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The Influencers: Joanna Norris


ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive

At the heart of one of the most desirable destinations in the world sits Ōtautahi Christchurch, a revitalised city where central South Island adventures begin.
Arrive here and explore the full gambit of New Zealand experiences, just up the road, around the corner or over the pristine Southern Alps.
No matter where you end up, Christchurch is just the beginning.
That’s the message at the heart of #ExploreCHC, ChristchurchNZ’s new long-term visitation brand and campaign, with the revitalised city of Ōtautahi Christchurch at its heart.
The campaign is led by ChristchurchNZ in collaboration with Christchurch Airport and a range of South Island regional tourism organisations, positioning Canterbury and the West Coast as an immensely desirable visitor destination.
The campaign is a key action in the city’s response to the social and economic impacts of Covid-19 and is aimed at attracting domestic visitation and revitalising the city and region.
The #ExploreCHC message will be in the market over the next three to five years and represents one of the most significant domestic marketing investments ChristchurchNZ has made to date.
It showcases how the nearly 70,000 square kilometres making up Canterbury and the West Coast (nearly half the South Island) offers visitors the entire NZ experience – all within reach of Ōtautahi Christchurch.
So please share the #ExploreCHC campaign far and wide, tell your friends and family about it and together let’s invite the rest of New Zealand to enjoy this cool little city we call home.


 

The Influencers: Joanna Norris


ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive

The second wave of Covid-19 has dealt the country a psychological blow alongside the economic and social impacts we are still experiencing from the first outbreak.
Ōtautahi Christchurch’s Socio-Economic Recovery Plan anticipated community transmission was likely and remains the basis for how we respond to these impacts. Our sights are firmly set on the immediate aim of supporting businesses and saving and growing jobs and, over the longer term we are building a foundation to reposition the city for a smart, sustainable future to ensure intergenerational wellbeing.
Already we’ve seen the delivery of several initiatives from the plan; including the recent partnership with the University of Canterbury (UC) Business School and Ara Institute of Canterbury and Ministry of Awesome through the Te Ōhaka – Centre for Growth & Innovation, to deliver an all-of-city approach to innovation.
Start-ups and businesses with high growth potential now have even more support, advice, networks, mentoring and access to investor and commercial networks here and overseas.
The Ministry of Awesome will be the home for early-stage start-ups – their Incubation Programme and wealth of other start-up support will grow our best ideas into business opportunities.
ThincLab at UC will focus on high growth ventures, providing further incubator support and connecting businesses with the best local, national and international expertise to fast-track their growth.
Without a doubt, you can expect to see great things come out of the city’s innovation ecosystem over the next year.

 


 

The Influencers: Joanna Norris


ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive

The latest retail data shows Christchurch tentatively returned to pre-COVID-19 spending levels.

This is welcome news for our recovering economy, but it is sustained growth which we continue to work towards, as we know the sugar rush of post-lockdown spending may not last.

Retail spending in Christchurch increased by 4 percent during June 2020, compared to the same period last year – led by growth in sectors including home, hardware and electrical (up 26 percent) and apparel and personal (up 16 per cent).

But, perhaps the most encouraging news was the 13 percent increase in spending by residents in the central city – one of the city’s areas hardest hit by the loss of the international visitor market.

Here at ChristchurchNZ we continue to build on this bedrock of support by extending the invite to people from around New Zealand to visit Ōtautahi Christchurch and explore our city, region and the wider South Island.

From the wild West Coast to the bays of Banks Peninsula, from whale watching in Kaikōura to heavenly hot pools and skiable slopes – we sit in the centre of a treasure trove of destinations and attractions.

But it doesn’t stop there, over the winter months we’ve been working with partners across the city to prepare a spring season of social, cultural and sporting events events.

Our BLOOM programme will return in 2020 to entertain residents and domestic visitors alike and add further stimulus to our economic growth and recovery.


 

The Influencers: Joanna Norris


ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive

Having the right skills to supply the future job market is crucial in repositioning Ōtautahi Christchurch for social and economic prosperity.
Unemployment in the city was 4.2 percent, similar to the national average of 4.4 percent (as at the end of March 2020). Since the lockdown, the number of Jobseeker Support Recipients, an early indicator of unemployment levels, in Canterbury has increased by 35 percent compared to 31 percent growth nationally. We expect this rate to rise when the support of the central government wage subsidy is removed.
The impact of Covid-19 will be much clearer at the end of the June quarter. But in real terms, this means between 12,500 and 20,000 people will be unemployed in Christchurch over the next 12 months. That is why we are acting now to support people into new jobs and build a talent pipeline for the sectors that have job opportunities.
One of the first initiatives is a city-wide career and study expo on 6 August, at Vodafone Innova8, Tuam Street. Industry and tertiary partners will be delivering workshops and highlighting the types of employment and training opportunities that will be in-demand and advising on how people unemployed or looking to re-train to a future-focused sector can get involved.
This is an important first step in a programme of work that will address our current and future employment needs, with the ultimate goal of positioning Ōtautahi Christchurch with the right skills and employment opportunities to future-proof our economy and meet changing global demands.

The Influencers: Joanna Norris


 

ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive

We’ve got a one billion dollar opportunity waiting for us.

