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Christchurch City Council has approved a range of changes to the Council’s meeting structure to allow it to better respond to new and emerging issues as a result of the earthquakes.
A report adopted at the 28 June 2012 Council meeting sets out a series of new governance arrangements, which will see changes to existing committees, new committees created and changes the way meetings are set throughout the month.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says he has been working with Councillors for some time now to consider adjustments to the structure.
“The earthquakes have changed the way we all work in Christchurch, and we have to adapt to ensure we deliver the best results for the city.
“Our new committees, focusing on Community and Culture, Environment and Infrastructure, Corporate and Financial, and Planning, have been set up to address key areas of attention. Committees allow Councillors to discuss issues as a group and with staff before they come to the full Council for attention and adoption. The aim is to ensure we are making the best decisions for the future of our city in the most considered and time-efficient manner.
“We are also introducing a new monthly Earthquake Forum, which will be a less formal meeting of Council where the community and interest groups can come and share ideas with us. This will also be an opportunity for other recovery agencies and our own staff to keep the Council informed on significant projects, outside of the formal constraints of the meeting environment.
“We have had detailed discussions over how the new governance arrangement would take shape and I believe we have an outcome that will be of great benefit to the city and to our Council.”
The details of the new governance arrangements are outlined below.
• Council meetings will be held on the second and fourth Thursday of the month, with the meeting on the second Thursday dedicated solely to Community Board reports.
• An Earthquake Forum to be held on the third Thursday of the month. This is not a decision-making meeting, rather it is an opportunity for community members to speak directly to the Council. This week will also be set aside for Councillors to work in their communities, rather than attend meetings.
• A series of committee meetings to be held monthly. These include the:
Other committees currently in existence will be disestablished, however the Joint Committees with other Councils or outside organisations will continue. Committees to be disestablished include: Central City, Communications, Heritage and Arts, Housing and Community Facilities, Regulatory and Planning, Transport and Water and Wastewater.