Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Dr Grordborts Extraordinary Exhibition!

Christchurch has been abuzz over the past week with the World Buskers festival attracting large audiences and providing much light relief for a city that welcomes it.

We are also privileged to be the first New Zealand city to host Dr Grordborts Extraordinary Exhibition which is currently on show at the Colombo Complex. If you like the zany world of the Weta Workshop creative team then you will love this.

The Prime Minister opened the exhibition last week and was seen being interviewed about his choice of Ray Gun. Richard Taylor also spoke about the creativity of Weta team member, Greg Broadmore, who dreamed up the zany world of Dr Grordbort.

The exhibition is on for a limited time. Go see it if you can, corner of Elgin and Colombo Streets

Street Art is also  making its presence felt on walls around the inner city and a supporting exhibition at the Museum. Go Banksy!

It is so good to see people with passion putting real effort into diversifying the city’s entertainment offering. This is something we expect to see growing as the city increasingly engages in recovery.

It just adds to the increasingly diverse offering in our increasingly diverse city.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Welcome to 2014!

We are anticipating big things this year.

As a country we are in good economic shape and there is a general expectation that things are going to remain buoyant throughout 2014.

We have the complication of a national election later this year and it is clear that we are already in election mode. Expect election paralysis to set in to Government from about  April on. History tells us that this should not materially impact on economic activity.

From a regional perspective we are anticipating a ramp up in an already busy local economy driven primarily, and initially, by major housing repairs and rebuilds. We are not out of the woods yet with respect to insurance settlements with just under half of the house insurance policies settled, and about 70% of commercial insurance resolved. The 80,000 homes dealing with out-of-scope insurance matters (pools, driveways etc.) add further complexity, as do significant issues relating to land stability, land levels, land quality and flooding risks. There are still some very complicated and significant issues to be resolved on the housing insurance front. As affected insured, we are all aware of that! Insurance resolution has its own set of cascading constraints!

We are  however, far enough through housing insurance settlements for a big injection into rebuilds and repairs by about the end of the first quarter of this year. This will be driven mainly by owners of homes who have cash settled in late 2013 and will ramp up activity after the time lag caused by planning, contracting  building professionals and the consenting processes. It is generally accepted that that total damage to housing stock in Canterbury is somewhere around, and probably above, $22 billion (out of an estimated total damage cost of $40 billion). That, whichever way you look at it, is a lot of money!

Reflecting over the Christmas break on what lies ahead, I am still of the opinion that we do not understand the scale of what we are going in to and we are not yet thinking strategically enough to be in a position to cope with what lies ahead.

As we engage in a significant increase in housing rebuild and repair, we will also see, more slowly, a ramp up in commercial rebuilds.

Big positive challenges await us and they will certainty test our capabilities.