Christchurch Economic Development Strategy

The Christchurch Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) – first launched in 2013 and currently under review – identifies the city’s long term growth goals and priorities to 2031 that will create a stronger economy and better quality of life.

It is prepared and monitored by Canterbury Development Corporation (CDC), in support of the Christchurch City Council Community Outcomes Framework and in particular the objective of a prosperous economy. CEDS has over 20 implementation partners across the private and government sectors, including CDC. The strategy is one of collective ownership.

As the economic development agency for Christchurch CDC has the additional role of monitoring and reporting against the whole programme.  At its outset CEDS encompassed over 70 economic development projects with a combined value of over $8.2bn to the economy over 15 years.

Economic development planning ensures that resources, business and investment decisions are steered towards a common set of objectives intended to improve economic outcomes. By setting a common course, engaging with the business community and investing in shared goals, better outcomes will be achieved.


Our vision for the economy of Christchurch is that in 2031 Christchurch is recognised as the best place for business, work, study and living in Australasia.


To achieve the vision, by 2031 our goals are:

  • Christchurch has the best economic ranking against Tier Three cities in Australasia. Quality of living matches a Tier Two city in Australasia.
  • Total GDP has grown by 69 percent to $21.7bil (GDP per capita by 38 percent (2012-2013).
  • Exports to China have increased by 140 percent, reaching $719mil by 2031.
  • In 2031, 20 percent of the 15-64 aged population in employment in current high-growth enabling sectors: agriculture; manufacturing; information, media and telecommunications; finance and insurance; and professional, scientific and technical services.
  • The proportion of the working age population with a post-high school qualification has increased from 40 percent to 45 percent. The proportion of the working age population with a Bachelor qualification or higher has increased from 20 percent to 26 percent.

The Big 5

The CEDS process identified five large-scale opportunities that have the potential to step-change the economy, with different projects involving private and public sector organisations sitting under these.

Keeping the city competitive

The CEDS development process identified a list of initiatives which are required to keep Christchurch economically competitive with other cities and regions.


2016 review of the Christchurch Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)


CDC is currently developing the revised strategic framework for CEDS, following stakeholder workshops in May 2016.

While it finalises and consults with stakeholders on the strategic framework and the revised project list, it will not undertake quarterly CEDS monitoring updates against the 2013 version of CEDS.  Monitoring will begin again once the revised strategy has been endorsed by Council.

The last CEDS quarterly monitoring report, completed for the March 2016 quarter, is available for review.


Progress to Date

A draft background paper on the Christchurch economy has been completed.

A draft review of progress against the current strategy has been completed.


Stakeholder Workshops

Four thematic workshops involving representatives of Christchurch’s business community, local government, education and research institutions and other stakeholders were held in May 2016. You can view information pertaining to these workshops below.


Labour Market Workshop

Workshop Brief
Workshop Key Findings

Innovation Workshop

Workshop Brief
Workshop Key Findings

Attractive City Workshop

Workshop Brief
Workshop Key Findings

Business Environment Workshop

Workshop Brief
Workshop Key Findings


Next Steps

During June and July 2016, CDC will use the workshop findings and other research to review the CEDS strategic framework and identify potential initiatives with stakeholders.

During July and August 2016, CDC will draft the revised strategy.

The strategy will be presented to the Christchurch City Council for endorsement in late 2016.



If you would like to contribute to this review, please click here.