Latest News

Click below to review the latest articles about the Rebuild Our City Project.


  • Eleven weeks to create a new Christchurch Christchurch rebuild is Govt's 'final priority' - PM The Government today reaffirmed its commitment to driving the unparalleled $30 billion rebuild of post-earthquake Christchurch, despite Prime Minister John Key admitting that 2013 will be a "another challenging year".
  • Convention centre plans for Christchurch Workers sick of overcrowded offices Time could be running out to attract businesses back to central Christchurch as frustration builds over a lack of progress. Some property owners and leasing agents fear the rebuild's success is at risk, blaming a lack of clarity and timeline on the anchor projects and the return of government departments.
  • Counting down to the Christchurch rebuild Call for Christchurch flat tax to help rebuild A leading economist has called for a flat tax in the Canterbury area to attract businesses and assist with the rebuild.




'Warmframe' home a 10-week build
A new type of eco-home that could take 10 weeks* to build was unveiled in Christchurch last night.
The innovative show home, designed by architect Anne Salmond, was launched by Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) chief executive Roger Sutton. Read more...



House prices reach record levels in Christchurch
House prices have set another record in Christchurch as market pressure continues to build.

The Real Estate Institute's latest figures put the city's median February price at $383,000, which is 9.4 per cent higher than a year ago. Read more...



All the pod cons for $250/wk
An Auckland property developer believes shipping container apartments are the answer to supplying worker accommodation for the rebuild. The modular units are designed to house one person with bed, table, kitchen and bathroom, and can be stacked to form an apartment block up to three storeys high. Read more...



Operators asked for rebuild-zone visit ideas
Earthquake tourists may soon have the chance to see Christchurch's off-limits city centre from a new perspective - on foot, on a Segway, in a tuktuk or by stretch limo. The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) is calling for small-scale tour operators to come up with ideas for commercial ventures for tours of the central city red zone, which has been renamed the rebuild zone, to run until the cordons are lifted. Read more...



Grace, chaos in urban village designs
The air of eager anticipation was palpable. As architects, planners, and councillors mingled at the Christchurch City Council offices for the announcement of the finalists in Breathe - the urban village design competition - optimism reigned. Outside, traffic may have been gridlocked, and buildings in the process of being demolished, and houses awaiting repair, but this indeed was a breath of fresh air. Read more...



Christchurch rebuild is Govt's 'final priority' - PM

The Government today reaffirmed its commitment to driving the unparalleled $30 billion rebuild of post-earthquake Christchurch, despite Prime Minister John Key admitting that 2013 will be a "another challenging year". Read more...



Workers sick of overcrowded offices

Time could be running out to attract businesses back to central Christchurch as frustration builds over a lack of progress. Some property owners and leasing agents fear the rebuild's success is at risk, blaming a lack of clarity and timeline on the anchor projects and the return of government departments. Read more...



Call for Christchurch flat tax to help rebuild

A leading economist has called for a flat tax in the Canterbury area to attract businesses and assist with the rebuild. Read more...



Government splits Christchurch rebuild contract

A $40 million Government procurement deal to supply wallboard for the Christchurch rebuild is being used as a way to inject competition into New Zealand's high-cost home building market. Read more...



Securing insurance not 'as hard' any more
Getting house and contents insurance in Canterbury has become easier, insurers say, but some earthquake-hit residents haven't got the message. A scrub fire in the Selwyn district last week destroyed the possessions of two uninsured families who said they could not get cover after September 2010 earthquake. Read more...



Extra work lures builders south
Post-earthquake construction in Canterbury is the hotbed for residential construction nationwide although the number of new houses being built in Wellington is improving. According to the latest Statistics New Zealand data, there were 104 dwellings given resource consents in November at a value of $38 million, up from 88 houses valued at $26m a year earlier. Read more...



Foreigners flood in for Chritschurch rebuild

Christchurch's international work force is ramping up.

