hours per week prepping…sometime a lot more.

Councillor activities outside of these vary depending on the time of year but often involves nights and weekends. I would say I would do around 10 hours per week on this…but there have weeks where I am out most nights.

Councillors or Community Board members can put in a lot of hours or just do the bare minimum…but those who do the bare minimum will not be effective

I personally think being a Chairperson of a Community Board is the best preparation for the role of a Councillor.

Process can be frustrating and people need to realise the wheels of local government turn slowly, but they do turn.

We have made some excellent changes this term by creating the governance partnership with the Community Boards and giving Community Boards more delegations. I believe this best thing we can do for Community Boards is to give them more local decision making ability.

There are a number of skill sets that Elected members require…but they need to stand for the right reason….Christchurch and the people of Christchurch. Having a variety of skills around the table is a good thing.

Elected members need to understand what needs to be kept in confidence and make the right decisions even when they are unpopular. Have an open mind on everything.


St Albans News thanks Mike Davidson for taking the time to respond as this gives potential candidates and the rest of Christchurch a better idea of what he does and the time commitment involved.

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Pauline Cotter on being a city councillor

St Albans News asked several current councillors and community board members about workloads and roles. An article was created, based largely on replies from three councillors or community board members who responded, for the August/September St Albans News but for space reasons some details were omitted. Nominations for local authority candidates close on August 16. This is how Cr Pauline Cotter replied by email. These notes are the raw material from which the article draws.

I will try to give you an outline of the hours of work from my perspective, although it varies from Councillor to councillor of course.
I am a City Councillor.
Council meetings per month. =. 3 full days. Council meetings
1 half day ITE committee meeting ( Chair)
1 Parking sub committee meeting..1 hour ( Chair)

Land drainage working group meeting every 2 months = 4 hours per meeting (CHAIR)
Canterbury joint waste committee meeting. 3 per year = 4 hours
Canterbury agency for Energy Trust. Every 2 months @ 2hours (Chair)

Canterbury Museum Trust Board 1 per month = 4 hours
CHristchurch West Melton Zone Committee. 1 per month = 4 hours
Christchurch Urban contaminants working group. 1 per month = 3 hours
Climate Change sub committee 1 hour per fortnight
Council briefing Every Tuesday = 7 hours
ITE seminars and workshops = 4 hours / month

Community Board meetings 2 per month = 4 hours each
Community Board Seminars 2 per month = 2 hours each

The Mayor sets the committees and selects Chairs, but in consultation with the councillors.
Reading time for Council meetings @ 8 hours per meeting, can be more, but it depends what is on the agenda and how many attachments. Agendas can be 400 pages or more at times.
Reading time for ITE @ 8 hours, can be more.
Reading time for other meetings varies but at least 2 hours.
E mails = @ 3 hours per day
Phone calls vary, but an hour or so per day.
Other meetings:
Residents association 3 per month. = @ 2 hours each
Meetings with staff outside of official meetings = @ 4hours per week
Meetings with constituents. = @ 2 hours per week
Openings, launches, events etc. @ one or 2 per week.
NOTE: this is estimation only as its hard to quantify on an average basis as each week is so different. However I think I am working at least 60 hours per week.

I absolutely recommend serving on a community board before standing for council. It’s a very good training ground for Local government processes. Biggest challenge is how slowly the wheels turn, takes ages to get things done, but that’s democracy.
Consultation Drop in sessions can be challenging when residents are opposed.
Its hard to fit family life in if you are a city councillor.The hours are very random, sometimes I can work 7.30am – 8.30pm straight through, other days may be more work at home, others start later finish earlier… very random, absolutely no pattern really, and a call on your weekend time as well, and evenings.


St Albans News thanks Pauline Cotter for taking the time to respond as this gives potential candidates and the rest of Christchurch a better idea of what she does and the time commitment involved.

