'Ministry' created to 'water the seeds of awesome'

VICKI ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 15/06/2012
Sam Johnson
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It's official, Christchurch has a Ministry of Awesome.

There's no red-tape at this ministry – instead, its goal is simply to harness ideas to make Christchurch an "even more awesome" place to live.

A wide group of people – "awesomists" – are involved in the non-profit initiative.

The core members include Student Volunteer Army head Sam Johnson, former mayor Vicki Buck, Kaila Colbin, the curator of TEDxChCh and TEDxEQChCh (part of the Technology, Entertainment, Design ideas movement) in Christchurch, and Sacha McMeeking, general manager of strategy and influence at Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu.

The ministry's mission is to "water the seeds of awesome in Christchurch".

It has been founded on the belief that "awesome is all around us and sometimes needs nurturing".

Its website – ministryofawesome.com – invites suggestions for innovative ways to increase Christchurch's awesomeness factor.

Ideas put forward by yesterday included sculptured bike racks, a scale model of the city pre-quake, a petanque park, an underwater bridge across the Avon and a suggestion that Christchurch host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Members of the public can vote for the ideas they like via social media, using a one to five-star rating system.

"We're not about creating awesome ourselves," Johnson said.

"We're supporting the creation of awesome. We want to know what you want to do that is awesome, not what we should do.

"We want Cantabrians to create awesome, and, most importantly, think of what could be created, built or made or what events that volunteers, corporates, NGOs, or international groups could build in your neighbourhood."

Johnson said the idea is to rally support, both creative and financial, around the best ideas.

McMeeking said the organisation hoped to be a hub for relationships between the business community and people with inspiring ideas.

"Collaboration is the springboard for the power of awesome. Business, community, mavericks and government all have part of the answer, together we can be remarkable."

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