Immigration figures released this month showed visas issued to workers helping rebuild the earthquake-hit city totalled 404 in the past six months, compared with 206 the first half of the year.

The rebuild workers are mostly from Britain, Ireland and the Philippines. Read more...



Christchurchch firm designs caravan for gen-Y tastes
In news bound to set the hearts of caravanners everywhere aflutter, a Christchurch company has come up with a revolutionary design to replace the traditional clunky box that holds up holiday traffic for kilometres on narrow winding roads. Read more...


Multimillion-dollar complex for CBD site
A five-storey glass-fronted complex of offices, shops and cafes will replace the demolished Amuri Courts and URS-Landsborough House buildings in central Christchurch. The multimillion-dollar development will comprise three interconnected buildings around a public courtyard in Durham St, opposite the Provincial Chambers. It has been designed by architects Warren and Mahoney and will take two years to build. Read more...



Property development fund targets rebuild action
A new $20 million property development fund is being set up, partly to chase "good opportunities that will emerge" in the Christchurch rebuild in the next two years. Investors are being sought for the fund jointly formed by boutique merchant bank Murray & Co and construction company Arrow International, who will together provide seed capital of at least $2m. Read more...



'Villages' to house rebuild workers
A major international company that runs workers' camps around the world will manage two camps planned for Christchurch. British-based Compass Group employs 500,000 people and runs camps for up to 10,000 workers in remote locations such as Australian gold mines, oil and gas fields in Kazakhstan and Algeria, and construction sites in Qatar and Canada. Read more...


Third of Chch firms plan to hire staff
One in three Christchurch firms intend hiring more staff in the next year and remain optimistic despite battling council red tape and insurance woes, says a new survey. The BNZ bank survey of small and medium sized businesses in Christchurch found that despite the earthquake challenges of the last two years the majority plan to stay in the region. Read more...



Rivals vie for Christchurch retail spots

The Australian powerhouse duo of the Westpac Bank and the Goodman Group have shown their hand in the battle to redevelop central Christchurch's shopping area. But the $200 million office and retail project between the Bridge of Remembrance and Ballantynes could fail if the Government does not move fast and help pick a winner from the many rival bids for the same site, backers say. Read more...



Canterbury Skill Shortage List updated with new construction occupations

Thirteen construction-related occupations have been added to the Canterbury Skill Shortage List after a review of critical skill shortages in the region and analysis of available skilled New Zealanders to do the work.

All the occupations on the Canterbury Skill Shortage List require qualifications, experience or registration and apply to people undertaking senior roles in the rebuild. Read more...



Christchurch blueprint unveiled today

Prime Minister John Key says Christchurch's new central business district will be a ''very livable'' compact city centre with distinct precincts. Key and Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee will unveil a blueprint for central Christchurch, developed by the Christchurch Central Development Unit, at 6pm today. The unit was set by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) in April to determine the location of key projects including a new convention centre and sports stadium. Read more...



City rebuild rolled out

The rebuilding of Christchurch's central city will be under way by the end of the year, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. Mr Brownlee and Prime Minister John Key will be in Christchurch today for the release of the blueprint for the rebuilding. Yesterday, Mr Brownlee told TVNZ's Q+A programme he hoped action would begin tomorrow morning. Read more...



Canterbury economy shows signs of momentum

Canterbury's economic activity jumped 8.6 per cent in the March quarter over the same period a year ago, indicating the region is gearing up for its rebuild. Christchurch economist Robin Clements says it is a sign momentum is beginning to build towards the reconstruction of the region. However that rise in activity was coming off a low base in the March 2011 quarter when Canterbury's business community was battered by the destructive February 22 earthquake. Read more...



Builders tread water waiting for the boom

Canterbury builders say they are "treading water" until the region's residential rebuild begins in earnest.

Master Builders Association Canterbury president Clive Barrington said plasterers and painters were busy, though not as busy the rest of the country seemed to believe. Most of the building was taking place on the city's outskirts and was being run by big companies, Barrington said. Read more...



