Your questions

What will the Committee for Canterbury actually do? +

The Committee will undertake a range of activities focused on the future prosperity and wellbeing for all Cantabrians. Specifically:

Workstreams and research projects – these will be determined by member organisations to progress long-term Canterbury-wide issues. Working groups will be established consisting of members and stakeholders who have particular interest or areas of expertise that relate to the topic. The working groups will generate ideas, and undertake or commission research relevant to the issue. A good deal of research already exists, so in many instances there is no need to re-invent the wheel.

Advocate for the debate – the research and the knowledge of the members will then be used to inform and facilitate discussion and debate in the community. The Committee will advocate to bring action to specific issues and will act as ‘vision keepers’ to ensure that the projects realise their individual outcomes.

The Leadership Programme – this will tap into the energy and insight of the region’s emerging leaders, cultivating their passion for Canterbury and helping channel it into region-enhancing projects. Nominated by Committee for Canterbury members from within their respective organisations, participants are individuals who possess strong leadership in any or all aspects of our community, as well as succession potential and most importantly, a shared belief and commitment to the long-term wellbeing and prosperity of all Cantabrians. The programme is also about a strong level of personal development for those attending. In this capacity, the individual, the Committee and the region all benefit from the contribution.

Member events – these will be a series of working forums to discuss and debate issues and to progress workstreams.

What does “advocate for the debate” mean, and with whom? +

The extent of engagement and consultation across the various communities of Canterbury will depend on the specific topics the members have given to the working groups to manage. As a starting point, the members will be expected to engage widely across and between their organisations in providing input to and comments on the issue. This might take the form of facilitated workshops, consultation or events. The issue would then be able to be raised and discussed more generally across the region, again by facilitating discussion, promoting and sustaining the debate through research, reports, events, publications and media.

How does discussion move to implementation and outcomes? +

The Committee for Melbourne and Committee for Perth have specific examples of how discussion has moved to outcomes.

The Committee for Melbourne estimates that Melbourne’s long-term growth will grow to around eight million by 2060. Melbourne’s housing mix needs to include medium density housing options as well as other high and low density housing options. To achieve broad support, the Committee is helping the community understand the benefits by applying the lessons learned from existing developments. The Committee for Melbourne has also identified the removal of rail level crossings (grade separation) as the hinge point issue preventing more trains operating on Melbourne’s public transport network. Members are working together to examine how level crossings can be removed in ways that are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.

The Committee for Perth believed that in order to have a city of 3.5 million where citizens continue to have a range of housing options, easy and sustainable transport solutions and access to celebrated natural open spaces, consideration of residential and transport development options need to be given now. The Committee commissioned research which led to the position that transit oriented development (TOD) is an effective model that would apply well to Perth’s development future and advocated for the introduction of light rail into Perth’s transport network. To advance this position, the Committee established an alliance group of key stakeholders and produced critical research to drive the need for light rail to government. It undertook desktop and on the ground international research into both existing and planned light rail systems and produced a report outlining the various venture capital funding mechanisms that could be considered in relation to developing light rail in Perth. The result of this advocacy and activity was the development of Perth’s MAX light rail system. The Committee for Canterbury expects that for some issues, a process similar to the development of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy would be followed. The Canterbury Water Management Strategy is a good example of consultation moving to implementation. On other issues relevant to wellbeing and prosperity in Canterbury, the Committee will facilitate discussion and debate. It will then be an advocate for action on the issue. Sometimes, general consensus might be able to be achieved. The Committee will advocate that decision makers proceed to implement the consensus outcomes. For other issues, members may have differing views about how the results of research and consultation should be implemented. The Committee will then advocate that decision makers take action and have regard to the Committee’s work, rather than advocating for a particular outcome.

What are examples of projects undertaken by other Committee for Cities organisations? +

In addition to the two examples outlined above, below are additional projects from Auckland and Ballarat: The Committee for Auckland:

Benchmarking Auckland as a Creative Economy: This is a creative industries scoping project with the aim of establishing the best ways to target and enhance the economic and social benefits from Auckland’s creative industries, and how to best grow specific targeted creative industries in Auckland.

