It looks today like the Christchurch rebuild has withered on the vine. Three years after the quake, and with bare ground marking the places where many buildings once stood, it appears that the Earthquake Commission is giving up on the city.
If you are in the process of emigrating to New Zealand to work on the Christchurch rebuild, please take care before committing yourself to what could be a very expensive mistake. We suggest you make your employer pay for 100% of your visa and moving costs. Get a written agreement that they will pay for your repatriation too should the work dry up. Do not sell up in your home country, nor should you transfer your assets to New Zealand.
According to an article in today’s paper Fletchers have told their builders to down tools as work is winding down. It appears that the Earthquake Commission is paying off property owners directly and is no longer funding restorative work.
Two contractors, speaking anonymously, said Fletcher EQR, which is contracted to manage repairs, last week apologised to a group of its preferred contractors in Christchurch because it would not be able to give them as much work as promised.
One of them, who has worked for Fletcher since the start of the repair programme, said the announcement came as a surprise.
“They told us last week that they couldn’t guarantee us work because EQC had not given them the jobs,” he said, speaking anonymously.
“I reckon EQC want to shortcut the circuit, take it away from Fletchers and pay cash to homeowners to save a lot of money.”
About 13,000 homes are still to be repaired and some owners fear they may be forced into cash settlements.
Canterbury Communities’ Earthquake Recovery Network (CanCern) spokeswoman Leanne Curtis said dozens of owners had this year been pushed to accept a cash settlement when they would rather have had their house repaired.
Some had reported intimidating practices, while others had received cheques from EQC or sums of money in their bank accounts even though they had not opted out of the programme.” …
…Fletcher EQR chief communications manager Barry Akers said the repair programme would be completed at the end of this year, and Fletcher had already informed contractors about the workload slowing down…” more here.
Ironically, these contractors are probably the same companies that’ve been recruiting overseas workers to meet the supposed demand, many of them from Ireland. How many of them will find themselves out of work and with no social security net to fall back on in the coming winter? That’s if they’re ‘lucky’ enough to be able to remain in a country that made them empty promises of work.
We anticipate that many homeowners will bank the cash, or use it to move elsewhere.
Migrant workers employed in the Christchurch ‘rebuild’ will be on work visas, as soon as they lose their job they will either need to find another employer that will satisfy Immigration New Zealand’s stringent rules or be made to leave the country (A similar situation is happening to the three nannies employed by Kim Dotcom, their work visas have expired and they’ve been told to leave the country or be deported. It seems the country has sufficient nannies and builders after all).
If you’re currently employed on the Christchurch rebuild we’d like to hear from you, tell us how this is affecting you.
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I work in what passes for New Zealand’s construction industry. Currently these nasty toe-rags are touting this awful country to construction workers from overseas (mainly Ireland) in order to get folks in to fix Christchurch (which, to be honest, should just be levelled and abandoned- only the foolish would want to live there now).
If you are thinking of coming here, don’t do it. Because, despite what you may have been told, New Zealand is not a western country. Sure they speak English and rather a lot of them are pale-looking, but that is where the similarity ends…
Christchurch Rebuild is “Hampered by NZ Government” (April 2014)
Jobs For Kiwis First in Quake Hit Christchurch (June 2012)