Wellington business looking to cash in on Chch rebuild

Wellington businesses are being urged to look south to cash in on Canterbury’s $30 billion rebuild.

Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown says Christchurch businesses are crying out for help from the manufacturing, professional and creative businesspeople in the Wellington region.

As well as architectural and engineering skills, there is also demand for more general digital-based and creative services and manufacturing.

Economic development agency Grow Wellington and Wellington City Council are hosting a forum in March for local businesses interested in partnering with Canterbury-based companies which have exhausted their resources in the rebuild.

“The momentum of the rebuild depends heavily on such skills and services. There are so many opportunities for Wellington business to help out in Christchurch and get their city back on its feet," Ms Wade-Brown says. 

"And the forum is a great way to find out how we can assist the many businesses who are determined to stay in Christchurch and flourish.” 

Partnering with Christchurch business will also help drive the capital’s economic growth, she says.

Grow Wellington chief executive Gerard Quinn says many Christchurch businesses need new suppliers, new resources, potentially new partners and new ways of doing business.

Wellington is perfectly placed to provide the expertise.

“Wellington, with its strengths in design, engineering, professional services, visual technology and innovation, and its relative proximity to the South Island has several advantages when it comes to assisting with the recovery.”

Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce estimates Canterbury will need 10,000 to 15,000 more workers for the rebuild.

Wellington Chamber of Commerce president Richard Stone has welcomed the idea but says it willneed commitment.

"Pete Townsend [Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce] 'has said don’t do it if you simply think you’re going to fly in once, pick up a multi-million dollar deal and walk away again. It needs a longer term commitment'."

bcunningham@nbr.co.nz

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