Former CDHB Chief Executive David Meates today has announced he will run for Mayor of Christchurch as an independent in this year’s local body elections, with a focus on the future of the city.
There are a number of short-term challenges facing the council, but also a strong need for clear direction on the future of Christchurch. It is critical to focus now on issues like sustainability, growth, the environment, how we want the city and Banks Peninsula to look in 10 and 20 years’ time, and what sort of jobs and businesses we want to attract.
David said the council needed to re-connect with its residents, be seen as relevant, and be willing to engage and work with its communities, especially bringing youth into the decision-making process. Experienced leadership would be needed to manage challenges ahead while at the same time shifting to a more positive, future-focused strategy.
“Christchurch needs to be an amazing place to live, connect, co-operate, and innovate.
It’s a diverse mix of people and businesses, and we need to combine this amazing creative energy and enthusiasm to build and enable connected communities – all living in a place, an environment that we all have a shared responsibility to care for – kaitiakitanga.
“Council must also be easy to do business with. We need it to move from a reactive, siloed approach to a shared view of what our future looks like.”
In standing for Mayor, I bring extensive experience in both public and private sector leadership.
“I see the role of the Mayor as leading a diverse and effective council that is about empowering communities and enabling them to do what they do best. It is also about ensuring that the best decisions are made for the people of Christchurch and that those decisions are based on good information.
There are immediate issues for the incoming council, but our goal should be making our city a better place for the future.”
“I’m aspirational for Christchurch. We can do better than basic.”
David was CEO of the CDHB from 2009 to 2020, directly responsible for 12,000 direct employees and working in partnership with a further 9000 health professionals in the community.
David oversaw the creation of an internationally recognised integrated health system, and led the response to some of New Zealand’s largest disasters including earthquakes, fires, terror attacks, and Whakaari/ White Island. He also led one of the largest building programmes ever undertaken in health.
In 2014 David was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to health.
I was born and raised in Christchurch and care deeply about the future of this city. Now is the time to use my experience, and collaborative approach to the role, to make my hometown New Zealand’s most attractive and vibrant city.
David was working as a Specialist Health Systems Advisor in Wales and England and will return to Christchurch, and begin his campaign, in early July.