Doing business on Chatham Islands

Chatham Islanders are resourceful and entrepreneurial.

With a limited customer base and markets located on the mainland doing business requires skills in relationship building and partnerships. It also requires business partners to commit to long term outcomes. 


The Chatham Islands Council operates as both a district and regional council. This means that the council is responsible for not only roads and waste management, but also resource management and biosecurity.

However due to the low number of rateable properties (approx 460) obtaining income from rating is not feasible and so in 2004 the NZ government granted the council $5.25 million to meet its statutory obligations.

Since that time a sewage and water supply have been built in Waitangi and the roading system has been better maintained. 


The Chatham Islands Enterprise Trust was established in 1991 with the aid of an $8 million government grant and the transfer of the assets of the meatworks (since closed), ports, airport and electricity generation.  Its main objective is to promote the economic development and well-being of the community. 

It exists to provide essential commercial enterprises that would not otherwise be provided.






The Chatham Islanders are economically dependent on fishing and farming.


Over two thirds of the Chatham Islands population has a school or post school qualification. The median age is 37 years.

Internet and Communications

Most Chatham Islands households have telephones and fax capabilities and with dial up or satellite broadband internet access.

There is no cell phone coverage on the Chatham Islands.

TVNZ can be viewed on the islands along with commercial TV networks. There is also a locally owned and volunteer operated Chatham Islands Television which has its own distinctive must-view characteristics. 

The Chatham Islander is a monthly newspaper which keeps islanders up to date with local news and shipping activities.  However the internet is becoming increasingly important for news and weather reports.


The main industries on the Chatham Islands are fishing and farming.

Chatham Islands Directory

Chatham Islands Events


  Chatham Islands 10th Annual Festival

Saturday 10 March 2018

Better than Anywhere : Experience something real off the edge of time...forty-five minutes ahead of mainland NZ, the Chatham Islands will be holding their 10th Annual Festival on March the 10th 2018.


Please contact the Chatham Islands Festival Organiser Erin Tuanui on 033050426 or

All relevant information required can be found on or on their Face Book Page

Please contact the Chatham Islands Festival Organiser Erin Tuanui on 033050426 or




All Events