My Epic Christchurch experience

Early in March I visited Christchurch for the New Zealand Herald to write parts of a special feature on the city’s post-earthquake recovery. It was a major writing job — I filed a total of ten stories. There were many highlights and I met some memorable people.

On the first morning in town I visited Epic – a temporary campus housing a number of technology companies that decided to stick with the city centre. You can read about this and my visit to Computer Concepts Limited in Christchurch Rebuild: Undertaking on an Epic scale – Business – NZ Herald News.

During my trip three people, including Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, told me the city is New Zealand’s leading technology centre. It’s a fair claim, Christchurch certainly has a critical mass of clever tech companies, but I’ve heard exactly the same claim in Auckland and Wellington.

I’m not sure what to make of the various claims or if there’s any meaningful way of checking to see which city is the real tech leader. Wellington certainly would have the highest density of tech workers per head of population.

Auckland possibly has the most tech workers, merely by dint of its size, but they are spread out. There’s no recognisable Auckland ‘innovation precinct’ yet, although I know of plans for one.

Which leaves me with two questions:

  • Has anyone looked closely at this to show which city is New Zealand’s top technology centre?
  • Does it matter?