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Karen Johnston

Doctor of Philosophy, (Resource and Enviromental Planning)
Study Completed: 2014
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Planning for a Night Out: Local Governance, Power and Night -Time in Christchurch, New Zealand

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

How local government governs and makes decisions has changed over the last 30 years. Ms Johnston examined the nature of that change and how power was exercised within the new governance arrangements by studying the Christchurch City Council’s decision-making process of its revitalisation of the Central Business District. She found that power was both dispersed to an outside organisation and concentrated within the council in fewer people. A post-political turn emerged where consensus was encouraged and political dissent discouraged. The revitalisation project was most successful in the creation of a vibrant night-time economy where young people drink and socialise. Paradoxically, these young people were constituted through the revitalised spaces as problematic.

Associate Professor Christine Cheyne
Dr Jeff McNeill