Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Disaster recovery speech

I have been addressing a lot of audiences lately. Unsurprisingly the subject is usually around Earthquake issues and, more recently, Earthquake recovery. I do not have written notes when delivering my speeches. I have, however, been frequently asked for a copy of a speech and so last week when addressing an EMAN seminar on disaster recovery I recorded the presentation. I have attached a typed up copy of that recording for those interested. Have a good read!
A speech given to EMAN members in Auckland – June 2012
By Peter Townsend
I don’t do damaged buildings, we are over that.
I am going to talk about the size of the earthquakes and some of the issues we are facing, the Government’s role and then some key learning’s.
It is the key learning’s that I want you to take away this morning because there are some critical issues we faced in Christchurch that are fundamentally important in disaster management and disaster recovery.
I just want to remind you, particularly as most of you are aware, of what went on in Christchurch but it is very hard for people to get their heads around the magnitude of the disaster. There were 1,360 commercial buildings inside our four avenues destroyed. Most recently in the December 23 aftershock, a four year old 12 storey building - the IRD Building in the city the lift well dropped a meter and the building was destroyed, so this is carrying on. We are about two thirds of the way through demolishing those 1,360 buildings.  In addition to those commercial buildings inside the four avenues, 300 commercial buildings outside the four avenues, 15,000 houses destroyed, 40,000 houses with in excess of $100,000 worth of damage, 300,000 claims against EQC because of the multiple issues, 10,500 aftershocks, and 30 of them very significant.  Just to give you an idea of the momentum of building in the recovery, Fletcher Building who have the contract for EQC to repair houses that have been damaged between $10,000 - $100,000 are currently completing 100 homes a day in Christchurch and they are about 15% of the way through the repairs. Just so we can think about where we are going and what we are doing, it will be five years probably before we get our housing stock sorted out and probably 20 – 25 years before we get the commercial part of the city rebuilt and I would say recreated because we are in a situation in downtown Christchurch inside our four avenues, in the core of the CBD where 80% of the commercial buildings have been destroyed. It is about re-creation and it is about long timeframes but I do need to make the point right up front that we don’t as a country and a city stand-a-side while Christchurch is rebuilt, this is a fantastic opportunity for all of us to re-engage and to be part of the rebuild no matter where we are or where we are from............

To read the full speech please click here.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Supporting Migrant Staff & their Employers

CECC is actively involved in issues around immigration and settlement support to assist to build capacity post Earthquake

  • Projections to 2015 are that at least 12,000 workers from offshore will be required to fill the labour shortages in the trades and construction sectors – this is after exhausting regional and national labour sources
  • Whether or not this figure is achievable is unclear, however, it is clear that we will require significant offshore resource to assist with the recovery
  • The demographics of the Canterbury workplace are changing, and changing fast. Some savvy companies are actively recruiting offshore and bringing workers in now by the hundreds. Employers will need to develop new skills to manage people across different cultures. These skills may never before have been used by some employers.
  • Resources are now available from CECC/Settlement Support to help employers assist newcommers to New Zealand to settle and work in Christchurch.
  • To develop new resources that are specific to the Canterbury rebuild, we need to find out what employers need so they can better manage and understand their migrant workforce.
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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Jobs Expo

Clear evidence of the rebuild gathering momentum in Christchurch was on display on Saturday at The Westpac Business and Community hub.

Around 1000 people attended a jobs expo hosted by Fletcher Building to highlight job opportunities in the context of post Earthquake recovery. With expected natural churn and new jobs becoming available, there will be hundreds of positions required to be filled in the wider Fletcher family over the coming months.

I visited the Expo on Saturday morning and I was impressed with the offerings and the high interest being shown by attendees. I suspect this is just the beginning of this sort of job orientated initiative in Christchurch and beyond. It certainly sends a strong message about the size of the task ahead and the opportunities that will be available for both local job seekers and those wanting to come to Christchurch to advance their careers.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

I hope the CCDU is bold and brave in its vision for the city!

I have been involved in a lot of speaking engagements over the past couple of weeks. There is still a real hunger out there for up-to-date information on the key issues relating to Earthquake recovery. My audiences have been many and varied, but they all share a belief about the positive future of Christchurch. Don’t take too much notice of the surveys that are indicating a high proportion of our citizens are considering leaving town. We all have a big opportunity to be involved in the rebuild, and I suspect you might see people flooding into Christchurch, not out of it - if we can find somewhere for them to live!

With under 60 days to go until the Christchurch Central Development Unit’s release of its blueprint, expectations are building. The release of the blueprint will be another big step along the way.

I hope the CCDU is bold and brave in its vision, that the community embraces it and expresses a strong desire to get on with realising this city's big future.