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.
You may also be interested in
Migrant Tales – Irish Construction Workers Beware in Christchurch (Dec 2011):
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)
3 thoughts on “Christchurch Rebuild – EQC Pulling Plug, Fletchers Tells Builders to Start Looking Elsewhere For Work”
Fletcher Buildings expects earnings could be up to $150m less than forecast
CATHERINE HARRIS, HAMISH MCNICOL AND ELLEN READ
Last updated 18:06, March 20 2017
Fletcher Building chief executive Mark Adamson says it is very disappointing a review found one of its businesses was …
CARYS MONTEATH/FAIRFAX NZ
Fletcher Building chief executive Mark Adamson says it is very disappointing a review found one of its businesses was weaker than understood.
People at Fletcher Building have lost their jobs over the possible $150 million profit hit caused by cost blowouts on two major projects.
Fletcher Building refused to say which two projects were behind the company’s large profit downgrade, but chief executive Mark Adamson said on Monday “people did lose their jobs”.
“It’s inappropriate to mention names,” Adamson said.
Adamson said on Monday the company started a review of its building and interiors (B&I) business, responsible for the losses, last year.
The kicker to this story, is of course, that standard phrase when the truth is too offensive to mention:
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The article above had 23 comments before it was closed.
The follow up comments in another related article are great.
Wonder how long before the discussion is “harmonised”, since New Zealanders believe in “getting along” /sarcasm
Greyhairs 52 minutes ago
Interesting that seemingly they cannot make a “profit” let alone “super profit” when the construction economy has been in boom times.
2 hours ago
Oh well, there go the long-delayed Eastern Frame apartments.
2 hours ago
Fletchers are not tendering for any CHCH work anymore. Looks like they will stick to Auckland….where there is a huge building boom. I am involved in CHCH building….work is declining quickly. Seismic issues make pricing near impossible.
1 hour ago
I too am involved in the construction industry in Christchurch. I can confirm work is slowing down and we have just, sadly, started lay offs. Work there but now in Auckland.
3 hours ago
incompetent management. They obliterated their IT support, keeping the staff hanging for 18 months which resulted in a significant number of people leaving. When they finally told people what was going on, more work for the same pay, and a few redundancies, the IT exodus began.
THEN, the guy that was in charge of the ‘restructure’ left the company, (before he was pushed perhaps) leaving behind a giant mess. All the staff that are still there are not happy.
a complete disaster that was easy to predict the outcome, hence why I and several others bailed early, leaving on our own terms.
59 minutes ago
Heard the same….
20 minutes ago
When the new management arrived they said that anyone who had been there more than 10 years shouldn’t be there so set out making everyone in a senior position redundant all at once. Since then huge staff turnover. Some of the 10 plus year people we’re people who were experts in construction. Hard knowledge to replace.
3 hours ago
The spin has started from the top dogs who never accept that the bucks stops with them unless its in their bank account. Norris has been chairman since 2014 and should stand down but bet he wont
It’s not just Christchurch, as this news report says:
A big turnaround in the trans-Tasman brain drain is poised to put new pressure on house prices and has the Government scrambling to build new classrooms.
Experts are predicting that, by the end of the year, the number of Kiwis heading across the ditch will be outpaced by the number returning – which has not happened since 1993.
Alexander said the migration surge would likely add pressure to house prices – making it less likely the Reserve Bank would ease restrictions on the size of deposit required for mortgage lending.
and yet …
Cunliffe said the Government needed to deal with the looming immigration crisis by ensuring there was a “steady positive” flow of skilled migrants at a level which met skills shortages.
“And if there is a whole lot of New Zealanders returning they get first dibs and they fill specialised skill shortages.”
But Housing Minister Nick Smith said the immigration story was “incredibly positive”.
“There’s no change in the number of new immigrants approved to come to New Zealand – the big change is that fewer New Zealanders are leaving, mainly to Australia, and more are coming home.
Immigrants need to be VERY careful, the skills and money they have, are very attractive to those needing a share at cheap prices.
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