Draft Ōtautahi Christchurch Community Strategy

The draft strategy is our continued commitment to how we will work with others to build a healthy, happy and resilient Christchurch. We want to hear your thoughts on it.

Project status: Open for feedback
Open for feedback: 10th September 2021 - 25th October 2021

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Since the Strengthening Communities Strategy was first launched in 2007, our city has changed dramatically, with much of this change as a result of adversity. These challenges have tested even the strongest of us but have also been the catalyst for creativity, innovation and collective action. 

This refreshed draft strategy – renamed Ōtautahi Christchurch Community Strategy 2021-2031 [PDF, 2.4 MB] – was developed to better align with current and anticipated community needs and aspirations. As our city grows and changes, so do the needs of our diverse communities – including the most vulnerable amongst us. The strategy reflects our continued commitment to building, in partnership with others, inclusive, safe and resilient communities.

Key priority focus areas

We’ve specifically identified the following high-priority areas that we intend to focus on over the next five years, based on what communities have told us is important to them. As a result, we intend to:

  • Work to better understand what excludes people from fully participating in their communities and across Council services. We will improve the capture of consistent and relevant data, set clear targets and partner with communities and others to ensure more equitable and inclusive opportunities for all.
  • Increase positive perceptions of the central city after dark. Encourage community-led activities that increase volunteering in local neighbourhoods to increase inclusion and a sense of belonging.
  • Ensure that the community’s priorities, values, aspirations and concerns are incorporated at all levels of the organisation through policy development, planning, decision making, service delivery and review. By reframing our engagement practices, we will increase trust and satisfaction that people and communities can authentically shape and influence their futures.
  • Support and enable communities to respond to the impacts of climate change and emergencies with a particular emphasis on underrepresented or vulnerable communities.


Our draft Ōtautahi Christchurch Community Strategy contains a clear vision, pillars of work, objectives and actions that will help guide the work we do in enhancing communities through partnership with others over the next 10 years. 

We’ve developed the following four overarching pillars and 16 objectives, focusing on specific areas, to help achieve active and connected communities.

Pillar 1: People


We actively promote a culture of equity by valuing diversity and fostering inclusion across communities and generations. 


Pillar 2: Place


We support and help build connections between communities and their places and spaces to foster a sense of local identity, shared experience and stewardship.


Pillar 3: Participation


Residents and groups in the wider community are socially and actively engaged and able to initiate and influence decisions affecting their lives.


Pillar 4: Preparedness


People feel safe in their communities and neighbourhoods and work together to understand, adapt and thrive in the context of change and disruption.

Objectives and actions

The city actively promotes a culture of equity by valuing diversity and fostering inclusion across communities and generations.

Pillar 1: People | Te Whenu Tua Tahi: Te TāngataObjective 1.1

Develop and enhance relationships with tangata whenua via mana whenua and Te Hononga.

Mahinga actions Examples
Promote learning and reference to Te Ao Māori in our work across Council and with communities
  • Festivals and events align with Māori dates of significance.
  • Signage and reports use te reo Māori in a respectful and appropriate way.
  • Māori values are reflected in all aspects of our key strategies, policies and plans.
Actively contribute to supporting strong and resilient Māoritanga within communities; fostering and maintaining relationships with Māori community providers and networks.
  • Increased cultural understanding of staff across the organisation.
  • A range of events, resources and services to support knowledge and understanding of Te Ao Māori.
  • Recognise Māori cultural celebrations, such as Matariki, in Council’s programme of events.
  • Maori Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) supported through Strengthening Communities Funding.


Pillar 1: People | Te Whenu Tua Tahi: Te Tāngata

Objective 1.2

Build, nurture and strengthen relationships with Pacific communities.