One billion is the amount spent on overseas tourism that Canterbury has the opportunity to retain, according to a report from Deloitte.

The figure is calculated by estimating how much outbound tourists spend overseas and apportioning this to each region, based on population.

This produces an estimate of how much spend could be redirected into the domestic market.

If Kiwis who would usually holiday overseas redirect some of their spending locally we have the opportunity to soften the economic blow to the visitor sector, keep businesses open and people in jobs – to the tune of one billion dollars.

Pre COVID-19, the 8,800 businesses in Canterbury’s tourism sector employed close to 70,000 people and contributed $4.9 billion to Gross Domestic Product – tourism represented one of the largest potential areas for growth.

It’s not hard to see why – Ōtautahi Christchurch has a growing reputation as a basecamp for exploration where visitors can explore nature’s playground from surf to summit, but also enjoy the flavour of NZ’s newest city and the gastro, cultural and scenic smorgasboard in between.

Over the coming months ChristchurchNZ will be working closely with local and national partners to leverage these unique selling points, to showcase our city and region to locals and invite Kiwis to explore all we have to offer.

We know our corner of New Zealand is one of the best and we’re ready to welcome visitors here and show them the spirit and beauty of Ōtautahi.


 

The Influencers: Joanna Norris


 

ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive

The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented.

If we are to save jobs and businesses, get the economy going again and ensure Christchurch is well positioned for the future, we need to do so together.

We have a chance to usher in a sustainable future by working together to save jobs, to support local businesses and to reposition Christchurch to deliver inter-generational wellbeing through a smart, sustainable and future focused economy.

It will take a collective commitment across the community and public and private enterprise to make this happen.

We need to balance necessary and urgent activity with longer-term recovery planning to usher in a sustainable future.

Our early economic recovery planning encourages people to think about working within three horizons: response, recovery and ultimately, repositioning the city for a stronger future.

In this early stage, one of the most powerful tools we have to hand is consumer spending.

Consumption accounts for 60 percent of economic activity, this means how you choose to spend your income makes a difference.

The money you spend on everyday items doesn’t just go to the business owner. It trickles through the community, it goes to workers, it goes to suppliers.

It keeps people in jobs.

I realise not everyone can spend and times will be tough for many.

But, if you are one of the lucky ones to come through COVID-19 with a job and your health, now is the time to spend locally to support businesses and keep people in their jobs.


 

Leeann Watson: The Influencers


Now that it’s well and truly the middle of winter, it’s great to see ChristchurchNZ’s new central city winter campaign really taking shape.

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive

The message is simple: Baby Come Back.

The retro-styled campaign is aimed at encouraging Christchurch residents back into our central city, and to promote foot traffic through the retail, bars and restaurants in the CBD over the winter months and beyond.

It’s so positive and exciting to see a dedicated campaign aimed at supporting those businesses that have taken the lead in regenerating our CBD through their investments in our central city. It’s bold, vibrant, fun and showcases some of the great attractions in our own backyard.

It’s also local. It was created in collaboration with central city businesses and stakeholders, ensuring it can be leveraged by all parties.

To date we have seen positive trends in central city spending, with annual growth up by almost 15% compared to last year – driven by a combination of increased spending by local residents, residents from nearby regions and international visitors, with locals leading the charge.

Locals who come in to explore what’s on offer in the four avenues will find a number of new developments – such as the new boutique cinema Lumière at The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora, and the soon-to-be completed Riverside Market, which will welcome more than 70 boutique vendors within the four inter-connected buildings in spring this year. It’s all adding up to a lot to come back to.

 

 


 

Sheppard and Rout Architects

Exceptional spaces: Sheppard and Rout’s award nominated fit-out of ChristchurchNZ’s offices in the BNZ Centre

Our work is shaped by our surroundings and office space is vital in business. Often modern offices have a certain sameness – the blandness of a standard corporate look. Sheppard and Rout Architects set about overturning this convention when designing the fit-out for the new ChristchurchNZ offices in the BNZ Centre, a Canterbury regional NZIA awards entrant.

Sheppard and Rout Architects

“ChristchurchNZ is the city’s economic development and profile agency charged with stimulating economic activity and attracting visitors to Ōtautahi Christchurch,” Sheppard and Rout Director Jasper van der Lingen says. “It needed to be a warm and friendly space; conducive to the development of ideas, an interesting and people-oriented place and one which would also showcase products from the region. We were working to a tight budget and had to be creative.”
The resulting 1200sqm space is both efficient and stylish with its mix of open plan work areas and break out/meeting rooms. “Flexibility was key, so there are meeting rooms for all different purposes – from the very small for privacy, up to mini conference size. Because visitors come to these rooms we made sure they were sited for the best views of the city and the Port Hills.”

Sheppard and Rout ArchitectsThe design also makes use of natural and sustainable materials; timber joinery around the meeting rooms for warmth and carpet tiles made from recycled fish nets echo the natural palette of browns, creams and charcoals, creating a calming mood and effect.

Sheppard and Rout ArchitectsOne feature which pushes the boundaries of what can be done with office space is the lack of suspended ceiling. “We simply got rid of it, exposed all the services and painted everything black. It gives a great sense of increased height.”