In the article below Stuff’s Dileepa Fonseka has written a really good summary of how the Cities will be the growth drivers of our economy. As somebody who has been totally committed to this important area for decades I agree with his writing. However, one part of the article worried me. He wrote:
Infometrics has been collating numbers on productivity in various city regions. Wellington is our most productive, then Auckland. Our second-largest city, Christchurch, is even less productive than New Zealand as a whole.
This is an enormous challenge. We have an economic development agency which has a very poor brief from Christchurch City Council. I have personally attempted to work with them to change their workstyle to no avail. Excellent workers have left in frustration. Lots of them. I knew many of them personally. The place is now, as I have written before, in my opinion a PR candyfloss factory.
When Dawn Baxendale was appointed as CEO at Christchurch City Council, she told us all that she was an authority on economic development agencies. She told me, and anybody else who wanted to listen, that she was going to lead a complete change to that organisation. Well, Dawn’s been here for over a year and a half and absolutely nothing appears to have changed at all. When Infometrics reports that Christchurch, the rebuilt City, is less productive than the country as a whole, we have to look at the supposed supporters of economic development, ChristchurchNZ, MBIE and the Chamber of Commerce and ask what the hell are they doing other than spending our money.
Talking of money ChristchurchNZ is going to get even more money in the CCC budget this year.
Over the next period we will be analysing ChristchurchNZ and CCC and how our money is being wasted and working on how we could make them work better for us and our economy. There needs to be changes at the Board table, and within the executive. We need this agency to flourish. I wonder if what happened to “Let’s get Wellington Moving” to create change is what should happen at ChristchurchNZ?
Here’s that organisational change explained. I have worked with Dave Brash and he is an excellent choice to lead it. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/440958/let-s-get-wellington-moving-appoints-new-leadership
Here’s the article from Stuff about economic development: https://www.pressreader.com/new-zealand/the-press/20210501/282144999204452.