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    Tuesday 25 June 2019

    $50bn rebuild of Christchurch New Zealand underway

    The New Zealand economy, led by the Christchurch rebuild, has been described as the ‘rock-star’ economy of the developed markets.

    In February 2011, the city of Christchurch in New Zealand was devastated by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake, leveling much of the central business district and killing 185 people in one of the deadliest peacetime disasters in the country’s history. Nearly four years on, the city is starting to heal and rebuild and the opportunities to do business in Christchurch are huge. So is it too late to take advantage of the rebuild opportunities?

    Growth opportunities

    There are phenomenal areas of growth throughout the Christchurch rebuild. These include
    manufacturing, construction (commercial and residential), trades, professional services,
    infrastructure, arts and entertainment, education, health, aged-care and government sectors.

    The Canterbury Earthquake Authority (CERA), together with local Maori and the city council,
    has spent the last four years developing the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, a living
    document outlining the vision for this new city: “to be vibrant and well-formed, to attract
    people to live, work, play, learn, stay and invest”. As well as the generation of new business
    in the heart of Christchurch the Recovery Plan outlines no less than 17 anchor projects that
    are central to the rebuild, such as a Performing Arts Precinct, Justice and Emergency Services
    Precinct, Metro Sports Facility and a state-of-the-art Convention Centre – on top of the dire
    need for residential reconstruction. Investors are not only welcome but crucial to the genesis
    of these keystone projects and as this disaster was one of the most well-insured of all time
    (up to 80% of all damage was covered) the New Zealand Government has indicated that
    NZ$50bn worth of development will be invested in business growth and infrastructure – an
    unparalleled opportunity for both international and local investors.

    The challenges

    According to London-based economics research firm Capital Economics reconstruction
    spending is not expected to peak until 2017. However, while this is encouraging to many,
    international businesses shouldn’t go it alone when investing in the rebuild of Christchurch
    and the Canterbury region. There are risks, costs and competition consequences to consider.

    Businesses need timely information, local advice, relationships and networks to enable them
    to invest in this beautiful but broken city, without having to face unnecessary red tape.

    Existing businesses need all the help they can get but so too do businesses coming to
    Christchurch for the new growth opportunities.

    For more information, contact:
    Graham Russell
    Marriotts, New Zealand
    T +64 3 379 0829
    E graham@marriotts.co.nz
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