The Mainzeal failure is expected to kill off sub-contracting firms unless receivers are able to continue trading.
The receivership of New Zealand’s third largest construction company should have government ministers worried.
Treasury projections place major reliance on the Christchurch rebuild to lead New Zealand out of the economic doldrums.
Will the collapse of Mainzeal compromise the reconstruction of quake-ravaged Christchurch?
The company is the main contractor for the near-complete demolition of the Clarendon building on Oxford Tce, which has been one of the longest-running deconstructions.
It was also in charge of demolishing QE11 sports centre, managing the $15 million expansion of Barrington Shopping Centre, a temporary justice centre in Durham St and a $15 million accommodation building for St Andrews.
Mainzeal was also expected to be involved in repairing homes for Vero Insurance.
The collapse may mean further delays in the house repair programme for homeowners whose patience is wearing thin three years after the earthquakes.
This is likely to have ramifications for government because many of these long-suffering homeowners are located in the well-heeled suburbs around Sumner, as well as the Labour areas around New Brighton.