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Supernodes – A Summary

What does the future economy of Christchurch look like?

What are Supernodes?

As the economic development agency for Christchurch and Canterbury, ChristchurchNZ is committed to staying at the forefront of future opportunities for the region.

As part of this commitment, the team at ChristchurchNZ undertook research around strategic growth areas with global opportunities and where the Canterbury region had existing capability and local advantage.

We then held discussions in February with businesses, tertiaries and government to narrow down these options, and the group identified four strategic growth areas to focus our attention on as a city – also called ‘Supernodes’.

They are:

  • Hi-Tech Services
  • Aerospace and Future Transport
  • Health Tech and Resilient Communities
  • Food, Fibre and Agritech

These have been identified as highly connected and active areas within our global network, and by focusing on them we are leverarging what we know about our own strengths, and areas where we see massive future growth.

But what does this mean? Why have we done this?

Let’s break it down.

In post-rebuild Christchurch, construction and manufacturing is slowing. The city is facing an aging population and an idle economy. The earthquakes aren’t completely to blame though. Since 1996, Christchurch’s 20-39 year old population has fallen 8 per cent while it increased in other New Zealand cities. This demographic is the core of a working population, and key to spending, filling office spaces, and economic growth.

ChristchurchNZ is looking at where to focus its economic development and business growth functions to bolster this and other demographics. Through a collaborative approach between education, industry and the government, we’re hoping to ensure a prosperous future for the city and the region.

How is ChristchurchNZ engaging with their Supernodes programme?

We are helping to create strong communities around each Supernode, with a resourced steering group for each one. This group will drive activity to build momentum, including challenges and meetups, hackathons and gatherings.

Hi-Tech Services will act as an enabler for all other Supernodes, with sustainability, tikanga Māori, exploration and unity as key overarching principles.

ChristchurchNZ wants to create cohesive ecosystems around each Supernode that students, graduates, education providers, industry and government can plug into. We are developing our Supernodes web content to attract business and talent to the city, and act as a base of knowledge, More information can be found at

We’ve also appointed a Supernode Specialist, who will work to drive activities that bring together talent and industry, and drive the commercialisation impact of our Supernodes programme.

We also plan to hold a workshop with the entire education sector at the end of October to work through how our partners in this space can continue to engage in the Supernodes process.

It’s an exciting time for the future of our city, with Supernodes part of our strategic approach to ensure Ōtautahi Christchurch remains a prosperous place for people to live, visit, and invest in.

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