One thing that was obvious. Someone or something needed to take charge. Who was going to be the figurehead of our recovery? Then Prime Minister and lover of the limelight, John Key? Local MP and Earthquake Minister, Gerry Brownlee? Mayor, Bob Parker, or the sign language translator.
For me, it was definitely the latter.
Now we have a new order. A coalition government made up of Labour, NZ First and the Green Party. A female PM – Jacinda Ardern and a female mayor.
The quakes have put our city in a unique position. While it’s hard to compare different urban centres in the same way – no others have literally had to rebuild from the ground up – in terms of aspirations, of ‘what we want’, local council websites provide an obvious source for comparison.
Here’s how the two other main NZ cities present themselves.
Why Auckland – the world’s most liveable city
- Welcoming and safe
- NZ’s economic powerhouse
- City style and natural beauty
- Family friendly, balanced lifestyle
Wellington – the Wellington way… we
- Are at one with nature
- Care about sustainability
- Are good citizens who love to put our hands up
- Are a friendly bunch
- Keep it classy
- Share the roads
- Look out for each other
Eight years on from the September quake and apparently we’re still trying to figure out our new identity. According to an article in our local paper, a visiting ‘Thinker-in-Residence’, Hila Oren and branding think-tank, ChristchurchNZ, The Garden City has gone to seed, and here’s what appears to be on the table currently.
- Gateway to the South
- City of opportunity
- Some of the best thinkers
- Vibrant, energetic, creative
Does that sound like us? I’m on board with the first point, but still contemplating the rest. For me, in the blurb department at least, Wellington sounds like the place to be. However, as our broken city comes back to life, I’m interested to see how the people living here in Ōtautahi redefine it. I think we’re blooming. Garden City anyone?