Christchurch rebuild? Not any time soon

For two years industry people and consultants and all manner of hopefuls have insisted the Christchurch rebuild is ‘about to start’.

There is a misguided perception that Christchurch will enter a phase of massive rebuilding conglomerate.

It won’t and because of many different reasons. For instance:

  • nobody wants to be the first cab off the rank;
  • how much to invest;
  • chosen to take money elsewhere;
  • move money to be made from other transaction types like trading property as everyone jostles for land positions;
  • insurance claims still mostly outstanding as people wrestle in court for better payouts;
  • consents will take years; 

Et cetera.

It’s a fiasco that people are so stupid. Anyway if you think back to a year ago or longer the banks and others were essentially all forecasting big spend 3 months to 6 months on from economist statements and yet two years later nothing is happening.

We will look at a a prime example of why there is a delay in the rebuild in the next post.

But the answer is Christchurch will take decades to be rebuilt and it will be piecemeal and slow and I bet that in 10 years time it will still be a pigs breakfast.


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • johnbronkhorst

    It took 150 years to build it. It took about 3 minutes to knock it down. How long did people realistically think it was going to take to rebuild it???

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    All points to Dazzling Dalziel sleep walking to victory in Christchurch….

    • johnbronkhorst

      Well that will fuck it up!!!

  • Orange

    Yes yes and yes. When they pull people on TV unhappy about a 2 year wait I shake my head. 10 years minimum folks.

  • Andy

    It has taken 2.5 years for my insurance company to agree that our house is a rebuild, not a repair. We know of many people far behind us in the system.

  • Gaynorb

    There is a huge amount of rebuilding going on…….

  • Cadwallader

    It will take time but that’s not to say it isn’t underway. The numerous tradespeople I know who are operating in CHCH tell me the pace is presently frenetic! The start-up was months and months ago.

  • johnbronkhorst

    “Sinkhole opens up in Christchurch”…Yahooxtra
    Dalziel is making a speech???

  • Michael

    Napier and Hastings were rebuilt by the end of the decade. However, they had a NZ wide workforce of about 100,000 unemployed able men to call on to rebuild because of the Depression….

    …which begs the question, why is any long term unemployed person not given a bus ticket to Christchurch? Would only cost 1 weeks dole payment.

    • Andrew Caldwell

      yeah, there was also no “safety net” or insurances, so people had to get on with it and rebuilt their businesses or starve (or move elsewhere). Most people took out loans to get things done… which I think the govt provided; but it was a loan not a handout.

      • AnonWgtn

        As a taxpayer (real) I am glad that it will be paid back.
        It is reported today that Government, – read taxpayers, have put up $17 billion so far with more to follow.

        • Bryan

          and we would do the same for you in Wgtn and it may not be far away so don’t knock it and the Gst flowing back out of the insurance, gst work, and building work that will soon come back
          and what the alternative do nothing,no roadworks, no sewers repaired if you want to see what that looks like have a look at haiti

          the govt early help to workers with 500 to every employee for 10 weeks to help them relocate kept canterbury business in
          operation and it is those businesses that have more than repaid that help up through Gst and Taxes already and as the overseas insurance industry pour their pile into this country it is money from other economies that is help the rebuild and all their work has the gst on it as well there has been over 45000 homes repaired in the last 12 months and say 25000 was spent on each one that’s 3260 in gst by 45000 that”s 146.7 million back into tax dept income and the bigger serious work in still to come so all this work in going to return a lot that was invested

    • James Howlett

      I would suggest the nature of the average unemployed person is quite different from during the Depression. At that time your average unemployed person likely had some life experience, several handy skills and some common sense and flexibility to put them into practice – and they were desperate.

      • Michael

        If you don’t have those attributes then you shouldn’t be entitled to a “jobseekers allowance” (as it is now called).

        • James Howlett

          Fair point – in a previous line of work I dealt with numerous ‘Directors’ who did not do anything resembling directing and several ‘Managers’ who thankfully weren’t asked to actually manage anything. I see title inflation has even found its way to the dole.

    • AnonWgtn

      Because most of them are totally illiterate except filling a dole form, and would not have the brains to do what they are told.
      And it may be hard work.

  • Patrick

    Tax breaks for businesses & people to relocate to Christchurch. Make it a shenzen zone. Soon fix the “housing crisis” in Auckland & give the rebuild some impetus.

    • philbest

      That would force up the price of land and housing even faster unless abolishing the growth boundary was also part of the scheme.

  • Day Day

    It will take a generation to be rebuilt. However if the Labor/Greens get their hands on it, things will blow out further. Also a low interest rate environment is critical for the rebuild, high interest rates would represent another catastrophe for Christchurch.

    • philbest

      High land costs is also a problem. This is the result of growth containment urban planning. Hugh Pavletich has been right all along.

      Christchurch would recover far quicker if its housing was made affordable by throwing out the UGB.

      Fletcher’s offered to build several thousand new houses per year if they were given permission for sites that would allow economies of scale. Government at all levels refused.

      • Col

        Need to protect those who are already here, and you don’t want a slum type area. just saying.

        • philbest

          Therefore, people should not vote for politicians on a platform of “compact city” and “smart growth” and all that stuff, because that means high density infill housing, and everyone resists that in their neighbourhood too.
          The solution, as the often-belittled people of most of Southern and heartland USA have worked out, is “let development happen somewhere else”. That way, economies can grow and housing can be affordable and your own descendants are not condemned to mortgage slavery beyond anything previously experienced in modern history.
          New Zealand of all countries, has enough land that we could house another 30 million odd people without it spoiling the view of anyone in existing cities. A fun little exercise is to copy and paste a map of the Netherlands onto various parts of NZ. I think it fits nicely between ChCh and Timaru and the mountains. Contained in that space, is one city of 4 million people, two more of more than 1 million people each, and a total of about 18 million all up. And they take up approximately 22 percent of it and use most of the rest to grow tulips for export.

          • Col

            I live in CHCH and still not sure about the city centre rebuild!!!.
            I understand what your saying I m always amazed in Italy 54 million people and bloody hard to see where they are, and that’s like NZ and has plenty of space. I could have moved to Auckland 30 years ago but still in CHCH and happy.

  • Johnny Sauce pants

    As long as that arrogant fat “Jerry I ate all the pies Brownlee” has anything to do with it, it will be a disaster. Marryatt was bad enough, but he has nothing on Brownlee when it comes to incompetence, arrogance and a complete lack of talent and understanding.

    • nigel

      Such insightful analysis. You can’t even spell Gerry’s name correctly. So why on earth would anyone listen to you?

      If you had any semblance of a brain, I’d suggest a look at L’Aquilla, Italy with a closed CBD and 40,000 in temporary accommodation. Their quake was 2009.

      Your “mate” Clayton Cosgrove and the basket case Dalziel would have done better? Go back on the sauce loser.