I am a bit disappointed at the Timaru response to the stadium funding, although not surprised.
Should Timaru contribute to the cost? A big flat NO was what they came up with.
Timaru is not Christchurch ... or is it?
A region is about perception.
A region is about what you have in common as much as it is about what makes you unique.
It is astonishing how many councils pervade the region, I count 10 and that doesn't include Waitaki, which is partly in the region.
That is an absurd number of councils, it's a ridiculous amount of replication.
This country is too small for the number of councils it has, there are well over 70.
Let's be honest, most of us don't vote anyway, and too many of those who end up on councils are do-gooders, and the bored and/or the largely unemployed.
If Christchurch is going to forge forward, taking advantage of size has got to be part of the equation.
The biggest barrier to a super city-type idea, is of course Auckland who started our version of one.
Sadly they cocked it up.
I was a fan of Auckland amalgamating but these days I have to defend the idea by explaining that what we ended up with is not a bad idea, it is a good idea badly-executed.
The same way you can argue that Christchurch City Council, although specifically representative of an individual area, has not served its people well given its financial position and indecision around the stadium
The "model" is not the issue, the execution of that model is the key.
The trick here is to think big, to think beyond the city and the region, to think nationally - and most importantly to think internationally.
This country pre-Covid made a fortune in tourism, it can again.
Christchurch should be every bit as big a gateway to the country as Auckland is, but it can only do that on scale.
People need to enter the South Island port, they need to enter the Christchurch super city, it's the beginning of the South Island experience.
To be frank the South Island experience is what tourism is really all about.
Auckland is not much of a tourist destination, the North Island does not offer the skiing the South does, it does not have the attractions the South does.
The beauty, the recreation, the uniqueness of what this country is to so many who want to travel half a world to see it, is essentially in the South Island.
The distance between Christchurch and Oamaru is nothing to a tourist, seeing the place as individual fiefdoms is no way to grow.
Timaru is never going to be able to sell itself to the world the way a Christchurch super city could and should.
The seeds are already in place, you arrive at the country's best international airport by some margin.
Its access to the city is easy, you arrive in a city quite clearly in the business of growth and expansion.
You see the precincts, the new buildings, the new houses.
Never underestimate the accessibility of a region either, Canterbury whether you call it a super city or not, is a wonderfully easy region to traverse the hills, with the snow a bit over an hour away.
Ashburton is an hour away, you can't get from one side of Auckland to the other in an hour, why is Ashburton not part of Christchurch? Timaru is under two hours away, you can still be called Timaru but why wouldn't you want to be tied into the success of the South Island's entry point?
The world doesn't change under a super city structure, our weekend home is an hour out of the "city" but it's still part of Auckland.
We look out to forest and space and olives, but it's still run by the same people in the CBD.
If Auckland and its super city experience is all that puts you off, then ignore it, Auckland is a mess that is constantly played with by ideologues that aren't up to much.
There is enough of Christchurch already built to see that the future is all anyone ever dreamed it could be.
Dream big, think big, build big, be inclusive, the Waimak is just up the road yet it's got its own council, don't let introspectivity hold you back.
Liking what you have, and thinking it's enough is the recipe for stagnation.