Christchurch rebuild picks up

Christchurch's rebuilding pace has risen, but is still slow, city council staff say.

Their assessment is contained in a report on consent processing prepared for Thursday's council meeting.

In the report, senior managers say that while the number of building consents issued by the council jumped from an average 26 a day in March to 30 a day in May, the rebuilding pace can still be called variable and slow.




Christchurch demand boosts soft job market

The overall job market has hit "second gear" with 8.2 per cent more jobs being advertised across the country in the three months to June 30, compared with the same period in 2011. Growth in the Canterbury region is hitting its stride as Christchurch gears up for the earthquake rebuild. Read more...



Residents sought for new-look city

The Government's Central City Development Unit, charged with spearheading the rebuilding of Christchurch's CBD, is preparing a campaign to attract investors and potential residents to the new-look city.
A tender released yesterday says the unit will release a preliminary investment memorandum at the same time as a new recovery plan and blueprint for the city centre is launched at the end of the month. Read more...



Electronics firm recruiting more staff

Tait Communications is growing rapidly and is recruiting nearly 60 staff worldwide.

Tait had 59 roles advertised on its website yesterday - 27 of which are New Zealand-based - and has hired recruitment firm ManpowerGroup to help source staff for the company.

The Christchurch-based electronics manufacturer first hired ManpowerGroup in 2010 to find specialist research and development engineers for its Christchurch headquarters. Read more...



Wanted: willing workers

Want a job? You've more chance in hairdressing or panel beating, according to leaders in those industries.
New Zealand gained 1500 more skilled workers than it lost last year, but acute shortages still exist in some trades. Some deficits are an aftershock of the Christchurch quakes, others due to the brain drain. But some bosses at hair salons and panel beaters say young people's lack of focus and a dysfunctional training system are as much to blame. Read more...


Mainlanders more confident on economy

The spirits of Canterbury households are lifting markedly when it comes to the economic fortunes of the region but not about their own financial fortunes, Westpac Bank's six monthly confidence surveys reveals.

Regional economic confidence is its highest since the devastating February 22 earthquake. Only Southlanders are more optimistic about their region than Cantabrians, the survey shows. Read more...



Christchurch rebuild ups wages

Christchurch's rebuild is lining the pockets of workers who have stayed in the city, the latest Seek salary statistics show. Data released by the recruitment website shows Cantabrian salaries have increased 3.6 per cent in the first six months of the year, taking average pay to $66,415 a year. Read more...


New Christchurch 'a glimpse of future'

The Christchurch of the future should be promoted as one of the most sustainable cities in the world, says Lincoln University tourism professor David Simmons. If the rebuild goes according to wish lists and public opinion, Christchurch should promote itself as a beacon, reignited from the quake recovery. Read more...



Rebuild could see commuting workforce
The rebuild of Christchurch could see construction workers commute from other parts of the country, a practice most commonly seen in remote Australian mining sites. This is according to recruitment company Manpower, which has released its Employment Outlook Survey for the third quarter of 2012. The survey shows flat hiring intentions from employers around New Zealand, but an increase in Christchurch. Read more...



Early indicators of pickup in building
An improvement in Canterbury's fortunes is signalled in the latest Canterbury Development Corporation (CDC) quarterly report, but the predicted great rebuild action remains elusive.

Construction employment jumped a quarter between December and March and the number of building consents was trending up, meaning more building work was imminent, the report on the March quarter said.


Cantabrians 'ready to invest again'
Cantabrians have worked through the stress of the earthquakes to the point where they are prepared to make significant investment decisions, ASB chief executive Barbara Chapman says. The bank was now seeing people making new choices about where to put their money, Chapman said on a recent visit to Christchurch.



Timber industry warned to prepare for Christchurch boom
New Zealand's pre-fabricated timber sector needs to prepare for a boom in demand when the Christchurch rebuild starts or risk losing out to rivals, says the head of an engineered timber company.


