The Council has an interest in ensuring that the region’s strategic assets are operated in a commercial manner, but also in a way that is beneficial for the region as a whole. Through Statements of Intent, the Council is able to establish broad parameters reflecting the public nature of these assets, but without inhibiting proper commercial management.
CCHL remains committed to the ownership and monitoring role entrusted to it by its shareholder, Christchurch City Council. Reasons for retaining ownership of the city’s key infrastructure assets include:
From a financial perspective, over $1.26 billion of capital and dividend payments have been made to the Council, enabling it to make further major investments in community assets without a significant impact on rates.
The income stream from the CCHL group companies enables CCHL to pay dividends to the Council of around $46 million a year, hence diversifying the Council’s income and helping reduce rates by some 13% a year.
When CCHL was first set up in 1993, the value of its assets was $170 million. With the subsequent addition of the airport and port a couple of years later, the value came close to $400 million. Today, the group owns assets with a combined value of $3.4 billion, and group equity is over $1.8 billion.