2 Sep 2021

Joanna Norris is stepping down as Chief Executive of Christchurch’s economic development agency ChristchurchNZ.

Ms Norris has led the agency since its inception.

“Under Joanna’s leadership ChristchurchNZ has become a pivotal agency in Christchurch,’’ says Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

“It has played a key role in supporting our economy and our visitor and events industries through challenging times and I have always valued the advice and leadership that Joanna has provided.

“She has been a champion for our city and I want to offer her my sincere thanks for her hard work and commitment,’’ Mayor Dalziel says.

Christchurch City Council Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale says Ms Norris has been a high performing chief executive.

“She has shown outstanding leadership in her role and an appreciation of working with elected members, communities and businesses to achieve the best results we can for our city. We are sorry to see her go, but wish her all the best for the future,’’ Mrs Baxendale says.

Dr Therese Arseneau, Chair of the ChristchurchNZ board, says Ms Norris has “led with vision and unflappable calm.’’

“The team has delivered from the get-go, with activity ranging from establishing jobs and innovation growth programmes, through to building a long-term major events portfolio, forming partnerships with mana whenua, establishing Screen CanterburyNZ and reviving the city’s Antarctic Office, and more recently undertaking significant urban development projects within the city,’’ Dr Arseneau says.

Ms Norris say she is proud of the work that has been done to establish a credible and trusted agency, with a powerful kaupapa.

“Through our work, we have made a real difference supporting businesses and attracting activity to the city to create jobs and grow economic wellbeing. 

“With ChristchurchNZ now well established and a team of dynamic general managers leading the agency’s core functions, I am ready for my next challenge.’’

Ms Norris has accepted a newly established role as Chief Content Officer of New Zealand-owned media company Stuff.  Her last day with ChristchurchNZ will be October 29.

The Board of ChristchurchNZ is now recruiting for a new Chief Executive.