Mixed response to council owned marketing organisation outsourcing marketing

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Aug 16, 2022 |

There’s been a mixed response by some mayoral candidates after the Christchurch Press revealed the council-owned marketing organisation is outsourcing its “brand strategy.”

Despite having six general managers and 92 staff, ChristchurchNZ has hired Canada-based consulting firm Resonance to help create a “brand strategy.”

It will work with three local businesses – Narrative, Creative Agent and Fabriko.

The Press reported the $400,000 “management plans” are being funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, which requires tourism agencies to complete them.

The $100,000 place brand strategy is being produced at the request of Christchurch City Council.

Mayoral Candidate Phil Mauger said “I do find it interesting that in a city with as many talented creative people as Christchurch we need to go overseas for our brand strategy. 

If elected Mayor I will be a strong voice that is focused on Christchurch’s best interests and this means, as much as possible, supporting local businesses and making sure as many jobs as possible stay in Christchurch.”

Mayoral Candidate The Wizard (Ian Brackenbury) said it was “completely inappropriate and very expensive like previous attempts to pay large sums to organisations with no history of interest in this unique city.”

He said “they use word salad or meaningless touchy-feely slogans.”

Mayoral Candidate David Meates was more supportive.

“It’s important to remember that 80% of the cost is being funded by central government via MBIE which requires every tourism agency around the country to complete them. ChristchurchNZ is that vehicle in Christchurch.”

Meates said “we need to ensure the right skill sets are being utilised to maximise the best outcome for the city and that we have robust RFP (request for proposal) processes when we do bring in external consultants.

When asked if Christchurch NZ should be using some of its 92 staff to do the work, Meates said “ChristchurchNZ has the responsibility on behalf of the Council to deliver this piece of work. It’s important that the city has access to the best expertise in this area. This is very specialised work.

The development of Brand Strategy and Destination Management is a specialised area; as I understand it, many destinations have worked with external providers to conduct this work. 

Leadership has the responsibility to ensure that all work, and in particular high-profile strategic work, is delivered to the highest possible quality and without disrupting ongoing projects. Engaging external contractors is common for many organisations, to ensure they have the best skills and expertise to optimise outcomes.”

According to ChristchurchNZ’s 2021 annual report, 20 staff members were on six-figure salaries.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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