Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Nominations have now closed for the imminent CECC Board Elections...

Every year half of our board of 12 come up for election. This year with six of our current board members seeking re-election and several aspiring board nominees we now have ten candidates for the six available positions.

As CEO I find that most satisfying. We have a robust democrat process in place, which involves a highly contested process. Why is this so important? Well there are organisations, like ours, around the country who either “pick” their Boards, or have to go cap in hand to their members to encourage them to stand. Our governance is of the highest quality and that is partly because positions on the board are highly sought after.

I am also pleased with the fact that we have had in place an internet based voting system through Electionz .com that we have been using for the past eight years. The voting process is evolving and easy to use, and is now starting to be used by membership-based organisations across New Zealand. Who knows? Maybe someday soon we will see electronic voting for our Local and National Government elections!

The  next stage of the CECC board election process is voting, and that is up to all of the membership to ensure they have their say in the leadership of their organisation.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Dispelling the Three Urban Legends of Christchurch

As we begin to get seriously engaged into the recovery phase of a post-earthquake environment it is important to dispel pre-urban legends.

  1. Population Flight - There has been a lot of speculation about how many people have left Christchurch in the context of the impact of the earthquakes. The reality is that our population for greater Christchurch is now higher than it was prior to 4 September 2010 and increasing internal and external migration is having a marked impact on our population. We can expect population pressures to rise, not to fall, and pressures to come on accommodation in Christchurch as we recruit more people into the city to engage in the rebuild. 
  2. Capital Flight - We have been saying for some time now that capital is designed to fly, capital was made to fly but it’s not where it flies that is important, its where it lands. The reality is that we have not lost a lot of capital from Christchurch, but we do need to assiduously work towards creating an environment that encourages capital to land. There is a lot of money looking for a home and it is important to all of us that we find good investment propositions in a framework of certainty for that capital. However, to speculate that capital is being drained out of Christchurch is a fallacy. 
  3. Negative Economic Impacts - Immediately post-earthquake there was speculation we would suffer a major loss in business activity in our region. Clearly this has not been the case. Economic activity has held up remarkably well and in fact our regional economy is grower faster than the rest of New Zealand, and will continue to do so. Do not under-estimate the economic impact of the rebuild, $40 billion plus is a big spend for any region let alone a region with a greater Christchurch area population of about 400,000. 

It really is time to put these three urban legends to bed and to move forward constructively and positively in New Zealand’s biggest ever economic development programme.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Grasmere Lodge....pure luxury!

I recently had the privilege of staying at Grasmere Lodge. The lodge is owned and run by Tom Butler and his partner Jo. They have a truly world class offering which earns international acclaim.

The lodge oozes history. The accommodation is pure luxury and the food offerings quite superb. The lodge is positioned amongst some of New Zealand's most spectacular high country. It unashamedly caters for the high value international traveller but is also a haven for a luxury time away for New Zealanders. There is plenty to do at the lodge from horse trekking to hiking, and simply enjoying the spectacular scenery.

The role boutique offerings such as Grasmere Lodge play in attracting and indulging high value tourists to New Zealand cannot be underestimated. They attract big spenders who are returning to New Zealand regularly because of the experiences they have while here.
We should applaud people like Tom and Jo who are doing the hard yards for the economic benefit of all New Zealanders.


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

I am within 100m of where Napoleon stood and watched his troops march past!

I have had significant feedback on my blog last week relating to a night out with the police. Overwhelmingly, those who have contacted me have reinforced what a great job our Police Force does under trying circumstances. There has also been a lot of comment about the need to change our behaviour with respect to alcohol.

I am writing this blog from Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic. I am within 100 metres of where Napoleon stood, on a still existing balcony, to whatch his troops march past. Brno oozes history! That aside, what impresses me is the way they have almost eliminated traffic from within their central city. Cars and trucks can access where they need to but most people are delivered to the central city by a very regular and efficient tram service. The city functions well, but at its heart there is an overt and positive tranquility, which adds significantly to the central city and clearly relates to the absence of cars. There is a MacDonalds " walk through" in the city square!

My understanding is that Brno has been like this for many years. Something to think about!

I am  in Brno attending a conference on employer/reservist relationships in my capacity as chairman of The New Zealand Territorial Employers' Support Council. An interesting conference indeed, given the massive changes occurring in defence force capability around the world and the increasing reliance on part time military personnel.

On the way home I will catching up with our High Commissioner in London, Sir Lockwood Smith and the Team at NZTE in New Zealand house.

I hope to be able to pick up good information on the European economy and its direction of travel in a volatile world. I also want to ensure that the team in London know exactly where we are at in the post earthquake recovery.

Interestingly, modern technology means I am effectively still in my office!