Mahinga actions Examples
Provide culturally appropriate channels for Pacific communities to have a voice and to share their culture.
  • Increased cultural understanding of staff across the organisation.
  • The specific characteristics, needs and diversity of each island group are reflected in engagement and influence decision making and service design and delivery.
  • Support community leadership and organisational capacity.
Actively contribute to building strong and resilient Pacific communities, fostering and maintaining relationships with Pacific groups and networks.
  • Groups are supported through Strengthening Communities Funding.
  • Increased contact between Council and Pacific community groups and networks.


Pillar 1: People | Te Whenu Tua Tahi: Te Tāngata

Objective 1.3

Continue to build on the relationships and achievements developed through the Multicultural Strategy – Our Future Together

Mahinga actions Examples
Work with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities and sector networks to build capability and to promote and celebrate diversity
  • Multicultural Advisory Group advice provided to Council influences decision making and service delivery.
  • Community leadership and organisational capacity support are provided.
  • INFORM network is facilitated.
  • Events and activities are funded and or supported.
  • Annual Diversity and Inclusion report is published.
  • Staff support and advice is provided to Council’s Multicultural Committee.


Pillar 1: People | Te Whenu Tua Tahi: Te Tāngata

Objective 1.4

Harness the strengths of diverse communities and address issues of social exclusion.

Mahinga actions Examples
Continue to enhance the capacity and aspirations of the youth, disability, older adults, rainbow, and other communities of interest or identity
  • Youth related initiatives are funded and/or supported.
  • Activities and events for older adults are funded and /or supported.
  • The principles of the Accessibility Charter are upheld.
  • DAG- Disability Advisory Group advice to Council impacts decision making


Pillar 1: People | Te Whenu Tua Tahi: Te Tāngata

Objective 1.5

Support groups involved in providing access to arts, culture, heritage, recreation, and those who care for the environment.

Mahinga actions Examples
Grant funding enables the delivery of a broad range of opportunities at community board and metropolitan levels.
  • Annual funding report
  • Number of events, activities
  • Number of volunteer hours
  • Number of people who participated
Provide accessible information on the opportunities available locally and citywide, through appropriate channels.
  • Annual funding report
  • Number of events, activities
  • Number of volunteer hours
  • Number of people who participated


Pillar 1: People | Te Whenu Tua Tahi: Te Tāngata

Objective 1.6

Facilitate and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Mahinga actions Examples
Encourage active participation and connection to non-formal community-based learning opportunities.
  • Activities funded or supported that enhance personal growth, health and well-being, active citizenship.
  • Support for people to upskill i.e. technological competencies and innovation for older adults.
  • Engagement with Council’s library programmes.
  • Intergenerational learning opportunities are supported.


We support and help build connections between communities and their places and spaces to foster a sense of local identity, shared experience and stewardship.

Pillar 2: Place | Te Whenu Tua Rua: Te WhenuaObjective 2.1

Encourage communities to create and sustain a sense of local identity and ownership.

Mahinga actions Examples
Enable and support community-led placemaking initiatives.
  • Effective activation of placemaking initiatives.
  • Funding provided.
  • Number of collaborative relationships we have.
Work with volunteers to encourage care for their local neighbourhoods.
  • Volunteer numbers, public planting days.
  • Schools in local parks, volunteer numbers from libraries, graffiti team etc.
  • Physical area cared for.
Support local events that connect people.
  • Neighbourhood weeks, local awards, celebrations, our events and festivals.
  • Local grassroots initiatives supported.


Pillar 2: Place | Te Whenu Tua Rua: Te Whenua

Objective 2.2

Work with new and emerging communities in both rural and urban areas to build a sense of belonging.

Mahinga actions Examples
Initiate engagement with residents and stakeholders in new and emerging neighbourhoods (including the central city).
  • Community development assistance provided.
  • Local community building events are supported.
Help establish residents associations and community groups as requested.
  • Number of groups supported including new residents associations (both formally recognised and informal).
Help welcome and settle new residents.
  • Community development advice and support provided.


Pillar 2: Place | Te Whenu Tua Rua: Te Whenua

Objective 2.3

Support the community activation and kaitiakitanga of public places and spaces.

