New Zealand’s earthquake recovery prompts huge construction jobs intake
The earthquake in New Zealand cost 200 people their lives and dramatically changed the face of the South Island’s largest city. Although the recent tragedy in Japan has diverted attention away from the earlier natural disasters in New Zealand, the full scale of the rebuild task required in Christchurch has not diminished.
For those in the construction and built environment industry the scale of the project means that help is needed from across the globe. The number of buildings damaged by the second earthquake hasn’t increased greatly, but the amount of damage has, fourfold. Subsequently, the cost of the rebuild has tripled to approximately $15bn, whilst in most cases the size of the teams needed for the epic rebuilding project has also increased threefold.
New Zealand’s current need represents an opportunity to be involved in a challenging and fulfilling project abroad. Phil Ponder, director at Catalyst, commented, ‘The rebuild has taken on a completely new complexion as the landscape has literally changed. The Government has indicated that 100,000 of the 140,000 homes have been damaged with 10,000 no longer habitable. The centre of Christchurch is devastated with somewhere between 25 and 33 per cent of the buildings to be demolished.’
The infrastructure and residential repairs are the Government’s immediate priorities, with numerous skills required to orchestrate the physical recovery of the city. Of those in particularly high demand, project and site managers, quantity surveyors, estimators and civil engineers make up the majority.
Published: 06 May 2011