Wednesday, 26 September 2012

It is important to keep where we are at in the recovery process in Christchurch in perspective.

 Key Factors of significant concern are:
  • 70% of buildings in the central business district (CBD) were severely damaged and have been or will be demolished.
  • 346 restaurants and bars have been lost from the central city area and at least 60% of the hotels in the central city will be demolished.
  • Property related insurance claims from the earthquakes are currently estimated to total $30 billion.
  • Around 100 schools require repairs or rebuilding.
  • 37% decline in International education enrolments post-earthquake.
  • 50,000 people who worked in the CBD became displaced and most have found temporary premises elsewhere.
  • There have been job losses, workers have left the region and participation rates in employment have fallen, particularly among women and young people.
  • More than 770 buildings in the central city have been demolished (August 2012) with a further 200 expected to be demolished in coming months.
  • 46% of greater Christchurch’s urban sealed roads, water and sewerage infrastructure have been damaged.
  • Insurance cost to the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch rebuild is thought to be around $500 million.
  • Within the Canterbury District Health Board approximately 9,000 out of 11,000 hospital rooms need repairs at the cost of at least $400 million to bring CDHB facilities up to the minimum building code.  The business case for the new hospital infrastructure is awaiting approval.
Opportunities arising from the Earthquake:-
  • We have incurred costs in excess of $30 billion but will be the recipients of enormous cash flow from insurance and other sources. (Total damage was at least 80% insured and Government has committed at least $8.5 billion).
  • The recently released CCDU Blueprint is brave and visionary and provides a framework to move the central city forward. We are going somewhere new and exciting!
  • Our education institutions are reinventing themselves to meet   the need of the new environment.
  • Horizontal infrastructural work valued at $2.5 billion is underway. (96 road crews on the job, building to 150).
  • Fletcher Building is currently completing  up to 100 homes  per day in the 10K to 100K  damage category ($3.0 billion contract, involving 14000 contractors and subcontractors)
  • Insurance issues are beginning to be sorted and new insurance is becoming available in the Christchurch market.
  • EFTPOS transactions are above 95% normal, signifying strong retail activity (in the context of New Zealand’s biggest ever natural disaster).
  • Regional export activity remains strong and ahead of the previous two years.
  • At least two major irrigation projects are making good progress to increase irrigated land in Canterbury (to above 70% of all irrigated land in New Zealand).
  • Hotels are reopening and accommodation across the city is increasing in capacity.
  • Unemployment in Christchurch is lower than New Zealand’s average and job/career opportunities are building daily.
  • Business survival post-Earthquake has been high and business churn increases post- Earthquake negligible.
  • Very few businesses above usual have relocated from Christchurch.
  • There has not been significant population flight (7200 net loss since Sept 4 2010 from a base population of close to 500,000).
  • As we build scale to cope with the recovery challenge there will be opportunities right across New Zealand for Companies to collaborate with Canterbury based companies to participate in the rebuild.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The first brand new Boeing 737 Business Jet (BBJ)

On 17 September I was invited to Hangar 7 at Christchurch International Airport to welcome the first brand new Boeing 737 Business Jet (BBJ) into the Christchurch based completion facility following a non-stop record breaking flight from Los Angeles to Auckland. The Boeing, with seven special auxiliary tanks fitted in its cargo hold, flew non-stop from Los Angeles to Auckland  in just over 13 hours. It arrived “green” unpainted with an unfinished interior. Christchurch will be its home for the next year as it receives a full VIP custom interior fit out by Altitude’s Christchurch based team. Completion is expected to be October 2013.

This multi-million dollar business is most welcome in Christchurch and demonstrates the international competitiveness and creativeness of Altitude, a 100% Air New Zealand owned subsidiary. It is this high value, high spec, high technology type of industry that plays a significant part in underpinning the Christchurch economy and shows the way to our future. The owner of the aircraft has shown great faith and confidence in the New Zealand based Altitude Aerospace Interiors. I have no doubt he will receive a product that will exceed his expectations and it is this sort of industry that bodes well for the future of Christchurch and the Christchurch economy.

Congratulations to Altitudes VIP Completions and to all of those people who will work on an extraordinary aircraft over the next twelve months.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Business Optimism on the Increase in Canterbury, But Challenges Still Ahead

As we  work our way the early stages of recovery a  subset of badly impacted businesses give us a good indication  as to what is happening at the hard end of the market.

I hope you find this an interesting read
Peter Townsend

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Money Week

This week is Money week. Here are some simple messages that you  may find interesting put out by  the Commission for  Financial  Literacy and Retirement income. They  make good sense!

All Money Week daily messages.