We realise if we’re asking our suppliers to act sustainably, we need to be putting sustainability at the heart of what we do.

Otakaro Avon River

Environmental sustainability

We’re helping our environment by looking for ways we can reduce energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, solid waste generation and how much water we use.

Electric ferry plan for trips to Diamond Harbour

Diamond Harbour ferryA Council grant will help towards the purchase of a battery-electric ferry for trips across Lyttelton Harbour.

Black Cat Cruises, which has been operating the Diamond Harbour Ferry service since 2000, is investigating buying a battery electric vessel to replace their current Black Diamond ferry, which is 18 years old.

A $45,000 grant through the Council’s Innovation and Sustainable Development Fund, along with a $200,000 Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority grant, will help towards the cost of buying the electric ferry.

Early investigations suggest using two 250 kW electric motors would reduce greenhouse emissions from the ferry by about 344 tonnes per year.

A detailed feasibility study is planned for completion by 2020 and if everything goes to plan, a full battery electric ferry could be sailing between Lyttelton and Diamond Harbour early in 2021.

This project aligns with the Council's goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from Christchurch's transport. It is also an example of how Christchurch organisations are working together on practical ways to reduce these emissions.

Parts of Lancaster Park stadium reused

Lancaster Park stadium demolition The Council is aiming to recycle or salvage as much of earthquake-damaged Lancaster Park stadium as possible during its deconstruction.

The deconstruction of the stadium began in December 2017. Since then, around 90,000 tonnes of gravel, waste, concrete and steel have been removed from the site.

The Hadlee Stand was demolished in 2012 for safety reasons but as the three remaining stands – the Tui, Paul Kelly and Deans stands – have been demolished, the material has been salvaged, or put to good use elsewhere.  Around 40,000 tonnes of gravel from underneath the Tui Stand was used at the Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub to help form a platform for the tennis courts, and to create embankments next to the rugby league grounds and adjacent to the new athletics control building.

More than 3,500 tonnes of steel has been salvaged from the Paul Kelly and Deans Stands and more than 45,000 tonnes of concrete has been transported to a private development in Rangiora for use in land remediation.

Once the stadium is completely down, the site will be transformed into a community sports and recreation area. Some demolition material is likely to be left on site for use in the redevelopment of the site.

In 2017, community and sporting groups were also offered the chance to acquire parts of the stadium. More than 30,000 seats were rehomed across Canterbury and New Zealand. Other items such as lighting fixtures, roller doors and gates have also gone to new homes.

Social responsibility

We’re contributing to our local communities and social wellbeing in Christchurch by promoting diversity, acceptance, and compassion for all people.

Giving back to our community

People tree planting

The Council offers a variety of opportunities for people to volunteer with its community programmes.

Community volunteers – who collectively put in 38,000 volunteer hours across all Council parks in the 2018-12 financial year – have helped plant at least 29,000 shrubs and trees in the city’s parks and reserves in the past year as part of the Council’s Community Partnership Programme. Without volunteer input, this would usually cost between $1.1 million and $1.5 million to achieve.

This programme, which is in its second year and receives an annual grant from the Community Resilience Fund, aims to boost community-led action in the city’s green spaces. It includes running volunteer planting days, clean ups, and working with schools to encourage kids to help improve their local parks and waterways.

Council Manager of Parks, Programmes and Partnerships Kate Russell says the fund is a great example of what can be achieved when the Council is able to boost community involvement and volunteering.

“The numbers only tell part of the story, the significance of the stories and goodwill generated can’t be overestimated. It really nurtures active citizenship. The feelings of guardianship that have been generated through this work are where the true value lies.

“The programme caters for people who want to do one-off service in their community parks as well as those who see themselves as longer term guardians of their parks and who give hundreds of voluntary hours individually each year.”

The Council also co-ordinates community volunteers to help with graffiti clean-up days. Volunteers are at the backbone of the Graffiti Team's Off the Wall Graffiti Programme, which seeks to reduce the impact of graffiti in our city.

The Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group, of which the Council is a member, also welcomes volunteers from a range of backgrounds to cover welfare and response functions in the event of an emergency. 

Council sets up new multicultural advisory group

Multicultural group of hands

Up to 15 people from a wide range of cultures and ethnicities will form a new Multicultural Advisory Group that will provide advice to the Council on diversity issues.

The group will meet every six weeks, beginning in December 2019.

One of the key roles of the group will be to oversee the implementation of the 2017 Christchurch Multicultural Strategy – Our Future Together. 

Goals and priority actions in the strategy include ensuring all residents are able to participate in Council decision-making, informing the wider community about the value of diversity in Christchurch, and advocating for the needs of diverse communities.

The Multicultural Advisory Group will advise the Council on what steps it needs to take to make Christchurch a city that is culturally vibrant, diverse and inclusive. They will also help the Council to identify the barriers that people from culturally and linguistically different backgrounds may face in accessing information, support and opportunities to participate fully in Christchurch life.

Housing initiative helps families jump onto property ladder


The Council, along with the Crown, is jointly funding a new housing initiative that will help Christchurch families struggling to buy their own homes.

From 1 November 2019, a new housing initiative, Te Whāriki tū-ā-Rongo (Christchurch Housing Initiative), is providing selected eligible home buyers the extra money they need to bridge the gap between their savings and the deposit threshold required by banks and other mortgage lenders.

