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South New Brighton and Southshore are strongly connected communities that have been through a lot. 

South New Brighton and Southshore are suburbs of Christchurch and are home to approximately 2,000 households. We are extremely active communities and were some of the worst affected by the Canterbury Earthquakes. Many decisions about our community have been made and there are still many more decisions to come. Our community needs and wants to be involved in how decisions are made about our place.

Adapting to the effects of climate change.

Regenerate Christchurch is a government organisation tasked with Christchurch’s regeneration post-earthquake. As a result of the damage in South New Brighton and Southshore, Regenerate Christchurch will develop a Regeneration Strategy for the areas, with input from the community. Because South New Brighton and Southshore are between the sea and the Avon-Heathcote/Ihutai Estuary, adaptation to climate change effects will need to be considered in the Strategy. South New Brighton and Southshore are therefore, the first places in Christchurch, to plan how they will adapt to the future effects of climate change. 

The How Team concept is a new way for community and government agencies to work together.

The How Team represents the idea of ‘nothing about us, without us’. It originated in our community. The How Team concept was designed and managed by local community development organisation, Renew Brighton.

The How Team was a mix of community and government people.

It was made up of eight community members and a local convenor, plus representatives from Regenerate Christchurch, Environment Canterbury and Christchurch City Council.

The How Team focused on HOW we have this conversation as a community.

It is difficult to know how to have a conversation with 2,000 local households about adaptation to the effects of climate change. It is complex and challenging. Regenerate Christchurch understood the need for a new approach. It supported the community to lead the design of the community engagement plan, through the establishment of the How Team. The team focused on the ‘how’, not the ‘what’. It didn’t discuss the issues, nor make decisions about. It focused on how best to discuss the issues and how to community and agencies could work together to make decisions.

The How Team developed an engagement plan for Regenerate Christchurch.

The engagement plan focused on how to get genuine and effective community input into the development of the Regeneration Strategy. It is a localised and relevant guide that aims to be responsive to community needs and perspectives. We kept the community informed about How Team progress as we developed the plan, via short updates. These can be found here

The community engagement plan is being rolled out right now. 

Regenerate Christchurch is using the engagement plan to guide its work on the Regeneration Strategy. The project is called 'Coastal Futures'. 

What next?

Regenerate Christchurch needs strong community input during the Coastal Futures project. The How Team is continuing and a Community Facilitator, with a focus on community wellbeing and community advocacy, is employed by Renew Brighton, funded by the agencies. A smaller How Team, called How 2, has also been established, with a mix of some original How Team members and 3 new members.

Profiles for How 2 members can be found here.

How 2 Terms of Reference can be found here

A community hub has been established in South New Brighton to help get people involved.

The Hub is open 9-11am and 2-6pm Monday/Wednesday/Friday and from 12-4pm on Saturday at 82 Estuary Road (by the Bridge Street roundabout).




Or for more information on the How Team please contact Rachel Puentener- Community facilitator: