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Posts tagged ‘earthquake’

Christchurch, New Zealand: rising from the rubble … and better than ever

Nicky Wagner MP for Christchurch CentralBy Nicky Wagner, Member of Parliament for Christchurch Central

The Christchurch rebuild, following the devastating 2010/2011 earthquakes, is the biggest economic event in New Zealand’s history. And it is well underway.

Signs of redevelopment are everywhere and the Canterbury economy is booming – growing at more than twice the rate of the rest of the country in the past year. The current National-led Government has earmarked $5.5 billion for the region’s recovery and rebuild, while latest insurance claim estimates top $30 billion. This is, on a New Zealand scale, simply immense.

As the Member of Parliament for Christchurch Central, one of this city’s most damaged areas, I am excited about the plans for Christchurch and the blueprint for the new city centre. It has involved extensive professional and community consultation and collaboration, and many anticipate the new CBD will soon become hot property because of its redesigned compact layout.

You may well have seen images of the ReStart Container Mall, with its colourful, innovative combinations and inviting atmosphere, while the recently opened central city Enterprise Precinct and Innovation Hub (EPIC) has set out to become a world class campus for innovation-based Canterbury companies.

We look forward to the redevelopment of a number of new civic assets, including a 2,000-seat convention centre, new bus interchange, the Avon river green belt and a new 35,000-seat stadium. All over the city and Canterbury region, major infrastructure repair and reconstruction is well underway.

CEO of the Canterbury Employers’ Chambers of Commerce Peter Townsend is invigorated by the huge financial possibilities in the recovery, anticipating significant involvement as the rebuild continues to gather momentum. He emphasises this is going to go on for a long time.

And given the sheer scale of the rebuild, this means we need to recruit especially skilled people, particularly geotechnical experts and engineers, construction managers and supervisors. Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Hon Gerry Brownlee says in the past year, demand for construction project managers and supervisors increased 88% and 356% respectively, such is the volume and scale of projects beginning to come on stream.

Migrant input into the rebuild is genuinely welcome. Systems are in place to meet the demand and provide for a rise in population. We want to ensure there is a long-term vision for the rebuild – that this is no boom and bust scenario. We want to sustain a growing population, a booming economy, and a thriving new city.

Christchurch is already renowned for its quality schooling, healthy family lifestyle and of course, abundant and diverse recreational opportunities within a very short drive from the city. But with the skills, people power, capital, and palpable enthusiasm pouring into the rebuild, it can only get better.

Indeed, Lonely Planet recently ranked Christchurch in the Top Ten cities for 2013, describing it as “rising from the rubble with a breath-taking mix of spirit, determination and flair”. I couldn’t agree more. We are not just rebuilding a city, we are creating something quite special. Christchurch has a vision to become one of the best modern cities of the world and we invite you to be part of it.

Find your job in Christchurch

See roles in demand in Christchurch at Working In New Zealand.

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Australia/New Zealand overview

I am a glass half full type of person. I always look for the positive but as events over the past week in Christchurch have shown this positivity needs to be checked against a big dose of reality. As New Zealand moves forward information is becoming available and the country is looking to the future. Here is some information from the past few days.

The rebuild of Christchurch

Focus is now on rebuilding Christchurch and the size of the work is becoming apparent. The master builders association has said that the rebuild in Christchurch alone is equivalent to two years construction for the whole of New Zealand. Does New Zealand have enough workers to cope? In short the likely answer us no. The construction industry has been hard hit over the last couple of years and there is a large pool of builders here in New Zealand who need work. However, there are other factors to consider. Queensland in Australia has just been ravaged by floods and has a huge rebuild project. Traditionally 25% of the construction workforce in NZ goes to Australia each year for work. As the industry has been facing tough times the number of apprentices joining the industry has been falling. So in the short-term NZ will need structural engineers, project managers etc but when the rebuild gets into full swing we are going to be facing shortages of skilled construction workers. The master builders association are calling for a strategy to be put in place and skills shortages are really going to be an issue across a number of professions in NZ from 2012 for a number if years

NZ tourism

The head of the tourism board in New Zealand has a similar message and it is only 10 days since the quake and whilst there has been a number of cancellations of bookings in Christchurch and people changing their itineraries to other cities. He has said this is an issue that is effecting Christchurch and whilst there have been falling tourism numbers during the recession. The rest of New Zealand is remaining steady. There are also some bright spots on the horizon such as the rugby world cup which takes place in October. Again plans are being put in place and the message is clear New Zealand is open for business

What are we doing?

We have our expos coming up in the UK in a few weeks time and I will shortly be boarding a plane for that long flight. I will be talking about New Zealand at our seminars and giving everyone an honest overview plus explaining how you can make the move here. We will be doing our bit for Christchurch as well and are finalizing those plans at the moment. Again we have the same message New Zealand is open for business and the skills shortage is still here and will be increasing over coming years. If you are looking at Australia you need to home along.

Australia

The Australian economy us continuing to race along and the skills shortage is really biting. We have a large number of employers and recruiters flying to the UK with us and many are looking to offer jobs at the expo. There are some major changes to Australian immigration policy that take effect from 1st July 2011 and so we will be updating you on this and explaining how this will affect your move. We have around 50 exhibitors at the March expo and will be very busy so make sure you make the most of your visit by becoming a VIP guest

I WANT TO BE A VIP

More about the expo in my next blog

New Zealand is having a national day of morning in the coming weeks but one thing that has been emerging is the great kiwi sense of humour. Have a look at this advert and the comments people have left

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Home-living/Outdoor-garden-conservatory/Landscaping-materials/Stones-rocks/auction-357989041.htm

The glass is half full

Ka kite

Paul Goddard

New Zealand will rebuild

It has been a very difficult week here in New Zealand. We have seen the countries worst natural disaster hit Christchurch and it has shocked everyone. This is extra cruel as the city was just starting to recover from the earthquake in September. We knew there could be large aftershocks from that original quake and the people of Christchurch have been living with these for months but this quake was a new one. These events are predicted to occur once every 600 years but to have two within 6 months is very unusual.
The first quake happened in the middle of night and caused relatively little damage but last week the quake hit at lunch time and centered just 10 k from Christchurch CBD. The devastation is massive and the death toll us likely to exceed 200. Christchurch is a beautiful city. I have visited many times and have friends there who I am pleased to say are all safe. It is hard even to look at the images of places you know well just completely destroyed but this being New Zealand people will soon start focusing on rebuilding. The CBD is going to be closed for months and the cost of the quake will likely be more than 10 billion dollars but NZ is one of the best prepared countries for this type of event. The earthquake commission has billions of dollars set aside and the response from the rest if the world has been amazing. Once the rebuild starts it will provide work for the construction industry which has been hard hit in recent years and we may even need more construction people from overseas
Inevitably an event like this will see people leave Christchurch never to return so the city will need to build more than buildings and infrastructure. There are no figures on this at the moment and the people of Christchurch are very proud of their city so let’s see what happens.
The quake will effect the NZ economy as well Christchurch contributes 10% of the countries GDP, so measures will need to be put in place and this will take years to recover from.
Everyone is getting behind the city and we will soon hear some good news stories as people start to focus on making the city even better than it was before. For now all of us outside Christchurch are giving all the support we can. Earthquakes are something we live with in NZ and in the eight years I have lived here I have only felt one. Thankfully an event like the Christchurch quake is rare.

the following video just about says it all

Ka Kite

Paul Goddard

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