Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie is
the new Enterprise Dunedin director. Photo by Gerard
Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie is
transferring his skills to the Dunedin City Council as its new
Enterprise Dunedin director.
He takes up the role - which involves economic development
and city marketing - in late October.
Mr Christie has been a passionate advocate for business in
Otago during his 21 years with the chamber and told the
Otago Daily Times yesterday he remained impassioned
about Dunedin and the region as a whole.
''I love Dunedin. It is a place I have chosen to stay and
bring up my family.
"I am a product of the good training received from so many
"I have been loyal to them and they have been loyal to me in
their mentoring, advice and sometimes harassment.''
Mr Christie has not always had a easy relationship with the
He admitted there were times when he wondered what he faced
some days but knew he was there to get the voices of business
heard in the city.
''It's not always easy taking a different position from the
city on some issues.
"Sometimes it gets personal but I am just doing my job to the
best of my ability to make a change. I wouldn't change
DCC chief executive Sue Bidrose was delighted with Mr
''It's fantastic to have someone in this role who is familiar
with the economic base of the city and who has made such a
great contribution already to business growth and the tourism
Mr Christie said economic development was not easy and a
long-term view was needed.
The chamber had combined with the city, tertiary institutions
and Ngai Tahu to develop an economic development strategy for
Dunedin, which was already working well, he said.
Asked about his network of contacts worldwide, Mr Christie
said New Zealand had few people who understood economic
development and it was rare to find people with experience.
Former DCC chief executive Paul Orders understood the need
for ongoing development and remained willing to help, he
Also, the city's links with Shanghai were paying dividends
with further announcements likely soon, Mr Christie said.
Otago chamber chairwoman Ali Copeman said Mr Christie's new
appointment was a massive loss for the chamber but an equally
massive gain for the city.
Under Mr Christie's leadership, the chamber had grown from a
small organisation to the second-largest chamber in the
The council received 37 applications for the position.
The Christie file
• Aged 46.
• Married with three children.
• Educated at Otago Boys' High School and the University of
• Joined Otago Chamber of Commerce in 1993 in an
administration position and became chief executive in 1995.