Mahinga actions Examples
Support community-led activation and management of facilities through a partnership model.
  • Community Facilities Network Plan implementation
  • Number of community groups managing local Council facilities.
Encourage and promote volunteering opportunities. Continuous development of volunteer programmes to upskill and recognise our volunteers.
  • All volunteers recorded in Better Impact database.
  • Volunteer events promoted on Facebook and website.

Residents and groups in the wider community are socially and actively engaged and are able to initiate, influence and make decisions that affect their lives.

Pillar 3: Participation | Te Whenu Tua Toru: Te Mahi Objective 3.1

Empower and equip residents and groups to participate in decisions affecting their communities and neighbourhoods.

Mahinga actions Examples
Ensure mana whenua are represented, as a decision-maker in all areas of mutual interest.
  • Papatipu Runanga Committee.
  • Engagement reporting.
Ensure local government engagement processes are appropriate, with clear pathways to involvement.
  • Relevant resident surveys.
  • Number of submissions.
  • Presentations/deputations to community boards and Council.
Increase participation of children and youth to enable them to influence decision-making; nurture emerging leadership.
  • Youth-related initiatives are funded and supported.
  • Civics training provided.
Stimulate more interest in local democracy, especially electoral participation.
  • Presentations/deputations to community boards and Council.


Pillar 3: Participation | Te Whenu Tua Toru: Te Mahi

Objective 3.2

Increase general understanding of the decision-making process and how people can have their say.

Mahinga actions Examples
Let people know how they can influence what happens in their communities and how they can have their say
  • Provide information via social media, written material and face to face on how people can provide targeted feedback.
  • Communities understand the difference between compliance and where they influence.
Let people know what happens to their feedback.
  • Clearly explain what decisions are to be made and provide updates at every stage of the process so those providing feedback are aware of all the information influencing decision-makers.


Pillar 3: Participation | Te Whenu Tua Toru: Te Mahi

Objective 3.3

Provide well-informed support and advice to staff and elected members for effective decision-making.

Mahinga actions Examples
Document and share community issues and trends.
  • A deep understanding of community issues is developed through robust relationships.
  • Community profiles are developed to inform decision-making.
  • Council reports and funding recommendations are evidence-based.
Community boards’ plans are developed across the city.
  • Community board plans completed and are reflective of community needs and aspirations.
  • Resident survey – trust in decision making.
Staff across council work together more seamlessly to respond to community needs and aspirations.
  • Cross unit/team working groups and project teams.
  • Using local knowledge in planning and delivery.
  • Examples provided in outcomes reporting.


Pillar 3: Participation | Te Whenu Tua Toru: Te Mahi

Objective 3.4

Increase volunteering opportunities across the Council and the wider community.

Mahinga actions Examples
Support and acknowledge volunteers and those managing volunteers.
  • Maximise use of the Better Impact database.
  • Policies for volunteer events and sufficient oversight.
  • Training and mentorship for those managing volunteers.
  • Acknowledge and take part in national days of celebration fo volunteers.
Promote and direct people to our volunteering opportunities.
  • Website, social media, word of mouth, attendance at community forums.
Explore Council skills-share with community groups.
  • Corporate Volunteering

People feel safe in their communities and neighbourhoods and work together to understand, adapt and thrive in the context of change and disruption.

Pillar 4: Preparedness | Te Whenu Tua Whā: Te TakatūObjective 4.1

Work with communities to prepare for and respond to emergencies, and also increase climate resilience and adaptation action.

Mahinga actions Examples
Support and resource community approaches to sustainable environmental practices and climate action.
  • Community gardens, food resilience, environmental projects are funded and or supported.
Support communities to develop Community Response Plans, working alongside residents associations, neighbourhood groups, and sector networks.
  • Community Response Plans completed.
Ensure community adaptation plans are developed in key areas across the district impacted by climate change.
  • Community plans completed.


