Tragedy inspires industry support – Chris Hanley

In the wake of the recent violence in Christchurch, the property industry has been inspired to respond with a trans-Tasman movement to support and nurture the families of the victims, their community and the industry’s Christchurch colleagues in their time of grief.  The groups spokesperson Chris Hanley from First National Byron Bay joins us with the details.
Kevin:   In the wake of the recent violence in Christchurch, the city and its people have demonstrated Kia Kaha. Which is a traditional Māori affirmation that means, “Stay strong.” This has inspired a Trans-Tasman movement from within the real estate industry to support and nurture the families of the victims, their community, as well as the industry’s Christchurch colleagues in their time of grief.
Kevin:   How do you do that in a practical sense? Well, to answer that, Chris Hanley from First National Byron Bay joins me. Chris, tell me about what you and the others are putting together.
Chris:  We’re putting together a conference, Kevin. And nice to talk to you again.
Kevin:   Yes.
Chris:  We’re putting together a conference on the second of May, in the city of Christchurch, with a focus on raising money through the ticket sales for the victims families, and also donations from other people through the website we’re building right now, so that people can, even if they can’t get to the conference, they can donate.
Chris:  We’re also trying to work, and think we’ll be able to livestream the event to the people who want to donate, and also want to see the speakers and listen to things, will be able to do it. That’s what our focus is.
Kevin:   Yeah, well, the conference is called RISE. The website is I’ll make sure there’s a link at the bottom of this interview to take you to that as well. Chris, you and your team have been able to put together a very impressive list of people. I notice that it’s actually growing.
Chris:  It is growing. We haven’t finished, Kevin. We’ve got a few more people to add. People have been approaching us who just want to help, basically. Team’s a little bit of a loose description of what we actually are, Kevin, but thank you for calling us a team. There’ll be a number of people who listen to this. We’re just a bunch of people, and it didn’t start with many of us, who thought it was a good idea. And like all good ideas, you put it out there for a while, until someone tells you, A) it’s not a good idea, or B) they got yeah that’s a good idea, I think I’ll join up and help. There’s a bunch of us, and it’s the people from within the industry, the different generations, are also included in this from different offices and brands.
Chris:  It’s a non-branded event. We are trying, and going back to where it all started, I think your introduction was really strong. I was, and the others that are involved, were all deeply impacted and saddened by this. We just thought if there’s any way we can do anything … I think everyone got stunned by this. When you’re feeling that way, I think the next step after that is just to start asking yourself, okay what can I do? And that’s what we’re doing.
Kevin:   Yeah, well there are business leaders, there are people who aren’t even in the industry who’ll be going along to speak. Peter Fitzsimons is one, Megan Jaffe of course from Ray White Remuera. There’s just so many people on this website, very, very impressive people who’ll be both attending, giving their support as well. And I was interested too to see that the institutes, namely the REIQ, are involved as well. I guess the institutes around Australia will be supporting this too.
Chris:  I believe so. This has all happened in seven days Kevin. We’re a little catching up if you like, with good intentions at the moment. But Antonia from the institute in Queensland, who I just had something to do with a couple of weeks ago by speaking in the conference, is an impressive woman, and a very impressive CEO. She’s gonna be part of it. I watched her do a chairing session, up there at that conference, and she was great. The people who are involved in this conference, have actually made it, if that makes sense. Instead of someone putting on a conference, which we do all the time, and you and I’ve been to hundreds of them, and they’re wonderful.
Chris:  In this instance though, the people who are speaking have also made the conference, if that makes sense. So, Phil Harris, who we all know, and Tom Hector for example, are two old friends and were good friends of mine. They just said yes straight away, by text. Text messaging is wonderful when you’re trying to work out whether an idea’s any good, Kevin, because you workshop it. So, on the Saturday straight after Christchurch, I sent a lot of texts out to a lot of people that I know in the industry. The good people I know, and they all came back in a positive way.
Chris:  As you said, there’s a lot of CEOs. What’s happening on this trip, which is I think a little unusual is that we’re going over there. But it now appears that bunches of Australians want to join us. And the CEOs of some of the groups Nick Dowlings, was an enthusiastic supporter from Jellis Craig. And he’s coming, and so are many of the other CEOs and some of their staff now all want to come along.
Chris:  You said also, in the intro it’s … the purpose of this is to support the families of the victims in Christchurch, but also to connect with the people who are involved in the property industry. And my understanding is there’s about 1900 real estate agents in Christchurch. It’s a big real estate town, and I think there’s a feeling both with the speakers and the other people who want to go to the conference, that we want to go over and maybe hang out with the Kiwis for a couple of days and just show our support for what’s happened to their community.
Kevin:   That in itself is going to be a reason why this is going to be a very, very different conference. The fact that it’s not just about going for the conference, it’s all about looking after each other, helping someone get through a really difficult situation. I just think this is fantastic. We are so proud to be supporting you, and I will call it a team. You and everyone else involved in this Chris. Congratulations. As I said, we’ll be there. It’s called Rise 2019. It’s on in Christchurch on May 2. The website is Use the link below this email, and please, please give it your support.
Kevin:   Chris congratulations on what you’re doing and all the best.
Chris:  Fantastic. And just before you go Kevin, I want to tell you how good being involved in this has been for all of us. Dane Atherton, is another Queensland lad that I know, you know well. He’s a very, very good man, and he’s been very, very important in this small group of people organising this. And Dane came up with the idea of RISE and it’s such a great idea. Yeah he did. We’re gonna give him creative credit. I may even gonna be strong and call him our Australian Creative Director, he’ll like that.
Chris:  But more important Kevin, more important, we’re gonna do this again. This is our inaugural event in New Zealand. But the idea is that what we’ll do next year, if it works over there, is we’ll find whether it’s drought, or climate change, or something, we’ll find an issue each year that the industry and the profession wants to support. And then we’ll put another event on in another place, and find the agents who want to contribute, and we’ll go and help whatever community that is that we can do some work in.
Chris:  Thanks for supporting us Kevin. Thanks for talking to us today. I look forward to seeing everyone in Christchurch.

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