A strong economy is generally regarded as necessary for improving the quality of life. It is expected that cities will need adaptive, resilient, and more diverse economies in the future to thrive in a rapidly changing global environment.

Changes to our Community Outcomes and Strategic Priorities

The Council approved a new 2020 strategic framework on 19 December 2019 and this is currently part of the consultation document on the annual plan.

Information on our revised Community Outcomes and Strategic Priorities is currently being developed.

What this means for our district

  • Christchurch has globally competitive businesses driving exports and generating wealth.
  • Christchurch is recognised as the global gateway to the South Island and Antarctica.
  • There is adequate and appropriate land for commercial, industrial and agricultural use.

How we are contributing

Our primary contribution to Christchurch's economic base is ensuring the city has the right infrastructure in place to support a broad-based twenty-first-century economy.

The Lyttelton Port Company(external link) and Christchurch International Airport(external link) are crucial links for trade and tourism. Ensuring good transport links and adequate zoning for different land uses also provides a solid base for the economy.

How you can help

Support businesses in Christchurch.

How we are doing

Status What do we want to achieve? What has happened?
Positive result
Canterbury gross domestic product (GDP)

Since 2010, GDP in Canterbury has increased by 57%, compared with the national increase of 56%. Further information.

Positive result

Value of export goods from Lyttelton Port and Christchurch Airport

Value of exports through Lyttelton Port are 51% higher than before the earthquakes. 

Exports through Christchurch Airport have increased by 100% since the earthquakes. Further information.

Positive result

Regional tourism spend

Tourism spend in the ChristchurchNZ regional tourism organisation area has increased annually since 2012, reaching $2.96 billion for the year to June 2019. Further information.

Canterbury gross domestic product (GDP)

Canterbury's GDP was $37.5 billion in the year to March 2019. This was an increase of 186% since 2000. Canterbury's GDP makes up 12.4% of the national GDP, which is slightly higher than the proportion of 11.6% in 2000.

In 2018, the key industries contributing to Canterbury's GDP were manufacturing (12%) and construction (10%). The industrial group with the greatest growth since 2000 was construction, followed by professional, scientific and technical services.

Exports from Lyttelton Port and Christchurch Airport

For the year to June 2019, exports leaving via Lyttelton Port were valued at $5.6 billion, while exports leaving via Christchurch Airport were valued at $2.7 billion.

Compared with pre-earthquake values, exports through Lyttelton have increased by 51%, up from $3.7 billion in 2010. Lyttelton exports peaked in 2014 at $6.9 billion, before declining to its current value.

Airport exports experienced a significant peak in the year to June 2012, probably as a result of the earthquakes. Excluding this peak, airport exports have doubled from pre-earthquake values of $1.3 billion in 2010.

Regional tourism spend

The earthquakes had a significant effect on tourism spending in the region. Spending in ChristchurchNZ RTO (includes Christchurch, Selwyn, Waimak, Ashburton and Hurunui) fell from $2.24 billion in 2010 to $1.81 million in 2012, a decrease of 19%.

Overall tourist spending has increased annually since 2012, and reached $2.96 billion for the year to June 2019, the highest on record.

In the year ended June 2019, domestic tourists spent $1.8 billion in the ChristchurchNZ RTO, which was 61% of total tourist spending. Domestic tourism expenditure was less impacted by the earthquakes than international, falling by $73 million between 2010 and 2012 (a decrease of 5.7%). By 2013, domestic spending had recovered and exceeded pre-quake spending levels, and has increased each year since.

International tourism expenditure was more impacted by the earthquakes, falling by $361 million between 2010 and 2012 (a 38% decrease). This reflected the downward trend in international arrivals during this period.

It was only in 2016 that spending levels exceeded pre-quake levels, and in 2019 total international expenditure was $1.16 billion.

Further information about regional monthly expenditure on tourism, including maps and charts, can be found on MBIE's website(external link)(external link).

Further information

Please email monitor@ccc.govt.nz for further information.

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Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in processing, analysing and reporting the information provided in these web pages and reports. However, the Christchurch City Council gives no warranty that the information in these web pages and reports contain no errors. The Council shall not be liable for any loss or damage suffered consequent upon the use directly, or indirectly, of the information supplied in this publication.