Maritime Auckland Project – the Three Waters: An Auckland as a Maritime City report examines the opportunities, issues and potential trade-offs involved in managing the region’s harbours, including marine governance, environmental integrity, business opportunities, sector development and recreational use. It urges the Council to lead the development of a single integrated Marine Spatial Plan for all three harbours and recommends a review of governance arrangements.

The Committee for Ballarat: A current project of the Committee for Ballarat is the promotion of an aged care service in the Ballarat region which considers the projected increased demands on infrastructure and delivery of services and the use of innovative ‘at home’ care to reduce dependency on health infrastructure.

Who decides on what projects the Committee for Canterbury will undertake? What is the process for deciding on projects, and how will those projects be funded? +

The Committee for Canterbury is a collaborative alliance that brings together individual organisations and members to maximise and empower their policy strength, knowledge base and advocacy power. Through this collaboration, the Committee for Canterbury is able to explore solutions that will help plan for future growth of the region and address critical issues such as population, infrastructure, environment, business, culture and lifestyles.

The members themselves will suggest the workstreams and projects with the prioritisation and final decision made by the executive. Those workstreams will be funded by direct contributions from members and other organisations.

How will the Committee for Canterbury measure success? +

There are five areas that the Committee will measure as indicative of success:

  1. There is a high of level of debate and advocacy over the issues we have highlighted from communities throughout the region.
  2. Our workstreams and projects have traction and are being adopted by those who are best positioned to implement.
  3. Our growing membership reflects a representative mix across the wider community and throughout the region.
  4. We are regularly consulted by a wide range of organisations over the big strategic issues facing Canterbury.
  5. The Leadership Programme is viewed as a sought after, high profile course by leading Canterbury employers and communities.

Why does Canterbury need another organisation/group/committee? +

There is no one regionally-focused organisation currently bringing together leaders from business and industry sectors with civic, academia and government organisations. By adopting a strategic, long-term focus, the Committee for Canterbury will maintain a non-partisan position, transcending short term political cycles. This will therefore enable us to think and act regionally as advocates for the sustainable, responsible and dynamic development of the Canterbury region.

Is this an idea which has arisen from the earthquakes? +

No. The idea was being considered prior to the earthquakes, and has been put on hold for the last three years. While earthquake recovery will influence many of the issues dealt with by the Committee, its focus is on region-wide long-term prosperity and wellbeing. Other organisations are focused on earthquake recovery.

How is the Committee for Canterbury going to work with the Christchurch City Council, other district councils in the region and with Environment Canterbury? +

A strength of the Committee for Canterbury will be that its longevity of commitments spans political cycles, social, economic and culture change. It will be able to provide invaluable insight into the intricacies and challenges defined by spatial, geographic, political, social, economic, cultural and environmental boundaries within Canterbury. To that extent the Committee for Canterbury will work alongside local authorities in determining the long-term prosperity and wellbeing of all Cantabrians. Local authorities are welcome to be members of the Committee for Canterbury, but will have no special rights or responsibilities as members.

How will the Committee for Canterbury work with the Christchurch City Council’s 100 Resilient Cities programme? +

As already happens in Melbourne with its 100 Resilient Cities status and the Committee for Melbourne, the Committee for Canterbury will work alongside the Council’s Resilience Manager. The Committee for Canterbury with its regional focus will offer the opportunity to expand on the work carried out by the Resilience Manager.

How is the Committee for Canterbury going to work and engage with CERA? +

The Committee for Canterbury is not primarily intended to work on or assist thought leadership around earthquake recovery. It will outlast the intended lifespan of CERA and is also beyond and outside the cycles of government. The Committee for Canterbury will engage proactively with CERA to ensure that earthquake recovery is consistent with thought leadership around the long-term prosperity and wellbeing for the region.

Will the Committee for Canterbury be led and dominated by Christchurch interests? +

No. We intend that there will be a wide range of membership across the entire region. The focus will be on the region as a whole, and not just on greater Christchurch issues.

How will the Committee for Canterbury ensure that this isn’t just another business voice? +

The Committee for Canterbury will unite and engage members from social organisations, the commercial sector and academia. The Committee for Canterbury exists to empower all members through the provision of research, ideas and solutions to regional issues.