Priority will be given to applicants with household income at, or below, the Christchurch median of $83,000, with children, and who would otherwise be unable to enter the housing market.

It’s expected around 50 Christchurch families will be able to buy their own home over the next three years, thanks to the initiative.

Council behind catering social enterprise


Christchurch City Council is backing social enterprise Can Do Catering as it makes delicious food for events by employing adults with significant disabilities.

The catering company, which was established in 2015 by the Laura Fergusson Trust, helps people who experience barriers and exclusion from main stream employment take part in paid work. A relationship began with the Council in 2016 with a request for the social enterprise to provide catering for a Community Leadership event being held at the Hereford Street Civic Offices.

Food at the event surpassed expectations and staff started to highlight and promote the company internally as a great option if catering was required for other community functions and meetings.

Community Development Advisor Karla Gunby says spend with the catering company has increased year on year since the relationship between the two organisations started.

“It’s great to know that our spending is having a big impact for individuals in our community. The people employed at Can Do Catering have brain injuries, and either live in residential care or are supported in the community.

“The majority have not had discretionary income until becoming part of this social enterprise. It opens up a whole new world to them and that is something we, as a Council, want to support.” 

Can Do Catering spokesperson Vicky Harris says having the Council, as well as other corporate customers, government departments and large not-for-profits, behind them using their services has helped with business growth.

“We now employ 12 staff, alongside two full-time support staff. This has really changed the lives of the Laura Fergusson Trust residents that are involved. We are making a difference in our community – not only do we produce excellent food, our residents feel really good about the contribution they are making to their city.”

Economic benefit

We’re making a positive economic contribution to our city in lots of different ways – from using local businesses for goods and services we supply to supporting events that bring money into Christchurch.

Council helps people grow

The Groynes

The Christchurch City Council supports charitable organisation Wai-Ora Trust – whose aim is to “help people grow”.

Wai-Ora Trust has two business arms the Council purchases products and services from, with all profits from the commercial businesses going back to the trust to provide a range of support projects and programmes to the community.

Wai-Ora Trust is engaged by the Parks Unit to do contract work, such a gardening, ecological restoration work and maintenance of plantings at the Council’s regional parks such as The Groynes, Travis Wetland, Halswell Quarry and Spencer Park. This is done for a fixed price by a team of volunteers who are being supported to be in the workplace.

Manager Regional Parks Kay Holder says it’s a win-win for both Council, Wai-Ora Trust and the wider community.

“The public love the volunteers, not just for the work they are doing but for the energy and liveliness they bring to the parks. Their vibe and energy is inspiring and uplifting.”

Wai-ora Forest Landscapes, owned by Wai-ora Trust, was formed in 1996 and is a for-profit business with professional landscaping services. It tenders on the open market for the likes of the landscaping, re-vegetation work and growing native plants to order. With the recent acquisition of Blackadder Fencing, Stratton Construction and Sports Courts, the business now also provides a wider range of services which the Council often utilises.

Wai-Ora Forest Landscapes is currently the social enterprise that Christchurch City Council spends the most with.

Currently, Wai-ora Trust and Wai-ora Forest Landscapes employ around 50 full-time staff and has up to an additional 200 people participating on programmes and projects. It owns a 7-hectare horticulture property on the outskirts of Christchurch city, near Christchurch International airport, as well as a coastal farm north of Kaikoura for camping and forestry development.

Council supports local suppliers

Christchurch City Council building

Using local suppliers to strengthen the city and region’s economy is a key priority for Christchurch City Council.

As one of the region’s largest buyers, we understand that where we choose to purchase the goods and services we need from has a significant impact on the local economy.

In the last financial year, 62% of all our active suppliers were from either the Christchurch or Canterbury Region. In the same period, 74%  of our total spend was with these same local suppliers.

The Council tries to support local suppliers where possible, especially those that have the same goals as us.

We know our choices have a big impact on the community and the quality of life in the city.  Our Sustainable Procurement Programme looks to use our spending to advance the social, environmental and economic wellbeing of Christchurch residents.

We want to demonstrate to the companies and people we work with that we are acting sustainably ourselves, not just asking them to do it.

Council keeps pace with living wage

MoneyMost Christchurch City Council staff are being paid a rate aligned with the Living Wage, and all Council employees will receive this as a minimum by mid-2020.

The Council decided to adopt a minimum pay rate equivalent to the Living Wage in August 2017, which was $20.20 per hour at the time.

In May 2019 the Council agreed that annual adjustments could be made for Council employees through the organisation’s remuneration and collective bargaining processes, as the Living Wage Rate is now $21.15 (as of September 2019). This means the Council has moved its minimum wage rate to match the Living Wage Rate and will do so on an annual basis subject to negotiations with individuals and unions.

As part of planned union negotiations, the Council’s new minimum wage rate will be applied to the small remaining group of staff. This is due to be complete by June 2020.

Most of the staff affected by the increase are casual, part-time or seasonal staff, mainly working in the Recreation and Sport Unit as lifeguards, swim instructors or customer service assistants.

New Zealand’s first Living Wage Rate was established in 2013 and is calculated annually by the New Zealand Family Centre Social Policy Unit, and promoted by the Living Wage Movement. It aims to reduce inequality and poverty in society by lifting the wages of the lowest-paid workers.