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Roads hot topic in June issue of St Albans News

Two community boards have thrown out planners’ recommendations for roads south of Innes (aka DEMP) and substituted a few that give more priority to reducing traffic rather than just mitigating the effects of probably double the numbers of vehicles coming off the motorway into St Albans. However, they want DEMP’s stage 1a and b to go ahead but would quite like a delay so measures to reduce traffic can be put in place. A full city council meeting has the final say on June 13. Meanwhile the community centre building inches closer to reality with the completion of updated designs. St Albans Park features and the city council declares a climate change emergency.

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Can the traffic plan and add more buses

Why should cars dominate this city? Traffic planner Axel Wilke thinks we should be investing in more public transport. Can the plan (DEMP) gains traction and we take a trip into the past at St Albans Park as it reopens again after the completion of drainage work. All this and more in the April/May edition of St Albans News. Click on the image to download.

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Pauline Cotter comments on downstream effects

By Cr Pauline Cotter, Innes Ward

By now you should have seen the information booklet on options, stages and priorities for the Northern Corrider downstream effects, providing you with the 4 drop in sessions to be held in St Albans March 20, 25, 26  and April 4, or visit your say if you cant make any of these. Your feedback is valuable and important.

This project is the most long standing and controversial issue St Albans has ever had imposed on it, and emotion is understandably running high because this is something the community has strongly resisted for decades. Please make you views known; what you strongly oppose, what you support, any other ideas you have.

As the City Councillor for Innes I am aware of conversations in the community reflecting strong support for options like park and ride/cycle facilities, High occupancy vehicle lanes, traffic calming for vulnerable residential streets, slow zones, safety measures for pedestrian and cyclists, and protection for local businesses . These are all align with the Governments’ Global Policy Statement for Transport, will also contribute positively to our Climate change goals , and should be considered in that context.

I am aware too of concerns that traffic diversion away from Edgeware Village could have adverse effects on businesses, concerns around any proposed parking losses, effects on other local business areas, noise, emmissions, rat running.

I am also hearing that some residents would like to see nothing, or minimum treatment, with the idea that if its hard for the cars to get through then people will be more inclined to use Public Transport, park and ride or other alternatives.

So please continue to engage on this complex issue by making a submission by 15th April. There will be an opportunity for you to speak to a combined meeting of the Papanui /Innes and Linwood/Central/Heathcote Community Boards.

The final decision will be made by the full Council later in the year.

(Editor’s note: This article was inadvertently left out of a multi-part piece on the roads consultation in the April/May edition of St Albans News. We apologise to Cr Cotter for the omission)

Posted in Community, Papanui Innes Community Board, Transport | Leave a comment

Councillors interrogate the DEMP

At the February 14 Christchurch City Council Meeting councillors had the opportunity to ask questions about the downstream effects management plan (DEMP)  dealing with traffic coming off the motorway in 2020.
This transcript with timestamps was prepared by Mark Wilson and should be used as a guide to the video recording on the city council website.

The answers were provided by independent traffic engineer Dr Shayne Turner or Richard Osbourne who is employed by the city council and works alongside Dr Turner. Councillors’ questions and comments are in bold. Some answers have been abbreviated and/or interpreted by Mark Wilson.
Continue reading

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Motorway traffic hot topic in St Albans News

In less than 18 months, traffic will spill off the motorway heading for the city via St Albans, adding to the congestion and making living here less safe, so many people are not filled with joy at this prospect, including the Papanui Innes Community Board who have declined to endorse the latest plans. The Christchurch City Council is about to host another round of consultations about the three stage plans for Cranford St, downstream of Innes Rd – a process, with lots of studies and sub-projects (that could continue on and off for the next decade) aiming to make the streets safer. In our history section we take a look at a small private school that ran in Mays Rd until the 1940s and we were interested to hear from historian Margaret Lovell-Smith about a number of men living in St Albans who opposed the war in Europe. We also take a look at a scheme helping disadvantaged people purchase bicycles. All this and more in the February/March edition of St Albans News. Click on the image to download.

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