The numbers are mind-boggling. The damage is estimated to have cost, just in money terms, between $30 and $40 billion. It is predicted that it will take until 2017 to rebuild or replace the 45,000 homes that were destroyed or damaged. And to rebuild the city itself will take about 20 years.
Canterbury can’t do it on its own. There is simply not the workforce to do this.
Given that the policy people estimate between 10,000 and 15,000 extra trades people are going to be needed, given that we don’t have any accommodation in the city, given that we are already pouring more cubic meters of concrete that they are in greater Auckland – it all adds up to the fact that it’s absolutely inevitable that we’re going to have to harness resources from wherever we can in the rebuild.
It’s already happening informally – companies in Christchurch are forming collaborative relationships with others across the country. And it isn’t just in the construction area.
As an example, a law firm that has formed a collaborative relationship with one based in Auckland.The Auckland based firm is doing a lot of work assisting the local one to deal with the scale of resource consent process and other legal inquiries that are building all the time
There are groups in Christchurch using the internet to bring those looking for assistance and those keen to provide it together. The WellCan Forum will take the concept further.
It is about how we harness the capabilities of regional economies right across New Zealand to assist us in the rebuild. That’s good for those regional economies, because it keeps regional activity where it is and it keeps people where they are.
That means that componentry and other material can be sent to Christchurch in a finished or semi-finished basis, which will accelerate the rebuild.
Every home that can be built faster means one family is more secure sooner.
It’s not just homes of course. The Christchurch Central Development Unit has make real progress towards the vision of its’ Blueprint Plan. The four priority anchor projects are moving ahead steadily and the central city area is starting to repopulate, with the re-opening of Victoria Square and the New Ibis Hotel now in business.
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