How is the Committee for Canterbury different to Canterbury Development Corporation (CDC)? +

CDC is the economic development agency of the Christchurch City Council (CCC). The Committee for Canterbury supports the work of CDC and will work closely with the organisation. A strong economy is fundamental to the wellbeing and prosperity of Canterbury. As a result of the inclusive nature and wide membership of the Committee for Canterbury, the organisation will be able to work alongside CDC allowing input from members around prosperity and wellbeing for all Cantabrians.

What is the Committee for Canterbury’s role relative to CDC’s Christchurch Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)? +

A strong economy is fundamental to the ongoing prosperity and wellbeing of Canterbury. The Committee for Canterbury will work closely with CDC, contributing research which will assist in ensuring that the delivery of CEDS benefits the long-term wellbeing and prosperity of all within the Canterbury region.

Will the Committee for Canterbury promote the outcomes of the ‘Share an Idea’ process used by the Christchurch City Council after the earthquakes? +

This is something that will be decided on by the members. However, the ‘Share an Idea’ concept or something similar may be an appropriate way to engage with the Canterbury community on what their vision is around wellbeing and prosperity.

Are the Trustees representative of all sectors of the community? +

No. The initial trustees have been appointed because of their interest in the concept and their relevant experience and expertise. These trustees come from a range of backgrounds and experience. This primary role is to ensure that the founding principles of the Committee are adhered to and that the Committee is well-governed and managed.

Who are the Trustees? +

Trevor McIntyre, Gill Cox, Mark Christensen, Emma Twaddell, Grant Edmundson, Darren Wright, Andrew Priest, Garry Jackson, Janie Annear, Neil Cameron, Erin Jackson and Abbas Nazari. Brief profiles of the trustees are attached.

How will replacement Trustees be appointed? +

There will be between 8 and 14 trustees who will be appointed for a period of three years on a rotational basis. Trustees will be appointed on merit and to achieve inclusivity.

How will the Committee for Canterbury be managed? +

The Trustees have appointed Erin Jackson as Executive Director, and have tasked her with managing the work of the Committee.

Who is eligible for membership? +

The Committee for Canterbury will structure its membership in such a way as to have a wide range of members from business, the community and academia. As members of the Committee for Canterbury and while engaged on workstreams and projects for the Committee, members will be asked to abide by the following guiding principles:

  • To operate in a collegial and cooperative manner;
  • To seek to be part of the solution, not part of the problem;
  • To be politically astute but steadfastly non-partisan;
  • To take a unified voice and not to advance the self-interest of any individual member.

Can individuals join? +

Answer: Yes, as determined by the Committee for Canterbury from time-to-time depending on skills and expertise.

How will the Committee for Canterbury involve community groups and organisations? +

Civic groups and organisations will be eligible for membership by invitation. As there are a wide range and a large number, the objective will be to include umbrella civic organisations as members to ensure that a wide cross-section of such groups is represented. Community members will have an equal role and position as business members. Annual membership fees for community members will reflect the financial position of such members.

Which businesses are eligible to join as members? +

It is anticipated that there will be a range of business members in terms of size and sector. It is expected that members will actively be involved in the workstreams and it may be that members will be asked to leave if they no longer are taking an active role. Membership by similar organisations may also be rotational. That is, the number of members of a certain type of organisation (such as service organisations or consultancies) may be limited, and over time members may be asked to retire to allow other similar organisations to be involved for a period.

Are there similar organisations in other places? +

Yes. There is a Committee for Auckland which was established initially as Competitive Auckland in 2001. The Committee for Auckland is now part of an organisation called Committees for Cities and Regions organisation, which currently comprises 15 committees in Australasia, including Melbourne, Perth, Ballarat, Geelong, Cairns, Sydney and Auckland.

The Committee for Canterbury was accepted as a member of this organisation in October 2014.

Who are the founding members?

  • Anderson Lloyd
  • Beca
  • BNZ
  • Canterbury Young Professionals
  • Christchurch City Mission
  • Fonterra
  • Foodstuffs South Island Ltd
  • Harvey Cameron
  • IAG New Zealand Ltd
  • Lincoln University
  • Ngāi Tahu – Te Rūnanga Ngāi Tahu
  • PrimePort Timaru Ltd
  • Salvation Army
  • University of Canterbury


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