Half of Kiwi employers struggling to find staff - survey
Up to half of Kiwi employers are struggling to find key staff members, survey findings from recruitment agency ManpowerGroup show.
Manpower has released the results of its annual Talent Shortage Survey, showing 48% of employers in New Zealand are experiencing difficulty filling job vacancies, up 11 percentage points from last year.



Kiwi employers struggle to fill 50pc of vacancies

New Zealand employers struggled to fill about 50 per cent of job vacancies in 2011, with a squeeze on engineers, skilled trade workers and sales representatives, according to ManpowerGroup's latest talent shortage survey.




Imports urged to cope with rebuild
One of Christchurch's leading builders warns Canterbury needs to keep an open mind about importing skilled labour and should start immediately.

Treasury forecast up to a 40 per cent jump in construction over the next three years in Thursday's Budget while Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens has less bullish but still healthy forecasts for a 20 to 30 per cent increase in construction. Most of that was in Canterbury but some also in Auckland, Stephens said.



Growth figures reflect start of rebuild

Canterbury was the fastest-growing region in New Zealand for the March 2012 year, says the National Bank's regional trends survey. The 2.8 per cent year-on-year growth was a tad ahead of Auckland's 2.7 per cent and is a sign the rebuild in Canterbury is beginning. Read more...


Construction-related skills in demand

Christchurch has become a major hub for jobs growth, particularly for those with construction-related skills, despite a real start to the earthquake rebuild remaining months away, recruitment agencies say.

Quantity surveyors, commercial and residential project managers plus machine operators with drainage and roading experience were topping a list of skills in high demand in Christchurch's civil construction market, said Jason Walker, managing director of recruitment firm Hays. Read more...



White-collar jobs on the up in Canterbury

Bankers are now just as sought after as builders in Christchurch as demand for white-collar workers soars.

Canterbury is experiencing significant job growth with a 29% jump in new jobs being advertised in the region last month, compared to April last year, according to figures issued by job website Seek. Read more...


Eleven weeks to create a new Christchurch
The quake-decimated heart of Christchurch will be redesigned by a consortium led by a top New Zealand design firm, it was announced today, with a new blueprint for the CBD expected by the end of July.

Boffa Miskell will be the lead company in a consortium that includes representatives from Populous, Woods Bagot, Sheppard and Rout, Warren and Mahoney, and RCP. Read more...



Convention centre plans for Christchurch

Prime Minister John Key says Christchurch remains firmly part of a national convention centre strategy, with a larger complex able to host 3000 people likely to replace the quake hit centre.

Christchurch lost hotels and its convention centre, which was designed to cater for 1500 people, as a result of the 2011 earthquakes and the tourism industry has seen a central city replacement as vital for the rebuild of associated hotels. Read more...



Counting down to the Christchurch rebuild

The midnight oil is already burning at Christchurch company Boffa Miskell, which has been given the unique mission of leading the redesign of the centre of Christchurch - in just 78 days.
They have been given $1 million and told to come up with a blueprint so the quake-stricken city can get back on its feet, and quickly. Read more...



Assets eyed in revival of city

Pressure has been exerted from the Beehive for the Christchurch City Council to mortgage some of its $2 billion-plus portfolio of assets.
The Press has learned that Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee asked for, and received, a full list of ratepayer-owned strategic assets in January. Read more...



Quake claims top $30 billion

Canterbury earthquake claims have climbed to more than $30 billion, the Reserve Bank says in its latest financial stability report.

The central bank said that figure was based on estimates from insurers and it was higher than six months ago.

But there was a lot of uncertainty still about the estimates. Read more...


Reinsurers still in game despite disasters
Global reinsurers should lift prices to get better returns after seven years of doing it tough, although it is unclear whether they will, a United States insurance market analysis firm says.

New Zealand is one place that burned reinsurers due to the Christchurch earthquakes, and premiums have already jumped accordingly. Read more...



