The Chamber has released our Local Government Directive – a pre-election report that represents a local business perspective in the lead-up to the 2019 local election in Ōtautahi Christchurch.

This document provides insights on issues raised by our members and the wider business community and includes commentary and key recommendations.

Please click here to read our Local Government Directive. Or read a summary in our media release here.

To help inform voters ahead of the election, we have asked all candidates to provide their positioning on relevant recommendations outlined - please see their responses here.

About the Local Government Directive

The Council has a mandate to help support and promote economic growth in the region. While it is not the sole architect of our local business environment, the Council does play a major role in determining local policies, projects, infrastructure and initiatives that impact and help to contribute to the success of our city and region.

The Local Government Directive is intended as a starting point of a larger conversation around what The Chamber expects from the Council to help shape Christchurch as an example of a small, but innovative, resilient and courageous region that is focused on delivering a vibrant, prosperous and sustainable 21st century experience for its businesses and residents, comparable to other major cities around the world. It is also important that any decisions made about the city are done so with consideration given to its positioning within the wider Canterbury region.

At The Chamber we have always said that we believe the Council has a very real opportunity to show bold, innovative thinking and decisive leadership; the 2019 local election is their chance to do just that.

The Chamber’s expectations of the new Council include:


An Independent Review of Council’s Asset Base
An independent review of the Council’s current asset base with a view to exploring opportunities to release more capital in order to prioritise and deliver on the Council’s vision and keep rates and debt at a manageable level.

Increasing Rate Base and Raising Capital
Greater focus given to business and people attraction to increase the rate base and raise capital, providing essential funding to meet project specifications and timelines. 


An Enabler for Business
A commitment by Council to become an enabler for business and provide a more consistent customer-centric experience for businesses, with a greater focus on streamlining processes, minimising compliance costs and reducing the burden on business.


Prioritisation for Central City Businesses
Prioritisation and greater support for businesses and developers in the central city, with increased engagement and clear strategies to deliver.

A Stronger Voice for Business
 A stronger weighting given to the business voice in decision-making to be more representative of the level of private investment and potential impact of Council decision-making.

Support for Central City Activation and Promotion
Appropriate resourcing and increased support for activation and city promotion, to positively shape perceptions of our city, increase our national and global relevance and ultimately increase visitor revenue.

Key City Assets Fit-for-Purpose
A greater focus on ensuring the design of key city assets are fit-for-purpose, future-focused, accessible and affordable to ensure full utilisation and return on investment, with increased engagement around asset delivery.


Climate Change and Risk Management
Clear, succinct communication around the implications of global issues such as climate change and how they will impact local businesses, and subsequent risk management.


Greater Collaboration
Greater alignment and collaboration with local and central government agencies, with greater clarity around agency mandates and collaboration.

For a detailed commentary of the impetus behind these recommendations, click here to read our Local Government Directive.