Christchurch City Holdings Limited (CCHL) is the wholly owned investment arm of Christchurch City Council, holding shares in seven trading companies and monitoring three further Council-owned companies and their subsidiaries.


About cchl

CCHL was set up 1993 in response to calls for a confidential independent non-political buffer between the Council and the companies it owned. CCHL therefore ensures that a commercial approach is taken to managing the interface with the Council’s companies.

The Council’s investment in CCHL and its subsidiary companies was  independently valued at over $1.5 billion in June 2014.  CCHL has a Standard and Poor’s credit rating of A+.

The trading companies pay regular dividends to CCHL. In turn, CCHL pays dividends of around $38m a year to the Council. The CCHL group companies have also provided significant capital for the Council to fund other projects.


Infrastructure investment

CCHL is moving towards playing a more proactive role in supporting the Council's aim of making Christchurch a "world class boutique city" by investing in, or promoting the establishment of, key infrastructure assets in a commercially viable mannner.  Areas such as high speed telecommunications, water, security of energy supply and integrated transport have been identified as key regional infrastructure priorities, and CCHL will examine these to ascertain whether there are gaps that cannot be filled by the private sector or existing Council operations.  The company will take a role in filling these gaps, whether by joint ventures, public/private partnerships or by acting as a catalyst for investment by others.

CCHL has no desire to replicate or compete with private sector operations, but recognises that there will be projects that are not suitable for private sector investment.  CCHL will require a sound business case to underpin any investment, but recognises that a lower rate of return, or slower path to profitability, may be appropriate in some cases.


CCHL functions in relation to existing investments

In relation to the existing portfolio of investments, tasks that CCHL undertakes include:

  • reviewing Statements of Intent provided by the CCTOs;
  • reviewing periodic financial reporting by the CCTOs and reporting to the Council;
  • recommending director appointments to subsidiary companies;
  • liaising with the subsidiary companies regarding the appointment of chairpersons;
  • recommending, through a robust and independent process, director appointments to subsidiary companies;
  • capital structure reviews;
  • monitoring business developments;
  • assisting subsidiary boards with community issues;
  • keeping well informed on strategic issues facing the sectors that the subsidiaries operate within;
  • having strategic discussions with the chairs and boards of those subsidiaries, where appropriate;
  • making opportunities for subsidiary boards to network and discuss developments in governance practice;
  • dealing with other issues as they arise.



CCHL is accountable to the Council through a number of mechanisms, including:

Neither CCHL nor the Council plays any part in the management of the CCTOs and other companies – this is solely the prerogative of their respective boards and management, who are charged with running their businesses in a commercial manner, and on an arm’s length basis from CCHL and the Council.


Board and management

The CCHL Board currently comprises four Councillors and four externally-appointed directors. Governance arrangements in respect of the Board are set out in a Board Charter.

CCHL employs a small team of staff, comprising:

  • Paul Munro - Chief Executive Officer
  • Leah Scales - Chief Financial Officer
  • Noeline Halstead - Executive Officer
  • Lynley Ward - Office Assistant (part-time)

Accounting and admin services are contracted from Christchurch City Council, and specialist external advice is obtained as required.

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Christchurch City Holdings Ltd
PO Box 73049, Christchurch 8154, New Zealand
Tel: (03) 941 8475 | Fax: (03) 941 8572 |