Thursday, 7 December 2017


On 30 November 2017 I end my association with the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce (The Chamber) after 21.5 years of rewarding and sometimes challenging times. Over those 21.5 years I have seen our city transformed, our region go through a period of unprecedented economic development and our Island establish itself as one of the world’s best kept secrets.

My role at the Chamber has allowed me to get a very clear understanding of what makes this economy tick and the significant contribution made to the welfare of our community by our hardworking business sector.

Of course, the earthquakes of 2010/2011 changed everything - from a generally conservative, inward looking, slightly old-fashioned community - Christchurch has been through unprecedented upheaval and is now positioned to be a modern, forward looking, entrepreneurial, multi-cultural city and well equipped to face its future. I will always be proud of the role the Chamber played in the post-earthquake environment. Together with other agencies, we operated as a safe pair of hands for business and through being involved in driving various interventions. I believe we had a material impact on business survival in extremely challenging times.

One of my proudest moments was the appointment of Leeann Watson as my successor. Leeann and I have worked together at the Chamber for 20 years and she has been involved as General Manager for the last eight of those years. She is the right person, in the right position, at the right time to assume leadership at the Chamber. 

Peter Townsend
Chief Executive
Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce

15 November 2017

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