Quake-city mayor upbeat as exodus abroad plummets
Christchurch leaders can see confidence returning to their quake-battered city as the number of residents moving overseas has almost halved from a year ago.
Mayor Bob Parker is now predicting a "complete reversal" of the trend of people leaving Christchurch in the months ahead as the pace of the huge city rebuild picks up. Read more...


Govt poised to seize control of Christchurch rebuild
Christchurch democracy is to be "discarded" with the Government poised to take control of the central city rebuild, Labour says.

Earthquake recovery spokeswoman Lianne Dalziel said that Cabinet will approve a proposal to create a new unit within the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) to manage the rebuild. Read more...


Update from Roger Sutton, Chief Executive: 26 March 2012

Last year I suggested recovery would rely on play as much as work and while we needed new recreational and cultural facilities, the passion to run these had survived and thrived.

Community volunteers and entrepreneurs had in numerous cases become more close-knit and determined, I noted, whether or not their venues had survived. Many I chatted with after the earthquakes were determined to retain and enhance the rich sporting and social life which combines with economic development to make up the life-blood of Canterbury. Read more...



Employment to grow by 93,700 new jobs over 2012- 2014: New Department of Labour forecasting series

Employment is forecast to increase by around 93,700 jobs or 4.2% over 2012- 2014 according to the first report in a new labour market forecasting series issued by the Department of Labour today.

The Short-term employment prospects: 2012-14 report is based on a new short term forecasting model developed by the Department of Labour to provide more detailed information on the labour market.


Canterbury recovery boosts economy

While New Zealand's economy saw weaker than expected 0.3 per cent growth in the December quarter, Canterbury's quake rebuild is seen as taking the region from a period of economic recovery to much stronger expansion.
Canterbury's economy initially shrank as a result of the earthquakes in the period after the February 22 quake.

But looking forward, economists are expecting a spike in the region's growth beginning late this year that will see annual gross domestic product pushing ahead in double digit figures, perhaps over several years. Read more...


Labour dept: 100,000 new jobs in two years

Slow, steady job growth is predicted for the next two years by a new short-term employment forecast produced by the Department of Labour, with growth strongest in Auckland, Christchurch and in skilled and professional roles. Read more...



Tool launched for workers in Canterbury rebuild

Recruitment firm Manpower has set up an offshoot website so workers can easily sign up for the Canterbury rebuild.

Manpower regional business manager Matt Love-Smith said was an attempt to look ahead and prepare for the looming Christchurch rebuild. Read more...



NZ building activity picks up as Canterbury rebuild begins

New Zealand building activity picked up in the final three months of 2011 as construction in Canterbury began to emerge, with the region's rebuild looming as a major economic stimulus.

The value of building work put in place rose a seasonally adjusted 2.9 per cent to $1.7 billion in the three months ended December 31, bouncing back from a decade-low in the previous quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. Residential work climbed 4.4 per cent and non-residential activity was up 1.4 per cent. Read more...


EQC payouts hit $3 billion

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has paid out more than $3 billion for damage from the Canterbury quakes, making the tremors New Zealand's most expensive natural disaster.

EQC chief executive Ian Simpson said this placed the quakes as one of the costliest disasters globally, with a similar number of insurance claims as those received after Hurricane Katrina in the United States. Read more...



Facilities Rebuild Plan

Following the September, February and June earthquakes, Christchurch City Council is embarking on a programme to look at the future of the 1600 buildings it owns. This includes commercial buildings and the Council’s community housing facilities. Read more...

Recruitment drive to 'build a great new' Christchurch

An "enormous" recruitment drive ramp up is needed in Christchurch to fuel the region's rebuild, a member of the Canterbury Employment Skills Board says.

Alex Bouma told TV ONE's Breakfast today, on the one year anniversary of the devastating quake, that the recruitment drive in Canterbury has started but that many more jobs need to be filled. According to the organisation, which was set up in 2011 to provide a workforce strategy for Christchurch, job vacancies in the region are 50% above the national norm at the moment and the construction industry has grown by 18% since the February quake. Read more...