Infrastructure key to the continued success of Canterbury

The Building Nations conference is underway at the Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre this week, with attendees discussing the resilience and future of New Zealand’s infrastructure.

"Businesses in Canterbury are the engines of growth in New Zealand and make ours the strongest regional economy in the country" says Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, Leeann Watson.

"There must be a significant focus on leveraging infrastructure to enable growth opportunities for our region, and businesses tell us that long term planning and continued investment in this is key to unlocking their own investment in growth and productivity.

"The Canterbury region is set up for world-class infrastructure capabilities, being home to the Lyttelton Port, the largest in the South Island, and the Christchurch airport which is New Zealand’s second largest and the South Island’s busiest connection to trade and tourism.

"We are the perfect testing ground for significant long-term infrastructure projects because of our scale as New Zealand’s second largest city, without significant geographic barriers, and having plenty of room to expand.

"We have seen how infrastructure can enable growth in a regional economy following significant private and Crown investment in Canterbury over the last decade. Rolleston for example grew by more than 770 per cent between 2001 and 2021, our house prices are $155,000 below the national median, and our commute times are significantly shorter than in other main centres.

"We also acknowledge and fully support efforts to respond to New Zealand’s chronic infrastructure deficit and to build resilience across the country, like those being discussed over the next two days at the Building Nations Conference.

"With our strong backbone of manufacturing, export and primary industry businesses in Canterbury, we rely on our roads, rail and sea connections to do business with the rest of New Zealand and the world. We would like to see key infrastructure vulnerabilities removed by the commitment to a second Ashburton bridge, reliable Cook Strait crossings, and investment in coastal shipping.

The Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce continues to advocate for investment in infrastructure, which is a key component of our "Business Expectations of Government" election year report being released in early July.


For more information contact:

Leeann Watson | Chief Executive, Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce

Email: [email protected], Mobile: 027 447 7775