Pillar 4: Preparedness | Te Whenu Tua Whā: Te Takatū

Objective 4.2

Support the capacity of the community and voluntary sector to plan, adapt and respond to risk, disruption and change.

Mahinga actions Examples
Nurture and support new and emerging community leadership through capacity building.
  • Community development advice provided.
  • Community board level or sector based networks. and forums supported and/or facilitated.
Work collaboratively with other funders to deliver high trust, community grant funding.
  • Collaboratively funded projects underway.
  • Council funding review completed to align with strategy.


Pillar 4: Preparedness | Te Whenu Tua Whā: Te Takatū

Objective 4.3

Support neighbourhood and city-wide initiatives aimed at increasing a sense of safety and wellbeing.

Mahinga actions Examples
Develop neighbourhood and metropolitan safety partnerships, identifying priority areas for working together and increase perceptions of safety in the Central City.
  • Alliance and safety plan developed.
  • Dashboard monitoring and reporting system in place.
Deliver our graffiti prevention and removal programme.
  • Number of volunteer hours.
  • 95 percent of requests are responded to within two days.
  • Graffiti prevention initiatives undertaken.

If you're having any trouble viewing these actions, please refer to pages 25-30 of the draft strategy [PDF, 2.4 MB]

Come and talk to us

Staff will be available to discuss the Draft Ōtautahi Christchurch Community Strategy at the following drop-in sessions. 

  • Tuesday 21 September, 3pm to 5pm Rārākau: Riccarton Centre, 199 Clarence Street, Riccarton, Christchurch 8053
  • Wednesday 22 September, 4pm to 6pm New Brighton Community Board Room, Corner of Bereford and Union Streets, New Brighton, Christchurch 8061
  • Thursday 23 September, Midday to 2pm Eastgate Mall, 20 Buckleys Road, Linwood, Christchurch 8062
  • Thursday 23 September, 4pm to 6pm St Johns the Evangelist Church, 2 Saint Johns Street, Woolston, Christchurch 8062.
  • Friday 24 September, 3pm to 5pm Akaroa Four Square, 72 Rue Lavaud, Akaroa 7520
  • Tuesday 28 September, 4pm to 6pm Fendalton Library, 4 Jeffreys Road, Fendalton, Christchurch 8052
  • Wednesday 29 September, 4pm to 6pm South Christchurch Library, 66 Colombo Street, Cashmere, Christchurch 8022
  • Wednesday 13 October, 4pm to 6pm John Wardle Room, St Albans Community Centre, 1049 Colombo Street, St Albans, Christchurch 8014 

Please note, these sessions may need to be postponed or cancelled if COVID alert levels change.

 Can’t make these meetings? If there is a community meeting you would like us to attend, please let us know.


Draft Ōtautahi Christchurch Community Strategy [PDF, 2.4 MB]

Draft Ōtautahi Christchurch Community Strategy (Word) [DOCX, 1 MB] - a reader-friendly Word version, which is an easier format for individuals who use software to help accessibility. This will assist our visually impaired and English as a second language communities. 

Ōtautahi Christchurch Community Strategy Overview Document [PDF, 1 MB] - briefly overviews the information included in the draft strategy.

Ōtautahi Christchurch Community Strategy Consultation Document [PDF, 712 KB]

Ōtautahi Christchurch Community Strategy Consultation Document (Word) [DOCX, 48 KB] [DOCX, 48 KB] - a reader-friendly Word version, which is an easier format for individuals who use software to help accessibility. This will assist our visually impaired and English as a second language communities.

Strengthening Communities Strategy 2007-2017 Evaluation Report [PDF, 6.1 MB]

Strengthening Communities Community Engagement Summary Report [PDF, 601 KB] - views captured during our consultation between August and October 2020

Strengthening Communities Strategy 2007-2017

Council committee to consider draft strategy prior to consultation - 25 August 2021

The draft Ōtautahi Christchurch Community Strategy (formerly called the draft Strengthening Communities Strategy) was considered at the Council’s Sustainability and Community Resilience Committee meeting(external link)(external link) on Wednesday 25 August 2021, where it was approved to go out for public consultation.

