Last week we had a wonderful presentation by Bree Loverich on the screen industry and its enormous potential. Bree is exactly the sort of person who makes a superb Economic Development worker. She is passionate and has the support of the industry she services. People in the private sector do not relate easily to box ticking bureaucrats, as a rule. Bree reflects the best sort of public entrepreneur who works alongside people and encourages and resources them, and they trust her.
We had an apology from the Deputy Mayor who was unable to attend the gathering. As Chairman of the CCC Finance Committee and a Board member of ChristchurchNZ (where Bree works) it was interesting to read out the questions he wanted Bree to answer. They were:
- Have you got the support of ChristchurchNZ?
Bree, of course, had to say she does. My personal observation is that this is a really good question. Listening to Bree’s presentation demonstrated just what enormous potential there is for the Screen sector. I wonder if it is time for ChristchurchNZ to transfer funds from fluffy PR campaigns into this area? If Auckland can gain $1b per annum from this sector we should aim at getting at least that amount down here.
- Have you got access to the required funding?
I will say that this is the responsibility of elected reps at CCC, the Board of ChristchurchNZ and CCHL to get in behind sensible financially bankroll-able proposals. They are out there but need support by pulling together a collaborative framework where this City finally gets back to where we were years ago, welcoming this sector.
- Do you have visa and immigration policy including isolation and quarantine arrangements in place to ensure the customer base has access to the world’s best film set and that there are no barriers to entry?
My response to this is this is definitely where Local Government and economic development agencies must have excellent relationships with Central Government.
This was a wonderful presentation on a topic which contains the essence of a new and potentially huge, high paying, sector in our City. My message would be get on with it Christchurch City Council, ChristchurchNZ and CCHL.
Here’s the links to the talk