Focus on: Christchurch

“Christchurch is a great place for GovHack because we have a reputation for startups and a number of new tech initiatives.”

 – GovHack Christchurch

And we’re into the first of our South Island venues! This week, we focus on Christchurch.

This year marks the first time that GovHack has come to ChristChurch. ChristChurch City Council is its proud host, with the theme of “A Smart and Healthy City”.

Read our Focus on: series

Explains Dana Burnett, IT Service Manager for Digital Channels at Christchurch City Council and GovHack Christchurch lead organiser, “Govhack is good for Christchurch because it is part of rebuilding our city and creating a culture of innovation for us.”

“GovHack is another way to bring communities together; GovHack helps foster that and rebuild our culture of gathering people to do cool stuff together!”

Christchurch City Council digital hack day
The team at one of Christchurch City Council’s Digital Channel hack days, focussed on building innovative and creative digital solutions for Council. Credit: Dana Burnett

This year, GovHack will be taking place in Christchurch:

  • 29-31 July
  • Christchurch City Council Function Room
  • 53 Hereford St
  • Christchurch, 8013.

Keep an eye on Christchurch-specific GovHack info

And why are Christchurch City Council so excited to be involved? “We’re excited about hosting here because it is a great opportunity for the Council to be involved with an event encouraging innovation, open data and and open government. It’s a different way for us to work with our city and its residents and is a positive event for the city.”

“We are hoping that our local participants will come along with ideas, or generate ideas, that make Christchurch a smarter and more modern city, ideas that build on the rebuild already under way.”

Dana’s team are no strangers to the power of hackathons to help tackle tricky problems, especially around service design. She and her team were the impetus behind holding a GovHack event, as they are always looking for ways to think more innovatively, stay on top of new technologies and approaches, and deliver better information and services to their communities.

GovHack was a perfect fit.

“We have had a couple of our own internal hackathons to develop new ideas for tackling digital problems (some of which we have/are implementing)”, she told us, “and GovHack is another way for us to meet people and learn, to tap into new ways of working to solve problems and be part of our tech community.”

Of their many awesome sponsors*, Dana had this to say: “Our sponsors are keen to support GovHack Christchurch as it encourages creative and innovative thinking for our evolving city.”

A number of bounty prizes have been put up by the sponsors, including:

  • CDHB are looking to work with the winners of their bounty using CDHB data and give them a unique opportunity to make their ideas come to life
  • Christchurch Transport Operations Centre and Environment Canterbury have data and bounties focussed on enhancing Christchurch
  • UC Centre for Entrepreneurship have a student focus for their bounty.

Vodafone Xone are also providing participants with helpful “swag” for the event, “to help grow a culture of innovation across the city”. And Christchurch City Council will be releasing new datasets especially for the event.

“We want our GovHack entries to have a local and unique flavour!”, says Dana.

We hope to see you all there! Registrations are still open, but get in quick before all the tickets for this free event are gone.

If you have any questions or would like to sponsor, drop Dana a line at [email protected], or the national team at [email protected]. You can also follow GovHack Christchurch on Twitter, at @govhackchch.

Find out more about our team


* See the GovHack Christchurch page