At this stage, public consultation is due to start on Friday 10 September 2021

Community Engagement Summary Report and next steps - 2 July 2021

Thank you again for your feedback during early engagement on a new Strengthening Communities Strategy for Christchurch.  Views, received between August and October 2020, are summarised in the Community Engagement Summary Report [PDF, 7.5 MB] and have now been included in the draft Strengthening Communities Strategy. This will be considered by the Council’s Sustainability and Community Resilience Committee at the end of July.  We then expect to consult on the draft strategy in September and early October.

During the consultation period, information sessions will be held at various locations so that you will be able to discuss the draft strategy with members of the project team. Proposals, aimed at providing an action plan to build strong, resilient communities, will also be discussed by Council staff at regular network meetings with local organisations.

Early engagement feedback on Have Your Say - 4 November 2020

We received 60 responses through Have Your Say during the early engagement phase from 7 August to 14 September 2020. Feedback from 42 community groups and 14 individuals was analysed. [PDF, 16 KB] (One further submission was late and another three were anonymous so were not included.)

Next steps

In addition to Have Your Say, feedback from workshops, discussions and input from a diverse range of groups and individuals across Christchurch and Banks Peninsula is now being collated for a pre-engagement summary report which we will send to you in early December.

We then plan to take the draft Strengthening Communities Strategy refresh document to the Council’s Sustainable Community Resilience Committee meeting on 28 February 2021, prior to consultation. This is expected to take place in April and May 2021.

Consultation - 7 August to 14 September 2020

We're not starting from scratch. We're building on our existing strategy and what we've heard from residents and communities over the past decade. 

Over the next month, we want you to tell us how we should make the most of our biggest opportunities and challenges to build strong communities over the next 10 years.

Workshops and discussions are being organised by staff in Community Board areas this month.  Feedback is also being gathered by a wide range of community groups including rūnanga, the City Mission, Canterbury Youth Workers Collective, Age Concern Canterbury and the Social Equity and Wellbeing Network.

Questions prepared for the workshops are below for any residents and groups who would like to contribute during
this early engagement stage.

All feedback will be considered for the draft Strengthening Communities Strategy that will go out for consultation early next year.

We’d like to know if you think we’ve got it right. Is there anything we’ve missed? Do you have any feedback on how we should develop and deliver the action programmes within the strategy to help drive change?

Save your progress and resume your submission at a later time.

Learn more

Have your say


Hearings are planned (subject to change). 

Your details

Submissions are public information

We will require your contact details as part of our submission - it also means we can keep you updated throughout the project.

Your submission, name and address are given to the Community Board to help them make their decision.

Submissions, with names only, go online when the decision meeting agenda is available on our website.

If requested, submissions, names and contact details are made available to the public, as required by the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987. 

View the Christchurch City Council Privacy Statement 2020.

If there are good reasons why your details and/or submission should be kept confidential, please contact our Engagement Manager on 03 941 8999 or 0800 800 169 (Banks Peninsula).

Which of the following do you identify with?

Ethnicity is a measure of cultural affiliation, not a measure of race, ancestry, nationality, or citizenship. Ethnicity is self-perceived and people can belong to more than one ethnic group. An ethnic group is made up of people who have some or all of the following characteristics: • One or more elements of common culture, for example religion, customs or language • Unique community of interests, feelings and actions • A shared sense of common origins or ancestry, and • A common geographic origin.

Organisation details

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Please ensure you have the authority to comment on behalf of this organisation.

Supporting information

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Once you submit your feedback you will receive an automated acknowledgement email. If you don't receive this email please contact the Engagement Advisor.

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Who to contact

Hannah Ballantyne,
Engagement Advisor

How the decision is made

  • Open for feedback