Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Breakfast with the Prime Minister

On the Thursday before Easter CECC hosted the Prime Minister the Right Hon John Key at a breakfast attended by 700 of our members and their colleagues.

The PM spoke about the Christchurch rebuild gaining momentum and revealed some interesting statistics:

  • The government’s total contribution to the rebuild is $15b including $7.3b from EQC net of reinsurance proceeds 
  • Right now the government is paying $9m every working day in rebuild invoices 
  • The Canterbury economy grew at 5.6% last calendar year 
  • Christchurch and the surrounding area is home to one in ten New Zealanders. 
  • There are more than 200 private sector rebuilds, both commercial and housing, either underway or consented within the four avenues 
  • The $40m Isaac Theatre rebuild will open in October this year 
  • There will be 1700 staff from 20 government departments back in the central city by 2016 
  • 7300 flat land properties in Christchurch and Kiapoi were zoned red due to land damage and over half these homes have now been removed 
  • Following the earthquakes there were over 450,000 claims on more than 170,000 dwellings in Christchurch. 
  • 53,000 homes have been repaired under the EQC managed Canterbury Home Repair Programme with Fletcher EQR. 
  • The balance of under-cap homes will be repaired by the end of 2014 
  • 91% of the city's dwellings were damaged in the earthquakes 
  • There is a current shortfall of 12,000 dwellings in the city 
  • Housing NZ expects to build 700 new houses and complete repairs to 5,000 existing state houses by the end of 2015 
  • The SCIRT $3b rebuild is due to be completed by the end of 2016 
  • There is a $1.1b investment going in to compulsory school facilities over the next decade

 Yes, that is all about gaining momentum!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Future Focus of Christchurch Luncheon

14 April was a big day, in light of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce (CECC) hosting 500 guests at the Future Focus of Christchurch luncheon, in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

CECC was selected to host the Royal luncheon because of our experience in running large events and a proven track record through the eyes of the Department of Internal Affairs and the Royal Visit Committee.

As part of the event the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge entered the Aircraft Hall at the Royal New Zealand Air Force Museum where the lunch was held. Of particular interest to the Duke on the walk into the Hall was the DC3 Aircraft that was used as the Royal aircraft for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II from 1953 to 1977. After they entered the room the Duke and Duchess were welcomed, the Duke spoke, and then a six minute video prepared especially for event was shown (http://www.cecc.org.nz/news/video-from-royal-lunch/). This was followed by a light lunch with a choice of salmon or chicken. The Royal couple departed after approximately one hour to attend a dedication at the Royal New Zealand Air Force Museum Memorial Wall.

We have received incredibly good feedback from the attendees at the lunch. The highlight from my perspective was having the opportunity to spend some “one-on-one” time with the Duke and Duchess, bringing them up to speed on what is happening in Christchurch and hearing a little bit about their impressions of New Zealand to date. They are a delightful couple who are very relaxing to be with.

The big impact on Canterbury is that we have now received world coverage of where Christchurch City is at in the context of its rebuild. The video created for the event has gone viral. There has been significant coverage in English newspapers of the luncheon and it has really put Christchurch and New Zealand on the map.

It was a great privilege to host the Royal couple. I cannot recall any other business support agency being asked to perform this function in New Zealand and it was wonderful to see my talented team perform so well to make the occasion such a success.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

PMI and PSI provide critical information

For many years now CECC has worked with BusinessNZ to have input into the Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) and Performance of Services Index (PSI) surveys.

The information gathered from these surveys is extraordinarily valuable and is used by government departments (Treasury, Reserve Bank) as a tool for the most up-to-date data for the country as well as by international agencies such as IMF.

The surveys really do help to shape policy decisions. The BNZ BusinessNZ performance surveys are run monthly and provide performance indexes at both the regional association and national level. It is critical that we get broad based regional participation in these surveys to ensure the survey results are robust given the use the information is put to.

Both the BNZ BusinessNZ PMI and PSI surveys are run monthly. They are quick and easy to complete and we would encourage increased participation by Canterbury companies. Please consider being involved and contact Lorraine Rouse (lorrainer@cecc.org.nz or phone 03 335 3080) to register your interest. 
Click here for a summary covering both indexes to give you further information. I really do encourage active participation in these surveys so that we can provide information to those people who are making decisions about our future. 

Friday, 4 April 2014

We've moved!

After a couple of years of being accommodated at the Westpac Business and Community Hub CECC has relocated to 518 Colombo St.

We are extremely grateful to Westpac and the others that made the Hub available to us and our members, but it is time that we got closer to the Central City. Given the delays in getting back to our real home at 57 Kilmore St., we decided to take the plunge and get one step closer to home. After a week in our new temporary premises we are settling in and enjoying being back inside the Four Avenues.

Occasionally I write some verse about issues impacting on the team at CECC. This one pretty much sums up our sentiments!

At last,
We make our move.
Just one step closer to home.
Still nomads,
But we leave our tent behind.

At last,
Windows to shed light,
We can now see our world. 
No longer blind,
To the changing day outside.

At last, 
A place to mingle,
To enjoy some time together.
A long forgotten,
Common room, just for us, to relax.

At last,
We hear the buzz of the city,
At our doorstep.
The long forgotten,
Noisy babble, of a busy downtown.

At last,
We make our move,
Just one step closer to home.
Reaching to Kilmore,
But one more step to take.