John Minto (Mayoralty)

What value do you see the arts having in Christchurch, and how will you support the arts?
I read somewhere that the arts reflect the “soul” of humanity. I think that’s true – they reflect back to us the reality of our lives – the good and the bad in all its complexity. There will always be limited ways a council can fund the arts directly with hard cash but there are many other ways the council can help foster the arts through event promotion, use of council facilities etc etc
What value do you see social enterprise having in Christchurch, and how will you support it?
Social enterprise is a widely used and much abused term. If it means work which enhances the lives of citizens through engagement with their local communities then I would support that and it should be supported by council. This is quite separate from the duty of councils to do their utmost to build the self-respect and dignity for individual families and communities through full-time employment on decent wages and secure hours of work.
What would the city look like today without the transitional movement post earthquake?
I’m not sure as I wasn’t here during the earthquakes but viewed from afar I was intrigued to see the outpouring of street art which seemed to help connect people through emotional engagement based on their common experiences.
If we took all economic factors out of the equation, how would you value the contribution of the Arts?
Very highly – the older I’ve got the more appreciative I’ve become of the role of the arts in communities.
Christchurch is fast becoming the social enterprise centre of New Zealand, reflected in the fact we are hosting the 2017 Social Enterprise World Forum. What seems common practice in UK city councils is for these governance bodies to prioritise social enterprises in all tendering processes to encourage local economies. What are your thoughts around bringing similar policies into CCC?
Absolutely agree. It’s common sense for the money collected through rates and taxes to be recycled through the communities who pay them in the first place. The TPP and other trade agreements are a serious threat to the country and city’s ability to prioritise local economies. I would want to have Christchurch declared a TPP free city for example by the city council.