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Tag: Joanna Norris

The Influencers: Joanna Norris

Working in partnership with public, private and community organisations means we’re able to achieve more for the city by leveraging different strengths and resources. Partnerships sit at the heart of the Ōtautahi Christchurch Recovery Plan, which details the city’s collective efforts to ensure our economic and social recovery is deliberate, strong and fair.


ChristchurchNZ CEO


As we head into winter we’re mindful of the challenges. Closed borders and a moderation in retail spending means the winter will be tough for many businesses.

So, we’re delivering initiatives with city partners to stimulate economic growth, create more high-value decent work and build resilience into businesses and our economy.

With the Ministry of Social Development we’re supporting over 200 jobseekers to start a business, and learn how to draw support from the city’s innovation eco-system.

With the Crusaders we’re changing perceptions of Christchurch and driving visitors to the city, by helping them come to a game, and explore the city while they
are here.

With ThincLab, Te Ōhaka Centre for Growth and Innovation and KiwiNet we’re uncovering some of the most exciting and future-focused business ideas in the food, fibre and agritech sector.

With the Regional Business Partner Network, Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce, and Business Mentors New Zealand we’re supporting thousands of businesses each year – connecting them with advice, funding, support and resources.

Our aim is to continue to strengthen and grow these partnerships and deliver value back to Ōtautahi Christchurch.


The Influencers: Joanna Norris

Having wrapped up a fantastic summer of events, capped off with the biggest coup of all – securing Christchurch as host city for global sailing event Sail GP 2022 – it’s worth a look at why major events form a key part of our economic recovery.


Chief Executive


If you were one of the 13,800 people at the Blackcaps v Pakistan test, you’ll know the vibrancy family-friendly events bring.

If you were one of the 1.1 million broadcast viewers watching the T20 Black Clash at Hagley Oval you’ll have seen the exposure this gave our city and heard international commentators compliment our hospitality, urban culture, amazing street art and new experiences.

If you attended one of the 30 Bread & Circus Backyard Buskers Festival events you’ll have felt the sense of resident pride and community alongside the laughs and acrobatics.

If you’ve invited friends or whānau to visit our city to attend one of these events – or any of the other sporting, music, art or cultural events on show – you may have reflected on how far we’ve come in the last decade and just how much Christchurch has to offer.

We’re looking forward to an even bigger and better 2022 – Covid-19 levels allowing – drawing more visitors, adding fuel to our economy, creating jobs, supporting livelihoods and demonstrating why Ōtautahi Christchurch is a city of exploration and bold ambition.


The Influencers: Joanna Norris

ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive

A growing number of Kiwis are eyeing up Ōtautahi Christchurch as a tempting place to live.

Twenty per cent of those recently surveyed said they were open to relocating to Christchurch within the next five years.

This is a great indicator of the vibrancy and profile of our city.

We regularly gauge the perceptions of people outside of the city, including their willingness to travel or move to Christchurch.

Perceptions are important. How people view our city, what they know, what they don’t know and how they speak about it influences our economic growth.

Waitaha Canterbury requires an additional 70,000 workers over the next 15 years to fill vacancies created by an aging population. We’re competing not just nationally, but globally, to attract a strong workforce.

If we want to maintain and grow our market share of the national economy, we need to work hard to attract people to the city and to understand what drives behaviours and perceptions.

Some of the most important factors are the cost of living, housing affordability, housing quality and ease of getting around – all areas in which Christchurch outperformed both Auckland and Wellington.

These results are hugely positive for the city, but there is always more work to do.

We know people want to see more employment opportunities available in the city.

So attracting businesses, supporting innovation and creating more high-value decent jobs will continue to be a priority for us in 2021 and beyond.


The Influencers: Joanna Norris

Chief Executive

Partly, Vxt, eClean Envirotech and Medsalv. Four companies that encapsulate Ōtautahi Christchurch’s spirit of exploration – and four companies which feature in our most recent campaign highlighting how this city makes innovative ideas real.

Christchurch has long been the birthplace of innovation and technology-based start-up companies, from Tait Electronics in the 1950s to Jade in the 1990s and recent successes including Orbica and Seequent. The city’s entrepreneurial spirit has not been subdued by Covid-19.

To support Christchurch’s recovery from the economic effects of Covid-19, ChristchurchNZ is helping these entrepreneurs by giving them a leg-up in creating new start-ups and growing existing businesses here.

The storytelling in this campaign celebrates the businesses emerging in our city, and both their and Christchurch’s ingenuity, creativity, and personality.

This campaign follows on from our recent investment in Canterbury’s existing founder start-up and innovation incubators, Te Ōhaka at Ara Institute of Canterbury and ThincLab at the University of Canterbury.

We’re supporting these incubators to build the number of businesses they support and the depth of support available.

Each year at least 35 businesses will be provided the best chance of success through these partnerships.

Ultimately this work is about creating high-value jobs and ensuring our city is seen for what it is: An exciting place to live, to work and do business.

Expect to see plenty more from us here at ChristchurchNZ in 2021 as we continue to ignite bold ambition and create new and better economic opportunities for the city and its people.


The Influencers: Joanna Norris

Chief Executive

As schools and tertiaries wrap up the academic year, students are facing a very different outlook to what they ever could have imagined.

In December approximately 7000 school leavers and 10,000 tertiary graduates will complete their studies.

So what are we doing to help them?

ChristchurchNZ is not just looking at those exiting education but all groups experiencing the impacts of a tough employment market, including those in lower skilled roles, Māori and Pacific populations and those in long-term unemployment.

We are mapping support available so we can target areas most in need.

This is creating a regional resource to help people find out where and how they can get support.

We’re developing a Regional Workforce Plan to identify skills needed now and, in the future, this will inform government investment, policy and education priorities.

A recession means more people choose to study, so we are supporting Ngāi Tahu’s development of an iwi skills hub creating pathways for young Māori into tertiary education and skilled jobs.

From a business perspective, we’re investing in our city’s innovation ecosystem to support start-ups (expect lots more on this to come soon) and working to attract additional businesses and jobs to our region.

Despite the uncertainty, there are many green shoots and opportunities.

It may require a different approach, particularly for our rangatahi looking to forge careers in a radically different environment, but we have bold ambitions for our city, a resilient population and we are dead set on supporting those impacted by the recession into sustainable, future-focused jobs.


The Influencers: Joanna Norris

ChristchurchNZ Chief Executive

With August 2020 spending in the central city down 4 percent compared to the same month last year and tourism related industries showing a greater decrease, it’s more important than ever to support local.

Major events play an essential role in supporting social and economic prosperity and help create a vibrant atmosphere.
BLOOM is our spring celebration – packed with festivals, gigs, art and entertainment. As we head down the home straight of the season, things only get bigger in November as we finish with a flourish.

SCAPE Public Art, Riccarton Park and Addington Cup Weeks, Hazletts City Farmyard, Mitre 10 Canterbury versus Auckland game and Go Live! Festival are just some of the events packed into the November BLOOM schedule.

Other ways we continue to stimulate the economy include working with local businesses through the Canterbury Regional Business Partner Network – the team have supported 3500 businesses in the six months since the start of lockdown, over five times their annual volume.

We’ve launched a domestic tourism campaign #ExploreCHC to drive both local and visitor spending.

We’ve invested into the creation of a city-wide innovation ecosystem to create valuable and sustainable jobs.

Already, we’ve seen the emergence of success stories like Pyper Vision and Zincovery gaining national and international recognition.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, we continue to work in partnership across the city to support social and economic recovery and showcase what makes Ōtautahi Christchurch a fantastic place to live and work.


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.