1 Mar 2023

Christchurch City Council has appointed Christchurch-based professional director Abby Foote as the new Chair of Christchurch City Holdings Limited (CCHL).

The CCHL Group includes the city’s major infrastructure companies, Christchurch Airport, Lyttelton Port  Company (LPC), Orion Group, Enable, EcoCentral and Citycare Group. The Group employs more than 3,000 people across Canterbury and around New Zealand. 

After an extensive search and consideration of a number of experienced governance candidates with the  appropriate skills and background, the CCHL Appointments Committee recommended that Council appoint Abby Foote as Chair. 

Abby has over a decade of governance experience in both NZX listed and Crown companies. With  qualifications in both law and accounting, Abby’s executive career focused on corporate finance and commercial transactions. 

As a professional director, Abby has experience in a wide range of areas including strategic development and implementation, mergers and acquisitions, treasury, risk management, health & safety and ESG issues. As  Chair of Z Energy, a role she held from 2019 – 2022, Abby provided strong leadership to navigate regulatory  impacts, a changing competitive landscape and an effective change in ownership. 

Abby is currently on the boards of KMD Brands Limited, Freightways Limited and Sanford Limited. As well as Z Energy, where she was a board member from 2013, her extensive prior governance experience has also  included directorships with Transpower, LGFA, TVNZ and Te Papa. 

Abby says she is looking forward to taking on the new role, as CCHL takes a firm focus on the future.

“I’m excited to be playing a part in the opportunities ahead for CCHL, and to be joining a dynamic and  capable team that is focused on investing in, and managing, key infrastructure while delivering a wide range of vital services and other benefits for the people of Ōtautahi Christchurch, Canterbury and wider New  Zealand,” says Abby Foote. 

“I’m particularly pleased to be able to join CCHL at a key point in its ongoing development, as it considers its role and approach through the Strategic Review.” 

The CCHL Strategic Review will take up to 12 months and be considered as part of the next Long Term Plan 2024 – 34, when the community will have the opportunity to provide input. 

Abby says the community has a unique asset in CCHL and the wider CCHL Group, which has an important role to play in the future of the region. 

“We have some big challenges ahead – from the cost-of-living crisis and the recovery from the pandemic, to building community resilience and tackling climate change. CCHL will be an important part of this for our  community and our region and I’m thrilled to be able to support this.” 

Abby will take up the role of Chair of the CCHL Board, effective immediately. She will also join the  Appointments Committee to help appoint the remaining four independent directors of the CCHL Board.

The CCHL Board also expressed thanks to Alex Skinner for his commitment and dedication in performing the role of Interim Chair over the last six months.