Christchurch has had a battering over the last 10 months with three major earthquakes since 4 September 2010 and about 8000 smaller ones. The city centre is still closed and so far 360 buildings demolished. Some reports suggest up to 1000 will be demolished. Nearly 5000 homes are on soil they may not be able to be rebuild on.
Yet all around town there is a great deal of optimism as people go about making living, starting new businesses, relocating businesses and doing things differently. Unfortunately some people have suffered a great deal more than others. The Earthquake Commission and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and the Christchurch City Council have all had their criticism.
What will our new city look like? We don’t know but let us hope that planners, landowners, developers and everyone else listens to the people and the experts.
No city can survive and grow rapidly without people talking and networking and finally working together.
Competition is not really between two similar businesses located in the city but rather how those two can develop offerings to the public which are different yet complimentary so they can both grow in the market place.
One great example I have just heard of is a group of small businesses in one location that have got together to plan new buildings, shops, car parking and public spaces which will make this area an attractive destination. All working together to get people to come to this place feel like they are welcome and proud to call it their place.
The benefits of this are repeat visits, referral to others, increased length of time spent there and more economic activity.
In developing the city, not just the buildings and public spaces we have the chance to change the way we do business and an opportunity to use technology, great working conditions, innovation, creativity, knowledge, technical expertise, Kiwi know how and everything else to make us highly competitive on the global stage.
People will visit us from all over the world to see how it is done, stay with us a tourists, buy our products, pay for our expertise and tell everyone else what a great bunch of people to do business with.
We can make a fortune if we play this right.