'Tide turned' for city's economy

23:47, Sep 27 2012

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority's head of the economic recovery team, Steve Wakefield, is returning to the private sector.

Wakefield has led the team for a year and is returning to Deloitte Christchurch. He took a leave of absence to take the position with Cera.

He said the tide had turned and Canterbury's economy had regained its pre- earthquake levels.

Wakefield came to Cera with experience in business consulting, particularly in the areas of governance and major change programmes.

'I gave myself a window of up to two years to do what I personally could, as at the start of this recovery process we had fears of how difficult it could be to get to the economy moving again," he said. "I am very pleased to see our economic indicators show that what we have been working hard to put in place is now making the difference in nationally measurable ways.'

He says Christchurch is now poised for a period of strong growth and prosperity, which should extend out over the next five to 10 years.

Chief executive of Cera Roger Sutton said Wakefield's leadership and business connections had been crucial for Cera and also laid the groundwork for the Christchurch Central Development Unit's implementation.

'What Steve's team has been able to do in what is really such a short time has kicked off our economic recovery and set us on the best possible path.

"We are lucky to have people of his calibre in Christchurch and who have made the effort to play such a key role in the regrowth of this city.'

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