Imagine a local company undertaking a rebranding exercise during a global pandemic?
That is exactly what Christchurch City Council owned venues company Vbase has announced.
It will be now known as "Venues Ōtautahi".
Chief Executive Caroline Harvie-Teare released a statement saying "Vbase is driven to contribute to the economic, social and cultural wellbeing of the region."
"Venues Ōtautahi reflects who we are and what we do, deepening our connection with the community and our cultural heritage."
"This change is also the company brand taking a step back and making these community owned venues the heroes."
I wanted to ask Harvie-Teare why she needed to change the name of a ratepayer owned company during a global pandemic, after laying off 60 per cent of the workforce 10 months earlier.
I wanted to ask her if it was financially reckless to be making this decision considering Vbase is cash strapped?
And how much did this rebranding exercise cost?
She initially agreed to speak to me on Thursday, but then sent a text message to our producer saying "apologies but upon reflection, we are still engaging with our key stakeholders as this release was sooner than we had planned."
"I think it's best for us to focus on this and when we formally make the change, I'd be happy to speak."
But stakeholders are also the ratepayers of Christchurch.
You are not just accountable to a select few, you're accountable to the city.
Harvie-Teare should know this, having worked at Cera.
Other questions I wanted to ask is why was there the need to change in the first place? And how does a name change "deepen the company's connection with the community"?
Sounds a bit wishy-washy in a bid to justify the inappropriate timing of this change.
She wants the company to take a step back and make "these community-owned venues the heroes." - Heroes of what?
At the end of the day I couldn't care less what the new name is, I quite like both the Māori and English names for the city.
But now is not the time for a corporate makeover.