FAQ - Government as a tenant and employer

1. Will government agencies be returning to the central city?

The Government is committed to returning agencies and staff to the central city.

A coordinated approach will ensure that the opportunity is taken to adopt modern approaches to workplace planning, to embrace the workplace innovations that have already been adopted in Christchurch after the earthquakes, and to co-locate and collaborate where appropriate. This will bring significant benefits for citizens, businesses and the government, as well as supporting the recovery of Christchurch’s central city.

2. What sort of numbers can we expect to see move back into the central city?

Approximately 2,500 government employees are likely to be working in the new commercial Core or in the wider central city.

3. How many government employees are there in greater Christchurch?

There are approximately 5,500 office-based government employees in greater Christchurch and it is estimated that half of these were located in buildings within the central city before the earthquakes. Remaining staff are service delivery oriented and are based elsewhere in the greater Christchurch area.

4. Who will lead the government property decision-making process?

The Property Management Centre of Expertise (PMCoE), a special unit set-up in the Ministry of Social Development, was established to provide leadership, brokerage and support to all government agencies making accommodation decisions. The PMCoE will lead the cross-government strategy for Christchurch accommodation, with support from CERA’s CCDU.

The PMCoE has a staff member based in CCDU to ensure communication and relationships between central government agencies and with the private sector are developed and maintained.

5. Why are some government agencies not moving to the central city?

Some government agencies have significant operational links to locations other than the central city (such as the airport or the hospital).

Where existing premises are fit for purpose and there are no operational or efficiency advantages to a central city location, agencies may not relocate. If there are overall economic benefits, agencies may relocate to the central city.

In addition to accommodation within the new central city core, government agencies will retain a number of sites within the wider central city area, as well as the greater Christchurch area, as appropriate.

6. What will be the process for government tenancies?

The PMCoE and CERA’s CCDU will work with government agencies to develop accommodation specifications for each of the government tenancies (either standalone or clustered).

Market interest in providing accommodation will be sought.

7. Why are so many agencies moving into a Justice and Emergency Services Precinct?

The Justice and Emergency Services Precinct will drive operational efficiencies through an improved service delivery model supported by the co-location of the Ministry of Justice, New Zealand Police, the Department of Corrections and the Judiciary. Collaboration and co-location will enable efficiencies through shared infrastructure and increasingly integrated service delivery.

Co-location of Emergency Services facilities will support the coordination of service delivery, such as enabling a joint emergency services communications centre to support the various functions of the NZ Fire Service, St John’s Ambulance and Civil Defence Emergency Management. This will be a New Zealand first, and has been influenced by models that are operating successfully overseas. It follows collaboration and co-location experienced by these agencies during the response to the earthquakes.

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